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Old 03-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
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First Deaths :-(

I am new to saltwater (29 gallon with live rock and live sand) Protein Skimmer and circulator. After one month, I added 4 scarlet hermit crabs, turbo snail, Astral snail, 1 nassarius snail and peppermint shrimp. The following week I added 3 blue hermit crabs, 3 margarita snails, 2 cerith an emerald crab and green brittle star. Over the week following I lost the peppermint shrimp, 3 margarita snails, 3 scarlet hermit crabs ? 1 blue hermit crab and the emerald crab. The water conditions are nearly perfect except I have small elevation of Nitrite at 20 ppm and specific gravity of 1.027. I preformed a 20% water exchange today but I can't figure what caused their death. Any ideas? Thanks
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:13 PM   #2
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Did you cycle your tank? If you did the trites should be at 0
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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I had cycled it first with live sand and then with lives rock. Took about 5 weeks.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:00 AM   #4
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I know inverts don't have a huge bioload but perhaps you added to much to fast. When adding livestock time is key. You have to give the bb time to catch up to bioload before adding more. You may have started a mini cycle. Another thing you don't need that much of a cuc. I have a 28 gallon with 1-turbo snail 2- zebras 2- blue leg hermits and 1-red leg hermit and I think I still have to many. I started with more crabs but they kill each other off as they compete for food. The star fish is a whole nother storey. They generally need very established tanks to survive. How is it doing?
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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A nitrite level of 20 ppm isn't a small elevation. Did you mean nitrate of 20ppm? Any nitrite above 0.25ppm can kill tank inhabitants. If that really is what your nitrites are, then that's what killed everything -The tank isn't cycled.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:50 PM   #6
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How exactly did you cycle it with just live sand? Did you add ammonia or something to feed the bacteria in the live sand? If not and it was just a tank with live sand, the BB probably died off and then adding all the critters caused another cycle. No reason for nitrites to ever be above zero in a cycled tank.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
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Also, green brittle starfish are predators. It will eat healthy fish if it has the chance.
The Echinoblog: Giant Green Brittle Stars of DEATH!! When they ATTACK--AGAIN!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:22 PM   #8
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I cycled it with live sand for only about a week and then live rock for about 4 weeks before adding any invertebrates. My levels were level again before adding the invertebrates. There was a minor flux of levels before adding more invertebrates. I am beginning to think it was my star fish that killed my emerald crab and shrimp because it is doing well and from what I've read starfish are very sensitive. I will check the water again later this week to see how things are going.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:18 AM   #9
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Your levels were 'level' probably because you never had a cycle in the first place. Live rock and sand is not enough to start a cycle. You need to add an ammonia source of some sort. Some people use a dead un cooked shrimp and let it rot.

It's quite possible that your cuc kick started your cycled and back fired on them.
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