First 2 fish added dead on day 3

DividedDummies

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I have a 40 breeder with a 29 gal sump. It's been up an running for about 2 months. I added dr tims one and only at the beginning and dosed ammonia. I felt the tank was ready for it's first inhabitants. I added 2 juvenile clown fish and they both died today on day 3. Ammonia - 0 nitrite 0.05 nitrate 35 salinity 35 ppt temp 76.5. I slowly acclimated the 2 clown fish and added 2 turbo snails and copepods. To be sure there wasn't an ammonia spike I also added another bottle of dr tims 1 and only but the next day they did not make it. Before they passed they started jetting around for a minute or so and that was a wrap :( clown fish seemed to do okay but started swimming not fully upright hanging out in corners. I plan on doing 2 50% water changes but Im skeptical about adding another fish. Should I add 2 clowns that are a bit more mature? One of the fish had a spot on him I will post a picture. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Your temp is low but shouldn’t kill overnight, I’d bump it up to 78-79. You should have zero nitrite and your nitrates are high. I’d shoot to keep them under 15. Skimmer? Start with dry rock? More information about equipment and testing would be ideal. Also where did you buy these fish? Do not buy fish from petco or pet smart.
 

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I have a 40 breeder with a 29 gal sump. It's been up an running for about 2 months. I added dr tims one and only at the beginning and dosed ammonia. I felt the tank was ready for it's first inhabitants. I added 2 juvenile clown fish and they both died today on day 3. Ammonia - 0 nitrite 0.05 nitrate 35 salinity 35 ppt temp 76.5. I slowly acclimated the 2 clown fish and added 2 turbo snails and copepods. To be sure there wasn't an ammonia spike I also added another bottle of dr tims 1 and only but the next day they did not make it. Before they passed they started jetting around for a minute or so and that was a wrap :( clown fish seemed to do okay but started swimming not fully upright hanging out in corners. I plan on doing 2 50% water changes but Im skeptical about adding another fish. Should I add 2 clowns that are a bit more mature? One of the fish had a spot on him I will post a picture. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
IMG_20201208_191229.jpg

This clownfish looks deformed to me. It looks like you started with poorly bred clowns. Not saying this is the cause, but it probably doesn't help matters. I would get your next ones from a good breeder.
 
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DividedDummies

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Walk me through your acclimation process. What test kits are you using? Are you mixing your salt water or buying it?

I've had young ones die on me after introducing to my tank, but both going overnight leads me to think bad acclimation or somethings in the water.
Test kits are red sea and I'm mixing salt with RODI water and red sea the purple bucket. For acclimation I floated for maybe 2 hours consistently adding a few ml of the tank water. I am not sure if that was too long in the bag maybe not enough oxygen. Would a bad acclimation process result in death after 3 days or would it be sooner or longer? Thanks for the reply
 
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DividedDummies

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This clownfish looks deformed to me. It looks like you started with poorly bred clowns. Not saying this is the cause, but it probably doesn't help matters. I would get your next ones from a good breeder.
Yea bought from LFS in new Jersey called Aquarium Center. They are probably the most reputable place around me but sometimes their tank conditions did not look superb. With it being so cold I was hesitant to buy online. Didn't know if starting with 2 more matured clownfish would better the odds of survival.
 
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DividedDummies

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Your temp is low but shouldn’t kill overnight, I’d bump it up to 78-79. You should have zero nitrite and your nitrates are high. I’d shoot to keep them under 15. Skimmer? Start with dry rock? More information about equipment and testing would be ideal. Also where did you buy these fish? Do not buy fish from petco or pet smart.
I will bump the temp up thank you. When the fish were added ammonia and nitrite were both at zero still with high nitrates. I figured there was going to be some increase in nitrates and nitrites so I did add another bottle of Dr Tims with the fish. Yes the tank was started with dry Rock that was bleached for a week. It was thoroughly rinsed and sat dry for a few weeks while doing my aquascape. Skimmer is a tunze comline I forget the model number.red sea test kits and red sea salt. 2 koralia power heads. Return pump sicce 3.5. the flow seemed to be a bit much for the young clowns so I did turn off one of the power heads to try and limit it he stress to the fish. After a large water change I would like to add 2 more more matured clowns but idk where to buy as I just strikes out with my LFS. Also have a filter bag with activated carbon from brs
 

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How do you acclimate? I found that drip acclimation on shipped fish or fast salinity changes (i.e. 1.017 to my DT's 1.026) increases the odds of losing a fish within the first 1-3 days. I now salinity match my QT to the shipper's salinity, float for 30 min to temp match, and drop the fish into my QT.

I don't think that clownfish maturity is an issue. I can't speak to potential deformities. Clownfish are extremely hardy, so their death is unusual. I'd wait 1-2 weeks and keep an eye on your inverts. If they die, there could be water contaminants. If they don't, try another clownfish.
 

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Probably not the cause but two hours is much too long. Sitting in a bag is very stressful for fish and if you do get fish shipped... when you open a bag and start acclimating the pH rises making ammonia more toxic in the bag of shipped fish.

If salinity matches I simply float for temp and then add them. If it’s off a bit, I add a cup of water every few min and try to get them in in about 30 min. If the salinity is very different, I add RODI to freshly made salt in a bucket to match and put them in the clean water then drip or QT from there.

If the salinity difference is a good amount, then QT and bringing them up over a few days will be easier on the fish. A store running 1.015-1.018 is not uncommon/unheard of.
 
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