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?[/QUOTE]
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked
You started your tank with bacteria, yes, but adding a bit of food every day isn't likely going to get your tank cycled. You definitely won't know if it's cycled unless you've actively measured ammonia on a regular basis and monitored it throughout the nitrogen cycle with a quality liquid test kit. Unless there's something else going on that you're unaware of or haven't shared, everything - like wild parameter swings - points to your tank not being cycled to the point of being able to handle your bioload. Example: Your tank can process a bit of food every day but your livestock produces more than the food you're feeding.
It's cool that your dad has been in the hobby for for 40 years. Good for him. I'm glad to see he's passed the hobby along to you. I've been in it nearly as long and learn something new every day. If you were fully confident in what you were doing, you wouldn't be asking people on the forum for help and wouldn't be responding so defensively. No one here is talking down to you or telling you you're wrong - we're offering input to help you out. There is no shame in asking for help. That's why we're all here.
If you're unsure about whether test strips give you accurate readings on a consistent basis, feel free to use the search function on the forum or fire up your googler.
Neocaridina davidi are hardy in terms of freshwater aquatic shrimp. 30PPM nitrates probably aren't the reason you had a die-off.
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.