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Old 06-04-2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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Cleaner shrimp life span?

So today i went to feed my tank and noticed that my shrimp wasn't going nuts and leaping for food as usual. He was just sitting there uninterested so i know something must be very wrong cuz he is ALWAYS hungry and looking for food. I figured i would give him a day in case he just wasn't feeling good or something. Couple hours later he was down in the sand bed looking like he was gonna kick it. So i started testing water like mad to see what was going on. In the process of testing some of my nassarius snail came out and ate him while he will still dying the poor little fella. I tried to poke the snails off him but nothing was gonna keep them from getting a meal. So here are the results from the tests

ammonia 0
nitrites didn't test but if the ammonia was 0 i figured i was ok
nitrates 25 ppm
SG 1.021 (little low gonna get this up)
carbonate hardness 11dkh or 197 ppm
ph 8.2
calcium 420
Mg 1400 ish (think i messed up the test a bit but at least 1400 probably higher)

My SG is low but i didn't think that was enough to kill him is it? I know my nitrates aren't great but its a 12gallon and i'm doing every thing i can to minimize that but there is only so much i can do. Change probably 15-20% every week. He have lived through higher nitrates then that though so i know it couldn't be that. Only other thing i add to the tank is iodine and i add much less then is recommended on the bottle. (1/8 dose max) just enough to keep a little iodine in there so he can molt. I recently added a sun coral in there could something have hitch hiked that would kill my shrimp?

So i guess the question is ... did he die of natural causes (had him probably 7 months or so) or could something have killed him?
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:14 PM   #2
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IMO, It's prob a combo of your SG, Nitrates and Iodine.

Iodine is nasty stuff and should not be added unless you test your levels first. I lost almost $300 of corals, fish and inverts from an Iodine OD. I only added 1/3 the recommended dose. But since I didn't test, I didn't know my levels were fine. So when I added, I OD the tank.

SG swings will definitely cause issues. Slowly bring it back up to at least 1.023 and keep close tabs on it. How do you think it got that low?

Inverts are intolerant to Nitrates. Now, yours aren't THAT bad..but mixed with the SG and Iodine..could very well have overwhelmed it.

I've had my shrimp for just about a year now, and they are still kicking.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:06 AM   #3
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I've heard of people having lots of trouble with iodine and ODing the tank. Because of problems like you had and also because of inaccurate tests and so forth. I was really super careful about adding it. The recommended like 3-4 drops daily for my tank and i add maybe 3-4 drops every other week. Could even that little OD the tank? I've heard that if your Iodine is to high you have all kinds of algae problems as well and i don't have that?

We have several tanks in the house and my mom and brothers tanks always are a bit high because of their evaporation. So we usually mix our salt just a bit low. I don't have much evaporation because my tank is in the basement and its a bit cooler. So i suspect over the past couple of weeks or so it has slowly gone down from 1.023 to 1.021 so i don't think there was much of a swing. I do regular PWC to try and keep my levels stable.

The nitrates there isn't much i can do about. I only feed very controlled small portions every other day. I don't wanna do bigger water changed because i don't wanna cause swings. I'm open for suggestions though.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:56 AM   #4
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I think usmcmarc hit it on the head.

I've never dosed iodine. My cleaner shrimp has been in the tank from day one and that's coming up on 2 years. Only thing I dose is C-balance for Ca/Alk. Your PWC will give you all the iodine you need.

Your salinity should be stable. Stable means stable... not going down slowly. Adding a little top off to a 12g each day shouldn't be too much work.

2 clowns in a 12g is well... going to create a lot of nitrates, regardless of how you feed, unless you're doing water changes every 3-4 days. That's just the life of having a nano that has too many fish in it. Not being harsh... just stating fact.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:41 PM   #5
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I also think marc hit it on the head. Iodine will be replaced by pwc's. You've been adding it without testing it. You may have reached a toxic level.

If you don't test for it DON'T DOSE IT! That's a maxim in this hobby. You may want to do several 25% pwc's over the next few days. That should help restore the balance to your tank and may even help lower the trAtes.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:24 PM   #6
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i've always heard to keep SG close to natural seawater for invert health
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:10 PM   #7
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Yeah I've heard not to add anything you don't test for but then unfortunately I've heard that iodine tests are extremely inaccurate and really cause more problems then they solve. Thats why i was adding so little. I wasn't sure if there was really much iodine in the salt and it i know most shrimp need it to molt properly. Bummer guess i chalk that one up to a lesson learned.

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i've always heard to keep SG close to natural seawater for invert health
Yeah i normally keep it at 1.023 but i just brought the tank home from school and instead of getting my water mixed at the LFS we mix our own at home and they had been mixing it low. I'll slowly bring it back up as i'm doing the 25% water changes that were suggested.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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i cant believe they ate him alive... thats the most crazy part to me
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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Yeah it was kinda harsh. I felt bad for the little guy
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:08 PM   #10
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I've never kept skunk cleaners long. 6-8 months has been my best. My blood red/fire cleaners seem to live forever. I've had'm for 2-3 years. Trates or salt levels have not been a problem at all either. Had that experience in 2 different tanks.
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:15 PM   #11
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I have had 2-cleaner shrimp for 11-months and they are still doing great. I do remember reading somewhere that they live up to 2-years.
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