Tank Crash: 15 Gallon tank with Condy Anemone crash

DannyG

So Fishlorians, this is the sad story of the day.
My 15 FOWLR has been set up for a year now, things seemed to be looking up so I got 2 Ocellaris clownfish and a Condy Anemone.
Had done my reaserch and everything looked good, no ammonia, no nitrites and very low under 5.0ppm nitrates, so I had asked the store to keep my anemone and the clownfish in a QT for me and they did, the owner is a friend of mine.
Got home took my water parameters and everything was as usual.
I float the guys for 30 min slowly adding water in their bags and then I let them go, the condy looked gorgeus but then in about 40 mins all broke loose.
One clown tiped over and was breathing way to fast.
Ammonia Poisoning.
Ammonia was 4.0ppm, NEVER in my life it has been that high, the whole tank just crashed, the clown died and the condy soon followed, now I am down to one Ocellaris in the tank and managed to lower Ammonia to atlest 0.25ppm for now, but I need help.
What casued this? what will happen now? not gonna give up on the tank.....
Thanks
DannyG
 

Rivieraneo

So Fishlorians, this is the sad story of the day.
My 15 FOWLR has been set up for a year now, things seemed to be looking up so I got 2 Ocellaris clownfish and a Condy Anemone had done my reaserch and everything looked good, no ammonia, no nitrites and very low under 5.0ppm nitrates, so I had asked the store to keep my anemone and the clownfish in a Qt for me and they did, the owner is a friend of mine.
Got home took my water parameters and everything was as usual.
I float the guys for 30 min slowly adding water in their bags and then I let them go, the condy looked gorgeus but then in about 40 mins all broke loose.
One clown tiped over and was breathing way to fast.
Ammonia Poisoning.
Ammonia was 4.0ppm, NEVER in my life it has been that high, the whole tank just crashed, the clown died and the condy soon followed, now I am down to one Ocellaris in the tank and managed to lower Ammonia to atlest 0.25ppm for now, but I need help.
What casued this? what will happen now? not gonna give up on the tank.....
Thanks
DannyG

HI DannyG, sorry to hear about your tank crash, bummer

Here are two guys that I know will be able to help you, I'm not a Saltwater guy. Hopefully, everything can get figured out. Mike, ryanr
 

DannyG

Thanks Rivieraneo, should I pm them both?
 

Rivieraneo

Thanks Rivieraneo, should I pm them both?

I've mentioned them in my reply, so they will get a notification that they were mentioned in a post which should attract them to it. I wouldn't PM unless its urgent. For the benefit of future or current members, its best if your dialogue be kept via open forum so others can reference your thread should they experience the same issue.
 

DannyG

Thanks, will wait for them to come then........
 

Mike

So Fishlorians, this is the sad story of the day.
My 15 FOWLR has been set up for a year now, things seemed to be looking up so I got 2 Ocellaris clownfish and a Condy Anemone.
Had done my reaserch and everything looked good, no ammonia, no nitrites and very low under 5.0ppm nitrates, so I had asked the store to keep my anemone and the clownfish in a QT for me and they did, the owner is a friend of mine.
Got home took my water parameters and everything was as usual.
I float the guys for 30 min slowly adding water in their bags and then I let them go, the condy looked gorgeus but then in about 40 mins all broke loose.
One clown tiped over and was breathing way to fast.
Ammonia Poisoning.
Ammonia was 4.0ppm, NEVER in my life it has been that high, the whole tank just crashed, the clown died and the condy soon followed, now I am down to one Ocellaris in the tank and managed to lower Ammonia to atlest 0.25ppm for now, but I need help.
What casued this? what will happen now? not gonna give up on the tank.....
Thanks
DannyG

HI - the ammonia spike happened in the space of 40 minutes or so? Did you dump the bag water into the display tank? In the future I would slowly drip acclimate saltwater fish, inverts and corals over the period of an hour or more.

What is your salinity level and temperature and was it very different from the store's water? I would also ask the store to use their test kits to test a sample of your water just for a comparison.
 

DannyG

Hello Mike, No, I did not pour the water of the bags into the tank I pulled the fish out one by one after letting the bags rest in the water for about 30 min so that the temperature would match, later I would slowly and some of my water into the bags so that the fish and the condy would get used to my chemistry..
Specific Gravity is/was 1.022-1.024, that is about their Specific Gravity too. The spike apeared shortly after the fish and the condy were added. About an hour or so.
Temp was 24°C
Thanks!
 

ryanr

Hi, sorry to hear about the issues

I haven't kept condy's, and haven't experienced issues with anemones (yet). My first guess (after some quick reading) is that the anemone was releasing toxins, which spikes ammonia according to most reports [and can happen within 10 minutes]. Anemones tend to have a "if I'm going, I'm taking everyone with me" approach. It's a natural defence they have, in that if they feel threatened, they start releasing toxins to ward off predators (in the ocean, the toxin stays close to the 'nem, but the fish can swim away into clean water)

On to what may have caused the 'nem to panic:
- Possibly specific gravity issues. Was yours 1.022 or 1.024? It's a big enough difference that it could cause a problem (typically a nem prefers 1.025/1.026)
- Temperature - anemones (certainly my BTA) are very sensitive to temperature.
- Acclimation - slow and steady (as Mike suggested) is the best bet [for all marine creatures]. I think I took about 1.5 to 2 hours to drip acclimate mine.
- Did you have the lights on or off?

I think possibly, by floating the bag with lights on, the heat from the lights may have 'cooked' the nem and caused it to panic. Or the light intensity was too much for the nem, and it may have gone into shock.

Sorry for your loss - definitely don't give up. If possible, get some carbon in the tank to start absorbing the toxins, and keep an eye on your skimmer, it may go into over-drive as it pulls the toxins out of the water. Then, the waiting game for the ammonia to come back down.
 

DannyG

Thanks Ryan, during the time I was floating the bag the lights where off, I use an Instant ocean hydrometer and the needle moved up and down between 1.024/ 1.022 for the specific gravity.
Eventualy the process to acclimate the livestock took about 1.5 hours.
I feel so stupid to not know what happened in my tank.
 

ryanr

Hi, I still believe the anemone went into shock, and that's what resulted in your ammonia spike.

However, I'm at a bit of a loss to understand why, other than something wasn't right for the 'nem
 

DannyG

I am as baffled as you are, I simply don't understand! Condy looks fine right now and NH3 is back to 0.
Lost one Ocellaris to the spike but the store will replace it. Thanks!
 

mangups

15 Gallon is a small volume (pico/nano) so parameters going that bad so quick is possible. Both the Condy and the Ocellaris require 20 gallons plus. Adding both together in a 15 gallon could have also too much bio-load to the system in 1 go.

What Ryan suggested is very possible also. Maybe you could add then one at a time over a period of 2-3 days coupled with water changes. Stressed aqauria do release NH3 more than normal

Hope things work out well for you.. Do post some pics of your tank ..
 

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