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Old 12-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #1
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Double death

Hi,

I have a 48 litre River Reef, which currently holds 1 Clown, three hermits, toadstall coral and polyps. The lighting is 9 months old, came with the tank. Water tests show all is fine and at correct levels. I've had the tank since March 2010. I have fours pieces of live rock, two pieces are new, and since i added it I have had an algae infestation that I cannot get rid of it. It looks like green hair - I bought another pump for water flow, tried a ball of macr algae, but it covered that and the micro drops, but the algae is on a mission and has already killed off a lot of the polyp corals. I now use a toothbrush to get rid of it. Apart from the algae problem, I had a starfish, which went under the gravel two weeks ago and has never returned. it is a gravel feeder, but surely two weeks is a long time not to come out? My new problem however is with the mysterious deaths of my cleaner shrimp - one died on Sunday evening - on Sat it was happy and eating, and Sun morning it was dead, everything was intact, he wasn't eaten by anything. The next day the other shrimp is writhing around and drops down dead. The coral look healthy, the fish and hermits are fine and the coral is out. Things I did differently - water change on the Saturday with new water i bought from store - salted RO. But I have no idea what could have killed both my shrimp within 24 hours?
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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When is the last time you did a water change? tested the water. If the starfish died, sounds like you wouldn't know and it could have caused an ammonia spike. I'd dig and look for it. He'll likely starve anyway, since I've never known one to survive long in an aquarium. Not much in the sand bed to sustain them after they've eaten for a while. On the algea, yes the toothbrush, siphon and a water change will help, but unless you find the problem, it'll all come back.

So, tell us what all your water readings are, how often and what you feed, and your lighting schedule for starters.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:33 AM   #3
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Hi,

I do a water change once a week - every Saturday and test the water once a month.
I'll dig around and try and find the starfish.
Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite are all at 0. Ph is 8.5 and phosphate is 0.
I feed a frozen mix I get from World of Water which is a mixture of stuff specifically for marine fish and inverts. I feed one tablet every other day. Lightning schedule is - on from 12pm to 8pm with the viewing light on till 10pm.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:30 PM   #4
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as far as the aglae is concerned, you need a larger cleaning crew.....more crabs, and add some snails.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:59 PM   #5
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a larger cleaning crew might be something to look at. If you had a shrimp die and it was still there in the morning....wow, I am surprised.

I have a predatory crab in my 90g that I became aware of about a month ago and have been trying to catch him since. I've been close, oh so close, but he darts into the rocks and disappears. Well, that crab took out a yellow tang one night. The next morning all that was left were a few yellow-ish spines. The snails, hermits, shrimp, and other CUC finished off the whole thing by morning. A shrimp should be able to die and you not notice until you no longer see it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:14 AM   #6
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I think i'll get some more cleaning crew. Is it better to get the same type of hermits as before? I have red legged hermits, who are quite small. Or it is better to go for different species? Also the turbo snails die pretty quickly, they fall off the side and then the hermits have dinner!
Also, my sole Clown is very aggressive and tries to kill any newbie. I don't have any other fish as it will attack them, but now the attention goes to the cleaning crew.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:33 AM   #7
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i disagree with the "cleaning crew". your issue is excess nutrients. it could be from the dead starfish, or perhaps just from a build up over time.
turbo snails don't die pretty quickly if they can help it. they will live years if they can. you can add them to the mysterious deaths you are seeing.
i would consider finding a different source for your water change water for one.
you've got to track down the source of the excessive nutrients. also, the bulbs should be changed in your fixture.
i don't think more eating, pooping, critters is going to solve this problem.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:54 AM   #8
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I'm with Mr X on this one. What type of lighting do you have (Power Compact, T5, MH, normal fluorescent)?
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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Hi,

The lighting is the compact T5
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:39 PM   #10
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I agree with Mr. X, do some normal maintenance and change out some bulbs and do a good water change and test.
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