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Old 01-25-2005, 05:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tacoma, Wa
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A few questions prefaced by a tank tragedy (very long)

I have an Oceanic 37 gallon semi-cube with an Orbit 24" pc compact hood. The setup was a 2" sand bed, 40 pounds of live rock, 3 green chromis and 2 false percs. I had 1 zoanthid colony, 1 colony of green star polyps, 6 astrae snails, 5-6 nassarius snails and 5-6 blue legged hermits.

Back in september I went on vacation. When I returned I found that the return pump from my sump had failed. All fish in the tank were dead and there was a thick milky white cloud in the tank.

I was able to save 1 astrae snail, 3 nassarius snails and all 6 of the hermits. I moved them to my in-sump refugium along with the rock that had the zoanthid colony. They have all been living there happily for the last few months with the chaeto while I decided what to do with my tank.

I broke it down, cleaned it out and tossed the remainder of the live rock outside where it sat in the cold and rain. while I was taking the tank down, I found at least two dozen bristle worms, some quite large, and disposed of them in a less than humane manner.

About a month ago, I decided to put my tank back up. I got some dry sand from the LFS, fillled it with distilled water and salt mix and began the cycle with the very smelly ex-live rock that had been sitting outside. The tank cycled in about 5 weeks. Ammonia is 0, Nitrites 0, and Nitrates are dang near 0.

I've got some brown algae dusting the sand, rock and glass that I am guessing are diatoms, which is what I am thinking is responsible for the low levels of nitrates in the tank. About a week ago I moved my zoanthid rock into the main tank along with the snails and hermits.

Yesterday I noticed pods on the glass down near the sandbed (about 3-5 pods per square inch) and today when I looked the pods are crazy all over the glass (at least 7-10 per inch over most of the glass surface).

The Zoanthid rock seems to be doing well, I can see almost a dozen small feather dusters of two varieties, some sort of sponge and good coraline growth and I saw at least 3 stomatella that I had never notices before. What worries me are what appears to be a colony of hydroids among the zoo polyps and feather dusters, along with what look like small isopods.

The tank seems to be very healthy. So here are the questions.. Finally

1. Is it possible, considering the number of bristleworms I found while taking the tank down, that they spawned all at once and that coupled with the fact that my pump failed and no skimming ocurred is what nuked the tank?

2. Considering the algae growth on the glass, would it be 'normal' for copepods to multiply to such huge numbers in a weeks time?

3. Are these Hydrods? The colony is greenish, small short stalks, with what appear to be splits at the end of each stalk. I'm assuming that if it was algae growth, the hermits and stomatella would have eaten them. If they are Hydroids, what is the best way to get rid of them when the colony is intermixed with feather dusters and zoo polyps. This one rock is the only rock in the tank that has any life on it and I really would like to save it and see if they propogate to the rest of the rock.

4. Do these sound like Isopods and would they be harmful to fish? They are somewhere between the size of copepods and gamarus amphipods. Their bodies are translucent and they look like smallish 'potato bugs' with antanae, but unlike any pictures of Isopods that I have been able to find. I am assuming they are not parasitic, since they have been thriving without access to fish hosts for the last 3 months.

Sorry for the long post.. any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 01-25-2005, 03:47 PM   #2
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I found a picture of what I was thinking were isopods.

They are the larger bugs in this picture.

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Old 01-25-2005, 03:53 PM   #3
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Location: maine
Posts: 1,975
Bristleworms do not nuke tanks, they eat waste and are very beneficial 99% of the time. Almost all marine tanks will be packed with Bristleworms, usually living in LR and some in substrate. Excessive Bristleworms is a sign of overfeeding or excess waste (which can be caused by dead fish...)

Those are Copepods in the pic AFAIK. Given the right situations, Copepods can reproduce like crazy. When I started my tank, I went from 0 noticable pods to having them blanketing my glass in a couple weeks, then the population died down.

Bad Cirolanid Isopods are hard to miss, they look like this:

*26 freshwater*
2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
-Remora + Maxi-Jet 1200 // 2x Maxi-Jet 600 // Maxi-Jet 400 // Visi-Therm Deluxe 50 // Current USA Orbit 2x 40w PC
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:20 PM   #4
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Posts: 81
Here's what a cirolanid isopod looks like in the water too:


70g SW
1 percula clownfish
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:42 PM   #5
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ok... what I have are definately not cirolanid isopods.. (whew)

thanks guys!
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:04 PM   #6
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wow i def. have the heeby-jeebies now

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long, tan

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