My clean-up crew is dying...

Reefman8

New member
Howdy,
Brand new to the hobby. Cycling up my first reef tank, JBJ Nano Cube 28g. Live rock and live sand in place for 3 weeks, stable water parameters (Temp-80,pH-8.3,Salinity-1.025,Ammonia-0,Nitrites-0,Nitrates-0,Calcium-420,Alkalinity-12,Magnesium-not added or tested,Phosphate-0.25). I added 6 Ceriths, 6 Blue leg hermits & 6 Nerites after float/temp acclimation. All were very active for 1 day or so, then inactive and for last 3 days and appear dead, no movement. Sand has lots of diatom/micro algae. Bought 3 turbo snails yesterday, drip acclimated them over 2 hours. They are on the bottom of the tank this am with no movement. I'd appreciate your help!!!
 

joem1cha3l

New member
They're all dead and there's no trace of ammonia? And in a new tank you have ZERO nitrates after cycling?

I'd look into another test kit as the first thing.
 

cloak

New member
Pick the snails up one by one and give them a good whiff. If ithey're dead you'll know it. If not, just place them back in the tank and give them more time. Some snails are known to just lie around and do nothing from time to time.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Possibly you're killing them by acclimation. I never acclimate mine. If they've been shipped, that bag water turns lethal within 30 minutes of opening the bag.

If on the other hand they're locally acquired, not so much danger from the water, saying they've only been in the bag an hour or less. And that would mean you may have a contaminant.

In general DO NOT ACCLIMATE either fish or snails: adjust a qt tank to the salinity of the shipper and put them into that immediately on opening the bag. Then adjust the salinity of the qt tank over a number of days.
 

Frozenguy

New member
It's weird you don't have any nitrates.
How high did your ammonia get during cycle and how long ago did it to to 0?
How high did nitrite get and how long since 0?
 

aponok

New member
What was you water source? Reverse osmosis or tap water from city source or well water? There may be something else in the water that isn't being tested for.

And how good is your water movement? Is the water getting enough exchange with the surface to oxygenate the water?

Please don't feel offended if these questions seem offensive. Even if these questions don't help in your situation, they may help someone new to the hobby at some point in the future.
 

Voodoo Corals

New member
Possibly you're killing them by acclimation. I never acclimate mine. If they've been shipped, that bag water turns lethal within 30 minutes of opening the bag.

.

lol i find it funny i had a package in and on the top of the box it had acclimation procedures..... needless to say once i got home i threw everything in the tank at once and all is perfect!!!!
 

Reefman8

New member
Thanks for all the replies...
I bought the live rock and live sand from my LFS. They are a well established salt water shop. They said it would probably cycle fast. I didn't test the water for the first week (probably stupid idea), but I have not seen any spikes in Ammonia, Nitrites or Nitrates since I put it all together almost 3 weeks ago, testing every couple days. Don't know if that's possible, but those are my readings.

My water is from the aquarium store, out of their system. It is their premium brand that they use for their corals (Brightwell - $1.49/gal).

The tank may still be cycling, but I tested all the parameters this am and those are the ones I listed in my initial post.

There appears to be good water movement. My hair algae is blowing in the currents...The tank has 2 returns, one on either side. I aim one up at the surface and the other down at this point. Hoping to have corals someday, and may add a powerhead, but definitely need to get things straightened out first.
 

H2Ohio

New member
Live in Dayton, 28g nano cube, shop at Gerbers... Tank is 10 months new to me and first SW tank. I can't say why yours are dieing but I had the same problem in the beginning. I chalked mine up to not enough to eat in recently cycled tank or with hindsight tank wasn't stable enough for all those critters. Couple things I learned: nertites can be tough to keep because they can't right themselves and will get eaten by the crabs. 3 turbos is a lot for 28g, they will knock over and dislodge corals if they aren't glued down. Maybe you'll get lucky with the cured rock but most new tanks will go through some disheartening swings in the first 4-6 months. The turbos can just sit with no movement for hours, dead crabs drift out of their shells and dead snails will get eaten by the crabs (much to my 2 kids horror). Are you heating the tank to 80 for a reason, just curious?
 

Mcgeezer

Reef gardener
You need to get phosphate under control ASAP.

0.25 is way too high.....I'm assuming you aren't using GFO based on the fact that you already have hair algae in a brand new tank??? Your lights shouldn't be on either.

I can guarantee you are still cycling. I would remove all the CUC and cycle properly. And lights out....kill that algae, along with removing the nutrients fueling it by using GFO

You need to create an ammonia source to actually cycle the tank. Buy dr Tim's ammonia online and follow instructions...as ammonia drops, add bottled bacteria to start colonizing the nitrifying bacteria.

Ammonia will drop to zero, then nitrite rises. Nitrite then drops, and nitrate rises. As nitrate drops to zero...you are cycled. Then do a large water change and add CUC

The best advice anyone here can give you....is that nothing good comes quickly in this hobby
 

H2Ohio

New member
And if you can, hold off buying any coral until March. Our local SW club does a big frag swap and you can get some nice variety for great prices there.
 

jonwright

New member
I've started a couple tanks with no ammonia spike. If there's no evidence of cycle being incomplete how could it still be in process?

You are just going to have gha so I would t panic about that.

Snails might have acclimated poorly (temp, ph shock). I've also put in snails and had them po'd for a few days. If they are still alive (sniff test) just let em hang out for a while.

Ensure your salinity is stable. Small tank like that will require top off every day. Other par s need to be stable. Stability. Stable.

And say it again like George bush: read my lips: no new numbers. Keep em the same.

Maybe sk8r can chime in: I thought I recall reading that cyano or diatoms out off a noxious chemical. I wanna say that I recall the inverts were rather susceptible. Unclear to me.
 

AmberLee

Eager to learn Newbie
Live in Dayton, 28g nano cube, shop at Gerbers... Tank is 10 months new to me and first SW tank. I can't say why yours are dieing but I had the same problem in the beginning. I chalked mine up to not enough to eat in recently cycled tank or with hindsight tank wasn't stable enough for all those critters. Couple things I learned: nertites can be tough to keep because they can't right themselves and will get eaten by the crabs. 3 turbos is a lot for 28g, they will knock over and dislodge corals if they aren't glued down. Maybe you'll get lucky with the cured rock but most new tanks will go through some disheartening swings in the first 4-6 months. The turbos can just sit with no movement for hours, dead crabs drift out of their shells and dead snails will get eaten by the crabs (much to my 2 kids horror). Are you heating the tank to 80 for a reason, just curious?

Haha I actually thought my Turbo was dead for a few days, until today when he decided to start moving again. Little S.o.b scared the crap outta me playing dead!
 
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