Biggest fish mistakes? Come clean and list your epic fails!

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reefviper101

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My biggest fail was harboring a serial killer
IMG_6882-M.jpg
I know how u feel got black and white strip one now known as the convict bully
 
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Konacorals

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What were your biggest fish mistakes?

I've had a few.

I'm sure this is not uncommon, but my biggest mistakes were the result of me not correctly understanding the size of the fish and their potential for aggression.

To an extent this is because like many reefers I came over from the freshwater world of lakes, ponds, streams and rivers which adapts much more readily to aquarium life.

I mean, it's easy to put together a community freshwater tank and there are lots of small fish to choose from. You stay away from the cichlids and your mostly good to go.

In the saltwater world, things are much different mate.

The ocean, she big. And the fish in it mean business.

I would say the only epic fail I've avoided was buying a juvenile pilot fish.

Now, really why those are for sale I really don't know.

For every 1 that make it into an appropriately sized tank, 1,000 must land in a tide pool.

I recently saw one for sale in Petco. Probably ended up in someone's 55g.

What were my biggest mistakes?

I have a 125g 6' display

1. blue throat trigger. He started small but man did he grow. And towards the end he started displaying captive behavior - just furiously swimming repetitive loops in the aquarium. I found it really uncomfortable to watch and I am sure he felt the same way. I dropped him off at the LFS. I miss the way he used to bite my finger.
2. blue tang. Same as the trigger. He was fine as a kid but man as he grew he became a terror in the tank. When dinner time came he would race around like a sailor who had just spotted a mermaid and send water splashing everywhere. Between him and the trigger I had to wipe down my lights almost daily. He went with me and blue throat on the same trip to the LFS.
3. harlequin tusk. Beautiful fish. Where else are you going to find a pet with blue teeth? Of course, individual fish do vary in temperament but he was a killer. He would lazily cruse along the rock work until something caught his attention and it was all over. After having a fine breakfast, lunch and dinner I quarantined him and re-homed him with a FOWLRer
4. red coris wrasse. Once again, I picked him up as a juvenile and he was fine. But as he grew he just became a super pain in the tail fin. He would turn over every rock and coral with his nose looking for food. I would turn it right side up and I would come home and it would be upside down. And as he got bigger he began turning over some pretty big rocks and corals. It was impressive. He was clearly becoming a big fish in a small pond. He cost me way more in downed coral than any other fish I've ever had. I was happy to see him go! And while I'm on the subject, the same goes for pencil and pin cushion urchins. They are fine when they are small but as they grow they will rearrange the deck chairs.
5. powder blue tang. I've had mixed experiences. One I had in my office tank was an angel fish. Pretty much got along with everyone - I mean as much as a tang can get along with anyone. So, I figured I'd try another one at home. Such a regal looking fish. But man, this guy was the Mr. Hyde to my office tank Dr. Jekyll. He would just go after everyone all day long. Fish really do have individual personalities and behave differently in different environments. Sometimes, you just pays your money and you takes your chances.

So, I'd say I've learned my lesson now.

I've downsized my ambitions, no more mobydicks, and learned to be much more cautious about who gets in the clubhouse.

Unfortunately, I guess I had to learn it all myself.

I wouldn't have believed any of you guys even if you had warned me - which you probably did.

But maybe a newbie reading this will be a bit smarter than me and make better choices.

I hope so.
Flame angel, in my very first reef tank... rookie mistake and my ACANs took a beating.
 

vetteguy53081

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None I’ve made but observed:
- failing to see fish eat at store
- failure to notice skin issues-
- failing to acclimate or acclimate properly
- failing to provide proper diet
- buying a fish and then Asking R2R to help identify what fish is this ?
- failure to maintain good water quality
 
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MONTANTK

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My biggest mistake happened with my Venustus Angel. My purple tang injured it shortly after I introduced the Angel so I put the Angel in my sump. There was plenty of sponge for it to eat down there in between feedings. I then transitioned to a tank that was way too small for it and the fish died. Definitely shouldn’t have done that because it made recovery impossible.

I also regret selling my goldflake because I was raising it from the size of a quarter. Once it reached half dollar size it started nipping and I didn’t like that. Wish I would have kept it because that was a beautiful fish.

My most frustrating decision was buying a Colin’s Angel. I fed it every food known to man for about a week and a half and the only thing it ever ate was a single algae pellet. I was never able to get it to eat anything else and it eventually perished.
 

Alchameth

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Ok so not something in the tank, but I think this counts. I was wiring up my stand lights and getting my kalk stirrer going again. Tested my params and I need to do a water change, well there is 5 gallons in the bottom of my brute for about 3 weeks no so was gonna toss it and mix fresh. Started pulling the pump, powerhead, heater out of the bin and got distracted because my ATO refill line moved out of my ATO section and dumped 1-2G directly into my sump. Stand there admiring my handy work, flip off my under stand lights and take a seat... few minutes later I smell something, we all know that something; the hot electronics something!!!

So dive down under the tank to see what happened and can't find anything, look over across the room and see something GLOWING on the floor. Ya, right back into the brute can it went... glad I don't use glass heaters anymore.

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Rudefish

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I added a Yellow Candy Hogfish about a year ago and a few months later attempted to add a couple of wrasse. My tank is pretty big and the compatibility chart say yes, go for it so I am like, why not. That is how I read it anyway. Hogfish and reef safe Wrasse, Y. Got the two wrasses and do the normal qt and then to add them to the dt. What a nightmare. The hogfish literally torment them to death. My tank setup does not make it easy to catch any fish that is put into the tank. I could see the hog chasing them frequently until I did not see one and the second one was so lethargic, I was able to catch him and put him in my qt tank to see if he would survive. Unfortunately, he died. Interestingly enough, I have tangs, triggers and others that I would think they would be the aggressors. But no, the Hogfish is who I keep seeing doing the chasing. He is my nightmare fish as those wrasses were a costly lesson.
 

Tou

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I got a rock goby from another reefer but failed to read on what they eat. He always been hiding inside a cave he dug and never comes out. I just pipe feed frozen food along with other fish and thought he was eating. A couple week later, he died with a flat belly.
 

Mr_Knightley

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My biggest mistake? I once went to a local fish store that had been recommended to me by someone who knew the owner. It was a decent sized store, both salt and fresh, but is was a little dingy. While there were no dead fish, everything felt as if it were very old. The display reef was in bad shape and inundated with ich, and the coral system was a single 36"/36"/16" flat. Overall, that store was grody.
But, they had pink skunk clownfish. I had been searching for these fish for a while at that point and they had over twenty of them! I kind of freaked and bought five of them without thinking. I was on my way to my main LFS to get water, but decided to buy it there instead (I honestly don't know what I was thinking). The pump for the water ran very slowly, so it gave me time to look at the store and think.
Then I realized how freaking dingy the store was! There was cyano in every invert display and, while the fish looked fine, they had live rock in their tanks (even though they claimed they ran copper, which would be adsorbed by the live rock)! Sadly, I realized this minutes too soon as I had already bought water and the fish were bagged and payed for.
The car ride home was stressful, and when I put the clowns in the tank they ignored my 1'+ anemone and lived in the back corner! They didn't cause issues and became some of my favorite fish.
Until they started freaking dying. One by one, they started dying off until I realized that they had introduced ich into my ichless tank! It was too late to treat as every fish had it and I lost the following fish that week:
Two clownfish
One fourline wrasse
One atlantic blue tang
One tomini tang
Two PJ cardinals

The lone survivors of that cataclysm are still with me today, a pacific cleaner wrasse and a single PJ cardinal.

The moral of the story, if a fish store looks dingy and grody, don't buy fish from them! Even if they have your dream fish, if you wouldn't buy a chromis from them don't buy anything else!
 

KrisReef

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Lol!
When I got my new Blue Spot Jawfish, I dropped him down the garbage disposal...

I was pouring water out of the bag to get it ready for acclimation and he jumped out. Went right down the drain into the disposal. I freaked out and stuck my hand down there trying to grab him as he was flopping about. Ended up catching him and just threw him in the tank. No acclimation or anything.

He ended up perfectly fine and is still alive to this day

I've never had any problems with fish once they get acclimated to the new environment. @Crashnt24 Could you please provide more information on your disposal QT technique, please and thank you. I'd like to try and duplicate your method. I've never had any real success with these triggerfish. :)
giphy.gif

:rolleyes:
 
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Mono

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Listening to my LFS advice thinking he was helping me start out in the hobby. I went in for two clowns and he convinced me to get a Blue Tang as well. Now its quite big and a terror. I can't get anyone to rehome him and the LFS guy just laughed at me as he didn't want a big Tang back to sell. I still have him and can't really get any other fish as he just bullies them :(
Have you tried advertising here or in a local reef forum?
 

Crashnt24

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Lol!


I've never had any problems with fish once they get acclimated to the new environment. @Crashnt24 Could you please provide more information on your disposal QT technique, please and thank you. I'd like to try and duplicate your method. I've never had any real success with these triggerfish. :)
giphy.gif

:rolleyes:

Well it's quite easy. Drop your fish in the disposal. Then when the fish thinks death is immanent due to darkness, disposal blades and a giant hand grabbing you. Then you throw him in the DT. Being dropped in a random tank is like heaven compared to the disposal. You adapt easy to heaven. Good luck! Lol
 

AllanPritchard

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Have you tried advertising here or in a local reef forum?

I've asked another reefer who sells and trades fish and corals to help but it hasn't come to fruition he keeps saying "Big ones are too hard to move on". I've only been in the hobby 18 months and its quite frustrating how little help other reefers will give locally. I'm going to put him up on the local facebook page, I'm in New Zealand so it is limited really as I'm not confident enough to ship so its pickup or drop off only.
 
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