High nitrates - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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I did have bacteria to start with because I took down my tank after years and set it up again in a different spot with the filter staying in water for a short period of time. I added food almost everyday and there was tons of snail poop. I tested a few weeks ago with the master kit and I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and about 20 nitrate. It wasnt until a few weeks later that it went to 30 then I brought it down a bit with water changes. Trust me I know what I'm doing. I've been in the hobby for almost 6 years and have cycled and run numerous tanks. My dads been in the hobby for 40 years and has taught me everything I know. I'm not worried about it being cycled, just ways to get nitrates down without harming the shrimp and if the api strips are trustworthy because I've heard mixed reviews and I don't know if that was a false 0.

I am not sure if you intended it this way, but you are coming off fairly defensive. Everyone in the thread so far has been correct. No matter how many years your dad has been in the hobby, mistakes happen. You posted seeking advice and people have been trying to give you solid advice.



If you are certain that your tank is actually cycled and you are trying to get nitrates down, your years of experience should inform you that water changes and heavier plant load are the primary ways to lower nitrates. In a shrimp tank, I would go with daily small water changes to start, and add more plants to keep yourself from having this problem in the future. In my planted shrimp tank (a 10g with 150+ shrimp, nitrates are always at 0 and I have to dose nitrates to allow plant growth.You stated these are neocaridina. I would be surprised if the nitrates are the cause of the ~10 shrimp going missing. Have you noticed failed molts? Have you noticed dead shrimp?
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention in my last post. I haven't seen any failed molts. They are molting like crazy, is that good? I've only seen 4 dead but I'm counting 10 to 15 less than when I got them 2 weeks ago. And I'm searching pretty extensively with a flashlight because it doesnt make sense that so many are missing but there are only 4 bodies.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 10:44 AM
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They are molting like crazy, is that good?
No, that's not good. It means they are re-adapting to the new water parameters.

If shrimp die within / after a week, I might blame a mismatch between the water they came in, and your water, especially KH.


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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 11:38 AM
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Good to hear you weren't intentionally being disrespectful to other members. We want to help you figure this out without making assumptions and sticking to the best facts we can get our hands on.

I'm gonna beat a dead horse, though: If your tank was cycled and stable, you wouldn't have wild parameter swings. And with test strips, you aren't able to get decent readings in order to adequately (or as adequately as we can get as everyday hobbyists) measure the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels as your system works its way through the nitrogen cycle. Unfortunately, you/we can't be certain your tank is "cycled" as it stands.

Let's take this a step further: What's the exact amount of food you added to your tank on a regular basis and what's the measurement of ammonia it produced for you? How many hours did it take for that amount of ammonia to get processed by the tank?

You need to be able to know without doubt that your tank can process a fixed amount (that you can measure - typically in parts per million) of ammonia within a certain amount of time. It has to consistently do that on a daily basis, if not faster. While Neos are hardy in shrimp terms, they're not tough like Endlers or Guppies would be in poor water conditions. That's why it's important to know instead of just guessing or making assumptions.

As another member pointed out, frequent shrimp molts point to water parameters. Possibly KH/GH and/or your tank not being cycled. In my experience, I can say that hardness issues wouldn't result in such quick and repeated deaths.

You said this is your first shrimp tank, so it is absolutely understandable that things aren't working for you like they would for more hardy critters. I say it frequently but use the search function on the forum. It works better than random websites and gives you information from hobbyists who document how they reach a particular conclusion.

Rather than dismiss what experienced shrimp keepers are telling you, it may be a good idea try out some of our suggestions. Get your hands on a quality liquid test kit and let's start verifying these things. If you don't want to, that's up to you. We just want to help.

In the meantime, keep doing water changes or temporarily re-home the shrimp. In an ideal world, you'd be able to move them to a bucket with a filter that has sufficient media from a running and cycled tank until your tank is stable enough for them.

A note about missing shrimp bodies: They're either hidden under something, jumping out of the tank, getting quickly eaten by snails/other shrimp or they're stuck in your filter. If you have your filter intake covered, they're probably just getting quickly eaten by your other livestock and that's a good thing. Snails are beasts and their clean-up skills are why I always keep them in my shrimp tanks.

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I apologize, I didn't mean to sound so defensive. I'm just really stressed about the situation. I am certain that it is cycled as I have watched the parameters. I noticed 2 bodies before and now another 2 today. I really have no idea what is causing them to die off. I use tap but I declorinate it, levels seem good now, but they are still dying. It just really sucks seeing 100+ dollars worth of shrimp die and not knowing why 😬

I can't get the quote to pop back up for the first one and it won't let me delete my post and fix it.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 03:58 PM
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Any pictures of the tank? How big is it? How many shrimp/other livestock/plants are in it?

If the tank was left running for 5 months with just snails, it's water parameters are probably way off from your tap water. If you introduce shrimps to the tank, and then do sudden water changes then this will shock the shrimps way too much.

My suggestion is to just stop feeding, and slowly do water changes.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 04:33 PM
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Oh yeah! I forgot to mention in my last post. I haven't seen any failed molts. They are molting like crazy, is that good? I've only seen 4 dead but I'm counting 10 to 15 less than when I got them 2 weeks ago. And I'm searching pretty extensively with a flashlight because it doesnt make sense that so many are missing but there are only 4 bodies.

Many molts are not a good sign. They may be hiding. When we initially put 20 shrimp in our tank, we rarely would see more than 10 at a time because the others were hiding in holes in the wood and rocks. They weren't dead, but they were hiding deep in the wood. Invertebrates are pretty sneaky. While it is important to sort out the issue, I wouldn't take it too hard personally. I know it is very frustrating. I am only about 6 months ahead of you in experience, and I am still having occasional issues with my tanks (right now I am having 1-2 shrimp out of 8 total die in my 2.5g every week and I have been beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what is wrong). @somewhatshocked has put you on the right path.
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:19 AM
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Any update? How's your tank doing?


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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Any update? How's your tank doing?
I haven't seen any more deaths. Molts are slowing down (it was pretty much just the Amanos but they seem like they are just growing fast). I've tested again and I think nitrates were brought down to about 20 with the water changes. I think I looked at the strip in bad lighting and thats how I got 0. I'm about to go on vacation for a few days, I will update again if anything happens. Thank you to everyone for all of the advice.
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