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Old 10-12-2019, 08:29 PM   #1
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Hermit crab/water param. Suspicion double issue

Hey, everyone! So I've run into a little bit of a pickle lately with my sw/fowlr aquarium. About 2 weeks ago, I purchased 7 Hermit Crabs (4 Blue-legs and 3 Scarlets) to aid in keeping a new diatom bloom in my aquarium at bay. They were drip acclimated and placed into my tank upon coming home. About an hour later, I found the smallest blue-leg out of his shell and floating around the water column, dead as a doornail. I thought it would be just him, but I was wrong - ever since then, the other crabs have been progressively dying for an unknown reason. To add to that, I am starting to get suspicious of my water chem test results being accurate. Here is info on my tank that could lead to the solution:

I purchased the crabs (and all other tank inhabitants) from a Petland store some miles from where I live

I use an API SW master test kit to test the water (I know these are controversial, so maybe that's part of the issue?)

Test results have been the same for a few weeks (pH: 7.8, Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 0, Nitrates:0), and the tank's been set up for about a month and a half.

It is a 55-gallon aquarium with other inhabitants as of now being two Ocellaris Clowns, a YWG, a Royal Gramma, a Cleaner Shrimp, and a Fire Shrimp.

All feedback and tips are appreciated!

- Diego
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:02 PM   #2
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There isn't anything known in the hobby that readily consumes diatoms. People telling you otherwise are going off of nothing that is backed in the hobby. They will go away when the silicates are gone from the system from the rock and sand.
API tests are in general, pretty garbage, but do the trick for the basics of cycling and nitrate monitoring. If you are getting repeated similar results from the nitrate test, I'd be comfortable believing it. It isn't that these test kits are controversial, its just that they aren't as accurate as those of us in the reef part of the hobby can use.
All in all, I see a brand new system that just needs time. Young tanks can have parameters fluctuate wildly and never even be able to see that it happens at times. Just make sure you have the 1 lbs per gallon of rock and sand in the tank. Don't worry about the diatoms, they are ugly but will go away on their own. Keep up with 10% weekly water changes. You'll be just fine.
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
There isn't anything known in the hobby that readily consumes diatoms. People telling you otherwise are going off of nothing that is backed in the hobby. They will go away when the silicates are gone from the system from the rock and sand.
API tests are in general, pretty garbage, but do the trick for the basics of cycling and nitrate monitoring. If you are getting repeated similar results from the nitrate test, I'd be comfortable believing it. It isn't that these test kits are controversial, its just that they aren't as accurate as those of us in the reef part of the hobby can use.
All in all, I see a brand new system that just needs time. Young tanks can have parameters fluctuate wildly and never even be able to see that it happens at times. Just make sure you have the 1 lbs per gallon of rock and sand in the tank. Don't worry about the diatoms, they are ugly but will go away on their own. Keep up with 10% weekly water changes. You'll be just fine.

I will definitely see to those water changes. As for the crabs, I think I will wait a month or two so I can give the tank time to mature, and then try again. Tha ks for the reply!
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:21 AM   #4
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No problem. Hermits in general are pretty hardy, but aren't a necessity. I usually end up loosing more of them to each other than anything else. Restocking them is pretty annoying.
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