I'm pretty new to this hobby, and in the past I've made some bad and uneducated choices. Lately, however, things have been going much better. I've had fish live for a couple weeks and no trouble (they were dying in a couple days previously). Anyway, I just made a couple changes and suddenly my worst nightmares are being realized.
1 Scissortail Goby (Dartfish)
1 Tomato Clown
1 Arrow Crab
1 Cleaner Shrimp
2 Blue Leg Reef Hermit Crabs
1 Emerald Crab
1 Anemone Crab
1 Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber
1 Red Bali Sea Star
2 Sand Sifting Sea Stars (incredibly small - 1/2")
A few assorted corals
Changes made yesterday:
Added a 75 gallon sump with a Cap 1800 return pump.
Moved the Arrow Crab to main tank from 10 gallon QT tank.
Moved 3 gallons of water to main tank from QT tank (this was 4-day old water that had only
housed the arrow crab. The QT tank had been thoroughly cleaned before this water was introduced.
Took a rock covered in hair algae out of the tank for a moment and pulled the algae off so it was short enough to be eaten easily by the algae eaters.
Results of changes:
Dead Goby (no signs of disease)
Dying Clownfish (no signs of disease)
Dead Red Bali Sea Star (melted, more accurately. The red coloring seems to have melted off of him and onto the sand around his corpse)
Dead Sand Sifter Stars
Cucumber acting very sluggish. It's got its anterior end open with the tentacles exposed, but they don't seem to be looking for food. It's also not hanging out on the sand, it's staying up on a rock.
All corals and fan worms closed as tightly as possible
Cleaner Shrimp not moving around, but not really looking like it's at death's door, exactly.
Most of the crabs seem to be doing okay.
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - < 10
pH - 8.1
Copper - 0
Now, I'm no expert, but this screams foreign contaminant to me. There are only three possible sources of this, though... 1) my hands, 2) the QT tank water, 3) the brand new sump. I washed my hands, but not with soap, before I did all this. The QT tank had been scrubbed very throughly, bleached, dechlorinated, left to dry in the sun for two days, and was dry for about a week before we put this water in the tank. None of the water in the tank was from the LFS
, and the arrow crab seemed to suvive in it quite well for 4 days. The sump is name brand and came wrapped in plastic. I doubt they'd be in business if they shipped their sumps with a fresh load of poison in them.
That, in my mind, eliminates most of the likely sources of foreign contaminants. My new theory is a cuke
nuke. However, that theory also has a big hole in it - why? Why would it nuke in arguably perfect water conditions without anything that (to my knowledge) would mess with it? The only new addition to the tank that day was an arrow crab and I have housed an arrow crab with a cuke
for months in the past. Also, the arrow crab is a very small juvenile. I don't think he would mess with the cuke
, but I could definitely be wrong on that one. Is there any way to tell if the cuke
92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR
, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH
, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5
Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars