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  #1  
Old 01/10/2008, 08:59 PM
rfdoc rfdoc is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 239
RBTA not looking good - please help!

Back in September I purchased an RBTA for my 2 false percs to host in. I acclimated the RBTA for 5 hours, put him in my tank and he immediately found a nice spot on some rocks by the sand. One of my percs found him the next day and all was happy as you see here -



This lasted for about a month. Then the RBTA slowly started moving to the underside of the rock he was attached to, almost as if to get out of the light. This lasted for another couple of weeks. Then all of a sudden he was gone, I had to search around the tank until I finally found him in the back behind everything. Now he moves around every couple of days - not very far but does move from rock to rock in one central area. He is no where near the size he use to be and doesn't bubble up anymore on his tips. My clowns can't sleep in him anymore either because he is so small now. He almost never comes out in the light, he is always hanging underneath a rock. Tonight he was creeping out a little bit so I grabbed a quick photo -




Can anyone tell me what could possibly be leading him to shrivel up and hide like this? My tank is 10 months old and the parameters are -

SG 1.025
Temp 78-80
pH 7.9 - 8.0
Amm 0
Trites 0
Trates 10-20

I've never been able to get the nitrates to 0 even with large water changes. Could that be the cause? From what I've read on here I don't think 10-20ppm is that bad. I use to feed the RBTA pieces of raw shrimp from the supermarket, but not since he started shrinking up so much. Not sure if maybe that was a bad idea. I haven't fed him anything in a few weeks and he also does not come out into the light so I don't know what he is feeding on. Also my 2 cleaner shrimp do walk on him every now and he shrivels up more, not sure if maybe something in the tank like this could be the cause? Everything else in the tank is doing great and growing - shrooms, xenia, gsp, candy cane, polyps, small monti cap, and a torch.

Any ideas or suggestions please let me know, I don't want to lose this guy! Thanks.
  #2  
Old 01/10/2008, 11:38 PM
garygb garygb is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: los angeles
Posts: 413
I would suspect all the things in the tank might be the problem "shrooms, xenia, gsp, candy cane, polyps, small monti cap, and a torch."


Anyway, if you could move it to another tank it might rebound. The nitrates aren't great, and might even be the problem if your test kit is off and they are signficantly higher than the test kit reports. Water changes don't help much for solving high nitrates. Check into a remote deep sand bed, those seem to do the trick, from what I've read. You can find out lots about them on a thread in one of the other forums.
  #3  
Old 01/11/2008, 08:37 AM
NirvanaFan NirvanaFan is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Fairport, NY
Posts: 429
I would try feeding him small bits of food. Like 1/4" by 1/4". If he doesn't take it there is not much you can do. Do you run carbon or anything? Have you tested your alkalinity?
  #4  
Old 01/11/2008, 11:39 AM
rfdoc rfdoc is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 239
I don't have a sump but do want to get one in the future when I save up some money. Is there anything else that can be done now without a sump instead of the remote sand bed? What about the sugar trick for nitrates, do you think that would be something worthwhile to try to see if it helps perk up the RBTA at all?

As for carbon, yes I'm running it 24/7 in my canister filter along with Phoszorb and some live rock. I clean it almost every weekend. I have not tested alk, I'll have to get a kit for that.
  #5  
Old 01/11/2008, 11:41 AM
rfdoc rfdoc is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
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One other thought - since he hides so much from the light could my metal halides be hurting him at all?
  #6  
Old 01/11/2008, 11:43 AM
garygb garygb is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: los angeles
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I've never tried the sugar solution for nitrates, but I know what you're talking about. A good skimmer, regular water changes, good water flow, siphoning the top inch of gravel, and a deep sand bed of fine aragonite in combination should eliminate nitrates. It's good that you're running the carbon, with all those species of cnidaria, that will help with the allelopathy. I've read small amounts changed out weekly is the preferred method to minimize chemical warfare.
 

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