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Unread 03/15/2006, 05:19 PM   #1
coops22
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help please

alright, we recently changed 5 gallons of water in our 35g. hex tank and two of our fish died the past 2 days. The water temp has not changed its 79-80 degrees. Nitrate =30 Nitrite=0 , amonia =0
PH = 8.3 this has not changed for a year. our feather dusters have died in the past month or so. We have a sand sifting starfish which is still alive, a peppermint shrimp, a yellow clown goby and a false percula clown. but the clown fish is acting wierd and hiding now in a cave, he never used to do this. The fish that died were a dwarf angel and a strawberry fish. They were both just fine for the past 4 months when we got them, and we do regular water changes.
none of the fish are more than 1 1/2 inches long.
Does anyone know what could be causing these fish to die? so suddenly?
i appreciate any info.
thanks


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Unread 03/15/2006, 05:25 PM   #2
whiteshark
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I would check to see if you have any faulty devices putting electrical current into the water.


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Unread 03/15/2006, 05:26 PM   #3
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Cool Ask Waterkeeper, he knows it all.

Ask Waterkeeper, he knows it all.


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Unread 03/15/2006, 05:28 PM   #4
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Did I mention that White Shark is exellent.

Did I mention that White Shark is exellent


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Unread 03/15/2006, 06:00 PM   #5
coops22
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I have 3.4 volts in my tank. Not good I assume. How do I ground this ?


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Unread 03/15/2006, 06:06 PM   #6
whiteshark
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OK, I am by no means an electrical expert so I cant tell you if that is high or not. I never test that in my tank. I do, however, have a titanium grounding probe. Most LFS will have them. Do you get a shock when you touch the water?


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Unread 03/15/2006, 06:07 PM   #7
coops22
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My heater was putting the voltage into the water. so off to get another one. Thanks alot. and the fish thank you also.


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Unread 03/15/2006, 06:08 PM   #8
coops22
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No shock.


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Unread 03/15/2006, 06:14 PM   #9
whiteshark
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sounds like you got it figured out. Darn heaters, they are almost always the culprit!. I would still get a grounding probe if I were you.


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Unread 03/15/2006, 06:16 PM   #10
coops22
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thanks, we are working on it.


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Unread 03/16/2006, 07:36 PM   #11
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It's time for Mister Know It All.


There is a serious amount of debate over stray currents and grounding probes. Stray current get the blame for many mysterious aliments in fish. Head and Lateral Line Erosion, HLLE, is the most common problem attributed to induced current. By induced current I mean currents produced by the running of lights, ballasts, etc. These are not from a short or mechanical malfunction but created by close proximity of electric devices to one's tank.

The problem is no one has yet proven that they have much effect. Grounding probes are even questioned in that they allow these currents a path to ground and may increase their effect. I'd look for other problems in your tank before I narrowed it down to stray voltages.


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Unread 03/16/2006, 07:52 PM   #12
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One word about grounding probes. I know you all have GFCI to protect you and your tank.

You Do, DON'T You???

If you do have a grounding probe on your tank, properly grounded, and drop the lights into the tank, have a heater or powerhead short or any other lose direct short in your tank, a grounding probe will cause the GFCI to trip as it supplies a ground fault path into the water column. Without such a probe your own body will form the ground. A good GFCI will also trip when that happens but you can get a shock though usually not serious thanks to the GFCI.


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Unread 03/16/2006, 08:29 PM   #13
Swanwillow
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and if you DO drop the lights in the tank, and nothing shorts: DON'T GRAB THE LIGHTS!!! unplug EVERYTHING first!!! THEN pull out the lights.

yes, I have dropped the lights in, I dunno if I have the GF... thinggie (probably not, huh?) and my fish never acted too funny, but it was only normal output lights: not a big ole MH!!!! MAKE SURE TO UNPLUG BEFORE YOUR HANDS RETRIEVE


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my advice:walk away. do nothing.
til tomorrow.
if its still alive, it will hopefully be fine. If you do not see it, do not try to find it. it may be hiding. just LEAVE it alone

Current Tank Info: starting over! 125 gallon. Soon to be home to Blackfoot clowns, A. nigripes
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Unread 03/17/2006, 11:01 AM   #14
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Please, please folks use a GFCI. They come in extension cord types, wall sockets and as circuit breakers. Salt water is far more conductive than fresh water and electrified tank could seriously injure of kill. It is not only dropping lights in a tank but can be something unseen like a broken heater or cracked powerhead that create a current strong enough to harm someone. A GFCI is cheap insurance against that happening. Even if you need to call in an electrician to install it they are worth every penny to insure your's and perhaps a loved one's safety.


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Unread 03/17/2006, 11:17 AM   #15
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Mr Know-it-all, that's funny right there, I don't care who you are.

Gave me a nostalgic chuckle


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Unread 03/17/2006, 11:49 AM   #16
Swanwillow
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now, OTOH, I DID trip my circut breaker when my Oscar decided to splash really well one day: that worked fine, I must say, so maybe I do have some protection, just not enough...


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my advice:walk away. do nothing.
til tomorrow.
if its still alive, it will hopefully be fine. If you do not see it, do not try to find it. it may be hiding. just LEAVE it alone

Current Tank Info: starting over! 125 gallon. Soon to be home to Blackfoot clowns, A. nigripes
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Unread 03/17/2006, 02:26 PM   #17
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Wait till you see Sherman, Mr. Peabody and the Waybac Machine.



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"Leading the information hungry reefer down the road to starvation"

Tom

Current Tank Info: 130 Now out of service and a 29
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Unread 03/17/2006, 02:48 PM   #18
sttroyiii
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I'd like to second (3rd, 4th?) WaterKeeper on the GFCI outlets. I'd also like to add in that a 'surge protector' is NOT related or interchangable. I've heard them confused before.


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Unread 03/17/2006, 03:07 PM   #19
MCary
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Hey Tom,

If you climb in the Waybac, go to my house and stop me from putting the freshwater iron additive in my tank that clouded my water for 2 days, killed my yellow tang, and caused a Cheato outbreak in my display.

Appreciate it,

Mike


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Unread 03/17/2006, 04:24 PM   #20
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Oh man Mike,

Sorry to hear that. Are you sure it is an iron supplement? Our resident chemistry expert, Lord Randy , doses some pretty large amounts, at least IMO, without problems. I really don't know if there is a big difference in FW vs. SW iron supplements as they all are probably iron sulfate, iron chloride or an organic ligand such as citrate or FeEDTA. None of the aforementioned should have catastrophic impact on one's tank.

And right on sttroyiii, a surge protector is to protect electronic equipment, not you.


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"Leading the information hungry reefer down the road to starvation"

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Current Tank Info: 130 Now out of service and a 29
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Unread 03/17/2006, 05:14 PM   #21
MCary
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It was flourish iron, Which I believe is Ferrous Gluconate. I had it for my planted freshwater tank. I don't think this thread has much more life so let me hijack a little. I was having trouble getting the cheato in my 40 gallon fuge to grow and was also have green slime (cyano I think) that wouldn't go away. So i put a little of this stuff in the refuge which immediately started clouding up. Then the display clouded up, all my fish seemed fine except a yellow tank that went tits up ricky tick. I pulled him and put him in my clean 29 gallon hospital tank but he didn't make it long. Then the Cheato really took off. Spores or something must have gotten into the display. I have an above tank refuge that gravity feeds into the main. Everwhere where current pushed against the rocks Cheato started growing, and unlike what I've heard, this stuff attached real strong. It would get a couple feet long in only a few days and I would reach down and tear it out by the handfull. My tank is 30 inches deep, so it was hard to get it all. Foxface loved the stuff but it was to much for him to even come close to denting. I also had a little patch of sargassum that sprung to life and grew clear to the top of the tank. When I finally pulled that stuff out if nearly filled a 5 gallon bucket. BTW, Naso tangs love that stuff. I've since moved and taken down the tank. I poured boiling fresh water on the patches of cheato to kill them and the rock is cooking now (no not with boiling water, that was a spot treatment, they're sitting in a rubbermaid tote in my basement in the dark) I'm setting up a new 225 and the 150 in my new house but I'm going to skip the Flourish iron this time.

Mike


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Unread 03/18/2006, 11:15 AM   #22
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That is the one problem with using metal-organic compounds in a tank. Many of the organics halves can fuel a bacteria outbreak and cause dissolved oxygen levels to drop. Sometimes low enough to harm fish and inverts. That sounds like what happened in your tank Mike.

Are you sure you have Chaetomorpha, Spaghetti algae? It usually does not attach to the substrate.


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"Leading the information hungry reefer down the road to starvation"

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Unread 03/18/2006, 12:33 PM   #23
MCary
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Thats what I thought too. I got the seed stock from an outfit out of florida, everyone who saw it, both pictures and in person said it looked just like cheato. Conclusion was that it was a species that did attach and I was told there are lots of subspecies of cheato. ????


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Unread 03/18/2006, 02:39 PM   #24
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Depending on who you ask there are 8-11 species of Chaetomorpha with the most often encountered in the aquarium trade being C. linius and C. spiralis. The habits of the algae you have growing out of control seems to be different than the Chaeto that I know of that doesn't have roots or holdfasts and usually doesn't go sexual. Maybe one of our biologists friends can help more than I.


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