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10:13
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just found our small Sally Lightfoot upside down, dead, on a rock. I just got this little guy at the LFS this morning. I acclimated him for 2 hours before placing him in the tank. He was active within 30 minutes of being introduced, going to town on the rocks. I was watching him not 1 hour before he was found dead and he was still eating off of the rocks. He was small, with a total size of about ¾ inch. The girl at the LFS definitely wasn’t graceful in netting him, either, but I may be trying to find an easy excuse for his demise. The tank is a 10 gal. that’s been setup for about 3 wks. I know, I can hear it now…what are you doing adding to a tank that’s only 3 wks. old?! Well, I know some may believe I have jumped the gun, but I have read consistently good water levels since day 1. It was started with 25 lbs. of fully cured rock, 20 pounds CaribSea live sand and Catalina’s real ocean water. The hitchhikers have been doing great, the urchins alone have doubled in size already. I have 3 serpent stars that I can see and they are also growing at an incredible pace. I just tested and have pH ~8.1-8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~1-2, phosphate ~0.01-0.02, SG 1.026, salinity 35, temp stays steady at 78. Anything else I should test for at this point? BTW, it is pretty well stocked with everything doing great. I’ve got a tank raised false perc, yellow watchman goby, red banded pistol shrimp, fire shrimp, 8 hermits, mushrooms, toadstool leather, green hammer, xenia, green star polyps, zoos and a peach goniopora.<O:p</O:p
 

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Sorry for the loss. Its hard to tell with the parameters you listed. How long was he at the LFS? How did you aclimate him? I learned the hard way that its best to drip acclimate, I learned after the demise of a cleaner shrimp. Sometimes you just never know.

Robert
 

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Sailfin
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2,449 Posts
superwizbang said:
All of that in a 10g? I am not sure I would put that much in my 90g, buy I am only a novice too. Hmm.

-K
We kept a very mature 10-gal tank with loads of soft corals, one frogspawn, one watchman goby, and one neon goby for several years before taking it down intentionally. It matured very slowly over the course of weeks/months before we added fish, however. No Sally Lightfoot, but yes, hermits and snails.

I believe there are still pics of it up at our site linked below.
Edit: Just checked -- looks like I took that part down. :(

fwiw,
Shirley :)
 

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Sailfin
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2,449 Posts
JCox said:
We just found our small Sally Lightfoot upside down, dead, on a rock. I just got this little guy at the LFS this morning....
I'm really sorry you lost him...

Inverts, I've learned, take a very long time to acclimate. We use a drip system and let them acclimate for a few hrs and then add them to the tank. I test the sg of their transport water and make sure the switch to our sg is very gradual. Ours is usually 1.024-1.025. We use a refractometer to test sg.

I usually test the pH as well, and make that as gradual as possible, but it starts to change once the livestock is bagged and driven 1-1/2 hrs home, the usual travel time, so the pH is usually low compared to our tank's (8.1'ish) and we let that come up very slowly, adding and subtracting water via the drip method.

hth,

Shirley :)
 

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10:13
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been testing my water every other day since it was setup. The worst I have seen has been ~10 for nitrates. I have never registered anything for ammonia or nitrites, 0 the entire time. I started adding the livestock last week and have tested everyday since then for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and phosphate. Every test comes back perfect. Anything else to test for? So far, everything has been looking great, the corals are open full blast, the clown can't get enough to eat and the goby and pistol shrimp have made a happy home under a rock. As for acclimation, I am not using drip method. I am floating the bag for 30 mins. before opening and then adding ~1/2 cup tank water to the bag each 5-10 mins. until it is full, then emptying the bag half-way and repeating the 1/2 cup tank water each 5 -10 mins. until full again and then repeating that AGAIN. I tested SG of the water that the crab came in from the LFS and it was at 1.024. My tank is 1.026, so not too much of a difference. Should I bring my SG down? The salinity is registering at 35 with this SG, I thought that this was optimal? BTW, I use a Sagon refractometer, Salifert phosphate test and the rest of the tests are FasTest.
 

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I just re-read my response and have to add that I was not remarking in a mean manner, it was just different than what I was used to reading. I looked at the pictures of the 10g further down the boards and it looks wonderful. I simply wanted to apologize if my response was taken other than I intended.

Hopefully one of the gurus will help you derive an answer. 8)

-K
 

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10:13
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
superwizbang, I guess I'll call off my boys now....Just kidding! ;) No offense taken, I didn't read any ill will in your post. That's what's so great about this board, as compared to some others, solid and helpful advice and no one demeans anyone for their inexperience or mistakes.
 

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Sailfin
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That's how I acclimate fish. And that *is* a pretty big diff in sg for inverts... might seem like just a couple numbers, but it's a lot for the invert system. Take a long time for inverts... 3-4 hrs or so, and either drip the water in or keep adding like you are in a larger container -- we use a 1-gallon plastic container with a large surface area and lay a lid lightly over the top to prevent jumping - empty gallon ice cream containers work well -- and use that for acclimation, and as it gets full, dumps some out and keep on acclimating. I don't do all that for the snails, they pretty much make it fine just dropping themin, but the starfish, sally lightfoot, shrimp, other inverts, we're real careful... learned the hard way... Then were told by several to s-l-o-w it down for the inverts a lot.
 

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10:13
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wouldn't you have a temp. issue if you acclimate outside of the tank, ie. in a separate container? I acclimate with the shipping bag floating in the tank so the temp doesn't move. I would assume that a small container outside of the tank wouldn't take too long to take on room temp., be it higher or lower than the tank temp? Also, how would acclimating the crab longer than I did have any benefit? The reason I ask is, that like I said, the SG of the shipping water was 1.024. My tank is at 1.026. After acclimating the guy for about 2 hrs., the water was dead-on at 1.026, matching the tank. I even let him sit in the bag for another 15 mins. or so once the bag water was at 1.026. What can I do differently? Specifically, I'm interested in the drip method using another container, but the temp thing perplexes me....
 

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Sailfin
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Well, that's a good question. We don't use heaters, our temp is usually 78 - 80, the tank is 120 gal, but the temp is usually right on with all the dripping and such plus the house is about 74-76 yr 'round. There just isn't enough room in a little bag to acclimate the inverts, or even fish imo. I've seen them acclimate inverts and fish at our favorite reef shop up in Lafayette, IN and they take the things people bring in, switch them from the bags to a large 5-gal bucket, and start a drip going on them. We've had far better luck this way than floating. Then we scoop the critter out and toss the water, we don't add the strange water to our tanks.

Anyone else???
 

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Sailfin
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superwizbang said:
If I may ask, how do you "drip" water into the bucket?
OMG! haha! Now for my super tech secrets! (don't laugh!)

We have a huge turkey baster... for huge turkeys. But we never use it on turkeys. We are both home all day when we get new stuff, and whoever passes through the living room either coming or going, puts a turkey baster full of water into the ice cream tub! :blob: And when it gets too full, we use a glass measuring cup designated for reef purposes only, and not the dishwasher, and we dump a cupful out and keep on adding... and then a few hrs later we put the little critter/s in the tank... but we don't light candles and hold ceremonies anymore. :fish::D

We actually do have a drip thingy for the Kalkwasser, but I'm usually to forgetful to use it for Kalk or anything else. It's a Kent Marine unit that came with the used tank.
 

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10:13
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319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
tims said:
other than the SG level being very high for him, not sure. do you know what the SG level was at the LFS?
You really think that 1.026 is too high? I'd love to get a consensus on this since I am hearing/reading conflicting info on SG. At 1.026, my salinity is spot on at 35, which I assumed was ideal. Opinions, please?
 

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Tang Lover
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I don't mean to play devils advocate here...but I don't really think either method of aclimation would have caused this problem.

If it were a star, I'd be more worried...but while a crab is an invert...and not as hardy as a snail, I think it would be hardy enough to survive what I think was still a pretty valid method of acclimation.

I would lean more towards an already existing injury/illness, age, or unknown toxin(s).

You didn't see ANYTHING wrong with him at the LFS? Missing a limb? any discolorations?

What else was in the tank with him at the LFS? Anything predatory? Any really toxic corals? anything that might have released toxins when the LFS clerk was trying to get the crab out? What were you using to scoop water into the bag? Any chance it might have had dish-soap on it or anything?

How big was he? Was he a tiny baby? or a big, somewhat aged?

While I don't use your method of acclimation (I drip into the bucket), I also see no reason why your method wouldn't work. (Actually, when you get an order from liveaquaria.com, they include documentation that recommends your method). And IMO, this wasn't the reason for your new guys demise.

also as a side bar...superwizbang, the easiest way to drip is to get some airline tubing, put on end in the tank, and tie a knot in the other end, and stick this end in a bucket. Start a syphon (saltwater tastes pretty nasty, but suck it up! ;) ) and adjust the tightness of the knot to get about 1 drip per second.
 

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Actualy through my own experience the acclimation should be stretched out over a long period of time for theses critters as Shirley is saying. Ive found out the hard way that they are fairly sensative and extra care should be taken to ensure a gradual change to your tanks conditions. My LFS says he just floats and dumps, tried that and lost life. I now take a good amount of time and use the same method as Shirley and havent lost and invert yet. Just not worth the risk of the critters life or the money I spend on it. If you realy think about it arent we in this for the animal life in the tanks? Why get in a hurry and risk it?
Whwn you consider the salinity in the ocean doesnt fluctuate in a given area that .oo2% is alot to such a sensative animal. Especialy when you consider the stress involved with being caught, bagged, bounced and sloshed around in the car, then floated and the very fluid that sustains you being altered, we need to be extremely patient when getting these critters aclimated. They arent all that resiliant of an animal when you consider the changes we have caused in sections of the oceans and the resulting effects.

Robert
 
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