HELP! 6 month shrimp tank of slow deaths - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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HELP! 6 month shrimp tank of slow deaths

Hello everyone!

What am I doing wrong!?!? This is my second shrimp tank and it is not doing so well. I wanted to advance on up to from neos to caridina shrimp because they look so unique. So I've set up this tank for half a year now and it has been frustrating me for the last few months. Originally I thought my tank was cycling for the first 3 months but now I have given up on the diagnostics. There is hardly any movement around the tank, as the shrimp and my snail just seem like they have no energy..

I've gone through 3 batches of shrimp so far and the same thing keeps occurring. I have been noticing 1-2 shrimp deaths every week or so and I can not pin point what is causing them. Perhaps molting issues as I do see many shells on the first few weeks of putting them in my tank? My parameters don't seem to be off for this species but why aren't they staying alive for me..
There has been a weird moss or algae that have been growing on everything and I am unsure of how to get rid of them without scraping it off my driftwood, almond leaf, alder cones, or walls. It used to look like a white jelly/spiderweb substance on the surface but now it's has changed forms in something brownish. Please help guys as I slowly bleed out!

I'm scared to do water changes because this seems to cause deaths at a much faster rate..

So here is my set up

10G Dennerle
Substrate: ADA Africana Soil
Lighting: Finnex Planted +
RO/DI water from local water store
Remineralizer: MK-BREED Blue Diamond
Fauna: CBS, BKK, BKK mischlings, horned nerite snail

Parameters
PH: 6.4 - 6.6
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
TDS: 170 ppm
GH: 8-9
KH: 0-1
Temp: 73 - 75

Food: Hikari Shrimp Cuisine, Snowflakes, Ken Calcium Sticks

Flame moss and mini xmas moss is slowly thriving without a problem for me but the floaters aren't doing well. The roots aren't developing and the leaves keep melting away so the growth is so minimal.

I have attached some photos so you guys can see what this weird development is on my wood and walls... Sorry the tank shot got uploaded upside down for some reason..
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:22 AM
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Readings can't be right. do the nitrate test again and this time shake and bang the hell out of the second reagent for 1-2 min. I mean like your lifes depending on it... bang it against the table in between shaking till your arm goes numb.... I cannot stress this enough. Then let us know the results.

Dan
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 04:59 AM
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I agree with Dan that you probably have higher nitrates than you think (and I'm pretty sure we've all had that test fail is at one point or another).

Your primary issue is there 8 dGH - too hard for CBS et al. Slowly lower that down to the 4-5 dGH range. Much over 6 dGH, and my CRS get stuck in their shell and fail to molt. Have you seen them doing the death flip kick?

I can't find what Blue Diamonds calcium content is for each dGH, but generally 4-5 dGH is a good target. If using something like Tom Barr's GH booster recipe, I'll go closer to 5-6 dGH.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
I agree with Dan that you probably have higher nitrates than you think (and I'm pretty sure we've all had that test fail is at one point or another).

Your primary issue is there 8 dGH - too hard for CBS et al. Slowly lower that down to the 4-5 dGH range. Much over 6 dGH, and my CRS get stuck in their shell and fail to molt. Have you seen them doing the death flip kick?

I can't find what Blue Diamonds calcium content is for each dGH, but generally 4-5 dGH is a good target. If using something like Tom Barr's GH booster recipe, I'll go closer to 5-6 dGH.

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I realized my GH might be too high so I will be adjusting the water and try to lower my GH by doing a small water change. Also what does the death flip kick look like? I have found many dead upside down on their backs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman911 View Post
Readings can't be right. do the nitrate test again and this time shake and bang the hell out of the second reagent for 1-2 min. I mean like your lifes depending on it... bang it against the table in between shaking till your arm goes numb.... I cannot stress this enough. Then let us know the results.

Dan
I read that many people have that problem with Nitrate test, but I think mine might be broken because I always hit the solution against the table and shake it until I'm out of breath... I just did a retest and the results came out to be the same for all my tanks so I'm sure that I will need a new Nitrate test kit.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kchao View Post
Bump:

I realized my GH might be too high so I will be adjusting the water and try to lower my GH by doing a small water change. Also what does the death flip kick look like? I have found many dead upside down on their backs...



I read that many people have that problem with Nitrate test, but I think mine might be broken because I always hit the solution against the table and shake it until I'm out of breath... I just did a retest and the results came out to be the same for all my tanks so I'm sure that I will need a new Nitrate test kit.
Yes if your getting 0 on everything I would say the test is no good. Possibly expired?

Dan
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 02:51 PM
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It is possible to have 0 ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, but not recommended... especially if the tank has plants. You want to be seeing some nitrates.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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I guess my question is how should I get rid of all the algae or whatever it is that is growing? I am slowly changing out the water and hopefully that will make some sort of difference?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kchao View Post
I guess my question is how should I get rid of all the algae or whatever it is that is growing? I am slowly changing out the water and hopefully that will make some sort of difference?
You need to manually clean things up and then feed your plants. Don't be afraid of using fertilizers - just start small and see how things go. Healthy plants are the best defense to algae, and as a bonus, they keep the water clean and are pleasing to look at
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:03 PM
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As others have said it would be best to lower GH.

Make sure you don't have planaria or hydra. These insidious pests can slowly wipe out whole tanks of shrimp.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kchao View Post
I guess my question is how should I get rid of all the algae or whatever it is that is growing? I am slowly changing out the water and hopefully that will make some sort of difference?
More plants. Less light. Raise the light. Split the amount of hours the light is on into two, i.e. 3 hours on, 3 hours off, 3 hours on.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 02:43 AM
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Not to counter all the other good advice you're getting, but algae is shrimp food of the best type. I'm wondering if you are feeding more than the shrimp can consume and it's feeding the algae. Feeding shrimp is not at all like feeding fish. I'm finding I feed about 1/10th of what I feed my fish and I often times let them forage for a few days between feedings. My shrimp tanks are also home to some sizeable numbers of seed shrimp and some slender Daphnia, so I know there's a lot of food available to these detritus eaters.

You may be having higher NO3 than your test is showing. As Nate and Dan have suggested shake that second Nitrate test bottle within an inch of cramping your arm up.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 06:17 PM
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As others pointed out it's that nitrate bottle number two that is always the issue. I ran into this also and @Dman911 and others here told me what to do on second bottle and sure enough it worked. Get a second nitrate test kit. I find what works great is bang the two bottles caps together for a good 30 seconds banging pretty hard till you think they will break. Then shake hard each bottle for a good minute.

Also great advice from others here I have learned and still learning from them they are the shrimp pros. I just started a CRS tank and taking their advice so far so good with my shrimp. Knock on wood.


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Also as already mentioned you need lots more plants for the shrimp. The more the better to fight algae and make the shrimp more comfortable. Get lots of low demanding plants and feet just a little and you will find it will help against the algae and make the shrimp happier. You really want to fill the tank up.


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-21-2017 at 12:26 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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