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Old 08-14-2001, 03:28 PM   #1
nycreef
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DISAPPEARING FISH!


i have two large tangs,bargoby,sailfin tang,psuedochromis 2,psycedelic mandarin,2 blood shrimp,2 pepermint shrimps,2 emerald small crabsand mabe 1 or 2 other fish. heres my problem, i lost 6 cleaner wrasses,tiger goby, diamond goby,small hippo,2 seahorses,3 purple firefish,yellow watchman,and mabe a few more i cant remember. all my water parameters are all showing normal levels.what the heck is going on.it seems most of the fish that are disappearing are the ones that hide in the rock at night.these fish all vanished in a matter of a few days. i found mabe one or two in the back of the tank, but wheres the rest. whos knocking them off?
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Old 08-14-2001, 03:32 PM   #2
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p.s. all my corals are doing very well and growing well too.hope you can help me with this one
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Old 08-14-2001, 03:56 PM   #3
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Manis shrimp?!!
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Old 08-14-2001, 05:11 PM   #4
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I agree, Johnny! Sounds like a Mantis shrimp or a hitchhiker crab AKA Crabzilla.
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Old 08-14-2001, 05:12 PM   #5
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What kind of corals/anemones are in your tank? The type fish you are losing are typical prey of these inverts. Are you finding bodies? If so, what condition are they in? You may have a large crab or mantis shrimp, as Johnny suggested, hiding in the lr. Check after dark with a flashlight and look into any holes in the rock.
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Old 08-14-2001, 06:04 PM   #6
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Were your fish in your tank for any length of time before they went A.W.L.? A lot of the time they will just sneak off into the live rock and die if they don't adapt to tank life. Many of the fish you mentioned don't have good survival rates in home aquaria.

If your profile is correct you've only had the system set up for a couple of months. That is a lot of fish in a short time frame. This could also be contributing to your problem. It takes time for the system to stablalize.

[ 08-14-2001: Message edited by: Troy F ]
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Old 08-14-2001, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by nycreef:
i lost 6 cleaner wrasses,tiger goby, diamond goby,small hippo,2 seahorses,3 purple firefish,yellow watchman,and mabe a few more i cant remember
Cleaner wrasse usually do not find enough to eat and do not survive long in captivity. They should not be purchased, IMO. Seahorses do best in a species tank dedicated to their special feeding requirements.

I would recommend taking the oath that eagleox did and not add any fish to your tank for at least a month. Listen to your tank, especially at night for clicking or popping sounds. You probably have a killer crab or mantis shrimp...or the fish are just hiding and dying as someone mentioned above. I really hope you can figure out what the problem is so you don't have to lose any more livestock!

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Old 08-15-2001, 10:03 AM   #8
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are you all telling me that i might have to disassemble all the rocks and redo the whole thing? i might as well just buy a bigger tank if im going through all that trouble. and how will i know the mantis will be gone once i disassemble the tank?
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Old 08-15-2001, 10:12 AM   #9
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Disassembling the tank will not help you catch a mantis...if you have one. Just keep an eye and ear out for popping or for crabs, etc. Look in the tank at night with a flashlight covered in red cellophane. You can always try a trap if you suspect a mantis.

Heres a not so great pic of one we caught out of our 90g tank.



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Old 08-15-2001, 10:23 AM   #10
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nycreef, I would bet my life that the cause of your problems are not related to a hitch-hiker. Slow down and don't add anything else. Let your system establish.
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Old 08-15-2001, 10:29 AM   #11
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Did you buy all these animals from the same store? If so, shame on them for not asking what was up with your buying so many in such a short period of time. Did they offer to test your water or offer you any suggestions? I know that the store needs to make a living but....

What kind of time frame was there on the loss of your fish? As was stated, you may have lost some of these due to "new tank syndrome", inappropriate choices and/or fish with shipping stress problems but if you'd lost them in a short time, I too, might suspect something's preying on them.

If it's a mantis,it's of a fairly good size and you should be able to hear that popping/clicking noise quite clearly as Brooke stated. Locating its hang-out is the first step, trapping him or removing the rock its in is the next step. They are wiley creatures and it's often not easy but please don't add any more live stock until you can be sure of what's going on. It's such a waste to lose that many fish. Research your fish choices carefully and add livestock slowly.

If you do a search for "mantis" or "mantis shrimp" on this board you'll come up with some good reading material. You may also want to do a search with your browser. There's plenty of info out there.

~Alice

[ 08-15-2001: Message edited by: Alice ]
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Old 08-15-2001, 10:29 AM   #12
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ok, no more fish for me.ill wait a while longer.thanks
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Old 08-15-2001, 10:39 AM   #13
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nope alice, they were bought from different stores. i checked the water and everything is normal.they were lost in about one week of them reaching the tank if even that long.most of the bodies cant even be found.i need a fish investigator! i really hope its not a mantis, i cant deal with that!
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Old 08-16-2001, 04:58 PM   #14
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When you say that your water parameters are all within normal, what exactly do you mean, and how are you testing these values? I would want to test the water daily with NEW test kits if you are coming up with zero on ammonia, nitrites and nitrates with this many fish disappearing. Even if they were being consumed by some creature in your tank, there should be an increase in nitrate in a tank of such a bioload as yours. If they are dead in the tank, then they could be contributing to a viscous circle of increasing ammonia spikes killing more creatures contributing to more ammonia leading to more ammonia kills, leading to more ammonia... you see my point, I am sure. I would be very suspicious of kits that are showing a zero value at this point, you should be getting something with all these creatures 'disappearing"

I would tend to agree with those that have already suggested that the choices of fish may have been inappropriate as well. Many of the fish that have disappeared have a poor survival record to start with even in well-established mature biosystems. Even then, they usually require very large systems (i.e., greater than 1000 gal) to survive, much less thrive, or at least dedicated specie tanks (the seahorses) where conditions are idealized for the specie included. Take the opportunity to do some research on developing a system based on a biotope while the system stabilizes. Many successful biotope aquariums are based on a larger number of corals and a lower number of fishes/crustaceans, etc. In such systems, every creature has a job to do and contributes to the overall stability and diversity of the biotope, leading to you as the ultimate consumer (i.e., exporter of nutrients) through water changes, algal remover, macroalgae trimmer, etc. John Tullock has a wealth of information in his books, as well as Bob Fenner's books on reef keeping. Might be a good place to start while waiting for the system to stabilize.

Hope this at least gives you a point to start from!
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Old 08-17-2001, 07:06 AM   #15
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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll throw in my 2 cents...

Your tank is 2 months old today. I'd suspect that with ALL that bioload, you have had ammonia spikes you may not even be aware of.

You have lost more fish in 2 months, than I have in all my 8 tanks here (albeit all my tanks are 55 g and under!)

My money says the Mandarin is next, your system isn't even remotely ready to support it, if possible you might wish to return that one to the LFS while you can.

As Alice mentioned, SHAME on the store who sold you all of that...I work at an LFS and I wouldn't have LET you buy all that in such a short time, and I would have steered you away from the Mandarin and especially the seahorses, because as was mentioned, they have special needs (but it's terribly rewarding to have a dedicated species tank for them ) I probably would have steered you away from so many tangs too....may be one yellow, and a hippo, but no more than that...

Slow down, be patient, WATCH your water parameters, but even more important, WATCH your fish and inverts. Their behavior will tell you when something's wrong, and a water test will confirm it.

A good reef tank is a lot like a fine wine, you must let it age!

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