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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day,

Every time I try add shrimp to my tank they die within 30min. I used to run shrimp no worries in my planted tank, it had Peat Moss and Laterite substrate capped with Mary River sand. I have just changed the substrate to MTS capped with Mary River sand. I have kept the same Fert dosing but cant keep a shrimp alive, the fish are fine although the plants don't get as red or pearl as much anymore.

I have tried drip and normal acclimation but they die during it.
The house is brand new and didn't affect them earlier but I Use Brass fittings on my hose now instead of plastic as Brass is made of copper Would that affect it?

Water:
PH ~6.4
Co2 injected
KH 6.5DKH
GH anyone's guess due to useless API kit
No3 5-40PPM varying
NH3 0PPM
 

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If you are doing a nice slow drip acclimation, then you should be able to introduce shrimp, unless your co2 levels are extremely high. I can't speak directly to brass and aquarium co2 injection, but I know that in co2 injection for carbonated drinks, you can only use brass pumps and fittings before the co2 injector. After the injector you have to use stainless steel, because the carbonated water will corrode the brass fitting and leach into the water, but we are talking a lot more co2. I don't know if you ph is acidic enough to cause the same kind of corrosion or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, the brass fittings are on the hose I use to fill the tank. The co2 is via a internal reactor.


My Co2 is very high though. Drop checker says light green/yellow PH/KH chart says 75ppm, I believe my PH probe is reading wrong as my fish show no signs of distress and the DC states it is around ~40ppm. I am degassing a bucket of tank water overnight so I can use it to rule out co2 tomorrow.


I have figured out my GH test is broken and ill get the LFS to test my water tomorrow.




Something in the water is very toxic to the shrimp though, its impressive how quick they are dying when I start acclimating them.


I hope to find out soon as I have about 100 Red Nose Shrimp sitting in a bucket outback waiting for their new home.
 

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Acclimate them after your lights go out and the CO2 is off (assuming you're using a solenoid). This will give them a chance to adjust to the other water parameters first. Usually after this they can handle the gradual co2 increase the next day, but keep an eye on things.

Also, do you have any fish? If so how are they doing with the CO2? It could just be that you're injecting too much for livestock. Try backing down on the bubble rate a little bit, while making sure your flow is adequate. Oftentimes with poor flow high injection rates seem necessary because more stagnant areas aren't receiving sufficient CO2 while areas with better flow may have overly high levels.
 

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Any chance of copper in the substrate?


I've read that for shrimp, CO2 should be about 1 bpm. I don't currently have CO2 on my tank but was considering setting up a system as it's a basic planted aquarium and shrimp tank.


What fertilizers are you using? I could be off basis here, but as I understand it, shrimp do better with micro nutrients since macros can potentially be harmful. And also, copper can again be found in fertilizers. I'm using Flourish with RCS which has minutes amount of copper. That is, not enough to harm them.


And last.... what type of water are the shrimp in? (fresh? brackish? salt?) If the tank water is not the same as what they are coming out of, this may also affect them.




Last bit of advise.... feel free to disregard anything I've said. I'm rather new to the hobby and would defer to the experts. Just trying to give some food for thought. :)
 

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I would degas a small amount of water from the aquarium. If the situation arises a small sturdy vessel filled half way up with a lid that you can attach a vacuum intake to. The water will cavitate if under enough vacuum. Aerate the water immediately following then place 1 or 2 of the shrimp in the water and see how they do.
 

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What ferts are you using exactly? Using any osmocote?
Happened to use any medications in that tank? Especially copper based meds?

What exact type of shrimp are you trying to keep? Red cherry shrimp, Crystal Red shrimp, etc?

Do the shrimp you get happen to come in breather bags (bag with water, no air pocket) and maybe you floated those in water to acclimate temps? (can suffocate livestock in bag if not opened)
 

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Acclimate them after your lights go out and the CO2 is off
Also, do you have any fish? If so how are they doing with the CO2? levels.
and MCSLABS

I have plenty of fish and none show signs of excess Co2.

I took water from the tank and let it sit in a bucket for 5 hours and then put a bubbler in for 1.5 hours. At this point all Co2 is gone and O2 is high, I tried adding shrimp to it, they still die within the hour.

I can now say Co2 Is definitely not the cause.

Any chance of copper in the substrate?
What fertilizers are you using?
And last.... what type of water are the shrimp in? (fresh? brackish? salt?). :)
It is possible, the MTS substrate is a base layer of Muriate of potash (MOP) and Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2). Then a layer re-mineralised top soil mixed with potters clay, then capped with sand from a local river. I have used the river sand in my last tank and kept shrimp, the top soil may be from a contaminated source? The potters clay may have had colouring mixed into the product?

My ferts are standard EI: Kno3, Kh2Po4, K2So4, MgSo4, CaCl2 and CSM+B.
Both micro and macro are required for good plant growth, micro contains copper but at a tiny level, from what I have read even Shrimp need a small amount of Cu to live.

I don't believe ferts to be the issue as it is the same dosing I used to run with healthy shrimp but I have 10X the plant mass using it now so the actual water concentrations should be far less.

My Water is fresh, the shrimp have come from: a fresh tank in LFS, a fresh tank at the breeders, a slightly salty creek (still a fresh species).

What ferts are you using exactly? Using any osmocote?
Happened to use any medications in that tank? Especially copper based meds?

What exact type of shrimp are you trying to keep? Red cherry shrimp, Crystal Red shrimp, etc?

Do the shrimp you get happen to come in breather bags (bag with water, no air pocket) and maybe you floated those in water to acclimate temps? (can suffocate livestock in bag if not opened)
See above for ferts at EI concentrations, no to Osmocote.

The shrimp I have tried are:
Red nose shrimp from local LFS (he collects from wild and converts from salt to fresh before sale) sold in bag with air pocket.

Darwin Algae Shrimp from the local breeder picked up in a bag of water and pure O2

Red nose shrimp I collected from wild and transported in an open top bucket with aerator.

I use an laser thermometer and all water sources shrimp are obtained from are within 0.8Deg Celsius of my tank. Its good temps are so stable in the tropics.

updated water parameters

Water:
PH ~6.5
Co2 injected at ~40PPM
KH 6.5DKH
GH 10DKH
No3 5-40PPM varying
NH3 0PPM
 

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No, I haven't used any meds.

This afternoon I took some left over substrate (the topsoil potter clay layer) and dumped it in a coffee jar filled with water from my shrimp bucket, let it settle for 1/2h then I put a shrimp in there. It has been 4 hours and the shrimp is still running fat laps around the edge of the jar when I approach. I think it is safe to say that substrate contamination can be ruled out, I will continue that experiment until tomorrow afternoon in case of slow leaching of contaminants.

I also got a tub of toxic water from my aquarium and placed a small filter in it full of activated carbon, I will run this for 24h then attempt to place a shrimp into that water in the hope of ruling out some more suspects.

In order to rule out Cu poisoning I have consulted charts and calculators, I set up the accumulation chart as if my plants were using zero nutrients for worst case scenario and beginning when I rebuilt the tank. That worst case scenario states I would have 0.0117ppm of Cu in the water, The shrimp I am trying are from the Caridina Sp. family they die at 0.072ppm of Cu which is 7X the worst case scenario from my fert dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I found it via "The Nutrient Company" website when looking at fert calculators. The info comes from the PAN pesticides database.
Aquarium Calculators | Copper Toxicity for invertebrates and fish in a planted aquarium

This link is Copper Sulphate VS crustaceans -
Ecotoxicity Summaries by Species

This link is Copper Sulphate VS fish -
Ecotoxicity Summaries by Species

The 2 lower links Cu content are measured in ug/L, I took this straight from google:

"This is the same as grams per 1,000 liters, which may be converted to milligrams per liter (mg/L). Therefore, 1 g/ m3 = 1 mg/L = 1 ppm. Likewise, one milligram per cubic meter (mg/m3) is the same concentration in water as one microgram per liter (ug/L), which is about 1 ppb."

So to simplify 1 ug/L = 0.001ppm

Also "Avg species LC50" is the concentration of toxicant that is lethal to 50% of the test organisms in that species.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I put 100ml of shrimp water with 2 shrimp in jar, and added 10ml of tank water that has been treated with active carbon in every 15min.
When I reached 50ml added the shrimp died.

The carbon failed to remove the toxicity from the water and the tank water is lethal at only 33% in a solution.

Surely water that bad would have an effect on my plants and fish?
 

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Please test the water the shrimp are in at the dealer or breeder.

If the GH, KH, TDS is significantly different in your tank this could be the problem.
To correct this set up a quarantine tank with water that matches the water in the bag. Over a period of several weeks change the water a little at a time until it matches the main tank.
This is similar to what you just did with the jar, but takes longer, slower acclimation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
..........TANK....SHRIMP

PH .....-6.8.......-7.8......(Co2 would account for that drop)
Kh .....-6..........-3.5
Gh......-10........-4
TDS....-Can't test but I know the water from all three sources is about the same and I have obtained shrimp from them before and just dumped them in the tank without an issue, unless my new substrate is affecting the TDS. I have started the last test using some of the sand cap in a jar with a shrimp to check it for contamination, if that passes I can rule out substrate.

I did an 80% WC this morning, the water smelt quite bad even worst than when I go away for a month without any WC while still dosing full EI. I will do a further 50% daily for 3 days .

My WC's are done with straight tap water and prime, I have about 100 shrimp in a bucket out back and I have been dumping straight tap water into that without any conditioner (just sat for 24h) in one day I tripled the volume in the bucket.

Are those numbers enough to warrant a 3 week acclimatisation?
 

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Can you or have you tested the gh/kh of your tap water? The gh/kh difference between your tank water and the "shrimp" water (I am assuming that is the source water they came from but maybe that is your tap or combo of the 2 at this point) is definitely a huge difference when it comes to shrimp.
 

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From my understanding, GH and TDS "kind of" go hand in hand... i.e. the higher the GH, the higher the TDS. However, it is possible to alter GH without changing TDS? (still learning about GH, KH and TDS)


I was thinking that perhaps the difference between the two is too great for the shrimp to handle. Even if you say the water from all sources is "about the same", it doesn't account for the different total dissolved solids... Does your LFS dose ferts in their tanks? If they are, are they dosing the same as you are? Or less? More? Although the wild shrimp do live in water where there is a lot of decaying material and the nutrients and minerals from the soil add to the water, if they are in a stream, that constant "fresh water" running through can keep those things down as compared to living in a pool that may not be receiving as much "fresh water".
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Can you or have you tested the gh/kh of your tap water? The gh/kh difference between your tank water and the "shrimp" water (I am assuming that is the source water they came from but maybe that is your tap or combo of the 2 at this point) is definitely a huge difference when it comes to shrimp.

Tap water is 1gh and 1 kh, I will slowly adjust the buckets gh/kh and see what happens.

Does your LFS dose ferts in their tanks? If they are, are they dosing the same as you are? Or less? More? Although the wild shrimp do live in water where there is a lot of decaying material and the nutrients and minerals from the soil add to the water, if they are in a stream, that constant "fresh water" running through can keep those things down as compared to living in a pool that may not be receiving as much "fresh water".

They do not fertilise the water, I have also seen them fill up their tanks straight from a garden hose. This particular batch of shrimp in the bucket come from a clear flowing stream which turns to salt tidal a few kms downstream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I took some water from the aquarium post WC, the ph/kh/gh still vastly different from the shrimp bucket. I the very roughly acclimated 2 shrimp to it and within the hour had them in 100% tank water.

That ruled out the change in water parameters killing them, it must be something in the water killing them. Although the water seems ok now I would love to find out what the cause as it is likely to come back.

So to summarise:
Very fast death
Not Co2
Not water parameter shock
Not Substrate contamination
Not Ammonia or Nitrate
Lethality not reduced by carbon

Any ideas?

Edit- 5 hours later and the shrimp are dead. The water post WC still kills but at a much slower rate. Tomorrow morning I will try very slow acclimation.
 
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