Cherry shrimp dying.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:52 PM   #1
Andromeda01
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Cherry shrimp dying.


Hi, new poster here. Also new to planted tanks and shrimps. Not new to reading this forum or this hobby in general. I have kept cichlids and bettas for over a decade.

I have an aqueon evolve 2 gallon kit with java fern/moss, fluval shrimp stratum, and mopani drift wood.

I have lost 4 RCS over the last two weeks, there is only 1 left. I think what's killing them are ammonia spikes after water changes caused by disturbing the substrate. I did an ammonia test before a wc, it was 0, after a wc it was between .25-.5. There is no ammonia in my tap. It was a few posts online that I noticed that led me to believe this was happening to my tank as well.

Besides the ammonia spikes after a wc, the paramaters are...
Ammonia 0
nitrites 0
nitrates .5 or under.
temp 80
gh 3
kh 2

I seeded the tank a month and a half ago using media from my cichlid tank and did a fishless cycle.

My fluval shrimp stratum is about an inch to an inch and a half deep. Is this too much? How do I prevent a spike after disturbing the substrate?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Oh I also did a copper test and it showed between 0-.25.'I believe this was from the ferts(flourish) and have since stopped dosing until I get this figured out. Tap showed 0.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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Your GH is pretty low. I suggest adding a GH booster, crushed coral, or anything else that would raise the GH. Also pick up some Seachem Prime to detoxify that ammonia.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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Are you using an API tests for ammonia??? That can give you false results dePending on your dechlorinator. Prime is one of them. The API tests read total ammonia not free and will include ammonium in the readings which is what products like Prime convert ammonia to. Also GH and KH is low. Which makes me think your pH is too low but I didn't see it listed.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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What's your ph?

Temps above 78 begin stressing cherry shrimp so a constant run at 80 may explain them dropping off over time. Just too warm for them. Also drip acclimation is key. They may live for two weeks or so then mysteriously die if they weren't originally acclimated slowly. I know the results sound dubious but I've tried is on thtree separate occasions with different colored shrimps so the results were easy to spot.

Dosing would only be beneficial if your tank is densely planted. Otherwise the excess would stress the shrimp. In flourish comprehensive, there's Copper and something else in the micros that gets these guys upset. By stopping the micro dosing your shrimps will be much happier.

I have the same substrate. It looks gorgeous but not the easiest to use and maintain. It's light and easily disturbed. If you see most shrimp tanks, they are sparse on purpose.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:13 PM   #5
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Also you shouldn't be disturbing the substrate at all. How are you doing water changes that are causing such disturbance???
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravensgate View Post
Also you shouldn't be disturbing the substrate at all. How are you doing water changes that are causing such disturbance???

+1 I use a plate or clay dish so that the substrate does not get stirred up.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #7
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80 is fine for cherries if they are acclimated. I keep several tanks at that temp with no probs.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soothing Shrimp View Post
80 is fine for cherries if they are acclimated. I keep several tanks at that temp with no probs.
One friend who I gave my cherry shrimp to when I moved up to CRS lives mostly 'off the grid'. He has power but it's unreliable and he doesn't have an air conditioner. His tank was well over 90F through most of the summer and his cherries are still alive.

He did lose some and breeding basically stopped for several months, but the colony survived.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for the quick replies.

Woops forgot PH, it is 6.8. It seems pretty steady when I test it despite the low hardness. I think that the stratum buffers it.(not sure though)
-Ph from the tap is 7.6. I add the water from tap to a 1 gallon container and let it sit for a couple days.

I use prime. I add it to the container after I fill it from the tap. Perhaps I should add it to the tank instead after a wc?

Yes I m using the API tests.

The tank temp has consistently been 80 on the dot, however recently it can dip to 77 at nights now that it's getting cold at night. I was thinking this fluctuation is also stressing them out. There is no heater in the tank. I have a small 10 watt heater but after reading the reviews about it I am hesitant to use it.

I was using a small vacuum to remove the shrimp waste, there was a lot of it. So I was intentionally disturbing the substrate.

I have a small piece of coral that I added to the tank a day ago. However I'm not sure if its enough. Tonight I am going to test again and see if it had any effect.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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Most recommend against vacuuming substrate, you don't want to disturb it as you are just releasing toxic garbage. Out of everything listed that's what I would point the finger to. Do not add Prime directly to your tank, add it to the containers of water as you've been doing. If you want an accurate ammonia test go for something like Seachem Total Ammonia test because you can test for both free and total. API was registering .25-.50 ammonia on me as well after I'd do water changes. It was the Prime throwing it off.

Your temp is fine...wouldn't be what I'd look at that would kill them. It's a little higher than ideal but not deadly. pH is fine but as already mentioned your KH and GH is low. I'd still think it's the disturbing of the substrate that's doing them in. Being an armchair 'shrimp vet' and all over the internet
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