So after a 4 year stint out of the hobby I'm back with one of my dream tanks, the 40b. I always liked the natural approach with tank keeping letting nature do the work for me. With that being said, I found a piece of apple tree I liked the looks of that had been pruned and on the ground for a couple months and let it soak in a vinegar solution for a while. I got most of the fungi and lichen off and called it good, leaving it to soak for a while longer.
I dirted my tank with some organic potting mix Potting Soil Mix by Espoma Organic | Espoma
, capped that with caribsea eco complete, then put some playsand on top of that since I plan on having corys in the future. Threw in my wood and then put in some volcanic rock I foraged and boiled. Right now I've got a few needle leaf java, crypt undulata, and Christmas tree moss for plant matter.
So here is my issue... I put in 4 MTS and 4 ghost shrimp hoping they would eat the bark and lichen off my wood to speed up the process. I left them with some sliced cucumber and went to bed. This morning all the MTS were dead or near dead and I count 3 shrimp. I removed the snails to a Mason jar with my well water and decided to do big water changes in the tank. The 3 shrimp seem fairly active now running around and I fed them some flakes they picked at a little. Is the wood poisoning the water? Could it be sap or the lichens? Water params look pretty normal as the cycle is just starting.
Pictures of tank and shrimp included. Maybe a little opaque-ness at the shrimps' core?
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