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Old 10-24-2003, 06:40 PM   #1
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Tank dying need help!

We upgraded from a 10 gal to a 25 about 2 weeks ago with a true perc, red star, 3 nudibranches, 1 tiger goby, snails and blue hermits, a toadstolo leather, and some loose mushrooms. last weekend we got some lr and ls. put the lr on the side to cure, and put the ls in the tank since it was from an established aquarium. all was fine, all readings were zero

a couple nights ago we added a couple more loose mushrooms we got from the lfs, and put the bag in the tank to equal out the temp. we took the bag out a little while later and noticed that there was a hole in the bag, so water mixed. but we thought nothing of it.

now im not blaming the water that was from the bag, but the next day 1 of the nudibranches, about 4 crabs, and a couple snails were found dead, and the red star wasnt looking too good, the toadstool leather is turning green, and the mushrooms new and old are getting white stuff on them and closing up. we did tests and everything was good only thing was the calcium level was a little high, 490, but alk was good

any ideas of what it might be? should we set up a QT tank for everything thats left? should we put em in our 60 gal or is that a bad idea?

please help!!
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Old 10-24-2003, 07:36 PM   #2
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490 a little high? If your calcium were any higher you could ride a tricycle across the top of the water and play hopscotch on it. I know experiences differ on this, but calcium just doesn't go above 400 in an established tank without some serious help. What is it normally???

I doubt the water from the LFS was the problem. Not unless they just added a pint of Jungle Brand Coopper Safe to it, and that would have killed the shrooms.

Shuffling a tank around or transferring LR or substrate usually causes a nitrate spike because it disrupts the critters that eat nitrate and are also sensitive to exposure to fresh oxygenated water. However, it's rarely critical, and will stabilize. Ammonia/nitrite disruption can also occur, but this usually steadies real fast unless you do something really stupid during the move and kill a lot of the rock.

My first suspect is anything new added to the tank, and it's likely the sand. I'm not trying to point fingers, but if the sand came from a reef tank that was salted regularly with calcium additives and trace elements you could have a problem. If the sand came from a tank that was really old you could stil have the same problem. The sand would have contained a large amount of precipitated calcium and other minerals that got caught up in the normal PH fluctuations of a newly shuffled tank, and the sand could have leached a serious amount of normally safe trace elements into the water at a huge rate. The high calcium normally isn't a problem, but it's a sign other things are out of whack, including a possible PO4 surge or PH bouncing around. When hermit crabs start rolling over, 'Houston, we have a problem'. At the least, I'd start doing some serious water changes and perhaps move the remaining critters out until a the tank stabilizes. I'd also be curious about your PH readings.
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Old 10-25-2003, 02:00 AM   #3
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well is there nothing else i can do?? just water changes? should i set up a qt or put them into my established 60 gal or what? nothing as far as the ammonia nitrite nitrate or ph has fluctuated we have been testing them since we did the upgrade. the sand was ls from our lfs, they make their own ls in a tank there and seed it to make it live, i dont think they add any trace elements to it at all. anyone have any ideas of what it could be??
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Old 10-25-2003, 02:30 AM   #4
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I'd sure as heck put the remaining critters in an established tank.

This one otherwise has me baffled. LS that isn't a mineral sump (from a reef tank) might cause an ammonia spike from all the bio matter in it, but that's usually absorbed and adjusted for pretty quickly. Same thing if you throw a big chunk of semi cured live rock in a tank. If you had some angels or copperband butterflys roll over, I woulnd't be so amazed, but to start losing tough inverts like crabs has me totally baffled. A lot of LS in a fairly established sand bed when it's moved could leech some baddies from anoxic pockets, but this doesn't sound like your tank situation.

The clue is to look into what can kill crabs so quickly, and like you, I'm looking for other responses.
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Old 10-25-2003, 07:59 AM   #5
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When you upgraded the tank, did you give the tank tim to settle in and do it's mini cycle? It sounds to me that the 25 had gone through an ammonia spike and some of the inverts did not like that. You may want to have the LFS test your water... The things you are describing go hand in hand with ammonia poisoning.. This can sometimes take a while to show the signs or death to come knocking..

Calcium at even 550 or so, would not cause an adverse effect such as this...

Nudibranchs also are some of the hardest inverts to keep alive for any amount of time, due to the fragile nature to bad water quality. They need pristine conditions and most would not attempt to keep them...

I too am not going to suspect the little bit of LFS water that may have seeped out of the bag, unless you dumped it all in... Then, it could be a good chance...

In any case, I would like to see specifics on test readings to be able to help more.

"edited" P.S. On the subject of LS from LFS, you could prolly judge as to whether or not it was a bad addition by examining the tank it came out of... If everything in that tank looked good and there were no signs of illness, then chances aer the LS is not the culprit either..
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Old 10-25-2003, 06:44 PM   #6
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when we did the upgrade, we used everything from the 10 gal, and added the rest of the water from our 60 gal. we let it all settle but only for about an hour before putting everything in. we figured that we really shouldnt get any kind of spike since nothing was out of water for more than a few seconds, and everything was already established. we didnt do any tests until we put the sand in, which was about a week later, but everythng was zero, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate(at least was very little nitrate cuzz the color didnt change at all) and i had tested it again after we saw signs of illness, and still zero. if there was any kind of spike, would they just start to show signs 2 weeks later? a majority of the lfs water was exchanged as the hole was about 1/2 an inch in diameter.

now th star has disinegrated, almost all snails are dead, and the leather looks worse. the mushrooms look better however. we have a qt tank setup for the remaining inhabitants. should we put anything in the water or should they be ok. should we change out all the water in the 25 with fresh water? the shrimp and true perc seem fine, but the goby is nowhere to be found.

the remaining nubranches seem to be ok as well, one lost a piece of its body but is still moving. we have had them for over a month in the 10 and they were fine. we actually saw trails through algae patches on our tank walls they were making, i dont know if they were eating it or not but we never fed them anything so we figured they were. maybe weve just been lucky, i dont know.

also, will the qt tank go through a cycle too? we have two sponge filters in there.

thanks for your help.
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