Nitrates, how high is too high???
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:20 PM   #1
pealow
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Nitrates, how high is too high???


Lost two blue tigers today suddenly. Both looked healthy, swam erratically and died. I tested the water and ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate between 10 and 20 (amber orange color in the API master kit) PH 6.8 and temp 76.

Is it the nitrates killing them? Is 15 to 20 too high...the cherries and all other creatures are fine. I did a big water change and got it down to 5. Is natrates the culprit?

Paula
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:30 PM   #2
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It is possible your nitrates were the cause... I would also suggest lowering the temp to around 72-74. The Blue Tigers are a bit more sensative than most other shrimp!
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:15 PM   #3
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Nitrates over 10 isn't recommended for caridina sp. Especially blue tigers and CRS, since they're a lot more fragile. Aim for 5-10 nitrates (if you keep demanding plants). If it's a low-light set-up, you can get away with 0-5 which is even better for shrimp.

I doubt the temp had anything to do with it. I suspect the nitrates to be the culprit.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:23 PM   #4
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So do I. It is a low tech tank and all the plants are growing wildly. I've got to be more vigilant with the nitrate testing. Yesterday I added a bit more food probably causing the nitrates to rise. Can't get over the " is everyone eating enough" syndrome, even though it is an old established tank. I have to resist adding one more pellet. Every time I do something goes wrong.

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:57 PM   #5
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I would concider weekly feedings more then enough for a moderately populated shrimp tank.

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Originally Posted by pealow View Post
So do I. It is a low tech tank and all the plants are growing wildly. I've got to be more vigilant with the nitrate testing. Yesterday I added a bit more food probably causing the nitrates to rise. Can't get over the " is everyone eating enough" syndrome, even though it is an old established tank. I have to resist adding one more pellet. Every time I do something goes wrong.

Paula
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:21 PM   #6
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I fed daily, kept Cystal reds, started with 15, ended up with 35, dosed EI, had fully planted tank at 80F. I lost one shrimp, likely from getting mashed when trimming and cleaning one day.

NO3 was 15-20ppm or so most times.

If they bred and are large and healthy, CRS are suppose to be the most sensitive to environmental parameters due to massive in breeding, why are mine just fine and breeding?

If you have no reference for a control, then you really cannot say anything about what they like or what is bad or not for them.
I fed them daily, but there where some Galaxy danios in there as well.

WC: 2x a week about 1/3.

I have not done a toxicity test for NO3 on them.
But 20 ppm at long term chronic levels does not appear to cause harm and they are able to breed. You might be able to get more brood at lower levels, I'm not sure nor can say, but as far as stable level over time that is non toxic, I know EI levels are fine.

For Amano shrimps: 3 day acute toxicity is at least 160+ ppm for NO3 foran LD50. Long term at least 30ppm for over a year, no harm even came to them at that level.

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Old 08-28-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
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Tom,
While Crystal Reds are sensitive, I have found that Blue Tigers are even more sensitive. Is it possible the Nitrates had nothing to do with it? Certainly... But I have found in all my shrimp tanks, Nitrates lower than 10 PPM seem to produce more shrimp and the shrimp tend to live longer.

I have never done a side-by-side controlled experiment with this, but I do have a ton of circumstantial evidence!
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwarfpufferfish View Post
Tom,
While Crystal Reds are sensitive, I have found that Blue Tigers are even more sensitive. Is it possible the Nitrates had nothing to do with it? Certainly... But I have found in all my shrimp tanks, Nitrates lower than 10 PPM seem to produce more shrimp and the shrimp tend to live longer.

I have never done a side-by-side controlled experiment with this, but I do have a ton of circumstantial evidence!
I have blue tigers as well
After 6 months of regular old EI dosing, I'm selling them off since my fish will eat them but not the Amano's. I had them in with 50 cardinals, 20 cories and EI dosing in a small 20 gal tank packed with plants and ADA AS.

Main thing was feeding them.

I've heard all this same old rubbish in the past about fish and discus and even some species of plants yet through some form of magic and smoke and mirrors I seem to not have issues.............

You need to have a control reference to make any statement about cause and effect and you need to know at least the parameter stated is the cause and not something else. If I add 30ppm a week of NO3, and have no issues over long time frames then I know it's not from the that. I have to look else where for the cause. I cannot say why someone else's shrimp die, only that it cannot be due solely to "high" NO3's.

Circumstantial evidence is no smoking gun............it's speculation and nothing more.............you can guess and pose a possible cause, but if you do not follow up with a test, it's no good to you or anyone else.

It's just an unanswered question.
And we have plenty of those already in the hobby near as I or anyone can tell.

Plenty of folks kill shrimp, have less than stellar results and they do not even keep plants at all or add any ferts of any sort.......same with fish.
Folks can and do gas their fish all the time with CO2.
Then they blame the NO3. Shrimp too, I'd say.

CRS and cherries seem pretty tolerant of CO2 though.
Same for the Blues.......

All I know is that I've kept them, heard these claims and cannot say with any honesty that they are the least bit true near as I can tell. Can I get more brood out of them with lower ferts?

That's simply not the goal.
If that's the goal, to breed.........then you need a bare bottom tank and focus on that.

If the goal is to breed some and have nice looking planted tank, then that is quite another matter.

Now you are trading off not as many brood, but have a nice looking tank.

these are different goals and I agree you will get more brood with a bare bottom tank.

So maybe plants are the problem with getting more from the shrimp here?
Most any breeder will say yes, you will get more brood and larger shrimp/fish etc in bare bottom tanks vs planted.

So that's the other side, but how far are you going with these trade offs and how much is reasonable? Is brood production the only concern?
Go bare bottom then.

If you can handle a little trade off, then you get less brood, but you still get some, and you need not worry about NO3 etc but get a nice planted tank.
You do not get both by adding low NO3. There are way too many other things involved to even come close to saying that that have not been addressed.
This is the part of the research that sucks...........having to go down and rule out each issue one by one to make sure you did not overlook something. I've ruled out several things so far. But I have few issues also......but I'm good at keeping aquariums/feeding critters and have bred many fish over the years. So that's often an advantage.

As far as economics, you can easily make more by having a productive planted tank than you might with a breeding tank given the labor involved and the shipping. Plants grow faster and are easier to raise than fish and shrimp.
Cherries/livebears are pretty easy though. But you tend not to get much for them either.

Still, you might find breeding shrimp more enjoyable than planted tanks, in which case, go non CO2, non planted bare bottom. You will get higher yields since that is something you are suggesting is really important to you.

Try it and start trying to culture some nice high grades and sell them.
Or a monster large shrimp that fish will not eat and that eats all algae.
Now that would be a great breeder project.

I think good sinking sticks are also a big factor with raising shrimp.
I like the spirulinia sticks(not those hikari MSG laden wafers).
The poster "Rain" also does EI and has CRS's without issues, but also admits yield brood with bare bottom tanks, but then that's the goal.

It's not just me



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Old 08-28-2008, 08:48 PM   #9
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>>>>>yet through some form of magic and smoke and mirrors I seem to not have issues.............

Ah ha! That's it then! It's not loads of experience in learning and testing, proving for yourself, disproving, etc, after all then is it? It's because you're a magician! Pact with the devil type of thing. Come clean Tom....
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pealow View Post
Lost two blue tigers today suddenly. Both looked healthy, swam erratically and died. I tested the water and ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate between 10 and 20 (amber orange color in the API master kit) PH 6.8 and temp 76.

Is it the nitrates killing them? Is 15 to 20 too high...the cherries and all other creatures are fine. I did a big water change and got it down to 5. Is natrates the culprit?

Paula
Could have been parasites or disease that killed those fish. Sometimes people look to water parameters when fish die hoping to find a link, but that it not always the case. There are lots of microscopic organisms floating around in water from parasites, to flukes, too just plain old "bad" bacteria. Then let's not forget some contaminants from mosquito repellent, moisturizers, even soap residue that may inadevertently get transferred into the tank water when we stick our hands in there. It is unfortunate that these are difficult to test for.

If you have lots of plants 10-20 nitrates is not or should not be excessive to kill your fish. 10-20 ppm nitrates is within the ideal range for a planted tank. I have kept tanks with even higher nitrate levels in than this without any harm to my fish. lol, I have a 10 gallon with 5+ Amano Shrimp. They are fed zucchini everyday(big pieces) and I even dose nitrates as per EI method. The shrimp have gone quite large and are active and healthy. I don't know what the nitrate level is but I am sure that with the daily feeding and EI dosing it is likely 10-20 ppm + Still no shrimp deaths - been like that for 4 months.

Did you calibrate your nitrate test kit to ensure that it is accurate?
http://www.rexgrigg.com/diy-reactor.htm#kit

Nitrate levels don't often stay constant in a planted tank so what you are measuring as 10-20 may not be a constant number and may fluctuate beween 5-20. Nitrates usually and consistently may rise in response to insufficient plant mass and a tank where fish are overfed and water changes may be infrequent. If you have sufficient plant mass, especially floating plants, 10-20 ppm should not harm your fish and will benefit your plants. If anything, you could end up with Blue Green Algae if your nitrates drop to zero for an extended period of time.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:20 AM   #11
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Tom,

I agree with you again that I do not have proof of the nitrates being the cause. But it could be a contributing factor. When people ask about shrimp I always try to offer an answer with the ideal settings for that shrimp.

Your planted aquariums, while I am sure they are gorgeous, are not the ideal environment for many dwarf shrimp. Sure they will thrive in your aquariums, you are a VERY ADVANCED aquarist and I am sure you could keep just about anything, but I am offering advice based on the shrimp in question.

Ideal water parameters for a Blue Pearl Shrimp are:
pH: 6.5
Temp: 74
Nitrate: 0-5 ppm

The shrimp in question could have been stressed and have other contributing factors to their death. But when asked about Dwarf Shrimp, I will always respond with recommendations for the shrimp, not the plants! Thatís just me!
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:19 PM   #12
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Thanks to everyone who added to this thread. I'm not looking to breed, or make money...I just want to look at some pretty shrimp in my tank. I'll keep doing what I am doing and hope for the best. I guess there is no really correct answer to these deaths.

Paula
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:22 PM   #13
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Max nitrate values vary by shrimp species. My RCS were in a tank with 80 nitrates, pH 7.4, temp 76F. I would only find the occasional dead RCS, but the nitrates slowly rose to this over 8 weeks. At this point I started weekly water changes to keep nitrates down.

Since I have no shrimp deaths I do not test my water and RCS breed fine.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:27 PM   #14
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RCS can take nitrates a lot better than blue tigers. I wouldn't rule out nitrates just yet with that statement ^

RCS are known for being probably the hardiest shrimp after all, hence why they're used as beginners.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:40 PM   #15
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I haven't lost any RCS but they did abort eggs at the time of the tigers death.

Paula
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