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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! What water condition would cause invertibrates such as turbo snails, blue legged hermit crabs, and emerald crabs to die within hours of adding them to the tank? My fish are fine, and I have no corals.

My tank is 140 gal Oceanic set up about 5 months ago; 40+ lbs live sand, top of the line lighting system; protein skimmer; 160+ lbs of live rock. Not much living on the live rock for same unknown reason.

I do all of the required water changes, adding of trace elements, test for everything regularly. Just can't seem to find what is killing every invert I put in there.

Any thoughts, similar experiences, etc. would be appreciated!
 

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how long did you acclimated the inverts for?
 

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Copper is murder on inverts. Just curious, but what trace elements are you adding? Popular thinking these days is that the only thing you really have to supplement is calcium via kalkwasser.
 

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Has it been a FW tank ? How much water do you change ? You should have some things starting to grow on your LR with in 5 months. I got little polyclps on mine. How about some pictures of your tank..


-Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have nothing growing yet except that horrible marroon colored velvety algea.

I do 20 gallon changes about every 3 weeks. The trace elements I add weekly are all Kent Marine Products: Tech M; Strontium & Molybdenum, Coral Vite, Liquid Calcium, Idodine, and Cycle.

I found the comment about copper interesting. I've never tested for it, but last weekend in desparation I put a Poly Filter under the water flow of the return filter, and it turned teal-blue after about a day. Comments on the bag said blue = copper!

The weird thing is, prior to this tank I successfully kept a 75 gallon reef/fish tank for about 3 years. With pretty much the same maintence schedule and never had a problem. Everything was healty and happy including fish, inverts, soft and hard corals - the works. I just can't figure out what I'm doing wrong this time!

I have a digital camera, but haven't figured out how to post them yet. Give me time and I'll get some pics posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whoops. Fogot to answer thefatman's question. I floated the bags for about 1/2 hour. I might add that this is the second time I have tried to add these little critters over the past 5 months. In addition, all of the existing inverts (from the 75 gal tank) died within days of the new set up. I'm getting desperate!
 

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Banggai Mommy
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Copper will take out inverts - if you don't have a copper test, maybe your LFS will be kind enough to test it for you.

Has the tank ever been treated with copper?

Also, did you normalize the water between your tank and the bags? Hermits are pretty tough, but snails do need to be acclimated to the water - not just the temperature.

Danielle
 

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Ok, 2 things jump out.

1. Inverts are very sensitive to changes in specific gravity and should be acclimated _slowly_ (like 2 hours or so with a drip line.

2. Copper+Inverts=Dead Inverts - any idea where it came from? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, so I'll let Jay do it for me! Just kidding. Copper leaches into _everything_, all the plastic, all the silicone, all the rock, the substrate etc. and releases over time.
 

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copper=death.. i'll attest to that. and yes inverts should be acclimated longer than anything else. 2 hours or more is best.

i jsut recently lost 18 out of 20 snails. a button polyp colony, an anthelia colony, and an anemone,. all within days of adding them.

tested for copper and sure enough there it was. this tank had been fw once upon a time, and was treated for ich...7 YEARS AGO!

hence the reason i am now in the process of buying and setting up a 75gal. and have to replace everything. all the rock substrate and pumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This was a brand new tank, purchased directly from Oceanic and never used for any other purpose. By the way, what does FW stand for? (I feel like I should know, but I don't.)

I'm going to buy a copper test tomorrow and see what happens. If I find positive copper, is there any way to get rid of it? Your responses don't give much hope!

Thank you all sooo much for all of the rapid responses. I feel more informed than ever and hope to get this problem under control soon!
 

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based on the news i was given early htis wek. no there is no way to get rid of the copper. which is why i have to replace everything.

but iwould go get a test kit. our responses are based on the obvious. it could jsut be that you didnt acclimate long enough (1/2 is way to short)

or it could be somethign else and not copper.

i wouldnt trust the color changing filter.. go get a test kit, or justtake your water to the lfs for a testing... if it is copper, i'm so sorry..

if it's not copepr, and hoepfully it isnt, the folks here will be able to ask some other questions to help determine the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The only possible way I could have gotten copper into the new tank was during the change from the 75 to the 140. During the transfer I utilized a 15 gal FW tank to house some live rock and corals while we built the new tank. I don't specifically recall, but over the years that tank could have been used for medicating sick fish. I know I have had ick meds in the past.

I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed and let you all know tomorrow night how the test turns out.

Thanks again for all of your help.
 

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" I do 20 gallon changes about every 3 weeks. The trace elements I add weekly are all Kent Marine Products: Tech M; Strontium & Molybdenum, Coral Vite, Liquid Calcium, Idodine, and Cycle. "

Water change is fine per se, but stop wasting money on all the other stuff.
Have you tested your source water(tap) for nitrates or other contaminents, as a matter of fact are you using RO/DI water, what are the Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings, and yes if you have cyanobacteria you have excess organics
 

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i am going with Doug on this one. i think your nitrates may be out of wack. have you tested them lately. cyano is a great indicator for water quality issues. what kind of skimmer are you using. is it tuned properly. what kind of substrate are you using. do you have a wet/dry. very high nitrates can be really bad on inverts also.

G~
 

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Sorry to hear you are having such problems. What about water? What is your source water for evaporation top-off and water changes? Tap water, water from LFS, grocery store etc; ro/di water?

You're adding a real slew of chemicals there and if you aren't testing for them, your tank water could be seriously out of whack. If the tests come back negative for copper, quit adding anything to the tank right now-there's really no need for all those expensive additives- and start on a water change campaign with RO/DI water and a good salt mix.

What is your salinity, alk, pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? And have you had your Local Fish Store (LFS) run these tests for you also to determine if your test kits are giving you valid readings.? If the kits are old leftovers from starting up your previous tank, they're probably worthless.

Sorry for so many questions; let's try to cover all the bases here. :)

Alice
 

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TRT Staff The Mominator
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Oops, that's what I get for trying to do the board while I'm getting the kids ready for school...I missed Doug and Geoff's replies ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good News! My tank tests negative for copper! So now I'm back to trying to find the real reason my tank is not thriving. I tested for everything under the sun, and there are the results:

Temp = 80
Salinity = 1.024
PH = 8.4
Ammonia = .50
Nitrate = 20
Nitrite = 0
Phosphate = .05
Alkalinity = 3
Calcium = 420
Copper = 0

Any other thoughts?
 
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