View Full Version : Invertebred deaths

09/16/2007, 12:14 PM
Ok I have purchase approx. 20 different types of shrimp, 50 hermit crabs, and 10 various scavenger crabs. All whom have died at the hands of something. The shrimps always come up torn in half with just the heads remaining the crabs appear to be harassed to death as if something is trying to rip them from the rock, but never missing limbs or cracked open. the hermits are ripped from their shell, their pink soft underside eaten away with the heads remaining. I don't have a clue what is doing this it is very frustrating. I would prefer to have a tank with some type of invertebrate crustacean. I have looked for any type of stamatopod; not finding any, I have seen only one odd thing in my night time observations a white translucent worm or something that was approx. 1 1/2 in. long and 1/2 wide coming out of the live rock-- that's all. I have other inverts. that are surviving fine all my water is within the parameters. I'm so confused.

09/16/2007, 12:25 PM
Mantis shrimp ? Check for trails in the sand when lights go out.

09/16/2007, 12:49 PM
Do you have any fish in the tank? If so, what are they?

09/16/2007, 01:48 PM
I have couple of clowns, a blue reef chromis, a fire fish, scopas tang, blue gold rabbit fish, blue damsel, a diamond sleeper goby, fancy brittle star, a flame scallop, a cuople of turbo snails , a couple of astrea snails and about 150 baby snails.

09/16/2007, 02:06 PM
and yesterday I purchased a couple of red crabs and a peppermint shrimp which I found dead this moring oh and I have a pin cushion urchin.

09/16/2007, 02:07 PM
+1 for luckydog104 -- what types of shrimp do you have?

09/16/2007, 02:17 PM
none every time I buy some they get eaten. The only shrimp I had for along time was a pistol shrimp and I had it for about 6 months then again torn in half.

09/16/2007, 02:31 PM
.... listen for clicking. If you hear a clicking or popping noise very similar to a pistol shrimp or louder and/or crisper.... then it's VERY likely a mantis shrimp.

09/16/2007, 04:57 PM
yeah no such luck I looked and looked for stamatopods and could any I even stayed up all night attempting to feed food for stamatopods and never found one.

09/16/2007, 05:13 PM
Maybe your pistol shrimp committed suicide after decimating all of your other shrimp? :) I guess you could head on over to the LFS and pickup a cleaner shrimp, and make a day out of it observing the tank -- pick up some beer on your way back - you may be in for a long day, or weekend, or week...

09/16/2007, 06:58 PM
yeah I'm kind of lost as well I thought starving it out would help so I didn't buy anything for the last 3 months, but the two peppermint shrimp I bought yesterday are dead so I know whatever is in there is still there I just want to get rid of it, so I'm not throwing away money and killing innocent fish.

09/16/2007, 07:08 PM
I certainly don't blame you for that -- but if you do have a mantis in that tank and it's hiding out somewhere in the rocks, you need to get it out if you intend to keep shrimp. Read up on them before you start pulling rocks, they're also known as "thumb splitters" and are capable of breaking aquarium glass.

I looked into your pincushion too (for my own knowledge mostly) F&S claims (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=593) that they "may prey on some of the sessile invertebrates" -- though in googling this urchin, I couldn't find anything else to back that up.

09/16/2007, 07:24 PM
Thinking about it, it's not the mantis shrimp's usual rap to "rip" or "tear" invertebrates from their shells. In truth, stomapods usually smash the shell to get the meat out, kind of like how we eat walnuts. Perhaps it's a hitchhiking crab?

At any rate, why not try a bottle trap instead of staking out (you'll just end up tired, and Murphy's Law dictates that you won't anything that night while something will end up dying the next!)? Just get a really tall, smooth glass bottle and place it beside the rock pile. Put a bit of krill or other food at the bottom and let sit. Try this for a couple of nights to see if anything turns up. If it's a crab, he'll climb in and get stuck at the base (so long as you only put food in the bottle and so long as the bottle is tall and smooth enough that it can't climb out). If it's a stomapod, most likely you'll find the shrimp at the base of the bottle.... or you'll find the bottle smashed if something startles the shrimp while it's in it.

But, if staking out is you're excuse to sit around, drink, and look at your tank all weekend as opposed to doing chores or work.... go for it!!!

09/16/2007, 07:31 PM
...the crabs appear to be harassed to death as if something is trying to rip them from the rock, but never missing limbs or cracked open. the hermits are ripped from their shell, their pink soft underside eaten away with the heads remaining...

I've witnessed this with my scarlet crabs -- but only when they were dead. I've heard that some crabs (especially when they're growing and seeking out new shells) will turn to attacking snails and other crabs. I'm still awaiting an eBay shipment of various size shells in fact. Actually, the crab pulled the carcass, then the shrimp ran off with the carcass to dissect it almost exactly as you described.

Whatever you catch, you've definitely got to post a picture :) and I do wish you the best of luck.

09/16/2007, 07:34 PM
well thank you for your help I wish I knew what it was but if I catch it I will definetly post a pic. thanks again