My fish are still in danger


New Member
After a what seemed to be a random ammonia spike happen in my tank and emergency aid. My fish are stabilised... However their scale are still brown.. (at least they are not swimming upside down or trying to pop out of the water. But they still seems really distressed.

I've been adding nitrifying bacteria into the tank, however it doesn't seems to help with the ammonia problem.. it's been happening every 3-4 days and I'd have to do emergency water change. I added the Seachem Prime into the water, its indicated for emergency nitrite and ammonia poisoning. The fish did get better. But what I am worried about is that it will come back again.

I've set up the tank with life water and coral sand to provide biological filtration. But the biological filtration doesn't seems to work at all. Even with a protein skimmer, and water being crystal clear... my fish are still getting symptoms of ammonia burns. It seems like the bacteria aren't doing their job.

Prior introducing fish I was adding indicated dose of beneficial bacteria into the water over three weeks time. After introducing the fish into the tank, which was seemingly fine as the fish were happy and swim around with each other. So I introduced a couple of bubble tip anemone into the tank, they attached themselve soon after they were introduced and were blooming beautifully. My clownfish loved it.. it was perfect for about a week when the water started to get cloudy... At the same time, the anemone seems to be decaying, which caused elevated NO3 level measured to be around 20ppm/L.

I did about 20% water change daily, and monitor the water condition carefully and managed to revive my blue tang, which went unconscious for a few days laying on the coral sand bedding, but still breathing. It recovered and started swimming around again... but not for long.. 2 days later ammonia strike again when you least expected. Despite following advise from my LFS to add maintenance dose of bacteria into the tank... random strike still recurring despite water seems clear and protein skimmer is at it's equilibrium. (nothing in the water to skim).

I am wondering if prolonged UV light would kill the biological filter? I only turn on the UV lamp during the day... for the live rock (sea weeds grows on it). I also noticed changes of the live rock which initially was covered with white slime which later disappeared and the rock are becoming more red. I also notices some growth on the rock.. (looks like tiny leaf, also look a bit like algae). They were yellow and greenish which grow on the rock. Are they anything to be concerned about?

Is there anyway to prevent unexpected ammonia/nitrite rise in the water? My fish had suffered several round of ammonia poisoning, and only 3 were lucky enough to endure the hard time. Each time I can see ammonia burn on their scale. They would get better and then have to go through the same pain again. I am not sure if my LFS advise was right... adding more bacteria to reduce ammonia. From what I know is that the biological filter recycle the waste into nitrous products which would evaporate on water surface. But during the cycle, it has to go through a phrase of converting the waste into nitrite/ammonia., which my water pump filter and protein skimmer were unable to remove.

I just dunno which step I've done wrong to set up the tank. I checked salinity, pH, NO3 as often as I can and I would observe if the fish have symptom of ammonia burn. But they strike so suddenly, I was there sitting and staring at my tank peacefully, and all in a sudden the fish started swimming upside down and sideway or even try to jump out of the water. Then I could see their scale turned dark brown. I felt really distress and worried that I won't be there to help them for the next strike.

Hoping some experienced marine aquarist can provide me with some information as in how to prevent rising of dissolved toxins in the water. I have a UV sterilizer pump. But I didn't install it cause I was afraid that it might kill off the biological filter in the tank.

I also have a ozone generator pump, which some aquarist claimed to be very beneficial to reef tank as they reacts with toxins and precipitates them to allow skimmer and filter to eliminates them. But the ozone generator I have generates 200mg/Hr of ozone. It's like 100 times more than the recommended dose for a medium size tank, and apparently I can't inject the ozone directly into the filter.

I've been googling about it, I've found a lot of chemistry related topics, but nothing on how to use them properly. I am currently using the dymax xp-30 protein skimmer. I read that ozone has to be injected into the protein skimmer... but my protein skimmer submerge into the water, so I am afraid I might OD my fish with too much ozone.

Does anyone have any experience with ozonizer in salt water aquarium? What were the result like and how did you inject the ozone into the water/skimmer? Any help would be greatly appreciated. My mum has already given me a title "Fish Murderer" as I couldn't control the ammonia level and lost 6 beloved fish. 1 by 1....

Watching them get better and than get worse again... and wake up in the morning seeing them lay dead on the sand is just awful. I am hoping to introduce 3 more fish to my existing tank, and a couple of corals. But before I do so I need to find out what I've done wrong that the fish keeps dying. I only feed them like a tiny sprinkle of pellets a day. But they don't seems to like them much, my clownfish isn't even eating any of the pellets. I suspect those pellets caused the rise of ammonia, but my LFS said they don't sell anything else for them to eat..

If any experienced aquarist can identify where I went wrong with my tank, can you please point it out and then call me a fkn n00b for murdering six fish by accident. Wait, its manslaughter not murder... Wait! it should be fishslaughter instead. Anyway insult me for kill the fish all you want. I just want my remaining fish to live a healthy live. Please help me pleaseeeeesssseeeeee........

I only have 3 fish left... and they are traumatized multiple times, please teach me how to save their lives!