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Old 01-24-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
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Can't keep snails / crabs alive

Hey guys,

Been a long time since I posted, my tank was doing great until around last summer. Since then, I have lost all my snails and crabs (except for my 6 Nassarius snails... those are still doing great). I had a Cleaner Shrimp for about 8 months, and recently he just completely disappeared (for about a week now, so I don't think he is hiding).

I am getting a crazy almount of algae now, since nothing to clean up the tank. It is a constant battle. I added new snails and crabs a few months back, but they didn't survive... just have on snail left out of the bunch. My tank is 46 gallons, with about 50lbs of live rock or so. I do a 5 gallon water change every week. I scrape the front and side glass, and use my fish net to skim most of the big pieces out. But it all just keeps coming back.

I have a couple more ideas, but want to run them by the group.

- Bristleworms - Just notice I have 2 pretty long worms that come out from under the rocks. Could these be killing my snails, crabs, and shrimp? I don't like the looks of them, but have heard they are tank friendly...

- I have a large Foam pad on the pump intake for my AquaC Remora Pro. This is always collecting a ton of algae on it. Can I just not use it, or will the fish get kinda sucked against the intake and killed?

- All I have is the AquaC Remora, do I need any other type of filtration device? I have no room for a secondary tank, and I know that makes it harder.

Thanks for any help you can give, back to cleaning algae!

-Scott
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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Inverts have a hard time with excessive nutrients like nitrates and phosphates. They are also a fuel source for nuisance algea. My suggestions would be to do some frequent PWC`s and feed less than you are now. I only feed my tank every other day. You must get rid of the nitrates. What is your nitrates reading. I would do a 10-15 gallon water change every week.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike! I remember reading a lot of your posts, very helpful!

I am ordering a new test kit today, mine is over 6 years old. I will hopefully get it next week and be able to run some better tests to report out. I will also cut down on my feeding and try to increase the water changes.

Waterchanges for me are a pain, so you happen to have a good guide I can follow? THe problem is my fish tank is upstairs in a colonial style house. I use the bathroom upstairs, where I have my RO/DI unit under the sink (3 gallon reserve tank). It takes about 20 minutes to fill a 5 gallon bucket, and I have to keep a close eye on it so I don't overflow it. To fill a 2nd bucket will take even longer, as the reserve tank emptied out doing the first bucket.

THis is my main pain in the neck doing water changes.

I will start on this. In the meantime, should I avoid adding anymore snails / crabs for a while?

Also, I noted my temperature fluctuates from 76deg (lights off) to 81 deg (lights on). SHould the temperature be more consistent than that? I.e. I need a new heater?

Thanks again!
-Scott
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RO/DI Water Changes 10% a week
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:06 PM   #4
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That is a pretty big difference in temp changes. I would see about raising the temp some like 78 and then hopefully it will omly be a three degree change. A small clip on fan would work during the day also. As far as water changes I`m just old fashioned about them. I make them in 5 gallon buckets during the week and do the water change during the week end. I`m just a simple minded guy I guess. LOL. Let us know what your nitrates are reading. You do need a new one as 6 yrs is too long.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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LOL, simple is good. I will probably do the same, just need to make 2 buckets a week. I will post back next week on the Nitrates!

So don't worry about the Bristleworms?

Also, should I keep that foam on the intake for the Skimmer?
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:17 PM   #6
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I dont ever worry about bristle worms. They are good janitors. For the protection of the fish I would leave the sponge in but I would also clean it every week. JMO
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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Hey Mike,

Test kit came in this morning. I just ran the Nitrate test and am showing just over 10ppm. Color is really close to the 10ppm mark, just slightly darker (but not close to the next level which is 20).

How do you think the tank is doing as far as Nitrates? Ready to add cleanup crew yet? Should I test anything else that would be relevant to the snail / crab deaths?

Thanks again, you are a great help!
-Scott
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:06 PM   #8
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have you tested for copper?
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:48 PM   #9
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With the new test kit please run a complete set of test...ammonia, nitrite, natrate, SG, PH and if you have the test PO3.
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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The Nitrates are ok. What test kit did you get?
Please post the numbers for all tests you can run.

Are you using RODI water or tap water for your partial water changes?
Please test for Phosphate and post that.

Algae comes from excess nutrients in the tank. You need to remove them, but doing PWC's with RODI water, cutting down on feeding, cutting down on lighting.
I would double the weekly PWC to 10 gallons for now, using RODI water.
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