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Mysterious Fish Deaths - not an issue with chemistry, stinky live rocks?

Darthvader247

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Hello,

I am new here, been reading lots of posts over the last couple of months.

I woke up this morning and to my horror saw my coral beauty floating in the corner and my damsel looking sick (died 10 mins later).

I did a 25% water change yesterday and before doing the the change tested the water with an API test kit:

Nitrate5ppm
Phosphate0.15ppm
Calcium480mg/l
Kh214kh
Ammonia0.5ppm
Nitrite0ppm


I started taking the live rocks out to see if any other fish died and some of the new live rock I purchased smelt really bad, I took it out and will cure all the rock that smells terrible (about 4 pieces)

My other fish and invertebrates are fine.
Cleaner Wrasse
Yellow Coris
Hawke Fish
BTA
Coral Branded Shrimp
Corals
Hermit Crab

I did turn the wave make off could there have been a pocket of ammonium that killed the fish?

I tested the ammonium in and it was 1ppm.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. What I dont understand is that I thought inverts were more sensitive to water changes and they dont seem to be impacted. My tank is a 50g 3ft tank.
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

code4

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Any ammonia is bad. Ammonia can take awhile to kill also. Normal water changes should not be enough of a change to impact anything in your tank if done properly. And any rock that stinks just does not sound healthy. Go slow in this hobby. Baby steps.

Sorry for the loss of your fish. Always hurts.
 
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Darthvader247

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Any ammonia is bad. Ammonia can take awhile to kill also. Normal water changes should not be enough of a change to impact anything in your tank if done properly. And any rock that stinks just does not sound healthy. Go slow in this hobby. Baby steps.

Sorry for the loss of your fish. Always hurts.
Thanks for the advice. It just seems very strange that two fish died and the invertebrates and other fish survived.

Is it possible to have a pocket of ammonium? Or could have been something else?

Thanks, :).
 
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Darthvader247

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I bought second hand. It was setup for over three years they claimed.

Tank was going well and then I added some LR and then lost two fish, which seemed to be out of the blue. The only thing fishy was that the LR smelt terrible which leads me to conclude there was a pocket of ammonia that killed the two fish. Not sure if thats possible, the other two fish were in the other half of the tank seem to be very healthy.
 

ifwisheswerefishes

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I would use Prime to temporarily detoxify your Ammonia, and then work on finishing your cycling. Look into good bacteria products that help with your cycling.
 

LiamPM

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What do you mean by turned the wave maker off? Just for the water change or all night?

Guessing you added new live rock to a tank with inhabitants in
 

LiamPM

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I bought second hand. It was setup for over three years they claimed.

Tank was going well and then I added some LR and then lost two fish, which seemed to be out of the blue. The only thing fishy was that the LR smelt terrible which leads me to conclude there was a pocket of ammonia that killed the two fish. Not sure if thats possible, the other two fish were in the other half of the tank seem to be very healthy.
Was the sand replaced when you set the tank back up after purchase?

Id take a guess that it isnt a pocket of ammonia but a severe (smelt bad) die off on the new rock causing a cycle.

You almost always get some sort of a cycle when moving an existing tank, mainly because of stuff stirred up and i imagine this with adding new live rock with severe die off on it could have just added to the potency of the mini cycle.

Of course its just a guess but i would definitely get some prime in there ASAP as a precaution.
 
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Darthvader247

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I purchased a BTA and while it finds the perfect rock i turn the wave maker off during the night.

Yes the tank was cycled I bought it second hand, they claimed it was set up for 3 years.

What are the odds of the ammonia settling from something in LR if there is not a lot of water movement over night?
 
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Darthvader247

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Thanks I will go to my LFS tomorrow and get some Prime. A shame I lost the coral beauty, seemed to have no interest in coral, I dont know if I will be so lucky next time.
 

proxy001

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I purchased a BTA and while it finds the perfect rock i turn the wave maker off during the night.

Yes the tank was cycled I bought it second hand, they claimed it was set up for 3 years.

What are the odds of the ammonia settling from something in LR if there is not a lot of water movement over night?
What we are trying to understand: you bought a tank that was set up and running for 3 years. did you move the tank recently? Did you add or change sand? You probably had some sort of a cycle/mini cycle
 

Erick Armanii

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I’m not sure what you are referring to as a pocket of ammonia. If ammonia is present in the water it will be present in the water.

This appears to be a die off from the recently purchased live rock. The die off can attribute to higher nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia essentially starting a cycle.

if possible, remove the new live rock add it to a water safe container (With salt water, a heater and power head) and let it cure over a few weeks. ghost feed it a few pellets every other day to maintain its bacteria. Do a few larger water changes 2-3 days apart to remove any unwanted die off from the live rock
 
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Darthvader247

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Thank you everyone for the help.

Sadly I have an update. After 2 days of the remaining fish looking healthy. I woke up this morning seeing the yellow coris swimming around 'fine', next minute I cant see him, check to see if he is OK and see him struggling in the corner of the tank.

Unfortunately I am not exaggerating it seems like it happens very quickly, active and healthy fish to fighting to survive.

I tested the water for ammonium and the reading was 0.3ppm. I then did a 40% water change and purchased Prime and added three times the amount as the LFS recommended.

Even though the ammonium is low it seems to match with the symptoms.

The wrasse is still alive, although not sure if he will make a full recovery. Anyone have any ideas on how to increase the chance of a recovery would be great. I have set up an air pump to increase the oxygen levels.

I upgraded the tank two months ago, used the old sand, water and LR. Two months ago there were no problems, it seems to be correlated with the LR I purchased.
 

ifwisheswerefishes

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Try a Tank transfer? Remember that prime only is active for 48 hours. Then dose again after 48 hours.
Hope he makes it!
 
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