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Old 12-28-2006, 04:58 PM   #1
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shrinking feather duster

The crown on my duster has been getting smaller, some of the feathers look as though they've been bitten off, but not all at once, this has happened gradually. It didn't happen right away, as I've had the duster since August or so. Could it be water quality issues, or is someone getting a snack? Other tank inhabitants are astraea snails, a six line wrasse (who ignores the duster every time I watch him) and a teeny hitchhiker crab that I can't catch. There were some bigger crabs but they are gone.
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:16 PM   #2
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What are you test results?
Do you know what kind of crab it is?
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Can you post a closeup photo of him when he's fully extended?

Also, what are your water parameters?

I've had some curious shrimp get on a tube and reach inside to grab at a featherduster, but I've never seen one actually get damaged by this.
They can usually hide in the lower half of their tube well out of reach.
I've seen mine lose a feather or two naturally over time, and I've also seen them lose a whole crown all at once due to stress, and then grow it back.

I imagine if you have a critter preying on your featherduster you will eventually see it harrassing or waiting outside the tube. If it's not happening during daylight hours you could try taking a flashlight and checking on him during lights out.
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:42 PM   #4
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It could be the hitchiker crab. What does he look like. Featherdusters will usually cast the whole crown away when water parameters are not within reason. I would like to get a pic of the featherduster if I can. I`m going to move this to an appropiate forum also
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for moving the post! (Although I was puzzled for a few seconds as to where it went)

I've been away for a week so I will test and take pics tonight. It is a 10g FOWLR. I think (actually I know) my nitrates are a little high.
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:00 PM   #6
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That`s the problem sometimes with smaller tank as they are less forgiving. Hopefully you`ll be OK
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:36 PM   #7
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Here are some parameters and pics....

pH: 8.0 (two tests)
Nitrates: between 10-20 on AP SW kit
Nitrites and ammonia: 0
SG: 1.024

pics: kind of blurry (my camera doesn't like closeups) but you can see that some of the ends of the feathers look like they've been nipped off, some are regrowing. Overall the whole crown looks smaller and more sparse






here;s an old pic for comparison:
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:59 PM   #8
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Honestly it sounds like it is getting ready to shead the crown and regrow another one .... it is normal for them to "tatter" over time ... just keep your h20 parameters up to par be ready for additional water changes , run carbon .
Do a bit larger weekly water change to get them nitrAtes down a bit .
Please list the tanks residents inverts and fish .... if he does decrown he will not come out of the tube for awhile but will regrow it and reemerge. dont worry if you see the crown off it will regrow albeit a bit smaller than the first (that is normal )
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadielynn
Do a bit larger weekly water change to get them nitrAtes down a bit .
I second this. Hope all goes well
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:06 PM   #10
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Water is mixing, will do a change tonight and then another in a week or so. Only fish is the camera-hog wrasse. Only other inverts are 4 Astraea snails and one small (1/4") hitchhiker crab. Lots and lots of caulerpa.
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