This Sound Is Driving Me Crazy! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-07-2008, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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This Sound Is Driving Me Crazy!

Hi, Im a first time poster so forgive me for being so verbose.

I'm hearing these constant snapping/clicking/dripping sounds coming from my tank. I do see that there is water dripping down into the tank from the filter, but those drops dont compare to the loud snapping I hear from across the apartment. I hear it constantly throughout both the day and night, with no difference in frequency. Sometimes I hear two snaps at a time, other times I just hear one. I have three small-medium yellow tail damsels, 2 pep shrimp, and a med-large sized red crab (was a hitchhiker, dont know what species, but it looks just like an emerald crab, only red) and nothing has gone missing.

I added LR to my tank about two weeks ago, and soon after I noticed a pair of stalked eyes poking out of a hole that looked very much like mantis shrimp eyes. I took evasive action and did a freshwater dip to try to get the little bugger out. After a long battle I saw nothing come out of the hole and figured it moved to a different rock. Since then I noticed the shrimp in the hole, only it wasnt moving. I tried poking in with a long feeder stick and I saw that whatever it was its dead now (not a molt because other than it not being transparent I've noticed it decaying inside the rock the past week). I figured the long fight of trying to get it out of the rock must have killed the mantis shrimp, and I felt a little relieved (and saddened for the poor guy).

Any ideas of what the cause is? Could I have another mantis shrimp? Or a pistol shrimp?

Thanks for reading, and sorry if it was too long. Ive just been going crazy trying to find whats causing it. While typing out this post I've heard maybe 2-3 of these clicky snaps. I want to add more fish and rocks to the tank, but fearful of adding any more food/hiding places if it is infact a mantis shrimp.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-07-2008, 08:55 PM
It sounds like a pistol shrimp but they normally aren't that loud. I'm no sure what it is
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 02:01 AM
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its most likely a pistol shrimp, which in turn is most likely harmless besides the clicking. i would be happy nothing has gone missing. it could be a mantis but i think he would of took a damsel by now, or atleast the crab. BTW if your planning on corals- i would ditch the crab, maybe ban him to the refugium if you have one. are you sure its not the crab who is snapping?

another possibility could be hermit crab shells bumping the glass, but you didnt mention having those and i dont think it would be that frequent.

you can try trapping whatever it is, but i hear the traps arnt so great, if its bugging you that much, i would stake out the tank at night and try to pin point the rock its hiding in.

if infact it is a mantis, WATCH YOUR FINGERS. there are 2 kinds of mantis, smashers and spearers. its been reported that smashers have broken out the bottom pane of glass in a tank.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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I really hope its a pistol shrimp. I've considered it being the crab, due to his size, but I always seem to hear the sound coming from other rocks the crab is on if I'm looking at him when I hear it. Could it be the heater clicking on and off?

I'm definitely gonna throw the crab into my cousin's tank when I get corals, he's already devoured all of the cool sponges and macroalgae growth that came on the live rocks.

Last edited by Dango321; 12-08-2008 at 09:30 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-08-2008, 11:00 PM
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Hmmm.... sounds mysterious! Personally if it happens so frequently I think the cause is most likely artificial in nature... Then again I once had a strange sound as well and it turned out to be a small snail that would cross the stream of a powerhead and his shell would tap on the glass a few times. Also you might have some debris in your filter that might make noise randomly? Well, if you find it be sure to post your solution! Good luck.

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-09-2008, 03:34 PM
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When ever I put my ear to my tank, I hear the fish complaining that I haven't watched "Finding Nemo" for a long time now!!!
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-09-2008, 04:58 PM
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Could it be air in your filter? An airstone too near the uptake filter can cause air to get trapped in the filter and cause a nice racket.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-10-2008, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
if infact it is a mantis, WATCH YOUR FINGERS. there are 2 kinds of mantis, smashers and spearers. its been reported that smashers have broken out the bottom pane of glass in a tank.
Mantis shrimp will use their club to mine caves in your live rock. The constant snapping could well be a shy mantis working on a new place to hide. My recommendation is to get yourself a flashlight with a red lens (walMart sells a nice LED with a red and a blue lens for about $10) and search your tank at night under cover of complete darkness. You may also consider throwing in some meaty foods to entice the culprit out. Try to find the source of the sound that way, and if possible, make an ID. I'd also recommend doing a Google Image search on both inverts and get a good idea on what your looking for before you start. If this is a Pistol or Mantis shrimp, you may not get much more than a quick glimpse of it.

Dont write off the possibility, as mentioned earlier, of Hermits being your culprit. Ive had often heard a loud clicking sound in my tank, only to find that the Hermits are traversing the perimeter of the tank, holding their shells up against the glass and as they walked, the shells keep smacking the glass. It's amazing how much noise a tiny shell can make on the glass like that.

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post #9 of 10 Old 01-25-2009, 06:00 PM
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If you are in an upstairs APT could it be the wood in the floor settling to the weight of the tank?

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post #10 of 10 Old 01-29-2009, 11:30 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

I think the mantis shrimp would seem more plausable if it's a continual sound, but i think it could honestly be a snail. Do you have any in the tank?

Also, if you do plan on getting some nice and fresh live rock from the ocean, then i'd recommend quarantining the LR first. Otherwise you'll get hitchikers, though not all bad, but others can be very harmful to the tank.

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