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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I added another 20lb bag of LS 2 weeks ago & now I seem to have a ton of copods, they are all over everything. They have covered my Candy Cane Corral & it's losing all its color - do they eat this stuff? I guess I'm going to have to go get a goby to help - any suggestions on what kind? The Mandarin I had died of starvation however I had 2 other Gobies in there at the time, I have no fish right now since they all died off. How about my Pgymy Wrasse (possum wrasse) won't they eat copods? I was planning on getting one of them anyway.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Are you sure that the copepods are what is causing the coral to lose colour?

What's your temperature? Please post your parameters. I've never seen that many copepods, even in a tank with no fishes for several months, but with caulerpa and LR/LS.

The coral will eat pods if it can catch them, Caulastrea usually feeds at night.

Jenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Jenn

I've got the Oceanic 30gal cube - 45lbs LR, 60lbs LS - my temp stays between 78-80 (closer to 80 during day time hours). Levels are all good except I'm still fighting nitrate problems due to my recent outbreak of dieing fish, I just did a water change today & haven't tested yet, will test in the morning & perhaps do another water change if necessary. My nitrate problems started w/too many fish & over feeding so I've been slowly correcting that problem (the fish corrected it themselves by dieing unfortunatetly) & I increased my sand bed & have stopped vaccuming so often so not to stir it up like I was. I'm new at this & learning the hard way as I go......:(
Any suggestions you can give me sure will be appreciated;)
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Hmmm well I'm not a fan of the deep sand bed - and I am a fan of vacuuming. I'll defer to some threads on the Think Tank forum here at TRT for more thoughts on deep sand beds...

When did you set the tank up, and what brought you to this point?

I'm still curious about the plethora of copepods - can you post a pic of them?

Jenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jenn

Well I was vaccuming every water change which was every 2 weeks & people have told me I was stirring up the sand bed too much & causing my nitrates to stay high so I thought I would cut back to only vaccuming once a month, we'll see how that goes. I increased the sand bed to help cut down the nitrates as well, it's between 3-4" now. The tank is still new, only about 5 months, the copods were under control when I had fish & before I added this last bag on LS. I don't yet have a digital camera to post pics & I'm not sure if it would show them anyway because I can barely see them (my husband has better eyes & can see them) I'm assuming it's copods, they are transparent & tiny little things. They've been all over my blue sponge as well as I posted earlier in today's forum & I was afraid they were eating it.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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I vacuum at every water change but I keep shallow sand beds. The rules are vastly different for deep sand - but I do know that a DSB takes time to become functional. A new tank of 5 months should not be having nitrate problems - what are the nitrates running at?

Sponges actually fare better with nitrates, and in my experience my sponges did well when I had a shrimp that stirred up the sand. The sponge started to fail shortly after the shrimp died, and nothing else was stirring up the detritus in the sand. Coincidence? Perhaps - but others have mentioned the same success with sand-stirring creatures...

Sponges are not photosynthetic, and must be fed. In a newer tank there might not be enough "flotsam" to feed them. The dilemma now is that adding more food will further pollute your tank - that's why sponges are not a good addition to a newer tank...

Jenn
 

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Re: Hey Jenn

30 Gallon Gal said:

My nitrate problems started w/too many fish & over feeding so I've been slowly correcting that problem (the fish corrected it themselves by dieing unfortunatetly) & I increased my sand bed & have stopped vaccuming so often so not to stir it up like I was. I'm new at this & learning the hard way as I go......:(
Sorry to hear about the fish loses... It sounds like you had too much too quickly. I would do a few (3-4) major water changes (40%-50%) over a 2 week period to bring the levels down. Also if you just recently added more sand to your system, then don't add anything else , other than the water changes, and let it stableize. Your addition a of more substrate may have thrown the tank into another cycle which could have contributed to the lose of the fish.

If the copepods are on the coral there may something else wrong with the coral. Is it showing any signs of losing/receding flesh, is the skeleton becoming exposed? What are your parameters including temp and salinity and what if any additives do you use? Also have you added any chemicals to try and control/reduce the nitrates or any other problems.

Pods will run a cycle based on the amount of food available. The numbers will level out once the pods versus the food comes to an equilibrium. How old is the tank, it sounds fairly new. If so, and because of the added substrate, I would go ahead and vaccumm the Sb and not add any more fish until the tank stablizes. Monitor your trates/trites/ammonia, if you have someone that can coral sit for you while your tank stablizes, this would probably be a good idea or set them up in a small holding/quarantine tank for a week or so. Pods for the most part eat algae and detritus as well as excess food that sinks to the bottom. I have plenty of pods ion my frag tanks, population goes up and down depending on food source and algae growth, and I have never seen them harm a healthy coral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just the past couple of months the nitrates were as high at 40, I got them down to 20 & have been fighting to keep them below 20. My ammonia & PH stays at good levels as well as my nitrite so I can't figure out why the nitrates are staying so high. I've got about 20 hermits & 6 turbo snails as well as 2 sand sifting stars keeping the tank clean so it just doesn't make sense???? Should I try a different test kit? I'm just using the Aquarium Pharmaceticuls Saltwater Master Test Kit.
 

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i wouldn spend money on another test kit. we had the same problem for almost a year before we basically tore down and restarted. and now everything is perfect (nocking on wood).

i would follow chefs plan. thats basically what we did.

good luck!
Brandon & Kelly
 

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Re: Jenn

30 Gallon Gal said:
Well I was vaccuming every water change which was every 2 weeks & people have told me I was stirring up the sand bed too much & causing my nitrates to stay high so I thought I would cut back to only vaccuming once a month, we'll see how that goes. I increased the sand bed to help cut down the nitrates as well, it's between 3-4" now. The tank is still new, only about 5 months, the copods were under control when I had fish & before I added this last bag on LS. I don't yet have a digital camera to post pics & I'm not sure if it would show them anyway because I can barely see them (my husband has better eyes & can see them) I'm assuming it's copods, they are transparent & tiny little things. They've been all over my blue sponge as well as I posted earlier in today's forum & I was afraid they were eating it.
LOL were cross posting... lol

If you been vaccumming , especially if you've been doing it for the full depth of the SB, then skip that part in my previous post... :) Do the water changes and then give the tank some time to stablize. Witha DSB you really don't want to disturb it a lot and definately not to the lower depths. After the tank stabilizes, get some criters to tend the SB for you, cucumbers, sand sifter goby etc... What type of sand/substrate are you using, southdown or something courser?

I saw that you have sand sifter stars, they will do a good job... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok - ? on chemicals

I get mixed answers when talking about chemicals - my LFS store set me up with Iodine, Calcium, Stronium, Coral Vite, & something to help with Alkalinity which I really haven't needed. I treat with the stonium every 4 days as directed & 1ml of iodine every other day (which I've been cutting back on) & calcium every other day. The coral vite I only use once a week. However many people I've talked to don't treat with anything & their tanks thrive??? Let me hear your opions.................
 

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I would stop dosing... Water changes will be enough to maintain your elements, not to mention that you don't have enough in your tank to need the "extra" additives. If in the future you really need to ad something,such as calcium, use a good 2 part additive or drip kalk (balanced alk and calcium so it takes all of the guess work out of it). Overdosing of additives can lead to more problems than they will solve.

From what I've read and from personal experience, "food" additives such as coral vital are basically good for feeding algae and elevating nitrates as the system "digests" it and breaks it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Coral Load

I would stop dosing... Water changes will be enough to maintain your elements, not to mention that you don't have enough in your tank to need the "extra" additives.

Actually I have quite a bit of corals - a large frogspawn, colt tree, a hammer frag, a candy cane frag, rainbow brain, pagoda cup, red tree sponge, sun polyp, star polyp colony rock, as well as I forgot to mention my squamis clam
 

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Re: Coral Load

30 Gallon Gal said:
Actually I have quite a bit of corals - a large frogspawn, colt tree, a hammer frag, a candy cane frag, rainbow brain, pagoda cup, red tree sponge, sun polyp, star polyp colony rock, as well as I forgot to mention my squamis clam
Water changes should still be enough for maintaining the "elements". But you will need to stay on top of your calcium and ALk. Either a good 2 part additive or kalk will be your best bet. Use the 2 part to bring the levels up to where they should be and then use the kalk drip to maintain them. The others, especially if being overdosed without testing to see if you even need them, will cause more problems.

FWIW: I have far more than you do and I only use Kalk water...
 

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I concur with Don - stop dosing, keep on water changing, and use good salt (IO or Kent) and let the tank find its equilbrium. Some of those additives *might* be a benefit down the road, but most either do nothing or add a 2-part calcium and alk buffer, and perhaps a splash of magnesium to get the coralline going. 'Tis better at this point to under-dose than over-dose but I don't think any of what you are using now would cause any nitrate problem.

I'd toss the test kit too - AP test kits are notorious for being inaccurate, at best they are good for detecting the presence of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate but pinning it to a value is shaky at best. Also, if the reagents expire, you'll get all manner of wacky results.

Seachem and Salifert are good brands, Hache as Don mentioned is probably one of the best, but it's cost-prohibitive for many.... many shops will test your water for little or no charge, get a test by someone with a different kit and see what result they get - you might have been tearing your hair out for nothing.

Jenn
 

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I have never heard of copepods eating a coral or even a dieing one for that matter. I'd be suspect of those being copepods. I don't know what else they would be though. I just can't imagine a tank only 5 months old having an overabundance of copepods...especially with sand sifting stars. Wonder if you could bring some of those to a LFS and they could take a look at them.
 

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I've had piles of pods eating leftover food in the seahorse tank - if a few mysis drifted to the bottom and stayed there overnight, it would be crawling in the morning, but once the lights came on, they'd hide again.

The description sounds like an arthropod, but the only tank critter I've had crash a coral were red planaria - and there's no mistaking those for copepods or amphipods.... :eek:

Good suggestion though, bring them in someplace and let another keeper take a look. If you're coming to the meeting, bring some and surely one of the members can identify them.

Jenn
 

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Marie, Definatly go with the water changes and back off the dosing. I know I personally have about 58 different types of corals in a 40 gal tank and I think Lisa's has even more and hers is a 29 gal tank. Of course we run sumps to add to the water volume and backed off feeding a lot. We went from twice a day and weekly water changes to once a month water changes and feeding 5 times a week. (Never two days in a row and one of the days is always monday). The nitrate levels dictated my water changes.
Coral vite, I use coral vite when I make my Fish/Coral Mush. I also use Reef Plus and Zoe and Garlic Elixer, marine C, and Selcon. I use these additives in the food though. Now I am different as I make a Reef Mush, and a Fish Mush. The reef mush being mainly a lot more finely chopped up and no chunks and mostly baby brine shrimp and rotifers and brine shrimp with above additives. The reef mush is for every other day and in the nano reef tanks or the tanks with one or two fish. (Lisa and Justin have very few fish like one or two in their tanks), the fish mush is added in conjunction to my tank and the fish only tanks.

As for the other additives, I drip one gallon of Kalk a week. Whether that is one day, or 5 days it seems to work. I drip using a 2 litre bottle and air valves that I have to soak in vinger every other weekend. I have a mixing jug and then I pour out the clear liquid into my dosing bottle. That is all I add. However I have been known to add Kent's Super Buffer dKH with my change water.

Ray
 
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