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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having a slow die off of my shrimp lately in my 20g high tank lately and I've having a hard time figuring out why. Here are the details on the situation.

It's a very heavily planted naturally planted tank. It's been running for around 3 months now. It's been fully stocked for a while now with all the other inhabitants thriving so far. In started with the following:

16 RCS
5 peppered cories
7 threadfin rainbows
1 honey gourami

I am now down to around 6-10 shrimp, most likely towards the lower end of that number, but I didn't keep count when they died and it's hard to get a count with all the plants and hiding spaces. Other than plants I have 2 filters, 4 small stones (river stones purchased as aquarium ok) and a piece of mopani wood. I don't think any of the decorations are the issue as they were all there for a while before the problem started.

The deaths have been slow and occasional, one will die at a time and it could be days, even a week between deaths.

I just got a test kit for kh and gh today. Kh is at 0-3 degrees (0-50ppm) as it started turning yellow with the first drop. Gh is at 8-12 deg (140-200ppm) as it turned green on the 10th drop. I'm a little confused with kh and gh so I'm not sure if there are good or bad and what should be done to fix any issues.

The other issue I had that could have started this was that I started out with 4 peppered cories and one got an infection that I tried to treat with melafix and it seemed to screw with my cycle a bit as I had a bacterial bloom that turned into an green water algae issue. That is when I got the second filter which has an UV light. The water is now crystal clear. The deaths started before this issue although the majority of them after it. That was around three weeks ago.

I have dosed with Flourish Excel, but always at less than recommended amount. (never over 1ml which is the dosing amount for 10g) I stopped when it became apparent that deaths were an isolated incident.

With most of the deaths I just came in to find a dead body, sometimes whole, sometimes with a piece gone. (the dead bodies quickly become food) I don't think they are being killed by tankmates at all as the only once that possibly could is the Gourami and I've actually seen him getting pushed around by the shrimp before.

I did see a couple of the shrimp die. One was swimming in the water like he was trying to reach the top of the tank and was kind of moving in a circle in a way that almost looked like he was dancing. After some time he just fell to the bottom of the tank. He got up a few times only to fall right back down. The second one was similar but without the "dancing".

I want to build the numbers back up a bit, but I don't want to spend the money to get more shrimps until I know things are stable for them in the tank or else I'm just throwing money away. I'm sorry this was long, but any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Ph? Temp? Ro water? Ammo? Nitrate? Nitrite?

Tank consist of substrate I assume?
Over filtration is good shrimp need cleaner water.
Heavily planted? Hiding spots?

My breeding tanks consist of in my 10 gallons

Fluval substrate about 3/4"- 1" high
20-30 marineland filter hob with pre sponge filter attached to the intake
1-2 pieces Malaysian driftwood
Charcoal breeding tubes
Very little java moss, Xmas, or fissiden moss
Almonds leafs
Secret bark for extra food
About 300+ shrimp in each tank

Ph 6.5
Gh 8-10
Kh 0-2
Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0-2
Tds 190-220

Using Ro water with remieralizing every water change I do a 25-30% water change once weekly

Feeding I feed spinach wafers Monday Friday and protein meal weds and Sunday
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, I only have 1 test kit and it's at home right now so I'll have to add that information later. PH has always been really low in the tank, around 6, but stable. Temp is always stable at 74 when I'm here, but the tank is in my office, so it might go down slightly at night since the heat it turned off. Regular tap water using prime. Haven't seen Ammo or nitrite in a long time, but I'll bring my kit with me next time I come in to verify. Nitrates were always consistently around 10 ppm, but I've added a few plants since so I'll retest again next time I come in to verify.

I don't think it's a ammo/nitrite problem as I don't think my cory cats would be having their sex orgies if the water wasn't in really good shape. (I wish I were exaggerating, I have 1 female and eggs every 2-3 days and everyone that walks in the mornings asks if they are having an orgy in the back of the tank) Maybe the shrimp are committing suicide after watching? I wouldn't blame them...

Anyway...

Substrate is black aquarium sand over organic soil. Very heavily planted, and tons of hiding spots.
 

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I don't think it's a ammo/nitrite problem as I don't think my cory cats would be having their sex orgies if the water wasn't in really good shape. (I wish I were exaggerating, I have 1 female and eggs every 2-3 days and everyone that walks in the mornings asks if they are having an orgy in the back of the tank) Maybe the shrimp are committing suicide after watching? I wouldn't blame them...

.

THIS right here is why so many folks have problems when they get into shrimp. #1 fish aren't shrimp #2 your fish are probably eating your shrimp or harassing them to death (yes shrimp can stress to death) #3 the things people most look for with fish (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) are important sure, but they are not the main things that are important for shrimp which is ph, GH, KH, TDS (more towards GH and KH than the others IMO).

As Soothing asked, what are you topping off with? Topping off with tap water is fine for fish. It's not for shrimp. Again, shrimp are not fish, keeping them is completely different. Get a Ph, GH and KH test and a TDS pen and get a new tank for your shrimp:)

Just because your fish are fine don't mean your tank is healthy necessarily, and of course it depends on what you define as 'healthy'. Water that can keep fish alive or a balanced aquarium:) New keepers with shrimp freak out over the first sign of a worm or copepod because they don't realize that fauna are a sign of healthy tanks. Fish eat those fauna, so knowing if your tank is truly healthy and balanced is a bit tougher when fish are involved in the equation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
THIS right here is why so many folks have problems when they get into shrimp. #1 fish aren't shrimp #2 your fish are probably eating your shrimp or harassing them to death (yes shrimp can stress to death) #3 the things people most look for with fish (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) are important sure, but they are not the main things that are important for shrimp which is ph, GH, KH, TDS (more towards GH and KH than the others IMO).

As Soothing asked, what are you topping off with? Topping off with tap water is fine for fish. It's not for shrimp. Again, shrimp are not fish, keeping them is completely different. Get a Ph, GH and KH test and a TDS pen and get a new tank for your shrimp:)

Just because your fish are fine don't mean your tank is healthy necessarily, and of course it depends on what you define as 'healthy'. Water that can keep fish alive or a balanced aquarium:) New keepers with shrimp freak out over the first sign of a worm or copepod because they don't realize that fauna are a sign of healthy tanks. Fish eat those fauna, so knowing if your tank is truly healthy and balanced is a bit tougher when fish are involved in the equation.

Thanks for barking at me for things I already provided or said I will check as soon as I can. Didn't have my ph tasting stuff with me, but as I've said it's always consistently come up at 6.0

I bought api gh and kh testing kit today because I read hear that they are important. GH took 11 drops so in the 1400-2000 range. KH was first from so 0-50. I don't have a tds pen but will order one. No new tank though. They aren't going to be much good for helping clean that tank if they aren't in it.

I seriously doubt the fish are eating the shrimp, well, at least not until they are already dead. The cory cats ignore them unless they run into each other. The threadfin rainbows are a huge pain to feed because the can only eat very tiny foods. The gourami ignore them and at times I've actually seen the shrimp push him around.

Well, yeah I don't know if it's completely healthy, that's why I'm asking for help. I just know that the regular parameters such as ammo, nitrites, nitrates should be good because the cory cats wouldn't be breeding so much if they weren't good.
 

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Milky color, do you mean with their shells? I guess some of them have that on their backs. It almost looks like they are a little dried out.
Not the shells, I mean the tissue inside, if so that means they are suffering from bacterial infection, probably the same one your fish had before.
 

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Thanks for barking at me for things I already provided or said I will check as soon as I can. Didn't have my ph tasting stuff with me, but as I've said it's always consistently come up at 6.0

I bought api gh and kh testing kit today because I read hear that they are important. GH took 11 drops so in the 1400-2000 range. KH was first from so 0-50. I don't have a tds pen but will order one. No new tank though. They aren't going to be much good for helping clean that tank if they aren't in it.

I seriously doubt the fish are eating the shrimp, well, at least not until they are already dead. The cory cats ignore them unless they run into each other. The threadfin rainbows are a huge pain to feed because the can only eat very tiny foods. The gourami ignore them and at times I've actually seen the shrimp push him around.

Well, yeah I don't know if it's completely healthy, that's why I'm asking for help. I just know that the regular parameters such as ammo, nitrites, nitrates should be good because the cory cats wouldn't be breeding so much if they weren't good.
I wasn't barking at you, I was stating facts of shrimp keeping. And you also are missing the point on the fish. I clearly stated that shrimp can die from stress, so don't go throwing the fish theory out, the only shrimp safe fish are otos. And you also didn't answer Soothingshrimp's question of what are you topping off with.

If you want shrimp to clean a fish tank get Amano shrimp, they are much bigger, far more aggressive and can take care of themselves and are WAY better cleaners than Cherry shrimp.

Melafix can kill shrimp. Does it normally? No, but I've had it kill shrimp for me. Any sort of meds can be a little too much for weak shrimp. Use IAL or something natural next time, even works on fish. The deaths you are describing that you saw are shrimp stuck in molts or having molting trouble, they jerk like that, flit around the tank then fall. There are other behaviors they can exhibit but that's where I'd point my finger. That's related to your GH. However, could also have to do with your pH since that's too low for neos. Neos like hard water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wasn't barking at you, I was stating facts of shrimp keeping. And you also are missing the point on the fish. I clearly stated that shrimp can die from stress, so don't go throwing the fish theory out, the only shrimp safe fish are otos. And you also didn't answer Soothingshrimp's question of what are you topping off with.

If you want shrimp to clean a fish tank get Amano shrimp, they are much bigger, far more aggressive and can take care of themselves and are WAY better cleaners than Cherry shrimp.

Melafix can kill shrimp. Does it normally? No, but I've had it kill shrimp for me. Any sort of meds can be a little too much for weak shrimp. Use IAL or something natural next time, even works on fish. The deaths you are describing that you saw are shrimp stuck in molts or having molting trouble, they jerk like that, flit around the tank then fall. There are other behaviors they can exhibit but that's where I'd point my finger. That's related to your GH. However, could also have to do with your pH since that's too low for neos. Neos like hard water.

Sounded like it to me, especially since it was about information I had provided. I'm not throwing the fish theory out, I just don't think that it. Unless I see the shrimp run into the fish everyone seems to leave them alone.

I'm sorry, but unless I am misunderstanding the question I thought I already answered the topping off question, I use conditioned tap water.

I will definitely consider Amanos in the future, but right now my main concern is doing what I can to save the rcs I already have if possible.

The stuff I read about melafix before using it said it was shrimp safe, but I mentioned it just in case. I only used it one time though, so while it could have been the reason for a few of the deaths, I doubt that it would be the cause of all this weeks later, could it? I will definitely avoid using it in the future.

What ph would you recommend? What would be a good safe way to raise it?
 

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Sounded like it to me, especially since it was about information I had provided. I'm not throwing the fish theory out, I just don't think that it. Unless I see the shrimp run into the fish everyone seems to leave them alone.

I'm sorry, but unless I am misunderstanding the question I thought I already answered the topping off question, I use conditioned tap water.

I will definitely consider Amanos in the future, but right now my main concern is doing what I can to save the rcs I already have if possible.

The stuff I read about melafix before using it said it was shrimp safe, but I mentioned it just in case. I only used it one time though, so while it could have been the reason for a few of the deaths, I doubt that it would be the cause of all this weeks later, could it? I will definitely avoid using it in the future.

What ph would you recommend? What would be a good safe way to raise it?
Ph recommendation would be 6.5-7.3 usually and depending on what you are housing. Caridina sp. (crs,cbs) and Taiwan usually like more acidic water. While neos are hardier and like more neutral levels. But can live in almost anything. I bred neos in 7.5 ph waters and they are all happy. Noticed that as long my tank temp is below 78 they frolic around in the open.

Also try not using tap water and start with RO water. I was using my tap water and things were just outta whack. So I started using RO water with remineralizer and boom things are all in tack. Even newly introduced shrimp survive 9/10. I noticed adding extra beneficial bacteria every water change helps with the upkeep of the shrimp living and happiness. I add nutrafin cycle or API stress zyme. No casualties yet. Knock on wood lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My understanding has been that while shrimp prefer certain ph levels, consistency was more important. I'll have to see what I can do to raise it a bit then as it's not that far off from what you recommend.


I've read about RO water before but have no experience with it, can you make any recommendations? I have some stress zyme that I got for free, but I don't typically use it, but I'll give it a try and see if it's helps.
 

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How often u feeding and what are you feeding? I recommend for RO water hydro farm ro 250 gal/24 hrs is great saves a lot of money and great on your shrimp. I remineralize with salty shrimp 1/2 teaspoon per ten gallon but I check my Tds when I remineralize. Also temp plays a big factor in your shrimps well being. More questions plz pm me.

Mahalo
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Crap, could have sworn I replied to this already. I don't specifically feed the shrimp. If I did the catfish would just eat it anyway. There seems like be plenty of food for them in the plants although occasionally I will see them on algae wafers or shrimp pellets as if there is multiple pieces the catfish will typically all try to eat from one at a time instead of spreading out.

I'm still not sure about RO water especially since the tank is at work. I ordered a tds meter and will decide from there.
 

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I also have a tank at my work with Shrimp in it. I bring in a 1 gallon Jug of topoff water, and a 1 gallon jug of Water Change water (reminirilized), all the water is made from my RO unit at home.

I just store the water under my desk until it's needed.
Whiskey
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
lol, ok I understand what topping off was, just a miscommunication. I'll look into getting some ro water from the grocery store for now. I did some research on units but they seem to be pretty expensive and complicated as many made it seem like you need pluming experience which is beyond me.

I've also starting being more aggressive with cleaning out dead plant matter instead of letting all the livestock handle the majority of it. (I have a lot of snails in there) I did find a successful molt yesterday so hopefully things are turning around a bit.
 
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