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RCS Not Feeding?

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After a mini-disaster which wiped out all of my fauna - I am back at it in my 14 gal tank. First the basics:

Eco Complete, Anubia on driftwood, Java Moss, Glosso.

PC 2x40w Current USA

Pressurized CO2, Drop Checker Green

I have had the tank up and running with same plants, substrate, filter, since pre-disaster, and recently added 20 RCS.

They look good, but hide a lot, and don't ever come out to feed (I feed them Algae Wafers or nuked cucumber)....they are the only fauna in there except some random snails....I have heard they should "swarm" when feeding, but they do not.

I don't have other H20 stats, and am new to this, could it be water hardness or anything else? Thanks in advance
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My RCS never swarm any food I put in the tank, but they are always feeding on something. They must be doing well, seeing as how about 7 of the 12 I had are berried, or at least were, I know 2-3 have had the babies in the last couple days.

A lot of time if I put in an algae wafer and it isn't where they normally go they never touch it. If I put it where they are then they eat it. There is just enough things growing for them to eat that they aren't running around looking for food all the time so no need to swarm. Thats with very low light too, with high light I'm sure there is more then enough things growing for a fairly large population to eat without supplimental feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok thanks. They still didn't eat the cucumber or algae wafer, and they are a little listless. I am concerned b/c they are the only fauna in the tank. Because of this, I went and got a test kit from the LFS....

pH - 6.6
GH - 360
KH - 350

I have a feeling my KH is too high?

Thanks!
 

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I doubt its hardness related, that doesn't generally seem to be an issue unless its large change and they are still adapting.

Something doesn't seem right though, with a hardness that high your pH should be a lot higher, even with pressurized CO2. Starting out at ~140KH, ~210GH my pH is ~8.0 and using CO2 I get it to about 7.0pH with a green drop checker.

So between the drop checker, pH tester and the GH tester something doesn't seem right. If your CO2 levels are high that could be a reason they are not very active.

It could be ammonia or nitrites, though I think that tends to kill shrimp pretty quick, though they will make hardy fish listless. The other thing might be temperature, if it is a bit high, the shrimp seem to prefer it a bit cooler, but you never listed a temperature, so nothing to go on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thx Erloas -
Temp is 76.

I have the red sea drop checker, and just to be safe, I changed the water/solution and it is green. I also leave it out and it turns dark/bright blue.

But maybe CO2 is a bit high anyway?
 

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20 RCS in a 14gal tank are unlikely to need any additional food. If they don't swarm to it then it means there is enough biofilm in the tank to feed the shrimp. As your population grows you can try adding small amounts of food to see if you have enough so they become interested in it.

If the shrimp you have aren't constantly picking around though then you may have a problem with water quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
20 RCS in a 14gal tank are unlikely to need any additional food. If they don't swarm to it then it means there is enough biofilm in the tank to feed the shrimp. As your population grows you can try adding small amounts of food to see if you have enough so they become interested in it.

If the shrimp you have aren't constantly picking around though then you may have a problem with water quality.
Picking around? They aren't out and about, by any stretch of the imagination, but the tank has been running for about a year, and the last 5 weeks with no fauna in it...would biofilm still be present? They are the only inhabitants of the tank, does that make a difference?
Maybe there is too much CO 2 in the tank (despite my drop checker)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, they should be doing something. It's hard to imagine shy shrimps. Wild guess, but maybe your stadium-quality floodlights have something to do with it. 80W over an 14g...that's just sick. ;)
Too much? I recently switched to it from spiral fluorescent....

I am not getting any algae (maybe there is too much CO2 then?)

With all that light, should I be getting algae unless I have too much CO2?

Should I turn off half the light? (BTW, I have it on about 10 hrs a day)

Thanks......
 

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Well, if you don't have algae, that's good. But 5 wpg is just overkill, especially with a shallow tank like yours. Your glosso like a lot of light, all other plants you mentioned could do well in a quarter of your light. I'd try reducing the light for three reasons:

1) It's a waste of energy and doesn't have any benefits.

2) RCS may prefer less light (I'm not sure if they don't like light, but they sure like dark places)

3) You'll be able to turn your CO2 down a bit. Maybe you *are* feeding a lot of CO2 and it makes your shrimp drowsy? I've never heard of such a thing, but it may be worth a try.

Can you remove bulbs so you cut light by 1/3? Half may be a tad too little light for you glosso...you'll have to experiment a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, if you don't have algae, that's good. But 5 wpg is just overkill, especially with a shallow tank like yours. Your glosso like a lot of light, all other plants you mentioned could do well in a quarter of your light. I'd try reducing the light for three reasons:

1) It's a waste of energy and doesn't have any benefits.

2) RCS may prefer less light (I'm not sure if they don't like light, but they sure like dark places)

3) You'll be able to turn your CO2 down a bit. Maybe you *are* feeding a lot of CO2 and it makes your shrimp drowsy? I've never heard of such a thing, but it may be worth a try.

Can you remove bulbs so you cut light by 1/3? Half may be a tad too little light for you glosso...you'll have to experiment a little.
thanks!
The tank is the same footprint as a 10 gallon, just a little taller (about 16" tall)

Drop checker is green, but am worried about turning down and getting algae.

Bulbs are 2 x 40 watt dual day glo (or something like that (one side is 6700k, the other side of it is 10000K)) I could theoretically switch one to something like a 10000k/Actinic (does such a thing exist) and that would effectively cut light by 25% right?
 

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I wouldn't do actinic in a freshwater tank. I'd try taking one bulb out. The worst that can happen is that your glosso stagnates, in which case you could easily turn the lamp back on. I use only 6700 colormax bulbs. Some people don't like the pink tint, but the plants, fish, and shrimp look just spectacular!

I that doesn't work for you, you could also go for floating plants to shade the tank a little. Your shrimp will love them.
 

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they aren't picky, they like hanging on any floating plants I have had in there before. I would suggest something large enough that you can easily remove it later though. Its really hard to net out duckweed without grabbing shrimp also when they are holding onto the bottom of the plants
 
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