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Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:
Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2:

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Slow reef tank crash... lack of HPO4 apparently  – 04/09/14
I have some major problems with my tank. I'm not sure if they're related but I will describe them both.
....sorry for the super long note but I'm quite confused and stumped...
<Take your time...>
First to start the depressive madness, I added a Kole tang to my tank in early January (with out qt...I know, I know) and it did well for about 3 weeks. It then unfortunately developed what I believe was Ich though I'm not sure. After about a week or two of fighting it, one day it visibly looked much worse from the day before and then did not make it through the night. Sadly over the next week the infection spread and ended up killing my Anthias and clownfish pair. It spared my yellow striped goby, barnacles blenny and meleagris leopard. I was quite upset with losing my clowns as I had them for almost 5 years and I thought they had already gone through Ich....I guess not. Or maybe this was brook?? Not sure but this is not my major problem now
<Can't tell from the info. provided>
Continuing my terrible 2014...since the beginning of February (just after my tank was settling down from my fish crash) my corals have been slowly dying. It started first with my Candycane coral, it started to look bad.
first mostly at night it's heads became shriveled and the flesh was not expanding, the polyps were not opening at all at night. Slowly but surely all of my heads (over 50) have been melting away. Then my Lobophyllia started doing the same thing....each head shriveling and showing white flesh at its edges, slowly melting away. I've had slow progressive worsening of every Lps over this time as well. Weirdly my sps have been doing well, with polyps well extended and seemingly without issue. My lps are still doing poorly and recently my Ricordea and mushrooms have been doing bad and releasing from their location, trying to move out.....now at least half are gone and the others do not expand at all. My Zoas also look poor... some still open up some, some don't. Anyways, long story short, my corals look like crap and instead of slowly growing they are all slowly dying. My sps look ok but certainly don't appear to be thriving.
<Let's hear/read re the system; what maintenance...>
Now for my parameters. I have a 75g tank with a small 5 gallon refugium (mostly just for fun though it grows algae quite well). My tank has been running since January 2013 without issue until the Ich and now this. I started dosing two part around 6 mo ago and levels have been good and steady since then. My alkalinity and calcium are dosed via dozers. I use SeaChem two part solution for this. my alkalinity has been between 8-9, usually 8.2-8.5, consistently and my calcium has been between 390 and 420.
my magnesium is usually around 11-1300 but has been as low as 1000 and as high as 1500 on some checks. Phosphorous is 0.00 on every check.
<A problem... all photo and chemo-synthetic life need "some" soluble phosphate. See WWM re>

All the parameters are via Hanna checkers, Mg via RedSea. I don't check my pH as often but it has always been 8.2-8.4 when I do check, even in the evenings. I do regular weekly 12-15g water changes without fail, using my own mixed instant ocean salt with ro/di. Salinity 1.025-6.
<All else is fine>
I have a Fluval 406 canister filter that I use for my carbon, unsure how many grams but a fair amount, which I change every 4-6 weeks. Sometimes I add a small amt of gfo as well.
<I would skip the "rust"...>
I have been doing this exact same maintenance without change since I established the tank last year, again it was doing spectacular until a few months ago.
<Ran out of "food">
I've searched for anything and everything that could be causing this issue....I bought another bucket of salt, a few weeks ago I removed my carbon to ensure neither were bad batches...still no changes in coral issues.
<... starved... then likely chain reaction>
I recently (about 8 days ago) noticed a small nail in my refugium (from hanging a new light) I had dropped it around the same time frame of the crash (possibly as early as January though) but I can't remember exactly when I was doing this work. I had thought it just fell behind my tank and not into it! It is a very small (~1cm) nail that is ZINC coated for rust resistance.
<Mmm, not likely a/the issue here>
I have continued water changes, more frequent --> ~30g in last week and added a poly filter, should I re-add my carbon?
<I wouldn't... just feed your corals more directly and/or indirectly>
I know it's only been a week since removing the nail but I haven't seen great improvement in the coral flesh, particularly the fleshy lps ones are still looking poor.
My questions are:
Do you think that could be the issue?
It is such a small nail but have you seen zinc do this to tanks?
<No and not really>
If not....do you have any other ideas on where to look? I have absolutely nothing else I can think of that could be causing this.
I've checked:
Parameters extremely closely as above, though I don't have an ORP gauge
I've ruled out bad salt mix, carbon issues.
My rodi has tds 0.
I've also checked stray voltage...none
I've not turned over my sand bed, which is relatively young and would not cause such slow decline anyway
Could it be the Ich? (or whatever the fish parasitic infection was) that could be damaging my corals...I've never heard or seen anything like this but it all happened so fast.
<Not the fish disease; no>
Could there be a bacterial infection? I have not seen much research on this but it appears to be an entity and again It seemed like my LPS are mostly effected but the problem HAS spread to my softies and now my Cyphastrea is dying also. My sps (Acro, Monti, pocilla) seem ok but not thriving.
As evidenced by this massive email I am at the end of the rope and I just don't know what to do or where else to look. I have thousands in my tank and I pride myself in aquarium knowledge but this has me stumped and I'm extremely upset. Any help would be greatly appreciated and please email me with any more questions that may help you decipher my mystery.
<Again; a general misunderstanding (engendered by some in the trade) that reef systems should be "nutrient free"... The organisms are nutrient concentrated... NEED detectable HPO4, NO3 and more (that aren't generally tested for and not usually rate-limited... or adjustable easily; other than Carbon)... It may seem counter-intuitive but you need to add chemical foods here or macro items of their constituents. The cascade effect of your coral "melting" can be reversed. Bob Fenner>
Re: Slow reef tank crash      5/18/14

Well I've let the phos creep up some over the month and had no change in my tank. I think your hypothesis is incorrect.
<Which hypothesis are you referring to? Still can't tell much w/ the info. provided... what treatment/s did you administer thinking you had Crypt?>
Any other ideas. I'm sapped
<Time to reboot. B>
Re: Slow reef tank crash      5/18/14

Have you ever seen stray voltage do this?
<Mmm; yes. B>
Re: Slow reef tank crash      5/18/14

I'm referring to the slow tank crash...not the fish parasite outbreak I mentioned at the first if my letter. Towards the end I describe my slow tank crash and y'all seemed to think it was LACK of phos in my tank
<One poss.. Such cascade events come on slowly; lead to other reactions...>
so I let it creep up but my tank looks the same....doing poorly. I wonder if stray voltage could be my problem?
<Highly doubtful>
any other ideas to help me find a fix would be great. I've done everything I can, as mentioned in my first email.
<.... ? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Water changes in a troubled reef tank, 3/1/10
Dear Crew,
Thank you for running such a great website and resource for we novice types! This is my first time writing all, so please excuse the rambling.
<No problem.>
I have been searching the FAQs and I am more educated now than ever but I still have a lingering question on water changes. But first, a little background on my tank:
100 Gallon reef, 30 gallons in the sump
ASM G3 Protein skimmer
Magnum 350 for Carbon
4x96 power compact lighting
100 lbs of live rock
Soft corals and fish only. I know my lighting won't support stonies (I would love to though)
2-2.5 inch sandbed
In operation for 3 years, same configuration, bur livestock has changed slightly
1 Hippo Tang, 1 Zebra Tang, 1 Royal Gramma, Mated Pair of Clowns, 3 Fire Shrimp, few red hermits, and a Diamond Goby (the newest addition)
My tank has had a rough run due to many factors. My RO filter is located outside, and we have had horrendous cold weather. Then the RO gave up altogether. Then I stopped doing regular water changes. This is my fault, and now I am cleaning up the mess.
<Not fun.>
I just replaced and upgraded the RO/DI system and changed its' location so that outside temp won't be a factor.
What I am worried about is when I was doing regular changes, it was 1 large change a month (20-25 gallons) rather than several small changes. I have now put myself on a tight regimen of two 5 gallon changes a week (Sun and Wed) and in the past 2 weeks have changed 50-55 gallons in two large changes (once for removal of a ChemiClean application, once to do a full cleaning of the sump). Do I need to worry about taking too much water?
<No, not really. I would avoid doing more the 50% at a time, but otherwise you should be fine.>
Can I do 15 gallons a week?
<Sounds like a good amount to me.>
My tank turned into a hair algae paradise and I want to correct that in the worst way. I don't want to kill the tank in a fit of water changes though. Am I worried about nothing?
<Mostly, there is some risk with large water changes, or even relatively small ones with vastly different water parameters, but I think you should only see improvement from 15-20% water changes a week.>
Thanks in advance!
Phil Aenchbacher
Re: Water changes in a troubled reef tank 3/3/10

Thank you for your quick reply! I have been learning the aquarium hobby for three years now and your site has been an integral part of my reading and learning!
One last quick question before my next crisis: Once this algae recedes I want to add some new soft corals, and polyps (would love stonies, but alas....) but it seems that some (before the green tide) of my polyps died from bad water flow. I have 2 Koralia Magnum 6's (2200 gph) located across from each other, and a smaller Koralia (400gph) for a dead zone in the rear of the tank. Is my placement of power heads just that bad? Is my flow insufficient? I don't think I had any real chemical warfare going on with a stock issue (large) leather, blue and purple mushroom polyps, and a large rock of green star polyps. I tried to make sure nothing got direct flow,
lost a gorgeous hammer coral that way.
<Well I am hardly the coral guy that several of the other crew members are, I just have a few zoos and mushrooms, but I prefer several small pumps/powerheads rather than a few large ones. While total volume of water
movement is important so it how it is moving. Perhaps splitting the flow of the Magnums with some plumbing work would help, rather than just having them blasting all in the same direction. Also, you would be surprised how
much corals can effect each other, my mushrooms can really effect my zoos if I am not careful.>

Established Tank Circling The Drain/Water Quality, reef hlth.  3/2/10
Hey WWM Crew!
<Hey Nolan>
I have written you guys in the past and you have always had great information. This email is not really a specific question as much as a search for a possible correlation that I'm missing. My established 125 reef has been in a downward spiral for about a month and I can not stop it. I'm afraid I am looking at a total loss. It started with sudden outbreak of a type of green hair algae that is extremely fine and thick, I'm afraid is could be Bryopsis, since nothing will eat this stuff. Next I started noticing a small purple patch on my three year old toadstool leather. After
about a week the tissue around it began to rot and the spot began to spread. I removed the leather and cut off the infected portion of the crown. Next a healthy established yellow tang stopped eating and died. I checked all my water parameters (NO3<10, pH 8.2, Sg 1.023, Calcium 380) I did find two problems with the water, first the KH was only 5 and the phosphates were 2.5. I have been searching your site and others trying to discover the effect of low KH and still must admit I don't fully understand its roll <role>. As for the high phosphates, I have not changed anything in the tank that could explain the sudden introduction of phosphates,
<Likely not sudden, but now levels are measurable.>
I use RODI water, no new filter media, none of the usual suspects. Could this all be related to low KH?
<Unbuffered RO/DI water can quickly deplete buffers present in the salt mix, and low dKH levels are apt to cause pH swings.
Phosphates/orthophosphates are absorbed by algae quickly and your ability to read a phosphate level of 2.5 indicates an excessive input from a source containing phosphates.
Foods are a good place to start as most prepared foods do contain phosphate. Frozen foods should be rinsed in a net to remove excess packing water and inedible waste. More information as to phosphate sources
and control can be found here.
Only other significant changes to the tank was a new set of VHO bulbs about a month ago and removed an old SeaClone and replaced it with a new Octopus skimmer (very pleased with this product BTW).
<Is a good product and will help improve your water quality.>
Please let me know any thoughts you have on the situation.
<Not knowing much about your system as to size, stocking level, filtration, etc, which you should have included in your query, I believe your major problem is poor water quality. Water parameters being in check are not always indicative of good water quality. Overstocking/feeding and lack of regular water changes, and poor filtration methods are a just a few examples that play an important role in maintaining good water quality. Do read/apply
information presented in the following links.
As to understanding the role of pH/dKH, do read here.
James (Salty Dog)>

Compatibility... Bivalves and Crabs... feast  11/29/09
<Hello Sony>
I had a weird issue, I had a maxima clam some smaller green clams a flame scallop and they all got eaten after in introduced some blue and red dwarf and zebra crabs, along with some Nassarius and margarita snails . could
any of these have eaten all my clams. who and why? and does this mean I cant ever add clams because I wont be able to find the culprits and round them all up?
<Very little info for me to base an informative reply on. I would like to know your tank size, water parameters, lighting make-up, and what types of fish and other invertebrates, if any, are in the system.
James (Salty Dog)>
Sony M. Onatte
Re Compatibility, Take 2, now reef... env. issues -- 12/01/09

I have a 30 gal long with roughly 45 - 50 lbs of live rock. water levels all normal.. 0 nitrate nitrite and ammonia. salinity 19-22.
<1.019-1.022? This should be much closer to 1.026...>
If everything is 0 do I still have to do water changes cuz I'm topping off water 3x a week cuz it evaporates so fast.
<Short answer: yes. Long answer -- the fresh water you are adding back 3x a week is not equivalent to a water change -- this is only replacing the evaporated system water. No export of nutrients has occurred. Water changes achieve 2 goals: nutrient export from the tank, and replenishment of ionic balance within the water. These two things are indispensable, and cannot be substituted by any filter, additive, or otherwise.>
My lighting system is a Current USA power compact with Dual Daylight Lamp (6700K & 10,000K), 1 Dual Actinic Lamp (420nm/460nm) and 3 Lunar Lights.
<Not nearly enough intensity for clams -- Power Compacts simply don't have the depth of punch that T5 or Metal Halide offer.>
<I> have an <A>qua <C> <R>emora skimmer<,> <I> have a black clown<,> a reg<ular> clown<,> a domino, 1 chromis, 2 Fiji blue and yellow devil. 3 camel shrimp, 2 skunk shrimp, assorted margarita, turbo, and Nassarius snails. 3 emerald crabs, 25 assorted blue and red dwarf crabs. 5 diff types of Zoa's.
<Sounds nice -- a bit overstocked... but please, in the future do run your email through a spell check, practice proper punctuation and capitalize proper nouns... All is posted for posterity here, and these corrections
take time out of our day.>
2 bleached trumpet corals from 3 months ago because one of my pumps died while I wasn't home for a month. ( will their color ever come back or is there anything <I> can do about it)
<If they have not died yet, there is hope.>
an recently eaten maxima<,> assorted green clams<,> 2 flame scallops. <Flame scallops do not fare well in home aquaria -- and 'assorted green clams' gives us nothing to go on here..>
and PS: my Zoa's aren't growing as fast as they once were almost to a stop.
<Your salinity is far too low, your ionic balance is off -- fix this, your growth will increase.>
any magic food? I rarely target feed. hopefully this is good enough info.
thank you
<Should not need much/any direct feeding in an adequately equipped configuration, but would certainly benefit from a feeding of Cyclop-Eeze or other similar small foods.>
Sony M. Onatte

Re: Compatibility... Now ScottV rallies!  12/1/09
I just feel like the problem hasn't been addressed.
<It has by Justin below, water quality, stability and lighting are the culprits here, not the crabs.>
My maxima clam has been in my tank for over a year, the green iridescent small clams were newer but they were fine too until I added a clean up crew.
<Unfortunate coincidence.>
All the dwarf crabs I was talking about. Then the clams just started to clear out. No flesh left in the shell. I wanted to know if you have heard of this before?
<Yes, the crabs are scavengers, they will feed on dead or dying clams.>
And will I ever be able to have clams because of this?
<Sure, by addressing the issues listed below! <<Above now! RMF>> Scott V.>

Tank questions, reef dis....   7/12/09
Hi Crew,
Hope all is well with everyone! I wish all were well with my tank. About a month ago, I purchased a Scott's Fairy wrasse for my tank. I didn't QT, nor did I dip this specimen, as I had lost 2 fairy wrasses before that I attributed to a very stressful FW dip procedure. He went in with a pair of black false Percs, a flame angel, a canary wrasse, a solar wrasse, a neon goby, a bicolor blenny, black cap Basslet, and Kole tang. After a week, I noticed he had the telltale crypto spots on him. I suspect it was in my system all along, as most of my fish I had for years in a 55 before I upgraded, and the flame would get a spot or two at times but always fought it off. I started feeding several times a day and soaking it in garlic, hoping it would help. He started looking OK, but then my blenny died (the Kole never let him come out to eat) which I assume affected my water quality, even though I did a couple of water changes afterward. The Scott's got spots again, and then so did the Kole (karma I guess). I finally decided I should take them all out and fallow the tank, as I do wish to add a few more fish to my tank down the line. I was able to catch them all, with the exception of the canary wrasse. He is sneaky and buries himself at any sign of danger.
<Best technique here is to scoop up the fish, gravel in the area with a net of coarse netting, shake out the gravel...>
When I upgraded, he was buried for 3 days before I finally decided to sift handfuls of sand through a colander until he appeared. He has never shown any signs of disease, rather he is fat, active and beautiful. I think you know where I'm going with this.....will it help the infestation of crypt any if he stays in the tank?
I do have various coral, and I'm afraid what sifting through that 5 inch sandbed will do to my water quality. Not to mention, the big pain that will be. I have learned.....always QT. If I can't leave him in there, any ideas, tips, tricks on how to catch him?
<The large coarse net...>
I've been leaving the net in there so he gets used to it, and putting food in a plastic water bottle with the top cut off, hoping he swims in there to eat, but no luck so far. As for the fish in the hospital tank, they are in a 40 long. The Kole has since died. I've decided to go the hyposalinity route, as I was nervous about copper and my flame angel's reaction to it.
<See here re Quinine uses: http://wetwebmedia.com/quinmedfaqs.htm>
So far I've replaced about a fifth of the salt water with fresh over 2 days. I don't want to dilute too much, in case I do catch the wrasse. I don't have a separate vessel for him and don't want him to go into too much osmotic shock.
<You show wisdom here>
Also, my refractometer is set to arrive on Tuesday, so I have a couple of days to catch him if it comes down to that. I plan on leaving the fish in the hospital tank for about 8 weeks. If the canary wrasse stays in my display, will this work?
I know the most probable answer is NO, but I guess I'm hoping for a small miracle. I have been feeding the fish 3-4 times a day, yet the Scott's doesn't appear to gain any weight. I'm thinking he may have internal parasites.
<A possibility...>
I have a bottle of Prazipro coming with the refractometer. If I dose the hospital tank will it be OK for the rest of the fish?
<With this product, likely so>
I'm not very familiar with the product, but since he isn't gaining weight and I do see him eating....I don't know what else it could be. One last unrelated question, a lot of my Zoanthid colonies would disappear overnight, sometimes whole frag plugs. I suspected a crab of some sort, but never caught anything but hermits and bristleworms with the food in the bottle trick. The night I took out all the rocks to move the fish, I finally saw the likely culprit. It scurried off before I could whip out the net....but it is huge! The crab is about 4 inches across, strong enough to cart off a frag plug, I think. I set out the food in the bottle again, but I think it's on to me, as it hasn't made another appearance. I really want it out as I love Zoas and would like to start adding new frags.
Any other tricks I can try here?
<None really... but with the fishes out, their food not going in... this decapod ought to be easier to tempt>
Oh...I lied about that being the last question!! I wanted to run the remainder of my stocking list by you for approval/modifications. Assuming all the fish survive the hospital tank, there are 8 total currently. My wish list is as follows (in order of addition): a pair of hi-fin gobies, a Christmas wrasse (H. ornatissimus), 3 Lyretail anthias (1 male, 2 females), a powder brown tang (A. japonicus), and a red sea Sailfin tang. I know the last might be pushing it. I really don't "need" it in the tank and prefer the powder brown, if it is suggested it'll be too much. The tank is 180 gallons with 55 gallon sump/refugium, an Aqua C urchin rated for 220 gallons, a mag 9.5 return into a spray bar, and 3 Koralia 4's in the main tank for movement. I have lots of LPS and this amount of flow seems to be OK for them. No plans to go SPS. This has been set up for a year, previous 55 was set up for 6 years before all livestock was transferred.
Thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This site is a valuable resource and I read it daily.
<I do think you'll be fine with the stocking list you state... and am hopeful your fishes will soon be better. Do read re the use of quinine compounds. Bob Fenner>

Please advise... Induced reef prob.s... Cnid. incomp. mostly, coupled with crowding, poor suppl. use/mixing...  8/30/08 Hello wet web crew! I have had a terrible week and a half with my reef aquarium. I am sure that some of the problems I have are self-inflicted (if not all), but I need to figure out what to do to get back on track. I will provide you with a little background of the system and the problems I have been having. 72-gallon bow front 15 gallons of water in my sump (total of 87 gallons) Coralife super skimmer (in sump as well as heater) Over 100 lbs of live rock 2 inches of live sand 3 power heads (2 high, 1 low in back behind live rock) Also circulating with sump return (about 600 gallons per hour) Coralife Aqualite Pro ( 2-250watt metal halide bulbs and florescent bulbs) on a timer (12 hours with all lights, florescent on for 14 hours) Glass lids, about 1.5 inches from water level, lights are about 6 to 8 inches above that. <I'd raise the MHs up to 12" above...> Water changes 15 gallons every week with premixed stored water as well as top ups with treated water (cloram-x) <I'd pre-mix and not use a water-treatment product...> Fish... Mimic Tang, Tomini Tang, Scopas Tang, Flame Angel, Coral Beauty Angel (recently deceased), 2 black Clown fish, 2 Fire shrimp, 3 snails, 3 red starfish (with blue tips), Sand dwelling starfish, Handful of hermit crabs Corals... Leather finger, Leather toadstool, 3 polyp clusters (one of them is quite a bit larger polyps), Torch coral, Hammer coral, Star polyp, 2 fuzzy green mushroom clusters, purple mushroom cluster, red mushroom cluster, green mushroom cluster, Plate coral, 3 xenia clusters, Flower pot (which my clown adores), blue cam (Tridacna i think). <These corals are the likely source of poisoning... you have many "warring" types in too small a volume... see the citation below> Water... Spec. gravity= 1.025 Ph= 8.4 Alk= 2 Ammonia= 0 Nitrate= 0 Nitrite= 0.0-0.05 Calcium= 380-400 Temp 79-80.5 degrees F Magnesium=900-1000 <Mg needs to be a bit higher... about 3X Ca conc.> I supplement the water with Weiss Coral Boost daily, <I'd skip this... scam> Kent Marine Phytoplex 3 times per week, Weiss Bacter Boost after water changes Kent Marine liquid calcium every other day (as I am trying to increase calcium to 400+). <Mmm, look into the SeaChem line...> I am feeding daily 2 or 3 cubes of frozen foods (brine, krill, mysis etc) in the evenings as well as seaweed clips changed regularly in the morning and evening. About 8 or 9 days ago I was frustrated with the appearance of my display, so I decided to pull the stock out and rearrange my tank. <?> (A decision made in haste unfortunately). I thought it had gone well. The coralline algae is taking off nicely. Everything seemed o.k. but since then, some of my soft corals have been looking kind of sad. <Danger Will Robinson!> My leather finger is closed up and seems to have algae growing on it. I placed it in a spot with more water flow to try and help this. My colt is looking better now, but not nearly as lush as it was before all this, my xenias have shriveled up terribly and still look terrible, but even worse, my coral beauty angel died. I had purchased him with my flame angel and introduced them together a week previously. They were thick as thieves <Good metaphor> until the day after i rearranged the tank, and by then, I was too late. I have been testing my water 2 times per day since to monitor in case of any other underlying problem, and other than the slight struggle with Alk and calcium that I had discovered and corrected, everything seems to be returning to normal. I think I caused that issue as well. I had recently tried alternating the Kent Marine calcium supplement with Seachem Reef Complete for raising calcium and magnesium, and once tried Aquavitro "Ions" to achieve this. <Mmmmm> After the negative reaction I seemed to get from my Xenia, I tested my water and noticed my alkalinity and ph were down (1.6 Alk and 8.2 ph). I stopped adding calcium etc and did a water change (15 gallons). After hours of reading, I think I am starting to understand the relationship between calcium and alkalinity... particularly the marbles in the jar example that I read in one of the articles on this site. Parameters went back to normal after that. This was about a week ago. I thought it was getting back to normal until tonight. It seems that my Tomini Tang (and possibly my Mimic Tang) have ich. I just yesterday purchased the book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and I am horrified at some of the mistakes I have made this week. I am pretty sure I have caused this. <I am certain> So here come the questions. 1. Do I need to quarantine all the fish? I am planning on getting a hospital tank tomorrow. <Mmm... If you had another set-up that was "ready to go", I would move the fishes... have time go by till the Cnidarians settle back down> 2. What size do I get for the number of fish I should quarantine? What are the requirements for such a tank? (filtration etc) <Posted... see WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm the first tray> 3. While I am quarantining fish, I would like to make a couple changes to the reef. I figure I am going to have to take it apart to catch the fish anyway. <I'd try to avoid doing this... There are a few very likely "things" that went wrong, are going on here... One, as mentioned twice, is an incompatibility amongst the stinging-celled life in your system... Which was exacerbated with the use of some of the "additives" you were using, your moving this life about... Moving the non-fish life again, will only create more trouble> I am still not satisfied with the way it's all sitting. After reading Mr. Fenner's book, there are so many things I want to do different. Is this a problem? <Mmm, not if you take your time, have that other system to house the fish life (and maybe some of the "corals") as mentioned> Is there a specific way to do this? <A few... but basically moving the fishes elsewhere will save their lives... the Cnidarians? They need to "get used" to each other, with you doing your best to reduce the effects of their negative interactions...> In particular, I want to change the way I have my live rock set up in a major way. I am confident I can do it in a few hours. What precautions do I need to take? <Move the fishes first... spiff up your skimmer, if you can... add an ozonizer... if not, as much carbon, Polyfilter as you can afford...> 4. If I am to do this, should I try and leave the corals in the display and work around them, or remove them to another tank? (Not the hospital tank of course. perhaps the sump?) <I would try to leave all the "corals" as they are... for now...> Sorry for the long email, i just really want this tank to be special and do well. I am very embarrassed. Please help me. Thanks, Sincerely, Jason <No reason/need to be embarrassed... Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above, taking down notes... until you understand the gist of what is and has gone on here... Do move the fish life... as soon as practical. Bob Fenner>

I have a problem with my Reef Aquarium..... induced   7/15/08 Hi ya guys. I do hope you can help me here.. <Me too> Trigon 350 Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 Salinity 1.022 /23 <A bit low> Nitrate 40 + ( Have R0 system set up now with minerals so this is coming down ) <Good> PH 8.1 (Trying to raise this a little with buffer) <Mmmm... see WWM re> Tunze Comline Skimmer Ultra Violet Steriliser Eheim Pro 2 <And on WWM re canister filters, on marine systems> Tunze Wavemaker I have a reef aquarium set up and have recently lost my Volitans lion fish the other day as it has been unhappy for around 6 months now. It seemed to go off its food and just sulk for over 6 months. I have tried feeding different foods but to no avail. <Mmm... a lack of oxygen, too much nitrate...> My fox face seems a little black (annoyed?) but other than that my Box Fish , Lipstick Tank , <... these need more room than this> Maroon Clowns ,Yellow Tang , Blue Damsel and Grouper as well as my Green Brittle starfish seem ok. My soft corals seems a little weak and shrinking and my Anemone is shrinking also. <... trouble... the anemone... read on WWM re this as well> Also I have noticed that I have millions of little stringy worm like things coming out of the substrate about 1cm long and also over my live rock they seem to be feeding on any lose food at the bottom .? Would you know what this is ? <All indicative... of nutrient accumulation, inadequate filtration, circulation, aeration> About 6 months ago just when things started going down hill with the Lionfish all the Aiptasia that I was having problems with seemed to of shrunk and died. <Ohhh> I have been asking for help from both my LFS and on the net but no -one seems to be able to help me. Please can you give me some advice on what to do please.. Thank you very much. Phil. <Where should we start? Can/will you use the search tool, indices on WWM to read the topics above? This would be best... if you have time, interest. You have nice gear, as listed, but this system/set-up is inadequate for the life you list... Do you want to discuss any aspect of this? Bob Fenner>

ICH Problem In 24G Nano Cube I have a 24G nano cube, 30 lbs live rock, 25 lbs live sand, 1 Lysmata shrimp, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 serpent star, snails, hermit crabs, 1 clownfish, 1 coral beauty, 1 blue tang, and 1 mandarin green goby, no corals as of yet. <... the Centropyge Angel, Tang... even (especially!) Mandarin can't live in this size volume> All fish are relatively small 1 to 3 inches at the most. Three weeks ago, I immediately took out a domino damsel (used to cycle tank) after noticing white spots which I assumed to be ich. <Too late... once noticed, already infesting your system> Could the domino have spread the disease to other fish or to the tank since I took him out as soon as I noticed spots? <Yes> Could inverts such as shrimp, serpent stars, snails, and crabs carry the disease? <Mmm, not carry per se... but can be vectors, physical carriers... as well as the water that they might be transported in...> Could they have become infected? I thought I was on the clear, but on Sunday 2 weeks after I took the domino out, I introduced the coral beauty, and blue tang together to the main tank. All was well, and on Wednesday after coming home from work, I noticed the coral beauty, and blue tang were covered with ich. What happened? Did they catch the ich from my system as the crypt reached the theronts stage?  <Bingo!> or did they carry the ich already and showed signs soon after I introduced them in the tank? <Doubtful... but yes, a remoter possibility> Why don't the clownfish, and goby show any signs? <Mmm, they're "stronger"... the goby is "slimier"... they will contract the ich in time, with debilitation, further cycles of the parasite> I am so confused. I don't see signs of ich on the clownfish, therefore we can assume that the new fish carried the ich in, but then again, the clownfish doesn't come anywhere near the sandbed. What do you think? <That our economy is in trouble, that there's too much government...> I've read the section on crypt, but I am so confused regarding certain issues. <Mmm, take all a "bit at a time"... your situation is not uncommon (unfortunately) and you obviously (from reading here) have a good mind... capacity to understand what has gone on, can go on... what your choices are. Of course, would be great to go back in time, dip/bath, quarantine new livestock...> Here is my main question, does ich need to be transmitted to a fish, or can an "ICH FREE" fish develop ich on its own??? <Great question... Marine ich, "Cryptocaryoniasis" must need be transmitted to an otherwise non-infested system... put another way, there are specific "ich-free" systems, fishes... And for thoroughness sake, freshwater ich (Ichthyophthiriasis) is actually capable of "lying dormant" and surfacing given enough balance in its favor for expression> I plan to place all the fish in a QT tank and treat them, should I move the serpent starfish also to the QT tank, or any other inverts as well? Do you have any further advise? Much appreciated..... <To keep reading... no to moving your invertebrates... Bob Fenner> 
Re: ICH Problem In 24G Nano Cube
Hey Bob, the economy will always bounce back, but I don't know about our government, you do have a point. <Heeee! Just ask the Soviets, or the Romans for that matter... what happens when the gov't spends more than 20-25% of the GDP... on to fish> Thanks for all answers. Tonight, I was able to catch the blue tang, and I gave it a freshwater dip for approx. 10 min, but seems that the white spots are still there. Were the spots suppose to disappear, if so should I try again? <Mmm, the spots are actually the fishes' reactions to the ich parasite... sometimes go, sometimes no> I used a Meth. blue solution with treated tap water, but I have no idea how much the concentration was. <Not important... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/methblueart.htm > I dropped 1 drop to make the water blue. I did use treated tap water with the same temp. and pH as my main tank water as the freshwater dip. I'm trying to set up a QT tank, but until then I thought I'd give the tang a dip to rid it of the ich that it has so badly. <Mmm> I don't think he's going to make it, and I know you said he's probably not right for this size tank. But I'm stubborn to make this work....good news is that all fish are eating well. We'll see about tomorrow. <Bob Fenner> 

Small Marine Aquariums
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Invertebrates, Algae
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2:

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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