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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started to notice that my 50 or so RCS in my planted tank have started to gradually decline. Now I can usually spot a handful out in the open compared to before. The tanks other inhabitants include some big amanos, 7 neon tetras, and 3 otocinclus.

The biggest concern I have is that half of my RCS seem to be idling, lethargic, or inactive at times. They just stand there and don't do anything, kind of like a drone. I remember that this is not healthy RCS behavior. I wanted to check with the shrimp experts here on why that might be the case. Some background

Tank is 11.4 gallons with pressurized CO2. I had CO2 a little too high last week, when I started noticing the idling. The PH would drop below 6 or so. I have lowered the CO2 and the PH fluctuates between 6.8 and 6.2 across the day. Other parameters.

GH = 4
KH = 2/3
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate = 0/0/20
Temp around 75
Ferts are dosed via EI dosing. These are from nilocg here. It lists it has copper at 0.01 ppm per dose per 10 gallon. I do one dose of micros 3 times a week.

I don't feed the shrimps. I was hoping that fish food that is dropped in the tank or the biofilm in a heavily planted tank would suffice.

I noticed two deaths today, so I'm concerned that I haven't fixed things by lowering CO2. I would love some Q&A to help me resolve this if you guys wouldn't mind! Thanks!!

Btw, I did notice some berried females...
 

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Neon Tetra's eat shrimp.
 

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Neon Tetra's eat shrimp.
They would, yes, however, OP states he has 50+ shrimp. So this shouldn't exactly be a problem, especially if his tank is well planted.

I have the same problem in my tank where my population used to be active and well. Then one day suddenly became lethargic, inactive and just sitting around. I asked a problem about this a few days ago.

The shrimp that die, are they turning white?

Your GH is low enough that they're not having problems with molting.

My tank ferts are also from nilocg and they also have copper in them. This doesn't seem to be problem, as I've been using them for quite a while before things started to decline.

Keep in mind, I do not have anything else in the tank besides the shrimp so it's a high tech cherry shrimp only tank.
 

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I keep cherry shrimp with neon tetras and I have never seen one mess with an adult or juvenile sized shrimp ever. They will swim right next to each other with out even a flinch or anything. Now I'm sure they may eat some babies if they are small enough, but once they get a decent sized I think the Neon tetras don't see them as food or anything to mess with. A neon tetra is about the same size as a full grown female.

As for your issue, it may be the PH being a bit too low. Cherries can handle a variety of PH, but they need it to be steady, so maybe you are experiencing too much variance in the course of a day. Maybe last week when you had the CO2 higher is what really affected them, and now they are just recovering not sure. I would try to limit the fluctuation of the PH as much as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. I also feel that neon tetra predation is minimal if any. I have seen on numerous occasions where shrimps graze and swim by unnoticed. To get an idea of the amount planting and cover I have, here is the tank.



Yes. The shrimps that are dying are turning a milky white. I purchased a copper test to see if maybe I might have super high copper coming from the tap.

I am thinking the PH would be likely be the issue, although I thought RCS were tolerant of low PH conditions. Also, I wonder if it's possible the the surface slime I have may be limiting oxygen exchange in the water.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I also feel that neon tetra predation is minimal if any. I have seen on numerous occasions where shrimps graze and swim by unnoticed. To get an idea of the amount planting and cover I have, here is the tank.



Yes. The shrimps that are dying are turning a milky white. I purchased a copper test to see if maybe I might have super high copper coming from the tap.

I am thinking the PH would be likely be the issue, although I thought RCS were tolerant of low PH conditions. Also, I wonder if it's possible the the surface slime I have may be limiting oxygen exchange in the water.
If the shrimp are indeed turning a milky white, they could probably be dying from a bacterial infection.

How's the copper? Do you have high amounts of copper?
 

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With a KH of 2.5 (you said 2/3) and a ph of 6.2 (your low ph throughout the day) your CO2 ppm is at 47-50 at the high point. Most likely that's still too high to keep your RCS comfortable.

At a KH of 2 you should shoot for a 6.2 - 6.3 ph with co2 on. that will leave you at 30-40ppm for co2.

Here is a thread and chart for co2 as it pertains to KH/PH

CHart
 

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neo's in general will live but not thrive below a ph of 7. im going to say between the ph being so low, fear of being eaten by fish, and co2 that is what is the problem is. shrimp are way more sensitive than fish and it very well could be toxic at night to the shrimp.
 

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When RCS die of old age they also turn white, as a reference. In fact, don't know of any shrimp that retains their bright color if they are slowly dying. I doubt your Neons are eating your shrimp, adults anyway. Their mouth is physically too small, but they could be aggravating them or injuring them. The babies would be easy prey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If the shrimp are indeed turning a milky white, they could probably be dying from a bacterial infection.

How's the copper? Do you have high amounts of copper?
I recently isolated some shrimp with vorticella I believe. I did the salt dip thing to eradicate it. Could that be slowly spreading? Don't see it on others. I'm waiting on the copper test to be shipped to me.

With a KH of 2.5 (you said 2/3) and a ph of 6.2 (your low ph throughout the day) your CO2 ppm is at 47-50 at the high point. Most likely that's still too high to keep your RCS comfortable.

At a KH of 2 you should shoot for a 6.2 - 6.3 ph with co2 on. that will leave you at 30-40ppm for co2.

Here is a thread and chart for co2 as it pertains to KH/PH

CHart
Thanks. The drop checker would register yellow before I turned it down. I have it turned down now to blue greenish. Think that will ease things a bit.

neo's in general will live but not thrive below a ph of 7. im going to say between the ph being so low, fear of being eaten by fish, and co2 that is what is the problem is. shrimp are way more sensitive than fish and it very well could be toxic at night to the shrimp.
Yeah I found out neos don't like low ph that much as I researched. Although I wonder how people with co2 injected tanks, like tom barrs Dutch aquascape, keep a healthy population.

When RCS die of old age they also turn white, as a reference. In fact, don't know of any shrimp that retains their bright color if they are slowly dying. I doubt your Neons are eating your shrimp, adults anyway. Their mouth is physically too small, but they could be aggravating them or injuring them. The babies would be easy prey.
the ones dying were males. One turned white and the other was on turning whitish near the head and started lying on its side and swimming in spurts.
 

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I vote bacterial if they are milky white, and then die. Try Paraguard, safe for shrimp, plants and sensitive fish. I had a bacterial infection sweep through one of my tanks, I used this to treat.
 

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The water might be low in oxygen. The lily pipes slightly agitate the surface. I was hoping photosynthesis ing plants would make a difference. Should I try paraguard even if I'm not certain if it is bacterial or not?
You should try to dose paraguard anyways, as it might help and benefit the shrimp even if it isn't. I need to get paraguard too...:(
 

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1st day After lights out, dose 1/4 dose of Paraguard
2nd day 1/2 dose after lights out @ night and 1/2 in morning no lights for 2 hours
3rd day full dose in the morning with at least 2 hours no lights after dosing. Then Another full dose at night after lights out
4th Same full dose in the morning and full dose for night after lights out
5th Same full dose in the morning and full dose for night after lights out
6th Same full dose in the morning and full dose for night after lights out
7th WATER CHANGE DAY!!
Start again, full dose morning and night treat till Better.
Its also best you limit the light, it will help with stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Got the copper test, no discernable PPM of copper. Relief although cost me $8 bucks. Paraguard is coming in today. The shrimps are still idling a little bit, although they do eventually move around. My berried female came out to craze on diatoms that started growing after I cut the Co2. Other than that the others are still in the corner hiding for the most part. Do you guys think surface scum is sufficient enough to severely limit gas exchange?
 
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