Am I cursed or just bad at this??

Maebh

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Hey everyone,

I set up my tank (cycled) in May of 23, and since then I've had a bunch of deaths.

First, I got a clean up crew, a blue legged hermit crab, a red hermit crab and 2 nasarius snails.
July, I got 2 clownfish. By the end of July one clownfish had died (breathing really hard) and my red hermit had died.
I think the other clownfish had died by the next month.

Fast forward to around September, I got two more clowns. I woke up one day in late October to both dead on the sand.
Then on Dec 11 I got a blood fire shrimp who died on the 31, from a bad molt I'm pretty sure.
All throughout this the other hermit and the snails have been completely fine and the macro algae in my tank has flourished. Up until December 11th I used a stick testing kit that was probably too broad, but then I got one of the proper water testing kits. All throughout my water has been pretty good, there wasn't ever a result that made me nervous.
With fish in the tank I fed once daily. My water change schedule isn't great but I never went over a month without one, and it was once every two weeks when I had any fish. I usually do a 1/5 water change.
 

Wave Whisperer

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Perhaps a little bit more info on your setup can garner you more help. Example listing down your size of tank, HOB or sump, how you cycled your tank(bottled bac or live rocks) those sort of things. We need some basic background on your setup to figure out what can be wrong with your system(if any).

All the deaths seems pretty quick. You mentioned test kits, what parameters are you testing? There are so many variables that can lead to death in a reef tank. Even for me, I recently had my favourite Algae blenny died on me after almost 2 years. The rest of my fishes are fine. And I still can't figure out what happened to him. Lol!

Sometimes unexplained deaths doesn't only trace back to the water, it can be in the air as well. Did you sprayed insecticide near the tank? Or perhaps an aerosol air freshener?
 

Uncle99

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Neither. Somethings up obviously, and not you.
Did you breakdown the tank at end of July?
Two separate fish deaths only 45 days ish apart?
Maybe a parasite infection?
You mentioned breathing fast.
Ick is a slow killer and very common.
Just a thought.
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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As mentioned, some more info would be helpful here.

Things like your specific water parameters, your tank dimensions and setup (including info on the equipment in use), your QT protocol, some pics of your full tank setup, etc. may be helpful.

For the fish, I'd personally assume parasites in this case unless something stands out as particularly wrong somewhere else.

For the hermit and shrimp, lots of things can contribute to unsuccessful molts:
here are some things that are commonly associated with bad molts in shrimp:
- Water Quality issues
- Improper diet
- Tank/tankmate issues (aggression, overcrowding, insufficient filtration, etc.)
- Water changes that change the parameters too much/too fast
(While this is implied above, I'll also specifically state a lack of adequate shelter/hiding places for inverts too).

That said, setting possible causes aside, both the fish and inverts would likely benefit from more than one feeding per day (I'd suggest 3-4 feedings a day personally) with a good, high-quality feed.
 
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Maebh

Maebh

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Neither. Somethings up obviously, and not you.
Did you breakdown the tank at end of July?
Two separate fish deaths only 45 days ish apart?
Maybe a parasite infection?
You mentioned breathing fast.
Ick is a slow killer and very common.
Just a thought.
Thanks! I didn't break down the tank, and I didn't really see any signs of any parasites or infections. I think they died a bit further apart than 45 days. more like 2-3 months.
 
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Maebh

Maebh

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Perhaps a little bit more info on your setup can garner you more help. Example listing down your size of tank, HOB or sump, how you cycled your tank(bottled bac or live rocks) those sort of things. We need some basic background on your setup to figure out what can be wrong with your system(if any).

All the deaths seems pretty quick. You mentioned test kits, what parameters are you testing? There are so many variables that can lead to death in a reef tank. Even for me, I recently had my favourite Algae blenny died on me after almost 2 years. The rest of my fishes are fine. And I still can't figure out what happened to him. Lol!

Sometimes unexplained deaths doesn't only trace back to the water, it can be in the air as well. Did you sprayed insecticide near the tank? Or perhaps an aerosol air freshener?
okay, thanks! Its around 60cm long 28 tall and 28 wide. Ive a canister filter with those ceramic balls. I cycled with bottled bac and live rock. Its a covered tank so nothing in the air! Im testing salinity, ammonia, ph, nitrates, nitrites and KH. Ive got a heater at 26C/78.8F, a filter, an air bubbler and a thermometer. the salt im using is iQuatics Ocean Reef pro.
 

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dont worry so much, you arent the only one. I had tons of losses my first few years, still have more than i like to admit and am dealing with a clown right now that has refused food all 10 days ive owned it that might not make it. Maybe post all parameters so others can see if things are forsure good. Also you have probably heard this before but any fast changes in parameters are really bad. maybe test the tank with a molly first if you currently have no fish still and if things go well move on to more difficult.
 
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Maebh

Maebh

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As mentioned, some more info would be helpful here.

Things like your specific water parameters, your tank dimensions and setup (including info on the equipment in use), your QT protocol, some pics of your full tank setup, etc. may be helpful.

For the fish, I'd personally assume parasites in this case unless something stands out as particularly wrong somewhere else.

For the hermit and shrimp, lots of things can contribute to unsuccessful molts:

(While this is implied above, I'll also specifically state a lack of adequate shelter/hiding places for inverts too).

That said, setting possible causes aside, both the fish and inverts would likely benefit from more than one feeding per day (I'd suggest 3-4 feedings a day personally) with a good, high-quality feed.
Okay thanks! this has a bit about my set up.
okay, thanks! Its around 60cm long 28 tall and 28 wide. Ive a canister filter with those ceramic balls. I cycled with bottled bac and live rock. Its a covered tank so nothing in the air! Im testing salinity, ammonia, ph, nitrates, nitrites and KH. Ive got a heater at 26C/78.8F, a filter, an air bubbler and a thermometer. the salt im using is iQuatics Ocean Reef pro.
i have a good amount of space for hiding, I think, and i'll definitly start feeding more per day.
Usually, salinity-35ppm, ph-8.3, kh-3.1, nitrates-0/very close to 0, nitrites-0, ammonia-0.
im going to test again today and ill post if anythings strange.
This is my set up linked! (Sorry for the dirt)
 

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Lavey29

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This hobby is very challenging but if you are not doing your part completely then you will not have good results. New tanks need weekly water changes not monthly. They need weekly testing with a good kit not sticks. They need sufficient filtration along with proper flow and lighting. Fish need to be QT or buy direct from LFS that does in house QT especially clowns which are prone to disease like brook. If your previous clowns had disease which is most likely then your tank needs to fallow for 45 to 76 days otherwise everything will keep dying as you try to add more fish.
 
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Maebh

Maebh

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KH-3.1? Is that a typo? It should be 8-11, and could definitely cause harm to fish and inverts. Besides, you should have the luck of the Irish.
I should have the luck of the Irish, But im not having much luck! I have it measured in meq/l, "The ideal KH value for a marine aquarium is between 8 & 12 (3 – 5 meq/l)" so I think I'm all good!
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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Okay thanks! this has a bit about my set up.

i have a good amount of space for hiding, I think, and i'll definitly start feeding more per day.
Usually, salinity-35ppm, ph-8.3, kh-3.1, nitrates-0/very close to 0, nitrites-0, ammonia-0.
im going to test again today and ill post if anythings strange.
This is my set up linked! (Sorry for the dirt)
Yeah, I'd personally agree that you probably want more flow and aeration in the tank (breaking the water's surface), and I'd personally also add some more rock for more hiding places (both big and small), but I don't know that that'd be the issue here.

Nitrate reading 0 is low, but I know that can happen with enough algae growth in a tank. Any idea on your phosphate level? Again, I don't know that this would be the issue.

All that said, my guess for the fish at least would be disease/parasites of some kind. You mentioned one fish was breathing fast, which could indicate a number of different diseases; there are also internal parasites that give little indication of their presence (the fish will keep eating and acting healthy basically until they die, as I understand it).

To help with deciding if you think it could be disease:
-How far apart were the deaths of the first pair of fish?
-Do you QT/buy pre-QT'd fish? (I know in lots of places in Europe it can be really tough to get meds for fish, but I don't know what it's like in Ireland).
-Did any other fish show fast breathing?
 
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Maebh

Maebh

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Yeah, I'd personally agree that you probably want more flow and aeration in the tank (breaking the water's surface), and I'd personally also add some more rock for more hiding places (both big and small), but I don't know that that'd be the issue here.

Nitrate reading 0 is low, but I know that can happen with enough algae growth in a tank. Any idea on your phosphate level? Again, I don't know that this would be the issue.

All that said, my guess for the fish at least would be disease/parasites of some kind. You mentioned one fish was breathing fast, which could indicate a number of different diseases; there are also internal parasites that give little indication of their presence (the fish will keep eating and acting healthy basically until they die, as I understand it).

To help with deciding if you think it could be disease:
-How far apart were the deaths of the first pair of fish?
-Do you QT/buy pre-QT'd fish? (I know in lots of places in Europe it can be really tough to get meds for fish, but I don't know what it's like in Ireland).
-Did any other fish show fast breathing?
Thank you again! To answer the questions:
-I can't remember exactly but it must have been within a week.
-I didn't quarantine them as they were the only fish in the tank. I don't have a qt tank as I think there aren't really many diseases that go hermit>snails>fish and the other occupants (hermit and 2 snails were fine).
-I only had the 2 clowns in the tank and I think for the second (of the first set) I woke up and he was dead. The second set were looking well the night before and I couldn't see anything weird about their bodies.
Thank you again!
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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-I didn't quarantine them as they were the only fish in the tank. I don't have a qt tank as I think there aren't really many diseases that go hermit>snails>fish and the other occupants (hermit and 2 snails were fine).
-I only had the 2 clowns in the tank and I think for the second (of the first set) I woke up and he was dead. The second set were looking well the night before and I couldn't see anything weird about their bodies.
Yeah, diseases don't really go between fish and inverts at all (or even between most inverts), but a large chunk of the fish we get in this hobby come in sick/diseased (which is why so many people prophylactically treat all new fish).

I'd personally assume (possibly incorrectly) that the fish died from disease, and the inverts died from unrelated issues.
 

Lavey29

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Thank you again! To answer the questions:
-I can't remember exactly but it must have been within a week.
-I didn't quarantine them as they were the only fish in the tank. I don't have a qt tank as I think there aren't really many diseases that go hermit>snails>fish and the other occupants (hermit and 2 snails were fine).
-I only had the 2 clowns in the tank and I think for the second (of the first set) I woke up and he was dead. The second set were looking well the night before and I couldn't see anything weird about their bodies.
Thank you again!
It's only disease or significant parameters imbalance typically that kill off fish that quick multiple times as you stated. Blooms can deplete 02 in the tank or create toxin harmful to fish also. Anytime you have a bloom an additional airstone is a good option. Disease can kill fish but leave inverts ok.
 

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