1 Dead Yellow Tang, now sick Maroon Clownfish - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
Exclamation 1 Dead Yellow Tang, now sick Maroon Clownfish

Set up a 90 gallon tank about 5 weeks ago. Cycled w 90 lbs of cured live rock from an established tank. Used Coralife salt, Carib alive sand (80lbs, 4 inch base) have a Megaflow 3 sump w a Rio 2500 watt pump (594 gallons/hr) and a Coralife Needle Wheel Protein skimmer (125 Gallons/hr). Also have a second powerhead in the tank cycling about 294 gallons/hr. Used tap water initially and used Prime Day #1 and Stability daily for 7 days. Also have Chempure and Chempure elite filter pads in my Sump. Bioballs removed. After my cycle, I added a Dwarf Lionfish, Maroon Clownfish and a Yellow Tang. OK, I didn't Quarantine . Diatoms came out about 1 week ago (About the same time I added a 9W Uv filter to my sump). Since purchased 10 Black snails, 10 blue leg hermits, 1 Red Leg Hermit, 4 Turbo Snails and 4 Nassarius snail. Tested SG, pH, Ammonia, Nitrites and nitrates almost daily for 1 month. Temp 78 degrees, pH 8.3, SG 1.020, 0ppm Ammonia/Nitrite and Nitrate. Three days ago I went to a local aquarium to pick up the blueleg hermits and was told I should also be testing alkilinity and Calcium and use a buffer daily. Day 1 I tested both (DK 7, Calcium460. I added the buffer and ......My Yellow Tang died the following day. Now the Maroon Clown has white spots on his side that look swollen. Retested all my parameters and they're all the same. Performed a 25 gallon water change today. Any suggestions? Is this Ich.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 12:15 PM
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Looks of helpful information in this post, but i have an important question.

Have you also been testing pH? Did you test pH before adding the buffer? After? Do you test pH in the morning or in the evening? What buffer did you add? If possible, post the ingredients.

I think your buffer resulted in a rapid pH climb, which then dropped down to a natural level. If the buffer was high in sodium bicarbonate this could very easily occur.

I am concerned that you were told to add a buffer "daily". Why? Daily???? What exactly are you trying to accomplish with a daily buffer addition to a FOWLR rock aquarium? I don't expect you to answer this question, but i'm wondering what the explanation was.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 01:26 PM
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in addition to every thing i think your moving way to fast. after the diatom bloom is when you add a few inverts, a few weeks later a few more, a week later a fish, a few weeks later another fish and this is just a basic example. i know people that wait months between adding fish.

this is a good time to recap some knowledge and do more reading, which never hurts.

im going to agree with pasfur and say your pH spiked then droped or something along those lines. its also important to TEST BEFORE DOSING, ALWAYS. when dosing in a FOWLR setup your not going to be consuming as much alk mag or ca

also tap water contains all sorts of nasties. i suggest using RO/DI water.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
Was testing pH, SG, Amm/Nitrite/Nitrate almost daily. They have remained pH 8.3, SG 1.020, Temp 78, Amm/Nit/Nitrate 0ppm. The day of the buffer they were the same. The DK was 7 and the Ca460. The product he suggested was B-Ionic Calcium Buffer System containing two bottles. #1 carbonate Alkilinity 2800mEq/L rec 1ml/4 gallons. They both seem to contain Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Potassium, Bromide, Strontium, Lithium, barium, iron, zinc, nickel copper. OK, got the moving too fast part. It's amazing the variability in information. Have read 3 books, visited 5 local aquarium stores, on this site, aquariumadvice.com, fish-forums.com and fishforum.net. Have asked about 50 different questions and have gotten a wide variety of answers. Use the equipment recommended (Protein skimmers, sumps, UV Filters and of course live rock).
WHAT DO I DO NOW. Can't change whats been done. Should I buy a QT Tank and remove the clownfish?
Should I buy ICH Medications and add to a QT Tank.
Should I just add the ICH Meds to the 90 gallon tank (Can it kill the Bacteria I built up during my cycle)?
Thanks for all the help.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 06:43 PM
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Your additive is a high quality product, but I can't imagine a daily dose. I can't speak from experience on this, because I have never added this product to a FOWLR aquarium. I have also never jumped from a tall building...

I would suggest using Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH for a FOWLR system. It is less expensive, replacing actual buffers that are lost due to organic acids... carbonates, biocarbonates, and borate salts. B-Ionic is really intended for reef systems which are rapidly depleting Calcium, Magnesium, and trace elements. I believe the introduction of Calcium into a an aquarium with a 460ppm Calcium reading caused part of your problem. Keep in mind, a pH spike would not show on a test kit. Only a pH monitor would alert you to such a spike. These spikes are very temporary, lasting only minutes or hours.

Given the scenario you describe I think we can accurately say the additive caused the outbreak. Further, i think we can blame a pH spike with a high degree of confidence. So, what to do now?

Lionfish are very sensitive to almost all medications. As such, i would suggest a more natural treatment. You have a UV, which should help. I suggest feeding a garlic supplement with every feeding and taking no other course of action, unless the outbreak gets worse. Garlic has proven to be very effective in helping fish naturally fight off parasitical infections.

I suggest reading this thread to better understand my approach to ich:

Finally, I agree... you added fish way to quickly. Being "cycled" in a marine aquarium is not an indication of when to add fish. You need a mature and stable system, which is judged with patience and observation.

Don't worry. Your 2nd try will work out much better!
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 06:46 PM
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i gotta agree on b-ionic being some good stuff.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
OK, so I'm a salesman's dream. Will procees slowly and w caution. I purchased Kent Garlic Extreme after putting the Maroon Clownfish in to try and entice her to eat. It has no steroids or additives and suggests for parasitic infections etc.. to add 1 drop per 10 gallons. This sound OK?
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-07-2009, 09:55 PM
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The garlic is to soak the food, not to treat the tank.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-08-2009, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pasfur View Post
I think your buffer resulted in a rapid pH climb, which then dropped down to a natural level. If the buffer was high in sodium bicarbonate this could very easily occur.
This is wrong. The input of a buffer high in sodium bicarbonate could cause a rapid and temporary pH drop, not climb. I had it 100% wrong.

For the last day or so my mind has been having this discussion because I realized something was not perfect with my response on this thread.

So, I did what I should have done to being with. When experts have a question about Alkalinity, they turn to Randy Holmes Farley. I am no expert, but I figured I would do the same. Here is the link:
Chemistry and the Aquarium

The concept of my answer stands. A temporary pH swing probably caused this problem. But it would have been a drop, not an increase, in pH, in the example I was discussing using sodium bicarbonate. It turns out you were using B-ionic, so it may have been an increase, but I had my facts exactly backwards, so I wanted to clarify. Basically, I was right for the wrong reason.-)

Last edited by Pasfur; 02-08-2009 at 08:31 AM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-09-2009, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
OK. Either way, I was adding something to my tank without cause or a full understanding of why. I took a single opinion from one aquarist (Word?) and ran with it. Way too fast. Have been washing the food, then soaking in garlic. The Lionfish appears unfazed by all this and seems to be trying to get me to watch and feed him (Not falling for it). The Clownfish appears ok. Has an area he likes to hang out in, but feeding time he's racing all over grabbing food. No fast breathing, twitching or scratching. Still testing, but not adding. Temp 78, pH 8.3, SG 1.020, Alk 7DK, Calcium 460, 0 nitrites/nitrates or Ammonia. Protein skimmer, powerheads, uv filters all running fine. Clean up crew removing lots of diatom. Will watch and wait. Thanks for all your help!
What's your theory on water changes? Provided the water remains clear, I'm cautious not to overfeed or overstock and all my numbers remain the same as above. Weekly 10%. Bimonthly 20%, Monthly 20-30%, daily 1%. What's been your experience?
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