All my shrimp died :( - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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All my shrimp died :(

so ive had my 6.5g fluval chi up for a about 6 months now and i started with 4 guppies, they had babies and off the babies and original fish , 1 baby survived. I had five shrimp that were healthy for the past 5 months up until yesterday when i found them on bottom.

i was told after that guppies were a bad choice and were sensitive to change, but i don't know why the shrimp all died.

I made no changes this week at all to the tank.

i have two African swords for plants, some jave moss and a small co2 system with the stock light on the chi.

is there a part of the water chemistry that the shrimp are sensitive too?

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 12:16 PM
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Sorry to hear that. What kind of shrimp did you have in the tank and how often do you test your water?

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:10 PM
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Well guppies are usually pretty hardy.. If they all died I'd be amazed that the shrimp didn't, definitely sounds like an ammonia and/or nitrite spike in the tank..

+1 demonr6, definitely what we need to know..

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:18 PM
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^dang.. that sucks. let me know when you set up your tank and everything seems to be good. ill send some red cherries over to help you set up again
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 01:55 PM
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Your co2, how many bps is it running at? Do you have a drop checker? And how often do you do a water change? And what are your water parameters. And, um, what kind of shrimp are they?

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 03:21 PM
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Did you put fertilizer or new food in the tank? Anything with copper? What's the temperature?
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 03:33 PM
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There are a lot of things that can kill shrimp, since they are sensitive to water conditions and relative to fish pretty fragile. Without more information it is difficult to make a judgement, but if your baby fish are dying as well that should tell you that something is wrong with the water parameters.
A few things to check are that you are not overfeeding the tank and you are doing your weekly water change. Also, any medications, especially ones with copper may be lethal to your shrimp. Lastly, the PH of the water will typically drop during the night since the plants are not using CO2, but giving it off. If your filter isn't going or is plugged up the PH can drop to dangerous levels, ESPECIALLY in smaller tanks.
Ironically, that is what just happened to me last night. My parents popped a fuse during the night and didn't bother to change it or inform me until morning. As soon as I woke up and noticed my bedroom had no power I ran straight for the fusebox and replaced it immediately. I lost half a dozen cherry shrimp, but that is out of dozens, so it could have been worse.
I do recommend running some tests on your tank to get a better idea of what the problem may be. Until you know what the problem is, it will be difficult to fix it.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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ive decided to pull the plug on the chi and re do it today , the remaining fish got put in my indoor pond for now.

ive started a journal for the chi re do.

I bought a bag of the fluval plant substrate and a new test kit today as i think mine had expired it was a few years old.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 05:43 PM
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Lol, you totally ignored everyone's questions...
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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yes your right i suppose i did, sorry, the shrimp were red cherries, i wasent giving them shrimp minerals or anything like that , they seamed happy eating the fish food so i never tryed to give them anything else. The chi evaporates pretty quick thanks to the waterfall thing on top so i probably topped off a gallon or so every few days, that pretty much was my water changes. My ph tests were coming back a bit on the low side , don't remember an exact number but i think my test kit was bad, the nitrates and ammonia were coming up with nothing too. I bought a new test kit today and will test the water tonight and get a baseline reading and see if the tank will do a mini cycle or anything since i took it apart today.

as far as chemicals, i had three seachem flourish tabs in the substrate (beach sand) but other than that i never added anything else,

I am on a well so i dont have to worry about clorine in the top off water but i dont think ive ever checked my well water for hardness , and calcium ect, it might be time to do that.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by stuie25 View Post
yes your right i suppose i did, sorry, the shrimp were red cherries, i wasent giving them shrimp minerals or anything like that , they seamed happy eating the fish food so i never tryed to give them anything else. The chi evaporates pretty quick thanks to the waterfall thing on top so i probably topped off a gallon or so every few days, that pretty much was my water changes. My ph tests were coming back a bit on the low side , don't remember an exact number but i think my test kit was bad, the nitrates and ammonia were coming up with nothing too. I bought a new test kit today and will test the water tonight and get a baseline reading and see if the tank will do a mini cycle or anything since i took it apart today.

as far as chemicals, i had three seachem flourish tabs in the substrate (beach sand) but other than that i never added anything else,

I am on a well so i dont have to worry about clorine in the top off water but i dont think ive ever checked my well water for hardness , and calcium ect, it might be time to do that.
Well water is generally pretty hard. You can't substitute water changes for top offs it will just increasingly raise your hardness and TDS. If you were adding a new gallon every few days after a few months in a 6.5g tank your hardness and TDS were probably sky high.

On a side note, who told you guppies were sensitive to change? I wish I could kill my guppies, they have gone through everything and I haven't lost one.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 08:06 PM
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Cherries are pretty bomb-proof. To give you an example of just how bomb-proof, I once yanked some excess Xmass moss from my main tank and through it in a cereal bowl with some water. It stayed there for 2 months, and I never touched except to occasionally put a a table spoon of water in the bowl to top off from evaporation.

When I finally went to sell this moss (which was still green and healthy btw), I noticed 3 juvie cherry shrimps still alive and seemingly doing fine.

That said, there are steps you can take to prevent what happened to you, especially if you are dosing CO2 in any form.

First, use aeration at night when your lights go off via an air pump and airstone. This will counter-balance the CO2 that is being given off by the CO2 during the day, and greatly increase your shrimps health at night, diminishing chances for sudden death due to toxicity.

Also, make a small investment in a GH and KH test, and make sure they are within normal range. For cherries, honesty they can survive through almost anything, but for other species, like CRS for example, you'll want the KH very low (2 or less), and the GH in the 3 to 6 range.

Also, make sure you are washing your hands before they ever hit your tank water. Some small remnant on your hands could be enough to contaminate water.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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i only run the co2 for a few hours a day at "about" 1 bubble per second, i say about becuse i dont have an actual bubble counter and i only do a few hours a day because i have to turn it on and off.


i would very much like to automate the system somehow but that would require a much more complex c02 setup

i was under the understanding that the co2 and light should be on and off at the same time , is that correct ?

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-27-2011, 04:23 PM
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You absolutely cannot substitute topping a tank off for water changes. Using that method will eventually kill everything in your tank. If you have a tank with a high evaporation rate you can top it off a few times during the week, but you absolutely have to do your weekly water changes. Not only will the water hardness continue to rise if you don't, but waste will continue to build up until it reaches toxic levels. Making that change alone will go a long way toward keeping your next batch of cherries alive.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 04:02 PM
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You absolutely cannot substitute topping a tank off for water changes. Using that method will eventually kill everything in your tank. If you have a tank with a high evaporation rate you can top it off a few times during the week, but you absolutely have to do your weekly water changes. Not only will the water hardness continue to rise if you don't, but waste will continue to build up until it reaches toxic levels. Making that change alone will go a long way toward keeping your next batch of cherries alive.
There is a pretty infamous LFS in San Francisco that you can find in a back alley way. They have been around forever. They likely have 50 tanks in this store, and they do zero water changes. You never see dead fauna in the tanks.

Similarly, there is an infamous German breeder of very rare inverts. His advice when keeping and breeding delicate specimens like Panda, BKK, and WR? No water changes. Top off only.

So, although your premise works quite well for the vast major of people and is the standard, there are exceptions to this rule I think. Actually testing the water regularly for hardness and TDS will go a long, long way, and I have no idea how people survive without these tools.
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