Their Gone... Their all gone! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Their Gone... Their all gone!

So on Friday I dropped a algae wafer into my 7 gallon nano. The shrimp started going at it. There were two or three trying to get it. Then my Mystrey snail showed up and covered up the whole thing and started to eat it. The shrimp were having a fit over that. They kept trying to grab the food and the snail kept pulling it back. It was funny to watch.

I figured that after the way they ate other food that I dropped into the tank that they would be good to go and it would be gone in a few more minutes. So I turned off the lights and went home.

So Monday comes around and I get to work at about 5 a.m. I turn the lights onto the night time with only the red and blues on. I see some of the shrimp in the tank on the wood and rocks. I also see a blob of something on the gravel and figure out that it is whats left of the Algae wafer. I get some of it out with the next but it falls apart and some of it ends up in the gravel.

A couple hours later I turn on the white day time lights. That's when I discover that the shrimp sitting on the wood is dead, and there is another one dead in the gravel, and one dead in the filter overflow. I lost like three or four shrimp over the weekend. There is also algae all over the tank and the white fuzz is back on the drift wood. I start looking around and my mystery snail is no where to be found. There are many many hiding spots in the tank and I can't find him at all. I see more shrimp that afternoon but they were not doing as much as usual. Any time I see a body in the water I pull it out. But there are many places that I can't get a net or even my fingers into.

Since Monday I have seen fewer and fewer shrimp and still no sign of the snail. This morning I saw one glass shrimp for about 5 minutes and have not seen any shrimp since then. I have kept forgetting to bring my water test kit from home so today at lunch I took some water to the PetCo down the street. I figured a dip test was better than nothing at all.

It showed the following

Amm: .5 to 1
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0


I figure that the ammonia is due to all the shrimp and snail die off. All the plants look great and have not been showing any ill effects. I went ahead and bought a new Mystery snail in hopes that it can keep the algae from taking over the tank. When I got back to the office and before I released the snail I did around a 60% water change.

As soon as I dropped him in the tank he went right to where the algae wafer was and started eating. He is even digging down into the gravel to get the stuff that I could not get to.

Here's hoping that he is still going strong tomorrow morning.


Tim
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:06 PM
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If you are having ammonia spikes, your tank is probably not cycled. You shouldn’t add any more livestock to your tank until it is fully cycled; in fact, I wouldn’t recommend adding shrimp to any tank younger than 3 months.
The ammonia probably was the culprit for their deaths, but if the algae wafer had copper in it, that also could have been the culprit. Invertebrates are very sensitive to copper and some fish foods contain enough copper to kill inverts. So cycling your tank, and checking your food for copper would be good ideas.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 01:41 AM
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The ammonia could have been from over-feeding, depending on what size the algae wafer was.

Shrimp usually do not produce a lot of ammonia when they die but a snail could... if it did die.

Another possibility is that someone used something around the tank when you weren't there? I don't know if there's cleaning people or someone who comes in after hours? Just throwing it out there as someone else was having this issue and that was the problem.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDSapp View Post
So on Friday I dropped a algae wafer into my 7 gallon nano. The shrimp started going at it. There were two or three trying to get it. Then my Mystrey snail showed up and covered up the whole thing and started to eat it. The shrimp were having a fit over that. They kept trying to grab the food and the snail kept pulling it back. It was funny to watch.



I figured that after the way they ate other food that I dropped into the tank that they would be good to go and it would be gone in a few more minutes. So I turned off the lights and went home.



So Monday comes around and I get to work at about 5 a.m. I turn the lights onto the night time with only the red and blues on. I see some of the shrimp in the tank on the wood and rocks. I also see a blob of something on the gravel and figure out that it is whats left of the Algae wafer. I get some of it out with the next but it falls apart and some of it ends up in the gravel.



A couple hours later I turn on the white day time lights. That's when I discover that the shrimp sitting on the wood is dead, and there is another one dead in the gravel, and one dead in the filter overflow. I lost like three or four shrimp over the weekend. There is also algae all over the tank and the white fuzz is back on the drift wood. I start looking around and my mystery snail is no where to be found. There are many many hiding spots in the tank and I can't find him at all. I see more shrimp that afternoon but they were not doing as much as usual. Any time I see a body in the water I pull it out. But there are many places that I can't get a net or even my fingers into.



Since Monday I have seen fewer and fewer shrimp and still no sign of the snail. This morning I saw one glass shrimp for about 5 minutes and have not seen any shrimp since then. I have kept forgetting to bring my water test kit from home so today at lunch I took some water to the PetCo down the street. I figured a dip test was better than nothing at all.



It showed the following



Amm: .5 to 1

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0





I figure that the ammonia is due to all the shrimp and snail die off. All the plants look great and have not been showing any ill effects. I went ahead and bought a new Mystery snail in hopes that it can keep the algae from taking over the tank. When I got back to the office and before I released the snail I did around a 60% water change.



As soon as I dropped him in the tank he went right to where the algae wafer was and started eating. He is even digging down into the gravel to get the stuff that I could not get to.



Here's hoping that he is still going strong tomorrow morning.





Tim


If this is at work, then who knows what could have happened while you were gone. I used to have a tank at my office, one day came in to find the tank almost completely sprinkled with food. I had a real hard time cleaning it all out. Lost everything in the tank despite my efforts. After that I kept the food locked away... better they were underfed than over.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BenTheLlama View Post
If you are having ammonia spikes, your tank is probably not cycled. You shouldn’t add any more livestock to your tank until it is fully cycled; in fact, I wouldn’t recommend adding shrimp to any tank younger than 3 months.
The ammonia probably was the culprit for their deaths, but if the algae wafer had copper in it, that also could have been the culprit. Invertebrates are very sensitive to copper and some fish foods contain enough copper to kill inverts. So cycling your tank, and checking your food for copper would be good ideas.
Not picking on you, but much of that is incorrect.

An ammonia spike does not mean you are not cycled - it could mean you don't have enough beneficial bacteria to process the amount of ammonia present. In a shrimp tank, the bioloaod is so low that the amount of bacteria is small. Death of a large snail could produce far more ammonia than the bacteria normally handles. The rate of growth to accommodate ammonia can be slow depending on pH and temperature.

I agree that new livestock should not be added until things are stable again, but the recommendation of only adding shrimp older than 3 months is bad. Younger shrimp actually acclimate better, and we usually shoot for 5-6 weeks old for better survivability.

As to copper, it is only toxic in excess. Invertebrates NEED copper in small amounts in the same way we need iron. If the algae wafer was soaked in a copper based medicine, that would be excess. Most of these foods with copper are safe.

My bet is that the white stuff in the gravel is leftover snail... You might want to use an airline tube or similar as a gravel vac. Your goal would be to vac all water for you water changes to keep the gravel clean. We tend to avoid gravel in shrimp tanks because the only way to really keep them clean well is a UGF which usually isn't good for shrimplets
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Not picking on you, but much of that is incorrect.

An ammonia spike does not mean you are not cycled - it could mean you don't have enough beneficial bacteria to process the amount of ammonia present. In a shrimp tank, the bioloaod is so low that the amount of bacteria is small. Death of a large snail could produce far more ammonia than the bacteria normally handles. The rate of growth to accommodate ammonia can be slow depending on pH and temperature.

I agree that new livestock should not be added until things are stable again, but the recommendation of only adding shrimp older than 3 months is bad. Younger shrimp actually acclimate better, and we usually shoot for 5-6 weeks old for better survivability.

As to copper, it is only toxic in excess. Invertebrates NEED copper in small amounts in the same way we need iron. If the algae wafer was soaked in a copper based medicine, that would be excess. Most of these foods with copper are safe.

My bet is that the white stuff in the gravel is leftover snail... You might want to use an airline tube or similar as a gravel vac. Your goal would be to vac all water for you water changes to keep the gravel clean. We tend to avoid gravel in shrimp tanks because the only way to really keep them clean well is a UGF which usually isn't good for shrimplets

The blob a the front of the tank was the left over food. There was no snail shell or anything else that would make it appear to be the snail. I have still not seen the snail so I am sure that it has died somewhere.

I did find one of the glass shrimp in the tank this morning. He has been swimming around and not is foraging on one of the plants.


Tim
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:13 PM
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Ammonia from .5-1 on a cheap test strip is not a good test. Bring your test from home.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Not picking on you, but much of that is incorrect.

An ammonia spike does not mean you are not cycled - it could mean you don't have enough beneficial bacteria to process the amount of ammonia present. In a shrimp tank, the bioloaod is so low that the amount of bacteria is small. Death of a large snail could produce far more ammonia than the bacteria normally handles. The rate of growth to accommodate ammonia can be slow depending on pH and temperature.

I agree that new livestock should not be added until things are stable again, but the recommendation of only adding shrimp older than 3 months is bad. Younger shrimp actually acclimate better, and we usually shoot for 5-6 weeks old for better survivability.

As to copper, it is only toxic in excess. Invertebrates NEED copper in small amounts in the same way we need iron. If the algae wafer was soaked in a copper based medicine, that would be excess. Most of these foods with copper are safe.

My bet is that the white stuff in the gravel is leftover snail... You might want to use an airline tube or similar as a gravel vac. Your goal would be to vac all water for you water changes to keep the gravel clean. We tend to avoid gravel in shrimp tanks because the only way to really keep them clean well is a UGF which usually isn't good for shrimplets

I think what BenTheLlama meant was that the tank should be at least 3 months established, not that the shrimp should be at least 3 months old. The word "younger" might have thrown off the understanding of what he meant. But, I could be wrong - it is worded in an ambiguous way.



I agree that an ammonia spike doesn't necessarily mean that the tank wasn't cycled, it just means that there isn't enough nitrifying bacteria currently present. The 0 nitrite/0 nitrate level offers a solid indication that this is the case. However, it is suspicious that there isn't enough bacteria to convert any of the ammonia to nitrite, and consequently to nitrate. It leaves the possibility that there is a such a lack of nitrifying bacteria that ammonia was the culprit to begin with.



And, agreed on the notion of copper being the culprit - definitely not a high probability. It would take extreme overfeeding for that to even be of concern, especially since the plants would consume some of it.

@TDSapp - I would definitely recommend adding some nitrifying bacteria to the tank.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:31 PM
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Good point on the maturity of the tank. I did read that wrong and can see what he meant now.

As to no shell, that's also a good point. I'm so used to my shrimp ripping pond snails out and finding the body a ways away from the shell, so I didn't scale for the normal size of the mystery snail.

Strips are pretty inaccurate, but whenever I see 0 NO3, I generally figure the test was done wrong (often is). If ammonia truly were in the .5-1 range, everything in there would be dead in very short order. Guess we'll know in a day or two
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Good point on the maturity of the tank. I did read that wrong and can see what he meant now.

As to no shell, that's also a good point. I'm so used to my shrimp ripping pond snails out and finding the body a ways away from the shell, so I didn't scale for the normal size of the mystery snail.

Strips are pretty inaccurate, but whenever I see 0 NO3, I generally figure the test was done wrong (often is). If ammonia truly were in the .5-1 range, everything in there would be dead in very short order. Guess we'll know in a day or two
I agree that the shrimp could have ripped the snail out of the shell but in this case I don't think so. The blob was n the exact spot that the algae wafer was and the the shell is no where close to that area.



As for knowing in a day or two... On Friday one of the glass shrimp came out of hiding. He was swimming around and feeding off a couple of the plants. He seemed to be doing ok.

However, I came in this morning to find him dead in the tank. He has not been ate any so I don't think that there are any other shrimp in the tank. I also found the snail on top of a rock so I grabbed him and his trap door is shut so I dropped him in the tank where I can watch him.

The plants all seem to be doing well.

There are two things that I am having trouble with now. One I have not been leaving the lights on over the weekend. So this morning I saw that my moss ball has a small brown spot on it. If I leave the lights on I don't ever see that. The second problem is over the weekend there is enough evaporation that the overflow area ran out of water.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:30 PM
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Office tanks are going to be a challenge in many cases and a nano makes it even harder as there is so little slack for cover for small errors. One big challenge is to think of what may happen when you are not there. Things like cleaning crews who are not aware of what can happen with cleaning around tanks? Second thing that I might note is that a small tank has to be watched much more closely on small points like overfeeding and if there is food left overnight, that is definite overfeeding.
So I would have to look at several points to find why there was ammonia in any measurable amount, did something get in the tank, and I would also add a timer for the lighting as it is going to be tough to get a planted tank to work without a consistent light situation. Hard to do at best but consistent gives a better shot at sorting out the problems.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 03:43 PM
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Office tanks are going to be a challenge in many cases and a nano makes it even harder as there is so little slack for cover for small errors.

So true, in the case of a planted setup w/ shrimp. A person's new job description includes maintaining the tank.
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