Need help to improve shrimp baby survival rate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Need help to improve shrimp baby survival rate

Hello folks,

I have a 3 gal shrimp tank that has been up and running for about 5 months now. Generally things are fine and nobody dies. A month ago, I had two Taiwan bee shrimp get berried, and the first hatched the eggs about a week and a half ago, and the other a week later. Yesterday and the day before, I found a total of three dead baby shrimp. I don't know what killed them off, and one of them was a slightly larger size, so it must have already gone thru one molt or more. There are a few issues that I could think of:


1) regarding "biofilm", is there enough? There is a moss tree in the center, where I assume most of the shrimp are hiding. There is also some algae on the side and back wall, but not a whole lot visible in the rest of the tank. Ever since the babies came out, I have been dosing the tank with Bacter AE once per two days. However, there has recently been an outbreak of (I dunno, aquatic aphids? They are tiny dots less than 0.5mm large and sort of look like a tick) which have also been eating the algae.


2) Most of the baby shrimp that I see are inactive and just standing around, which I think is a bad thing. Occasionally there will be one that is actively grazing and trailing a string of poop, but that's maybe less than 1 in 5. (Maybe the rest are hiding in the moss tree grazing, I dunno)



3) Attacked by rhabdocoela? No, they are not planaria. Sometimes one will approach a baby, and the baby will flick and move away, but other times the baby shrimp seems to give up and let the rhabdo crawl all over it.


4) Got something stuck on its claws and starved? One of the dead shrimp did seem to have a blob of something stuck to it, and I think it is due to bits of food that fell into the substrate or maybe bits of decayed Indian Almond leaves that got moldy and made a sticky substance. My aquarium does seem to have bits of this here and there, and it is sticky enough that it can lift up pieces of substrate (little 2mm balls of UNS Controsoil).


5) Water parameters? Not to be too TLDR, but the parameters are suited for caridina shrimp, no ammonia, and the only concerning parameter is the NO3, which started off at 5 ppm a month ago, but recently rose to slightly below 10ppm, maybe due to all the extra feeding I was doing with Bacter AE and Shrimp Baby. I did one water change and turned up the lighting some more to encourage more plant growth. (However, it seems that if I make the light too bright, my neo shrimp become inert)


Anyway, that's all I can think of for now.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:30 PM
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1.) Might be over-dosing AE. A lot of people under-dose as full dosing causes issues. One or two have even reported deaths while using it and deaths stopped after they stopped using AE. The bugs could be copepods? Or seed shrimp?

2.) Maybe an issue with parameters or temp?

3.) That.... sounds... odd... and not normal at all

4.) Could it have been a part of a molt by any chance? Maybe the sticky substance shouldn't be in tank?

5.) Can you give us an idea of what the parameters currently are?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 02:31 PM
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Honestly, if the water parameters really are fine, then just give the babies enough to eat and give them a place to hide when necessary and they should be fine. The little dots are probably copepods or something similar and shouldn't be an issue (they're typically seen as a sign of a healthy tank even if they can be a little unsightly), and the Rhabdocoela shouldn't be harming your shrimp in any way (I also have them in my tank and my babies survive just fine.) Your nitrates are also nothing to worry about.

My algae is the only plant that pearls.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
Hello folks,

I have a 3 gal shrimp tank that has been up and running for about 5 months now. Generally things are fine and nobody dies. A month ago, I had two Taiwan bee shrimp get berried, and the first hatched the eggs about a week and a half ago, and the other a week later. Yesterday and the day before, I found a total of three dead baby shrimp. I don't know what killed them off, and one of them was a slightly larger size, so it must have already gone thru one molt or more. There are a few issues that I could think of:


1) regarding "biofilm", is there enough? There is a moss tree in the center, where I assume most of the shrimp are hiding. There is also some algae on the side and back wall, but not a whole lot visible in the rest of the tank. Ever since the babies came out, I have been dosing the tank with Bacter AE once per two days. However, there has recently been an outbreak of (I dunno, aquatic aphids? They are tiny dots less than 0.5mm large and sort of look like a tick) which have also been eating the algae.


2) Most of the baby shrimp that I see are inactive and just standing around, which I think is a bad thing. Occasionally there will be one that is actively grazing and trailing a string of poop, but that's maybe less than 1 in 5. (Maybe the rest are hiding in the moss tree grazing, I dunno)



3) Attacked by rhabdocoela? No, they are not planaria. Sometimes one will approach a baby, and the baby will flick and move away, but other times the baby shrimp seems to give up and let the rhabdo crawl all over it.


4) Got something stuck on its claws and starved? One of the dead shrimp did seem to have a blob of something stuck to it, and I think it is due to bits of food that fell into the substrate or maybe bits of decayed Indian Almond leaves that got moldy and made a sticky substance. My aquarium does seem to have bits of this here and there, and it is sticky enough that it can lift up pieces of substrate (little 2mm balls of UNS Controsoil).


5) Water parameters? Not to be too TLDR, but the parameters are suited for caridina shrimp, no ammonia, and the only concerning parameter is the NO3, which started off at 5 ppm a month ago, but recently rose to slightly below 10ppm, maybe due to all the extra feeding I was doing with Bacter AE and Shrimp Baby. I did one water change and turned up the lighting some more to encourage more plant growth. (However, it seems that if I make the light too bright, my neo shrimp become inert)


Anyway, that's all I can think of for now.
Params would help a lot. With TB's it can be finicky. Theres params for CRS, then there's params for TB's, then there's params for TB baby hatching, then there's params for TB baby survival. Aka just cause TB's can survive and berry doesn't mean the babies can thrive . A lot of breeders find more success with TDS<140 for TB's, gH 4, pH </= 6.2. Consistency is key.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. It is appreciated.
The parameters are: GH 6, KH 0, TDS 140-150, Temp 71-72.x, pH mid 6's.
Ammonia 0, NO2 0, NO3 5-10 ppm right now.
These parameters have been the same for a while now - the only thing to change recently is the feeding.
I do water change (drip new water back in over a few hours) with RO and SS gH+ every 1-2 weeks.

The blob stuck on the shrimp is not a molt shell - it is a tan-brown color. I did see a baby shrimp molt once, and the shell is clear, just like the adults.

The little spots are not copepods (I have those too), but instead vary in color from black to tan to white. They are very slow moving or stationary. I'm not worried about them attacking shrimp, but rather eating up the algae.

The amount of Bacter AE I dose is about the same size as a 3mm pellet. The other shrimp inhabitants are 2 Amano, 3 neo, 4 TB, and two batches of babies (maybe 40 hatched eggs).
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the replies. It is appreciated.
The parameters are: GH 6, KH 0, TDS 140-150, Temp 71-72.x, pH mid 6's.
Ammonia 0, NO2 0, NO3 5-10 ppm right now.
These parameters have been the same for a while now - the only thing to change recently is the feeding.
I do water change (drip new water back in over a few hours) with RO and SS gH+ every 1-2 weeks.

The blob stuck on the shrimp is not a molt shell - it is a tan-brown color. I did see a baby shrimp molt once, and the shell is clear, just like the adults.

The little spots are not copepods (I have those too), but instead vary in color from black to tan to white. They are very slow moving or stationary. I'm not worried about them attacking shrimp, but rather eating up the algae.

The amount of Bacter AE I dose is about the same size as a 3mm pellet. The other shrimp inhabitants are 2 Amano, 3 neo, 4 TB, and two batches of babies (maybe 40 hatched eggs).
My advice would be drop the gH down to 4 or 5, drop the tds to like 120, somehow get the PH down closer to 6 though I would argue pH is the least important.

But if your original supplier had success at your levels then.... \_(ツ)_/ lol.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Actually the original water the shrimp came in (4 months ago) was something like TDS 90 GH3-4. I chose GH6 as a compromise to try to keep the other shrimp happy.

Edit: OK, I can do something like 1 glass water change per day with pure RO water to drop the GH and TDS
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:47 PM
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You may want to consider moving your Neos to another tank and dropping the GH down for the TB's. That will probably be your best bet for keeping the offspring alive. I've heard of this issue in some CRS as well.

I'm not sure about the blob you speak of but the other "spots" are maybe freshwater limpets?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Honestly, if the water parameters really are fine, then just give the babies enough to eat

How would I know if the babies are well fed? Some people say don't do anything because they will eat biofilm, others say to dose Bacter AE and Shrimp Baby.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 12:25 PM
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If they're alive and growing, they're well fed.

If your tank's more than a month or two old, there's plenty of biofilm for them. No need to dose anything (and that's coming from me - someone who swears by baby food.)

What are you using to remineralize your water? What kind of substrate? What kind of filtration? Have you added any plants or hardscape since the tank was set up or since you introduced shrimp to the tank?

Do you use any sort of fertilizer?

Would be helpful if you posted some photos so we can get a better look.

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Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
How would I know if the babies are well fed? Some people say don't do anything because they will eat biofilm, others say to dose Bacter AE and Shrimp Baby.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 05:34 PM
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How would I know if the babies are well fed? Some people say don't do anything because they will eat biofilm, others say to dose Bacter AE and Shrimp Baby.
Honestly I feel like starvation is used to peddle Bacter AE.....but I use it LOL.
Chances are.....if your tank is mature and established...it's enough for the babies. Using bacter AE would probably be more than enough and the chance for starvation would be nil.

Your params are a far cry from the vendor's and it seems like you're trying to balance it too much for your other shrimp (neos I assume?)
Neos are wayy more adaptable than TB's so if I would skew params in one direction, I would go much closer to ideal TB conditions.....or worse comes to worse relocate the neos and go for a pure TB tank with 100 tds gh4.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 02:16 AM
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2) Most of the baby shrimp that I see are inactive and just standing around, which I think is a bad thing. Occasionally there will be one that is actively grazing and trailing a string of poop, but that's maybe less than 1 in 5. (Maybe the rest are hiding in the moss tree grazing, I dunno)
I have seen this in my own RO tank. And in my tank it was an iodine deficiency. Only a few hours after adding iodine to the water theyshrimp were active and swimming around. I have now modified my fertilizer to include 0.01 ppm of potassium iodide (KI). Since adding iodine the issue has never reoccured. I have dosed up to 0.1ppm and have seen no negative effects.

Iodne is a necessary trace nutrient for all animals including people. Plants don't need iodine so feeding shrimp may not solve the issue. Most animals get most of the iodine they need through drinking water or consuming meat.Fatigue and weakness are common symptoms in people.
You can add iodine by using Seachem Iodine:
https://www.amazon.com/Reef-Iodide-1...gateway&sr=8-7

Or you can purchase dry KI through LoudWolf.com:
https://www.loudwolf.com/store/index...MiBYjIk8MEdB71

I would suggest adding it to your tank. It will not do any harm at the levels I use and would help improve the health of the shrimp even if iodine ends up not being the cause of your problems.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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I dosed 10 uL of Seachem Reef Iodide in 2.5g, so that comes out to about 8ppb. It didn't seem to help in terms of shrimp activity after a whole day. My adult shrimp seem even more inert, but maybe that is because they are overfed from the baby food? For example, I come home from work, everybody is inert, I dose Shrimp Baby, everybody is active for a few hours, then they shut down again till the next feeding.

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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
If they're alive and growing, they're well fed.

If your tank's more than a month or two old, there's plenty of biofilm for them. No need to dose anything (and that's coming from me - someone who swears by baby food.)

What are you using to remineralize your water? What kind of substrate? What kind of filtration? Have you added any plants or hardscape since the tank was set up or since you introduced shrimp to the tank?

Do you use any sort of fertilizer?

Would be helpful if you posted some photos so we can get a better look.

SSGH+
UNS Controsoil + Caribsea Samurai Soil
Only mesh filter + that pile of Biomax and lava rocks in the lower left corner. But I haven't seen ammonia nor nitrite after the initial cycling.
Added that tub of crypts in the back left corner 2-3 months ago.
Sometimes ThriveS, but not recently because of the elevated nitrates.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Also, I have been doing 0.5L water change per day, which should bring down the gH by about 1/4 or 1/5 a degree each time. TDS is a touch below 130 now, but GH is still at 6.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 11:20 AM
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What do you mean by "mesh filter"? Do you mean sponge filter? If what you're using is only the pile in the front left of your tank, you're going to need more than that. A sponge filter would be ideal for your tank. You're likely seeing nitrate spikes because you're fertilizing and possibly don't have decent filtration.

I get the sense you're trying to do too much with your tank. Just give it proper filtration, stop using fertilizer, let things settle and rest.

What are the little white squiggles on the left side of the tank? Air bubbles? Or basic white worms (nothing to fear)? If they're white worms, that suggests to me that you're overfeeding.
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