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Hi there,

I don't know where to start other than I made some really bad choices, and then made some more on top of those.

I had a planted 20L tank that was a year+ old that I used to grow out some golden weather loaches. It was cycled and happy and once I moved the loaches into the big tank with the fancy goldfish, I didn't want to simply dismantle it. I remembered an article in an aquarium magazine about dwarf shrimp and thought that would be fun to put in the tank.

I found a vendor [Edited by mod] online and bought some red rili and orange shrimp from them that were described as easy, with high tolerance of various PH and temps. Then I had this bright idea to get more moss and plants for the tank, so I stopped by a local fish store who happened to have a lot of dwarf shrimp. I asked the owner about my setup and he suggested replacing the sand in my tank with ADA aquasoil and it would only need a few days to re-cycle.

Since my shrimp were going to come in a little over a week, I bought it and promptly replaced the sand and replanted everything and turned the filter on. I tested the water the next day and ammonia was 8ppm (which is as high as my drop test goes). I knew with ammonia that high, the bacteria colonies in my filter were probably dead. Water change after water change, the ammonia would shoot up in a few hours. It wasn't until then I did a google search and found out that is typical for this soil.

I tried contacting the vendor [Edited by mod] to cancel or hold my order with no luck. In desperation I bought a 10 gallon tank, filter, driftwood, heater and moss to set up a temp holding area until the 20L cycled. I used 1/2 distilled 1/2 tap water since my water is horrible, and dosed with Microbe lift special blend and nite out II (in addition to a chloramine neutralizer). Most of the shrimp arrived dead, not to mention the "orange" shrimp came as natural bees. The survivors went into the 10 gallon tank (after the drip acclimation method) where they immediately went to work scavenging bits and pieces. The next day 3 shrimp died. Did a 20% water change, dosed more nite out II and the next night lost 4 more shrimp, and 2 molts were floating around.

Today I did a 50% water change and am hoping no more losses. I've been testing the water and have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. They are not interested in any pellets but seem to be actively eating something in the moss. Out of 24 shrimp ordered, there are 2 bees and 3 rilis left :(

Any help with what I should do, test, change, etc to keep these little guys alive? I don't know if it is something I did, or if it is because they weren't healthy to begin with or a combination :(

Any advice MUCH appreciated!!

Jackie
 

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Wow! You've had a rough time. Have you contacted them about sending dead shrimp?
 

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i kind of made a mistake like that too when i got into shrimp so don't feel bad. but i hope your old filter still has some bacteria in it and it didn't all die. what did you do with your sand? did you dump it all out? because i've seen it done where some of the old substrate was left under and was capped with the soil. when this happened to me i have used both tetra safe start and nite out 2 with and without ada soil. if you have fish with your shrimp you can add tetra safe start it works much better and faster (immediately actually) than the nite out 2. just make sure your ppms are not too high 1-2 ammonia or nitrite or both should be ok. but just make sure you use it 24 hours after a water change because something about the dechlorinator kills the bacteria. you can pour it directly into the tank or over your filter. for your soil i would pour it half into the tank then half into the filter once your perimeters are lower. but in your 10 gal is it just shrimp? if so you might need like 1-3 fish in it so when you add the safe start the bb have something to eat. the stuff works really well and you can tell because when you add it, it looks like a cloudy mess which is all bacteria unlike the microbe lift which i found to just be a clear liquid.
 

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I'm confused. Which shrimp did you buy, orange shrimp or bee shrimp? Also, what are the pH, GH, KH, & TDS levels?

This is a friend of mine:) She bought the orange shrimp but they sent her wild bee shrimp and basically told her 'oh well' when she called to complain. And I also told her its pointless to be testing pH, GH, KH, and TDS on a tank that's in the middle of a cycle. The numbers are going to swing around until it stabilizes and cycles AFAIK. This is just info I've gathered along the way, so if I'm wrong somebody feel free to correct me:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Ph is 7.4
Kh is 3 drops
Gh is 4 drops
Using API drop tests. Unfortunately I don't have a TDS meter yet.

Based on the photo and description, I thought I was buying orange (as in pumpkin) shrimp. What I received were natural/wild type bee shrimp. No idea if it was a mixup or substitution. I tried contacting the vendor with no luck. I have since read reviews that this is typical for them, and that DOA's aren't covered even after paying $38 for shipping :(

Anyhow, lost all bee shrimp last night and I've only seen one lone rili. The others might be hiding, hopefully. Is there anything else I can test the tank for besides TDS? I will get one of those meters. Shrimp are so cute, want to make sure the next batch don't have the same fate.

One thing I've noticed is that a couple shrimp pellets or moldy in there really quick. Long white fuzz growing on them. Not sure if that is from the nite out II or not.

Thanks so much for helping! I feel so bad for these little guys
 

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wow that completely sucks. just a perfect storm of bad things. best recommendation i can make is let the tank finish its cycle and try again but buy from one of the vendors that sell through this forum, there are a few really good ones. shrimp are awesome and i think you'll enjoy them just need to get past this bad experience.
 

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hang in there and also i highly recommend changing to safe start i have used nite out 2 with little to no results and the safe start will get your tank cycled over night basically. it'll save your last remaining shrimp because the constant water changes will put a lot of stress on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Ravensgate!!

Yes I've been ignoring the ph/gh/kh/TDS per your suggestion. They're still in the 10 gallon holding tank because the 20L is not cycled at all. I threw out the old sand substrate so that's unfortunately not an option to add back in. There is no substrate in the 10 now, only driftwood and moss. I was hoping frequent water changes would keep them alive until the 20L cycled.

This is a friend of mine:) She bought the orange shrimp but they sent her wild bee shrimp and basically told her 'oh well' when she called to complain. And I also told her its pointless to be testing pH, GH, KH, and TDS on a tank that's in the middle of a cycle. The numbers are going to swing around until it stabilizes and cycles AFAIK. This is just info I've gathered along the way, so if I'm wrong somebody feel free to correct me:)
 

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Sounds like you got bad advice from the local fish store too. :(

Orange and Rili don't need aquasoil to thrive. They are the tanks of the shrimp world. Low ph is not necessary, and they actually do better in 7-8ph- although some people keep them with crystal shrimp at a lower ph.

Are you using tap water? Do you have a water conditioner like "Prime" or API?

It's nice you have a buddy like Ravensgate who is able to help you out. I hope you try again and stick around the forum. :)
 

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Definitely, look for shrimp from members here. The red cherries I bought from a member here three years ago are still breeding and doing great. They were cheap too.
 

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Ya hang in there. I dropped my first 10 rilis into my tank with 10 tetras in it. Came out with maybe 5 rilis left that made me dozens more. My advise just slow things down, its not a big transition between fish and shrimp keeping but lots of patience is needed. Rilis and Bees are pretty hardy too, maybe you got from a bung vendor. Stick with the people on this forum and youll fall in love with these little buggers just as much as the rest of us. And consider buying a few of the shrimp your lfs has to test before comiting to 10+ order of shrimp. If a simple 50cent ghost shrimp cant live in your tank than a 2 dollar rili probably cant either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks so much for all the words of encouragement and advice! I'm glad to see many people find these little guys as fun and cute as I do :)

The Amazonia has been in the 20L tank for 11 days now. It still has not stabilized, and I got it from a local LFS that advised I use it because our local tap water was bad for shrimp. My PH is 8.2 out of the tap, but then again, I read the rili's and natural bees can tolerate that Ph? Last I checked my ph was 6.5 in that tank with the amazonia.

I use Prime as a water conditioner. Still waiting on a TDS meter, DWP's water report says TDS is 242-311.

The last remaining shrimp in the 10G are looking quite flat/skinny? Does that make sense? They do not seem to acknowledge any of the shrimp food in the tank & the moss in there looks like it is dying. I wonder if that is because too much light? I have the tank under a suspended shop light with 2 T8 fluorescent bulbs. It sits about 5-6" above the water level. The planted 20L has the typical hood with a single fluorescent bulb and moss does fine in that.

Thanks for all the help, I so appreciate it! It's so frustrating & sad to see these little guys die :(
 

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what are your nitrite/ ammonia levels in the tank with the amazonia? also you probably dont need very high light for your tank with the shrimp so you can cut it back if its causing the moss to die. also how often are you changing out the water in the tank with the ADA soil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In the tank with the amazonia: 0ppm Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and 10ppm Nitrates. Tested it just right now.

I did 90% water changes every day for 3 days in the beginning, and then dumped the Microbe-lift Special Blend & Nite Out II in on the 4th day.
 
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