Lost another shrimp... could cories be getting aggressive? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Lost another shrimp... could cories be getting aggressive?

I have 5 CBS mischling-or-something type shrimp (sorry, new to this lmao, I know they look like CBS but have a variety of genes). I had 10, but 5 died within a few days of getting them due to a battle with toxic substrate (sand and potting soil--I know the toxicity to be almost certainly true because at one point I poked the substrate, and minutes later shrimp were falling over dying). I took them out, set up a new tank with no dirt, just sand, and put them in.

They've been doing fine for about a week now, but now another has died. This shrimp was the runt of the batch at ~14mm; I noticed it was doing poorly when another one of my larger, seemingly healthy shrimp was on top of it and jerking it around, maybe trying to eat it, IDK. It was still partially alive when I found it--moving when I poke it--but now it's died completely, or at least enough to be nonresponsive.

Notably, I also have two Corydoras habrosus (I know I should have more, I did and they all slowly died off from I think the same substrate issues, but I plan on getting more soon).

A couple culprits immediately come to mind:
  1. Overfeeding. My cories were getting antsy yesterday, so I gave them some sinking pellets. I saw three shrimp holding pellets, which are small but still pretty large for dwarf shrimp. I don't remember if the runt was one of them, though. Could it be too much food that did it in?
  2. The cories getting aggressive. One of my shrimp is swimming around... Not sure if that alone is something I should be concerned about, but I saw one of my cories actively chasing it. I haven't witnessed aggression from them before and I was under the impression that habrosus cories were safe to keep with shrimp. Could they have attacked the shrimp? Should I remove them? Would lacking a proper shoal be cause for aggression?

I'm, of course, also wondering if I'm not missing something here. Here are things I've mostly ruled out:
  1. As far as I can tell, there's no hydra or planaria... I did see one (1) planaria come out of the filter when I was first setting up this tank, and I promptly killed it outside of the tank and flushed it away. I haven't seen any more before or since.
  2. I don't think it's a molting problem, or shouldn't be, because I've literally seen these shrimp molt in this tank. They came from parameters very close to, and actually with higher GH and KH than this tank even though that's largely unheard of for CBS. I acclimated them all very slowly. I have no reason to believe they're not well-acclimated to these parameters.

With good reasoning, though, I'd be happy to consider those issues.

My parameters are:
  • Temp: 71 degrees F
  • TDS: 173 ppm
  • GH: 6 dGH
  • KH: 2 dKH
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: I think like 20 ppm? I'm so bad at reading the nitrate results. Is that too high? I did a 20% water change a few days ago...

I dose PPS-pro fertilizer, 1mL each of micros and macros 1x/day. I haven't dosed yet today. I'm not dosing CO2.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 01:03 AM
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Hey!
Could be a few things, but the number one issue I see is the substrate, Like you have said yourself that it was not good for them...that could have stressed them out, and that's why they are dying.

I'd stop all fertilizers just in case that is contributing to the problem.

Hydra and planaria would not be causing such a die off, so don't worry about that.

Too much food would rather be an ammonia issue, you can't overfeed the shrimp itself (they will stop before they explode, LOL)

Nitrates are kind of high, maybe because of the dirted tank.

Habrous cories are fine, I have some in a shrimp tank and have no problems at all. They don't even bother shrimplets.

Can you do a water change with RO water to lower your nitrates?

Also the smaller the shrimp are the BETTER they acclimate, so not a runt ("weakest" one) necessarily.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TropicalAquarist View Post
Hey!
Could be a few things, but the number one issue I see is the substrate, Like you have said yourself that it was not good for them...that could have stressed them out, and that's why they are dying.

I'd stop all fertilizers just in case that is contributing to the problem.

Hydra and planaria would not be causing such a die off, so don't worry about that.

Too much food would rather be an ammonia issue, you can't overfeed the shrimp itself (they will stop before they explode, LOL)

Nitrates are kind of high, maybe because of the dirted tank.

Habrous cories are fine, I have some in a shrimp tank and have no problems at all. They don't even bother shrimplets.

Can you do a water change with RO water to lower your nitrates?

Also the smaller the shrimp are the BETTER they acclimate, so not a runt ("weakest" one) necessarily.
Well, I think the substrate is what was killing them in the old tank. I'm not getting bubbles at all with the new tank's substrate (which is just PFS--there's no dirt since I switched the tank (I didn't switch the water)). I've only had the one die in this tank, just today. My tap (which is what I use, and have to remineralize because it's sooo soft) has 0 nitrate, I could just do another regular water change today if that's likely the problem?

I take it you have a good amount of cories, though? I only have 2 since the old tank killed the others... I'm gonna go grab five more like, now, because I need to up the shoal anyways and if there's any chance that they're being aggressive because of insecurity, this should fix it. Worst case, if the aggression gets worse or something, I can set up my second tank, transfer half the cycled media into one of the extra filters I have and move the heater over (it's only there for the fish anyways). It is just really concerning to me that I saw one of the cories definitely chasing the shrimp, it's very weird but did seem aggressive.

I will go ahead and stop the ferts for the time being, though. Maybe I'll introduce them every other day in a bit.

And yeah, I know that to be true about acclimating shrimp, so it was really concerning that the little one died . Still, I could see it being more susceptible to a freak cory attack or high nitrates due to its size.

Thanks for the help!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 02:12 AM
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Lost another shrimp... could cories be getting aggressive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geisterwald View Post
Well, I think the substrate is what was killing them in the old tank. I'm not getting bubbles at all with the new tank's substrate (which is just PFS--there's no dirt since I switched the tank (I didn't switch the water)). I've only had the one die in this tank, just today. My tap (which is what I use, and have to remineralize because it's sooo soft) has 0 nitrate, I could just do another regular water change today if that's likely the problem?



I take it you have a good amount of cories, though? I only have 2 since the old tank killed the others... I'm gonna go grab five more like, now, because I need to up the shoal anyways and if there's any chance that they're being aggressive because of insecurity, this should fix it. Worst case, if the aggression gets worse or something, I can set up my second tank, transfer half the cycled media into one of the extra filters I have and move the heater over (it's only there for the fish anyways). It is just really concerning to me that I saw one of the cories definitely chasing the shrimp, it's very weird but did seem aggressive.



I will go ahead and stop the ferts for the time being, though. Maybe I'll introduce them every other day in a bit.



And yeah, I know that to be true about acclimating shrimp, so it was really concerning that the little one died . Still, I could see it being more susceptible to a freak cory attack or high nitrates due to its size.



Thanks for the help!


Well it could be the one that died today was just weakened from the previous substrate and could not recover especially since the others are doing good. I would still make sure to feed the plants because not doing so will make the plants upset and possible algae. I do EI half macros and micros two times a week each my CRS tank with co2 and have no issues. I just use bdbs as my substrate with a few root tabs for the root feeders. I usually run about 10ppm nitrates also and it is sometimes 20 and have not had a single issue so I do not feel nitrates are your issue.

Your tds being under 200 I feel you are good in that regard.

For sure could at least be stressing the shrimp with the cory's. I agree get a few more to make them happier and less aggressive.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geisterwald View Post
Well, I think the substrate is what was killing them in the old tank. I'm not getting bubbles at all with the new tank's substrate (which is just PFS--there's no dirt since I switched the tank (I didn't switch the water)). I've only had the one die in this tank, just today. My tap (which is what I use, and have to remineralize because it's sooo soft) has 0 nitrate, I could just do another regular water change today if that's likely the problem?

I take it you have a good amount of cories, though? I only have 2 since the old tank killed the others... I'm gonna go grab five more like, now, because I need to up the shoal anyways and if there's any chance that they're being aggressive because of insecurity, this should fix it. Worst case, if the aggression gets worse or something, I can set up my second tank, transfer half the cycled media into one of the extra filters I have and move the heater over (it's only there for the fish anyways). It is just really concerning to me that I saw one of the cories definitely chasing the shrimp, it's very weird but did seem aggressive.

I will go ahead and stop the ferts for the time being, though. Maybe I'll introduce them every other day in a bit.

And yeah, I know that to be true about acclimating shrimp, so it was really concerning that the little one died . Still, I could see it being more susceptible to a freak cory attack or high nitrates due to its size.

Thanks for the help!
Don't add any more cories!!! As long as you have an issue, don't add more fish! IF they are aggressive and have a taste for shrimp, adding more would only fuel the problem. They are very energetic and may bump into shrimp, BUT they can't hurt them (other than tiny babies).
If you really think it is the cories, can you take them out?
I have had as little as 1 to a shoal of 10 now, the difference is more in that they are shy, but they won' get aggressive like tetras if they are not in a school.

Yes, I'd do a ~30% water change then. Fertilizers have Nitrate in them, so at the moment I would stop adding any ferts
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Lmao omg I just realized I accidentally made the kissy face, I didn't mean : x like that lol. I did go ahead and get more cories, the issue isn't affecting them, except for the possibility of only having two making them antsy, so I figure it'll either stop any aggression or not make a difference. I'll of course keep an eye on my nitrates.

I do agree with @clownplanted that all my parameters seem pretty OK, and it is possible that the shrimp died after being affected by the old substrate and move (though that was more than a week ago, so IDK). I don't really know what else to do than reduce my ferts (at least the macros) a little bit (especially now that I have more fish) and otherwise just keep an eye on things I guess? Maybe I'll do a water change tomorrow.

If I do notice more shrimp-chasing, I do have another 10 gallon that I can set up with some of the cycled filter media and transfer the cories to.

I think it's very possible that it was just residual stress affecting the shrimp that croaked today or just one of those random deaths that sometimes happen. I'll just keep an eye out.

Thanks everyone for the advice.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 11:04 AM
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Two things stick out to me:

1. Nitrate is rather high. At 20 ppm I notice my shrimp were visibly stressed, hiding a lot (tangerine tigers and amanos). If yours recently had additional stress from moving, this could have done some in.

2. Unless you have specifically treated your tank for planaria or hydra, or started it from scratch and quarantined all new plants vigorously (I don't think I've found anyone in the hobby who takes the proper measures; I can elaborate more if you like), then it's more likely than not your tank is infested. These are absolutely insidious pests, worthy only of complete genocide. Take no prisoners.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrodi202 View Post
Two things stick out to me:

1. Nitrate is rather high. At 20 ppm I notice my shrimp were visibly stressed, hiding a lot (tangerine tigers and amanos). If yours recently had additional stress from moving, this could have done some in.

2. Unless you have specifically treated your tank for planaria or hydra, or started it from scratch and quarantined all new plants vigorously (I don't think I've found anyone in the hobby who takes the proper measures; I can elaborate more if you like), then it's more likely than not your tank is infested. These are absolutely insidious pests, worthy only of complete genocide. Take no prisoners.
Agreed nitrates are a bit high. I used to run 20 ppm in my CRS tank and also saw lethargy.

As for Planaria, the eggs can come in your tap water, so no plants needed. Usually municipalities dose high enough chlorine/chloramine to get them all, but some places are more prone than others (and wells can be a crap shoot).
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 11:49 AM
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As for Planaria, the eggs can come in your tap water, so no plants needed. Usually municipalities dose high enough chlorine/chloramine to get them all, but some places are more prone than others (and wells can be a crap shoot).
Interesting you mention that. I've heard it said by others but never been able to find any other sources online with further information. Just another reason to use RO/DI...

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