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Sherlock Holmes and the dead Banggai


akambience
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Hello All: I have a situation and I have spoken with a few in the community about, and I hope to start this thread for some input. We’ll start with my present tank prams and chemical history: 55G Closed loop, 18G Sump Octopus-110 Skimmer, Dual T-5HO(for sale), 75lb+ LR with a fine sandbed no deeper than 2 inches, and running a reactor with carbon.

1.025 SG

79F

0 ppm Ammonia

0 ppm Phosphate

0 ppm Nitrate

0 ppm Nitrite

480 ppm Calcium

7DKH

8.4 pH

 

I have four Blue/Green Chromis, an Ocellaris, two cleaner shrimp, and a moderate sized cleanup crew. A hand full of softie frags and two SPS frags.

This tank is about 7 weeks old after “the crash” [link is here] and 7 months old before that.

I have always had low alk, I started lightly dosing with baked-baking soda long ago, but my alk wouldn’t stay above 8 for more than a week. I have had low alk even before “the crash”. Two weeks ago I tried dosing with Seachems Reef Builder but not with great results.

 

Within the past week I bought a Banggai Cardinalfish from a LFS. Six hours after he was introduced, he was swimming upside down and sideways before my cleaner shrimp and crabs got him. All of my other tank inhabitants are doing well and seemed fat and happy. Through thrice-weekly testing, I thought that all my tank parameters were within normal limits and stable, I took the fish back to the LFS along with a water sample. The LFS owner thinks that my pH is unstable and the cause of the death. He tested at 8.0 or 7.9, and prescribed Seachem Marine buffer. I came home and retested with my own kits and got 8.1-8.2. So I added to the buffer over the weekend and my pH came up to 8.3-8.4 AND my alk came up to 8 DKH. So went back three or so days later and got another Banggai. I spent 4+ hours in a heavily watched and tended to drip acclamation, tested bag water versus tank water every hour and assured all the parameters were slowly matched before introducing him into my tank all the while playing my favorite Beethoven concertos. And he seemed to be doing fine all evening. The next morning, I woke up to a half eaten skeleton. Still, all parameters are great and all other inhabitance look great.

 

My question is: I feel terrible having to act as Doctor Jack Kevorkian for fish; what am I doing wrong? Everything else in my tank seems to be doing fine and I have spent particular attention to tank parameters and the acclamation. Even if the PH was off, wouldn’t the drip acclamation prevent substantial harm to the fish? And I understand that the pH swings with the photo periods throughout the day, is a pH of 8.0 that bad? Is the pH the true culprit? Perhaps unhealthy fish; although all the fish look fine at the LFS? Perhaps rough handling from the wholesaler and this last move was enough to do them in?

I don’t like killing fish. At the very least, I’ll wait until I can find some local tank bread Banggais but is there something that I’m overlooking?

 

Thank you all for your input.

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Its not the PH IMO, my tank swings from 7.8 at night to 8.3 during the day during the summer when windows are open and fresh air comes in. In the winter I see 7.60-7.95 and my fish are happy and corals are doing great.

 

Not that you params would be far off, but I am always skeptical of "zero" anything, some kits may look to be zero but like I said I cant imagine the water being that far off to where it would be causing the fish to die.

 

I am familar with the fish but have not read up on how delicate it is, unknowing to a lot of people, there are a few stores in your (our) market that run copper in the fish tanks to help combat disease etc. That can cause stress to the fish if they dont really watch the levels it could be even more more harmeful, then bringing from a tank with copper into one without could be stressful.

 

All the more reason to never mix water from anywhere-acclimate and then pour out the water (into the sink not the tank)

 

I agree with Impur and would not buy from that store. I have a store I used to buy from and I can say about 50% or more of the fish I bought there would die-granted I got credit for another fish but who gives a rip.

 

FWIW, I forget why, but I have read why you dont dose with baking soda-others will dis agree perhaps but then again those people may use pickling lime or epsom salt instead of Kalk-

 

Live and learn I suppose, I just prefer to use a product made for a reef tank and not to soak my feet in-as an example

 

good luck Ye Slueth of What Kills the Banggi

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Unstable pH at 8.0 or 7.9? What a crock. My advice: Don't buy anything from this store.

 

Totally agree with this. I don't know what to tell you other than try another store. I've had these in a tank for two yrs before and had no real problems with them. They just kinda sat in the corner of the tank and twitched till the lights went out, then became really active feeders. Really cool fish if you like awkward weird behavior.

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Not that you params would be far off' date=' but I am always skeptical of "zero" anything, some kits may look to be zero but like I said I cant imagine the water being that far off to where it would be causing the fish to die.[/quote']

 

Yes, I'm using API test kits and I cannot wait until when I make my first million when my controller will update my phone on the hour with digital readings. I am quite tired of trying to read color changes. Unfortunately the other tests are just outside of my budget.

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I had 4 cardinals awhile back and all 4 died in my tank as well. I would think that if it was a brand new shipment it was probably more stress from the bag to their tank' date=' then to your tank in such a short time frame that would cause this issue.[/quote']

 

I am under the impression that these were indeed a new shipment within two days or so.

 

How does the consumer know if the shipment is new? Is there a favorite LFS who takes particular care of their fish?

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My LFS puts the date they got the fish in right on the tag that shows the price. They will also give the fish a little food so you can see how and if he is willing to eat. I just picked up a Blue Tang yesterday, I had two too choose from, one of them started eating right away while the other didn't want to eat anything. Which one do you think I got? He is in my tank swimming around as happy as can be.(clap)

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My LFS puts the date they got the fish in right on the tag that shows the price. They will also give the fish a little food so you can see how and if he is willing to eat. I just picked up a Blue Tang yesterday' date=' I had two too choose from, one of them started eating right away while the other didn't want to eat anything. Which one do you think I got? He is in my tank swimming around as happy as can be.(clap)[/quote']

 

Eugene is a little far for me, but I guess I need to find a store in the Portland area that does that. Some of the stores here, I feel if I ask to see the fish fed, that I would be asking for the moon.

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Eugene is a little far for me' date=' but I guess I need to find a store in the Portland area that does that. Some of the stores here, I feel if I ask to see the fish fed, that I would be asking for the moon.[/quote']

 

i think you need to check out some other stores. There is a ton in the Portland area. I personally go to upscales. I see Travis and Tom feeding fish all the time in there. But West Side, Eds reef..etc...etc all great stores.

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lol both upscales and and WestSide are the LFS that I haven't gone to yet.

I'll make that a priority this week. Ed is wonderful. I cant wait for his fish system to get back up and running. He has set me up and saved my butt from the wrath of the Mrs just last week. Very upstanding gentleman.

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Wild caught Banggais, that just arrived, should be avoided. If they live, and still look good, at your LFS after a couple weeks they should be ok. We have found them to be very sensitive to the collection and shipping process. Eventually, we gave up and only sell captive bred Banggais. They are more expensive and harder to come by but worth it when you rarely lose any.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would take a water sample to a trusted LFS and have them test it. I do that for the few things I don't test for at home. I am not sure about all stores but Barrier Reef (ya I know in Renton, WA) does it free of charge. It will at least give you a baseline and tell you if you tests are off. You could test the water yourself at home and then bring some in to check your accuracy.

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