Why am I Loosing my Hermits?

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by Sir Alex, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    I started out with 6 hermit crabs and now I have 4. I don't get why they died. My nitrates are usually below 20 ppm. There's quite a bit of algae and every once in a while I put a piece of shrimp in for them to munch on. I don't have a whole lot of shells but there seems to be enough considering how few there are. I had 5 red legs and 1 blue leg. The blue leg changed shells twice before it went missing (I found the shell it was in), but I haven't noticed any of the red legs change shells. I haven't lost any snails and my two starfish seem fine.

    Any ideas?
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 9, 2011
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  2. Sir Alex

    AdeptMrSniffles I have a Blue Thumb

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    I've never really thought of hermits being "long term" tank inhabitants. I'll buy'em for general cleanup and then I'm sure they pass.

    What's your SG?
     
    AdeptMrSniffles, Sep 9, 2011
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  3. Sir Alex

    dankolle

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    Nitrates seem really high if they are 20ppm, I would love to see them at 0. I had a die off of hermits when my tank was really clean. I'm not sure how long they live but I remember reading my beginners reef book they only last a year or two and you don't know how old they were when you got them.
     
    dankolle, Sep 9, 2011
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  4. Sir Alex

    chuck78 The Reefanatic

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    How long did acclimate them for? If you acclimate too fast, you cut a HUGE chunk from their life span.
     
    chuck78, Sep 10, 2011
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  5. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    It's 1.025, it was 1.023.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 10, 2011
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  6. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    I didn't acclimate them long but I've heard they don't need much. Reefcleaners says to float the bag for 15 mins then dump them in. I acclimated them using the float method for about half an hour.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 10, 2011
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  7. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    The blue leg hermit was really small when I got him which was only a couple months ago...
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 10, 2011
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  8. Sir Alex

    SarahSmile :)

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    That's funny Sir Alex. I thought those little suckers were indestructible. I guess I just assumed that cause they can be such little jerks. I love 'em tho. Are you sure they died or can you just not see 6 of them? My red leg will be out of sight for days, then, there he is all over the place. And I got a litle blue leg a month ago and he's changed shells twice already and I see him only occasionally. You think when you find the empty shell they were in it's just b/c they traded up and they are not really dead?
     
    SarahSmile, Sep 10, 2011
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  9. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    I'm not exactly sure about the blue leg, but when I first got the red leg I found what looked like a body (could have been a molt), but I never found the shell.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 10, 2011
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  10. Sir Alex

    Sammydog

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    My four current crabs have been in my tank over two years, so I don't know about the lifespan being only a year.

    I thought I lost one last week when I found what looked to be a complete crab outside it's shell. Cleaning the tank today though, all four were still running around.
     
    Sammydog, Sep 11, 2011
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  11. Sir Alex

    SarahSmile :)

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    Yeah, about a month after I got my crab he wasn't moving and I thought he was dead and he was wedged in a rock so I stuck a bamboo skewer in there at his body to haul him out and he moved. Later I saw his shell less body lying there in the sand and I thought I killed him. I felt awful. Then, later, there he was walking around just fine, so what I saw had been molt. Maybe that's what you found.
     
    SarahSmile, Sep 11, 2011
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  12. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    Now one of my snails has stopped responding. I tested the nitrates and they're a little over 20. He does look like he has some damage on his body.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 12, 2011
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  13. Sir Alex

    little_fish Moderator

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    continual expose to nitrates will significantly shorten their lifespans
     
    little_fish, Sep 12, 2011
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  14. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    Well 20 is pretty good isn't it? Most things say cleaners are fine in nitrates up to 40 ppm.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 12, 2011
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  15. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    And the snail looks like it has some minor damage. How much would it take to kill it?
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 12, 2011
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  16. Sir Alex

    little_fish Moderator

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    No, you want your nitrates to be zero. Im not quite sure why there is a trend on here of them being 20 or below as fine, they should be at zero. I understand that with your tank its going to be near impossible to get them that low, due to its history, so you might always have to deal with short lived CUC. But when you set up your reef you are going to want your nitrates at zero. Having nitrates will prevent you from keeping some corals and slow the growth of others.
     
    little_fish, Sep 12, 2011
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  17. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    Yah I know. I hope it won't be so hard in my new tank. This tank seems to be cursed.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 12, 2011
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  18. Sir Alex

    little_fish Moderator

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    its because you have years of build up detrius, it will take a long time for that to work itself out.

    Starting fresh will be much easier!
     
    little_fish, Sep 12, 2011
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  19. Sir Alex

    Sir Alex Dragon the eel (below)

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    Okay, I'll do a water change in a couple days. So what about the injury? Are they very sensitive to wounds? I hope he makes it. Losing creatures now matter how small and cheap primitive they may be, is always sad.
     
    Sir Alex, Sep 12, 2011
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  20. Sir Alex

    little_fish Moderator

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    Im not quite sure what you mean by wound, and honestly i have no idea. Did your eel perhaps try and munch on him?
     
    little_fish, Sep 12, 2011
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