copper test kit - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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copper test kit

can anybody suggest a good copper test kit?

My LFS thinks my shrimp deaths are due to copper pipes in my house. I'm not sure I'm convinced, but I want to do my due diligence anyhow.

I know my po4 is high in my big tank, and I'm trying to lower that. But I am going to start a fluval flex shrimp tank/breeder so I want to make sure the parameters are good.

thanx
richard
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 09:02 PM
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Why don't you give us a full write up of your current water parameters, how long you got the shrimp, how old the shrimp were when you got them (adult? juvie?) and where they came from. What they look like at death may give us pointers, too.

Tank setup and/or pics may also be helpful and perhaps we can help you figure out the cause of deaths. Knowing your source water parameters would be good, too.



I've had unexplained shrimp deaths in the past and even with giving out *all* the information I could think of, no one could pinpoint a cause so copper was considered to be the culprit as well. My LFS tested the water for me (I didn't feel like buying a test kit for that...) and said it was fine. One person was able to figure it out which was so simple and stupid. I can't guarantee the same success as it could be different for you, but starting out with that information may help and we can expand from there. Unfortunately in my case, I ended up losing a lot of my shrimp, including one colony that had just started taking off, due to other unforeseen circumstances. My current colony has at least had a recent population boom, and I've had them for a long while now!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Alright here goes.
I've been keeping shrimp with varying success for about 7 years, every since moving into our present house.

I've had them in planted tanksfor the last 5 or so years with co2. I dose EI, but I try to keep it lean. I use dry ferts so I can keep and eye on things. I change 50% of the water every week. 2 sun sun cannister filters with intakes guards for shrimp. Flourite gravel.

Presently they are living in a 72g tank. pH swings from 7.2 to about 6.0 No3 10-20, nh3 0.25, n02 0, po4 3, gh/kh 5.

My shrimp usually disappear. I rarely see any bodies. I usually purchase from stores, but sometimes I get some a local breeder. Since I switched to my 72g tank in march I haven't had any shrimplets ( at least that I could see).

I live on Vancouver Island, so our water is quite soft. No chlorine in our tap water. I use equilibrium to re-mineralize the water.

Don't know what else to add. Any help is appreciated
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 06:05 AM
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A lot of great information.

Alright, here goes!


Any chance you could set up a smaller tank? 10 gallons or so in size? With inert substrate. Remineralize the water you use to 7 GH. Feed an algae/vegetable based diet twice a week and a protein food (meat based) once a week. Many "algae" foods are not algae based, but rather, algae infused, with algae showing up between the 5th and 9th ingredients.


Is this possible? It would be the easiest way to rule out many possibilities - unless you are willing to switch to RO/distilled water - but I'd say if that's possible, start there.


If there's fish in the tank, they could be eating the shrimp - dead or alive. Plus, they'll eat each other - usually when one dies or is near death.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post

I've had unexplained shrimp deaths in the past and even with giving out *all* the information I could think of, no one could pinpoint a cause so copper was considered to be the culprit as well. My LFS tested the water for me (I didn't feel like buying a test kit for that...) and said it was fine. One person was able to figure it out which was so simple and stupid.
Curious what the solution was
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
Curious what the solution was
Diet.

Plain and simple! Instead of feeding a variety of shrimp foods. made it KISS. Algae/vegetable source twice a week and a protein ('meat') source once a week.

When everything else about the tank appears "perfect", this is my next recommendation.


xrayguy has quite a few things going on that could be changed to rule out any issues so it's why it's not a current recommendation.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-06-2020, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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As a matter of fact I just set up a tank yesterday. R/O water with some of the old filter material from the other tank to give it a head start on the cycle. My plan is to use this 1 as a breeder while solving the issues with the other.

I will test the water tonight or tomorrow and see the parameters are before deciding what to put in there.

Any suggestions on foods? In my 72 the shrimp were surviving on biofilm and table scraps. The algae wafers that were meant for them the cory cats ate. Those wafers probably are the best food either. I feel they may be causing a bit of the po4 spike.
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