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2 clown triggers dead..

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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 9:58am
Interesting to read the development of this thread.
By his own admission, Herrera is being lazy about testing water parameters and I will bet you that is the cause of his problems. First of all, it is wrong to drip acclimate a fish from the LFS for 90 minutes. Secondly, it's silly to have no knowledge of the salinity. A Hydrometer does not give "no reading" Shocked and for a hobbyist to have spent $30-$60 on a Refractometer and can't be bothered to drip a little saltwater on the lens and look into the light is ridiculous if not irresponsible.

Herrera, I hope you don't get offended, but what I see here really chaps my hide.Disapprove I hope you came here to the WMAS with an open mind, ready to learn a thing or two about responsible aquarium keeping. Thumbs Up The problem with Clown Triggerfish dieing has nothing to do with how much money is spent on this aquarium. Keep the $150 in your pocket. The problem has to do with learning to do things a little better so that the fish killing can stop.

Maybe you don't like me very much right now, but I have been at this a long time and I know what I'm talking about. I guarantee the true pH is lower than 8.1, and even lower at night. The day to night pH swing is probably the major cause for the fishes demise but there are other problems besides pH.
Regarding pH, low Alkalinity is only one of three reasons for low pH in that tank. Lack of proper water flow (right on Jeff Thumbs Up) is reason #2 and a stack of rock that's as tight as a brick wall is #3.

And I disagree about the lesser importance of Alk and Ca because it's not a full blown reef. In my experience all marine tanks need to have Alk and Ca within range. Think about it. The fish need proper Alk and Ca to grow bones, scales and everything else in their body. Crabs and worms need proper Alk and Ca to grow their body parts. Bugs and bacteria, the backbone of the filtration system, also need to have proper Alk and Ca to build their exoskeletons and body structure.

Summary
1. Test for Ca and adjust those levels so the Alk is between 3-5 meq/l and the Ca is between 350-550 ppm
2. Move the powerhead down closer to the sand and tilt it up so it shoots up and makes waves on the water surface.
3. Re-do the aquascaping to provide more large holes through the structure and move most of the LR off of the sand.
4. Post a pic of the sump. There is probably some help we can give there as well.
5. Get some Caulerpa and let it grow a little in the display.
6. Put some soft coral in the display to help with water filtration. This will also help color up the backgound so the fish will look and do better.
7. Ask us questions about anything above. There is a lot more information we can give to help you.

Hope this helps. Smile
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Luckedout View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luckedout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 10:11am
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

First of all, it is wrong to drip acclimate a fish from the LFS for 90 minutes.


What do you do? I typically drip acclimate 15-30min depending on the source of the fish.
-Ben



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www.body-balancechiropractic.com

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeremyw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 10:20am
I usually do 15-20 min to but 90 min! That is way to stressful on the fish! GET THEM IN THAT TANK!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jake Pehrson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 12:06pm
I am not sure we ever found out the salinity of your tank.  Your nitrites should read zero, a little showing is concerning.  What type of filtration do you currently have?
 
Here are my recommendations (Mark mentioned most of these).
 
Restack your rock so that water can flow through it.
 
If you don't have a lot of water flow purchase a few powerheads (a few korallia 4s would work well).  Make sure water is flowing through your rock.
 
purchase a protein skimmer as soon as you can.
 
Consider feeding less if you are feeding a lot of there is left over food after feeding.
 
Run carbon until you get a skimmer (replace often).
 
Stop using tap water use RO (even if you have to buy it from a pet store).
 
The only thing I disagree with is the Caulerpa in the main tank.  With a setup like yours the caulerpa can quickly grow out of control.  I would use some chaetomorpha.
Jake Pehrson

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coralplanet.com

:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smacky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 1:02pm
Do you have a sump? If so, post a photo of that too. The sump would be a good place to grow some macro and that would help with the nitrates and nitrites. If you do have 150 dollars burning a hole in your pocket, a skimmer would be a good investment. Depending on the size of your tank, you also might want to try using RO water from an LFS or other store to see if that helps as well. I think Good Earth has it the cheapest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by Luckedout Luckedout wrote:

Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

First of all, it is wrong to drip acclimate a fish from the LFS for 90 minutes.


What do you do? I typically drip acclimate 15-30min depending on the source of the fish.
It's in the Tips below. Look for "Adding new fish...."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herrera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 2:00am

would help to answer the questions if i caould read them while answering, so i'll try to answer..

 
First off with a Hydrometer that only reads specific gravity btween 1.012-1.032 it is very possible to get no reading..
Also it's very hard to offend me. I'm here for help, and i'm by no means a fish expert, i'm still a beginner. so looking for all the help i can come across.
 
those reading i listed were from the day the trigger died. which was 2 weeks ago. ive done a 15% water change since.. new readings as of tonight are
 
Alk 3.6  (atleast 3.6 my test card only shows 0-3.6
Nitrates 20  (has gone up!)
Nitrites 0.1
no calcium tester, will pick up soon.
PH 8.2
 
I honestly only do water test every so often, or when i have a problem.
i check salinity every top off (once a week)
 
 
The live rock isn't as tightly stacked as it may appear. I staggered them, and there are more than 20 gaps where a 4" fish could swim through.
 
I've provided as much sand area as possible.
i just use a sock for filtration rinsing out weekly.
 
 
fish is one of my hobbies that i seem to get sooo many different oppinions.
as far as how to acclimate, and how long.
salinity levels.
power head position
how long to run carbon
whether or not run a protein skimmer. which even on this board i have seem plenty of debates on.
 
I was told to acclimate for 3 hours at LFS as well as googling.. i thought anything longer than 30minutes seemed to long.
 
 
 
 
 
125g Aggressive tank
SWC-Xtreme cone prtein skimmer
40g Sump
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16g Innovative Marine Reef
AI led 75W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herrera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 2:01am
is there any good RO units under $150 on eBay?
125g Aggressive tank
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40g Sump
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AI led 75W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tresa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 8:18am

There are definitely many options in this hobby that all work, it is just figuring out what is going to work for you :) If you are running a sock I am assuming you have a sump? I would worry about getting a light on it and adding macro... I would also be using carbon (I use it continuously)....like Jake said, overfeeding can be a huge problem ( I am the queen) it will raise your nitrates really fast. The type of fish you have are big eaters and the filtration needs to be able to handle it. I would also take your water to a store and have them test it for you so you can compare with your results.....and while you are there you can grab some R/O and do another water change :) Acclimation times vary with everyone.. I try to base it on the situation. If the fish is stressed in the bag I think it is better to ge it out as soon as possible..... normally I acclimate for about 15-20 minutes and I always dim the lights first. I am sure there are people that will disagree with this but it works for me and (knock on wood) it has been a long time since I have lost a fish. Hope this helps!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tresa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 8:21am
One more thing..... make sure you have enough surface agitation... do you have any powerheads pointing to the top of the water?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jake Pehrson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 10:10am
Herrera,

There are still many questions that remain unanswered that we will need in order to help you.  Nitrates are a slow mover so I doubt the Nitrates shot up that fast.  How old are your test kits?  You may want to consider getting some new test kits and re-test.
Jake Pehrson

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davidwillis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 10:33am
I am guessing your alkalinity is in meq/L and not dKH. 
Also I didn't see any ammonia reading.

I agree with Jake, I think you need to get new test kits and re-test everything.  It would be good to know what your alkalinity really is (it could be 20 for all we know), as well as ammonia.

I am no expert at acclimating a fish that comes from water that is very low salinity, but that may be your problem.  It the LFS is keeping them at level much lower than what you have, you could actually dehydrate your fish by adding him to your tank. 


And yes, you can get a good RO off ebay for under $150.  There is a thread on here from a few months ago where we discussed RO systems, and even gave links to ebay for some around $100


Edited by Davidwillis - December 03 2010 at 10:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thathiep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 5:01pm

I would visit a fella reefer(s) to calibrate your test results. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snowsrfr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2010 at 10:02pm
I'm in Ogden, but would be willing to make the drive down to Layton and give you a hand. I can bring my Ca and Alk test kits to double check. Also my refractometer. Just let me know.
"A fish tank is not a pet. It's a TV that you gotta feed." - John Caparulo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2010 at 12:46am
The way I did this post was first to "quote" you and then remove the quotes and the text that didn't apply.

You said:

"First off with a Hydrometer that only reads specific gravity btween 1.012-1.032 it is very possible to get no reading.."
I say: Well, actually, the reading that would give is that the water was either above 1.032 or below 1.012. The Refractometer probably would have read it. But you know what? I don't believe the LFS saltwater was that low density. I believe the swing arm was just stuck in the lower position. It just needed to be jarred loose.

I've done a 15% water change since.. new readings as of tonight are:
Alk 3.6  (atleast 3.6 my test card only shows 0-3.6 I don't believe it can possibly be that high, unless you have been adding alkalinity
Nitrates 20  (has gone up!) Unless your tap water has high Nitrate, I have a hard time believing that it rose so quickly.

The live rock isn't as tightly stacked as it may appear. I staggered them, and there are more than 20 gaps where a 4" fish could swim through. You simply don't have enough experience to understand this. I have worked on over 500 different reef aquariums have seen hundreds of pictures of tanks on this MB. You don't have to believe me, but your gaps in the rock wall are nowhere near enough.
 
I've provided as much sand area as possible. Again you can doubt or you can believe. That sand can be opened up a lot more. Compare your reefscape to the one pictured below.
 
fish is one of my hobbies that i seem to get sooo many different oppinions.
as far as how to acclimate, and how long.
salinity levels.
power head position
how long to run carbon
whether or not run a protein skimmer. which even on this board i have seem plenty of debates on.
Let me ask you this. Whose opinions should you trust; a roomful of beginner hobbyists or a handful of experienced hobbyists. I don't know what you have been reading about protein skimmers, but there is no debate about the fact that they remove crud like nobody's business. Some people just choose to have their tank look a little different by not using a skimmer, but instead using more living organisms to eat the crud.

I was told to acclimate for 3 hours at LFS as well as googling..
Who told you to acclimate 3 hours? Next you listen to someone giving advice, ask yourself, "How much experience does this person have and why do they suggest 3 hours acclimation?  Why should we trust what we read from a web search?
Here is what happened in your 90 minute acclimation: The ammonia levels rose and the pH fell. This made the water around the fish dangerous and a lot different than the water in the tank. Then, thinking you had made the water around the fish the same as the water in the tank, you put the fish in the tank and it went into severe stress while trying to withstand the shock of the different quality water. This is why the Clown Triggerfish are dieing at around a week. They try to hang on but their body was so messed up by the situation that they eventually die.

i thought anything longer than 30minutes seemed to long.
And finally, Are you saying that long acclimation went against your own intuition? If so, next time follow your intuition. Big smile


That's me outside the house looking through the window at the other side of the reef. Smile




Edited by Mark Peterson - December 04 2010 at 10:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herrera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2010 at 1:31pm
alk test is meq/l.   i'm sure it's right around 3.2-3.6 because water sample does appear to be in the high rang of the color card.
 
I have lost my ammonia test card since last test.Confused still have the testers, just dont recall how much water to add to the tube sample.  i use Marin Lab test kit. which is about 2 years old.
I will go to LFS  to have them do a water test. but i have also heard that bagging water can change water quality, and doesn't provide true test accuracy of actual tank?
 
i changed rock around 5 timesbefore i could get it where i was happy with the looks, and balance making sure there were none that would fall over easily i think stacking rock takes a little bit of skill.  which i had a hard time accomplishing. you are more than welcome to come reposition if you want! haha.
 
 
125g Aggressive tank
SWC-Xtreme cone prtein skimmer
40g Sump
------------------------------
16g Innovative Marine Reef
AI led 75W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herrera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2010 at 2:40pm
125g Aggressive tank
SWC-Xtreme cone prtein skimmer
40g Sump
------------------------------
16g Innovative Marine Reef
AI led 75W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smacky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2010 at 3:19pm
You've plenty of room in the sump for some macro and I think it would definitely help things out. Try to get some algae and a cheap light to go in there.

If you can't get either of those by the time I go up to see my mother-in-law (around the 18th or so) who lives in Ogden, I'll bring you some chaeto and an old light. Just leave the light on around 16 hours a day, opposite to the display light schedule. Though it probably wouldn't hurt to run the fuge light 24/7 for a while until your ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are under control.

I don't think you're parameters would change all that much if you bag the water and take it directly to the LFS, and I really think it would help you get a better idea of what's going on. Make sure you ask them for the measurements, sometimes less experienced employees test it and then just tell you, "Everything's fine." When the actual numbers will help everybody figure out what the cause of the problem is.

On a side note, I'm jealous of your huma huma trigger. Mine's a reef tank, but if I ever did go with a FOWLR it would be to get a huma huma, I love them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vadryn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2010 at 3:32pm
I would have thought someone would comment on the heavy impact livestock in conjunction with the relative "youth" of the tank...  The absence of coraline sticks out to me like a sore thumb.  Is there a "good" biologic filtration working in a new tank like that that doesn't have the critters?  Maybe it's just me? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2010 at 5:11pm
I agree with that.
Though fish can do "okay" in a less mature tank, giving the biofiltration a chance to really stabilize is better for everyone. In my book, bio-stability takes at least 6 months. I'm not talking about the N cycle. There are unseen things at work in a reef tank that take time to stabilize.
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