I'm at my wits' end - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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I'm at my wits' end

Alright guys, I'm new to this forum, and I need your help. I can not for the life of me figure out what is going on, and am at my wits' end.

Here is the problem. For the last 3 weeks I have on and off been having issues with shrimp dying in my tank. I'm finding one dead every 1, to 2 days. I was having a similar issue about 9 months ago and figured out I was an idiot and had too much co2 into my tank. It was something simple that I had overlooked because I got busy.
I'm really hoping I'm having the same issues now.
Let me know what information you all would need to know to help me solve my issue.
Some info I'm sure you'll want to know is my perameters, filtration, fertilization, and what not. I'll include that all below, with a picture of the tank so can see the routing of filtration and everything.

Tank stock:
Sakura/cherry shrimp
Blue pearl shrimp

Parameters:
Ph:6.4
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
Kh: 1°-2°
Gh: 3°-4°

Tank is between 1~1½ years old. I completely redid the tank, don't remember the exact date, but do know it was between 1~1½ years ago.

Fertilizers: 3½ pumps NilocG thrive-S every 3rd day, checking nitrates along the way.

10% water change twice a week, or 20% once a week slowly adding the water.

Water used is RO/DI water. (This is one of the things I've been suspecting could be the cause)

Filtration is a cascade 1000 turned down about 1/4 of the way

CO2: for this I just simply try to keep my indicator fluid green. Haven't found anything online that would suggest that's bad, but let me know otherwise.
The co2 goes directly into a reactor to be dissolved into the water

Temperature is at 75°

Light begins turning on around 9am, off by 9pm.

Any other information needed let me know, and please help me figure this out.
Thanks ahead of time guys!
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 05:01 PM
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Are you adding minerals at all to the tank?

Do you have an air stone by any chance?

What diet are you feeding?

How often are you feeding?

How much are you feeding?

How many shrimp (give or take) do you have?



Temp might be a little high.... GH a little low
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 01:06 AM
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GH is low. 5-7 is what I try to keep for neos.

Temp is high. - I ended up just getting rid of my heater all together to keep things consistent. This helps with watch changes - keeps the temperature more consistent when adding water to the tank.

Might want to stock some snails and maybe a otto or 2. I did this because I noticed that my biological bacteria had no waste to feed on. I most likely was getting ammonia spikes. By adding some snails/shrimp friendly fish, you help keep the bacterial alive. Shrimp themselves don't have a large bioload at all.

Reduce water change to 10%/week.

Less is more with shrimp. I learned the hard way on this one - wasted a lot of money to learn this. lol
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-26-2020, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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No minerals being added to the water, and no air stone.
Could you see this being the issue?
I'm fairly certain it isn't an oxygen issue. That's the one thing i learned, and the hard way. I have my outlet aimed so it will agitate the water and aerate.
Current stock is hard to say. Maybe 30? I know I can always count at least 20 and at least 5 pin dot sized babies.

Question about the ammonia spikes, how many ottos do you think I'd need to add to get rid of this as a possibility? The tank I have is a 20 gallon long. The more I think on it, the more it definitely reminds me of that.
So I think I'll be getting some ottos, turning off my thermometer, and maybe, if I should/need, I'll be adding minerals.
Any other thoughts everyone?
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squids View Post
GH is low. 5-7 is what I try to keep for neos.

Temp is high. - I ended up just getting rid of my heater all together to keep things consistent. This helps with watch changes - keeps the temperature more consistent when adding water to the tank.

Might want to stock some snails and maybe a otto or 2. I did this because I noticed that my biological bacteria had no waste to feed on. I most likely was getting ammonia spikes. By adding some snails/shrimp friendly fish, you help keep the bacterial alive. Shrimp themselves don't have a large bioload at all.

Reduce water change to 10%/week.

Less is more with shrimp. I learned the hard way on this one - wasted a lot of money to learn this. lol
Any thoughts to my response?
Sorry for not replying by quoting earlier, the site has a couple different versions when I'm on here with my phone. They seem to be a lot different and don't work the same.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 09:15 PM
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If your using RO water you need to add minerals and let water set for probably 10-12hrs minimum for gases to equalize. Make sure your change water and tank water are exact same parameters.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
If your using RO water you need to add minerals and let water set for probably 10-12hrs minimum for gases to equalize. Make sure your change water and tank water are exact same parameters.
What minerals would you add? And where from? I am definitely new to RO/DI water. Any help is appreciated.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 08:44 PM
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I just cut mine with treated tap water ,4 parts RO to 1 part tap giving with my water a TDS around 180
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SardinePatheNews View Post
I just cut mine with treated tap water ,4 parts RO to 1 part tap giving with my water a TDS around 180
Would you not use in additional minerals to the water? I started looking around and saw people talking about salty shrimp additive? Anything on that?
Tbh, I've only started to get into planted &/or shrimp tanks, around the 20 gallon mark for the past two years. Before this I always had 125 gallon range large cichlid tanks. So all of this is pretty new to me. It seems much more complex & harder to research.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 10:41 PM
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you can catch my water in a sieve, out of the tap it's 19gh 10kh , I just use the RO to dilute it a bit so the shrimp swim in it instead of walking around on top of it
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 10:42 PM
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Do you have any Ca/Mg/coral/shell based gravel that you once used in cichlid tank? If you put some of it in 5gal bucket with RO it will slowly dissolve Ca/Mg into water.

If you want quick you can just buy products like SeaChem Equilibrium or SaltyShrimp GH/KH+ or buy bulk raw calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate and potassium sulfate and use a dosing calc to roll your own.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-31-2020, 11:37 PM
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You definitely want to add minerals. Some people use Equilibrium fine without issues, others go for a product like Salty Shrimp GH/KH. Since Equilibrium only ads GH, I would recommend the SS product. It will raise both GH and KH on a 2:1 ratio.

Air stone *might* help, but I would recommend raising minerals up first. Even with surface agitation, it's possible they aren't getting enough O2 in the water. This may be especially so if the tank is warm. (74 F/23.3 C or warmer) If your tank has a heater in it, remove it! If it doesn't, and it's still warm, add an air stone!


With such a small colony, you really don't need to feed more than once a week, if that, as long as your tank has enough biofilm. If you wanted to, you could feed 3x a week, in minute amounts. Feed an algae based food 2x a week (read ingredients!) and then a protein food 1x a week.



I wouldn't recommend adding ottos until you fix the minerals at least.... no point in adding more livestock to a tank where you are struggling, and ottos I've heard aren't an easy species to keep alive.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cr9 View Post
No minerals being added to the water, and no air stone.
Could you see this being the issue?
I'm fairly certain it isn't an oxygen issue. That's the one thing i learned, and the hard way. I have my outlet aimed so it will agitate the water and aerate.
Current stock is hard to say. Maybe 30? I know I can always count at least 20 and at least 5 pin dot sized babies.

Question about the ammonia spikes, how many ottos do you think I'd need to add to get rid of this as a possibility? The tank I have is a 20 gallon long. The more I think on it, the more it definitely reminds me of that.
So I think I'll be getting some ottos, turning off my thermometer, and maybe, if I should/need, I'll be adding minerals.
Any other thoughts everyone?

Any bit of surface agitation for a tank that small, like you said you have, will suffice for sure. I would recommend 3 ottos and 2-4 nerite snails. I would also recommend using Seachem Stability or similar product when you add the livestock for the first week. This will add some beneficial bacteria to the filter/substrate.

I hope to hear back from you soon.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cr9 View Post
Would you not use in additional minerals to the water? I started looking around and saw people talking about salty shrimp additive? Anything on that?
Tbh, I've only started to get into planted &/or shrimp tanks, around the 20 gallon mark for the past two years. Before this I always had 125 gallon range large cichlid tanks. So all of this is pretty new to me. It seems much more complex & harder to research.
If you want to keep things super simple just use Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ to RO water.

You could take the slightly more advanced route by individually adding a ratio of Ca and Mg to increase GH and adding potassium bicarbonate to increase KH to your RO water.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
You definitely want to add minerals. Some people use Equilibrium fine without issues, others go for a product like Salty Shrimp GH/KH. Since Equilibrium only ads GH, I would recommend the SS product. It will raise both GH and KH on a 2:1 ratio.

Air stone *might* help, but I would recommend raising minerals up first. Even with surface agitation, it's possible they aren't getting enough O2 in the water. This may be especially so if the tank is warm. (74 F/23.3 C or warmer) If your tank has a heater in it, remove it! If it doesn't, and it's still warm, add an air stone!


With such a small colony, you really don't need to feed more than once a week, if that, as long as your tank has enough biofilm. If you wanted to, you could feed 3x a week, in minute amounts. Feed an algae based food 2x a week (read ingredients!) and then a protein food 1x a week.



I wouldn't recommend adding ottos until you fix the minerals at least.... no point in adding more livestock to a tank where you are struggling, and ottos I've heard aren't an easy species to keep alive.


You make a good point. @Cr9 Probably should fix these issues in phases before moving to the next.

1. SLOWLY get GH/KH in check.
2. Ensure tank is cycled by adding beneficial bacteria.
3. Then add some ottos/snails to keep beneficial bacteria alive. They also eat leftover food.

For food, I feed everyday but use way less then what the label says. I remove uneaten food after 5 hours if any. Consider Shrimp King Complete shrimp food, my little neos love it.

Bump:
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Last edited by Squids; 06-02-2020 at 03:33 AM. Reason: @Cr9
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squids View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
You definitely want to add minerals. Some people use Equilibrium fine without issues, others go for a product like Salty Shrimp GH/KH. Since Equilibrium only ads GH, I would recommend the SS product. It will raise both GH and KH on a 2:1 ratio.

Air stone *might* help, but I would recommend raising minerals up first. Even with surface agitation, it's possible they aren't getting enough O2 in the water. This may be especially so if the tank is warm. (74 F/23.3 C or warmer) If your tank has a heater in it, remove it! If it doesn't, and it's still warm, add an air stone!


With such a small colony, you really don't need to feed more than once a week, if that, as long as your tank has enough biofilm. If you wanted to, you could feed 3x a week, in minute amounts. Feed an algae based food 2x a week (read ingredients!) and then a protein food 1x a week.



I wouldn't recommend adding ottos until you fix the minerals at least.... no point in adding more livestock to a tank where you are struggling, and ottos I've heard aren't an easy species to keep alive.


You make a good point. @Cr9 Probably should fix these issues in phases before moving to the next.

1. SLOWLY get GH/KH in check.
2. Ensure tank is cycled by adding beneficial bacteria.
3. Then add some ottos/snails to keep beneficial bacteria alive. They also eat leftover food.

For food, I feed everyday but use way less then what the label says. I remove uneaten food after 5 hours if any. Consider Shrimp King Complete shrimp food, my little neos love it.

Bump:
Thank you for all the advice everyone. I'll probably look into salty shrimp tonight/tomorrow. I removed the heater, I've actually been looking for an excuse to get rid of it.
Sorry for not reading this any earlier, my wife and I got in a car accident a few days ago (the wife has a little back pain, but that's it) and I've been busy on the phone for hours upon hours the last few days.
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