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Old 04-05-2006, 10:43 PM   #1
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Cleaner Shrimp just died - what did I do wrong?

Hi,

I just added a clownfish and skunk cleaner shrimp to my tank tonight and the shrimp died a couple hours later so I'd like to find out, if possible, what I might have done wrong.

I set up a 29 gallon tank and added live sand on 3/9, live rock on 3/10, more live rock on 3/16 (about 45 # total), rock blenny on 3/20, variety of crabs, snails and 3 peppermint shrimp on 3/22. Also setup skimmer on 3/22. And it's been running with 2 powerheads.

Water parameters are:
ammonia & nitrite 0
nitrate 20
Ph 8.2
Salinity 1.021
temp 79

I put the shrimp bag into the tank for about 20 minutes to adjust temp. I then put some of the tank water into a large bucket, with the bag floating in the bucket. I added 1/8 cup water every 10 min. for an hour and then 1/4 cup water every 5-10 min. after that for almost 2 hours total. Then added the shrimp to the tank. The shrimp went right to the rock and hung out in the same spot. It initially was cleaning it's tentacles. A couple hours later, there was a peppermint shrimp and a few snails attached to it. He's gone The clownfish was acclimated the same way and seems to be fine right now so hopefully he'll be okay.

What did I do wrong?

Thanks for your help in advance.

Denise
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:05 PM   #2
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I prefer the drip method...especially for shrimp - you can get some hose and a valve attachment to adjust the flow...but I think your nitrates may be too high. They ae sensitive to that. The other possibility is that it was just not a healthy shrimp - it happens. The same exact thing happened to me when I had my SW tank. Couldn't figure it out.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:09 AM   #3
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Your acclimation procedure is ok as well but I also prefer the drip method for shrimp & starfish especially and usually drip for 3+ hours. Couple of quick questions: How much time went by from buying the shrimp to getting it home? Did you open the bag while floating for 20 minutes or was it still sealed? Is the clown fish the first fish you added or are there any more?

You water parameters are testing OK but your tank still isn’t stabilized. There are a lot of other variables that your test kit doesn’t measure.

Fish are a lot hardier then inverts which is probably why your clown is ok. Inverts are much more sensitive to sg/ph/temp changes which is why I usually don’t recommend shrimp or starfish till the tank is 3+ months old. Hermits and snails are pretty hardy but only if acclimated slowly over hours.

A lot of people have success with adding them shortly after a cycle but IME just waiting a couple of months for your tank to stabilize and with a good 3 hour drip acclimation you will have much great success without any mysterious deaths.

The no3 level isn’t extreme but I’d still try to keep it below 10 ppm.

As PrettyFishies said it could have been unhealthy and died through no fault of your own.

You could try again in a couple of months.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:29 AM   #4
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Describe your cycle process. From 3/9 to 3/20 - 11 days later, and live rock in between, added 1 week apart, I got a feeling your tank is not yet finished going thru changes. Any snail deaths? Them and shrimp seem to be most sensitive IME.

Where didja get the rock? No die- off on it and didja watch your water levels thru those 11 days? What happened?

Sorry to ask so many Q's that might make you realize you did something wrong, but it's best to find out what those mistakes MIGHT have been, correct'm and move on to a better approach.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:56 PM   #5
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Thank you for the replies

To answer some of the questions:
- the time from the store to home was about 20-25 minutes
- while floating the bag for the first 20 minutes, it was still sealed, and then I opened to start adding small amounts of water
- the clownfish was not the first fish, I added a rock blenny on 3/20
- I've read about the drip method but I need to go back and find more information on it because I'm not exactly sure I understand how to do it
- in order to keep Nitrate levels below 10 ppm, just more water changes? I like to keep them fairly small for less stress on the tank (~10%)
- I tested the water parameters on 3/14, 3/20, 3/27, and 4/5. It was amazing really... all were perfect except for the first time on 3/14. Even then, the ammonia was only .25. I have to assume it was from all the live sand and live rock.
- the rock came from liveaquaria.com. First batch had a lot of broken rock which is why I ended up having to add more a week later.
- snails and crabs are doing fine but I lost a few in the first couple days because the crabs were attacking everything. It's calmed down since then. [need to find empty shells that size & slightly larger so don't loose more... not sure where to get these]
- The clownfish is doing well, 24 hours later. He ate a heafty amount of mysis shrimp tonight. If anyone has read this far, how often should I feed him? I have marine flakes (omega) and the mysis shrimp for now.

It sounds like I need to wait a couple more months before trying another skunk cleaner shrimp and then acclimate using the drip method over 3+ hours. Curious though, I have 3 peppermint shrimp and although they hid for the first week, are all doing quite well. I add seaweed about every other day for them (just in case while the rock still needs to grow more live food) which is what seemed to bring them out of hiding to begin with.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartsx2
- I've read about the drip method but I need to go back and find more information on it because I'm not exactly sure I understand how to do it
See Help setting up a QT tank & Equipment for drip acclimation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heartsx2
- in order to keep Nitrate levels below 10 ppm, just more water changes? I like to keep them fairly small for less stress on the tank (~10%)
Doing 10%-15% PWC as long as they are 2+ days apart will not put any stress on the stock as long as the PWC water is mixed for 24 hours with a ph and brought up to the temp/sg/ph of the main. As long as your PWC water doesn’t contain no3 that is the easiest way to reduce no3 in the tank. A more mature tank with enough lr (1.5+ lbs per gal) and a 3”-5” aragonite sand bed with good water movement will greatly help in keeping no3 down as well. Adding a refugium helps as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heartsx2
-- I tested the water parameters on 3/14, 3/20, 3/27, and 4/5. It was amazing really... all were perfect except for the first time on 3/14. Even then, the ammonia was only .25.
That is highly unusual for lr from liverocks.com since usually there is considerable die-off from having to ship the rock. You should be ok but I’d still take it very slowly and only add additional stock in 3+ week increments.

What you're feeding your clown is fine but if your lfs stocks Marine Cuisine frozen I’d also offer that in addition to the others. Main thing is to vary the diet. I’d also thaw your frozen in a small cup of tank water, rinse with ro water &/or drain all the liquid out to avoid adding po4 to your tank.

For the amount of stock you have currently I’d only feed about ¼ cube of frozen or a pinch of flake every other day once or twice a day when you do feed. If every thing isn’t consumed within 5 minutes reduce the amount slightly more. If everything is consumed in under 1 minute increase it slightly more.

Soaking your frozen in Selcon &/or Kent Garlic Extreme while thawing will also help keep your fish/inverts healthy & happy.

Peppermint shrimp are carnivores and will not touch the seaweed IME but love the frozen. They also IME are slightly more hardy then cleaners which is probably why they are still alive or your cleaner could have been ill.

I would be careful about adding seaweed due to it increasing your no3. Herbivore snails sometimes need a small 1” piece added to supplement their diet but usually even they will do fine without it.
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