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Old 10-15-2004, 12:29 AM   #1
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cobwebs in the tank; corals puking?

So I've had a reef tank for about five years now and have moved it from one house to another. So I'm not a n00b, but at times I wish I could just slow down and think more.


I'm decidedly lazy. So much so that I do water changes in my 75G about once a month... sometimes it's gone two months or so. This is after the cycling process and my energy has died down a bit. This has actually turned out well for me. My tank tends to be pretty stable. Every time I did a water change, "cobwebs" would show up in the tank coming out of little tubes growing out of the live rock everywhere. My frogspawn would "puke" bubble clumps (zoanthellae?), and all the corals and the anemone would exhibit "unhappiness."

So... how was I doing a water change? One day I'd mix water and salt to 1.025 (same as the tank). The next day I'd put in a scoop of "SeaBuffer" and mix it up. Turn off the mag drive, siphon out a bucket, and start adding new water to the sump. turn the mag drive back on when the sump couldn't take it anymore and keep adding fresh water.

RECENTLY, my skimmer pump died. Took me a week and a half to get a new one. Starting two days after it died, my ordinarily VERY HAPPY zooanthids started being unhappy. They didn't open all the way. So after I got the pump and the skimmer was working again I took measurements. No ammonia. No nitrites. Low low low nitrates. Nothing on the phosphate test kit either. Finally put a new battery in my pinpoint ph meter and recalibrated. 7.9 to 8.0! ack. Lower than I remember. So I'm working on kalking that up slowly... and doing frequent water changes (twice a week) in case there's SOMETHING in the water I don't know about.

So I figure I better do them more carefully. Make sure the temp is IDENTICAL, make sure the SG is IDENTICAL, make sure the PH is IDENTICAL. Las time I did this, no cobwebs.

So just thought I'd share. Anyone want to tell me what the cobwebs are? And any idea what's wrong with my zoos? They're looking better every day... but it's SLOW improvement vs the fairly rapid deterioration.

-Yanek.
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:09 AM   #2
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These cobwebs I have seen also. I have always thought of them as being a byprodcut of the coral expelling some of its protective slime and since the slime is somewhat sticky free floating particles attach to the slime to make it visable.

This slime is a chemical way of defense for the coral and if alot of your corals are sliming then it would have a negitive effect on other corals that come into contact with the slime of another coral.
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Old 10-15-2004, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: cobwebs in the tank; corals puking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yanek
Every time I did a water change, "cobwebs" would show up in the tank coming out of little tubes growing out of the live rock everywhere.
The little tubes are actually snails and the "cobwebs" are the snails "fishing line". These snails will release these "cobwebs" into the water collum when they detect some kind of food. These cobwebs are used to capture food and after a few minutes the cobwebs are reeled back in so the snail can taste/eat what it caught.
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Old 10-15-2004, 03:34 PM   #4
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I think that they are a worm and not a snail doing as klam says..... Doa search on spagetti worm and see if thats what they are.
Seabuffer what is this for??? Water temp is it the same as your tank? And do you have ph mixing it for 24 hrs? Low PH is not good IMO and can be a factor to the corals health.
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:53 PM   #5
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Do the tubes look like this? http://www.globaldialog.com/~jrice/i...e/vermetid.htm
I have a few that spit a mucous like substance (sort of like cobwebs) into the water many times daily. It doesn't seem to bother the Corals though.
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Old 10-16-2004, 02:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaham358
I think that they are a worm and not a snail doing as klam says..... Doa search on spagetti worm and see if thats what they are.
Spaghettie worms do not live in a tubes that Yanek described"little tubes growing out of the live rock everywhere" Also speghetti worms do not release these "codwebs" into the water colume. Spaghetti worms have multiple tenticles

Soundes like Yanek is most likely describing vermetid gastropods, a snail.

"Classification: Mollusca; Gastropoda; Prosobranchia; Vermetidae.

Common name: Worm Snails
Scientific Name: Dendropoma species; Serpulorbis species; Spiroglyphus angulatus.

Worm snails, or as they are known scientifically, vermetid gastropods are another of the many strange organisms found amongst the snails. They are recognized by their hard calcareous tubes which look rather like small feather-duster tubes. However, instead of a crown of tentacles, only strands of mucus are ever seen coming from the tubes. Some have a small round brown operculum that plugs the end of the tube when they retract into it.

These are animals that for about an hour or less of their lives, look and act like good little snails. They have a coiled shell and are quite mobile. As larvae they are brooded inside the shell of their female parent. They live there and go through embryonic development all within their parent's tube. When they become mature enough, they leave the parent's tube and strike out on their own, for a few minutes at least. They crawl a short distance and choose a place of their liking and cement their shell to it. From this point on they are immobile.

They live as suspension-feeders. They exude strands of mucus from the aperture of their tube into the water surrounding it. Particulate material adheres to the strand, and short time later the animal reels it in. A colleague of mine once referred to this as the "fly fishing" mode of suspension-feeding, but actually instead fishing for flies, it is catching small particulate material." -R.Shimek
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Old 10-16-2004, 05:47 PM   #7
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seeing as he has not replied we may never know??????
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Old 10-17-2004, 12:37 AM   #8
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I did my 2nd water change in about 8 months, so I can associate with your approach. As for your tanks reaction, I can only say that you are correct in making sure all params are as close as possible. PH slip is not good, that would probably explain the zoos condition. As you begin to raise the PH back where it ought to be, they should look happier and happier. I use kalk pretty constant to keep the corals perky and since I started kalking the corals all look much better and I enjoy a fairly stress free tank. (My stress that is..) One thing you mentioned, the super buffer or what not...Not really sure you need to add this unless testing shows the alk/buffers depleted. its noteworthy that Alk/PH Ca and Mg all play together. You should also note (you prolly know since your no n00b) that when you mix up and add a fresh batch of salt water, you are re-adding some of the vital trace elements too. That is, you can exptect for example a toadstool to go through a "molt" as well as shrimp and some other corals that "molt". (Usually associated with the rapid climb in strontium, though other variables, some bad, can cause a "molt" too)
As for the webs, I see them too, however I can get them by simply stirring up some of the trash in my sump. I always assumed it was just junk in my sump blowing into the tank and getting caught on the rocks and what not..Never really thought about the snail theory..

Best of luck
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Old 10-18-2004, 07:03 AM   #9
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all the webs in my tank come from my snails. I see them 'absailing' down cliff edges on my rock, so they dont have to slwly crawl... intelligent
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
seeing as he has not replied we may never know??????
Seeing as I was out of town; replying was difficult... heheeh. Still reading through the thread. Definitely the sessile snails. It looked like a feeding frenzy, but it was odd... Betcha it was detritus being stirred up in the sump and blown back about the tank.
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