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Advice wanted . All shrimp died.

2022 Views 24 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  somewhatshocked
Hi everyone. I got back into the hobby after 10 years hiatus with a 5G tank low tech. I don’t remember shrimp tanking to be quite this difficult but I never lived in area where the water is literally liquid rock. So I moved to San Diego and the tap water parameters are actually insane: pH 8, TDS 500, GH 19, KH 9 and I figured there was no way anything could live like that so I cut it 50-50 with DI water.

Attempt #1: after tank cycled 2 months: pH 7, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 50, GH 10, KH 2, (no TDS meter at this point), temp 74. Nerite snail alive. 10 shipped blue dreams – all 10 died within like 2 days though I dripped them in over 2 hours. Turns out the seller’s water was quite a bit softer than mine at GH 6-8. I also had seiryu stone which maybe was making water parameters worse so I took them out.

Attempt #2: I wanted to make things a bit softer or ideal? pH 7, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 50, GH 7, KH 2, TDS 200 for about a week, nerite still happily munching. I decided to buy fire reds from the local store (again naively thinking there’s no way anything would live in this liquid rock water). All 10 again died within 4 days, all had stress failed molts and white rings of death. Turns out the local fish store bought em from Taiwan, threw them into the local tap water. Only the caridinias were in RO water. Probably too much water change parameters for them to live?

So… my question is what do I do now? I feel like I’ve made a ton of stupid mistakes and I can’t trust myself. Should I leave my water the same and buy online again to someone with similar water? Should I try liquid rock water and go with a seller here who claims that they live fine in the tap? I seriously don’t know anymore. Personally, I don’t want to chase water parameters anymore and make it easiest on myself to just do 50-50 DI water/tap water, but that didn’t end well either on attempt #1. Or use DI water with salty shrimp. Feel really lost!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for your reply.

For cycling the tank I used tap water and fluval biological booster for a week, added plants in right away, saw a huge ammonia spike to 4-8 ppm in 2 weeks. Then I did 25% water changes(using mixed RO and tap) every 2-3 days over the next 2 weeks as my ammonia dropped to 0 and nitrites rose and then dropped. That’s it! No other critters. Put in a nerite snail at the end of cycling.

I have not tested for copper as my snail seems to be fine and I thought it would die too if I had copper in the tank?

I have never added any other “corrector” or anything into the tank except Prime and aqueon shrimp minerals.

The tank I bought new with plastic wrap on all over from the LFS and I rinsed it out before use with tap water and I have a lid on it and I’m not spraying chemicals around it…

So overall the chemical contaminants potential and medication/copper thing is low?

The first batch was juvenile/adult mixed. The second batch was all adults.

I can definitely continue the DI water/salty shrimp route or the 50-50 route. Do you have a recommended seller whom I can trust?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks I’ll dose some and double check! I think it did cycle since on the API master kit I saw it go through the ammonia spike, nitrite spike, and go down to 0… but I will double check for my peace of mind.

edit: found how much ammonia to use in the guide provided
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I think I figured it out. I dosed yesterday to 1ppm ammonia. Today it is still there. So... my tank sat empty with just a tiny snail between attempt 1 and 2 for a bit so it might have crashed without animals or ammonia in it. Will be cycling the tank again using fishless cycle and ammonia. Now I know if it is empty for a bit I have to feed the bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
So yesterday I dosed to 4PPM (only took 2 drops due to size of tank). After 24 hrs, the ammonia went down to 1PPM and 0 nitrites. I dosed again 2 more drops and it's still sticking at 1PPM ammonia 1 hr later. WTF? Is it because I dosed bacteria as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I dosed with the ACE store ammonia until Dr Tim's arrived, then dosed with Dr Tim's at about 4ppm. I saw my nitrites rise and spike at almost 5ppm and I did a partial water change. After that, nitrites started to drop and I saw nitrates increase. Nitrates are now at 30, nitrites down to 0, ammonia at 1ppm holding steady (yesterday was 0.5ppm so I redosed to see if it would go down). Should I let it be and work itself out? Do a water change for the nitrates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
New update: All the nitrite to nitrate bacteria are working well. The ammonia to nitrite I am unsure about. However, with all this ammonia addition and cycling, my plants have started dying and rotting. Will this cause extra ammonia levels?

For example: Yesterday my tank was ammonia 0.25, nitrite 0, nitrate 30, pH was 6. Did a pwc and added in more ammonia to about 2ppm. In 24 hrs it is ammonia 0.5, nitrite 0, nitrate 20. Can any plant rot be attributed to this or I just still don't have enough beneficial bacteria?
 
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