Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 07-26-2005, 01:49 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 17
Junkyard Eaters: Skeleton and Carcas eradicators

Hello,

In nature when a skeleton or shell falls to the bottom of a body of water, a long time lapses until decomposition is successful and the skeleton degrades into calcium, elements and becomes part of the sea bed.

However, are there organic life which fulfill or aid this task?

In a freshwater aquarium setting- are there animals which feast on crustaceans or have been known to devour exoskeletons and fish carcases?

I know for instance in marine habitats hammerheads eat bony fish and are known sometimes are junkyard eaters.

Would there be any organisms which synthesize calcium and elements from skeleton structures?

I'm just curious if this is possible and if there is anything that does this.
__________________

__________________
krystian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 02:04 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Mauritius Is.
Posts: 271
go get a hammer and crush the shells!
__________________

__________________
amitnarain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 02:10 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Mauritius Is.
Posts: 271
oh i forgot to say welcome to u .

so... welcome.
__________________
amitnarain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 02:28 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 17
Thanks for the welcome!

I'm still extremely curious on learning on availability of lifeforms in response to the question I asked about. Though the shell smashing answer is feasible, I'm just curious if there are any life which actually do this, or devour exoskeletons from the sea bed.

Strange? Yes. But it seems anything is possible in this world.
__________________
krystian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
mr86mister's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Syracuse,NY
Posts: 895
Send a message via AIM to mr86mister
you know what that is a good question, i have always wondered about that, i guess in the natural world there are microscopic organisms that break down the shells and years of rotting probably help as well but i'm not sure of anything specific you could put in an aquarium


Welcome to AA
__________________
3 Gallon Betta, 14 Gallon BioCube Planted, 29 Gallon Community, 29 Gallon Parrot Cichlid/Pleco
46 Bowfront Reef Tank, 3 Cats, 1 Choc. Lab
mr86mister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 02:37 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Mauritius Is.
Posts: 271
maybe 'underwater weathering' (dont know the actual name): the wear of the shells caused by underwater currents and small particles in the water causing friction and hot and cold, etc,.. all contributing and naturally crushing the shells over the years.

btw im no expert at these theories but i guess so.
__________________
amitnarain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 02:40 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
mr86mister's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Syracuse,NY
Posts: 895
Send a message via AIM to mr86mister
yeah i agree with you, basically thats what i was thinking i just could not put them into words...lol
__________________
3 Gallon Betta, 14 Gallon BioCube Planted, 29 Gallon Community, 29 Gallon Parrot Cichlid/Pleco
46 Bowfront Reef Tank, 3 Cats, 1 Choc. Lab
mr86mister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 03:40 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jrp1588's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,875
Send a message via AIM to jrp1588
Ever wonder what sand is? Ground up shells and rocks. As amitnarain said, I think the sea just wears them down. But I'm sure there are also microorganisms that help things out a little.
__________________
jrp1588 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 03:44 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Jchillin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New York, NY (The Big Apple)
Posts: 14,951
Nature will naturally eliminate wastes from just about every area. The problem us FW folks have is we tend not to have or want these creatures in our tanks. These microscopic organisms would quickly overtake the tank and spell doom for our fish (for comparative purposes, think of asexual snails). I'm no marine biologist but it seems to make sense to me.
__________________
_________________________________
Jchillin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 03:46 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrp1588
Ever wonder what sand is? Ground up shells and rocks. As amitnarain said, I think the sea just wears them down. But I'm sure there are also microorganisms that help things out a little.
That is exactly what sand is. However, my question is concerned about the existence of organic life which aid the decomposition process or have been known to feed on skeletons and shells as part of or symptom of deprived diet.
__________________
krystian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2005, 09:11 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
QTOFFER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kew Gardens, NY
Posts: 4,295
Yay! My PhD in biochemistry has come in handy!

Bone, whether from fish or from mammals, is made of 1/3 collagen and 2/3 calcium phosphate. Collagen is a protein that can only be digested by bacteria and certain insects. The collagen in dry bone is protected from bacterial attack by the absence of water, and from insect attack by the hard calcium phosphate matrix it is embedded within. In slightly acidic water, the calcium phosphate slowly dissolves. Bacteria consume the collagen, and their acidic wastes hasten the calcium phosphate decomposition.

Cartilage (from sharks or mammalian joints) is made of hydrated collagen- it's 70% water by weight. Because of this, bacteria make short work of cartilage even on dry land.

Mollusk shells are made of calcium carbonate. It slowly dissolves like calcium phosphate.

Crustacean shells are made of chitin - a hard polymer of sugar (like starch, glycogen, and cellulose) that is found in the exoskeletons of all arthropods, including spiders and insects. Some arthropods can digest chitin, as can some bacteria.

Of course, the pounding action of waves and the grinding action of current-driven rocks and shells help to pulverize underwater skeletal remains too.
__________________
QTOFFER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2005, 03:53 PM   #12
God of primitive fishes
 
Toirtis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 8,163
Send a message via MSN to Toirtis Send a message via Yahoo to Toirtis
Most snails will chew away at any bone matter on a tank's floor...so that is one way to go.
__________________
G. A. Christian Bilou, Herpetologist
Founder/Director, Reptile Rescue Alberta
Past-President, Calgary Aquarium Society
www.calgaryaquariumsociety.com
Toirtis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2005, 09:51 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toirtis
Most snails will chew away at any bone matter on a tank's floor...so that is one way to go.
Oh yeah? Snails chew bone matter? Out of preference or if there is nothing else to eat they will?
__________________
krystian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2005, 10:19 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Iowa
Posts: 114
My applesnails usually love a nice dead fish when it happens, a shrimp skin after it molts, or if they can find it a whole dead shrimp. Also snails and shrimp eat dead snails. Between the 2 they clean up everything in my tank within an hour except for snail shells. If even a large fish dies I'll never know except for the fact it's missing. Lost a 7" pleco that way but I have about 50 applesnails and a dozen or 2 shrimp in a 55g. Only on rare occasion have I even found a fish skeleton and I had to steal it away from the pile of snails.
__________________

__________________
aqh88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
eat, eater

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
what could be eating my frogspawn skeleton? HoCkEyGmC Saltwater & Reef - Identification 3 06-01-2009 04:04 PM
Weird whitish "pouches" on my bubble's skeleton FishFrik Saltwater & Reef - Identification 4 05-14-2006 10:54 PM
Algae Eaters Mlrust1816 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 10 11-29-2005 09:10 AM
Algae Eaters Japola44 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 11 11-28-2005 11:59 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.