Thanks guys for the additional feedback and thanks Blue Ridge Reef for the links!
I have a KH test kit. Is KH different than calcium? Sorry for my stupidity. I know they are different chemical symbols. Are they different chemicals? Like phosphates and nitrates? I thought there was some kind of relation between KH and CA.
Equilibrium - when you say "precipitates" do you mean that white stuff that gets on the glass? I have that too, but the equilibrium is much less expensive than the salty shrimp so I'm just using it for now.
With the KH and shrimp, I've heard everything that KH doesn't matter for them to you should keep it around 3-4 so you won't get PH swings and shock the shrimp at night. What would you recommend the KH should be for the RCS and snails (my mystery, racer nerite and peanut - I don't know what he is) snail?
I've stopped the excel.
I'll bump up the GH to 7-8 from 6. I tried that before and it didn't seem to make a difference on the deaths. Only thing that seemed to have helped was the GFO, but not in the long run and my plants suffered badly from the lack of phosphates. Right now phosphates are good at 0.025 - 0.50. Plants need some to grow and if I drop it lower my plants decay.
I had added the iodine to the routine many months ago b/c of these unexplained shrimp deaths. Didn't even see a band of death. They just fell over and died. BTW - I lost another adult today, not the one with the band. Amazingly he's still alive and kicking. I saw a shed today with eggs on it. So one of the females jettisoned her cargo to molt - that sucks. Anyway, I had read the jury's still out on whether the iodine is helpful or harmful but I figured it was something I'd try. Apparently, it's not helping but since I already spent money on it I figured I'd continue.
There's no uneaten food in the tank by morning. Plate is licked clean. I don't want to skip meals because my mystery snail, Cthulhu, needs to eat and so does my emerald corycat. If I don't feed them they will be really hungry. Zoidburg, I'm giving the guys fresh veggies + the omega one veggie rounds. I thought the veggie rounds are supposed to be the top dog for algae wafers. Are they no good? Here's the ingredients:
Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Wheat Flour, Rice Bran, Kelp, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Spirulina, Herring Oil, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement
Min. Crude Protein….35%
Min. Crude Fat……….10%
Max. Crude Fiber…….4%
Max. Moisture………. 8.5%
Is there another one either of you would recommend that's algae based I should feed them instead? Should I try to generate some green algae on the algae scrubber? Not sure how it will go but I'll try it.
They do get a lot of protein, but emerald likes the crab cuisine and the veggie rounds. He's not a big fan of the shrimp king food. Cthulhu prefers the fresh veggies (spinach, kale, arugula, asparagus, etc.) but he'll eat the other stuff in a pinch. He hasn't been moving that much the past few days. I pulled him out the last two to make sure he didn't die. I gotta paint his shell b/c he's got a lot of erosion. Speed racer (my black nerite) doesn't have any erosion problems. New tiny peanut guy / I don't know what you are shrimp is also fine.
Thanks again for your help!