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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, about a month ago i purchased 9 RCS. A week later, i noticed a few had disappeared but i was only able to find one or two bodies. 1 week after that I purchased 7 more, a week passed and i found one body, but can only see 4 live RCS. now it has been a few weeks and i only have four left out of almost 20. I wasnt able to find most of the bodies, but i do have a nerite snail that i notice will eat dead fish so maybe he got to the shrimp before i saw them.
Tank Parameters:
10 gallon tank that is one year old, heavily planted with driftwood and chola wood.
Livestock consists of 7 guppies and 1 nerite snail.
Temp: 75-77
Ammonia:0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ~20
GH and KH: not sure, working on getting a test kit. i do use well water though, so im assuming it is already hard.
pH: usually around 7.5 but i dont check this often, never had ph issues with fish or plants, are shrimp more sensitive?
TDS: Working on getting a tester
I usually always did 30-40% water changes every 3 days, but since getting the shrimp ive cut back to every week, and my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate have been completely fine, if anything nitrates are a little low.
Ferts: I dose flourish comp and excel after every water change, which was 3 days but now it is every week, so now i try to dose twice: after water change and during the middle of the week, which i sometimes forget to do.

I suspect a few reasons why they might've died but i wanted to get someone else opinion as this is my first time raising shrimp. reason #1: i think i might have overfed them. I placed an algae wafer in the tank but never took it out, and about a week later put some pellets in. However, im now realizing that my tank has PLENTY of food for them, algae, biofilms, flake food left over from fish, you name it. the tank is 1 year old and well cycled with plenty of plants and debris.
Reason #2: when i got the shrimp on both occasions, i added new plants. The first batch were underwater plants from petco. The second batch was a pothos from walmart which i had to wash the soil off, perhaps there was still some copper or lead on the roots?
Also, are RCS really sensitive to water changes? like, would a 40% water change once a week be enough to stress them out? i wouldnt think so... but i do only have a 10 gal
Thank you for any help in advance!
 

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Fish, snails and shrimp will all eat dead/dying shrimp.

Guppies will also eat adult shrimp.

Temp is kind of high... a potential issue.

Knowing GH and KH may help.

Re: water changes - depends on the shrimp. Some people can do 50% water changes once or twice a week and their shrimp do perfectly fine. Other people can't do more than 10-20% or else their shrimp perish. Some people can literally dump fresh water back into the tank no problem, others have to use an airline hose to slowly add water back in. Each colony is going to be different.

Re: food - if they are getting too much protein in their diet from the fish food and algae wafer (likely has algae on the 5th to 9th ingredient instead of first ingredient), then that can cause failed molts

Re: plants - yes, there could have been an issue here - weights for plants can also be an issue and sometimes even ferts. Can't say whether or not the ferts are an issue - again, can depend on colony.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice! RCS do have a temp range that goes into lower 80s, but they do prefer lower temps. I dont think this is the issue. Thanks for the input about water changes and food, I think the food played a big part as im not feeding them directly anymore and the four left seem to be doing fine, grazing all day. And yes, the more i talked about the plants, the more i realized there could be a problem there, but if the 4 shrimp i have left now are fine, then should it be fine to add more RCS? im waiting till i can test gh kh and tds, i just ordered the kits for those and theyre coming in tomorrow. Also i dont use any weights or metal in the tank, everything is natural except the filter and heater.

Also, thanks for taking the time to reply. So many people have viewed my posts without even a sentence of advice. I just started out so not sure if that has to do with it, but i notice other peoples posts getting 10 comments within a few hours!

EDIT: oh and also guppies will occasionally peck at them, but i noticed the shrimp are way too big for the guppies, and they have plenty of hiding spots anyways. Usually the guppies leave them alone. the shrimp dont seem to be bothered by them, as they wont even flinch when they swim by.
 

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Sub forums won't get as much "action" as some of the main forums so you have to be patient.

In terms of your issue I think you mentioned and @Zoidburg hit on many possibilities, just the info you provided from Walmart could have done it. I wouldn't make a habit of adding terrestrial plants that are prepared to be used that way to sensitive water conditions.

Also if your only dosing Flourish Comp then to me no3 at 20 is too high. It means this is coming from decomposing organics, waste, food, etc.
 

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I couldn't say exactly why you're experiencing shrimp loss.
It becomes even harder without knowing GH/KH values.

I'm incredibly conservative with my shrimp and can only offer what has given me success.
If you don't care about having shrimp breeding, amano's will be more hearty but they won't successfully reproduce for you.

Neocaridina (red cherry shrimp) are still considered pretty hearty, but not like amano's.
It will depend on tank size, but if you can do smaller water changes, that will probably help. They are sensitive to big water changes and you should be quite mindful of the temperature shifts when changing water.
They do better in slightly acidic water, so PH around 6.4-6.8.
My neocaridina tank I keep a GH of around 6, a near zero KH (just a small Seiryu stone for a touch of kh) and my TDS reads around 150-160 after a water change.
I fertilize with 1/2 doses and I don't use any CO2 or Excel as they can be tricky with shrimp.
I keep my temps around 72-74.
My neocaridina colony (blue dreams in my case) are reproducing like crazy. I started with 4 blue dreams in October, I have 60 in the tank now and I have at least 4 fully berried right now with several more saddled so they are doing quite well.

I don't know guppies all that well, but I do know endlers and I know I wouldn't be able to keep endlers and neocaridina in the same tank happily because endlers need hard water and the shrimp will need softer water. I think guppies are more hearty than endlers, so maybe it will work to soften your water and bring the ph down a bit (by using RO water, or changing your substrate to a buffering kind) and your guppies will be okay but you'll want to check on that.

So, I can't say exactly why your shrimp might be dying specifically but only suggest what has worked for me and how I approach them.
I hope this helps a little.

But GH is definitely important and TDS to a lesser degree so I'd add those to your tool kit if you plan on keeping shrimp.
 

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Temp plus food could also be an issue.

Higher temps means they grow faster, produce more quickly.

Lower temps means they grow slower, produce a little slower.

Add in meaty foods that can increase growth too quickly... it's kind of a double whammy.


It's hard to say exactly what, but if you would be willing to set up a shrimp specific tank to dial in some of those issues, it might help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bump: Hey everyone, thanks so much for your input! Well, i think it is safe to say i have a strong lead. After testing my TDS, my tank had just over 500 ppm! OMG, i cant believe the shrimp i have left are still doing okay! maybe they better acclimated? Well, i did a large water change and was able to lower it to around 300 ppm. My tapwater comes out at 200 ppm. Is there a way to lower this when it is added to the aquarium? obviously if 150 ppm is the optimal level, my water isnt ideal. But im not very excited about the prospect of having to buy distilled water, and i think an RO filter is out of the equation. SO does tds lower if i add the water to a clean aquarium, is there any way to do this besides changing water sources?

Also, didnt get a chance to record my gh or kh but i do remember kh being pretty high.

I think overall, my tank's water quality was worse than i realized, and my shrimp that i first got were probably really stressed by this. Combined with overfeeding and the addition of new plants with possible chemicals, this must be what caused so many to die. I will add that i was able to find a fifth shrimp, which gives me hope that perhaps there are a few more hiding that i just cant see. Also i have a few females looking pretty chunky, not berried yet but they have yellow eggs inside them.
Thank you again!
 

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I've seen shrimp thriving in water with a TDS around 600 and people have had them living in water with TDS of 800-1,000...


So I doubt having 500 TDS is the issue...


The biggest reasons for high TDS includes over-feeding, tank overstocked, as well as evaporation with not enough water changes. If you don't want to get RO water or distilled, then you simply need to do more water changes is all. If you want to reduce even more potential issues, then you would look into RO water or distilled.


I get RO water from a grocery store. Buying from a store is typically 20-50 cents a gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've seen shrimp thriving in water with a TDS around 600 and people have had them living in water with TDS of 800-1,000...


So I doubt having 500 TDS is the issue...


The biggest reasons for high TDS includes over-feeding, tank overstocked, as well as evaporation with not enough water changes. If you don't want to get RO water or distilled, then you simply need to do more water changes is all. If you want to reduce even more potential issues, then you would look into RO water or distilled.


I get RO water from a grocery store. Buying from a store is typically 20-50 cents a gallon.
Really? Are you sure they are RCS though? Ive heard other shrimp species like higher tds then red cherrys. Also, i had another shrimp die on me and im not sure why. I did a water change the day before, a pretty big one of around 40-50% but hadnt done one previously in a week. The next night, i turned on the lights to feed the fish and all of a sudden this one shrimp jerks from the light and dies. Like, he mightve been previously dead and was jerked from a fish pecking at him, but as SOON as i turned the lights on, all i saw was his body jump and move over about 6 inches, then that was that and he sank back to the bottom and died. I didnt see any fish near him. I thought this was very strange. Anyways, ive been able to lower my TDS to around 280 now which is slightly relieving. thanks for everyone providing feedback, will probably post an update in a few weeks once i get everything situated. Currently working on lowering nitrates to 0, cutting back algae, stopped dosing flourish and started dosing excel daily. Will check gh and kh as well. lower TDS below 250 ppm. then once i feel the tank is at a better place then before (which it already is), im thinking i will try and get some more shrimp again.
 

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If you are changing water straight out of the faucet or shortly after pouring the water temp and temp in the tank are probably going to differ and huge WC that you are doing so frequently can cause issues. I suspect you water has a very high GH and KH. Cherry tend to be able to tolerate high TDS. Also you mentioned adding new plants from petstores. Sometimes the suppliers use pest replellents on their plants that dont jive well with inverts like neocardina/cherry shrimp
 

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Some colonies can't handle large or fast water changes.... so that could be enough to kill shrimp.

But yes, I am sure that the shrimp in 600+ TDS were in fact cherry shrimp.
 
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