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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I need your help please. I lost 4 shrimp overnight after introducing fauna (including those that I lost) into my cycled tank yesterday.

Summary:
-Introduced 6 threadfin rainbows, 10 pygmy cory cats, and 6 cherry red shrimp into my new but cycled tank last night. This morning, 4 shrimp are dead. Readings are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 nitrate but the nitrite looks faintly purple. Temp is 78F, tank is lightly planted with Eco Complete substrate, filter is Fluval 305 stuffed with biomedia and set at half flow with the lever. I am in Eastern WA if that helps. I use tap water dechlorinated with API + Stress Coat. I have a new bottle of Tetra Safe Start available too.

Background:
I have waited for weeks to finish my cycle on my 27 gallon tank and it finally finished earlier in the week! I did the 24 hour test - after I believed it was cycled, I added ammonia to ensure the tank could process it. Everything looked good (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, lots of nitrate).

Friday afternoon I did an 80% water change in preparation for picking my fish up Saturday afternoon (I read to do this here to stabilize water parameters).

Fauna: 6 threadfin rainbows, 10 pygmy corydoras, 6 cherry shrimp (an extra hitched a ride), and an unexpected assassin snail.

I acclimated over half an hour by floating the bags in my tank and adding tank water every 5 minutes. The threadfins were bagged by themselves and everyone else was in a second bag.

I kept the lights off and released everyone but the assassin snail into the tank once acclimation was complete. I have read here that the assassin snails can sometimes attack shrimp so I changed out his water and kept him floating in the bag until I could figure out what to do with him.

I watched everyone for hours afterwards (by the ambient light outside of the tank, I kept the tank lights off) and they happily explored, the shrimp started grazing and finding whatever interests shrimp in the substrate. The assassin hung out in the bag and explored it.

Lost Shrimp:
I woke up this morning and there were two shrimp bodies up front - a big one which had turned a milky light red and a little one who was a little milky but not as much. I found another body under the cyperus helferni, and another big red shrimp that was not milky looking on top of the cyperus helferni. I could not find the other two but assumed they had died and were under the driftwood caves.

I am so upset, I love these little guys and I am also worried about my survivors.

I fished out the bodies and tested my water - 0 ammonia, 0-ish nitrite, and 5 nitrate. I say 0-ish nitrite because it was closest to the 0 blue on the master API liquid test kit, but it wasn't the blue blue that it had been before.

What do I do?
I don't know what to do :( About 30 minutes ago I found the other two cherry shrimp - they are alive but near the water line on the intake and out take pipes of my tank. I put the assassin snail in when I thought all of the shrimp were dead and he is also on the water line.

The corys look good - they are actively exploring the substrate and resting amongst the plants. They surface to the water line for air a bit more than the big corys I have had in the past but they don't appear distressed.

The threadfins are all at the surface of the water - are they searching for food? They come down a couple inches for a few minutes then back to the surface.

I have tetra safe start - should I add the bottle? I lowered the water level by a couple gallons and put in an air stone to break up the surface water a bit as I noticed it looked a little stagnant, it did not significantly increase flow and the fish don't seem to mind it.

My gut says to do a water change but then I would not be able to add Safe Start for 24 hours ... and I have also read that using hot water out of the pipe (to match the tank temperature of 78F) can introduce more copper into the water and kill the shrimp.

Please help.

Thank you
 

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I wouldn't change the water. Shrimp prefer slower water change, usually dripped instead of poured in.

Do you happen to know the ph/kh/gh of your water? If not then you'll need the testing kits to ensure the life of shrimp in the future. A tds meter would help also.

Also normally it's best to keep shrimp away from fish, because the only fish that is known to leave shrimp and shrimplings are otos. Your tetras will definitly peck at the shrimps if they find them tasty looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you the reply, agro. I think I have those tests, I will go look now and test what I have. I do not have a TDS meter but will look for one once I am done testing, I want to have healthy shrimp.

Are the threadfins a type of tetras?

I feel helpless, I thought that I had created good conditions for them as I have been reading up on these guys for months now, waiting to get everything right.

I have another tank that I was going to cycle once this one was set up, I will get it going and move the survivors there. Unless ... would it be better to empty the second tank, fill it with water from the shrimp's current tank (so they don't experience another change in water parameters) + filter media (it is only a 6 gallon so I could stuff the filter full with less than one of the media baskets from the big tank) and just put them in there now?

The threadfins and shrimp lived together in the tank that I bought them from so I thought they would be okay. :(

Please let me know what you think about immediate action for the shrimp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you, GBR. I guess I thought they would be okay since I bought them from someone who raises them just down the street, but I know better now. Do you have any advice on something that might help my two survivors?

Agro, I have test kits - my pH is between 6.8 and 7. I have a KH test kit but the bottle does not say how many drops to add and my chart does not include KH so I will need to look that up. I ordered a GH kit online to be here next week. I retested the others and ammonia and nitrite are both 0.

I know now that I messed up with the shrimp and it cost four of their lives. If anyone has ideas on the other two, even just leave them alone, please let me know.

Also, do you think the fish will be okay?
 

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I didn't read all of your post because I found the answer in th beginning of it plus I'm leaving to go somewhere but "I just finished my cycle" tells it all.
If the others get used to it so be it unless you can bring them back.
Then let the tank mature for at least 6 months before doing it again. Shrimp eat tiny bugs found in the algae film on everything that is so slight that most don't realize it's there. New tanks don't have this.
Read on the fert calculator how much MGSO4 is recommended for your size tank and do that in case it is lacking but use only half of what it says cause you don't know if it actually is lacking and be sure they get food as they are starving right now
From how quick they died I suspect more than this is at play though.
A sinking pellet type food is good. Usually one pellet is good for all of them unless the fish eat it. Need to leave now but will get back/w you later P.M.
MGSO4 is Epsom Salt found in pharmacy dept at Walmart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Raymond, thank you very much! I have special shrimp-intended pellets for them which I added after I discovered I did indeed have survivors (I woke up this morning excited to feed them :( ) thank you for all of the information, I will definitely visit Walmart and pick the MGS04 up.

Thank you GBRguy, I will try doing that now, so I guess it is the number of drops to get it to yellow that matters? I will go start counting.

I really appreciate all of the advice.
 

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I wouldn't change the water. Shrimp prefer slower water change, usually dripped instead of poured in.

Do you happen to know the ph/kh/gh of your water? If not then you'll need the testing kits to ensure the life of shrimp in the future. A tds meter would help also.

Also normally it's best to keep shrimp away from fish, because the only fish that is known to leave shrimp and shrimplings are otos. Your tetras will definitly peck at the shrimps if they find them tasty looking.
If you are putting the same mix of water in every time with the same parameters and temperature, I find my shrimp don't care.
 

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I've kept pumpkin shrimp with pygmy cories and a different species of pseudomugil rainbows before. The cories are oblivious to shrimp, and the rainbows only eat very small babies from what I could tell. My shrimp population continued to grow and I never found any dead shrimp or saw any attacks.

I'd suspect something else went wrong vs immediately assuming a fish killed them. Maybe something contaminating the water, or an additive using copper, etc. That or some kind of other stress like significant changes in condition from the previous tank.

And while I agree that shrimp like mature tanks, I don't see them dying overnight from lack of food.

IIRC, I let my first shrimp tank run for about 3 months before I ordered my shrimp, and it was a shrimp only tank for quite awhile before I added the otos, pygmy cats, and the rainbows (the rainbows eventually decided to jump the tank unfortunately).
 

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Are you and the place where you got the shrimp on the same water ?
I said before that I suspect other than no food as that would be over about a weeks period that you would start getting shrimp dieing from that.
But what would do it overnight would include but not necessarily be limited to a large change in GH/PH or Oxygen level also. Pipes tend to get coated
by minerals in the water after a few months so unless your house is less than a year old I wouldn't worry about that, but copper is deadly to shrimp.
I'm not familiar/w the behavior of most fish, but thos being at the top and
often seems to me to indicate a lack of Oxygen in the water. Did some of this stop after you added the air ?
 

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I noticed that you said you acclimated in 30 minutes with 5 minute intervals? Maybe that's why your shrimp died, from shock of how fast their water params changed. I usually acclimate any livestock for couple of hours because 1. temps need to equalize 2. things need to get settled down after shipment/delivery so there's less stress 3. I use a dripper (you find these at irrigation section at HD or lowes) and my tank water drips drop by drop into the bag over the hours.

Also adult shrimp cannot handle new water conditions as well as juvies and if the water params were different enough, the adults would die first. That said if it is indeed an acclimation problem then the rest that survived should be fine.
Don't worry too much about copper or else the next thing you'll be worrying about is touching too many pre 1982 pennies and working in your tanks. As long as the substrate was new (eco complete has high CEC ratio and can absorb copper if you treated your tank with some kind of algae treatment before) and the tank has never been treated with said copper/algae killers then you can rule out copper.
 

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I noticed that you said you acclimated in 30 minutes with 5 minute intervals? Maybe that's why your shrimp died, from shock of how fast their water params changed. I usually acclimate any livestock for couple of hours because 1. temps need to equalize 2. things need to get settled down after shipment/delivery so there's less stress 3. I use a dripper (you find these at irrigation section at HD or lowes) and my tank water drips drop by drop into the bag over the hours.
I do it for about an hour on mine, but use a similar drip method. I use an aquarium gang valve with one hose side in the aquarium, and the other side into my acclimation bucket. That way I can adjust the drip speed with the valve.

(I start the siphon with a large hypodermic with the needle removed. My wife's a nurse, so she just brings them home when I need a new one)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you everyone for all of your input on this. The two shrimp that survived seem to be doing very well and join in for the feedings. I am hopeful that they will be okay!

If you are putting the same mix of water in every time with the same parameters and temperature, I find my shrimp don't care.
That is good to know for future water changes and hopefully expanding them through my tanks! Thank you!

I've kept pumpkin shrimp with pygmy cories and a different species of pseudomugil rainbows before. The cories are oblivious to shrimp, and the rainbows only eat very small babies from what I could tell. My shrimp population continued to grow and I never found any dead shrimp or saw any attacks.

I'd suspect something else went wrong vs immediately assuming a fish killed them. Maybe something contaminating the water, or an additive using copper, etc. That or some kind of other stress like significant changes in condition from the previous tank.

And while I agree that shrimp like mature tanks, I don't see them dying overnight from lack of food.

IIRC, I let my first shrimp tank run for about 3 months before I ordered my shrimp, and it was a shrimp only tank for quite awhile before I added the otos, pygmy cats, and the rainbows (the rainbows eventually decided to jump the tank unfortunately).
I am sorry to hear about your rainbows :( I have a glass lid and so far they do not seem to be jumpy but I will definitely monitor!

Quite some time ago I kept peppered corys and shrimp together successfully. So far the pygmy cory's just swim past / over the shrimp like they are another piece of substrate. The shrimp seemed disturbed by this at first but now they duck or back up to miss the cory train (all 10 swim in a line).

Are you and the place where you got the shrimp on the same water ?
I said before that I suspect other than no food as that would be over about a weeks period that you would start getting shrimp dieing from that.
But what would do it overnight would include but not necessarily be limited to a large change in GH/PH or Oxygen level also. Pipes tend to get coated
by minerals in the water after a few months so unless your house is less than a year old I wouldn't worry about that, but copper is deadly to shrimp.
I'm not familiar/w the behavior of most fish, but thos being at the top and
often seems to me to indicate a lack of Oxygen in the water. Did some of this stop after you added the air ?
I would have to double check about the water to be 100% sure but her store is right down the street so I would assume so. Our home is about 5 years old now ... and I have ordered a copper test kit just to be sure / regain my sanity.

I noticed there was a film at the top of the water (similar to when I first added the Eco-complete, but much lighter / less). The airstone broke this up and by the time I went to bed last night all but one of the threadfins were exploring again / not at the surface. As of this morning they seem very happy and are a couple inches below the surface and taking turns swimming in the output of the filter. I think they really like the airstone (and a bonus, my pygmy's play in the bubbles ... the shrimp go around it, lol). So it took awhile but ultimately the bubble stone seemed like the right direction.

I noticed that you said you acclimated in 30 minutes with 5 minute intervals? Maybe that's why your shrimp died, from shock of how fast their water params changed. I usually acclimate any livestock for couple of hours because 1. temps need to equalize 2. things need to get settled down after shipment/delivery so there's less stress 3. I use a dripper (you find these at irrigation section at HD or lowes) and my tank water drips drop by drop into the bag over the hours.

Also adult shrimp cannot handle new water conditions as well as juvies and if the water params were different enough, the adults would die first. That said if it is indeed an acclimation problem then the rest that survived should be fine.
Don't worry too much about copper or else the next thing you'll be worrying about is touching too many pre 1982 pennies and working in your tanks. As long as the substrate was new (eco complete has high CEC ratio and can absorb copper if you treated your tank with some kind of algae treatment before) and the tank has never been treated with said copper/algae killers then you can rule out copper.
That is good to know for future acclimations. I was following a timeline I had found on a shrimp selling website but will use the drip method the next time I get shrimp in.

And LOL about the copper penny, I would totally go that route. As my husband says "back away from the crazy" when I start obsessing, lol.

I do it for about an hour on mine, but use a similar drip method. I use an aquarium gang valve with one hose side in the aquarium, and the other side into my acclimation bucket. That way I can adjust the drip speed with the valve.

(I start the siphon with a large hypodermic with the needle removed. My wife's a nurse, so she just brings them home when I need a new one)
I will definitely follow your timeline the next time I have shrimps along with the drip method. My FIL is a doctor so I will see what he can bring over for me.

Thank you all again for all of your support.
 

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I am sorry to hear about your rainbows :( I have a glass lid and so far they do not seem to be jumpy but I will definitely monitor!
Bad thing is I had a glass top. There's a small gap where the heater cord enters the tank, and I assume they found that. I previously had a couple of Amano shrimp find that gap and go for walks across my room before dying.

I lost a female rainbow, then a month later the male of the pair jumped.


I will definitely follow your timeline the next time I have shrimps along with the drip method. My FIL is a doctor so I will see what he can bring over for me.
I think I start the siphon with a 10mL as it fits the small air tubing. I start my tank water changes on a bigger hose with a 60mL syringe. They're also very handing for dosing additives, as you can measure liquids right out of the bottles.
 
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