My Cherry Red Shrimp are acting weird - help
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:55 PM   #1
Roroco
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My Cherry Red Shrimp are acting weird - help


I have a planted, 12 gallon Fluval Edge community tank. I have had RCS in there for a while and they were very active grazing on everything in the tank. One of the shrimp is berried too. Since I made a couple changes they are now huddled all together and very lethargic. They just don't seem to be eating (at least during the day at least).

The change that seems to impact them instantly was adding Baby Dwarf Tears to the tank. They came on a metal 3x5 mesh that I cut to fit and planted. The mesh looked to be aluminum and thus I thought should be safe.

The other change was adding a pressurized CO2 system. I am running it at less than 2 bbs though. I am still running an airstone to keep the oxygen levels up since the Edge doesn't have much free water surface area.

Here are the specs after the CO2 was added

Ammonia 0 (been this way for 3 weeks)
Nitrite 0 (been this way for 3 weeks)
Nitrate 0 (been this way for 3 weeks)
pH 6.8 - 7.0 (Dropped from 7.6 after CO2)
kH 2.5 - 3
gH 7

From this it looks like the CO2 ppm is 11-17.

I only lost one CRS and I think it was because I was overly aggressive when I first ran CO2 the first day. But 4 days later, the shrimp are still lethargic and not acting the way they did before.

Any thoughts from anyone? Outside of waiting to see if they assimilate to the new plants and CO2, I am not sure what to do. Maybe add carbon back to my filter for a short term?

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
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I would bet its the CO2. Shrimp and fish need lots of oxygen. You may be slowly suffocating them. I would cut down the CO2 really low or even off, and see if the shrimp go back to normal and you will know for sure. I doubt its the new plant.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Yep. Just like your pH dropped from 7.6 to 7.0, mine dropped from 7.0 to 6.4. My Sakura shrimp (Fire Red variation of Red Cherry) went from grazing all over to just hanging inside cholla wood. I lowered the CO2 from 3 bubbles to 2 bubbles a second, and the drop checker went from lime green to dark green, and the shrimp are foraging out of the wood a bit now.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
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Shrimps are very sensitive to changes, they must not be too quick. I bet it's the variations induced by CO2, you must be very careful.

Once I killed almost all my shrimps by dosing too much Seachem flourish nitrogen at the same time.

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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pH drops from the usage of CO2 don't really matter - ignore them. Since hardness doesn't change, your shrimp won't be too impacted on that front.

As others have said, shut your CO2 off for a day to see what happens. Then you can slowly (SLOWLY) introduce CO2 again - over the course of a few days. Keep in mind that bubbles per second isn't really a measurement, as the amount of CO2 in a bubble in your setup will be quite different than a bubble in my setup.

Regarding the HC - if it's aluminum, remove it. If it's stainless steel, it might be safe - but you should still probably remove it unless you are absolutely certain.

Note: Since you're new to the hobby, it's Red Cherry Shrimp or RCS. CRS = Crystal Red Shrimp.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
pH drops from the usage of CO2 don't really matter - ignore them. Since hardness doesn't change, your shrimp won't be too impacted on that front.

As others have said, shut your CO2 off for a day to see what happens. Then you can slowly (SLOWLY) introduce CO2 again - over the course of a few days. Keep in mind that bubbles per second isn't really a measurement, as the amount of CO2 in a bubble in your setup will be quite different than a bubble in my setup.

Regarding the HC - if it's aluminum, remove it. If it's stainless steel, it might be safe - but you should still probably remove it unless you are absolutely certain.

Note: Since you're new to the hobby, it's Red Cherry Shrimp or RCS. CRS = Crystal Red Shrimp.
I get those acronyms confused all the time. My apologies.

It does appear they are a bit "gassed" from the CO2. I will lower my bbs and see if that helps. Some of them have been a bit more active since I turned up my airstone and lowered my bbs. I will just go further and see if they improve.

I'd like to get my CO2 ppm to at least 20, but I guess I have to do it very slowly.

I will contact the vendor of the Baby Dwarf Tears to see what kind of metal is in the mesh. I would imagine they didn't send me a potentially dangerous item. But I will verify.

Thanks all.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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Also... I have ordered a Drop Checker, but the order seems to be lost in the internet ether. I am just using the kH/pH method of estimating the ppm for CO2.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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I would listen to Somewhatshocked, he is a shrimp expert. Shut off your co2 for now, as your plants will be fine, and the shrimp will be able to recover quicker. Once you know for sure that is the problem, you could slowly start injecting co2, first just a tiny amount, and slowly up it if needed.

The air stone is probably helping, as the surface agitation helps release/remove co2 from the water.

Also, your tank looks nice. Check out some more info on co2, but it doesn't look like your tank is so densely planted that you would "need" co2. It may help for a little faster growth, but you could maybe skip it and save your shrimp and your self the hassle.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolfan View Post
I would listen to Somewhatshocked, he is a shrimp expert. Shut off your co2 for now, as your plants will be fine, and the shrimp will be able to recover quicker. Once you know for sure that is the problem, you could slowly start injecting co2, first just a tiny amount, and slowly up it if needed.

The air stone is probably helping, as the surface agitation helps release/remove co2 from the water.

Also, your tank looks nice. Check out some more info on co2, but it doesn't look like your tank is so densely planted that you would "need" co2. It may help for a little faster growth, but you could maybe skip it and save your shrimp and your self the hassle.
I'll do that.

Also, the tank isn't full yet. Part of the reason I got the CO2 was to promote growth. I did originally start with Flourish Excel, but it was melting my Vals. Eventually, I would like the ground to be fully covered and the tank to be fuller.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
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OK... I confirmed with the plant seller that the mesh is stainless steel and safe for shrimp. He uses it in his shrimp tank as well. I turned off the CO2 today and they seem a bit more active. I will keep it off a bit longer to make sure.

Later this week I will start the CO2 again at maybe 1 bubble every 4 seconds. Is that slow enough? That will keep the CO2 under 5ppm. What do you guys think should I try to ramp it up too eventually?

Thanks again.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:24 AM   #11
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Good to hear about the mesh.

As for the CO2, I'm no expert on CO2 use, as I've never personally used it. I would keep it off for a week just to be sure the shrimp have fully recovered and back to their normal selves. See if plants do ok without it, and if you really need to turn it back on, use the smallest setting you can, and run that way for a few days. Then turn it up another small notch and run for a few days. Do this over the course of a few weeks until you get to where you want to be.

Also, you may want to hold off on the CO2 until you get more plants to help consume the CO2, and produce more oxygen for the shrimp. Maybe you could add a plant or 2 then up the CO2 a notch, wait a week, then add another plant or 2 and up the CO2 again, etc. until you get it where you want.

Another thing to be sure of, is to turn off the CO2 at night, plants don't need CO2 if there is no light. They actually emit some CO2 at night as part of their "breathing". This overdose of CO2 could lead to deaths. I would run the air stone at all times to keep your shrimp safe, but many would say that you are losing some of the CO2 through the air stone, so they are counter productive.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolfan View Post
Good to hear about the mesh.

As for the CO2, I'm no expert on CO2 use, as I've never personally used it. I would keep it off for a week just to be sure the shrimp have fully recovered and back to their normal selves. See if plants do ok without it, and if you really need to turn it back on, use the smallest setting you can, and run that way for a few days. Then turn it up another small notch and run for a few days. Do this over the course of a few weeks until you get to where you want to be.

Also, you may want to hold off on the CO2 until you get more plants to help consume the CO2, and produce more oxygen for the shrimp. Maybe you could add a plant or 2 then up the CO2 a notch, wait a week, then add another plant or 2 and up the CO2 again, etc. until you get it where you want.

Another thing to be sure of, is to turn off the CO2 at night, plants don't need CO2 if there is no light. They actually emit some CO2 at night as part of their "breathing". This overdose of CO2 could lead to deaths. I would run the air stone at all times to keep your shrimp safe, but many would say that you are losing some of the CO2 through the air stone, so they are counter productive.
The airstone does run 24/7, and the CO2 - when on - is set to turn on and off an hour before the lights. I think I might be losing some CO2 with the airstone, but I have an inline reactor for the CO2 so it dissolves well before it ever gets in the tank. While the fish and shrimp don't seem to be grasping for air, I would rather be on the safe side for the oxygen levels.

I'll take your advise and step it up slowly and I may add some more plants as well. I was looking for another tall plant to go between my vals anyway.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:01 AM   #13
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So the shrimp seem to be acting normal again. They still aren't eating 24/7 like they used to, but they are more active. I have turned the CO2 bak on at around 1 bubble per 5 seconds. I get an aqua color in my Drop Checker, 7.0pH, and 3kH. It seems pretty stable. I also added more plants to help absorb the CO2 and create O2 during the day. Plu, it give the baby shrimp a place to hide... It gives he guppy fries a place to hide too, but those go back to the store every so often.

He is a video showing the shrimp moving about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=NXkdYeybA4E

Thanks for the help everyone. This site was much more helpful than other sites that recommended shrimp specific food instead of fixing the CO2 levels.
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