Oct 2005

Sun, 10/23/2005 - 13:51

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

I made a huge mistake last night. And it cost the lives of many of my beautiful fish.  I turned off the pumps to feed the suncorals, and forgot to turn them back on. The pumps were off from about 3am until 11am, and when I woke up and saw the tank I quickly turned on the pumps.

Within minutes I saw the carnage. Dead fish littered about the substrate, others gasping. I can't believe I made such a horrible mistake. It literally brings tears to my eyes even typing this out.

Here's the list:

2 Yellow Belly Hippo Tangs
Blue Hippo
Flame Angel - MIA
Coral Beauty
2 Ocellaris Clownfish
True Percula Clownfish
Six Line Wrasse
Lemon Meringue Wrasse
Powder Blue Tang
Purple Tang
Naso Tang
Copperband Butterfly
Bengaii Cardinalfish
Pseudochromis elongata
Blue Mandarin
Green Mandarin
Blue Damsel
Lawmower Blenny
Longnose Hawkfish
Royal Gramma
Even some bristleworms died.

The serpent starfish were out in the open. All the corals look perfectly fine. Ammonia level is 0. Skimmer acting normal. Water clarity good. Temperature 79.5F Some snails were inverted, but I flipped these back over. Blood Shrimp and Peppermint seem unaffected. Ceriths laid eggs!

I had Phoenix my Flame Angel for over 3 years. Since the Coral Beauty is dead, I think that Phoenix may be as well. The Longnose Hawkfish I've had for probably 5 years, and not seeing it is a bad sign.

Spock was really in distress but looked at me closely as he labored through his breathing. After about an hour, he started to swim, but bumped into lots of coral and rock. He's swimming better now.

The Purple Tang was the most unaffected of all the fish.

The Coral Beauty was the one that came with my 55g 3 years ago, and due to diligent care was in perfect condition again. It was 3.25" long 

Nibbles, the Powder Blue Tang was 5.5" long and 3/4" wide.

Spike, the Six Line Wrasse, was probably the biggest one most people have seen. It was 3.5" long, now that I'm able to measure it.

Tom, the Copperband Butterfly fish, was a relative newcomer. He was 4.5" from tailfin to the tip of his nose/mouth.

I believe that many died minutes before I noticed the tank. They all were still rich in color, and when I pulled them from the tank they still somewhat soft. It saddened me to pull out such thick healthy fish that were now dead due to my error.

I suppose the irony of the situation is that the survivors are the fish I didn't want, such as the hippos, the damsel, the bengaii....

Flame Angels, Powder Blue Tangs, Copperband butterflies... all are very difficult to keep, and are prone to not eat, prone to getting sick and die very quickly unless we get lucky. To lose these is a huge blow. The tank looks empty now without those colors swimming about in the open.

I can't believe I made this horrible mistake.

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