View Full Version : Unhappy fish, need help!

09/28/2017, 05:27 AM
Hello everyone,

I've got some unhappy fish in my tank and I've done just about everything I can think of and have read about to help my fish but nothing has worked. Here's the info on my tank.

45 gallon bow
Temp 25 C (77F)
Salinity 1.025
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0-5
Nitrates 0-5
PH 8.0

4 Springer Damsel
3 Astrea Snails
2 Turbo Snails
2 Turban snails (deceased and removed)
2 Nassarius Snails
1 Blood Red Fire Shrimp

I can't remember the weight of my live rock but I have 3 fair sized pieces (each roughly the size of a football).

3" of live sand as my substrate.

Fluval G3 filter
Voyager 3 power head

Okay, I hope that's all the information you need so on to my problem.
Everything in my tank was doing fine up until a few weeks ago. My Damsel fish started hiding in the live rock all the time. I checked my water parameters and my PH dropped from 8.1 to 7.6 and my ammonia sky rocketed to 6. I went and bought some Ammo Lock and took care of the ammonia problem over several days. I have been doing 10% water changes every day or two. I have gotten my PH back up to 8.0. My two Turban snails died during this time. My fish are still hiding in the live rock and appear unhappy to me. I woke up this morning and my shrimp had molted, which I read is a good sign of a healthy tank?
I'm just wondering if this is shock and my fish need quite awhile to recover? I have read these damsels turn black when stressed and none have. They also seem to swim with a slight angle which led me to believe it could be a swim bladder problem?
I'm pretty confident the ammonia spike came from over feeding, I have hardly fed my tank over the last week. My fish are not eating anyway which is another worry.

That's all the information I can think to give. If anyone can help me save my fish I would be very grateful!

09/28/2017, 07:20 PM
How long has the tank been running? I've done that with mine too (high ammonia). I would keep up with the water changes until you get a zero reading if you don't already have zero.

09/28/2017, 07:24 PM
You're cycling your tank with damsels ....

09/28/2017, 07:27 PM
With that high of ammonia you're actually torturing animals .

09/28/2017, 07:36 PM
My tank has been running for a little over 2 months now. My Ammonia is back to zero. I'm going to buy another ammonia test kit tomorrow just in case mine is faulty, I read this can happen on a few different sites.
I'm at a loss and I have a sinking feeling that if I don't figure this out really soon my entire tank is going to die. Even my shrimp who molted last night isn't looking so hot. He seems to be losing his balance on the live rock.
I think I'm going to do a 50% water change tomorrow also, especially if my new ammonia kit shows 0 too.

09/28/2017, 07:39 PM
You're cycling your tank with damsels ....
No, I ran my tank feeding it fish food everyday until my tanked cycled. I then added my damsels and snails and a week after that my shrimp.

09/29/2017, 06:08 PM
I'm not sure what else you can do, I'd say if the new kit reads 0 it's probably 0.

When I had spikes like that the first time I think I was overfeeding. 2nd time, I was a lazy a$$ and wasn't changing water. I learned that the hard way.

Your tank should have just finished it's cycle pretty much. I'm not sure what to tell you. Wish I were more experienced.

For anyone else reading - is it ok for him/her to do a 50% wc this soon after the tank cycled?

Don't add more fish for a while, at least.

10/01/2017, 12:48 AM
Lets start with me asking questions that hopefully shed some light on the situation.
Do you have algae growing in the tank? i.e. hair algae(Naturally will tell you how the tank is doing) If not maybe get a small chato ball? (my wife's damsels love it)
Are you using RO/DI water? (possibly something in your tap water throwing things off)

I'd say a well mixed 50% w/c shouldn't hurt anything tho but may make the shrimp molt again(+or- 1 degree temp/salinity swing)

Good luck tho and if you think you may be lazy about w/c try to remember less is more with the feedings too. On my wife's tank we use a syringe to feed and they eat right out of it almost no wasted food.

reef cuber
10/02/2017, 06:24 AM
Could the 3" sand bed be the problem?

10/02/2017, 10:57 AM
You have two too many damsels in a 45. They're not going to be happy as they grow. Check your dkh alkalinity: should be 7.9 to 9.0. If that's low, fishy skins are going to be unhappy, and snail shells can go thin.

Small Heavens
10/02/2017, 03:12 PM
You seem to have gotten too much livestock at once and your tank just need to catch up.

Everything you are doing so far is just right, hold back feeding, clean the water with good water changes (the beneficial bacteria lives on surfaces anyway), and keep the ammonia neutralised and the water tests running.

You have up to >5< nitrites?
If so, that's the problem, nitrites are hugely toxic and should be your main concern until the circle destabilise.

Keep a really close eye on your livestock so any casualties does not pollute the water any futher and it will be over again at some point.

I am so sorry that it went wrong but I hope all your damsels are hardy enough to pull through.

They can have damages already that can kill them, so just see what happens and keep us updated because now I will worry for your happiness until you do.

Keep in the fight:)