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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 36
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 08:17 am:       

My blue lobster (crayfish) died this morning. I was rather shocked. I thought he was going to be the hardiest in the tank. He has been in there 12 days. For the past few days, he hasn't been acting himself, staying inside his cave. He normally would patrol the bottom of the tank waving his pinchers at everyone. I thought he was staying in there because that was normal behavior for a crayfish. I'll get water tests done later...we are on are way out the door to the Horse Expo for the day. Sigh. Mr. Grumpy Old Man will be missed.
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debbs
Moderator
Username: debbs95

Post Number: 1562
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 08:28 am:       

sorry to hear the news. They are gorgeous critters. How large was he?
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cindy
Ancient Plus
Username: cindy

Post Number: 9337
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 09:45 am:       

Are you sure he died and didn't molt? Perhaps you found the shell and he is still in the cave hardening up?

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." --- Albert Schweitzer

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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 37
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 05:36 pm:       

He's dead. When I took him out, he was still alive, barely. He had white opaque strings hanging out of his underside, and his eye. Don't know if he got injured, or was sick. There's nothing in the tank capable of injuring him, so I'm at a loss.The lfs said they'd replace him, but I'm scared the same thing will happen again.
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 38
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 10:52 pm:       

He did molt before his demise. His replacement has found his shell remains. Why woud he molt and die? Could the gouramis attacked him while molting when he was vulnerable?
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Randy
Junior Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 100
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 26, 2006 - 06:48 am:       

Hi,
I'm thinking of getting a blue lobster and starting a tank just for him. I would be very interested in reading about your experience, size of tank? stocked how? planted? water conditions?

Thanks in advance
Randy
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1663
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 26, 2006 - 08:38 am:       

They are more vulnerable during moulting, but I don't think a gourami could do much damage without getting a few scars himself. I suspect from your earlier post about his color that he was pale do to ill health rather than age. It's only a guess, but something you might watch out for in future purchases.
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 39
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 12:02 am:       

Well. I took him back to the pet shop he came from. They guarantee their fish. They gave me another. A rather big very pretty blue lobster. Brought a water sample along as the instructions stated on the guarantee, but the employee didn't want to test it. I tested only the ammonia and found it to be ok. Put the new lobster in, and was entertained watching it roam the tank. This morning, it wasn't moving around much, but it was early. We left to do some shopping. Came back late afternoon, and it met the same fate as the first. It died. I took a full sample, found the ammonia to be fine, but the nitrite was past 5.0. My chart only goes to 5.0. So, I did a 50% water change. Got the nitrite down to 2.0. Took the corpse and another water sample to the pet store. The used the dip stick water tester, and came up with wild readings compared to what I was getting. They got an ammonia of over 8.0, I get 1.0. They got a PH that was very high, I get one that's a little on the low side. Their nitrite reading was way high to.

Is it possible that my chemical testers are wrong? Tomorrow, if I get a chance, I'm taking another sample to the lfs I get my supplies from and see what readings they get.

So, for now, I'm blue lobsterless. I'm waiting a couple of weeks. If there's no other deaths, and my levels stay fine, I'll get another blue lobster.
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1664
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 07:40 am:       

You need more than a couple of weeks, Ron. Clearly, your tank is not cycled. You shouldn't have any live animals in it the way it is. You need to change about 50% of the water immediately, and continue to do that for the next several days, taking readings before and after each change. Then you need to change 50% twice a week, taking readings each day, and before and after water changes. That tank is toxic, no matter which readings you believe, and it's only a matter of time before your other inhabitants also die.

The only acceptable readings for ammonia and nitrite are absolute zero (don't beleive what you read on a box). Both compounds are extremely toxic. Nitrate, ideally, should be below 10, but depending on what test kit you use, it could read as high as 20 and still be safe (Jungle and Mardel test strips will read a much higher nitrate reading than Aquarium Pharmaceuticals liquid nitrate test).

Strips and liquid can both give false readings if not used correctly. Jungle and Mardel strips are both very accurate, but you have to time the 30 second interval exactly right (60 seconds for nitrate), or the numbers will continue to climb. If you don't use the right amount of water or reagent in a liquid test, you're readings will be low or high.

How long has this tank been up and running?
What are your numeric readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH?
What is your maintenance schedule (frequency and amount of water changes, filter cleaning, etc?)

We need to start with the basics and get your tank healthy before you even consider more living things.
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 102
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 08:10 am:       

I'll second Karin the that.
Get back to us there are lot of people here that will help you get your tank right.
Randy
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 41
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 08:27 am:       

As I stated in the message I posted, my nitrite was reading 2.0 after my water change. And the ammonia was 1.0. I'll check again today, and post my ammonia, nitrite, ph, and alklinity results again. The tank is in it's 3rd week. I was changing 10% every other day, but last week I started 50% twice a week.
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 42
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 12:13 pm:       

Here is my current readings:

ph 7.0
alkine on the border of low/normal
ammonia 0.5
nitrites between 2.0 and 5.0

I am using aquarium pharmicuticals testing supplies.

29 gallon tank
on back filter, has bio filter, and cartridge filter
ugf
7 real plants
course gravel substrate

Everyone looks to be doing great. My dwarf neon blue gourami has grown during his stay, and his colors have become much more brilliant. The pictus cat whiskers has grown, and his color has improved. Snails are showing signs of growing at a rapid rate.

Tonight, if I get a chance, I'll take a sample to the lfs to get a test done, and compare it to my results.
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 47
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 11:21 am:       

Today my ammonia tested 0. Nitrites still between 2.0 and 5.0.
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 122
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 11:36 am:       

Nitrites still too high!
You want a 0 reading.
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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Ron
Junior Member
Username: rockinrodent

Post Number: 48
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 12:47 pm:       

I realize that. Don't know what to do about it other than water changes.
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Randy
Regular Member
Username: milesteg

Post Number: 123
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 01:22 pm:       

The usual rule is 5-6 weeks to cycle the tank.
Feed you fish sparingly and give it another week
If you go through a day without learning something new, you wasted it!
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Karin
Moderator
Username: autumn

Post Number: 1666
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - 05:19 pm:       

I apologize if I came across a little sharply, Ron. In my haste to sort out your problem, I might have forgotten my manners.

Nitrite is very toxic stuff -- far more toxic than ammonia. If you get ANY color at all when testing for nitrite, do water changes until it reads zero. Even if it doesn't cause immediate deaths, the effects are lingering, slowly killing the tank inhabitants long after the compound has been eliminated from your tank. Crustaceans and other invertebrates tend to be more fragile than fish (not a hard and fast rule, but in general), so I suggest you don't add any more until your tank has been completely cycled for at least 2 months (zero readings for both nitrite and ammonia every day for two months). Until a tank has "matured" it's very vulnerable to "mini-cycles" in which ammonia and/or nitrite will increase briefly then subside. Often, these variations aren't detected with weekly tests (which is why I suggest daily testing), so one might think the tank is stable, when it is not. Until your readings for nitrite and ammonia read steady zeros for at least two weeks, don't add any more fish either. I'm sure you're eager, but hurrying things will only lead to heartache and disappointment.

Numeric readings are really the only ones that are reliable. "Low" and "normal" are subjective, and since different species require different parameters, the subjective values are of little help. As you get accustomed to your test kit, you'll become more comfortable with the readings in degrees or parts per million.

Looks like Randy has it under control, so I'll leave you in his capable hands. Good luck. :-)
Possibly, the truest test of one's capacity for compassion, is whether one can love a snail.
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