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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I have a handful of cherry shrimp in their own planted shrimpy tank. I did a water change yesterday after removing a piece of cholla wood. I had boiled that but it clouded the water and had this thick slime stuff all over it. Ammonia was .50 before the change and is now at .25 and all other parameters are what they were before the change. No nitrates/nitrites too. I used the drip method to refill the tank over the course of 3 hours.There was enough water in there for the heater and filter to still run so it shouldn't be anything to do with that.


Before the change they were grazing on java moss and moving around normally. Now they've all been huddled in the bottom corner since last night, so about 12 hours. Lights off and room quiet. Not sure why. No one is near the surface doing that poking their head out of the water thing.


I put some food in to see if it will draw them out while I'm at work. I figured I'd ask you guys for suggestions on what could be going on while I'm not home then, if there's a solid idea, work on that once I'm home.


So, what the heck are they doing?
 

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Remove heater.


Do large water change and treat water with Prime. There should be 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrates in the tank. If there's still a presence of either in another day or two, do another water change.


Make sure that the water you are using is free of both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I know that there needs to be 0 in there. There was before I put the cholla wood in. I checked a few days ago, and it was at .25 so I did a 50% change and checked yesterday and it was back even higher and the wood was grosser.

I feel like it was whatever was going on with the cholla wood that made the ammonia go up.Things only got weird after I put it in. It's a cycled tank so that's the only thing I can think of. Now that it's out I was going to do another change tomorrow.

Two have started swimming around and are grazing on the filter intake (I have as sponge on it). The others are still in the corner under a moss ball, but two are grazing on that as well. I need to go to work soon so I guess I'll see how they are afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update/bump


Did a fairly large water change, got the ammonia down a lot more, and made sure the new water had all the same parameters. They're still in the corner and the two moving around are pretty much just darting about. Not much eating going on.


I have no idea what to do, besides another water change to get the last bit of ammonia out, but I would have thought there would have been some improvement by now.
 

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Cholla "wood" is not wood, it's a dry cactus skeleton. Treatment is to soak the pieces, do not boil them. The cholla degrades/disintegrates rather rapidly anyway and boiling accelerates the rot process markedly. Remove the decomposing cholla (and change water) and you should not see the ammonia levels continue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cholla "wood" is not wood, it's a dry cactus skeleton. Treatment is to soak the pieces, do not boil them. The cholla degrades/disintegrates rather rapidly anyway and boiling accelerates the rot process markedly. Remove the decomposing cholla (and change water) and you should not see the ammonia levels continue.

I did at the start of all of this before the first water change. It was after I took it out and changed the water that they started acting strange. Before they were grazing and eating and the females saddled up and everything. The cholla has been out for a few days now, since the night before the first post. Did a water change then too, plus one yesterday. The shrimp are still being weird.
 

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How long has the tank been cycled?
How long have the shrimp been in tank?
What are your water parameters GH/KH? Do you know your TDS?
What do you feed and how often?

Even a trace amount of ammonia can do permanent damage. May not be enough to kill them outright, but it can stress them and cause secondary issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How long has the tank been cycled?
How long have the shrimp been in tank?
What are your water parameters GH/KH? Do you know your TDS?
What do you feed and how often?

Even a trace amount of ammonia can do permanent damage. May not be enough to kill them outright, but it can stress them and cause secondary issues.
Tank has been around 1.5 months with media from a long running tank with no shrimp. Made sure the bacteria was fed. Everything was fine after I put the shrimp in until the cholla went in.


Shrimp have been in for 3 weeks and were all sorts of happy until end of the 2nd week when the cholla went in. It was in for about 2 days. Then the spike happened and I lost 2 shrimp, only deaths so far though.



TDS is 238 and gh/kh is reading 140/60 based on a strip test. I have a liquid one in the mail. I use Salty Shrimp with RO water so the ph is stable at 7.2. Nitrates/nitrites are 0 and I just tested the ammonia and it's barely reading now. Went down on its own a bit over night. I'm planning on another water change later, but only like a 10% one since they've had two large ones already. Trying not to stress them with it while trying to get rid of the ammonia.



I have the Fluval shrimp bites and the hikari shrimp cuisine. I've been doing every other day, putting them in a glass dish, then using a turkey baster to suck up the remains after 10/12 hours. They were eating all of it most of the time until this happened.
 

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I can't say that either foods are ideal as a primary diet (too much protein, and one can turn shrimp funky colors!), but all I can suggest is to keep up on the water changes...

Just thinking back when I had shrimp acting similar. Ended up losing many, including an entire colony. (only because they got hit twice by whatever contaminated the air!). Maybe even try increasing oxygen in the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I can't say that either foods are ideal as a primary diet (too much protein, and one can turn shrimp funky colors!), but all I can suggest is to keep up on the water changes...

Just thinking back when I had shrimp acting similar. Ended up losing many, including an entire colony. (only because they got hit twice by whatever contaminated the air!). Maybe even try increasing oxygen in the tank?

I have the filter flow and air stone. I think it has enough oxygen but I'll boost the bubble output and see if it does anything.


I ordered better food, Shrimp King Complete. Got it in case I ever get babies since it breaks apart into small enough bits for them. I'm just waiting for it to come. The others are just the best ones I could find in person. Any other food suggestions are welcome.

Doing a 10% or so change right now. Drip out and drip in so its slow and doesn't stress them.

I did move the moss ball they've been hiding under and they've stayed out of the corners now for the most part. Still not acting completely normal. 3 have molted though so maybe they're trying to do that? At least as part of the issue. I think all the water changes can trigger the molting but hopefully it makes them feel better.
 

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Yes, water changes can trigger molting.


What has worked for me is to feed a vegetable/algae based diet twice a week (I use Ken's Fish veggie sticks - but actual veggies or other vegetable/algae based foods work too!) and a protein food once a week. (tend to vary this). It could be fish flakes, frozen food or something else. I have the Fluval food somewhere... and I don't feed it. When I did, I had yellow shrimp and it turned them green. It does make red shrimp redder at least.... however, that could pose an issue when you are trying to breed well colored shrimp and they aren't the 'right' color...

Many of the "algae pellets" are actually algae infused, not algae based...


I hoe you don't have any more losses and they recover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Yes, water changes can trigger molting.


What has worked for me is to feed a vegetable/algae based diet twice a week (I use Ken's Fish veggie sticks - but actual veggies or other vegetable/algae based foods work too!) and a protein food once a week. (tend to vary this). It could be fish flakes, frozen food or something else. I have the Fluval food somewhere... and I don't feed it. When I did, I had yellow shrimp and it turned them green. It does make red shrimp redder at least.... however, that could pose an issue when you are trying to breed well colored shrimp and they aren't the 'right' color...

Many of the "algae pellets" are actually algae infused, not algae based...


I hoe you don't have any more losses and they recover.

Still not much of a change, sadly. I also lost one yesterday but the rest are still going. They're foraging in place for some reason so hopefully they're eating at least a little.

Did a 10% yesterday and another 10% today. I'll test the water once the drip is done.

The Shrimp King Complete came the other day. Two of the 3/4 that are moving around nibbled on it. Just picked up Sera Spirulina Tabs as well. Crumbled that into tiny pieces. It's been in for 5 minutes and one is already on it. 24% spirulina, 16% sea algae, 9% krill/fish meal, and some stinging nettle and alfalfa, spinach and carrots, all that stuff.

Took a vine of java moss out that wasn't doing too well. It was brown to begin with but I hoped it would turn green again. Some of it did so I think it's alive... Moved moss balls to where it was, including the one they've been hiding under. They're spread out more in the corner now and not stacked on top of each other. Hopefully that at least makes them move a tiny bit more. If they don't I'll drop food there instead of in the dish and just deal with sucking it up out of the sand. I'd rather them eat.

Edit/update: just checked the parameters. Ammonia is at 0!! Everything else is good too. I'll check again tomorrow or the day after, but maybe now they'll snap out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update

Good news: they're not hiding anymore


Bad news: they were fine for a few days but are now at the surface...and I lost a few more around the time they went to the top. Did a 20% change the first day of this then another 20% yesterday when they didn't improve. They were fine that night and early this morning but are now but up there.


Parameters are all fine. No ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite, gh/kh in the optimal range, and ph is 7/7.2, the test colors are very similar so...one of the two which is where they were before.


I'm getting annoyed at this point. They're still alive but clearly not doing very well. I either want them to snap out of it, or just all die so I can drain all the water, clean everything, and just restart


Other good news: my crypt spirialis in my 20 gallon has finally started growing. It's been just there for months and this last week it's taken off so that's nice.
 
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