Urgent help needed Fish keep disappearing

Discussion in 'Urgent Help Needed' started by jfbouwer, 5 Sep 2011.

  1. jfbouwer

    jfbouwer

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    Please can someone help to solve this mystery, I've lost a blennie and a large goldie (+/-7cm) this week without out ANY trace of them not even 'n piece fin or bone floating around. Checked everywhere, even the filters and pumps. What I have in the tank:

    1xTomato clown hosting in a small bubble tip anemone
    1xGreen chromis
    1xCommon clown
    2xYellowtail Damsels
    1xPyjama Cardinal
    1xSmall Cleaner Shrimp
    1xBlue Knuckle Hermit
    1xPipeworm
    1xSmall Clam
    2/3xBrittle Starfish

    Mushrooms, Pipe organ polyps, Small hammer and frogspawn, Large Xenia on live rock (which was added recently) are in the tank.

    It is obviously happening at night, since we only noticed the missing fish in the morning after being perfectly fine and feeding the previous evening.

    What should I look for, should I destroy my scaping in order to find out what might be lurking underneath(not really keen on it since everything is established for a while now)?
     
    Last edited: 5 Sep 2011
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  3. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    mmm , they are the type of fish that lock into the tockwork to sleep at night, have you noticed any crabs in the tank> they will often attack such fish when they are sleeping..

    worst case scenarion a mantis perhaps? as for the bodies dissapearing if they carcas gets trapped behind rockwork it can decay fairly quickly (within 6 hours) as bacteria will consume it along with other inhabitants..
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Where is the cleaner shrimp. He would hang around the corpse, taking advantage of the free food.

    It also depends on your clean up crew. More the bristle worms. A lot of them, and they could devour a small dead fish very quickly. Or they pull him in under the rocks, out of sight.

    Lastly, a skimmer that does react more than usual would also indicate a dead fish. So even if you can not see the dead body, your skimmer could tell you.
     
  5. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    rather set up a trap and ovserve with a torch at night, before disturbing the system
     
  6. crispin

    crispin

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    my bet is an invert hiding in your rock work. A crab most likely, but might be a largeish shrimp.

    try do a night crawl whith a torch covered in red plastic (some sweet wrappers apparently work well although i havent tried it) else you could also lay a trap using a glass with a defrosted shrimp in it and see if you get very lucky and catch the culprit in the glass. Lay the glass at a slight angle so that if its a crab or shrimp they shouldnt be able to get out again
     
  7. jfbouwer

    jfbouwer Thread Starter

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    thanks, will have a look tonight, have noticed a crab/shrimp with only small claws sticking out in one of the live rocks at night, can't identify the species, but thought it to be too small to cause any damage.
     
  8. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    the glass trap works for crabs... not for shrimp unfortunately as they can swim out :( .. I remember when I caught my mantis, I had to hunt him for one month until I found its home and then took the rock out and injected with RO water..
     
  9. crispin

    crispin

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    it may take a few looks before you notice anything, so have a look over a few nights. wait till its propperly dark, a good couple of hours after lights out.....also best if the non reefer is asleep at the time as they just dont get the facination of looking at the weird cratchures which come crawling out the rock work at night:)
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    or buy your non-reefer a nice chocolate. Those with the red see thru wrapping. Give her the sweet part and you keep the best part. That plastic. Put that over the flash light. Dark room, after lights out. Check tank about 2 hours later. The red light do not frighten away things as fast as just the flash light.
     
  11. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    How long have you had the fish?
     
  12. Achilles

    Achilles

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    I see you have 3 brittle starfish - what species? They are able to eat dead fish very quick too. Some species actively hunt fish by trapping them at night.
     
  13. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    green death!! :eek:
     
  14. Toolboysa

    Toolboysa Moderator

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    Have u checked your overflow. I found my 1 clown in there once and the second time he managed to get through the valve into the sump. I named him Nemo:)
     
  15. AfricaOffroad

    AfricaOffroad

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    Que: JAWS music here

    Doom doom doom doom dooomddooom doooom
     
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