How to keep your marine fish in bright color - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Smile How to keep your marine fish in bright color

MY 20 some years in marine fish keeping (and joy) have led me into the following conclusions, which I'd like to share with those who's seeing his/her lovely fish getting discolored or have lateral line erosion and worse, hole in head, when your cherished fish only survived but not flourish in your tank.

1. Minimize stresses to fish. Use ground probe to discharge electric shock and use quieter pump to reduce tank noise. The fish in your tank will never get use to the noisy humming pump and electric shocks because they have not experienced any of these in their natural reef.
2. Use a powerful and yet low noise protein skimmer to remove stuff coming off from the other end of the fish and uneaten food. I'll get to the DIY skimmer design in a different discussion.
3. Use an algae scrubber to remove the remaining ( carbon dioxide, phosphate, nitrate). Nitrate concentration (up to 350ppm) is NO concern to most fish, however. The algae will also keep the correct pH for you.
4. Use water conditioning additives to promote growth of incidental (came in as guests with your fish) invertebrates. Worms, sponges would grow in your tank for your fish to pick on as desserts. Most saltautolinker.com autolinking image mixs on the market do not support invertebrate growth without additive. This is how my fish in my tank live long (Most >5 years, some >10 years) and without discoloration even though I practiced water change ONCE a year for the past 13 years.
5. Use pellet active carbon (not powder, 2lbs/100gal) to remove yellow coloration. Making sure no powdery carbon in the tank because powder carbon in water irritates the fish.
6. Use a good UV sterilizer (10w/100gal) to kill parasites. Change UV bulb annually.
7. Feed fish with dry pellets or flakes as staple food, which will keep them in shape but may not be able to maintain their bright color. Feed the fish with chopped shrimp, mussel, oyster or any other invertebrates once a week
or so as a supplement to the live invertebrates food naturally grown in your tank. Balance the feeding frequency between dry and wet food to control their body weight. I had two sad stories on overfed moorish idol and green trigger to share with later when I did not balance the dry-wet food correctly.
There are more details to come and this is just a beginning....Cheers!!

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 07:39 PM
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Re: How to keep your marine fish in bright color

#2- If a large enough skimmer is used, you do not need #3
#3- If a large enough ATS (algae turf scrubber) is used you don't need a skimmer.
#4- Never add any additives to your water unless it is food for your corals or Trace elements. They will screw with your skimmer and water quality. Use RO/DI water.
#5- Theres no need for running carbon, unless you have Anemones or Soft corals, or corals that use toxins for warerfare, or the occasional water cleanup. Your skimmer and ATS keep the proteins from discoloring the water.
#6- No need for a UV Steilizer, it only kills free floating parasites and some bacteria, it doesn't kill them, but makes them sterile, they can't reproduce.
#7- Its not a good idea to feed your fish flake or pellets, they contain nothing but crap for your fish, and to much phosphates for your tank to handle.

My 240g Reef Tank Pics
Water Parameter: Alk-8:PH-8.2:Cal420:Phosphate.05:Temp77:Nitrates-20:Mag1250:SG1.025
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: How to keep your marine fish in bright color

Nice opinions on my note. However, this is a fish only planted tank and the key how to keep your fish happy without changing water. Macro algae require frequent replenishment of quite a few elements, which can be done by additives or water change, which I choose the additive. Once in a while I have to take 7 weeks trip oversea and it is during this time dry food plays a key role in sustaining the feeding needs. I'd get more details next time.
Thanks!

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 07:18 PM
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Re: How to keep your marine fish in bright color

Most links now consider carbon to be a smoking gun for HLLE in marine use.
Activated carbon affirmed as causative agent for HLLE disease — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
Just search "HLLE and carbon" and you'll find more links then one would think.
I got a seven year old sailfin tang with really bad HLLE.The prvious owner used carbon (I believe 24/7) and fed a mix of flakes and pellets.
I brought him back to health in a year with no carbon and better diet with selcon,and real algae/calurpae.



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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: How to keep your marine fish in bright color

Yes, that HLLE had bothered me when I was new in the hobby and I did a lot homework just to solve this problem and I solved it for good by using pelletized carbon, UV sterilizer and Caulepa algae. This the magic comb that solved the problem. I need the carbon to maintain water color quality after 6 months of no water changes, up to a full year. See how pretty my blueface and task are, zero HLLE at all for all fish in the past 13 years. The additive may also play a role but I do not have solid proof yet.
Thanks for the opportunity for me to reveal specific conditions that may offer solutions to this tacky problem.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Wink Re: How to keep your marine fish in bright color

Let's continue on the difficult subject of HLLE, from which both I and the fish suffered, like most new hobbyists might have experienced, you see yours used to be pretty angels became not so pretty day by day and in the end I may have to do the last thing: euthanasia, and luckily, I found a medical solution, 0.1% metronidazole mixed in dried oyster balls, which my then 4-years old passer angel gladly swallowed daily. This medication stop the progression of lateral line erosion but did not heal the wounds. The passer was in good shape otherwise, in my sterile tank (no UV but with 0.05 ppm copper, measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy) for 6 years and was traded with fish food due to my relocation 14 years ago.
The fact that HLLE can be stopped by an antibiotics indicates that it's a bacterial infection and the use of trace Cu in the tank to keep algae on control may have exacerbated the problem because there would be no vitamin C from algae to supplement the need for the fish. 6 months after I moved, I decided to experiment with planted non-sterile marine tank, initially with ozone but was then replaced with UV couples years later as the bacterial control method. But once in a while I still had cyan bateria problem and fortunately erythromycin ascorbate came to the resue and problem solved.
Meaning while I formulated a water conditioning additive that allows incidental invertebrates (small unidentified nitrate-hardy sponges, bristle worms and rock anemone) to grow in the tank and this is what I believe my moorish idol can survive for more than two years because she kept picking on those invertebrates. Both clown trigger and blueface love to eat small bristle worms and young sprout of Caulepa
prolifera. Under these environments you will never need metronidazole because HLLE is not a natrual disease and will not occur in my non-sterile tank.
By the way, you don't need an advanced degree to enjoy a beautiful fish tank and certainly you don't need an AA spectrometer to test your water but you need to learn from past failures(others, not yours) to be a responsible pet owner.
Good luck!!!!

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