Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Fickell 03-05-2009 12:56 AM

Need some advice on my tank/fish
I have a 46g bowfront fish only tank, 2 305 Fluval filters in each corner 2 inches from top pointing to the front middle of the tank., 30-40 pounds live rock, crushed coral for gravel. It's been up and running now for 3 years and have had a variety of fish. 3 months ago I lost all 4 fish to a nitrate spike, probably my fault for lagging behind in water changes but the fish I'v had for about a month are starting to look stressed. Natrates hang out in the 20-30 range even with water changes (10-15 gallons every 14-21days). The fish still eat very well. 2 of the fish hang out in front of the outtake on the filter which is weird for me. It's like they need something - (This is a pakastani butterfly btw) - He usually hangs out in front of the flow? not sure why - do I need to add some O2 via another pump to agitate the top of the water - the flow is good in the tank but the top doesn't get agitated. The sailfin angle is looking bleek as well - the color is just bland on him - black stripes are faded, fins rarley come out anymore - it just looks very fragile -any suggestions would help. thanks


onefish2fish 03-05-2009 03:23 AM

welcome to the forum.

for one, it sounds like large fish, small tank. this brings issues not only with the size of the animal but the size of their bio-load. are you protien skimming? what brand/model?

if i was in your position i would add another 50 or so pounds of cured live rock. i would add two hydor K2 power heads on opposite ends of the tank slightly aimed upwards. i would then wait a few weeks and remove the crushed coral, replace with atleast 4 inches of live sand for a deep sand bed and perform a water change as there will prob. be a spike due to disturbing the crushed coral. i would then remove 1 fluval, wait about a week and remove the other. mechanical filters (and crushed coral) trap detritus and debris causing a build up in excess nutrients.
i would add a DIY sump/refugium with a quality protein skimmer. read reviews as some skimmers are garbage and others golden. i would put chaeto algae in the fuge section with a full spectrum light on timer on a reverse cycle (lights come on opposite of the tank lights) which will help reduce pH swings.
doing this with weekly or every other week water changes should allow you to have your nitrates at 0-10ppm

this is what I would do, please feel free to ask any other questions you may have.

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