Fish Might Be Sick ?? Help Please


Go Big Or Go Home !
Ok so im fairly new to the salt water game. Heres how i started. I Have a 125 gl tank that was all set up with Cichlids for about 2 years, everything was good but me and the family wanted to do saltwater fish. after i traded my fish for everything i would need i set up my tank with Tap water and salt mixture.Let it run with my Fluval 405 Canister filter X2. for a week tested everything and everything was at zero. At this time the substrate was crushed coral. After that week i got a couple pieces of cured live rock and placed them in the tank ( about 15 lb worth ) and i had just gotten my 60 lb box of uncured live rock. I Set the Uncured live rock in a container with salt water RO mix and had that curring. After about a week i went ahead and added 2 clowns to the tank to help cycle it faster, A week later This would be 3 weeks now. I Decided to add my now cured live rock with all readings at 0 for 5 days after spike. I Also decided to change out the substrate for Live sand !!!!

Anyways after putting the clowns aside in a 10 gl and removing crushed coral and changing it out for the sand i let the tank sit for a day to clear up. I then added my live rock and then let it sit for a couple more hours to clear up again. After that i placed my clowns back into the tank. Everything seems fine at this point. Then i had a spike in aminia nitrites and nitrates for about 2 days and slowly went down. Clown fish made it just fine. So after this i did a 30% water change with RO water mix with salt. and then i waited 5 days with no spike at all. So i added 3 Fish to the tank, Including a SailFin Tang, Black and White Heniocus, and Blue Hipo tang. Fish where fine and i only seen a spike of nitrates up to 10 ppm. after a couple days i noticed hipo tang scraching a little and i did all kinds of reaserch to find out they can get ich really easy, So i went out and got a Freen killing machine 24w after reading the flow rates you need to kill free swimming ich i decided on this unit. as adding a tubo twist to my fluval that has a flr of 350 gl would be to fast to kil lthe ich.

So everything was fine and the blue tang stoped scraching and i added a couple cleaner shrimp, one blood red and one skunk cleaner. Also got a clean up crew of 10 hermits and 35 nassarius snails. I know the hermits mite kill the snails but most of them are alwys under the sand so i dont think it will be that bigg of a issues especially since i have spare shells around for the hermits. So now its almost 1 week and a half later and my wife and i got 2 more fish. A Coopeband and a longnose butterfly. These fish were trooble and did not want to eat for about 4 days for the long nose and 6 days for the cooper band, it has now ben 4 days with them eating regular in the morning and in the after noon. Anyways heres my issue, i see like white marks on the fins of a couple of the fish. There not scraching or anything but i do see these marks, mostly on the cooper band and the longnose. These where not there when i first got them. They all seem to be eating good and everything. Anyways i want to make sure i dont loose any fish and i noticed that now my nitrates are at about 20 to 30 ppm after i has just did a water change 3 days ago. Also there was a brown algea bloon about 2 weeks back that is finally going away slowly but im not sure that could be the reason for the nitrate going up. and the reason my fish might have ich. So now i ran some gralic cloves thru a juicer with a little ro water and im planning on soaking there for every morning with it for a hour then feeding them. Now am i feeding to much ?? i feed them a mix Half and Half square of missis shrimp and brine shrimp. Plus a little bit of home made mush for the tang. I feed this 2 times a day. i useto only do it ones a day but after reading more i read some people feed 3 times a day so i figured 2 times would be better than ones ??

So yeah heres my set up

125gl tank with 70 lb live sand about 80 lb live rock
2 fluval 405 canister filters with filter media and some live rock pieces as bio, including bio starts and ceramic white things.
also have my heaters and the green killing machine.
Also have 2 aqueon 1250 power heads, one aims in from of the live rock the long way and the other in back on oposit ends.

My amonia is reading almost 0 maybe 0.5, nitrites are 0 and nitrates are at about 20 to 30 ppm.

Im plannign on getting a protein skimmer in a couple weeks along with some more live rock.

Anyways just need some help couse i dont want my fish to die. Please any help would be great.

Thanks all.

Heres a little vid of my tank.

oh yeah one more thing could it be that fact that i just added a bottle of tigerpods to the tank that the nitrates went up ?
Where to start.....

First - you are moving WAY to fast with your new tank. This is the primary reason you are having issues with your water parameters. Your water parameters and what you are feeding your fish is probably why they are showing signs of ich.

You never cycle a tank with live fish, its unnecessarily and cruel to the animals. You should be waiting 3-4 weeks between each fish before adding more. You also have two fish (butterfly's) that are not good fish for those starting in the saltwater hobby, and many people will tell you they should be left in the ocean entirely. You're seeing ammonia because your tank hasnt finished its cycle, and you're seeing elevated nitrates because you dont have enough live rock, and you are stocking your tank WAY to fast

The UV sterilizer will not solve your ich problems, it will merely attack one phase of the bug and make you think that you have the problem solved. When stressed, fish will come down with ich.

Mysis and brine are fine once in a while, but you need to be feeding other things, and your tangs need seaweed. My tangs get at least a quarter of a sheet each day, sometimes they get that twice a day.

Also, be sure you research the fish that you're thinking about stocking - both of those tangs have a recommended minimum size of a 180 gallons. There are days when my Hippo looks cramped in my 180, I am currently in the planning stages of an upgrade
Yeah i did reaserch and i know they can take a bit of time to grow, im planning on buying a house in the next year and when i do so im planning on a much bigger tank. im thinking 3 to 4 hundreed gallons, but anyways i know i kinda rushed it but when i was looking at all the reading they where just fine. Untill recently, So what cani do to help this problem get corrected.

Im thinking more live rock ( I was planning on this anyways ) It will be cured Live Rock. Maybe 20 to 30 lb more.

Im also going to get a protein skimmer hopefully in the next week.

and im going to start feeding food soaked in garlic extract. Now i was also reading about some food from dr js or something like that. it soposably treats the fish directly. In anycase i understand the 2 tangs will need more room and that will be provided. But for now they are fairly small and people tell me they dont grow that fast. As for feeding them i do feed them a mix of nori in the mush i made and i do put a sheet in ther about every 3rd day. Now should i be feeding 2 times a day with the shrimp or should i just stick to ones a day and put in the nori on a clip also ???
+1 North, on all accounts. Your levels initially looked fine because you didn't actually cycle your tank and didn't have enough rock in it for the bacteria to grow. You need 1-2lbs of rock per gallon in your tank. To properly cycle a tank, once you've added the necessary rock and water, you should add a piece of uncooked shrimp to start your cycle and then monitor your levels. It often takes 4-6 weeks to cycle, and then when the cycle is done you can do a 50% water change and then add 1 fish. As North said, you need to wait 3-4 weeks between fish additions. It really doesn't matter if the fish are small or not, they still need the proper swimming room, and there are going to be plenty of other expenses when you get your house that I suspect the upgrade will not be a priority - remember to run a 300-400 gallon tank with all of the proper equipment, lighting, rocks, and livestock, you are easily talking 7-10 thousand dollars if not more. I'd strongy recommend rehoming some of your fish - stress fish are going to continue to get sick, and your's are going to remain stressed in your tank (it takes a lot more than just 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites to keep a fish unstressed) - and then really spend some time reading and doing your research, and then slowly begin stocking your tank. If you don't, you are going to be in for a major tank crash and likely have to start over from the beginning.
To correct the issues you are currently having (and to prevent fish loss from ammonia/nitirite poisoning)

1. I would do at least two water changes a week, you don't have enough live rock to handle the bio load in your tank. Water changes will dilute the ammonia and nitrite
2. Get more live rock. Make this a priority - before a skimmer, and certainly before any more living things
3. Start feeding a decent mix of food. Look for a mix, something like Rod's food or Limpets Reef Buffet
4. SLOW DOWN - don't add any more fish or inverts to the system until your water is completely free of Ammonia and nitrites for at least 4 weeks, 6 is probably better. You will want Nitrates as low as possible. Maintain low nitrates by feeding correctly, having enough live rock, and partial water changes
5. Offer those tangs some nori on a magnetic clip once a day, every other day at the least

Also, make sure your canister filter is cleaned every few days, they have a habit of collecting things which then break down into nitrates. Canister filters can be handy for running things like carbon, but for the most part they are a freshwater technology that does not really transfer well to saltwater
Yeah i usually do reaserch but this time not knowing anything about saltwater i took the advice of ny lfs i should have realized they just want to make money and told me what would makke them that money. I promise to wait before adding more fish and hopefully get this issue fixt.

Im about to run out to another store and get atleast another 30 lb of live rock. And im going to change out another 30gl with alreafy mixt water from a saltwater store. I hope this helps a bit. I also just cleaned out my filters. Do u guys think i should add more rubble rock to the filters as the bio stage. They sell rubble rock for 1$ a lb. And also how much should i be feeding them? I usually do 2 squares a day and half inch of my fish mush.
You may want to bring some of those fishies back. You may not think they will grow alot in a year, but i assure you they will. Esp if you are feeding them good.

Dont let your wife buy you anymore fish!

Best of luck and take a look at the articles they have here about cycling, and adding fish, saltwater equipment list, and oh no i have ich, what do i do now.

The ladies and gentlemen of this forum are worth listening to, and remember saltwater and freshwater are about as different as cats and dogs ;)
Yeah, LFS's are known for giving bad advice just to make a buck, or purely out of ignorance (not everyone who works there even has a tank). I'm sorry they took you for a run.

You can buy dry rock instead of live rock, which is cheaper - as long as you have some live rock in your tank, the dry rock will turn live pretty quickly. You can add rubble to your filter instead of filter media and turn it into a fuge by also adding some chaetomorpha macro algae, but I'm not sure about this for a canister filter. If you add chaeto to it, make sure to get some light over the chaeto (a regular lightbulb is fine) so that it will grow - it will help reduce nitrates and compete with the brown algae (diatoms) and hair algae, which if you will get if you don't have it already - just part of all new tanks.

As for food, you have a couple or nori eaters in your tank, so you can probably get away with 1 to 1 1/2 cubes every other day + nori sheets daily, though it might be better to feed 1/2 cube daily since you have picky eaters in your tank (copperbands are notorious for starving themselves to death). Don't worry about feeding your cleaner shrimp - they'll pick up the left overs, no need to feed them any more.
So after a trip to a new lfs i now ha e about 140lb of live rock. I got this huge piese that was 55lb and a couple more that equaled 10 lb. Had to breake the big piece to get it to work but it still came out nice only had to work at it for about 2 hours lol. But i also had some rubble rock that i added to the filters. Now its looking cloudy but great. Ill be doing a 30gl water change tomorrow and then cleaning the filters again i will then take some pics to show what it looks like now.

Thanks for the info guys i will cut down my feeding also to a cube and a half every other day along with the nori every day. Ones again thanks. Hope my fish make it.
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Good job with the rock! That should help things a lot. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and the fishies. Keep us posted and welcome :)
Hello and Welcome to the site!

I am sorry you started off on such a bad foot, but now you know, so you can move forward in a much more constructive manner!

At this point, the best thing you can do for your tank and fish are to slow down (like mentioned, sorry to sound like a broken record) and do frequent water changes. I will be surprised if all of your fish make it, especially the butterflies, but we can hope! Also for the future, buy fish for the tank you have now, not for the tank you will have in the future. I cant begin to tell you how many time I have read, "im planning an upgrade" but the upgrade never happens.
Well here are a couple pics from about an hour ago before i left for the work night.

Tank was still a little cloudy but was clearing up nicely.




Well thats what i got for now. Im Still looking into a couple more of the fake But Reall looking Corals and stuff like that to add more color.
It looks good, but the next few weeks and months are going to be very telling about the setup. Its hard to look at a picture and see water quality and bacterial population :) Those are the things that make or break a tank.

And just FYI, those fake corals tend to be algae magnets and they dont stay very nice looking for long.
Very nice! The added rock is a great improvement. Nice job, I'm sure you will get things turned around. You are off to a great start.
Yeah tomorrow im going to get that water change done, Im just buying the water premixt from my LFS, Im going to make sure to test it first.
Ok so i did a water change of 35gl from the lfs. Tested the water and everything was hood except the salinity was at .022 and mine at. 023 but i just added a little bit of salt and it good now. Also havent notice the dot on the cooperband spreed or anything so im thinking it might have just ben a bite mark or a bit stress from when i first got him since he wasnt eating for 3 days.
Another note i cut down on feeding to half a block frozen missis and half a block of this other o e that has misis and some other mix in it. Alsoi have ben putting 1/4 sheet of nori on the clip daily and they seem to be happy. They love the new rockwork swimming in and out the caves and the butterfly are constenly foraging around. Butterfly are eating out of the water colum like crazy durring feeding time. I think im heading in the right direction. Ill be testing my water tomorrow to see how everything is doing. Also have clean one my filters out when i get home and add some new carbon along with rubble rock. But thanks everyo e for the info hopefully this next mo tj goes good then i can add a sand sifting goby. The the new lsf i goto has them eating misis also they train them to eat froozen foods so I ueah caant wait. ( but i will lol )