Sudden Shrimp Die Off - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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I've been keeping shrimp in a DIY co2 five gallon tank for about 6 months now. They've bred once, and I recently added about a dozen guppy fry, around 4 days ago, who were going to go to their new tank later this week. Today, two hours after I fertilized (.5 ml, they've dealt with more accidentally before), I noticed all of my shrimp on their side at the bottom. Immediately took water samples, changed 30% of the water, changed a little more, and tested the samples. Everything normal, pH 6.5, no ammonia or nitrites, minimal nitrates.

I generally keep them at 75 degrees F, but the house got really hot while I was out today and the tank was at 80 for less than three hours while I was out. When I noticed the shrimp, it was back at 75. Was it the temperature change? The fertilizers? The guppy fry? I have them in a different container with some plants and an airstone. I thought they were dead, but did that anyways and am glad because I just checked and they are moving their legs.

Thoughts?

PS My three nerite snails are fine

Just checked again and thought they were goners until one twitched... what should I do?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-05-2015 at 08:41 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 07:49 AM
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I highly doubt it was the guppy fry, and it seems unlikely that it was the fertilizer unless that stuff reacts poorly with heat.
Most likely it was the temperature. Just put something in to increase the oxygen, something like an airstone or something to agitate the surface a bit. The low oxygen was most likely the issue.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 08:12 AM
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Did you recently add more yeast to the diy co2?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betta132 View Post
I highly doubt it was the guppy fry, and it seems unlikely that it was the fertilizer unless that stuff reacts poorly with heat.
Most likely it was the temperature. Just put something in to increase the oxygen, something like an airstone or something to agitate the surface a bit. The low oxygen was most likely the issue.
Thanks, I think I will move the shrimp that are still moving their legs back to the tank... Pretty sure one is a goner.
The fertilizer is Flourish and I know to avoid rapid temperature swings in general, but is it more reactive then? I guess the uptake by the shrimp would have been faster?
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Did you recently add more yeast to the diy co2?
I had added too much yeast two bottles ago, andone of my endlers died (and the shrimp were fine then), but since then it has been back to what I assume are normal levels (next purchase will be a drop checker).

Bump: Went to add them back to the tank, only two still moving at all :'(

Double bump; CPO died in another tank, no CO2 Rarely fertilized. I did a water change on that tank before the shrimp started acting weird though, and didnt change the water in the shrimp tank until after they were acting weird.

It can't be a coincidence, I would guess the temperature spike on this floor must have raised both tank too drastically for crustaceans? I've always found them to be hardier than guppies these days...

Just got home from work...Two shrimp I added back to the tank didn't make it.... one of the shrimp that had already died earlier had a carapace lifted on one side, and one of the newly dead looks like his exoskeleton split in the middle... died trying to molt or is this a symptom of something?

I'd like to get more eventually, how will I know if I'm safe? Hopefully I can find some ghost shrimp to test... I doubt its copper but if it was, the snails would be dead?

What are some invertabrate diseases that don't show outward symptoms?

12/6 11:15 PM:One is still alive but it is not looking hopeful. What can I do? How can I figure out what did this?

Last edited by supahenzi; 12-07-2015 at 03:16 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner (sorry)
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 11:47 AM
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Died trying to molt is very likely. "Bad Molt" is almost always water parameters. Was the 30% when they keeled the first change in a long time? Shrimp like consistency.

DIY CO2 is very variable in output to temperature, and the output is not linear (If a 70 degree culture generates X CO2, an 80 degree culture doesn't necessarily output (80degrees/70degrees)*X CO2, more like 1.5x-2x) A large increase in CO2 production can generate a large PH swing.

Doing tech in tanks without measuring tools is pretty rough. I would recommend a TDS meter, a PH meter and a drop checker for your CO2 at least. A GH/KH kit is good to have.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supahenzi View Post
Thanks, I think I will move the shrimp that are still moving their legs back to the tank... Pretty sure one is a goner.
The fertilizer is Flourish and I know to avoid rapid temperature swings in general, but is it more reactive then? I guess the uptake by the shrimp would have been faster?


I had added too much yeast two bottles ago, andone of my endlers died (and the shrimp were fine then), but since then it has been back to what I assume are normal levels (next purchase will be a drop checker).

Bump: Went to add them back to the tank, only two still moving at all :'(

Double bump; CPO died in another tank, no CO2 Rarely fertilized. I did a water change on that tank before the shrimp started acting weird though, and didnt change the water in the shrimp tank until after they were acting weird.

It can't be a coincidence, I would guess the temperature spike on this floor must have raised both tank too drastically for crustaceans? I've always found them to be hardier than guppies these days...

Just got home from work...Two shrimp I added back to the tank didn't make it.... one of the shrimp that had already died earlier had a carapace lifted on one side, and one of the newly dead looks like his exoskeleton split in the middle... died trying to molt or is this a symptom of something?

I'd like to get more eventually, how will I know if I'm safe? Hopefully I can find some ghost shrimp to test... I doubt its copper but if it was, the snails would be dead?

What are some invertabrate diseases that don't show outward symptoms?

12/6 11:15 PM:One is still alive but it is not looking hopeful. What can I do? How can I figure out what did this?
As per my pm I stand by the temperature issue I had several die offs for the same reason. Biggest issue to small tanks is temperature fluctuations. If you get acrylic it is far less but still possible. Hopefully they bounce back for you though.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jarvitron View Post
Died trying to molt is very likely. "Bad Molt" is almost always water parameters. Was the 30% when they keeled the first change in a long time? Shrimp like consistency.

DIY CO2 is very variable in output to temperature, and the output is not linear (If a 70 degree culture generates X CO2, an 80 degree culture doesn't necessarily output (80degrees/70degrees)*X CO2, more like 1.5x-2x) A large increase in CO2 production can generate a large PH swing.
I do weekly water changes of like 30%, but more since I added the guppy fry.

I hadn't thought of the temperature raise of the filter of yeast! I'm sure that's it and must have caused a drastic co2 spike. Thanks all!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 01:04 AM
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In my opinion you are changing too much water too often
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 02:38 AM
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In my opinion you are changing too much water too often
+1 monthly 25% pure r/o when I did shrimp.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 08:37 PM
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I change a bit less water (20%) twice as often (about every 4 days) and my shrimp seem to be as happy as my fish but YMMV. My tap water is very low gh/kh (<70tds) out of the tap and I have 3 carbon block filters on it, and it comes out about 35-45 tds after those. R/O and RO/DI makes things different, and I don't like messing with remineralizing.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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In my opinion you are changing too much water too often
Do you think so? If I account for all the evaporation I'm probably only taking half of that out. Should I have been mostly only topping off?

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I change a bit less water (20%) twice as often (about every 4 days) and my shrimp seem to be as happy as my fish but YMMV. My tap water is very low gh/kh (<70tds) out of the tap and I have 3 carbon block filters on it, and it comes out about 35-45 tds after those. R/O and RO/DI makes things different, and I don't like messing with remineralizing.
What is an affordable TDS meter, and what reading should be looking for? How do Carbon block filters work?

I thought I had learned a lot but I feel I am back at square one...
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 05:41 PM
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I have three filter housings like this http://123filter.com/catalog/images/HC14.JPG with appropriately sized (10x2" in my case) 5 micron carbon block filters (I was initially using a 10u at the first stage but haven't noticed any lower flow/life with all 5u, but my house has all new plumbing (pex with minimal copper fittings and no rust chum like the old pipes had) and my water is very soft from the tap. A carbon block filter is usually something like coconut husk charcoal, broken into bits, held in a filter housing with some floss and a plastic shell. They attract and absorb free ions in the water, like chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, sodium. There are larger and smaller filters (the biggest ones are 4", which is huge), they're rated for whole house use for 3 or 6 months, so they're durable and have good longevity. My inlet just comes in from my python fill hose so I can still mix in warm water, and most (if not all) of the concerns about using water heater-ed water to sparge your fish tank water go away because it's also being filtered through activated charcoal. Is three stage necessary? Probably not. Should you change the filters more often than I do (which is twice as long as they list for whole house use, even though that's not really how carbon works -- it's still absorbing crap out of the tiny bits of air that get into it when I' not using it and becoming less effective) maybe.

When you google a type of shrimp you'll usually find several breeders who list their "TDS" (total dissolved solids) in their tanks. Usually the bee shrimp, cherries are less picky. Almost all of my fish (a 75 goldfish tank, a 29 shrimp tank, a smaller species 55 tank, and a 20L hospital/plant tank) live in ~120 tds water, I judge their water change schedule on when the TDS goes above 160. The plant tank obviously I'm less stringent about, it goes over 220/240 tds pretty regularly. I don't use it as an absolute water quality measurement like proper mars kh or gh drop test, but the combo of the carbon filtering and the TDS monitoring I use it to make sure my in-tank water is consistent from week to week, especially when the city changes from lower to higher alkalinity sources (our local basin catchment or the well field). I got mine on amazon, it's a pretty common TDS meter, well reviewed HM digital, I think I paid $13 for it. I've also got a "high resolution" pH pen I got for the same price, less well reviewed. I still haven't used the calibration fluids on it so again, I use it mostly to check day to day/week to week trends instead of absolute values.

Sucking out a single baster full of water into a testing vessel one time and jamming in two meters sure beats doing 4/5 drop tests. Since there's no reagent/obeservation other than waiting for the measurement to settle out, you can test as many tanks in a row as you have old jam jars.

As far as how much water to change and how often there's as many ways to do it as there are fish to keep. Lots of shrimp keepers do monthly changes, Specifically remineralized RO or Purified Spring water only, and RO only to top up. As long as you can measure what you're doing to the water Pete Mang (lotsoffish.net) has a pretty good article about water changes and nitrates and the point of homeostasis for water (numbers based on weekly changes). The upshot is basically, the amount of water you're changing out directly relates to the final/normalized nitrates in your tank, it's significantly better over 25% and then diminishing returns kick in after about 75%. He personally espouses 75% water changes every other day but he's also an insane person (the good kind of insane but still insane). I think the part that's critical to his success (and mine) is non-ionically filtered (non ro/di) water that is the same temperature as the tank (and even on that I'm not a stickler, sometimes I'll let my 72 degree danio tank get some 68 degree water and watch them spar and spawn all day and my shrimp don't seem to mind that temp either but I try to keep it closer to 70) and a consistent and frequent water change schedule. I believe Mang takes care of the water temperature thing by having an aging tank/water holding vessel with heating that he fills from.

Again, I'm "about twice a week" or basically every four days. Depends on if my calendar notification motivates me out of my blanket full of farts on Sunday or if I put it off. I also use lids on all my tanks except my room temperature tank (the goldfish) to make sure I have as little evaporation between changes as possible, I don't like the idea of the water getting sour any faster than it has to.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarvitron View Post
I have three filter housings like this http://123filter.com/catalog/images/HC14.JPG with appropriately sized (10x2" in my case) 5 micron carbon block filters (I was initially using a 10u at the first stage but haven't noticed any lower flow/life with all 5u, but my house has all new plumbing (pex with minimal copper fittings and no rust chum like the old pipes had) and my water is very soft from the tap. A carbon block filter is usually something like coconut husk charcoal, broken into bits, held in a filter housing with some floss and a plastic shell. They attract and absorb free ions in the water, like chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, sodium. There are larger and smaller filters (the biggest ones are 4", which is huge), they're rated for whole house use for 3 or 6 months, so they're durable and have good longevity. My inlet just comes in from my python fill hose so I can still mix in warm water, and most (if not all) of the concerns about using water heater-ed water to sparge your fish tank water go away because it's also being filtered through activated charcoal. Is three stage necessary? Probably not. Should you change the filters more often than I do (which is twice as long as they list for whole house use, even though that's not really how carbon works -- it's still absorbing crap out of the tiny bits of air that get into it when I' not using it and becoming less effective) maybe.
I'm looking into getting a TDS meter now. I see a Frentaly Ph & TDS meter set, would that be acceptable? It's 13 dollars for both so I'm skeptical.

Those filter housings just get put at the beginning of your python? That seems really simple. How effecient are they at removing TDS and chlorine/chloramine? Do you still need water condition?

You've provided me with such a wealth of information, thank you!

Last edited by supahenzi; 12-11-2015 at 07:16 AM. Reason: TDS meter question
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 08:01 PM
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Yeah I go python housing housing housing hose to fill tank. I have them on flexible hose sections between them so I can arrange them in a 5 gallon bucket to move them around the house and organize the hose when I'm done. I've got the parts but maybe not the round tuits to hard-plumb them into a low flow ice maker fitting and stash it in the closet with a hose long enough to hit all my tanks but that'd kill my temperature mixing thing. My TDS drops from about 75 out of the tap straight to about 40 out of the housings, no detectable chloramine/nitrate/nitrite in my test kits. I don't water condition beyond that (other than semipassively increasing my kH and pH buffering by having crushed coral in my filters and under the substrate)

No clue on that brand of kit, seems cheap but these days the electronics are almost identical and practically free, the difference in cost is in shipping you the box and providing a help number to print on it if it breaks. Less than an API master test kit to find out.
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