SHRIMPOCALYPSE! Help Water Testing. Mean Clownfish.

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Sarah007, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    Hello Reefers,

    So within a couple days I've had all my shrimp (4 year old pistol shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp) die. I've also had 9 out of 10 hermit crabs die off. The shrimp and the crabs seem to turn over on their backs and then slowly kick around and die over the course of a couple days. I've taken water sample into my LFS to have them check and keep getting the all clear, but after losing my pistol shrimp this morning I decided to go get a test kit to test for myself. I'm slightly color blind but all tests came back good as far as I can tell, but I have some concern/questions on the Ammonia test. Test results below.
    PH:
    IMG_0356.JPG
    Nitrite:
    IMG_0351.JPG
    Nitrate:
    IMG_0355.JPG
    Ammonia: Here is where I'm worried. The first picture is after waiting the 5 minutes. But after the 5 minutes and the shaking as instructed, it looked like there were pockets that were clear and unmixed within the tube, so I reshook after maybe 10 minutes and the color turned much greener, to me anyways. IMG_0350.JPG
    After second shake:
    IMG_0354.JPG

    So do you guys think bad water quality is my problem?


    Also- I just got a McCosker last week and my female clown was not having it. Super aggressive clownfish was taking chunks out of my McCosker's fins! I devised this prison cell that I think she will serve 2-3 weeks in, then be released into a newly arranged rockscape. Do you guys think this is a good plan, or have any other suggestions? I've had her for about 5 years and really don't want to give her up. IMG_0358.JPG
    IMG_0361.JPG

    THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

  2. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    Sorry, this is bothering me. Those are not my thumbs, they are my boyfriends. Thanks for any help you guys can give.
     
  3. LetItReef

    LetItReef Well-Known Member

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    That prison cell you have is that made of metal? If it is made of metal that is the possible cause of your inverts dying.
     
  4. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    No. The cell is made out of gutter guard. It's a type of plastic. I got the idea from people that use it to transport rock rubble from refugium to display tank for mandarins.
     
  5. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Shrimpocalypse! I had something totally different inmind lol! Inverts are sensitive to changes in water chemistry, have you tryed drip acclimating them? Could certainly be water issues also. Try running some carbon or a polypad just incase
     
  6. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    All the shrimp that died had been in for a few weeks, would an acclimation issue cause them to die after this much time? It seems unlikely that poor acclimation would cause them all to die within a few days of each other. We add new carbon every two weeks when we do water changes.
     
  7. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Not likely, did they all die around the same time? Sorry didnt read the last part haha! If they were in there for a while, and all died withen a few days of eachother. It could possibly be a contaminant. Hermits are quite hardy, so if i had to point a finger, it may be a heavy metal. Are you using tap water?
     
  8. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    Yeah, they all turned over on their backs around the same time, then slowly died over a couple days. Just kicking around at the air on their backs. No tap water, we buy RO and saltwater from LFS. I can't figure out what we are doing wrong. All the fish & snails seem to be doing fine.
     
  9. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    Should I be doing large water changes? Or does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm just not sure whats going on. Any advice would be helpful. I've done a few water changes and have changed the filters and carbon but it does not seem to be helping that much.
     
  10. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    How long has the tank been up?

    In terms of the ammonia test, you should let test run longer than the directions, or the values become erroneous.
     
  11. Ty Hamatake

    Ty Hamatake Hi, my name is Ty and I'm a Reefer... R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    Have you tested for copper yet? I saw a mention of heavy metals being the possible culprit and I'm inclined to agree.
     
  12. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    You might try to change up some of the rock work just prior to releasing the female. I am inclined to think she will revert back to her natural aggressive behavior over time. Once you get the water chemistry issue nailed down, maybe she would be more distracted with an anemone than newer fish.
    Have you calibrated your refractometer or checked the SG against another testing means.
     
  13. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    The tank has been running for about 4 1/2 years, but we just transferred to a new tank little over a month ago. We added about 12 lbs of new live rock. I know the thought is this caused an ammonia spike potentially, which could be, but then why would the last hermit crab still be dying with good water parameters now? We'll have to check for copper but I can't imagine how any would have gotten in. Maybe I should buy my water from a different LFS... Yeah we are planning on rearranging the rockwork prior to her release. Are some female clowns less prone to aggression than others? I hate the thought of taking my female clown into the LFS, but I need more than just 2 clownfish in my tank!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  14. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    Did you mean shouldn't?
     
  15. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    Sorry, you are correct, you shouldn't alter the times. :)
     
  16. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    I doubt ammonia was the initial cause, although a bunch of newly dead shrimp might themselves make ammonia rise.
     
  17. ShellSea

    ShellSea Active Member

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    Just a hunch, but plus 1 on the post above re: testing for copper. any chance something is bleeding copper in? any metal at all anywhere in system?
     
  18. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    Yes be sure to check all mag-floats for casing integrity and look for any screws that may have become dislodged from any screen or lids. Also check any clamps and the heater to make sure there is no malfunction.
     
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  19. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    I did recently buy a mag-float for the tank. Now that I think about it, I did place the mag-float in the tank right around the time the shrimp started slowly dying. Didn't occur to me that it could be part of the issue. I'm going to take the mag-float out and change out the heater. I hope this helps. Thank you for the advice.
     
  20. Sarah007

    Sarah007 Active Member

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    Update on the mean clown situation: The female clown served about 20 days in the isolation cage before being set free. It seems to have completely eliminated the aggression the clown was showing towards the wrasse. In fact, the wrasse is officially the third wheel with the clowns. He "schools" with them non stop and they seem to have accepted him. Still waiting to add shrimp, finally ordered a copper test and should have it by Friday. IMG_3804.JPG
     
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