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Old 07/29/2018, 08:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Snails and Xenias always die. Fish and inverts OK

Hi Folks,

I have a 30g tank thats been running about 4-5 months. Fish always do well. Inverts do fine. I've had a fire shrimp since I started the tank as well as a trachyphyllia.

However, whenever I add snails they die within a couple of days. This has happened 3-4 times. Also, I've added Xenias to the tank 3 times andwithin a day they start to loose their "fingers" and wither away.

I always acclimate them for at least 45min if not longer. I've had bad luck with turbos and trochus snails mostly. A few nassarius snails lasted a couple weeks but then died.

Here are my theories

1) Contamination. I've done a few 25% water changes but it hasn't done any better. Not running carbon but I'll see if that helps

2) Toxic diatoms. My rocks have been covered with diatoms for a while. When I get a new batch of snails, they chow down on the stuff the first day and then all go belly up a day later. They were healthy enough to eat initially so I don't know if its an issue of them being poorly acclimated.

3) Accidental prazipro/copper exposure. There were a couple of times I might have had a little bit of copper and/or prazipro on my hands and stuck my hand into my tank, introducing a tiny ammount. I work for a fish tank servicing company. You can kinda smell if you have a tiny bit of prazi on your hands.

I've read that some rust colored algae can be toxic.

My tank parameters are as follows:

Nitrates 15pmm
Trates 0
Ammo 0

Salinity 1.025
ph. 8.3
Temp 78

Alk 8.5
Calc 450
Mag 1300

Not currently running carbon so I'm going to pick some up and see if that helps in case it's contamination.

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Old 07/30/2018, 01:37 AM   #2
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Xenia is very hardy to me, so it might be something is in your tank. Run carbon and do water change and see how things go. Hope some experts will have some ideas of how to clean your rocks

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Old 07/30/2018, 06:56 AM   #3
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Posts: 178
Sorry, I've got no advice. But if you do figure out what you're doing that's killing your xenia, please let me know

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Old 07/30/2018, 07:12 PM   #4
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Diatoms proper generally aren't toxic, but the growth on the tank might include some dinoflagellates, which can be toxic. If you are worried about copper, a PolyFilter will turn green in the presence of enough copper.

Xenia often seems to fail in some tanks, and we don't know why. More feeding might help, at least in theory, but that might cause problems for other corals. It's important to keep in mind that corals live in a wide variety of environments, and many don't overlap in the wild. We can't keep all possible combinations in the same setup, although corals seem very tolerant on average.

Jonathan Bertoni
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Old 08/04/2018, 06:52 PM   #5
Crooked Reef
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Has any of the rock ever been exposed to fluke tabs? Also what is your water temp? Fluke tabs can make rock deadly to certain corals even years after exposure, in fact some have used them to control blue clove polyps. They generally only affect soft corals that I know of. Water temp could be a problem as well. Too hot and it can melt away Xenia and depending on your snail selection, if they are a temperate species like a margarita snail, it could kill them quicker than a few months if the temp swings high enough.

“In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.” - Benjamin Franklin

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon reef. Biocube 29 lionfish tank. Mantis tank.
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Old 08/04/2018, 07:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Crooked Reef View Post
if they are a temperate species like a margarita snail, it could kill them quicker than a few months if the temp swings high enough.
Was that both salinity and temp acclimitized?
Snails are very very particular to these differences.
Your tank is young, is there enough food for you snails?

Margarita snails die fast, belong in cooler waters.
Wish I did research on these first!

A pinch of phosphates would not hurt at say .03

Last edited by Uncle99; 08/04/2018 at 07:32 PM.
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