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Old 06-08-2011, 09:44 AM   #1
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Tiger Cowrie dead

I wonder if any of you can help. I added this chap two weeks ago to my established tank.

Water parameters checked two days ago

Amonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5ppm
Phosphate 0
Alk high
SG 1024
Temp 79

He spent his first week harrassing one of the soft leathers, to the extent the leather went into a sulk.

Two days ago he crawled up the glass of the tank and stayed there, yesterday morning he was on the sand and didnt move all day. This morning I noticed gunk floating in the tank, I fished out all that I could find and it is indeed a snails innards. The tiger cowrie shell is now empty .

His tank mates are two clowns, an flame angel and sailfin tang. 2 cleaner shrimps, 1 emerald crab, 2 trochus, 2 cerith 2 conch.

Any clues what could have done for him? Old age? suicide? murder? or a mistake on my part?

I hope I have included all the relevant info. Many thanks for taking the time to read this.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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Perhaps he starved to death? In an established tank with little algae supplemental nori or caulerpa may have been required. I had a turbo in my 24g but I got rid of it because it couldn't find enough to eat on the rocks and just retracted on the sand, only coming out when I placed nori underneath it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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I feed Nori which he used to nibble on

I did wonder if he irritated the leathers so much that they were giving out terpenes which may have been at toxic levels? But if that were the case wouldnt the other inverts and fish be affected? hmmm I just dont know.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:00 PM   #4
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Maybe tiger cowries are more sensitive? Who knows.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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Thanks Sarcothelia, I went back to the lfs this afternoon to pick up some ro water, since I now have .25ppm amonia and .2ppm nitrite .

Had a word with him, he said the only deaths of cowrie he ever heard of personally were either acclimitisation issues but he would expect it to die within a day or two at most and he didnt feel it could be that.

Otherwise he wondered if I had hermits in the tank - no I dont in this tank, at least none I have ever seen, and it would have to be a fair sized hermit to kill a cowrie. Also none of the other snails are troubled.

Ah well, perhaps I will never know.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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How many tiger cowries can I put in my 120 gallon tank without fear of them starving to death?
I had two sand sifting starfish, and one ate the other one within the week and I am almost positive the cowrie was munching on one of the limbs too....

I wish I was more educated about this stuff - my husband gave me such huge tank to start with that I fear it it beyond my current abilities.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:12 AM   #7
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Hey Rosebubble, I cant answer your question about how many cowries per 120 gallon, alot is going to depend on how mature your system is and how much food/algae there is for them to graze on, but I'm sure someone more experienced than me will come along and answer that.

I sense your anxiety about your tank being greater than your experience, it is a responsibility when we agree to care for these precious critters, I think we all feel the same. But the bigger the tank the easier it is to keep it stable, so thats a positive. A large tank will forgive little mistakes more readily than a small tank and just becuase your tank is large doesnt mean you have to fill every corner right away, start small, start with the hardy fish/inverts/corals and move onto the more demanding stuff when your confidence grows - I'm sure it is going to be great!
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