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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone
There is this 5 galon Walstad tank that I setup about 10 months ago which is in pretty good shape and everything is fine except one thing, shrimps are always listless and die after two weeks.
Currently there are 5 penguin tetras, 1 dwarf platy, 2 siamese algae eater, 2 ramshorn snails, 2 nerite snails, 5 CRS and lots of bladder snails. Every single one of them seems to be doing great except the shrimps. First, they become lethargic and then die in about two weeks. It was the same when I bought 6 CRS 9 months ago. There wasn't any fish in there back then and the shrimps were alone but they were always hiding and I never saw them grazing.
Even when I neglected the tank for about two months and it looked horrible, all of the tetras seemed to be doing fine.
I did a water test recently and here is the result:
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
dGH 10
dKH 10
PH 7.6
Chlorine 0
Does anyone have experienced this or may have an idea what is going on?
Thanks
 

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What are you using as substrate? If dirt, what kind and where did you get it (bagged brand vs collected yourself)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What are you using as substrate? If dirt, what kind and where did you get it (bagged brand vs collected yourself)?
Thanks for answering
For this tank, I used 1 inch of soil made of 50% vermicompost and 50% sifted potting soil, both were branded and organic. There is also 1 inch of gravel on top.
before this tank, I had a 2.5 gal tank which resulted in the same problem for the shrimps but the soil was 100% potting soil.
 

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You are way overstocked for a 5 gallon. The Siamese algae eaters alone get to be 6". I have a 5 gallon shrimp tank with a handful of chili rasbora and i still think I'm pushing it.

Do you have anything circulating the water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are way overstocked for a 5 gallon. The Siamese algae eaters alone get to be 6". I have a 5 gallon shrimp tank with a handful of chili rasbora and I still think I'm pushing it.
yeah, I know, but since almost everyone seems happy I thought it may be alright.
Right now the algae eaters are pretty small, about 2 inches but if they get too big I'll sell them.
Do you have anything circulating the water?
No, I don't, but I have a water pump laying around I could add it to the tank if needed.
 

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Yeah, multiple 2" fish in a five gallon, plus everything else you have in there doesn't sound workable at all to me, but I'm not the fish police. Even if all your fish are doing ok in these conditions, shrimp are more sensitive and not having any flow in the tank can lead to pockets of foul water.

But hold up. Isn't 10 dKH way out of range for crystal reds? And doesn't the water need to be more acidic? I've never kept them, but they are pretty well known for their exacting water requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
But hold up. Isn't 10 dKH way out of range for crystal reds? And doesn't the water need to be more acidic? I've never kept them, but they are pretty well known for their exacting water requirements.
😲Sorry even though I was being careful I mixed up RCS and CRS.
Everything I said is for RCS, not CRS.
Today I added the water pump and one of the bigger ones seems to be doing pretty good. it's not swimming much but at least it's grazing almost all the time.
 

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Yeah I dislike those abbreviations, too close to each other... Red Cherry shrimp are Neocaridina, Crystal Red shrimp are Caridina, and caridina would definitely not survive long in your conditions. I'd verify the identity of what you actually have, caridina would need a totally separate setup.

With the low ammonia and nitrate I was hypothesizing a trace metal present in the soil like zinc or copper which would not bother the fish but would selectively kill shrimp. I'm not even sure that would be listed on the bag, I think organic just means there aren't chemical fertilizers added like osmocote, just things like chicken poop, manure or wood.
Do you remember if it was the same bag of potting soil you used for both set ups?

In any event, with the cost of shrimp Id stop buying replacements for that tank :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I dislike those abbreviations, too close to each other... Red Cherry shrimp are Neocaridina, Crystal Red shrimp are Caridina, and caridina would definitely not survive long in your conditions. I'd verify the identity of what you actually have, caridina would need a totally separate setup.
No worries, although I'm a newbie at shrimp keeping, I have read about them online. The ones I have are Fire Red Cherry shrimps.
Do you remember if it was the same bag of potting soil you used for both setups?
Yep, The potting soil was from the same bag. It didn't say anything about the components in the soil so it may be the problem.
I have a 2.5-gallon bucket which is already full of water but there isn't any sponge filter or aeration in it. can it support a shrimp for like three days to see if the problem is with my tape water? I also have a ton of frog bites that can be added to it.
In any event, with the cost of shrimp Id stop buying replacements for that tank :p
:sneaky: You can't even imagine how cheap it is around here. It's a whopping 15 cents for each RCS and that's only if you buy in small numbers. you can get a pack of 100 for just 4 dollars 😂
 

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Neocaridina shrimp are typically found in streams and like really clean water and stable parameters; neither of which are the easiest thing to achieve in an unfiltered dirt tank. They're really undemanding as long as those two requirements are met, and hopefully offering some water flow will help things. 15 cents is an unbelievable price, but if they don't live in your tank, price ultimately doesn't matter. Wish you luck with your tank, but if it were mine, I'd either forego shrimp or add filtration and a small but frequent water change regimen.
 

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Man Im jealous of your cheap shrimp price :p
Well here's the thing, you don't want to tear down your existing tank I assume, since your fish are doing ok in it?
If you want to see what's up with the shrimp, you can definitely try keeping them in a separate bucket. Lots of breeders keep them in bare bottom tanks. But they all use sponge filters .. dual purpose, something to graze, biofiltration, and air circulation. Very cheap to buy and run, just need a mini air pump, a little tubing and the sponge filter. And also regular water changes.

Skipping water changes was my biggest mistake with starting shrimp.

So you can try it just to see if you can keep those last shrimp alive, and then decide what way you want to go with it:
separate setup? no shrimp at all? change substrate in existing tank?
 
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