Back in Hobby after 15 years

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Lost in the Sauce

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I have read to continue to feed the tank. I have the shrimp, snails and anemone, so I know they need to eat
Depending on where your nutrients sit, you should need to feed the tank Very Little at this point.
 
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mindme

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Same thing happened to me about 1.5 years ago on my 180g. The most fish I ever bought in my life, and right at the end..velvet wiped my tank.

I managed to save a sailfin, but that was it.

Now I QT everything that goes into my tank. And for that reason, I haven't added anything in over a year after QT'ing all my fish and going fallow.

I would recommend going ahead and doing the fallow period for ich, not just velvet while you are at it. It's possible to be in the tank but not noticed due to the velvet.

QT is difficult to do. Most people recommend those little window ammonia detectors, but IMO they are hard to read because the light can make them look ok when they are not. Stay on top of that when you QT. I lost fish in QT because of this.
 
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travdixon

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Yeah I’m prob gonna need help when I set up a QT. A couple of my frags aren’t looking good now either, so I’m throwing my hands up and just hoping I can turn this whole adventure around eventually
 
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travdixon

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I’ve been thinking hard about this since the crash….whose responsibility is it to get reliable fish into a tank? I understand it ultimately falls on us to prevent unwanted stuff being introduced to our tanks, but is it my fault a shop sold me a sick fish? If it was a dog with rabies, for example. That breeder/seller wouldn’t be in business for long selling rabid dogs! But for fish, it seems to be accepted that it falls on us as customers to take care of hospitalizing our pets that we purchase. I realize there are vendors that QT and guarantee, to a point, healthy fish….but man, if I had 3 totally healthy dogs that are a huge part of the family, and then bought a puppy that the seller never told me had rabies (this is just an example for reference) and infected my 3 dogs to the point they all died (I understand a vet could handle this) would that be MY fault? Sorry for the rant, I’m just angry today.
 

jorgmungandr

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I’ve been thinking hard about this since the crash….whose responsibility is it to get reliable fish into a tank? I understand it ultimately falls on us to prevent unwanted stuff being introduced to our tanks, but is it my fault a shop sold me a sick fish? If it was a dog with rabies, for example. That breeder/seller wouldn’t be in business for long selling rabid dogs! But for fish, it seems to be accepted that it falls on us as customers to take care of hospitalizing our pets that we purchase. I realize there are vendors that QT and guarantee, to a point, healthy fish….but man, if I had 3 totally healthy dogs that are a huge part of the family, and then bought a puppy that the seller never told me had rabies (this is just an example for reference) and infected my 3 dogs to the point they all died (I understand a vet could handle this) would that be MY fault? Sorry for the rant, I’m just angry today.
I'm really sorry that velvet wiped out your tank! I mostly lurk here but wanted to chime in from the perspective of someone who has worked at an LFS to try and add some color at least from someone who has seen what fish go through before they make it into our tanks.

The distribution network for fish is extremely dirty, and also puts the animals under way more stress than say, a puppy coming from a breeder (that stress makes them way more susceptible to illness). The fish that are coming in are often mixed together in massive systems once they reach the distributor - and that means that whatever bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections they have become free floating in the water to infect other fish in the system. The stress they are under from transcontinental journeys, makes them more susceptible to picking things up from these already dirty systems

By the time they reach the shop - there is almost no way that the fish don't have some kind, if not multiple parasites, or other infections. Shops know this - and the one I worked at employed the use of multiple dips upon system introduction, and running drugs in the system to eliminate velvet, ich, and other parasites to try and keep the fish as healthy as possible. However, if you're constantly introducing new fish to the system, that means you are constantly bringing in new opportunities for diseases to enter the water as well. There was never truly zero disease in the system

The ultimate solution here is to QT fish before they get put into the store's system - some stores do this , and the LFS I worked at did previously QT'd fish - but stopped doing it because it was extremely difficult to make profitable, both from the cost of saltwater, as well as labor involved. The price of a QT'd fish is higher than a non-QT'd fish, but that doesn't always cover the extra costs associated with quarantining - and on top of that, a lot of hardcore reefers would rather quarantine fish themselves anyway, because they don't necessarily trust whatever process the LFS has.

I would've never wanted to sell anyone a fish that had velvet or any other sickness - and any fish that looked actively sick would get taken into the back area to a hospital tank so that we could hopefully treat it locally. However, I knew that there were certainly diseases that were always present and being controlled for in the systems we had - and could never give a 100% definitive statement as to whether or not a fish someone was buying did or didn't have velvet or any other disease. I would ALWAYS recommend QT'ing a fish from any LFS.

After seeing what I have seen - I am starting a new tank right now and am treating and qting every new fish I get in, using the guidance and advice of Humblefish as well as the owner of the LFS I used to work at whenever possible. I will also be QTing any inverts and frags I bring in to avoid transporting ich into my tank in the future.

I get that's frustrating to lose fish in a system that you have spent so much time, energy, and love building. I'm not trying to make any excuses for any LFS - but I just wanted to give perspective on how hard it is to control and manage fish diseases and parasites in the supply chain.
 
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travdixon

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I get it. Again sorry for the rant, it just really punches you in the gut when all your fish die. I don’t know man, even with a QT I’m going to be extremely nervous whenever I buy another fish. It shouldn’t be this way, this should be something to enjoy. I believe I got out of the hobby 15 years ago because of stuff just not surviving for whatever reason. I guess it’s like owning a boat…..everyone loves to go out on it but the owner is the one maintaining it and handling all the problems and throwing $$$ at it. I was excited to jump back in, but I’m just depressed at how it turned out at the moment. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be successful
 

Lost in the Sauce

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I’ve been thinking hard about this since the crash….whose responsibility is it to get reliable fish into a tank? I understand it ultimately falls on us to prevent unwanted stuff being introduced to our tanks, but is it my fault a shop sold me a sick fish? If it was a dog with rabies, for example. That breeder/seller wouldn’t be in business for long selling rabid dogs! But for fish, it seems to be accepted that it falls on us as customers to take care of hospitalizing our pets that we purchase. I realize there are vendors that QT and guarantee, to a point, healthy fish….but man, if I had 3 totally healthy dogs that are a huge part of the family, and then bought a puppy that the seller never told me had rabies (this is just an example for reference) and infected my 3 dogs to the point they all died (I understand a vet could handle this) would that be MY fault? Sorry for the rant, I’m just angry today.
I'm going to assume, you want a candid response so your going to get one.

It is 100% YOUR responsibility to only introduce healthy fish into your tank.

Why I believe this:

You Knew beforehand that Quarantine was best practice. You presumably know why. If you spend Any time in this forum, the front page is Riddles with cases of disease newly introduced. Disease is Rampant in the supply lines and unless you pay a premium for pre quarantined fish, you know they may be sick.

This is Your slice of the ocean that You've built and are responsible for. It's nobody else's job to maintain your tank. Nobody else had input influence of your reef but You. This is your baby, It's your responsibility to keep the inhabitants healthy.

I was also ticked at the LFS that sold me the DJ with Velvet. I didn't go back there for a long time. Deeper into quarantine and reading and researching fish disease, The less actual blame I was able to put on them. I had to own it eventually and I Do buy fish from them now. I know what to look for and how to treat sick fish.

This isn't a problem to just one store. This is a systemic issue of a very dirty supply chain, long drawn out shipping times, causing less healthy fish at the end of extended travels.

We are responsible to keep the fish in our care, healthy.

We don't always succeed. It's still my responsibility to TRY.

Don't get depressed , It's not the end of the world homie. You get a few months to rethink things and dial things in. You're just down the 405, You can come play with my reef whatever you want.
 
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jorgmungandr

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I get it. Again sorry for the rant, it just really punches you in the gut when all your fish die. I don’t know man, even with a QT I’m going to be extremely nervous whenever I buy another fish. It shouldn’t be this way, this should be something to enjoy. I believe I got out of the hobby 15 years ago because of stuff just not surviving for whatever reason. I guess it’s like owning a boat…..everyone loves to go out on it but the owner is the one maintaining it and handling all the problems and throwing $$$ at it. I was excited to jump back in, but I’m just depressed at how it turned out at the moment. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be successful

Totally get it - it's an extreme labor of love at the end of the day - and sadly deaths happen. If you QT properly you can be extremely successful. There are people that are spending 90 days quarantining snails and frags just to be sure they won't bring ich into their systems. Not an easy or fast thing by any means! Jumping back into this hobby is about the slowest a jump can ever be :)

That being said - if you want the assurances that you will never ever bring disease into your tank - aquacultured livestock direct from the source - like ordering from Biota - or finding an LFS that will order from Sea and Reef, and picking up the bag before the fish enter the LFS system - is the best way to avoid anything that could have disease
 

pathot984

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I feel ya! I had to run fallow twice now to eradicate, even with QT in the mix. Sometimes there is resistant strains that make it through. Super heartbreaking and frustrating.

Velvet fallow period is only 6 weeks...

Good-luck!
 
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travdixon

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Lost, you are totally right. I’m a big boy, and can take a reality slap. I think it was more of a frustration of the reality that, yeah everyone should QT…..but not many do. The cost of simply setting up a decent display tank alone makes your head spin, and then to add an entire other system to stock it just kind of puts a lot of people off. That is until your decisions end up wiping out everything. I don’t need to break down how expensive a setup can get, and the amount of time and effort it takes to simply keep the DT optimal. Now I have to do that for two systems. I get it. It’s an insurance policy. But if you weren’t required by law to have auto insurance, how many people would take the risk of driving without it? A lot I would guess….until something happens and then you wish you had it. That’s basically what I did. I drove an expensive car with no insurance and crashed. I just hope and pray I can QT properly and correctly. Thanks for the responses everyone
 
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ZombieEngineer

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You’re right. I might look into that this weekend….I was just in shock for a bit. I’m assuming I will need to drop a sponge or something in my sump to seed the QT for cycling, and I don’t think I’ll go so extravagant as you! My wife is already rolling her eyes at a fishless tank 3 months in.
I would just use bottled bacteria since your display is known to have velvet. Don't want to pass that to QT fish even is actively treating copper.
 
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travdixon

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Yeah I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. All I’m really thinking of is how to keep the fallow tank’s nitrogen cycle from crashing with no fish. I guess just ghost feed a few times a week.
 

ZombieEngineer

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Yeah I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. All I’m really thinking of is how to keep the fallow tank’s nitrogen cycle from crashing with no fish. I guess just ghost feed a few times a week.
A pinch of food a few times a week will keep the bacteria running strong.
 
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DarkReefer

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Sorry to hear of your troubles.
That would be extremely disheartening.

I had issues chasing nutrients last year in my first year of reef keeping. The tank looked amazing one month and then over the space of 3-6 months, I saw many corals recede or die off. It was extremely frustrating and every time I went back to the LFS it felt like there was ANOTHER way to do something or ANOTHER thing I had to do or ANOTHER thing I had to buy. Edit: Eventually things start to get slowly better, but not perfect.

Kept at it though and so far I'm happy with the tank. (2nd time around after I had to pull it down to move).
Still got a lot to learn and that'll come with time.
I do need to look into a QT set up of some description though as I have nothing in place, but I also don't have plans to buy many more (if any more) fish.
 

Lost in the Sauce

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Lost, you are totally right. I’m a big boy, and can take a reality slap. I think it was more of a frustration of the reality that, yeah everyone should QT…..but not many do. The cost of simply setting up a decent display tank alone makes your head spin, and then to add an entire other system to stock it just kind of puts a lot of people off. That is until your decisions end up wiping out everything. I don’t need to break down how expensive a setup can get, and the amount of time and effort it takes to simply keep the DT optimal. Now I have to do that for two systems. I get it. It’s an insurance policy. But if you weren’t required by law to have auto insurance, how many people would take the risk of driving without it? A lot I would guess….until something happens and then you wish you had it. That’s basically what I did. I drove an expensive car with no insurance and crashed. I just hope and pray I can QT properly and correctly. Thanks for the responses everyone
Yup. Wrapping a nice car around a pole sucks.. I did it as well. Our journeys have been much the same.

The good thing I can tell you is that setting up and operating a quarantine tank is actually very inexpensive. Comparatively. It's so basic. It's kind of embarrassing. There are a few pieces of kit to aquire, a few meds and a copper checker. . That's about it. A quarantine can be super, not fancy, Made to set up, run and break down and store easily out of sight.
 

Lost in the Sauce

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Yeah I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. All I’m really thinking of is how to keep the fallow tank’s nitrogen cycle from crashing with no fish. I guess just ghost feed a few times a week.
A cycle is not nearly that breakable. A cube of frozen every two weeks or a pinch of flake once a week or a few pellets is all that we normally need to feed the empty beast. Just need to keep an eye on your parameters and make sure they don't drop too quickly.

When I went fallow, I used it as an opportunity to work on my water chemistry and get the parameters in line I cared about. That included getting my nitrates down from 160 plus, to readable.
 
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travdixon

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I went to my LFS today (Age of Aquariums) and had a good conversation with their coral guy. He also went thru a velvet crash, and made me really feel better about things. I plan on getting with him when I plan on restocking, and we are going to get this right…..I have to believe that! He uses the TTM for all of his fish now, so I may go that route
 
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