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Ocellaris Clownfish

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Amphiprion Ocellaris

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October 31, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
The second crash we went through after we started keeping saltwater fish was a huge one.

The first signs that something was wrong in our tank was that the water started to smell really bad. Normally there is hardly any smell from a saltwater tank, so that was a bit odd. A few days later I noticed that our Flame Angelfish started to lose his vibrant red color. The next day it was at the bottom of the tank dead and had even less color. At this point I was pretty much lost as to what happened.

A few days later the same thing happened to our Spotted Mandarin and it suffered the same fate. I could not figure out what was going on. I read everywhere and couldn't figure out what was happening. In no time our Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse passed away as well. I was just so lost at this point.

Soon after our Black Ocellaris Clownfish start acting weird and swimming at the bottom of the tank. That morning I went to a trusted LFS and asked the owner what his thoughts where. He blammed the live sand we used and also that we were using treated tap water. That day I took the remaining fish (Ocellaris Clownfish, Black Ocellaris Clownfish and Skeletor Moray Eel) and inverts out of the tank. I tore the tank down and removed all of the water, live rock and live sand. I added in crushed coral and RO water, with half of the water being from an established tank. I also added in some liquid bacteria.

While I had the rock out of the tank, I noticed that two pieces smelled terrible. These were the two newest pieces I had just bought recently. It looks like the rock had not been cured and the LFS did not tell me this when I purchased it. I threw the bad rock away and added the remaining livestock in.

That night the Black Ocellaris Clownfish died and I felt terrible for our Occellaris Clownfish who had paired with it. The Eel and other Clownfish pulled through and are still doing good to this day. This crash taught me the hard way about uncured live rock and what it can do to your fish.

The next crash I had was a few months away, and it was from no real fault of mine, minus not quarantining fish. I was put in a very bad position and the result was some fish deaths... more on that later...


October 30, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
I knew that keeping a saltwater tank was not easy to do well, but if I knew the learning curve involved beforehand I don't think I would have bought a tank.

Our first tank was a 55 gallon tank with a heater and a hang on the back filter. Needless to say this is not the best setup for keeping a thriving reef. The first fish we bought after our tank cycled was an Ocellaris Clownfish and a Blue Tang. Yeah the store was really smart to sell us that Blue Tang for a 55... but whatever. From day one the little Blue Tang had Ich on and off, nothing major but you could see a spot every now and then. For the most part though it was very happy in the tank.

Still knowing nothing about keeping a saltwater tank, I thought I'd upgrade my filtration and buy a big Eheim canister filter and a AquaC Remora hang on the back skimmer. This setup if just fine for a super low bioload system, and I plan on leaving it on the 55 gallon holding tank. I am just running live rock rubble in the canister though.

Anyway back to the story, I got my new skimmer and filter and proceeded to rip off the old hang on the back filter and it's nice and full of bacteria bio wheel and install the new filter and skimmer. On top of that I put in some newly mixed saltwater. I didn't know how to mix water back then and used a pump to mix the water instead of a powerhead or two and the water was always like 50% mixed when I put it in.

I didn't think much about it at the time, just thought I was making the situation better... cloudy water and all. The next day we woke up and the blue tang was barely swimming and being drug around the tank by a cleaner shrimp. It then got away and swam into a rock and died. It was extremely sad for my wife and I.

That day I figured out that hooking up a brand new filter (including the included filter media... UGH!) and removing the old filter full of bacteria pretty much set off a little cycle in the tank. The baby Blue Tang just couldn't take the change.

Luckily putting that old filter back on later that day and letting it run with the new filter for a few weeks fixed that crash. Only the Blue Tang passed away during that mistake, but soon to come was a huge crash with hundreds of dollars of fish taken out... the cause of that was live rock... and I'll talk all about that in a day or two.


October 30, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
Here's one thing that is hard for me to accept when it comes to reef keeping... the coolest fish are normally the biggest dicks!

There are three fish I would love to keep in my new large reef tank. They are the Achilles Tang, Sohal Tang and Crosshatch Trigger. While the Achilles isn't too bad, it's still a lot meaner than say a Powder Blue or Mimic Tang and will attack other Acanthurus tangs in a reef. The other two might just be too mean to introduce into our tank, and if we decide to, they would have to be the last fish added in.

The Sohal Tang is a beautiful fish, but they are notorious for being the most aggressive tang. Not only would they attack other tangs in the tank, but they have also been known to chase divers. I keep on trying to tell myself that if I got one it would be a model citizen, and for every bad story I hear about them I hear two other people say they are fine. The other problem is that a 240 might even be a bit too small for a Sohal... I guess I'll have to see down the line. Maybe if I get a baby 1-2" Sohal and the Achilles and Purple (another tang dick) Tangs are large they'll put him in place. Hopefully when the Sohal grew up it wouldn't take out it's aggression on it's now smaller bullies.

Of all the reef fish I would love to keep but have to pass on are Triggers. I had a stunning Niger Trigger in our tank for a few months, but he started to take out shrimp and I got scared her would start to pick on smaller fish. Around the time we were going to take out baby Yellow Belly Blue Tang and Black Ice Clownfish (also tiny) out of quarantine and put them into the display tank I gave away out Niger to my tank builder.

I read that some triggers including the Crosshatch Trigger play nice in reefs and thought I would end up with one in the new tank. Naturally I did more reading and heard stories of them taking out smaller fish, so I took that off the list. Since our little Ocellaris Clownfish has been around since day one there was no chance of having him eaten by a larger fish. Too bad such a stunning fish... I was even able to find a source or two that could get a Crosshatch at a very low price...

Oh well it looks like a nice and peaceful tank over hear... I won't even mention when I thought about looking into Dragon Moray Eels...


October 23, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
Since we will be setting up our new 240 gallon reef tank in the very near future, I thought it was be good to start posting about our first reef tank beforehand.

In the next few posts I will be detailing this tank in far more detail, but we bought the tank of a whim one lazy weekend afternoon after watching tanked. I've always wanted a saltwater tank, but when I was growing up my parents said it was too expensive, so I ended up keeping freshwater cichlids.

Having Tina watch Tanked and get interested in the hobby was all the excuse I needed to drop everything and go to the local fish store (LFS). We bought a 55 gallon all in one bundle and some live rock and were off to the races.

After letting the tank cycle, which seemed like forever at the time, we went out and bought our first livestock. Not knowing anything, we ended up with an Ocellaris Clownfish (Nemo), Blue Tang (Dory - In a 55 gallon... nice one LFS), Hermit Crabs and a cleaner Skunk Shrimp.

Needless to say we had no idea of all the ups and downs and time commitments involved, but we'll get into that later.

Here is a quick video of our tank shortly after adding our new livestock... Nemo is still with us today and has gone though all of our major newbie crashes... he's a true little rock star.


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