Shrimp newbie. Cloudy water, dying shrimp
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
echoskybound
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Shrimp newbie. Cloudy water, dying shrimp


Hello all. I'm a newbie to inverts, I just bought my first red cherry shrimp a week or two ago for a nano tank planted with anubias. One shrimp disappeared, and I found another one dead a few days later. The remaining shrimp seem to be surviving, and a few of them have molted with no issues, but I've been fighting with cloudy water, and I'm not sure if it has anything to do with a problem causing the shrimp deaths. I've been doing frequent small water changes, but it just makes the cloudiness worse.

Here are my current tank params:
pH: 7.4
kH: 70ppm
GH: 70ppm
NO3 - 0
NO2 - 0
Ammonia: 0

I haven't been able to find good information about what kind of GH and KH RCS need. Are these numbers okay? I've been slowly trying to neutralize my pH as well.

I haven't really been feeding them because the tank has a good amount of algae. I haven't tested for things like copper or other metals. I use Seachem Flourish liquid ferts sparingly, just a couple drops every week. I'm currently running two filters, an HOB and an in-tank submersible that came with the tank, to try to clear the water up and agitate the surface, which has an oily film on it. I don't have any bubblers or aerators, is it possible the oxygen is too low?

Thanks for reading!
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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How large is your tank? With the numbers it looks like your tank is cycled. Does flourish have copper. If yes, do not use. I've read that some still use ferts with trace of copper, but I'm thinking for your small tank, it would not be good. Feed your shrimp - they need more than algae to survive and to reproduce. I feed HBH shrimp and crab bites.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:48 PM   #3
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Why are you messing with the pH and what are you doing to lower it? 7.4 is fine for cherries.

Also, how long has the tank been running? How long prior to adding the shrimp?

Also, according to Seachem, dosed per the directions, Flourish is shrimp safe.

Do you have any surface agitation from your filters? If not, fix it so you do. Shrimp need a higher O2 concentration and the oily surface would indicate that you have poor agitation which means poor oxygen exchange.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Default Shrimp newbie. Cloudy water, dying shrimp

Yikes so many things to ask.. Answer the first few things then post a picture of your tank.

Also Seachem doesn't have copper, but why are you dosing ferts?

Also 'plenty of algae' isn't a staple diet. A large variety of algaes aren't edible for shrimp.

How did you cycle?

I'd buy a Tupperware container, some RO water and do 50% changes every day in a new Tupperware container with your shrimp in it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:07 AM   #5
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if the tank is milky cloudy its a bacteria bloom and water changes will only make it worse. its not really a bad thing but its not good either. there was some kind of imbalance to make it do that. best thing you can do if its milky cloudy is leave it alone for a while it will clear on its own. ive had it happen a time or 2 in my fish tanks.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses! A few answers:

I cycled the tank for about 3 weeks with filter media from an established tank, adding some flake food to add some ammonia. The tank is 4 gallons with just 4 shrimp right now.

I was lowering the pH because my tap water comes out at around 7.7 and I thought that was a bit too high. If 7.4 is fine for cherries, I'll leave it at that, I was just trying to make it more neutral. I use Topfin pH decrease.

I have a lot of movement on the water surface, but it doesn't seem to be breaking the surface. I'll play with positioning my HOB and see if maybe raising it a bit will break the surface more.

I was dropping sinking wafers for the shrimp, but I thought that might have been what was clouding the water, so I haven't been feeding too lately, just breaking the wafers into small pieces.

I heard that tap water in the springtime can sometimes cause algae or bacteria blooms due to excess phosphates running off into the drinking water. I can see small particles drifting around in the water too. I don't have the means of making RO water. Would distilled water be okay?

As far as ferts: I was putting in a couple drops for the first few weeks to promote some growth in the anubias, since the nitrates in the tank are so low. However, the algae growth spiked fast, so I gave up on the ferts for now until I can figure out how to control the algae.

I'll see if I can get a picture tomorrow when I charge my camera. Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:48 AM   #7
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Distilled works great but you will have to use a remineralizers to get the gh up
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:10 AM   #8
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the waffers could be part of the prob shrimp dont eat alot and one wafer a couple times a week is probably plenty unless you have over 50 shrimp in the tank
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wicca27 View Post
the waffers could be part of the prob shrimp dont eat alot and one wafer a couple times a week is probably plenty unless you have over 50 shrimp in the tank
Yeah, they seem like they prefer picking snacks off of leaves over the wafers. I'll try blanched veggies, since I assume they won't discolor the water once they've been boiled.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:12 AM   #10
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Default Shrimp newbie. Cloudy water, dying shrimp

You never leave food in a tank for over 2 hours. Tank residents will come and fill their bellies before that time.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:12 AM   #11
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pH 7.7 is even ok for cherries. Using chemicals to change your pH is generally asking for disaster. If you really need to, there's better ways to do it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #12
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Bacterial blooms consume a lot of oxygen in the water. It could be that the shrimp are suffocating, or in their distress are not eating their food and their extra leftovers are contributing to the bacterial problem.

A while ago I had a horrific bacterial bloom and a lot of my shrimp died. I did frequent water changes but it didn't help at all. After battling it for months (!) I increased the filtration and added an airstone and the problem cleared up right away.

If you have only four shrimp right now, I think you made a good decision to reduce their food. Shrimp don't need a lot anyway and if there's already stuff to eat in the tank, they should need even less. Try just feeding a tiny smithereen of food every other or every third day or so. You want to try and reduce the amount of nutrients in the water to get your bacterial problem under control. The extra filtration is going to help, as will adding an airstone, but the more you can do the better.

I know how frustrating bacterial blooms are. Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:58 PM   #13
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Neutral pH water does not necessarily equal good lol. Anything living will have a preference towards certain conditions. For our case, shrimp will have a preference for temp, gH, kH, pH, and TDS.

Since your thread says you are a shrimp newbie I would recommend you take a look @ the following:

1. To learn more about your cherries (parameter range is at the right side)
http://www.planetinverts.com/Red%20Cherry%20Shrimp.html

2. Introducing yourself to pH, gH, and kH
http://www.shrimpnow.com/content.php...-GH-KH-NO3-CO2

3. Learning TDS
http://www.shrimpnow.com/content.php...ing-New-Shrimp

4. Parameters of shrimp (I look here for gH and kH)
http://www.shrimpkeeping.com/

Learn the range in which your cherry shrimp can handle. and 7.7 is indeed ok for cherries.

Stability is the key of keeping shrimp. So just leave your pH the way it is and they will thrive on their own.

And I agree with wiccia27 that it is probably a bacteria bloom, and it will go away on its own.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:26 PM   #14
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Thanks for the great links shrimpzoo! I'm reading through them now. Here are some pictures from yesterday:




I raised up the HOB to create more surface agitation, and it seemed to break up the oily surface. Still pretty cloudy. Also forgot to mention my temp in my original post - about 76 F.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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That's a good first step. Breaking the surface will increase oxygenation by increasing the O2 exchange with the water and by removing the film which prevents the O2 exchange.
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