Random caridina deaths - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Random caridina deaths

I’m struggling with random Taiwan bee deaths in my tank. Seems like I lose a shrimp every two weeks or so for no discernible reason. However today I noticed a blue bolt on its side moving weakly, so I took a picture to see if there are any clues as to what’s going on.

Any ideas? Thanks very much.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 03:37 PM
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Can you give us specific water parameters?

Temperature
kH
gH
ammonia
nitrite
nitrate

Those basic things will help a lot.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, sorry forgot about that.

pH 6-6.4
kH 0
130-135 ppm
0 ammonia
0 nitrites
5 nitrates

Temperature ranges from 70-73 throughout the day
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 08:06 PM
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GH should be 3-5, or about 4, which is around 71 ppm... that could be part of the issue.

What are you feeding them?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never seen anyone recommend a tds as low as 71. Can you cite a source on that? Not trying to be snippy, I’d love some new information since everything else I’ve seen recommends 100-150 ppm.

As far as food, I alternate between shrimp king complete, mineral, and a snowflake food that I’ve been using for a few days.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 08:45 PM
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Your gH is ~mid 7s (if that's what you mean by 130-135ppm), which is a bit too high. I'd get it into the 5-6 range. I wouldn't keep Bees in gH 7+ water but I can't say that's the issue.

If you're saying 130-135 is TDS - could you give us your gH param?

How old are the shrimp that die? Is it possible they're going from old age?

Are you dosing fertilizer or anything in the tank?

Which substrate(s) are you using?

What else can you tell us about the tank?

You should definitely feed less frequently. 2-3 times a week tops, unless your tank is overloaded with shrimp.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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I just tested the gH and it does appear to be in the 7-8 range. I added a small calcium shell thingy for my snail about a week ago, but I’ve had shrimp dying off for a lot longer than that. I’ll do a significant water change tonight to bring that down.

I’m not really sure how old the shrimp are, I only know that I ordered them in several batches from November of last year through March or so. Most were adult size or close to it at the time.

I use ada Amazonia for substrate, and have a carpet of Monte Carlo, a bit of subwassertang, some cholla wood, and dragon stone as hardscape. I don’t dose ferts or co2 or anything.

I did recently have an issue with overfeeding, but I’ve cut back on that significantly since I started to see some detritus worms. That’s also why I put a snail in the tank.

I guess the most confusing thing is that I’ve currently got a batch of baby shrimp growing nicely in the same tank. They don’t seem to be struggling at all, and I figured if it was a water parameter issue then the little ones would be the first to kick off.

Thanks for the questions, this is really helping me think through it!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 02:47 AM
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somewhatshocked didn't ask for TDS, so I had assumed you meant your 130-135 ppm was GH, not TDS... therefore, I recommended lowering your GH down. 4 GH x 17.86 equals 71.44 ppm.

If your TDS is really 100-150, that's fine! However, 7-8 GH is higher than what's generally recommended for the fancy Caridina.


Deaths could be old age, high GH, or something else entirely. I hope you are able to figure it out and the offspring grow well!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'm with @Zoidburg in that it could be old age or hardness. More likely, it's both + a couple other things going on in the tank that we can't easily see - like something in the water source that doesn't show up right away.

If you can get your parameters into a more ideal-ish range, feed less and do less in the tank, that will likely help. If all that doesn't stop the deaths and there's nothing discernible you can test for in your tank (like copper), nothing discernible on their bodies after death to indicate infection or difficulty molting, then you should be more concerned.

Have you treated with anything like Maracyn-2 or Melafix? (not telling you to do that, just asking if you have done so)

Are you using RO/DI water and a quality remineralizer?

Have you noticed any weird parasite or worm in the tank?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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I do use distilled water, with Bee Shrimp mineral GH+ for remineralizing.

No medications, and If there’s somehow copper in the tank then I’m totally stumped about how it might have gotten in there...

My instinct is that it’s somehow a bacterial infection since you can see a bit of pink near the abdomen in the picture I posted up top. But if that’s the case why isn’t there a mass die-off happening? And if so, how do I fix it?

In any case, the points about overfeeding and tds are well taken, and I’ll work to improve that and see what happens. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:18 PM
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Long shot here but could the water be copper distilled? I'd be surprised in 2019 as I think most places have gone over to titanium or glass-lined metals, but could be worth looking into.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 09:19 AM
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In my limited experience:
If they go inert a few days before and then die, it might be water pollution from overfeeding.
Solution: feed less, change the water
If they are lying on the side twitching, it might be poisoning of some kind from something you put in recently
Solution : Prime, water change, activated carbon
Symptoms of bacterial infection are pinkness of internal bits, and loss of appendages, antennae, etc
Solution : water change, h2o2 treatment, antibiotics, etc
To test for copper, u need the Hanna ultra low range test kit, which can measure parts per billion.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 11:14 AM
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So there are no Planaria in the tank at all that you've seen?

If that's the case, then I'm leaning toward a combination of water parameters - gH & temperature.

The gH is definitely too high for Bees. You should try to get that remedied soon. Sure, they can handle it just like Neos can handle Bee parameters. But long term? Things always go wonky. Source: I've done it for a looong time. Conditioning them is but a temporary solution.

And for temperature... it's not that it's too high for them... but that it gets warm enough for there to be some bacterial issues. (I also tend to see more Planarian activity in temps that get closer to the mid-70s.) I prefer to keep my tanks in the high 60s.

Maybe consider getting a couple treatments to have on-hand - not for the triangular-headed devil worms but for other bacterial issues. Search the forum to see what you think will work best for you, as there are a few options. I keep Maracyn-II and Melafix on-hand. Have only ever needed to use them a few months after introducing plants that I lazily didn't treat and process.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 11:11 PM
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I am having a similar problem right now. Except I think I know what I've done. My CRS started dropping off the other day, first death since getting them a month or 2 ago. The deaths have continued everyday, can't say I'm happy.
Checked parameters.
Gh at 8, maybe even 9.
Crap, what's happened here?
Realised I had done a water change with the water intended for my neo tank, still no kh in it, but gh far too high. So did another water change to bring it back down, now working at bringing it down each day. Problem being that the stress of all this may cause deaths later anyway.
I have also not been feeding a balanced diet, perhaps a stacking of issues present here.
Hope the deaths stop mate!


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