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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a 10-gallon tank that's been set up for over six months.
Lately, I've been having one cherry shrimp die a night for the last 5 ish nights.
My tank is planted, Fluval stratum and usually it kept my ph around 6.4 but lately my ph is testing around 5. GH is around 75 ppm, Kh at 0 (because of the substrate)
No nitrites, almost no nitrates, and 0.3 ammonia. I run low co2 to keep the plants growing 1 bubble every 4/5 seconds.

I am not sure if it's the ph and slight ammonia that's now showing up, that's slowly killing the shrimp. But I had them in the tank for weeks before this started happening.

Is there anything I can do to save the rest of the shrimp from dying off one by one? I have tried to investigate why they're dying off and haven't come up with anything.

I have another tank that runs the same in a 5 gallon and haven't had any losses of yellow neocardina's that I have. The only difference between the two tanks is which plants are stocked.
 

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Have you checked to make sure that the CO2 isn't leaking? Or staying on at night?

Has the temps remained the same?

Do you have added oxygen at night?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
CO2 is on a solenoid so it's not leaking at night I have double-checked that a few times. Plus it was unplugged last night, and I still had one dead this morning.
Temps are constantly 74-76.
I don't add any extra oxygen at night. I have a spray bar in the tank that I use to get good surface agitation.
 

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I wont blame ammonia right off the bat but would at least recommend an air stone to run at night.

Would personally recommend bumping up the GH to 7 but if it's always been 5 without issues then maybe something else?


Have you added any new foods?
 

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Ammonia in a shrimp tank is infinitely more toxic to them than water hardness (though it definitely should be a degree or two higher at minimum) or trivial CO2 and oxygen levels.

If the only difference between the two tanks is ammonia levels, that's where you should start. Dose Prime and get to the bottom of what's causing slight ammonia spikes. If that doesn't solve the problem, move on to the next possibility. But always start with what's most potentially problematic.

Note: Some will suggest ammonia/ammonium isn't as toxic in more acidic water but that's just not the case with shrimp. Even pockets of ammonia - say, in recently disturbed substrate - can be toxic to shrimp in the area until it fully dissipates and is processed.
 

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The types of common nitrifying bacteria present in in tanks like this don't die off (or stop working) as a result of pH changes or even sudden pH swings. They aren't even impacted much in terms of kH flux - just takes a while for them to get colonized. But once they're there? They're there and adaptable.
 

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Why are you using an acidic buffering substrate when keeping neos? Is it for other livestock that requires an acidic environment or simply for planting/aesthetic purposes? If it is the latter, you should always exhaust the buffering capacity of the substrate first when keeping neos.

How are you remineralizing your water? Based on your numbers, it sounds like you don't remineralize at all or do so to favor most Caridina spp. instead. Since you haven't had the cherries for over a month yet, it could be a molting issue caused by unfavorable water parameters. Neos thrive better in harder water with a higher amount of calcium carbonate but your water has pretty much none. If the water is too hard, then the shrimp have problems breaking out of their shells and often see the "white ring of death" issue. However, if the water is too soft for the shrimp, their shells become too malleable and can't break out of their shells either.

Were your shrimp active and constantly foraging before or were they lethargic(staying relatively in the same area and only moving their antennas)? Lethargic shrimp is a good indicator that something about your water parameters is off or stress.

To be honest, I would be surprised if your neos are able to survive(let alone thrive) in those water parameters in the long run. I have heard successful stories about breeding neos in soft water but they all kept their water parameters very stable.
 

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There are many opinions on shrimp and water parameters. I would look up breeding guides on the web and collect recommendations for specific shrimp types. I keep shrimp but cannot say I am an expert even though they are 2+ years old with no death. Start with this link. Guide: How to Breed Shrimp - Shrimp and Snail Breeder This article impressed me because of how complete it is. If you run around to the different shrimp selling websites, each will have their own opinion, so I will not recommend any. Some of them offer breeding sets and those places usually are the best ones to both buy and seek advice from.

If the tank was mine I would toss a couple of small NON medicated Wonder Shell in there to bring up the calcium and pH to a range favoring shrimp exoskeleton creation. Read about Wonder Shell here: Wonder Shell Aquarium Mineral Blocks - AAP | Disease Preventative

Wonder shell is widely available at most stores. I like to fund this person because of all the information he maintains on his site for our hobby. Due to the sheer volume of information some of it is his opinion and can be out of date and controversial.
 
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