Ever feel like you've had enough?


:( I can't tell you how frustrated I am. I've had a 125g since Nov 2000. I've spent sooooo much money with very little to show for it. I think I've done everything the right way. I've done research and spent a lot of time here learning.
Today, just when I thought I've Finally
got everything going good, I'm currently losing a Green Chromis. It is one of three that I purchased on Friday which I acclimated them using this site's procedure(the other one was sucked up by the powerhead). Readings are as follows... Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <10, Salinity 1.021, PH 8.4, Temp 77, Phosphate 0, and Alkalinity 125ppm.
My lights that are in a custom hood are making sparking noises once in a while.
I have green and brown algea Everywhere
. I recently upgraded my lights from .96 watts per gallon to 3.7 watts per gallon. The new lights have been in operation for about one month. I purchased a clean up crew from this site but they aren't really keeping up.
I'm using RO water. I have a wet/dry filter with bio-balls in the sump. I'm running a 15watt UV. I have two powerheads for circulation. Just bought a whisper filter for my quarantine tank (not set up yet). Today I put the whisper in the main tank to become established before putting it in my 'Q' tank.
:( :confused:
[ April 23, 2001: Message edited by: Tacks ]

nomar g

New Member
Don't give up just yet. Things always start out on the rocky side but usually get better with time and experience. Algae problems are common as a new tank matures. If you can find a way to limit the nutrient load on tour tank that would help and siphoning out the stuff as it acculmulates will can't hurt. Do you have a good skimmer? Also, increased circulation via 2 or 3 more powerheads might help. Good luck.

cactus jack

this is interesting. what seems to be the problems you are running into? sounds like you are set up right. are fish dying? if so, what are their symptoms? what is actually inside your tank? like rocks, substrate, fish, invertebrates, corals, etc. its not that hard to keep a tank. like anything it has a lot to do with confidence. if you don't think you can do something it is doubtful you will, you know what i'm saying? i'm not being rude, but serious. its just a saltwater tank. its big enough that you shouldn't be having any problems. what do you want out of this hobby by the way. you are never going to get away with just letting it sit there forever and never taking two minutes every other day to keep the glass clean


I know you are frustrated but you are headed in the right direction.
Upgrading your lights will cause algae blooms. Experiment with the length of time you keep them on. You will hit the right balance eventually. Usually around 9-10 hrs per day. Put them on a timer if you need to.
Don't feel bad about the Green Chromis. They tend to die for no particular reason. They are skittish fish in the best of times. I have lost a few over the course of time. I've read on many bulletin boards that you need to buy in groups, because you will always lose a few.
You have the correct equipment, your tank needs time to adjust and settle down. Let it go for a month, doing regular maintenance; it will soon settle down.


Cactus Jack,
I never said that I just let it sit there. I clean the glass every other day!!
Now for everyone (including Cactus Jack :D )
Thanks for replying. I just scooped the Chromis out. It was still alive but barely. I figured better get it out of there before whatever he had spreads to the other fish (if it hasn't already).
In the tank I have...

Two Green Chromis, 2 False Percula Clowns, and 2 Scooter Blennies. For inverts, Scarlets, Blue Legs, Snails, 2 Emeralds, and 1 Feather Duster.
Before tonight, the last death excluding the powerhead problem was on 3/11. All showed lack of appetite, heavy breathing, and hiding. A few had "cloudy looking fins". I also had a cleaner die around 3/11.
I have about 25lbs of LR, some coral decorations, and the bottom is CC. The CC is just covered in algea. The last water change I tried to syphon it out. I had formed like a spider web in the CC. It was all kind of connected.
The lights are on a timer. The Actinics come on first for about a half an hour. Then, all the lights come on. These lights stay on for about 7 hours then shut off. The Actinics stay on for about another half an hour.


It does sound like ammonia poisoning or also could be lack of oxygen in the tank. You have two powerheads - one on each corner(?)
I would add at least two more powerheads on you 125g - put two up high and two low in the tank to get some more water movement going. Make sure that the two up high are breaking the water surface to oxygenate the water.
You didn't mention a skimmer..do you have one? That would dramatically increase the oxygen in the water. You can find them to put in the wet/dry filter.
It will take time for the algae to disappear. Somestimes 6months or more. Is it stringy or powder like diatoms? More water movement across the bottom of the tank can keep them from settling on the CC.
Have you tried hermit crabs to keep your cc stirred? It's recommended that you have 1 for each gallon of water. I have them in my FOWLR and have no diatoms , but this tank has been set up since 8/2000.
After having written all this, I would first get a couple of powerful powerheads and get the water moving. Fish breathing heavy is either ammonia poisoning or lack of oxygen.
If as you stated you levels are good, than is has to be the oxygen.
[ April 23, 2001: Message edited by: slk3599 ]
[ April 23, 2001: Message edited by: slk3599 ]


I have both. Green hairy like algea and also diatoms. No skimmer yet. I didn't think I needed one yet since my nitrates are very low and the tank is not that populated. This fish I have are 1" - 2". For the powerheads, I have one on the top right and one on the bottom left. I have a good ripple across the suface of the water and there is a lot of air bubbles accumulating on the decortations.


Tacks, you definately need at least two more powerheads. I have 3 on my 75g. You can never have too much water movement.
A skimmer will also take out the nutrients that are feeding the algae. Go with a good one like an AquaC Remora Pro. Around 180.00 on line.


New Member
Dont feel bad, I just bought a flame angel, a cleaner wrasse, and a diadima basselet.
put them in my q-tank, the flame killed the wrasse, then the flame's ick got worse and he died! now I have one left in my Q-tank.
then in my main tank my blue damsel disapeared, sure enough one of my powerheads didnt have the sponge on it! he got sucked up! I am only buying one fish at a time from now one!!!
about the powerheads, I have 2 in my 70 gal. hex. and I am adding another fluval tommorrow for more circulation, and filteration. I am going to put an extender tube on the out take and put it by the bottom. I am also getting algae on the bottom, but wherever the powerheads point at it is clean. plus my new convict blenny is putting my sand bed were he wants it! I have diff. mounds of sand every day! he is trying to bury my live rock.


I know how you feel. I could not get my tank to cycle for months and months! Starting a tank and buying fish is the most frustrating thing in the hobby. I almost quite because I could not get fish to live.
Then I discovered copper, then I discovered live rock and a UV sterilizer. It sounds to me like you are on that path. A Q-tank that you could use copper if you chose and then LR and a UV sterilizer in your display tank.
In the disease section Trey wrote a great response post about using a Q-tank.
I agree with the above advice, more powerheads. Also, since you are at 0/0 and less than 10, I think I would add the protein skimmer, give the hair algae less to "eat". I also went in a scubbed the heck out of my rocks to get rid of the algae, did a signifcant water cahnge and let the snails and clean-up crew do the rest. This worked for me!
In terms of your fish, it does sound like a lack of oxygen. So powerheads might help??? Is something else using the oxygen in the tank? Are you sure your test kits are good and your Ammonia level is really zero? Any other chemcials in the tank? What about other diseases which effect gills? Marine velvet? (your sterilizer should help) Gill worms - do you see anything on their gills? Are they scratching?
I am not an expert, I just know what I have tried which worked when my tanks where new, I also can comiserate with your pain.
Good luck,


Active Member
I highly doubt it is a lack of oxygen especially with a wet/dry. I think it is a parasite most likely velvet,which does cause rapid breathing and quick death. You probably should pull all your fish into quaratine treat them and every fish you put in after them. Leaving your tank without fish for a month may help with your algae problem too.


Active Member
You just dont know how many times I've felt this way. I've been keeping fish all my life (fresh water most of the time) and have had tanks that looked so nice and then all of the sudden everything dies.
The best way to learn is through experience and to read, read, and read some more. Fish will die on you and sometimes its not your falt. You've just got to move on. Even those big money setup's you see and hear about lose fish every now and then.
Think of it this way. Your god to your little piece of the ocean. Try your best to provide for the world you created for your fish.
Dont give up and good luck too you.


Active Member
Don't give up.... :( I know how frustrating it can be sometimes..I've lost 3 of my favorite fish and thought about giving up the hobby(when it happened) My first was a pork puff, my first fish, we had him for about 5 months, he was sooo coool, he'd eat from my hand, when we bought a new fish I didn't quarinten(?) it and it spread ick..(stupid I know now), so I put porky into the hospital tank, and so how some way the heater got turned up. :( :mad: I was really upset. Thought about giving up...Then about a month and a half ago We bought a empy angle and another pork puff, one night when we turned the lights out pork flew across the tank right into our carpet anemone, thank god fixit seen him and pulled him out. Well he died 4 days later taking my empy with him, I think his poisens came out and empy being the weakest member living in the tank couldn't take it...(empy was doing great, growing and eating really good) Its very sad when we lose those we really love, but look at it the way I do, there are others in that tank that depend on you to care for them and you can't just give up on them......LOL Lisa


Hey Rick,
Don't give up. When I lost my lion fish to the powerhead, I thought what the hell am I doing? Trying to salt. I buy this little lionfish, that was probally in the ocean 2 weeks before. Then I get my inexpiernced hands on it. 2 days later it gets sucked into the powerhead. I felt like S**t. Luckly my husband was the one to find and took it out before I got home. (My husband tried to make humor by telling me at least it was sucked to death. Not a bad way to go. Thought you might find it funny.) My point is you learn from mistakes. I have a shield thing on their now, and have not had any more deaths from that. I have the green hair algae also. I took some of the lr out when I was doing a water change and stuck it in a bucket that had water from my tank in it. I scrubbed the crap off. It helped a lot. My only problem now is I can not do that to lr that has other stuff groing on it. I pull it off by hand but that is very slow going. The snails and crabs are helping a little. What ever you do, do not give up. Like someone said before me. Their are fishy's in that tank that depend on you.
It will work it's way out.
:) Big Hug!!! You sound like you could really use one. Give dogs one to. They will cheer you up! :D


Staff member
Well, the 15watt UV is not doing you much good. 15w for 125gal is way under what you need, so, you're not getting the benefits that a UV would give you---aside from parasite control, also some algae control. You also need more LR, additional powerheads [get a filter sponge from lfs and cut out a piece to fit into your intake of the powerheads to avoid fish deaths due to PH suction].
Get a lawnmower blenny to eat up your algae---they don't call 'em "lawnmower" for nothing! Go for the skimmer. You're up and running since Nov...it is time to skim, skim, skim. I also wouldn't add so many fish at once like you just did.
What are you doing for food? Be sure that you are addressing the nutritional needs of all your fish, and not just feeding them standard whatever.


First of all, thanks for the help. I have a question though... Why do you say the UV is "way under what you need"? Do you know that UV wattage depends on flow? The 15 watt is rated at 700gph. The next size up is 25 watt rated at 1200gph. In this case, I figured it was better to go with the smaller rather than kill to much. My pump is rated at 950gph but I do lose flow due to head pressure and a ball valve slightly closed.
As far as adding three fish at once, they are only about an inch long. I figured adding something like a 5" Naso would be the same.
I don't mean to sound so argumentitve because I do appreciate the help. I did a lot of research before buying the UV. I don't think it's way to small.
Also, I feed frozen brine and flake.


New Member
How many GPH do you have... if its around 900-1000 then you are in the green... to explain a sump with a return will do about 400 if you have the right size sump and two power heads should do about 300 each if you got large powerheads. It sounds like a weak fungal infection. Its taking so long to kill them because you have a UV try killing the UV for a couple of days to a week. If you see them get worse you should treat your tank with marcyn two... its going to be expensive but it will do the trick.. when treating do not use your UV.
Good Luck