Clown fish dying

  • #1
Hi, we are new to this hobby. We just started the Saltwater aquarium and have an awful problem with clown fishes. We got 2 in a couple of days we found one dead. He has no sign of disease, but was very thin. We decided it my be fight between two. Few days later we tried again and bought Clown which was bigger. They seemed o'key for 7 days, but recently the smaller one started to flow near surface, and yesterday he was near bottom, digging. Today we found it dead. Our last big Clown sits near the bottom, look very dizzy, can not swim, color faded, he breath very fast. His gills are widely open. I am afraid we will not have him tomorrow. Our Gramma looks more or less fine today , invertebrates: 2 shrimps, crabs , star fish and cucumber are fine.
Water parameters are: pH 8,1, salinity 1,0023, Ammonia = 0,2, Nitrites = 0, Nitrates= 30 , temperature 79
Can we expect our Gramma will be effected, what could we do?
  • #2
HI stalker and welcome,
In your aquarium info you have ammonia at 1-3 and in your post you are showing 0.2 and nitrates at 30.
Do a 50% water change, this will bring the nitrates down to 15.
Readings of ammonia may be from adding a new fish.
Which method was used to cycle the tank? and which ammonia reading is correct?
  • #3
Hello stalker,
Your ammonia should be zero. So your biological filtration is lacking, which bring me to you live rock. Also your tank is very young ! You should have at least 75lbs - 113lbs of cured live rock in your tank for adequate bio-filtration. So my questions are: What are you using for filtration ? Do you have any powerheads ?
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I have 350 GPH Filter Reno Canistar with biosubstrate EInhem, just a week ago accordign to recommendation from our LFS we remove Carbon filter, 2 power heads: 600 GPH ( CHydor Koralia) and 295 GPH(MaxiJet 1200)
We use Ammonia Test Nutrafin it O,1 mg/l when it comes to 0,3 mg/Ml we do water change 25 %
We use conditioned tap water, that is very high in Nitrates itself: 10 ppm, and has some ammonia something like 0,1
We plan to buy RO,
other livestock feel more of less o'key: shrimps, Royal Gramma ( she lives from beginning- 2 weeks). But third clown is gone this morning.

I keep tank for 3 week without fish, but with live stone to cycle it. Ammonia reading was 1,2 mg/ml, them went down to 0,1 , nitrites went to 0,3 and then to 0. We understand that our conditions are not perfect,

Could it be some parasites which attack Clowns
We put agronit 40 lbs and life sand 1 bag Could something they pick up from there? Why it is affecting only clowns?
thank you for your help
  • #5
Try not to add any more fish for 4 to 5 weeks. Try to let the Reno filter time to build up beneficial bacteria. Then when ammonia, nitrite are zero, you will be ready for more fish.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
  • #7
On a new tank, beneficial bacteria is very important. This is the stuff that breaks down waste in your tank and keeps your ammonia and nitrite from raising. I used a product called Bio-Spira (instant tank cycler) for saltwater when I started my tank. Gives your tank a jump start.
  • #8
I noticed in your tank specs that you don't have protein skimmer. You really should get one. It basically removes all the fish poop from the tank.
  • #9
stalker, another thing don't wash your bio-wheel on your power filter. In case you didn't already know.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
thank you,
something we know,
today we going for bacteria, next week for PS,
and we think about RO, but Ammonia and Nitrite are zero, but nitrate high from tap water(although we use the conditioner) and we have risen PH by buffer, and it is still 8,1.
in first week we had pick of ammonia(without fishes) but Nitrite ware zero all the time.
  • #11
Here's what I've picked up on lowering nitrates:
- 1-2 lbs of LR per gallon.
- good water flow
- heavy protein skimming
- not overfeeding
- growing macro algae
- BB or DSB
- carbon dosing
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
today we set-up the quarantined tank and added the Cycle bacteria in main tank, but we were unable to find our Royal Gramma, although we turn each stone, neither alive or dead.???
  • #13
Stalker..if your royal gramma is dead, odds are one of your crabs ate him. I noticed that you have emerald crabs. I have 2 of them and have seen one eat a fish of mine that had died due to a temperature drop in the tank.
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
HI, Oil _Fan
I suspect you are right! We did rearranging of our live rock and find the remains of our clown.

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