I'm new and my saltwater fish is sick! Help

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Did2010, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Did2010New MemberMember

    i just started my 46 gallon saltwater tank two days ago. I baught a bit of live rock and 50 pounds of live sand. I had my water tested and everything was fine. I bought a damsel Today and he was fine at first but now he has what appears to be ick. He is the only fish in a brand new tank. I don't want him to die nor do I want this to spread. Please help me. I don't know how to help him. He has a heater an emporor 400 filter and his lighting as well as live sand and rock. He has about 5 white spots what do I do?
  2. ATPWell Known MemberMember

    First of all, your tank is not cycled. It could take a few days to maybe a week for ammonia to shows up. When your ammonia rises, soon you would also see your nitrates rise as ammonia slowly stalls and descends. You would than add invertebrates when you see algae when nirates pop up. When nitrates reaches to almost 0, than your cycle is pretty much done, but add slowly as bacteria will need to multiply to adjust to the new bio load.

    As for the damsel, I don't think there's much to do. Normally, I would suggest you rise the temperature and add a few cleaner shrimps, but the shrimp will die when ammonia spikes. You could drain some of your water into a 10g. and use copper base ick treatment, but you will need to have a copper test kit and its still unlikely that the fish will survive because of ammonia.

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  3. zeeterWell Known MemberMember

    1. Tank isn't cycled yet, as ATP said.
    2. New water in a tank will show no nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia as there hasn't been anything to create those chemicals yet. Until now...
    3. If the live rock was really live then that likely caused your ammonia to spike. The ammonia spike cause stress in the damsel. Fish under stress are more susceptible to disease.
    4. If it is ich and the fish dies, don't worry about it. Well, feel shame for the fish dying, but don't worry about the ich. It can only spread through fish and if there are no fish in there any ich parasites will die. Just don't buy any new fish for a few weeks.
    5. As ATP said, start with a clean up crew and the last member of that should be a skunk shrimp.
    6. Don't cycle with fish. (though that's a debatable point)
    7. Don't pick a damsel as your first fish. They are very territorial. Start with chromis. I recommend green chromis. They are very hardy. Get three or four of them as they like to stay in groups. They are not territorial - though some can be when they get very large. You could also start out with something like an engineer goby. They're technically not gobies and look more like eels when they get bigger, but they are hardy - if a little bland. These gobies or the chromis are very good at withstanding the initial variations in chemistry that almost every tank goes through.
  4. Morgan111Well Known MemberMember

    Very Correct
  5. locoyo386Well Known MemberMember

    Not sure how much you know about saltwater tanks, but if the rock and sand had been stable than the fish tank is somewhat cycled already. One fish will not do anything to the ammonia and nitrites. If you don't know what they are, I suggest you read intot them and learn more before you add other fish.

    Also, if you are really seeing Ich on the fish than the tank has been contaminated thus I would not add anymore fish to the tank as the parasites will eventually attack the new fish. Here are the options to you;

    1.) Hope the Ich will be gone on it's own. This does not mean that the parasite will no longer be in the tank, it just means that the parasite will learn to live with the fish and it will not show on the fish. Note that the parasite will still be present in the tank.

    2.) You can treat the tank with medications, copper (not recomended for a begginer at all), other Ich medication, or hyposalinity (this tretament will kill alot of the stuff that comes in the rocks and sand). Being that the main tank is already contaminated with Ich, it might just be better to let it ride in the tank.

    3.) If the fish dies from Ich, which if fed regularly and the water changes are done regularly aswell as the maintanence of the tank, than it should not die, being that it is a damsel. Once the Ich do not show up for maybe like 3 weeks or so, than the parasite has stopped reproducing and it's now coexisting within the fish. You can leave the tank like this for about 6 weeks, than add more fish slowly to reduce the stress. Either way, mostlikely you will see Ich again in this tank.

    4.) You can take the fish out and treat it outside of the main tank and leave the main tank without fisfh for about 6-8 weeks. After that you can re-introduce the damsel back into the tank

    If you have further questions let me know.

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