Failure to Molt - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Failure to Molt

Hi there. I have a dwindling colony of cherry shrimp that don't seem to be able to shed and keep dying when doing so. Well, the adults do, anyway.

First off, the parameters:

Temp- 73įF
PH- 6.6 (I know this is low, but I'm terrified of changing it for fear of losing more shrimp)
KH- 4
GH- 5
TDS- 105 ppm (see above with PH)
Ammonia- 0 ppm
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate- 10 ppm

It's a planted tank with nothing but the shrimp. It's just that every day or so, I see a shrimp lying on the substrate twitching, and it dies. I rarely do water changes (I didn't even note down the last time I did one), and if I do top-offs I make sure the water parameters are an exact match (to the best of my ability). Then I drip the new water in instead over the course of a day. Basically, I try to make sure everything is as stable as it can be.

I just saw one of the adult females shedding today and it appeared to be a success, but the molt looked weird (kind of like a snake shed), and she was acting wobbly afterwards. I'm keeping an eye on her now.

But as the title and previous comments show, my TDS seems illogically low. Why would TDS be that low when GH and KH are at a good level? Could TDS even be the issue? How do I fix that without throwing off other tank parameters and risking putting the remaining shrimp into shock?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 07:21 PM
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The only thing I can think of is when topping off your water, you should use RO or distilled water with as close to 0 TDS as possible. To my understanding, your water is evaporating, concentrating the TDS in the water. Then you top off with close to the same water parameters, so you're adding more TDS into the water column.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate your reply, but my concern in the initial post was that the TDS was too *low*, at only 105 or so (when sources say 150 is the lowest ideal TDS). However, according to other messages elsewhere I've learned the TDS isn't as big a deal as I thought? I still wish I knew what was going on.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 08:00 PM
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I appreciate your reply, but my concern in the initial post was that the TDS was too *low*, at only 105 or so (when sources say 150 is the lowest ideal TDS). However, according to other messages elsewhere I've learned the TDS isn't as big a deal as I thought? I still wish I knew what was going on.
If you don't mind me asking, how recently have you checked your TDS? If you're afraid that your TDS is too low, you can get something like SaltyShrimp GH+. Your KH, at that level, should not be a problem.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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I just checked it with my TDS meter, which is properly calibrated. It says 107 now. It's been around 105-110 since I got the meter a few weeks ago, even after additives (such as Easy Green) that should logically raise TDS.

As for the GH/TDS, I do use Shrimp King Bee Salt GH+. I can't just add that straight to the water (or add water with much higher TDS/GH) without risking too big a change they can't handle, can I?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 09:20 PM
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I just checked it with my TDS meter, which is properly calibrated. It says 107 now. It's been around 105-110 since I got the meter a few weeks ago, even after additives (such as Easy Green) that should logically raise TDS.

As for the GH/TDS, I do use Shrimp King Bee Salt GH+. I can't just add that straight to the water (or add water with much higher TDS/GH) without risking too big a change they can't handle, can I?
AH okay. Nope, you'll want to change parameters over time through water changes.

Are those parameters, in your first post, tap water? Or are you re-mineralizing RO water? If your KH is 4 and your TDS is about 110~ish , then your KH is taking up the majority at about(4 x 18) 70~ish TDS. That leaves about 40 or so for GH which actually makes it about 2-3 GH which is too low. If I remember correctly you'll need to bump it up to about 5-6 range. Which should bring your total TDS up to about 150 ish.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...020%20per%20gh.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2020, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket_dan View Post
I just checked it with my TDS meter, which is properly calibrated. It says 107 now. It's been around 105-110 since I got the meter a few weeks ago, even after additives (such as Easy Green) that should logically raise TDS.

As for the GH/TDS, I do use Shrimp King Bee Salt GH+. I can't just add that straight to the water (or add water with much higher TDS/GH) without risking too big a change they can't handle, can I?
AH okay. Nope, you'll want to change parameters over time through water changes.

Are those parameters, in your first post, tap water? Or are you re-mineralizing RO water? If your KH is 4 and your TDS is about 110~ish , then your KH is taking up the majority at about(4 x 18) 70~ish TDS. That leaves about 40 or so for GH which actually makes it about 2-3 GH which is too low. If I remember correctly you'll need to bump it up to about 5-6 range. Which should bring your total TDS up to about 150 ish.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...020%20per%20gh.
Wow, thanks! I've never heard of that calculation before, but it definitely makes sense. I'll keep that in mind- I just hope I can get GH high enough in relation to TDS in time for my shrimp to survive.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket_dan View Post
I just checked it with my TDS meter, which is properly calibrated. It says 107 now. It's been around 105-110 since I got the meter a few weeks ago, even after additives (such as Easy Green) that should logically raise TDS.

As for the GH/TDS, I do use Shrimp King Bee Salt GH+. I can't just add that straight to the water (or add water with much higher TDS/GH) without risking too big a change they can't handle, can I?
AH okay. Nope, you'll want to change parameters over time through water changes.

Are those parameters, in your first post, tap water? Or are you re-mineralizing RO water? If your KH is 4 and your TDS is about 110~ish , then your KH is taking up the majority at about(4 x 18) 70~ish TDS. That leaves about 40 or so for GH which actually makes it about 2-3 GH which is too low. If I remember correctly you'll need to bump it up to about 5-6 range. Which should bring your total TDS up to about 150 ish.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...020%20per%20gh.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, it's distilled water re-mineralized with aforementioned Bee Salt. The KH comes from buffering powder which SHOULD keep it at 7.0, but I was keeping PH lower in hopes of establishing the tank for blue bolt shrimp (I'm just doing a separate tank for that now).

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-19-2020 at 04:42 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 01:15 AM
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Why would you use any KH at all for bolt shrimp?

And edited to add, Neos can adapt to low/0 KH, as long as acclimated properly. They'll make perfect tank mates that can't muddy the colors should you decide to go that direction.
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Last edited by Blue Ridge Reef; 10-13-2020 at 01:29 AM. Reason: reason
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Why would you use any KH at all for bolt shrimp?

And edited to add, Neos can adapt to low/0 KH, as long as acclimated properly. They'll make perfect tank mates that can't muddy the colors should you decide to go that direction.
I didn't intend for the KH to be as high as it is. It's a long story and I'd rather not talk about it. I've made up my mind on a second tank for the caridinas.

Either way, I think raising the GH will have to be the route I take. In the meantime, I'll have to supplement my living shrimps' diets with foods richer in calcium, magnesium, and iodine for better results. We'll see how this goes!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 04:05 AM
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At minimum, bumping up the GH to 7 may help.... and striving for an algae/vegetable based diet with a protein source as a secondary option...

What I mean is.... read the labels! Many "algae foods" are actually algae infused and don't have algae until the 5th to 9th ingredient. Algae or vegetables should be the primary ingredient. This is to be fed twice a week.

Then you can use a meat based food once a week.



If you can do those two changes and let us know the results in a few weeks that would be great!



You can work on upping the GH slowly through water changes or faster.



As for neos in low pH.... I've got one that's been living in "waste water" from my main tank that's tested below 6 pH. Doesn't have any substrate in the container... and I just added some fresh neo blood into the main tank to see how well they'd do. One of the shrimp that was added is a berried female. KH is at 0.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2020, 10:55 PM
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Failure to molt would be a great band name. I know its not helpful but it made me smile and smiles are always helpful I figure 🙂
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-18-2020, 01:06 AM
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I rarely do water changes (I didn't even note down the last time I did one), and if I do top-offs I make sure the water parameters are an exact match (to the best of my ability). Then I drip the new water in instead over the course of a day. Basically, I try to make sure everything is as stable as it can be.
Oh man have I ever dropped the ball in this thread. You HAVE to do somewhat partial regular water changes with shrimp colonies; that's not optional. I missed this on the first reading by paying too much attention to the parameters and I apologize for missing this key detail. I'm over a decade into keeping Neos at this point and cringe at the thought of all the times and places I might have erroneously said otherwise. I absolutely believed it at the time, but I have lost enough whole colonies finally to know better*. For long-term success you do small frequent partial water changes for dwarf shrimp. Full stop.

Where the husbandry evidence fools the shrimp keeper is when you neglect a tank and they seem to just do better! "Well, things are stable and they must do best just being left alone! Besides, I'd suck up babies if I were to gravel vac.," we've all thought. But they are reacting to not only water stability but what you had been doing. When newly acquired imports die in your perfect water, they are reacting to what they have recently been through. Even though they might hang on for a month before croaking, they were doomed from their shipment from Singapore (let alone the one from the domestic seller). They ARE hardy and adaptable creatures and I've kept Neocaridina in everything from substrate hardened alkaline water to 0 dKH aqua soil tanks using RO. Either way I believe that they need water replaced regularly. I certainly do not know it all about shrimp (or any subject), and don't claim to. I don't test as often as I should -and more importantly often don't record it when I do even though I have a spreadsheet just for each tank's water parameters on my desktop. I can't get a colony or orange eyed blue tigers to take off for the life of me. So take my advice for the experience -and lack of -that I freely admit. If your source water is consistent, change a little of your water every week. If this was my own tank, I'd do 10% every other day for a couple of weeks, and then see where they are after that. Using your gravel vac. I'd be cleaning filer pads and rinsing sponges where applicable. Anything in your control to make a cleaner environment. And if you change water regularly with the same source water, you never stray too far from that, and that is what the shrimp adapt to.


*For a good 5 years I had unheated planted tanks (with no fish) in my garage addition fish rack that reached high 40's in the winter. I sporadically fed, kept whatever leftover reef lights I had on a timer, topped off with tap all the time, occasionally water changed and maintained, and most did acceptably and there were hundreds upon hundreds of shrimp in some of them. But time caught up with me in each one. When I had losses -and they were inevitable -I typically lost the whole tank full. I've yet to completely figure out shrimp, but I am positive that over the long haul, small partial water changes are crucial.
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