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Peppermint shrimp dead-who's the culprit?


nwin

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14g biocube been running for about 6 months.

 

I have the following:

 

1 b/w occ. clown (added about 2 months ago)

1 tailspot blenny (first fish in...added about 4 months ago)

1 cleaner shrimp (first livestock added, about 4.5 months ago)

1 peppermint shrimp (added with cleaner shrimp)-Dead

1 pom pom crab (added with tailspot blenny, 4 months ago)

various hermits (added about 2 months ago)

 

So either last night or this morning I woke up and saw a shrimp molt hanging to my powerhead...nothing new, they get sucked in their all the time and stay stuck on the side. I didn't think anything of it.

 

Today I was doing a water change and my wife asked if I had seen the peppermint shrimp. I couldn't remember except I said a shrimp had molted last night or this morning, so maybe he was hiding. However, neither of our shrimp ever hide when they molt. We looked around the tank and saw a headless body of the peppermint shrimp...definitely not a molt.

 

We started thinking about what had happened and here's another interesting part. We bought a jawfish about 2 months ago, but he died a few weeks ago. Some rocks fell on him in his burrow and his fins were tattered. He looked like he was healing up a few days later, and he made a new burrow. Then a day later something had gotten his side fin and he died shortly after (his side fin was NOT originally hurt)...we were thinking maybe the pom pom then, but weren't sure.

 

FINALLY, I noticed a disturbing lack of hermit crabs (we had bought three). We only found one in the 5 minutes we were looking at my tank, and they are normally always out and about.

 

So, possible culprits?

 

-I would say age, since the pep was about 1.5-2" long, a fairly big pep...his head might have been gone because he just died and the snails/crabs were scavenging.

 

-clownfish? My clown is kind of a brat. He was going after the jawfish in his last day as he was flailing around the tank (though maybe that's natural for fish to prey on the weak?). However, I've never seen him go after the shrimp before.

 

-pom pom...this is most likely I think. Just due to the fact that the pep died after molting, and that hermit crabs are missing apparently...also the fact of how the jawfish was doing a lot better and healing, and then a few days later, it had a new injury.

 

So, if you guys agree this is the pom pom...it's obvious I have to get rid of it! What would work best here? Just the 20 oz coke bottle with the top cut off and inverted with some food in it I guess? Any other suggestions?

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Haha Pom poms are tiny, I don't think it can do all that

 

I don't think the clowns did either.

 

So one of the jaw fishy pectorals was completely gone?

 

Kind sounds like something is eating your stuff, but not the clown or Pom Pom. How big is the Pom Pom?

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how much does your salinity swing within a days time? I put a pep shrimp in my tank and my float valve got stuck and didnt top off my tank and my pep shrimp was dead that night.

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But it's head was missing...and yes peps are sensitive and can seem to die for no reason.

 

If their is not enough shells hermits will kill each other

 

The jawfish may have been sickly

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But it's head was missing...and yes peps are sensitive and can seem to die for no reason.

 

If their is not enough shells hermits will kill each other

 

The jawfish may have been sickly

After my pep died its head was gone as well but I have nothing in my tank large enough to eat its head. It had to be the cuc that started doing its job after it died. Just a scenario that happened to me.

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So one of the jaw fishy pectorals was completely gone?

 

Kind sounds like something is eating your stuff, but not the clown or Pom Pom. How big is the Pom Pom?

 

The pom pom is small...I'd say maybe it's body is the size of my thumbnail (so 1/2-3/4"). One of the pectorals was torn, but not completely missing.

 

 

how much does your salinity swing within a days time? I put a pep shrimp in my tank and my float valve got stuck and didnt top off my tank and my pep shrimp was dead that night.

 

I don't think my salinity really swings too much. It takes about 1/4 gallon distilled water/day for top-offs. I've been doing it this way for top-offs (manually) since I've had the tank, so you would figure the pep would have died a while ago if it had a problem with the salinity...

 

But it's head was missing...and yes peps are sensitive and can seem to die for no reason.

 

If their is not enough shells hermits will kill each other

 

The jawfish may have been sickly

 

The hermits have plenty of shells, and the smallest one out of all three is the sole survivor! I had a blue legged, a red legged, and a yellow-tip. The blue legged is the survivor.

 

Long story short about the jawfish. It was chilling in it's burrow when a trochus snail slid on in there, trapping the jawfish. The jawfish looked stressed and was trying to move, but couldn't. That's when I made (potentially) the mistake of getting the trochus out of there, but some rocks fell in it's place. The jawfish was able to get out of the burrow, but it's back fin was tore up and ragged...nothing else looked damaged and he was swimming fine. He hid in that same burrow for about a day or two. I then fed some mysis and he was eating happily. After three-four days, the fin was looking better and he was coming out of his burrow to eat, so I figured he would be doing well. He had also changed burrows during this time. Around the fourth/fifth day, he was completely out of his burrow, his pectoral fin was torn up on his right side, and he was at the top of the tank, gasping for air. He would gasp for a while, then give up and get sucked against the intake on the biocube...that or lay on the ground. During this time, the clownfish would nip at him. I put him in a makeshift QT (basically a soap dish that was in the biocube, separating him from the other livestock), but he died only an hour later.

 

 

After my pep died its head was gone as well but I have nothing in my tank large enough to eat its head. It had to be the cuc that started doing its job after it died. Just a scenario that happened to me.

 

Yeah, I mean he could have died naturally during/after molting, and that would have been twelve hours for the CUC to start it's feast...

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some some rocks fell at the entrance of his cave? i think there was something else wrong with himl.

:sigh: Yeah, he was in his burrow...I could see him. His burrow was right under a piece of LR. The trochus was on the LR and went into his burrow, trapping the jawfish. He tried moving around but couldn't, and the trochus was staying put...he didn't move in about twenty minutes I was watching him. Like a stupid stressed out guy, I stuck my hand down in the tank, and grabbed the trochus out of the burrow. When I did that a few pieces of rubble fell down into his burrow, but he wasn't trapped anymore and was able to swim out. When he did get out of there, that's when I noticed his tattered fins.

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