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Innovative Marine Aquariums

Skunk Cleaner Deaths


1cequ33n

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On Friday (1/6), I added my first livestock (CUC) to my newly cycled BC29. I began the tanks cycle on Nov. 30th, and the water peremeters had been normal for at least the last 3 weeks (results below).

 

Besides 2 skunk cleaners, I added around a dozen snails, nassarius and cerith.

 

Saturday morning, I woke up and one of the shrimp had molted. Later that night, about 12 hours later, it died. We had thought the other cleaner had killed it because it had a broken leg and thought they had gotten in a tussle. The other shrimp was carrying eggs, so maybe it was being territorial? But tonight, we came home and found that the other shrimp had molted, and was also now dead.

 

We tested immediately after we found the first one dead and the results are as follows:

Temp: 79.1

SG: 1.025

PH: 8.07

Ammonia: 0.00

Nitrites: 0.00

Nitrates: 0.00

 

Tested again tonight after finding the second one dead.

Temp: 77.7

SG: 1.025

PH: 8.05

Ammonia: 0.00

Nitrites: 0.00

Nitrates: 0.00

 

We did a nice long drip acclimation, and my LFS keeps their salinity between 1.023 and .025.

 

What do you experienced reefers suppose could be the cause? I'm certain my tank is fully cycled, but do shrimp need a more "seasoned" tank?

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I may suggest copper as a slight possibility as well. Also, did you quarantine them? Apparently you did not. I would suggest doing so specially in small tanks, just to be on the safe side. Besides, an animal may look pretty healthy at the store and then die a couple of days later for no apparent reason. What most people recommends is that anytime you see a fish, critter or coral newly arrived at your LFS, give it a couple of weeks (or pay the LFS guy a deposit) and observe the animal. Sometimes they appear to be fine but they come with traumas from wild catch, poor shipping and extensive depravation of proper levels of oxygen. Regards.

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Don't have a copper test. Will have to pick one up.

I didn't quarantine, because I had nothing else in the tank. But they were a newer shipment to my LFS, so no saying they weren't a bit shocked, though they ate and acted fine.

 

Is it a coincidence that they both died shortly after molting?

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I'm not supplementing anything. Don't have an Iodine test, and I'm going by the old adage that you don't dose what you aren't testing. Didn't think 2 shrimp would need anything more than what water changes can give.

 

And there's nothing else in the tank but the dozen-ish small snails. I was pretty sure I specified the non-murderous snails when I bought them, so the only culprit was the other shrimp, but now that e's perished too... well...

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I wouldn't worry about the copper and iodine. How long did you acclimate them, when you finish acclimating, is the dripping bucket temp same as tank water temp? If the difference is huge,that could stress them. Sorry about my english.

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I guess I can't say for sure, but we did a drip acclimation for roughly 1.5 hours. The room where we have the tank is VERY warm; before we installed the chiller, the tank was running 84-85 with the lights OFF. I'm fairly certain ambient temperature would have kept them warm, but I don't think too warm.

 

I'll be sure to float a thermometer next time. I really hope that wasn't the cause! Would it have taken three days if it was a temp shock?

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1.5 hours is kinda long, IMO. I always float the bag for 15 min, then remove 1/2 the bag water, and add about 10ml every 15 min, up to an hour no longer. Ive had shrimp molt within hours of acclimation too. May be due to stress. I dose 1-2 drops of Lugol's a week, and find my shrimp molt pretty regularly (once a month). Sounds like your tank is definitely cycled, and your water seems fine. I too wouldn't worry about copper, but hey you never know. What kind of filtration are you running?

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We ate dinner while they were acclimating, so it ran a little long. More realistically like an hour and 15 min, but over an hour no matter how you slice it.

 

For filtration, it's fairly basic. I have an Aquaticlife 115 skimmer in chamber one, and then a little bit of filter floss at the top of my refugion in the middle chamber. The fuge is going great, macro growth like crazy and it's a pod factory. I don't run any kind of chemical filtration, because I don't see any water perimeter problems. Though since I'm not testing for things like copper, nor am I filtering them out, I can't say I don't have a problem where that is concerned. Would running something like Chemi-pure have any adverse effects on the things I am already testing for?

 

 

On an only semi-related topic. Can Chemi-pure help raise the PH in a FW tank? I've added plants to my 55gal at work, which control the nitrate problem I've almost always had, and the driftwood they grow on is lowering my PH. My thought is since Chemi-pure is supposed to "maintain PH", and so many use it in reefs, which have a higher PH range, it could in turn raise the PH in a FW tank. Am I right or wrong?

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