I can't keep anything new alive

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Blutspitze

Blutspitze

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Yes - I know why they do it - but I think (no expert here) - that the problem is that usually its like 1.019 (1.013 is awfully low - and probably results in weaker overall fish) - second velvet is not really affected by hypo salinity (as compared to a freshwater dip) and third none of the other parasites or bacteria are affected by hypo salinity. But - I'm not arguing with you at all. Im just really surprised that its 'that' low.
I'd have to check their water again to confirm the numbers; I could be remembering wrong, as well. It's been months since I last tested their stuff.
 

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I never float a fish in a bag. Ammonia becomes toxic the minute after you open the bag due to rising ph levels.

What i do is open the bag, reach in with my hand scoop it out and into the tank. Never had a fish loss this way.
 

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I never float a fish in a bag. Ammonia becomes toxic the minute after you open the bag due to rising ph levels.

What i do is open the bag, reach in with my hand scoop it out and into the tank. Never had a fish loss this way.
This is only true if the fish has been in the bag for a fair bit of time - not 30 minutes, etc (ie. from an LFS) - if its overnight - its more of a problem - but shippers take steps to avoid this from happening. The most important thing (I think) - is to follow whatever procedure that place you bought the fish from recommends.
 

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I would
1. take your water to a store for them to check your salinity.
2. Get a hanna salinity checker. Refractomiters can be way out from just putting them down on a counter top.
3. Run carbon, and gfo
4. Start a refugium to suck out some toxins (if you don't have a refugium).also lower your nitrates...
5. USE A DIFFERENT LFS.
6. check for stray voltages

Hope this helps
 

ReefingWoonkie

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I’m sure I can’t help more then others but my 2 cents

I tend to do long drips when the salinity doesn’t match but watch the temp

I had the same issue in a tank till I realized my blue hippo was in fact killing the fish.

I found that most fish stores use API kits and also don’t follow directions when testing. I get dramatically different results when I test on my own. Maybe try an ICP test?

Temperature? Stable? Thermometer to check? Maybe get another to back it up

PH? Don’t chase it. Don’t use buffers

What kind of salt are you using? Where are you getting your water? Remember consistency is key here. LFS water isn’t always the best, sometimes it’s the worse

Don’t quit maybe pause. Focus on what you have. Don’t add anything else and just enjoy what you have. Maybe the cause of your issue will show its face. Sorry I can’t be if more help. Just been where you are and hate to see people quit, it’s such a rewarding hobby when you have success.
 
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Blutspitze

Blutspitze

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I would
1. take your water to a store for them to check your salinity.
2. Get a hanna salinity checker. Refractomiters can be way out from just putting them down on a counter top.
3. Run carbon, and gfo
4. Start a refugium to suck out some toxins (if you don't have a refugium).also lower your nitrates...
5. USE A DIFFERENT LFS.
6. check for stray voltages

Hope this helps
Thanks very much for the suggestions; as I mentioned I've had my water tested and gotten fish from multiple sources, plus I'm using a probe salinity check through my Apex, as well. The tests are always consistent numbers across the board. Still debating getting some Hanna testers, though. It'd be a nice upgrade.

Any particular reason for the carbon and GFO? I don't have a Phosphate problem.

I do have a fuge - no macro at the moment, but that's where all the nuisance algae hangs out. I scrub and scrape it every couple weeks, and plan to get macro soon. My understanding was also that 10-20 nitrate was a good place to be, as well. Any particular reason to shoot lower?

Stray voltage is an interesting possibility for sure. I'll see if I can find any shorts or frayed wiring.

Thanks very much again, I really appreciate it.

I’m sure I can’t help more then others but my 2 cents

I tend to do long drips when the salinity doesn’t match but watch the temp

I had the same issue in a tank till I realized my blue hippo was in fact killing the fish.

I found that most fish stores use API kits and also don’t follow directions when testing. I get dramatically different results when I test on my own. Maybe try an ICP test?

Temperature? Stable? Thermometer to check? Maybe get another to back it up

PH? Don’t chase it. Don’t use buffers

What kind of salt are you using? Where are you getting your water? Remember consistency is key here. LFS water isn’t always the best, sometimes it’s the worse

Don’t quit maybe pause. Focus on what you have. Don’t add anything else and just enjoy what you have. Maybe the cause of your issue will show its face. Sorry I can’t be if more help. Just been where you are and hate to see people quit, it’s such a rewarding hobby when you have success.
Sorry about the mean Hippo, that's rough :( . The only reason I'm more fully eliminating aggression is that some new ones have literally died while inside the box, and my other fish stay away from it, not to mention never seeing it when I'm home, though that's less relevant.

Regarding the tests, yes, the stores I've gone to both use API, but I gave them each $5 to run their high grade tests as well (Red Sea, if memory serves), and got the same results. I'm hoping an ICP isn't needed, but will do if it comes to that.

Temp is stable and controlled via Apex with redundancy in heater. ~1 degree swing through the day.

pH is stable and holds around 8.1-8.2, again with relatively minor swings of ~0.2 . I have a small amount of Kalkwasser in my RO, and dose two part.

I've been using Instant Ocean Reef for about a year now and have my own RO system. I do a change weekly (5 gal) and test the new water before adding it.

Thanks very much - as you know it's unbelievably frustrating to go through this. The fact that I have fish that have been around for > 1 year is a success in my mind, and just makes me think there's something else going on that I'm not seeing, so it's aggravating.
 

MnFish1

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Thanks very much for the suggestions; as I mentioned I've had my water tested and gotten fish from multiple sources, plus I'm using a probe salinity check through my Apex, as well. The tests are always consistent numbers across the board. Still debating getting some Hanna testers, though. It'd be a nice upgrade.

Any particular reason for the carbon and GFO? I don't have a Phosphate problem.

I do have a fuge - no macro at the moment, but that's where all the nuisance algae hangs out. I scrub and scrape it every couple weeks, and plan to get macro soon. My understanding was also that 10-20 nitrate was a good place to be, as well. Any particular reason to shoot lower?

Stray voltage is an interesting possibility for sure. I'll see if I can find any shorts or frayed wiring.

Thanks very much again, I really appreciate it.



Sorry about the mean Hippo, that's rough :( . The only reason I'm more fully eliminating aggression is that some new ones have literally died while inside the box, and my other fish stay away from it, not to mention never seeing it when I'm home, though that's less relevant.

Regarding the tests, yes, the stores I've gone to both use API, but I gave them each $5 to run their high grade tests as well (Red Sea, if memory serves), and got the same results. I'm hoping an ICP isn't needed, but will do if it comes to that.

Temp is stable and controlled via Apex with redundancy in heater. ~1 degree swing through the day.

pH is stable and holds around 8.1-8.2, again with relatively minor swings of ~0.2 . I have a small amount of Kalkwasser in my RO, and dose two part.

I've been using Instant Ocean Reef for about a year now and have my own RO system. I do a change weekly (5 gal) and test the new water before adding it.

Thanks very much - as you know it's unbelievably frustrating to go through this. The fact that I have fish that have been around for > 1 year is a success in my mind, and just makes me think there's something else going on that I'm not seeing, so it's aggravating.
Carbon in case there is some kind of toxin being produced - or some other organic toxin.
 

ReefingWoonkie

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Thanks very much for the suggestions; as I mentioned I've had my water tested and gotten fish from multiple sources, plus I'm using a probe salinity check through my Apex, as well. The tests are always consistent numbers across the board. Still debating getting some Hanna testers, though. It'd be a nice upgrade.

Any particular reason for the carbon and GFO? I don't have a Phosphate problem.

I do have a fuge - no macro at the moment, but that's where all the nuisance algae hangs out. I scrub and scrape it every couple weeks, and plan to get macro soon. My understanding was also that 10-20 nitrate was a good place to be, as well. Any particular reason to shoot lower?

Stray voltage is an interesting possibility for sure. I'll see if I can find any shorts or frayed wiring.

Thanks very much again, I really appreciate it.



Sorry about the mean Hippo, that's rough :( . The only reason I'm more fully eliminating aggression is that some new ones have literally died while inside the box, and my other fish stay away from it, not to mention never seeing it when I'm home, though that's less relevant.

Regarding the tests, yes, the stores I've gone to both use API, but I gave them each $5 to run their high grade tests as well (Red Sea, if memory serves), and got the same results. I'm hoping an ICP isn't needed, but will do if it comes to that.

Temp is stable and controlled via Apex with redundancy in heater. ~1 degree swing through the day.

pH is stable and holds around 8.1-8.2, again with relatively minor swings of ~0.2 . I have a small amount of Kalkwasser in my RO, and dose two part.

I've been using Instant Ocean Reef for about a year now and have my own RO system. I do a change weekly (5 gal) and test the new water before adding it.

Thanks very much - as you know it's unbelievably frustrating to go through this. The fact that I have fish that have been around for > 1 year is a success in my mind, and just makes me think there's something else going on that I'm not seeing, so it's aggravating.
Just pause then. Sounds like you’re doing everything right. Sometimes that’s the way the hobby is. I still wouldn’t trust anyone to test the water but me. But that’s just me.
 
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Blutspitze

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Carbon in case there is some kind of toxin being produced - or some other organic toxin.
Gotcha. I have some carbon filter sheets that I can use; nothing active like a reactor, though. I can make it work.

Just pause then. Sounds like you’re doing everything right. Sometimes that’s the way the hobby is. I still wouldn’t trust anyone to test the water but me. But that’s just me.
Seems to be a good bet for the time being. I'm hoping I can overcome the issue(s) regardless :D
 
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What size tank? My gut says one maniac-clown is stressing out new fish to the point of death— unless you’ve got a rather large (125+) and a lot of rockwork.
 
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Blutspitze

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Float and put in quarantine tan straight away. Drip acclimation isn’t good for fish.
This is what I'll be trying next time I get it all set up - I have to rebuild my QT, but should help.

What size tank? My gut says one maniac-clown is stressing out new fish to the point of death— unless you’ve got a rather large (125+) and a lot of rockwork.
I have a 55 gal long; the clown is hosted on my nem and always hangs out there. It is possible that s/he is being territorial, but as I mentioned I've not seen signs of aggression from any of the current fish.
 

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When going from hypo salinity to standard levels, you should really take days rather than hours. I’ve heard that salinity-acclimation issues can take time to show up in fish, although I can’t say I’ve experienced that myself.

Agreed.. This cant be done just by floating a bag.

I also doubt stores that say they treat with cooper. Most that say this are just doing therapeutic levels and this just hides the issue. Maybe they do but I would bet it is what I said.

Agreed with above try a different store.
 

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Can you clarify back on page one you said you have the same problem with your QT. Are the fish dying in the QT tank, or after the transfer from the QT to the display?
 
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Can you clarify back on page one you said you have the same problem with your QT. Are the fish dying in the QT tank, or after the transfer from the QT to the display?
Both. Multiple fish died in QT, and a few that were dying I transferred to DT as an emergency measure, where they subsequently died. That's part of why I don't think it's aggression related, at least not 100%.
 
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I kind of agree with you.

I may have missed details of how the QT was set up, but lets say it's a completely separate system. So far what they have in common is the RO water and the Pet store. I suppose food too?

If your current fish seem to be OK (The clown has been in there for 19 months) then perhaps it is something to do with the source of fish. (Could be a wholesale issue, won't blame the LFS for now)

As the clown and the wrasse have been in there for over a year, it's likely not your food.

I'm not all that familiar with LFS stocking procedures, but it sounds like the LFS is doing A LOT of something for some particular reason. Why complicate the sale and acclimation process for customers unless there was something specific they were battling?

If you can handle trying it again, see if you can get a fish from mail-order or another local reefer. (I hate to suggest test fish, but I'm reasonably confident with your other fish alive that your tank is not terrible)

Still a good idea to QT. perhaps a fresh batch of water. You could do this two ways. 1: ideally water from a different source in QT, 2: Same water in the QT.

Step one has a different water source and some instant-cycle bacteria to get it going. If the different-source fish lives in the QT with different-source water then dies in the display it's a issue in the DT. (Water contaminant or something else)
Even some jugs of water-cooler water would be OK for this, if a local reefer can hook you up with some RODI thats cool too.

If you didn't use water from a different source in the QT (#2) and the fish lives, it's an indication that the source of the fish is the problem. This fish could probably be moved to display fine after QT is over.
 

JCannon

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I'm frustrated. Also hopeless and helpless. No matter what I do or how careful I am, I cannot get new fish to stay alive in my tank. I have a great LFS that performs copper treatments and keeps everything in hyposalinity, but it doesn't matter if I QT or not, nothing new lives, and I'm out of ideas and sanity.

I've got good, steady parameters and make my own water:
  • Nitrate - ~10-20
  • Nitrite - 0
  • Ammonia - 0
  • pH - ~8.2
  • dKH - 8-9
  • Phosphate - 0-0.25
  • Calcium - ~480
  • Salinity - 1.025/26
I had issues with highly aggressive (actively killing) fish, nitrates, and a couple others, but that's all done now. The current fish have been inside for some time: 19 months, 12 months, and ~4 months for a diamond goby, blood orange clown, and orangeback wrasse, respectively). I also have a sebae nem that's been in for about 11 months. Since around February of this year, when the last major noticeable issue I had (highly aggressive fish) was taken care of, I've attempted to add about 10 fish at various times. The vast majority haven't survived a full week. I had a firefish survive about 3 months, but it died just after adding a dwarf angel, likely due to stress of the new addition. Said angel then died this past Sunday after around 3 weeks.
20190714_093114.jpg

A few hours before the angel died. No external signs of disease, aggression, etc. It had eaten fine the day before. Just.... died.

The day the angel died, got a yellow goby that had been in the store ~3 weeks. It lasted in my tank 3 days, in the acclimation box. I'm at the end of my rope and intensely distressed about this. I tried using the fancy new acclimation box to help ease them in, I always set my acclimation lights, but I never see anything wrong until... they're just dead. I float bags with new fish for temp, then drip acclimate ~45 minutes before adding to the tank (particularly needed because of the hyposalinity of the LFS).

I'm literally losing sleep and seriously contemplating quitting the hobby. I'm extremely careful about things being on point and taking everything slow, making sure there wouldn't be compatibility or aggression issues, steady parameters, clean out algae, but nothing I do seems to matter, and all I'm doing is wasting money at this point. 2 fish stores have tested my water and found the same parameters, the few corals I have are all doing quite well, and, like I mentioned, there's no sign of aggression or disease on the deceased fish. I cannot figure this out. A hitchhiker that I can't see? The nem stinging new folk? I just don't know. Any help/advice would be very appreciated and of course I can give more info if needed.
There have been some great ideas offered. Looking at your photo and test results everything appears fine. I also do not feel it is an acclimate issue. One question I do have is how is the water/current flow in the tank? Are there any dead spots where water results in low oxygen levels?
 

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please take what im saying as constructive...im no expert. I would try buying the fish from live aquaria or saltwaterfish. you can eliminate your worries about ammonia build up in the bag etc by putting a drop of prime in the acclimation bucket. If I read correctly and you have a 55..you may have too many guys in there/or an aggressive bully thats not going to allow newcomers. I would watch out for LFS and what they tell you.they may or may not run copper..and they may also run it incorrectly..but the extreme hyposalinity may be a bigger issue. Dont give up! almost all problems can be solved with logic and deduction. I wold consider another source for your fish. I know quarantine is good, but..I think unless you get larger more hospitable quarantine it may add stress. also remember these creatures sometimes came from the other side of the world..and sometimes they just dont make it. either way-dont give up just step back and do some thinking and analyze all the basics. the bio filter/ bacteria /ammon/nitrite...temperature...and so on..I would def check on the stray voltage. dont try to add any fish for a while and see how the ones you have are doing..I am sure you can get this problem solved..you are just frustrated and I understand that..dont give up
 

t blackwell

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a lot of people wont like what im about to say,,but..I would forget the ten gallon quarantine tank. there can be a lot of issues with that. I would goto a different source for your fish and skip the QT attempt. I would not have a qt tank smaller than 30 gallons ..to easy for that small one to have issues..maybe..its time for you to upgrade your tank..get a larger tank and start over..and use the 55 as an observation/quarantine
 
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I kind of agree with you.

I may have missed details of how the QT was set up, but lets say it's a completely separate system. So far what they have in common is the RO water and the Pet store. I suppose food too?

If your current fish seem to be OK (The clown has been in there for 19 months) then perhaps it is something to do with the source of fish. (Could be a wholesale issue, won't blame the LFS for now)

As the clown and the wrasse have been in there for over a year, it's likely not your food.

I'm not all that familiar with LFS stocking procedures, but it sounds like the LFS is doing A LOT of something for some particular reason. Why complicate the sale and acclimation process for customers unless there was something specific they were battling?

If you can handle trying it again, see if you can get a fish from mail-order or another local reefer. (I hate to suggest test fish, but I'm reasonably confident with your other fish alive that your tank is not terrible)

Still a good idea to QT. perhaps a fresh batch of water. You could do this two ways. 1: ideally water from a different source in QT, 2: Same water in the QT.

Step one has a different water source and some instant-cycle bacteria to get it going. If the different-source fish lives in the QT with different-source water then dies in the display it's a issue in the DT. (Water contaminant or something else)
Even some jugs of water-cooler water would be OK for this, if a local reefer can hook you up with some RODI thats cool too.

If you didn't use water from a different source in the QT (#2) and the fish lives, it's an indication that the source of the fish is the problem. This fish could probably be moved to display fine after QT is over.
Thanks so much for the suggestions here. I will say that I've gone to different stores for fish and supplies, and it always ends up the same. I've not tried mail order, but have debated it.

The QT is indeed a completely separate system regarding filtration and the like. To initially set it up I'll use 5 gallons from my DT and 5 gallons of new mixed salt water (I make all my own RO and salt water and test before using) to jump start the cycling, since I don't have the QT up 100% of the time. Food is the same as well.

There was an LFS I used to go to, and ended up getting an ich outbreak from them back when I started and had no QT. There's a couple stores I use now and they have similar systems for sale, selling, treating, etc., but as I mentioned hasn't helped much.

I'm really skeptical about getting fish from online sources or the like, particularly with the ammonia troubles, but it seems like that may be the best option. Thanks very much again.

There have been some great ideas offered. Looking at your photo and test results everything appears fine. I also do not feel it is an acclimate issue. One question I do have is how is the water/current flow in the tank? Are there any dead spots where water results in low oxygen levels?
The flow is good and from what I can tell there are no dead spots - bits of food and the like flow all through the corners, around all the rock, etc. My goby has a cave under one of the rocks, but it's near the nem and that is always flowing, so even below the floor it seems fine.

please take what im saying as constructive...im no expert. I would try buying the fish from live aquaria or saltwaterfish. you can eliminate your worries about ammonia build up in the bag etc by putting a drop of prime in the acclimation bucket. If I read correctly and you have a 55..you may have too many guys in there/or an aggressive bully thats not going to allow newcomers. I would watch out for LFS and what they tell you.they may or may not run copper..and they may also run it incorrectly..but the extreme hyposalinity may be a bigger issue. Dont give up! almost all problems can be solved with logic and deduction. I wold consider another source for your fish. I know quarantine is good, but..I think unless you get larger more hospitable quarantine it may add stress. also remember these creatures sometimes came from the other side of the world..and sometimes they just dont make it. either way-dont give up just step back and do some thinking and analyze all the basics. the bio filter/ bacteria /ammon/nitrite...temperature...and so on..I would def check on the stray voltage. dont try to add any fish for a while and see how the ones you have are doing..I am sure you can get this problem solved..you are just frustrated and I understand that..dont give up

a lot of people wont like what im about to say,,but..I would forget the ten gallon quarantine tank. there can be a lot of issues with that. I would goto a different source for your fish and skip the QT attempt. I would not have a qt tank smaller than 30 gallons ..to easy for that small one to have issues..maybe..its time for you to upgrade your tank..get a larger tank and start over..and use the 55 as an observation/quarantine
Thanks very much for the suggestions and encouragement. As I mentioned above in this same comment, I've not tried online ordering before, but have considered it, and may do so just to have a different fish source. Pricing on the online sources is just brutal, though. I might go find another LFS to work with so I can save some hassle of both shipping and ammonia.

As far as the QT is concerned, I know that 10g is small for sure. Most of the recommendations I've seen say 30 tends to be minimum for a QT, but I don't really have the space to upgrade at the moment. It's a really big ask to get livestock from an online source directly to a DT - THAT genuinely scares me. 10 gallons is pretty small though, and so I try to minimize the time the fish spend in it.
 
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