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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Unhappy I'm having no Luck with this hobby!

    I'm not having much luck here with this hobby and it's certainly not from lack of effort! I read everything I can get my hands on and have taken most good advice I've been given when it comes to setup, equipment, do's and don'ts etc... in my 6 or 7 months into this, I've been through 2 tanks (first one a 30G) now a 65G with 20G sump (reeferboys old setup). I had 1 case of ich in the 30G that wiped out 2 pink skunks, a yellow watchman, and a pygmy angel Lesson 1 learned: ALWAYS QT! After setting up a QT and letting the tank run fish-less for 5 weeks I introduced 2 more pink skunks along with a 6 line wrasse I was QT'ing for those 5 weeks. I then decided to upgrade and picked up the 65G. Set it up and had it cycle while I QT'd a blue hippo tang. Once the cycle was complete I moved all my livestock over from the 30 in to 65 and all was doing great. Couple weeks later I moved the hippo into the 65. About 2 weeks later (nothing more was introduced into the tank) the Hippo showed signs of ich Ich outbreak #2! Argh! I decided to give it a chance and started feeding him garlic and vitamin soaked foods rather than stress him out even more by removing him. He seems to be doing much better with less and less ich spots showing up with each outbreak cycle. On top of all this, I have been QT'ing a Flame Angel for about 4 weeks now and IT had some fungus or something (posted about it in the disease forum), but is now looking almost 100% healed... On top of all that I just lost my 2nd LTA! (lost one in the 30G that I think was just not healthy at the time of purchase, noobie impulse by --> Lesson #2 PATIENCE!) and my second one (A really nice big healthy looking one) just this week!

    So I think I'm going to keep an eye on hippo and after a couple of weeks of showing no signs of ich I'll probably move the flame angel over (It will have been at least 6-8 weeks in QT for him at that point) and not add anything more for a while (though I'd really love another TLA : 3rd time's a charm right?).

    Not really sure why I'm posting this really, I guess I'm basically on a rant here.. Needing to vent a little :

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I'm gonna say the same thing I said to a few other new guys,
    theres more to a tank than just waiting a few weeks thru the ammonia cycle. theres a thing I call tank cycle. Its hard to explain but here goes, I believe thru all I've seen and the 4 tanks I've had that tanks need to settle months!! before adding stock. maybe 1 hardy fish that you plan to keep and can afford to lose [hate to put prices on live stuff] if something goes wrong. new tanks have new salt which I find is harsh and pipes that were just glued and all kinds of algea cycles and no real sand bed setup [bacteria] yet. there also a few other things I can't explain but new tanks just seem to not be friendly. now anenomes, you shouldn't even be trying these! your way to new at this and you tank should be 6 months old at least! these are just my opinions but PATIENCE is a huge! virtue in this hobby. leave the tank alone, let it age like a fine wine,read some good reefing books and things will possible get better. how are you topping off by the way?? some people will just do the jug method but it only takes 1 day of forgetting to topoff to realy throw the tank out of salinity [whack]

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    I would recommend adding 2 cleaner shrimp at this point to help take care of the ich problem. Hippo tangs are very susceptible to ich. Up until the point that I added my cleaner shrimp this was an issue(lost a coral beuty and a royal gramma because of it) Now you might see one spot on it one day and gone the next. Definitely a worthwhile investment.

    As for the anemone well its a hit and miss game when it comes to shipping and handling. Most of the time its not your fault that they die. I've had 2 anemones die within a couple weeks of purchace before I got my heteractis crispa which is over 18" diameter now and 6 months later. Of course I got this from a previous reefer that raised it since it was about 3-4" big. I think that the smaller the anemone you get the better cause the bigger it is, the more chance of damage from improper handling. One other thing to look for is color. If it looks pale compared to how it should look then it may be too far gone...leave it at the store.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    My 2 cents....

    I personally don't like the over-used term of 'cycle' per se. Maybe that word is over emphasized in our hobby and at the LFS? It really gives an impression to new SW hobbyists that after reaching this magical stage, you'll be able to drop fish in and all will be fine. It may look fine for a few months but it could be only because it takes this long to destabilize and crash 60 gallons of salt water. Johnny is right, patience is the only key in 'aging and maturing' water. Anenomes really should go into a tank atleast 8-12 months of stable operation.

    Every time we feed our fish, put our hands in the tank, stir the substrate, topping off water, water changes, adjusting the skimmer, changing lighting etc. the tank must 'cycle' to some extent to reach equilibrium. Everyone's tank equilibrium is different and unique. It's not that we are awesome at replicating nature in our tanks, but rather nature is awesome at surviving our systems!

  5. #5
    Member Unleashed_inMTL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I agree with the above. You are adding delicate animals to new tanks. Learn from your mistakes, and add only hardier fish for the next few monthes. Q-tank or no, your main tank(s) need more time to become stable and until they do, tangs and anemones are not good choices. Even a stable, well-aged 200 gallon that has a newly-quarantined tang added can see it come down with ich. Such a large tank with stable water parameters gives the fish a chance to recover and fight off the parasite by itself. Smaller, new tanks will not.

    You MUST give this hobby the patience it deserves.
    Good luck
    *see no evil, hear no evil, speak no...hahaha! okayyyy...*

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Your moving WAY TO FAST Blinky. Slow down and let the tanks mature a little. RESEST the erg to have the tank fully stocked in such a short time frame.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I would agree with Johnny Rock.
    Patience is something most of us fail at when we start a tank. Especially for anemone that are sensitive. Assuming
    you have LR, I would wait unitil you start getting coralline algae the size of dimes on your glass. They are a good sign you tanks is nice and stable. Then start adding a fish thats hardy.

    Ich usually comes when fish are stressed, ie bad water, tank mates etc.
    Most of the time they should recover
    if those irritants are removed.
    75G, 30G sump.
    2X250 MH with 2X 55 PCs

    Hippo Tang, Tomato Clown, Rusty Angel, Keyhole Angel, Damsel
    Anchor, Turbinaria, Acro,Montis, Xenia, Anthelias, Candycane, Buttons,Bubble, Galaxea, Brain,Cabbage, Hand, weird encrusting coral, LTA, mushrooms

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    patience is indeed the hardest part of this hoby. just slow down and let the tank catch up and everything should come together. good luck

    also, what your experiencing is not that unusual, nor that bad i have heard much worst cases.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Hi Blinky,

    Well I guess the concensus appears to be you are going to fast and I gotta agree.

    Gear down, give the tank time to mature adding to much to quickly can lead to nasty algae, ick etc. overfeeding is another bad one.

    The more time between additions the better.

    Good Luck

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Holy replies batman!

    Whoa! a lotta replies!

    Thanks for the reply... I Guess I should have given more detail... The 65g Tank was a used setup (so no freshly glued pipes etc..) Plus I took about 50-60% of his water (well aged) and about half his sandbed and even some live rock with the tank. It was basically kind of like moving a tank and doing a big water change at the same time.. In addition to that, I took about 1/2 the rock and sand from my 5 month old 30G and added it to the 65G and let it run (with no livestock) for about 2-3 weeks watching the parameters daily. It did go through a very short cycle starting with an ammonia spike from (I assume) the die-off of the move. I'm not saying the tank is perfectly aged or "seasoned" at this point but it's certainly not as harsh as you might have thought. Once that cycle stabilized I started interchanging water from both tanks to get them closer to the same water quality to ease moving the rest the live stock and the rest of the rock, sand over to the new tank. This was just over a week-long process. So that's the full story of my 65G tank.

    Oh yeah.. For top-ups I made an auto top off that kicks in when the 20G sump drops about 1/2 inch. Salinity swings aren't an issue anymore but I do go through about 2 1/2 - 3 gallons of water per day!

    Thanks for the advice! I do in fact have 2 cleaner shrimp in the tank (came over from my old 30G) and when the hippo had spots they would have a go and have a pick at him I think it certainly helped the ich situation (he's been look great lately). Been feeding him garlic and zoe soaked foods as well...

    One Salty Dog,
    Yeah I might be moving a little quick but please don't get the impression I've been stuffing things carelessly into my tank! There is relatively little in it (In my humble opinion anyway). Just the 4 fishes, the cleanup critters and a green brain and some xenia I had from my old 30G tank (both are doing great!, Too great for the xenia that stuff took off under the MH's in the new tank and I now have more than I probably want!)
    Other than the dead anemone that's it for livestock in my tank. Maybe that IS too much at this point Your comments are appreciated!

    Yeah I agree with the consensus and as stated in my original post I do plan to let things settle out for a bit.
    I do have a flame angel in QT now for the past 4 going on 5 weeks that I'd really like to move out of the small tank (poor little guy)... I've been using water from the 65G tank to do water changes on the QT about 10% ever 2 days. So hopefully that will ease the acclimation a little. I just hope that he doesn't get a taste for my xenia

    To the others who responded,
    Thanks very much for your comments! I appreciated the advice/encouragement.. Seems like a pretty knoweldgable crew around here.


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