Welcome to the Reef Forum.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26
  1. #1
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Angry Snails and hermits dying!

    Sorry to be asking so many ?'s but I'm a newbie to this, and this forum is so helpful.

    My ongoing dilema......I've probably spent over $50 on snails and hermits now, and not one of them is still alive. I also have 2 green chromis, royal gramma, o. clown, and a lawnmower blenny. Oh, I have some feather dusters too. All of which are doing fine. It's just that the snails and crabs are keeling over. The specifics are as follows: 55gal saltwater, tidepool 2 sump, installing protein skimmer tomorrow, 2 65 watt 10,000k daylight, and 2 65 watt actinic 03's. I keep my lights on 8 hours a day. Ammonia-0, Nitrites-0, Ph-7.7-8.0, Nitrates-20ppm. I'm also having a green algae problem, I can't keep snails or crabs alive along enough to eat it. I'm not overfeeding my fish either, who knows where the algae is coming from. Oh, and my tank has been up for 4 months now. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  2. #2
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    Is there any possibility at all of copper contamination?
    Ninong

  3. #3
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I had my copper tested about a month ago at the LFS and it was at 0. I don't have a home copper test, (the 1 test I don't have) If there's copper in there, I would have no idea where it came from. Actually, the time I had the copper tested, I had bought some crabs and snails that same day, from the same store and they've all bit the dust. The turbo snails seem to crawl around for a day or so, then they find a spot and die. The Nassisus (sp?) snails actually all came out of their shells and crawled around in the buff for a few days before dying. This behavior completely baffled my LFS. I guess they just liked feeling the water on their bums. ;;
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  4. #4
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    Were you the first person to ever use this particular 55-gal aquarium? If you were not, is it possible that copper medications were ever used in it in the past?

    Are you sure there are no copper or brass plumbing fittings of any kind anywhere in your setup? Could someone have dropped a penny in your tank?

    The effects you are describing are typical of copper poisoning. Low levels of copper would not affect fish but even very low levels of copper can be lethal to invertebrates.

    What is the source of your water? Are you using R.O./D.I. water? Are you using tapwater? If so, are you treating it first to remove metals and chlorine/chloramine?

    P.S. -- Typical hobbyist copper tests may not be accurate enough or reliable enough for measuring extremely low levels of copper. They are usually used to monitor copper levels when using copper medications to treat fish.
    Ninong

  5. #5
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I am the second owner of this tank. The guy I bought it off of had fresh water fish in it, you should have seen the box of additives he gave me. I'll dig through the box. What am I looking for, what items add copper to the tank? I guess he could have medicated at one time, who knows. But even so, I have feather dusters in the tank that have not died, they don't look wonderful either. They've been in there for 3 months. That's about 2 3/4 months longer that any crab or snail has lived. If the home tests don't measure trace amounts of copper, how do I determine that's my problem? Will the copper be filtered out over time, or will it always be there? Can I add something to remove it?
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  6. #6
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    Glass adsorbs copper. It is quite possible that the previous owner used copper medications in the tank. If that is the case, then the tank is not suitable as a reef aquarium. The decontamination process is far too comples and dangerous to bother with. It would be much better to simply discard the tank and start over with a new tank.

    The adsorbed copper will be continuously released depending on variations in pH, etc., in the tank. There is no simple fix for this problem.
    Ninong

  7. #7
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Also, no pennies that I'm aware of.

    The water I replace with is bottled fresh that I buy, the label says it has been through a RO. Haven't begun to explain a purchase like that to my husband a RO, that is.
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  8. #8
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    So there's no way to determine for sure if it's copper? If it is, then what do I do about my algae problem, if I can't add a cleanup crew? In your opinion, should I leave this tank a fish only?
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  9. #9
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    The water you are using is fine.

    Based on what you are describing and based on the fact that the tank was used previously as a freshwater tank, your problem probably involves copper contamination of the tank itself.

    In case you really want to know what's involved in the decontamination process, here it is: http://www.reefland.com/forum/showth...ion#post102419
    Ninong

  10. #10
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by brooke
    So there's no way to determine for sure if it's copper? If it is, then what do I do about my algae problem, if I can't add a cleanup crew? In your opinion, should I leave this tank a fish only?
    I really don't know what to tell you. All I can say is that if it were my tank, I would seriously consider getting a new tank.

    At this point we are just speculating as to what your problem might be but all indications point to copper as the problem.
    Ninong

  11. #11
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    There's no way to determine for sure if it's copper? If it is, then what do I do about my algae problem, if I can't add a cleanup crew? In your opinion, should I leave this tank a fish only?
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  12. #12
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    I guess you could purchase an expensive copper test kit and see if you get a measurement???

    People who have run into this problem and posted about it on the boards have not had good luck with trying to keep the tank set up as a reef tank. It would work as a fish-only tank but it may not be safe for any inverts of any kind for a very long time.
    Ninong

  13. #13
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Sorry about the repeat above....

    Will the copper have any long term affects on the fish? I'd really hate to have to tear everything down and swap it. Any algae suggestions?
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  14. #14
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    If all snails and hermit crabs display the behavior you are describing and die within a few days, you have a problem with toxicity of some sort. And if your fish are fine, then it is something that inverts are more sensitive to than fish.

    If you know the previous owner, you might call him and ask him if he remembers ever treating the tank with any medications at all. If so, ask him to name the medications used.
    Ninong

  15. #15
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    Copper is harmful to fish but the effects are not noticeable right away. It will shorten their lifespan and affect their reproductive system. It may have a detrimental effect on their immune system, too.

    Scott Michael mentions in his latest book that he no longer advocates the use of copper to treat fish for any reason because he is convinced that it does more harm than good.

    Some LFS maintain low prophylactic levels of copper in their fish holding tanks all the time. I avoid purchasing fish from any LFS that does this.
    Ninong

  16. #16
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    No, I bought it from some guy out of the local newspaper. This may be the perfect opportunity to upgrade to a larger, "brand new" tank.

    Now, going in a completely new direction

    How would I swap the livestock? Just try and switch everything over as gently as possible? Dumb question?
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  17. #17
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Now, "in theory" could the copper be transferred to the new tank through switching everything over?
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.

  18. #18
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    First of all, assuming that you have a copper problem in your present tank, you would not be able to switch anything over to the new tank except for the livestock -- fish or whatever you have that's still alive. You would NOT be able to transfer any live rock, sand or decorations of any kind because they would be contaminated.

    The new tank would have to be set up and the initial cycle would have to be started. How soon you could add your fish would depend on what you use in your new tank in the way of live rock, etc. It could be possible under certain conditions to be able to add your fish within five or six days after setting up the tank but you may have to wait three weeks or more if you use uncured live rock.
    Ninong

  19. #19
    Moderator Ninong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    24,023
    Images
    3
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 63 Times in 57 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by brooke
    Now, "in theory" could the copper be transferred to the new tank through switching everything over?
    I anticipated this question and already answered it.
    Ninong

  20. #20
    Citizen
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southcentral PA
    Posts
    121
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I could cry when I think of the cost of buying more live rock

    Will my sump, pump, and hang on be okay to switch, I just added them Sunday?
    Big Gulps huh? Welp, see you later.


 
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119