Scarlet reef hermits dying - SOS

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by will0wtr33, Dec 31, 2017.

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  1. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    So after cycling my tank for about six weeks (live rock and live sand, die off from the live rock being shipped provided plenty of ammonia) my parameters were looking good. No ammonia. No nitrites. Tons of nitrates. I tested weekly and saw all the signs of cycling to completion.
    I waited another few days just to be safe, did a big water change, and bought six scarlet reef hermits on Wednesday. Friday I found one dead. Figured it was weak, sick, or stressed. If my numbers were that out of wack they would all be dead, right?
    Tonight I come home to find another one dead. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I have plenty of diatom algae (new tank uglies) 20171228_141011.jpg for them to eat, and supplement every other day with good pellet food in small amounts. Any advice is appreciated. Here are my current parameters.
    Temp 78
    Salinity 1.025
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrites 0
    Nitrates 20 (a little high, I know, but I've been told that it's not enough to kill them)

    I floated them for an hour, adding a small amounts of my water as they adjusted.
     
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  2. Ludders

    Ludders Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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    Are they definitely dead? When they molt, they go inactive for several days usually before discarding their old body. It looks like a complete dead hermit when they are done.
     
  3. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    Empty shells and their dead bodies lying on the sand nearby. Definitely dead. That's how I found the first one. Saw the shell and it looked empty. Looked around and found the body.
     
  4. USMC 4 LIFE

    USMC 4 LIFE Well-Known Member

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    What is your alkalinity at?
    How are you measuring your salinity?
    Crabs can sometimes kill each other off for lack of food or shells.
     
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  5. Ludders

    Ludders Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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    I had to ask first.

    Have you tested your alkalinity and other elements yet?
     
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  6. VietExtender

    VietExtender Member Partner Member 2018

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    Mind getting a whole tank shot? Can’t really tell you what’s wrong if your parameters are ok and we can’t see the whole picture. Also gotta ask is the tank old or new? Do you know if copper was used in it before?
     
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  7. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    Ph is 8.0
    Not sure about alk, but I'm using rodi from my lfs, and instant ocean reef crystals. I'm testing my salinity with a refractometer from BRS, I calibrate every time with 35ppt fluid, and check twice a day before and after top offs.
    Not sure about phos. either
    I thought I only had to worry about phos for corals and less hardy livestock. I should probably figure both of those out...
    I feel like a bad crab dad. I did so much research for months and months. I hate seeing them die.
     
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  8. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    New tank. All brand new equipment rinsed with rodi before use. 10g. Aquaclear 50 with sponge and bio material. Jager 50w heater. Koralia 240gph powerhead. Sb reef lights 16 inch basic with blues at 20% for 8 hours, whites at 10 for 6 hours. 20171224_135305.jpg
     
  9. USMC 4 LIFE

    USMC 4 LIFE Well-Known Member

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    You don’t have to worry about phosphates to maintain crabs. And excess phosphates will not kill crabs

    When you’re topping the tank off, is it with rodi water or saltwater?

    It’s essential to get some form of alk and Ca test kit. API is fine for now. It only cost ~$25 for the kit.

    Do you have a Powerhead in there for water movement? I only see the hang on back filter
     
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  10. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    Oops. Posted an old pic. Here's one from now. 1514703858735816405859.jpg
     
  11. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    Water changes with matching temp and salinity water. Top offs with fresh rodi in the morning and at night. What brand do you suggest?
     
  12. VietExtender

    VietExtender Member Partner Member 2018

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    Unless you’re over dosing alk, you won’t kill anything with that small of a swing (don’t worry about alk/calcium/magnesium until you get corals). High phosphates would indicate nuisance algae and that usually comes from over feeding. High phosphates inhibit the growth of corals. I would grab a refractometer too just in case so you can compare numbers. Are you getting enough flow in the tank? Maybe you should try measuring oxygen levels in the tank. You could also try adding activated carbon just in case some air fragrances such as perfume, air fresheners, etc got into the tank.
     
  13. Ludders

    Ludders Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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    I can't see anything wrong, they could just be stressed out even before you bought them.
     
  14. USMC 4 LIFE

    USMC 4 LIFE Well-Known Member

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    Instant ocean is fine. As your tank matured and when you start adding corals, you’ll probably want to change to something better.

    Ok sounds like you’re doing everything right. Hmmm well my only concern is not knowing your alkalinity BUT since you’re using a reliable refractometer to make and check your salt, then your alkalinity levels should be good since there is no CA or ALK uptake with a tank without corals or coralline.
     
  15. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    I had planned on adding chemipure blue soon. I have a brs refractometer that I use religiously. My tank turnover for flow is 45 times an hour or so. I had lots of algae bloom from nitrates and new tank uglies well before I was feeding. I'll try to check oxygen levels. I also make sure to never spray anything or burn candles in my tank room. I appreciate all the help, everyone.
     
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  16. USMC 4 LIFE

    USMC 4 LIFE Well-Known Member

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    I personally wouldn’t be too concern just yet. It sounds like you’re doing everything right so far.

    Crabs may have just killed one another. It’s why I only keep snails as my clean up crew. It kinda sucks that you spend money on these little suckers just so they can kill each other.
     
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  17. VietExtender

    VietExtender Member Partner Member 2018

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    Did you get your hermits at a lfs or did you order them? Maybe they had a rough time during shipping if you did order them. They shouldn’t be dying this early so there’s something wrong.
     
  18. will0wtr33

    will0wtr33 Member

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    Lfs about half an hour away. All of their tanks and livestock were in impeccable shape. I've never seen such nice frag tanks or livestock, and I have like 6 saltwater specific shops within a half an hour of me. I still have 4 left. I really hope they make it. The only thing I can think of is that the salinity changes quickly in such a small tank, and that might be stressing them. That's why I too off twice a day, and check salinity twice a day. Dry winter air and plenty of evaporation. I heard scarlets are super peaceful, but could they be killing each other to hijack a shell, taking off in the new shell, and leaving the other dead with an empty shell nearby? They're all really tiny, and their shells seem good size for them. I planned on getting more shells for them this week just in case.
     
  19. Ludders

    Ludders Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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    They are super peaceful, I keep them for this reason myself. Never had a murder, only natural attrition with mine.
     
  20. VietExtender

    VietExtender Member Partner Member 2018

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    Try to invest in an auto top off then. It helps in a smaller tank and your back will thank you. I have never seen my scarlets fight with any of my blue or red hermits. So for me, they are the least aggressive. I really don’t think they’re fighting for shells yet when you just recently got them.
     
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