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When is it time to let a fish pass on?
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ping
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Joined: 08 Jun 2003
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: 2003.06.15(Sun)1:36    Post subject: When is it time to let a fish pass on? Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad
My Royal Gramma is almost dead but I just can't let him go. He is on his side but he's is still breathing. I don't know what to do. Do fish suffer? Should I be putting him out of his misery? Am I endangering my other fish? I've been praying for a miracle but I think I have to face the truth. I don't think I can get any more fish. I feel so responsible for them if they get sick. He was so healthy and in a matter of a week just faded away. Is there any suggestions of books I might read to know more about saltwater tanks. I've read The Marine Aquarium Handbook but I think I need to know more about each type of fish. The stores I've been going to are not very helpful and have conflicting information.
My water has been tested and all is well.
I'm so depressed over losing this fish.
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The Old Salt
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2003.06.15(Sun)10:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grammas often lay on their side. It's just something they do. However, it's something they do mostly when they don't have a cave to hide in, preferably one that's sort of upright.
On the other hand, your fish might be in real trouble. Grammas are super-sensitive to, well, everything, and it doesn't take much to upset them. These guys are often sold as beginner's fish because they're pretty, common, and relatively cheap, but the truth is that they are NOT beginner's fish by any means.
If you need a good book on the fishes themselves, then I recommend Scott Michael's "Marine Fishes," which covers 500 species that you're likely to find in a fish store.

How long has this tank been running?
What are the other fish?
What size is this tank?
What kind of decor is in the tank?
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Joined: 08 Jun 2003
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: 2003.06.15(Sun)16:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your reply.
My tank is a 32 gal. Eclipse 3 system. It's been running for about 3 months but I haven't had very many fish in it.
Right now his tank mates are a shrimp, 4 tiny crabs, 3 bumblebee snails, a lawnmower blenny and a firefish gobi (all seem fine).
I got the Gramma and a Banner Cardinal on May 22nd. The Gramma was great but the Cardinal wouldn't eat. After about a week I was so concerned for the Cardinal that I paid a guy from the fish store to come look at him (and to clean my tank). He changed 5 gal. of water with his that came from a reef (I usually use bottled water with instant ocean). He also rearranged all of the coral and live rock and said that the fish like change and would enjoy looking for new homes. That night the Cardinal was dead and about two weeks later the Gramma wasn't around as much but was eating. When I felt like the Gramma wasn't happy, I moved his barnacle back to his old spot and he's been there ever since. A few days ago he was hanging out in his barnacle with his nose pointing out but at this point he hasn't eaten in about a week and he is inside just laying on his side. I found him upside down yesterday, but couldn't let him go so I just turned the barnacle around.
H2O is 77, 0-Nitrate & Nitrite and pH 8.5.
You're right, I was told that Grammas were great beginner fish and could handle anything.
Sorry to be so long but any suggestions are appreciated.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: New Jersey, USA

PostPosted: 2003.06.15(Sun)17:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went through the same thing with my gramma. I wish they wouldn't sell such a fragile fish.
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Don't buy the fish before you know the fish.
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The Old Salt
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2003.06.15(Sun)18:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

heheh.. well, that's not gonna happen. Just LOOK at it. People will always buy this fish if it's offered, which means it'll always be offered.
It's not THAT fragile, really. It just needs the stability and care that a beginner, and a new tank, can't provide.
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Joined: 08 Jun 2003
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: 2003.06.15(Sun)22:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for talking to me about it. This has been very difficult for me.
I just burried him.
How will I know when I'm ready?
I have kept a pretty detailed log of readings, water changes, cleanings etc... and I bring a water sample to the people at the stores before I bring even a snail home. I feel responsible for any creature I put in my tank and it seems that my water has always been fine. Looking back, I never would have had that guy change all of my rocks and add his water to my tank had I known this fish was so delicate. I'm having a hard time finding someone that I can trust at an aquarium place. They all have such different opinions. I actually had one guy tell me durring my start up that I had to just through a bunch of Damsels in my tank to get it to cycle. and that they would all probably die but that's what they were there for, they were expendable, otherwise it would take me a long time to get my tank in shape. I didn't do that and never went back to that place. I even returned a tiny snail that I found on one of my rocks because I didn't think it would make it.
I thought that I had a really healthy tank but can you tell me what I could do differently?
What do you think I did wrong for this Gramma?
What would I need to do to keep a Gramma?
Who can I trust?
Is Elvis still alive?
Thanks again.
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helenjc
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.16(Mon)1:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I'm not mistaken, your pH is a bit high. Also when you refer to your H20 being 77, what exactly are you referring to? Also, what is your ammonia level? How much time have you waited between making new additions to your tank. What have you been feeding? How have you been acclimating your fish? If you interested in why your fish died, some more info would help.

It seems like you care a great deal about your fish, and that you want to do things right, and are willing to take the time to do so. That's pretty commendable.

I've never owned a royal gramma, so I can't give any info specific to the fish. As for your question on who to trust, it's not a simple question. You probably have a better chance with people on these type of boards, who are hobbiests like yourself, as opposed to people who work at the LFS. But then again, with people on the board, some know more than others, and in some cases, there is no one right answer. My advice would be to gather information from several sources, and make an educated decision based on what makes sense to you. You can pretty much trust moderators, since they usually have several years on hands on experience. Take everything from your LFS with a grain of salt. Some are genuinely concerned with the hobby, while others are just out for the money. As you gain more experience, it'll be easier to discern one from the other. When it comes to everyday members on the board, read their other posts, and check out if they seem like they are given educated answers, and see how others respond to the advice. I guess thats the only thing you can do.
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Joined: 08 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 2003.06.18(Wed)0:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

The guy who changed my water said it was from a reef off of Catalina Island and he adds some other "things" to it. It was only 5 gal. but you're right, I didn't check any readings right after he was done. It wasn't until a I use one of the test kits that has a color match in order to determine the pH, nitrate and nitrites which I find to be a bit of a guessing game. Is there a way to get a specific number from a test? The color grid for my nitrates and nitrites is always matches the -0- color range but who knows?? My other 2 fish, shrimp, crabs and snails seem to be doing okay, but I don't feel confident about what I'm doing.
I've added only one fish at a time over about a 2 month period. Except for the day that I added my Gramma and Cardinal fish. They were added the same day and introduced by floating them in my tank for about 20 minutes and then adding a little of my tank water and the store water over a period of about 30 minutes.
By the way the 77 refers to the temperature of my tank water and I've been feeding a little less than a quater cube of Mysis twice a day.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
My tank seems so lonely without my Gramma Sad
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The Old Salt
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2003.06.18(Wed)1:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...I wonder why the LFS guy felt the need to add "things" to the seawater?

Grammas need a few things to thrive:

--Stability
They don't like having their water parameters change. They don't like being moved from tank to tank.
--Good Food
--Compatible Tankmates
They don't like having other fish in the tank which would compete with them for food or shelter. Some fish they ignore, while others really annoy them. You can usually tell when a Gramma is annoyed by the way it opens its mouth and threatens any fish of the sort it considers a pest. Other small basslets and sometimes firefish will irritate them the most.
--Hiding Places
These guys are both shy AND territorial. They like to hide in places where they feel safe, and they don't like to share those hiding places. In nature things are a bit different, and you'll often find large groups of Grammas sharing the same cave or overhang. In the aquarium, though, they don't get along so well.

A mature, stable tank with good hiding places and compatible neighbors will house a Gramma well.
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love2watch
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.18(Wed)11:52    Post subject: when is it time to let my fish pass Reply with quote

Hi, I have a Royal Gramma also called a dotty back if I'm not mistaken. My guy is great, but also display's the same behavior you mentioned, shy, not a great eater and hides a lot. I have a few recommendations for you, first I never let anyone make any changes to my tank at all ever especially a LFS. Second it sounds like it is a water problem to me either low/high salinity or just a poor quality problems. I do 30% changes every week and 70% every month and I have no problems, except 1-2 fish get what I call stress ick which usually goes away in a few days. Make sure when you feed them any frozen food you defrost it and give it a fresh water rinse to remove any blood and undesireables you don't want in your tank. Another thing I highly reccommend is a Diatom filter that is a permanent hookup to your tank. I have the Vortex Diatom I purchased from www.petsmart.com >filtration equip. > other filtration > Vortex. It is only $69.00 and this thing is great will just about eliminate any ick problems which is very common. I run mine for 12 hour intervals 2-3 times weekly or daily whenever I see a potention problem crop up. I firmly believe it is the best preventative care equipment I own. Good luck hope this helps. Smile

Last edited by love2watch on 2003.06.18(Wed)11:56; edited 1 time in total
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