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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advice for my neo tank regarding ring of death molting issue.

The tank is a 10 gallon that has been setup for about 8 months with shrimp in for about 5 months. Started with 10 and now have maybe 50/60.

TDS: 315-330
Temp: 75f
Ph: 7.3~
Water change every 2-4 weeks with 24-48hr aged RO water remineralized with shrimp king gh/kh booster
Feeding 1-2 a day (crab cuisine, micro worms, bacterial powder).

Evaporation is taken care of via aged ro water top offs. Not super Johnny on the spot with those. Water sometimes gets 5-10% evaporated. At that level tds gets to 330 when topped off its 310/315.

My first shrimp showed the ring about two months ago and I’m not sure if it recovered or died as a dead shrimp probably wouldn’t last more than a couple hours in my tank before being eaten by shrimp and snails and now I can see it in three or four juveniles.

Thoughts?


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"Ring of death" isn't guaranteed a death... it could be pre-molt.


What is the GH and KH of the tank?


I see a lot of protein foods but I don't see any vegetable or algae based foods. At minimum, I would recommend severely cutting back on the protein foods (as in, only feed once a week!) and provide a vegetable or algae based diet two times a week. Please be sure to read the ingredients! Many "algae" foods don't actually have algae in them until the 5th to 9th ingredient! You want that to be the primary ingredient.


If you have a heater, you could either turn it off or take it out.



If you aren't actively seeing deaths due to failed molts, it might not be that big of an issue.
 

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What is your GH at? Have you tried feeding them mineral rich supplements? Are you saying in your post that you feed them once or twice per day or every one or two days?

I believe gh is 8 and kh 4 but I’ll double check tonight. I feed 1-2 times per day. Crab cuisine is mineral rich and designed for shell development so between that, weekly veggies (green beans) and the hard water I hope they are getting enough. My worry is they might be getting too much calcium/mineral (?)

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"Ring of death" isn't guaranteed a death... it could be pre-molt.


What is the GH and KH of the tank?


I see a lot of protein foods but I don't see any vegetable or algae based foods. At minimum, I would recommend severely cutting back on the protein foods (as in, only feed once a week!) and provide a vegetable or algae based diet two times a week. Please be sure to read the ingredients! Many "algae" foods don't actually have algae in them until the 5th to 9th ingredient! You want that to be the primary ingredient.


If you have a heater, you could either turn it off or take it out.



If you aren't actively seeing deaths due to failed molts, it might not be that big of an issue.

Thanks for the reply.

Gh/kh 8/4

As far as the diet I have looked at what a lot of breeders are feeding as well as having read a university study on freshwater shrimp most target 50% protein in their foods and have lots of success with breeding. LRBretz for example only feeds tetra color tropical granules which is 47% protein from fish meal and has great success in breeding show winners. I’m no expert obviously but empirical evidence shows shrimp seem to get enough plant matter in their diet via algae and other in tank options. I do feed green beans once a week. They also have a large algae ball that took over some java moss they they are constantly sifting through.

I think at a minimum I need to keep up on top offs better. Hopefully since I’m not “seeing” deaths they aren’t happening. With so many shrimp it is hard to tell. The first one I saw a couple of months ago I noticed that shrimp otherwise swimming and feeding normally and then I didn’t see him anymore. Maybe he died and maybe he did another molt and was fine. I don’t know


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snails are your friend
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Please do double check. Does your TDS meter read RO water at 0? Something seems off if your water is no harder than 4 dKH and 8 GH and you're staying above 300.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ro water reads at 10-14 from local source which has been consistent for years. I also dose the tank 2x week with an all in one fert mix I made which adds some. I have been using testing sticks for gh/kh and they don’t read very well. I’ll have to go get a liquid kit


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Algae based foods can also have high protein. Sera Micron Nature for example is, if I am reading the ingredients correctly, over 50% algae based and contains over 56% protein. Second ingredient is krill. Spirulina, by itself, actually has a high protein content.

The difference could easily be by the source of protein... i.e. vegetable and algae proteins are less likely to cause failed molts as compared to a meat based protein. Meat based proteins may cause more deaths.



If anyone has a tank where the shrimp don't seem to be thriving, but they aren't exactly dying at a fast rate either, then I recommend taking a look at diet. I was in that situation myself, nothing seemed to make any sense and I was given the diet advice. It worked! I have since given this advice to others and some have said they've also seen an improvement in their tanks.


Like I said though, if you aren't seeing deaths, it may not be a big issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Algae based foods can also have high protein. Sera Micron Nature for example is, if I am reading the ingredients correctly, over 50% algae based and contains over 56% protein. Second ingredient is krill. Spirulina, by itself, actually has a high protein content.

The difference could easily be by the source of protein... i.e. vegetable and algae proteins are less likely to cause failed molts as compared to a meat based protein. Meat based proteins may cause more deaths.



If anyone has a tank where the shrimp don't seem to be thriving, but they aren't exactly dying at a fast rate either, then I recommend taking a look at diet. I was in that situation myself, nothing seemed to make any sense and I was given the diet advice. It worked! I have since given this advice to others and some have said they've also seen an improvement in their tanks.


Like I said though, if you aren't seeing deaths, it may not be a big issue.

Thank you for your response and you make a valid point regarding vegetable protein.

I just double checked gh/kh and it’s 8/8 and I’ve just fed so I’ll be able to see better who’s doing what.


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Chatting to a shrimp breeder here in Singapore earlier today, he told me that failed molts can be due to too high water hardness. I always thought it was too little minerals, but he said that too high GH can cause failed molts too. His recommended parameters for CRS are 3GH, 0KH and TDS of 80 - 120 max. I measured the water that my new CRS came home in and it was actually 3 GH, 0 KH and a TDS of only 66! He recommended 5GH for his neos. Not saying that these parameters are in any way right for your shrimp, but just throwing the idea out there given your 8/8 water that too high minerals in the water could also be a possible cause....maybe.

The advice @Zoidburg gave above regarding diet is worth heeding. After reading his comments on a previous thread I checked the ingredients on my various shrimp food any found that even the algae wafers have so little algae in them, and are mostly fish meal. Actually pretty hard to find a high % algae based food! Hoping this is going to be the final piece of the puzzle needed to get my CRS tank thriving, fingers crossed.
 

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Diet and too hard of water are probably contributing this, but changing parameters seems to be the biggest factor in my own aquariums. When I was doing 50% water changes on my high tech tanks, I had a few shrimp perish from this regularly in both of my injected tanks. Once I slowed down the ferts and water changes, I rarely spot one since. But interestingly, I recently did planaria treatment and had to water change the meds out and what do you know? I've spotted some more. Though I'm at 120ish TDS and 2 dKH/6-7 GH, and with softer water probably have more leeway. You don't get much more anecdotal than this, but I'm getting pretty convinced that adding change water and topping off slowly (via drip) and performing much smaller changes is vital.
 

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I worked hard for months to keep my first RCS tank at the "recommended" 6-7 GH and the only berried female I ever had turned out to actually have a terminal case of green fungus. Then took my eye off the tank, the rocks must have exhausted the Amazonia soil and one day I discovered the water had popped up to 10 GH and 4 KH. Since then it's been full of babies from the new Goldenback neo's I added, so go figure! (I should add though that I'm convinced my original RCS were all somehow infertile as the remaining 5 still haven't bred to this day).

So I'm becoming skeptical about the importance of hitting some magical KH/GH/pH levels (within reason anyway, and especially for 'easy' neo's etc) and I think that actually what @Zoidburg and @Blue Reef Ridge have said about diet and how you go about water changes is probably way more important than abstract water parameters.
 

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...

So I'm becoming skeptical about the importance of hitting some magical KH/GH/pH levels (within reason anyway, and especially for 'easy' neo's etc) and I think that actually what @Zoidburg and @Blue Reef Ridge have said about diet and how you go about water changes is probably way more important than abstract water parameters.
I would have to agree as far as Neos go. I've breed neos easily at 0 KH and now they're breeding prolifically at 12 KH and last time I checked my water was 16 KH with a GH of the same. I'm pretty religious about water changes, but lately slacked off a bit and the KH went up due to Seiryu stone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Funny stuff! Well all may be ok anyway. It looks like it may have been a part of them molting. I’m not seeing anymore shrimp that have it and no bodies. Looks like several just molted. Weird because I have watched them molt and never noticed the ring line as a part of the process.

I am going to be looking into some different non animal proteins to throw into the mix as well based on the recommendation. Spirulina, which I had no idea until just now that’s it’s powdered Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria), looks like a nutrient power house with 50-70% protein. I read that shrimp should only make this a small portion of their diet so maybe a once a week meal? For those of you that use it what’s your preferred method? I would like to avoid scooping the powder in as I do have a small population of Planaria that I would like to keep in check.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have some shrimp king complete I just fed. I had avoided feeding it because there always seemed to be a lot left over like they weren’t eating it. Seemed like they didn’t like it. But I’ll see how long it takes to eat one stick today. Crab cuisine is usually gone within an hour

Side note: the crystals I’ve had since June had babies! This one is about two weeks old Rock Algae Moss Non-vascular land plant Green algae
 

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I always have to ask.... are you sure it's planaria and not rhabdocoela flatworms? Many people often think rhabdo's are planaria when they aren't.


As far as spirulina goes, you can always get tabs or 'pellets' instead.




When I tried the diet advice given to me, I was feeding Ken's Fish Veggie Sticks (there's two versions) and then either flake food (not sure of protein source but they're red flakes!) or another protein food I can't recall what it was. I was also given some other veggie/algae food, although unfortunately the place the food came from is gone... so not sure exactly what foods they are anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I always have to ask.... are you sure it's planaria and not rhabdocoela flatworms? Many people often think rhabdo's are planaria when they aren't.


As far as spirulina goes, you can always get tabs or 'pellets' instead.




When I tried the diet advice given to me, I was feeding Ken's Fish Veggie Sticks (there's two versions) and then either flake food (not sure of protein source but they're red flakes!) or another protein food I can't recall what it was. I was also given some other veggie/algae food, although unfortunately the place the food came from is gone... so not sure exactly what foods they are anymore.

The ones I have look like the one to the left in the pic



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