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Old 10-21-2012, 11:32 PM   #1
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So, I have a planted 10 gallon that I've had running for about a year now. For most of that time, it had an otto (he's still there), various snails (still there), and some guppies. Recently I took the guppies out so I could convert this to a cherry shrimp tank. The cherries didn't make it. Despite acclimating them overnight (temperature controlled, drip @ ~ 1 drop per 2-3 sec), none of them made it. I had previously added a few cherries a week or so ago, and none of thosee made it either. Did a water test to check things:

pH 7.5, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~0, kh 6, gh 21, no copper, 78 deg F

This tank has a mix of mineralized topsoil and organic potting soil (the one recomended for walstaad tanks) capped by eco-complete, black gravel, and black sand. Too many plant species, all doing well as far as I can tell; mix of epiphytes, rooted, and floating. I have a diy yeast co2 generator hooked up to this, @ about 1 bubble per 2-3 seconds. Aeration @ night via a small internal filter with return above water level. Small canister filter with purigen. Water changes are usually every 2-3 weeks, about 20%, with seachem prime. I don't normally add fertilizer, maybe a ittle flourish when I remember.

The only other thing I can think of is that I had previously tried feeding the fish small amounts of live blackworms and tubifex worms. After about a week of that, I stopped. Some did make it into the substrate.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm stumped. Maybe the change in water quality is too vast. pH is a little high, but all my tanks have been like that (for some reason) for at least a few years now.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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water parameter wise.. gh 21? looks a bit scary? the rest are ok.. rcs pretty adaptable to temps.. but 21 gh... >.< don't seem right..
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:54 AM   #3
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I think that cherries MIGHT be able to live in that hard of water, but they were not used to it. Trying to acclimate them to water that hard would take weeks (you cant drip acclimated them slow enough for water that different from what they are used to). Is your tap water that hard? I would invest in some RO water, or just buy jugs of distilled water from the store and mix your tap with distilled to get the levels right. If you did a mix of half and half, your KH would be 3 and your GH would be 10, which is fine but a 2:1 ratio of RO:tap would be even better
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #4
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There are several red flags.

Cherries at their upper tolerance can handle a gh of 14. Even acclimating them will not avoid severely stressing them at the gh of 21. Infact, you have a higher chance of survival acclimating them to a lower gh than upper, similar to ph so by doing ao, you'd likely have lost. Most, if not all of the cherries.

When using dyi CO2, the flow cannot be moderated so effectively you are lowering the ph and oxygen levels 24x7. Having a filter add surface agitation may not be sufficient and an airstone may have been more beneficial. If the tank ph is 7.5, what is your ph without co2?

Without regards to tds, this likely attributed to the shock as cherries also do better below 200ppm. Most planted tanks with dosing easily fair well above this. Get a meter if you don't have one already.

Temps of 78 is also the upper range of their comfort zone. It's unfortunate that two batches of shrimp were sacrificed before researching or asking for help but you are here now which is a start.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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remineralized RO may be your best move if that's your tap. GH seems waaaaay too high. Try a gh between 6 and 9.

TDS of under 200 is ideal, although there have been points where some of my tanks were 400 or so with no ill effects. I don't advise that, but it can be done. I also have several of my cherry tanks at 80F with no ill effects.

Keeping that in mind, GH or copper may be the culprit
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