purple lobster is dying in a 2 week old tank

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by natan, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. natan

    natan

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    I purchased a purple reef lobster 2 weeks ago. He (I think it’s him form my Main Lobster anatomy knowledge) now shows terrible symptoms. He seemed to be doing fine even though he had been a rather poor eater. A couple of days ago he started to hang out in the open (away from the live rock he had previously occupied). His movement was reduced and he seemed weak overall. It would take him a while correct his position if turned on the back. Today he doesn’t show too many signs of life (he is alive at the moment but not well at all).


    My aquarium is 16 days old and there are 2 shrimp in it doing just fine (so far). A damsel fish looks like he may not go for long but has survived the first 2 weeks. The ammonia measurements show consistent zero (using Mardel ® NH3 Live test), the NO2+ was high today (1 ppm) but the symptoms started earlier when it was at 0.3 ppm. I am using Nutrafin Cycle bacterial cultures to speed up the cycling. In the past 2 weeks one fish (out of 2 ) dyed and that was that. I also have a small hermit crab who seems to be fine. Also, there are small (cca 1 in) bristle worms in my live rock.

    Is it possible that the lobster was infected before I purchased him? The symptoms are not form molting (they have lasted for more than 48h) and the water had been within safe measures so far (till today really).

    Thanks a lot for any help you can provide!
     
    natan, Feb 26, 2008
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  2. natan

    RyanG ^*Eternal Dumbass*^

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    The problem is that you didnt finish your cycle before adding livestock very important. What are all of you levels
     
    RyanG, Feb 26, 2008
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  3. natan

    natan

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    Ammonia is zero (using Mardel ® NH3 Live test). Nitrites *today* = 1 ppm. Nitrates 20 ppm; pH=8.3. I supply iodine (Corallife (R)). I have been using CYCLE form Nurtafin (R) extensively. I hope it is the water actually but other inverts (shrimp, crab) are doing ok.
     
    natan, Feb 26, 2008
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  4. natan

    poolshark181

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    nitrites are extremely toxic to livestock. they should read 0. you should have waited for the cycle to completely finish, which takes about a month. the chemicals you used to speed up the cycle could also be a factor. in the saltwater aquarium hobby, time is the one thing you cannot buy or speed up.
     
    poolshark181, Feb 26, 2008
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  5. natan

    natan

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    I guess I learned it the hard way. What puzzles me is that NH3 has never shown any increase. I suspect the testing method isn't very reliable. I expected a peak in NH3 followed by a peak in NO2+ but only the latter seems to have taken place.

    What should I do next. There are still 2 shrimp and a hermit crab in the tank doing apparently fine. Changing the water will slow down the cycling, right?
     
    natan, Feb 26, 2008
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  6. natan

    Piggy

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    Yes, water changes will slow down the cycle. I'm surprised the shrimps are still living.
     
    Piggy, Feb 26, 2008
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  7. natan

    natan

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    Well, after this hard lose let me try to understand something: the product that I'm using - Cycle (R) from Nutrafin - suppose to provide bacterial cultures in dormant state. These species should within 5-10 days establish the nitrogen cycle and reduce the amplitude of the short lasting NH3 and NO2+ peaks to max 0.4 ppm. Is anyone familiar with this product?

    The second question relates to my testing method: I am very puzzled how come I never detected any concentration of NH3 at all. I assumed that the product (Cycle) have been so efficient in eliminating any NH3 that none was even detected - but even the provider claims that a peak should appear eventually. Something is fishy here, isn't it?

    Thanks again to everyone who responded!
     
    natan, Feb 26, 2008
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  8. natan

    RyanG ^*Eternal Dumbass*^

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    RyanG, Feb 26, 2008
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  9. natan

    natan

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    Yes, that's the process (NH3[ammonia] --> NO2- --> NO3-) Did I get it wrong? Thanks for the article. It mentions the product I am using (Cycle) and the difficulty of knowing the age (expiration date is there). I still don't understand why I haven't detected any ammonia so far. Else seems clear.

    Well, I'll just have to be patient with the cycling, I guess, and get an extra set of testing equipment.
     
    natan, Feb 26, 2008
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  10. natan

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Using a product such as Cycle is not fool proof. As you found out. You still had nitrite present, which is extremely toxic, especially to inverts. Yes, the Cycle may have helped, but it obviously did not eliminate all toxins. If you are reading anything BUT zero for ammonia and/or nitrites, your tank is not ready for animals.

    Slow down. Do not add any more animals until your tank is done cycling. Once ammonia and nitrites are both at zero, do a water change to get nitrates down to a safe level. Once that happens, don't add more than one new animal every few weeks. Make sure the ones that you have are healthy before adding anything more.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 26, 2008
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  11. natan

    natan

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    Yeah, all my readings now indicate the NO2- peak - full blown . This is probably the reason for my loss of the lobster. I hope at least the shrimp will make it through the peak. I believe my ammonia testing wasn't reliable. Time to do more shopping.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
    natan, Feb 26, 2008
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  12. natan

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Everybody have you pretty well covered as far as the nitrite goes.
    Lobsters are more sensitive to toxins than the shrimp are and nitrites in even small amounts tend to take em out pretty quick.
     
    yote, Feb 26, 2008
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  13. natan

    natan

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    The 2 shrimp, a hermit crab, and even one damsel (!) are still alive and apparently well. The lobster is finally gone :(

    I'm only disappointed that I never detected any ammonia in the tank so I relied too much on the Cycle just doing its job - spreading bacteria. Well, in a couple of weeks my water should be ready at last. I'll sure have more questions about its chemistry...

    Off topic: how do you mail livestock around the country (USA)? FedEx is so unreliable in my area and most vendors seem inflexible in terms of mailing options. Any ideas?
     
    natan, Feb 27, 2008
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  14. natan

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Fish are much hardier than inverts. It's not surprising that the damsel is still alive, but it is surprising to me that the shrimp are still alive, as shrimp are especially sensitive to water parameters. The Cycle probably was doing its job, but there is no substitute for patience in this hobby, unfortunately.

    Livestock can be shipped by any company that will send it overnight, although 90% of the stuff I've ordered online has been sent via Fedex.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 27, 2008
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  15. natan

    OLDONE

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    Sorry about your loss. I was lucky as the aquarium I inherited has been up and running for 6 months. I am still a novice as far as saltwater aquariums are concerned.:unsure:
     
    OLDONE, Sep 11, 2016
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