Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lgoolsby 08-18-2008 08:47 AM

Zeolite and Saltwater
I am in the process of cycling a new 46 gal tank. I decided this time to set it up as a saltwater tank and am going through the usual pains of starting a new tank. Over the weekend, I had a star fish and a conch die off, and they got a little rank before I figured out they were dead. As such I had a pretty high ammonia spike. Last night I did an emergency flush and brought down the ammonia from 1.0 to .25. I also threw some fresh Zeolite into my AquaClear pump and went off to bed. This morning I woke up and all of my fish were dead (three damsels, a blenny, and a basslet). The remaining conch, all my crabs, and the snails 'seemed' okay.

My question is was the Zeolite the problem, or did I just not get the ammonia down quick enough? I have seen several comments that Zeolite should not be used in saltwater, but no reasons as to why. Anyone know? Is it poisonous?

onefish2fish 08-18-2008 11:14 AM

im not sure of the zeolite but why do a fishless cycle? nothing would have died.

lgoolsby 08-18-2008 12:04 PM

I started the cycle with just water and live sand for a week, then live rock only for another week. I figured I had enough of a cycle to throw a couple of fish in there. I didn't put anywhere near the maximum of what a cycled tank should be able to support (I had maybe five inches worth of fish total). The fish were doing fine until the starfish and the conch died. Even then, the only thing I was seeing was heavy breathing by them which I attributed to the ammonia. I have plenty of water circulation and airation, so I know they weren't lacking oxygen.

Like I said, i am just trying to figure out if the ammonia or the Zeolite was the issue.

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