Corals are doing really great, but no fish survive

Discussion in 'General Marine Aquarium Keeping' started by followyourshadow, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. followyourshadow

    followyourshadow Executive Board Staff Member

    Hey all,
    Just a quick question to see if this is a common issue - our column tank has been up since January, and with the exception of one incredibly hardy (and mean) damsel we haven't been able to keep any fish alive in there for more than a few weeks. All of our corals and inverts are doing amazing, and water parameters are always good. We've even had the water tested for metals and everything.

    Any thoughts?
  2. gordon

    gordon Active Member

    First guess is that the mean damsel has something to do with it.Mean Damsel in a small tank will not tolerate other fish very well
  3. imprezars

    imprezars Advisory Board

    +1 with Gordon I would say it is the Damsel.
  4. followyourshadow

    followyourshadow Executive Board Staff Member

    Oh, we took the damsel out after he murdered his third "friend" many months ago. Since then we've had quite a few die on their own. Including a tailspot, a green clown goby, a royal gramma, a turquoise damsel, and two pistol shrimp (not that they're fish, but still)
  5. imprezars

    imprezars Advisory Board

    Where did you get the fish from? Did you quarantine the fish?
  6. followyourshadow

    followyourshadow Executive Board Staff Member

    All different places. Some from petworld, some from living art, some from within the club, some from other local hobbyists. Never more than two in the tank at a time.
  7. imprezars

    imprezars Advisory Board

    How big is the tank?
  8. Marine590622

    Marine590622 Advisory Board Staff Member

    She calls it a column tank, could this be an issue with insufficient surface area?
  9. followyourshadow

    followyourshadow Executive Board Staff Member

    Shouldn't be. It's a 15 column with a four gallon refugium, protein skimmer, and other customizations. Lots of people online have been successful with this set up.

    Today we pulled apart the 'fuge and cleared out some of the chaeto and detritus. Maybe it's enough to fix whatever's going on. In the meantime week keep focusing on our corals and laughing at the urchins' fashion sense :)
  10. JohnH

    JohnH Executive Board

    Not sure how long your fish lasted, but I've heard that fish don't handle going from lower salinity to higher salinity suddenly, but can go from higher to lower easier. Some fish stores keep their salinity at the low end. So if your salinity is running at the middle or high end, maybe it is shocking the fish. If you can somehow lower your salt levels to match the water the fish came from in the store and then bring it up gradually (over the course of days) it might solve your problems.
  11. followyourshadow

    followyourshadow Executive Board Staff Member

    18 months later, and we still can't keep standard fish alive. We have a 29 biocube and a 30 JBL now which also have the same patterns. Must be user error!

    We switched to carnivores about 6 weeks ago and have had much better luck, even though feeding takes more time now (it's way more fun to watch!). The tanks are also much cleaner with having carnies.
  12. bahamafj11

    bahamafj11 Advisory Board

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