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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I haven't been the most diligent about keeping up with my cheap tank, but I don't think I'm doing an awful job either. I have a cycled 10 month old 5g tank with 8 Chili rasboras in it. I've got a mix of plants - a lot of surface plants to keep the fish comfortable. I do need to cut some of it down, though... it's pretty nuts in there.
I've just started on my second attempt at keeping cherry shrimp. I've got about 20 in there, dropped them in about 4 days ago (and by "dropped" I mean I drip acclimated them for 2 hours). I tried previously and had them all die off suddenly after a couple weeks. I've since put in a heater to keep temps static as I didn't have that before.

My question is this: Today I found a dead shrimp, making me fear an impending shrimp collapse again. What could I be doing wrong? Or is that just par for the course and I should just keep doing what I'm doing? My Chili's started to glass surf around the same time, but they seem to randomly do that sometimes.

PH: 7.5
Temp: 78F
Nitrite:0
Amonia:0
GH: 4dGH
Weekly water changes of about 10-15%. I use distilled water treated with seachem "neutral regulator" which says it apparently negates the need for other water conditioners.

Tank image: https://ibb.co/hKgkhT4
 

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I have that regulator but stopped using it because of the negative things I kept seeing about it. I started a shrimp tank a while back and am mineralizing my tap water with a calcium/magnesium specific product. My tap is high pH so there is a good bit of IAL litter and alder cones to buffer. My shrimps are happily molting and breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Are you remineralizing the water? Fish and shrimp can't survive forever on straight distilled water and from reading seachem's information on neutral regulator it doesn't do the complete job either.
No I am not. Do you have a recommended remineralizer that wouldn't bother my chili rasboras (that like lower mineral water)?
 

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If you're using distilled water + the neutral regulator (which is not recommended for planted tanks) why is your pH so high and your dGH 4? Do you have something like seiryu stone? What's your kh? What are you doing for fertilizer?

Chili rasbora are softwater fish, but they aren't *that* fragile, but your shrimp absolutely need adequate minerals.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you're using distilled water + the neutral regulator (which is not recommended for planted tanks) why is your pH so high and your dGH 4? Do you have something like seiryu stone? What's your kh? What are you doing for fertilizer?

Chili rasbora are softwater fish, but they aren't *that* fragile, but your shrimp absolutely need adequate minerals.
I'm not using any fertilizer and have no special stones. I'm buying distilled water from target - which I just tested a newly opened jug of again out of curiosity and is coming in at 7.6ph untreated.... Which seems oddly high to me, no?
Just tested my tank KH - came out to be 10dKH. Also pretty high... My whole thought process in using distilled water was that it'd be soft and low PH for the Chili's.

Thanks, I had a read through that. Given my apparent GH/KH levels, do you think this is still necessary? Also - I read elsewhere on this forum that Seachem Equilibrium wasn't recommended for shrimp for some reason.
 

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Yeah, so distilled water should be neutral to somewhat acidic pH (the acidity comes from dissolved atmospheric CO2) and have 0 KH and 0 GH. So your readings don't make sense - clearly something else is going on. You need to puzzle out what that is before you can make a decision about what to do. Is all your gh and kh coming from your "distilled" water, or is it coming from something else?

I think you're going to need to rethink your approach. It seems like you're going through a lot of hassle and aren't getting the water parameters you're after anyway. What's your tap like anyway? Your plants also seem like they are having a tough time and if you aren't fertilizing that it one place to start.
 
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