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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a tank that my family looks after since I'm away for studies, and it was doing fantastic a few months ago with around 150-200 crystal black shrimps (from about 10 shrimps 2 years ago). Water source is distilled water which I've tested and its good (no copper, organics, etc). Remineralization is pretty sketchy, done by adding small amounts of tap water. Tap water was tested today for copper and the test read 0 ppm. Additionally I use cuprisorb in the tank. Recently the shrimps have been dying rapidly (2-3 a day on average according to fam). I'm back for the weekend, and got to run some water tests, parameters:
GH: 4 degrees (a little low)
KH: 5 degrees (high! But don't think this would cause massive die off?)
pH: Somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6 (high but its been super stable)
Temp: 26 deg C (lowered this already to 24 C)
Ammonia, nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: Super high, 80 ppm. When I left it was <10 so my guess is that this is from the die-off. Going to be doing massive water changes tonight to lower.

First question(s): I saw a shrimp molting and it was stuck. I managed to manually help it molt but it's probably still a goner. With the measured GH/KH I'm thinking that molting should still be ok? BUT, I had some food that I gave the family that ran out, I forget exactly what it was but it was marketed as a 'complete' food. It ran out a few months ago and was replaced with a vegetable based food called SL-Aqua more vegetable. I realize this may not have the trace nutrients required by the shrimp and could be the cause but am looking for second opinions. Big screw up on my part. I have some snowflake food I brought back, would this be enough to help the shrimps molt or should I go for a specialty mineral food?

Second question: I bought seachem equilibrum as an emergency measure for remineralizing the distilled water. Is this OK for the crystal shrimps? I would target something like 6 dGH. Ideally I'd be using the saltyshrimp stuff but everywhere around me is out of stock right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KH is too high
Nitrate too high
Maybe water pollution due to overfeeding
No comment on Equilibrium as I don't use it
Water changes must be gentle
Thanks, do you think the KH and nitrate would be the reasons why they are having molting issues? I was suspecting it was the food.
 

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Your shrimp (plural) are dying for a multitude of reasons.

kH is way too high.

Temperature is too high.

Nitrate is borderline toxic at this point.

You're likely feeding too much too frequently. Food isn't the issue here unless it's non-stop protein.

When you mix with tap water, it's tough to know how much of whatever minerals are present in your water without intricate testing. So minerals that are necessary for Caridina shrimp to thrive are likely missing. That's likely also a part of the problem.

Seachem Equilibrium is fine, as it doesn't increase kH, but it's a bit dirtier than other shrimp-specific products like Salty Shrimp or a mix you could make yourself. I recommend you order Salty Shrimp from an online vendor or look up my mineral salts recipe here on the forum to make your own for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your shrimp (plural) are dying for a multitude of reasons.

kH is way too high.

Temperature is too high.

Nitrate is borderline toxic at this point.

You're likely feeding too much too frequently. Food isn't the issue here unless it's non-stop protein.

When you mix with tap water, it's tough to know how much of whatever minerals are present in your water without intricate testing. So minerals that are necessary for Caridina shrimp to thrive are likely missing. That's likely also a part of the problem.

Seachem Equilibrium is fine, as it doesn't increase kH, but it's a bit dirtier than other shrimp-specific products like Salty Shrimp or a mix you could make yourself. I recommend you order Salty Shrimp from an online vendor or look up my mineral salts recipe here on the forum to make your own for cheap.
Thanks. Would molting issues be caused by high KH? Changing the water gradually over the next 2 days with fresh RO and equilbrium (for now).
 

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Thanks. Would molting issues be caused by high KH? Changing the water gradually over the next 2 days with fresh RO and equilbrium (for now).
Yes. That's a lot of osmotic pressure on a shrimp that should ideally experience kH really close to zero. So there are some molting issues that could arise for sure. But it's likely a combination of all of those things. (and more we just can't see)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes. That's a lot of osmotic pressure on a shrimp that should ideally experience kH really close to zero. So there are some molting issues that could arise for sure. But it's likely a combination of all of those things. (and more we just can't see)
Good to know. Unfortunately the water params got out of hand and I wasn't there to act fast enough to save most of them, huge bummer...

Oh also, any opinions on the BIOMAX food? LFS has a lot of BIOMAX shrimp stuff
 

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Oh also, any opinions on the BIOMAX food? LFS has a lot of BIOMAX shrimp stuff
You don't have to spend tons of money to feed shrimp. They'll be fine on just about anything that isn't protein-heavy.

My favorite foods, apart from my own: organic spinach, zucchini, almond leaves, oak leaves, nettles, mulberry leaves, tiny bits of pumpkin. Just a leaf of organic spinach rolled up into a tiny ball and kept in the freezer (to break down cell walls & store it) until ready to feed. Then just drop it in the tank. Can do the same with the other veggies.

A lot of people blanch them but it's easier to cut the non-spinach veggies into small enough pieces that their cell walls will be broken down by freezing.

For 200 shrimp in a well-established tank, I'd feed 2-3 times a week at most. Only what they can finish in an hour or two. Unless it's a dried leaf, then leave it in the tank.

If they aren't eating, they aren't hungry.
 

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Personally, I think the ideal approach would be to capture the shrimp and place them in a bucket or other large container with water from the tank.

Remove all substrate and replace with active substrate (Not Fluval, but ADA, SL-Aqua, or similar)

Refill with RO water and a GH only mineral for shrimp (Salty Shrimp, SL-Aqua, or any other mineral) and aim for a GH of 4-5

Once that's all completed and the filter is running, re-introduce the shrimp slowly to the tank. The pH should be acidic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quick update, dripped water in last night, kh is 0-1 and gh is 5. Shrimp look more active but kind of hard to tell. Hopefully they can recover from here...
 
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