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Old 11-23-2010, 06:06 PM   #11
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Ok, kurt, I feed the hermits with either water-logged krill or onewhole headless jumbo shrimp. then I also HAD 75-100 Astrea Starfish and 3-4 unID Starfish plus the other snail and several (I'm guessing)--Astrea Snaills, and 1 Nessarius snail, plus w/e is in the LR, is that not enough bio-load for a 10g tank?? I am still trying to figure Sh*t out srry I'm so upset about losing things... (sigh) ok so What creates/makes a cycle occur? I've hda this tank for abot 3-5 months.. iwhy would it cycle again???
Do the hermits eat ALL the food? I'm guessing/assuming not. That left over food will decompose and turn in to ammonia. Having more ammonia than your bacteria (the ones that convert ammonia to nitrites, and nitrites to nitrates) can handle will cause a cycle. Anytime you have more ammonia than your system can handle, you will have a cycle as the bacteria start making more bacteria to keep up.

Snails/crabs/starfish definitely add to the bioload of a tank, but nothing like fish would. In a fish tank, the primary generator of ammonia are the fish through their breathing, peeing/pooping, etc. In your tank, I'm guessing that your primary generator of ammonia is from your feeding. If I remember correctly, you never really cycled this tank - you just brought home some water, sand, and crabs from the beach and started things up.

I know I'm doing a lot of assuming, but I just have a feeling that your tank has just never really "caught up" as far as bacteria go. It's constantly seeing either too much ammonia, or not enough... which is causing the bacteria population to either die off or start multiplying like crazy. The asterina star fish probably died from either ammonia poisoning, or from lack of food. Probably the same with the snails.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:18 PM   #12
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Do the hermits eat ALL the food? I'm guessing/assuming not. That left over food will decompose and turn in to ammonia. Having more ammonia than your bacteria (the ones that convert ammonia to nitrites, and nitrites to nitrates) can handle will cause a cycle. Anytime you have more ammonia than your system can handle, you will have a cycle as the bacteria start making more bacteria to keep up.

Snails/crabs/starfish definitely add to the bioload of a tank, but nothing like fish would. In a fish tank, the primary generator of ammonia are the fish through their breathing, peeing/pooping, etc. In your tank, I'm guessing that your primary generator of ammonia is from your feeding. If I remember correctly, you never really cycled this tank - you just brought home some water, sand, and crabs from the beach and started things up.

I know I'm doing a lot of assuming, but I just have a feeling that your tank has just never really "caught up" as far as bacteria go. It's constantly seeing either too much ammonia, or not enough... which is causing the bacteria population to either die off or start multiplying like crazy. The asterina star fish probably died from either ammonia poisoning, or from lack of food. Probably the same with the snails.
Wow,well def not from lack of food lol.

And yeah it takes me hermits abuot 3-4 days to eat the entire shrimp, maybe a day more...
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:03 PM   #13
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Wow,well def not from lack of food lol.
Not necessarily. Pretty sure asterina starfish don't eat meat, so they could've starved. But more than likely, you have ammonia present.

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And yeah it takes me hermits abuot 3-4 days to eat the entire shrimp, maybe a day more...
Well then... there's your answer. Putting a single shrimp into a 30g tank and letting it decompose is how many of us suggest people cycle their tank. I remember when I mistakenly put a whole shrimp in my 10g to cycle it. Ammonia levels went off the charts.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:02 PM   #14
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To be honest? I look at the salt deposit left after evaporation lol and I just use visual common sense IE I look at the activity of my hermits

No all I have is the test strips I said about, the SG I just use visual confirmation: it actually works well seeing how I've had it tested for it and it was fine
i dont know how u measured the SG using visual...u need the hydrometer if u cant afford to have refractometer....u wanna save your time and money..?? go and get test kits and hydrometer...API master test kits is liquid test and it can be use for 150times...that the only thing i can say for u now...
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:00 PM   #15
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You can take a sample of water to the lfs and get a free testing. At least its more accurate than the test strip.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:23 PM   #16
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Ok well I just got a hydrometer and I'll be using it tonight and post my findings tomorrow. Also next weekend I will be getting a master test kit for about 40$

In about feb I will be upgrading to a 36 gal tank! And I plan on using my 10gal for a sump. I plan on doing fish and coral. I figure about $500 should get me set up for all this. I wanna start with small frags and smaller "starter" fish and plenty of snails and starfish. Bunches of LR and of course my hermits. In a couple of weeks I'm gonna get a canister filter for now and maybe trade in my HOB filter.

Ok well thanks for all the advice keep it coming!

-Brett
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:02 PM   #17
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Found out that my hydrometer is measuring in PPT and I need PPM so I gotta get a new one... grrr
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:21 PM   #18
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Found out that my hydrometer is measuring in PPT and I need PPM so I gotta get a new one... grrr

Refractometers and hydrometers are marked in SG (for specific gravity) or in ppt (part per thousand). For example, 1.026 SG and 35 ppt are roughly equal. Not sure why you need ppm (part per million).
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:17 PM   #19
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Well I thought that PPM was more commonplace... So if on my PPT Hydrometer the needle keeps going straight to the top... and its not in the "marked" prefered area... then my Salinity IS way too high??? what is the prefered Salt content for a FOWLR tank??
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:38 PM   #20
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Swing-arm hydrometers are not the most accurate things, but are definitely better than just guessing. A refractometer probably would've been better. Regardless, you'll see numbers for FOWLRs run anywhere between 1.021 and 1.026. Personally, I'd shoot for 1.025-1.026 since that is closer to natural sea water. That equates to around 34-35 ppt.

If the arm is pointing straight up, then yeah... your water is way too salty, or you have a defective hydrometer, or the arm has a bunch of air bubbles attached to it.
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