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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I would not be this far if not for all you guys, thanks!!! I have a 120g tank with 120lbs of live rock, have cycled it and just added a clean up package with snails, scarlet hermits, a brittle star (one had only one leg on arrival and died). A couple of stupid questions (thanks for patience).
1. Brown algae (diatoms?) I guess this is normal for a new tank, right?
2. Some of the scarlet hermits and snails died, I tried to remove most of them but I'm sure some of the dead ones are under the rock that I can't get to, is this a problem?
3. How many snails/hermits do I need for a 120g?
4. Even with the dead snials/hermits I haven't detected much disturbance in the nitrogen cycle, how long should I wait before adding a fish or two?
5. I had a couple of peppermint shrimp butI found them in the overflow columns in the back of the tank, is my flow too high?

(return with two corner centipedes powered by iwaki 70R, also have two maxijet 1200 pwerheads in the tank)

thanks for any help!!!!!
 

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Brown algae is actually brown diatoms and that is a normal part of a new tank cycling!!

How long did you acclimate the hermits and snails? Personally I would take back the hermits as they like to kill snails for the shells or just because they are hermits!

I would get a detritvore kit from Indo Pacific Sea Farm or InlandAquatics

Whatever amount of snails they say to get for your aquarium figure on half that or less as snails will starve to death once the algae is gone!

Other questions will be answered by others I'm sure!:)
 

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how long has the tank been set up again?

the diatom bloom is normal. can last a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on if your top off water has any silicats in it. do you have a RO/DI for your water?

you can get some snail and hermit die off, but you should not get that much. if it was real soon after adding them to the tank then it could be due to acclimation shock. i do not have any crabs in my tank, i do not trust the little buggers. are you sure you are missing both crabs and snails, and not the crabs killing and moving into the snails shells. with crabs in the tank i really doubt the "dead" snails would last long, they would eat them up pretty quick. i would leave the shells in there, hopefully it will persuade a crab to use the empty one then to kill another snail for its home.

you want to have the tank cycled for at least a month preferably two, before adding "dirty" critters.

G~
 

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I put a bunch of handful of old snail shells in for my blue-legs, and I have not seen them bother my snails. They do love changing into those shells though, so it would not surprise me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The die-off I had was within a day of putting them in the tank. I followed the acclimation protocol (add 1/2 cup water every 4 minutes, etc) but it sounds like acclimation problem to me

thanks
jim
 

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1 month is right at the minimum amount of time for cycling before adding anything. it seems like the larger the tank the longer it takes. it sounds like you are just rushing a little to much. slow down and watch the LR for a little while. i know it is hard, but it is better in the long run. the crabs can handle the fluctuations in a new tank, while the snails are not near as hardy. i had my 125 cycle for 2 months before adding anything.

peppermints seem to like dark corners. they were probably sucked in when hidding in the corners. i would not worry about them. they will eat the leftovers that flow through the overflows. unless there is enough cover for them, you may find them there a lot.

since the tank is so new the dying critters will actually push your cycle along, to increase the amount of bio-load the tank can handle. the problem is that reaction time in a new tank is so slow, that it can cause more die-off. this is why adding critters slowly is so important, especially when the tank is young, under 1 year old.

HTH,

G~
 
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