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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:icon_cry: ... hey ... i just started entered the saltwater world and i think i am about to go back because of my tragedies.. for some reason my angel fish keep dying. Here's a rundown of my tank .. I have a 55 gallon long tank. plenty of cured live rock.. 1 sailfin tang, 1 black clown fish and 2 snails, 1 is a turbo snail, the other a zebra turbo snail. i have a heater that keeps the water around 74-78 degrees, i have 3 power heads, 2 - 275mph and 1 950 mph .. all positioned in different parts of the tank.

My tank has been running for about 2 months now. algae has been growing on the live rocks and spots around the tank. I have went through 3 angel fish, and they all had the same fate - they come into the tank and die after 3 days of being in there. I did not add all 3 at the same time, i only put one in and when that one died, i get another. i went through 1 coral beauty and 2 flame angels.

I have been going to the fish store out in latham, ny "Eddie's Aquairum" and they cure their fish and qurantine them (i believe) upon selling them. The angel fish will usually do the same thing, swim in the tank - go into the castle and wont come out, to eat or anything, may poke its head out every now and then but does not want to come out.

i have a salt water test kit and i have been testing my water before i get them and during the time i will put it in my tank. even the fish store says i am doing well and they can't find out whats wrong. here are my readings always.

ph - 8.2
am - 0
NA - 10
NI - 00
Salinity - 1.024

i dont want to give up but these things are expensive. please help.
 

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Although I'm not sure this is the right forum/section, I'll try to help.

How are you acclimating your new Angels? Do you turn off the lights at all? Drip acclimate? A lot of coral beauties and flame angels, due to their insane popularity, can be very weak stock for regions that use poor catching techniques. How long are the fish at the store before you buy them? Do you make sure they're eating at the store first?

Some stores keep very low salinity to save money and reduce chance of parasites, the shock of the salinity change can kill fairly slowly if the fish are not introduced over a few hours.

Are you test kits new? They can stop working with age, and not change color as they should/

How big is the sailfin? I hate to say it but a 55 isn't usually big enough for them long term, and you'll need to watch for Head and Lateral Line erosion though making sure the Sailfin is getting proper dietary intake.

What's the 'castle' in your tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Perchance

could u help point me to the correct forum for this post? I am new to this forum and just want as much help as i can get.

i am acclimating the new angels by the system the pet store gave me. i leave the bag in the tank fro about 20 mins.. then i ppour a cup oof the tank water into the bag, and let it sit in the tank again for another 5 minutes.. i repeat that step for about 15 minutes, then i take the fish and pput it into the tank ...

what do u mean by drip acclimate? and the latest fish that i received i believe was there for aout 4-5 weeks.

my test kits are brand new. i bought them from the fish store.

my sailfin is about a small- mid size, its growin i can say that but still a juvenile.. and the 'castle' in the tank is just a decoration i placed.
 

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Drip acclimation is just placing the fish in a clean bucket and slowly dripping water from the tank into the bucket. Usually only 1-2 drips per second to begin with. A darkened area is best, usually. This could take about 2 hours. Normally, it wouldn't be required, but if you've been loosing fish it would be a precaution to take. If there is a salinity difference (ask what the petstore keeps their tanks at) then even slower acclimation is sometimes used.

A quick google of 'drip acclimate fish' should give you a goof method.

Do you use any additives such a Prime? They can distort test readings.

Does the Sailfin or Clown appear to be stressed? Rapid breathing, lack of movement or anything like that?

It's odd with your water readings to have such fish die so soon. Especially if they are healthy from the petshop to begin with.

The ornament wouldn't contain any copper or possibly poisonous materials? I'm really unsure why you're loosing fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Perchance

I am returning back to the fish store today .. i will ask all these questions when i go to make sure their water is meeting with mine but i would believe it is since they are testing my water upon me purchasing any fish. I do not believe the castle has any copper or posinious materials in it. and the sailfin and the clownfish are perfectly normal! normal behavior ... normal breathing. what is weird is, as soon as the angel fish leaves the castle they have heavy breathing .. and begin to lay flat on the sand... my tang is bit of a bully too towards my angel but i have got into a system where if it comes anywhere near the castle, i been shoowing it away so it knows it doesn't belong there ..
 

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Just strap on your boots if you head to RC. Some new folks aren't always treated well, but most know their stuff and are willing to share and help.

At two months, your tank is far two new for those fish species. If your experiencing algae growth, you most likely have elevated Phosphates and I would question the reading on your Nitrate test kit too. Don't go to your LFS for water tests. They'll be happy to give you great results and sell you more angels. AT the very least buy Salifert kits and test repeatedly to make sure you're getting consistant results. the Hanna checkers can be a good investment on the Phosphate issue.

Be ultra-patient when buying fish at LFS. If you're in the Northeast, these are animals have been in the supply chain for some time and are just traumatized. They aren't farm-raised guppies. Take the time to notice how long a fish has been in the store and how it's done in their care. Buying a fish right out of the shipping box or even the next day is just a crap-shoot and the odds aren't in your favor. A patient sense of observation and not being afraid to make a PITA out of your self by asking them to feed the fish for you even if you don't buy it is a huge part of how well or how poorly your fish will do.

Patience is the greatest test in the SW hobby. If you've been through that many angels and your tank has only been running two months you're exhibiting more persistence than patience. Don't take that the wrong way. It's just meant to get you to step back a bit, evaluate where you are in the process and get you to just slow down a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@ bushkill .. i appreciate it man .. maybe i have been moving too fast .. i just thought with my tang and clownfish doing so well that i was on the right road.. i test my water on my own before i go to the LFS .. and i trust the retailer there ... she test my water numerous times and the times it was a drop of ammonia in it or water read wrong, she did not let me buy a fish not even an invertibrate ... i am going back today to show them the dead fish .. do u have any advice for me as i go today .. ill be heading there around 4 oclock
 

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I would not rule out aggression from either the tang or the clown. However, I would also consider how long the fish has been at the store. A reputable fish store should be willing to place a fish on hold for you, so that you can be sure it is eating and taking foods in captivity. Dwarf angels are sometimes collected in the wild by the use of cyanide. Has the dealer ruled this out?

Here is my favorite source for saltwater information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/index.html

You will learn a lot just from reading the dailies. The site is run by Bob Fenner, author of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist," which I also recommend.
 

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@ bushkill .. i appreciate it man .. maybe i have been moving too fast .. i just thought with my tang and clownfish doing so well that i was on the right road.. i test my water on my own before i go to the LFS .. and i trust the retailer there ... she test my water numerous times and the times it was a drop of ammonia in it or water read wrong, she did not let me buy a fish not even an invertibrate ... i am going back today to show them the dead fish .. do u have any advice for me as i go today .. ill be heading there around 4 oclock
Only you can evaluate how much to trust any particular individual. Ask her to check Phosphates as well as Nitrates. But honestly, you should be doing those tests on your own. In time it's gonna get old, for you and the store, for them to do water tests for you. Depending on the Tang species, some can survive absolute disasters. Test Ph in AM and PM. You'll be shocked by the swing if you don't have a mature refugium. Learn to check Magnesium and its' effect on stabilizing Dh and Ph.

I had a Sailfin that survived a Top-off system malfunction (It was ME that malfunctioned, lol!) that brought salinity to near zero. I nicknamed him Lazerus, and he's now a display fish in a reef shop near home.

Some fish are just sensitive to even small Ph swings. Flames, like almost all SW angels just don't belong in two-month old systems, and I would bet the clown was captive-raised.
 

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Just a heads up, your tanks way to small for a sail fin tang, and people over on reef central are going to give you grief about it. Your tank is also very young still for a salt water tank, and may have not cycled out fully yet.

Please check out reefcentral and all their stickies on starting up a salt tank.

Most places do not quarantine their fish before selling them. You need to start up your own quarantine tank as well.
 

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I would not rule out aggression from either the tang or the clown. However, I would also consider how long the fish has been at the store. A reputable fish store should be willing to place a fish on hold for you, so that you can be sure it is eating and taking foods in captivity. Dwarf angels are sometimes collected in the wild by the use of cyanide. Has the dealer ruled this out?

Here is my favorite source for saltwater information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/index.html

You will learn a lot just from reading the dailies. The site is run by Bob Fenner, author of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist," which I also recommend.
In short, there are VERY few LFS that know exactly where and how a fish was captured. There are organizations that offer certifications to some collectors that do it correctly, but honestly we're talking about countries rife with corruption and even fancy certifications by some obscure organization wouldn't buy me the comfort of watching a fish eat in a LFS for a week or more before I brought it home.
 
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