FAQs on Iodine Use,
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Iodine for Florida Blues 1/29/13
Hello. Sorry for bothering you people with so many questions regarding
my Florida Electric Blue Crayfish! But they are my boys, and I want them
to live in the best possible condition! An update: Orion, the egg
carrier who lost a claw due to aggression from the large alpha Boris,
now I know the reason for the aggression. Boris, a few days later, was
also carrying eggs, the same day I found that Godfather was hiding so
much in his tower because he, too, was carrying a large batch of eggs!!
So I will have my hands (and tanks) full in about 2 to 3 weeks, when I
find the hatchlings. I am already preparing a good environment for the
hatchlings, hoping to grow at least a few young crayfish from the 3
batches of eggs. I'm glad that the three Crays lay eggs approximately
the same time, so the hatchlings should be ok, if they're the same size
and have a lot of hiding places, to avoid too much cannibalism which I
know is unavoidable.
My first question: When I place my hatchlings in their temporary home,
what is the best material for the bottom of the aquarium?
<Best: nothing at all but bare glass. Easiest to clean, and the silt and
detritus is the stuff that promotes fungus on eggs and bacterial
infections on very young livestock. If plain glass doesn't suit, then
something easy to clean would be fine. A very thin (1-2 mm) bed of soft
silica ("pool filter") sand for example or very fine pea gravel.>
I don't trust the sources I have read from. One said that soil/peat
moss, preferably from a local pond, with some dead leaves is the best
for hatchlings. I think this is a terrible suggestion, mixing outside
materials into an aquarium of hatchlings. Another suggestion was leaving
the bottom of the aquarium empty till the young Cray are about an inch
in size. Is this appropriate, having nothing for the little guys to walk
around and dig in?
Another said aquarium sand. This seems more believable, but with the
frequent water changes required, I'm unsure of how the sand could be
kept clean of uneaten food and Cray feces.
<If very thin, as stated above, there won't be any anaerobic decay (you
need a few cm for that to happen). In any case, faeces tend to sit on
top of sand, rather than sink into the gaps between gravel particles.>
Would the coral/gravel mix I use in both of my crayfish tanks be find
for the hatchlings as long as they have a lot of plants and hideouts?
My second question is the use of Iodine. I went to four different LFS
and none of them had any idea or knew about any form of iodine/iodate
salt for use in aquariums. All of them sent me to the pharmacy to pick
up Iodine Tincture BP 2.5% (25ml bottle) with a mix of Iodine 25mg/ml
and Potassium Iodide 25mg/ml, with non medical ingredients of Ethyl
Alcohol and Purified Water.
<Doesn't sound safe.>
Without thinking much about it, I put 3 tiny drops in some water from
the aquarium and mixed it into my 10 gallon, and 5 diluted drops into my
20 gallon. Only now am I in fear that my Crays, Zebra Danios, Yoyo
Botias, and two young Gyrinocheilus Aymonieri in terrible toxic danger!!
Two hours have passed since the iodine drops, all the creatures are
acting normal, no red gills or panicked stress, Crays are fine too. Is
it possible that they will all survive my ignorant toxication of the
aquariums? Please help me, I am afraid of what I will find in the
morning, whether there will still be life in my tanks!
<Iodine is readily removed by carbon, so you could always choose that.
In any case, if the animals are fine a few days later, they're probably
haven't been harmed.>
If anything happens to my beloved aquarium friends, I will have some
visits to the four LFS to do, and some strangling and beatings to hand
out to those "fish experts" and myself for being stupid enough to buy
and add the pharmacy Iodine to my Aquariums.
<You're looking for products such as Salifert Natural Iodine, Kent
Marine Iodide, Seachem Reef Iodide, etc. Typically inexpensive products,
$5-10 a bottle, and you can use them at half the dose stated on the
Thank you, as always, to your time and support, and priceless help and
Much appreciated. ~Sylvia
<Glad to help, Neale.>
Iodine (RMF, thoughts in Iodine vs. FW
You have helped me with a few questions before, so I thought I would
pick your brains one more time...
I have had my blue lobster, Stella, for a little over 3 years now. She
lives with a school of small tetras and Rasboras. The last time Stella
molted she seemed to have a bit of trouble. She made it just fine, but
I've read that adding iodine to the water will help her molt a
little easier and keep her healthier.
My question is this: will adding iodine to the water hurt my fish??
<Difficult to say. Crayfish are normally kept alone, and that is how
I recommend people keep them. That being the case, iodine toxicity with
regard to freshwater fish shouldn't arise.>
I've also read that iodine and tropical fish don't mix well,
but I want to keep Stella as healthy and strong as I possibly can.
<I'm not aware of this issue. But since I wouldn't ever mix
crayfish and fish, I can't comment from experience. You only need a
half dose anyway, and you may choose to add less initially, and build
up the dose with each weekly water change. That way you could look out
for negative reactions among your fish, and act accordingly.>
If that means adding iodine, then that is what I want to do.
<Iodine isn't absolutely essential. When maintained in water
with a high carbonate hardness and offered green foods rich in iodine
(such as marine algae) they may get all the minerals and iodine they
need for successful moulting without supplemental iodine added to the
water. But if your crayfish hasn't moulted properly, that can
indicate iodine deficiency, and adding iodine drops will fix
Thank you in advance for all of your help!
<Cheers, Neale.><<I agree w/ what you've stated here.