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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My livestock (pseudomugil luminatus, endlers, and betta hybrid) don't seem stressed, but I've had several shrimp and oto deaths. Tank is 20 gallons long, moderately planted, gets daily ferts, CO2, and weekly 50% water changes because I'm using the EI dosing. The lights are on every day for 5 hours.

Tank parameters:
Nitrate: 5 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
GH: 8
KH: 8
pH: 9
TDS: 209
Temp: 78.3 F

Tap parameters:
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
GH: 4-5
KH: 4
pH: 8.22
TDS: 46
 

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How recently were the otos and shrimp added and what type of shrimp? A ph of 9 is pretty high, but neos should be able to acclimate, caridinas probably not. When you do water changes ho close to the current tank parameters are they? Shrimp are gemerally tough but don't do ell with sudden PH or TDS swings. Shrimp really do better in a seasoned tank, 2-3 months of good algae and bioflim buildup. Otos typically have a low survival rate when newly purchased, due to the hardships they face from shipping, no food, or not the right kind. Most are wild caught so could have parasites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank has been cycled since March. The shrimp (neocaridinas) were added after it was cycled and the otos were added a month ago. There's always some sort of algae but they also eat the food I feed the nano fish. I figured the otos would have a better chance because they were tank-bred and not wild-caught, but that has not been the case.
 

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Tank bred are typically more robust. My otos are shy eaters and rarely push other fish or shrimp out of the way. Could be they weren't getting enough food? I had this issue in my 75, no algae, so I have to supplement. I feed my otos (and shrimp) green beans, zucchini, and dandelion leaves. My 55 has less shrimp and gets some sunlight from the window, so more algae. Those otos are fat and don't get as excited about the veggies as the group in the 75.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I feed the otos twice a week with Repashy Gel "SuperGreen". When I do, they wait until night and then, while the other fish are sleeping, I see them on the strip I put in (I cut the gel into long strips, freeze it, and then take a piece and clip it onto the glass with a suction clip). Mine have gotten a bit roly poly since I started doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Can you double check the temperature with another thermometer? A busted thermostat could kill both of these before most other things.
I didn't have a second thermometer so I had to wait to get a second one. I was really surprised to see the new one says it's 76.3 F. I know that's only a few degrees off but I prefer my tank to be at a stable 78F. I double-checked that the inline heater has power and adjusted the temperature a tiny smidge, because it may have been at 76 instead of 78 (hard to tell with the dial).

With the heater adjusting, the thermometer says 76.5. The original thermometer I had, though, says 77.4. There's no mention that these things need calibrating and it calls itself an ultra-high accuracy digital thermometer.

Which one do I believe? One now says 76.6 and the other 77.5, so it seems like there's a 1.1 degree difference. Probably not world-altering but still, I prefer an accurate thermometer.

Edit: I heard the heater click off, so it reached its desired temperature. I put both thermometers back in. The old one said 78.8 F and the other said 77.9 F, so I'm more inclined to believe the new thermometer.

As for the high pH, if I put all the driftwood back in the tank, will that bring the pH down a little? I put in a few indian almond leaves the other day, but I don't know if that will do much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As for the high pH, if I put all the driftwood back in the tank, will that bring the pH down a little? I put in a few indian almond leaves the other day, but I don't know if that will do much.
Found this on another post, guess it answers my question.
Trying to lower pH with substrate, chemicals, driftwood are pointless if you are doing regular water changes.
I'm guessing my only option is to start buying a dozen gallon jugs weekly so I can continue the EI dosing weekly 50% water changes, or to see if my landlord will let me install a RO/DI system. Balls.
 
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