New 55 Gallon Saltwater Fish Tank
My name is Michael. My girlfriend and I bought a new 55 gallon saltwater fish tank together on July 4th and added fish on July 5th, 2006. It cost an arm and a leg, but when we went to the pet store to buy fish the freshwater fish just didn't cut it in terms of variety.
We started with 12 fish, a mix of what we later discovered were Blue Devil Damsels and Black Domino Damsels. We just took home what the pet store told us we needed. A few days later, all but one of the black domino damsels were dead. The last black domino damsel lasted a few days but was greatyly outnumbered and seemed intimidated by the blue devils. When "blacky" became pale and died, we went and got five more fish to keep the tank stocked to twelve as the pet store suggested, even though an expert had said the pet store was wrong and we should limit the damsels to three while the tank was "cycling".
We added two Pink Damsels, which looked more salmon color than pink, one Sargent Major Damsel, and two Yellow Tailed Blue Damsels to the tank. The Blue Devil damsels already in the tank immediately attacked the new fish. One pink damsel was dead the next day, presumably killed by the Blue Devils. The Sargent Major Damsel, "Sarge" (RIP), became discolored and died a day later, along with one of the yellow tailed blue damsels.
Currently, we have four of the original Blue Devil Damsels left, one Yellow Tailed Blue Damsel, and one Pink Damsel that has been torn to shreds by the Blue Devil Damsels, is missing major portions of its fin, and isn't likely to last very long. We think our tank has begun to cycle because there appears to be some kind of red algea growing on the white plastic coral.
Does anyone have any idea how long we have to wait before we add larger fish, like a Porcupine Puffer, for instance?
Sorry to hear that your fish are eating each other! :cry:
Thanks. Last night my girlfriend had to flush the Pink Damsel. It had chunks missing from it when she got home from work, and was still fighting to live, but we couldn't let it suffer anymore.
Shouldn't pet stores be held accountable for selling you fish they know will eat each other, especially when you tell them you are a beginner? :evil:
Can you get your money back?
Red is not good nor is black you should have green growing which is natural and healthy. You should wait at least a month to add fish if you have added substrate with live bacteria in it you can add fish in 5 to 7 days. This is what I learned when I attended a saltwater lecture. You also need to check your levels and your temp.Temp should be 75F to 80F, gravity 77F, salinity 1.020 to 1.030, pH balance should be 8.0 to 8.4, nitrates lower than 20ppm with less than 5ppm being required for most. You can check these by buying a hydrometer.
I found most of my information be searching online but then attended the saltwater workshop held at Petco.
Thanks for all of the info, Jazmine. How often should I be testing the water for those levels?
Also, the algea is definitely red. It is growing on the plastic coral and the sand. The sand supposedly had special bacteria meant to help the tank get started. Is that what you meant by substrate?
For the red algea, you need more oxygen in your tank. If you have an air pump, put an airstone on it. Or put in an air pump w/ an airstone. Or try changing 25% water like 3 times a week. If you have coral and invertebrates, you can add a growth enhancer formula which should combat the red algea.
For your substrate, you should add Stress zyme to help the bacteria develop. I've never set up a saltwater tank so I don't know if it's safe for saltwater, but someone at your local fish store can tell you.
fish stores cant be held accountable because I have never gone into one where the people knew what they were talking about, they are businesses and opperate like them, also your tank does need to cycle, which means that you need a period in which you buy your new tank to which you fully stock it, in this period you should only have like 2 damsels which will help the good bacteria level grow
You should check your levels once a week also if your water appears murky. If you suspect there might be a problem I would also check your levels. These will temporarily change when you add new fish.
Yes when I refered to the substrate I was talking about the sand, this however has nothing to do with the red algea, red is not good it should be green. So I would suggest taking dasmall1's advice.
One other thing I forgot to mention in your post your fish got New Tank Syndrome this is why "blacky" became pale. The symptoms are loss of coloring,hiding in corners with clamped fins, and lying near the bottom.
Thanks everyone for the advice. I think it may be brown algea instead of red- I was told that red algea would look like grease while brown algea would look powderish. They said brown algea is a sign of a healthy tank. Hopefully that is the case because we're getting more and more of it!
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