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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys

I am new here and apologize if I didn’t search enough or read through the stickies or other posts. I figured if I post my recent issues, I would get some direct help.

Below are my specs and water parameters:

UNS 90L
Substrate: Mr. Aqua Aquarium Soil/ ADA
Hardscape: Seiryu Stones
Colorado Sand (50/50)
Filter: UNS Delta 90
CO2: 19?24? PPM
Indian Almond Leave: Yes

Fertilizer: UNS All in One

RO/DI remineralized with Shrimp Mineral GH/KH

20-25% water change every 3-4 days

Ph: 6.6-7
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
Gh: 8
Kh: 5

I have a mix of Neo and Caradinas. A school of Rasboras. Some Hillstream loaches and Reticule Loaches. Rabbit Snails and Japanese Trapdoor snails.

On 1/20 I installed API Nitra-Zorb. This is due to myself trying lower the Nitrate levels from 40 to 0. Mainly to keep the plants “red”.

My nitrate levels had always been in the range of 20-40ppm. I am assuming this is because we started to add more species like the rasboras and snails. Tank my be overstocked? I don’t know, maybe, but my goal was to lower the nitrate levels as much as possible.

The tank was started in April. So it is cycled or at least it should be.

On the same day, I removed some aqua soil and replaced them with ADA sand ( tank is now 50/50). As well as planted bunch of Rotala Hra, along with other rotala plants and Ludwig (red). I also removed some Seiryu Stone rubble to even out the removal of buffering substrate.

After this I lost 3-5 shrimps. The first day I noticed the shrimp deaths. I immediately did a 30% water change, thinking that I might not had rinsed my hand before messing with plants. Again, 3-5 dead shrimps, I did another water change. Still shrimp deaths. I’ve been doing 25% water changes every 2-3 days now. The death rate has decreased but I must of lost 20+ shrimps.

10 days later I’m still losing 1-2 shrimps every couple of days. Sometimes I see shrimps on its side twitching, but next morning it’s up and about. Sometimes, they just die.

I noticed the shrimps were hanging at the top of the plants close to the water surface so I assumed I was adding too much CO2 and also had bought an air pump (have no clue if I’m adding too much or too less). The air pump is running when the lights are off and CO2 is off at night. Even still I’m seeing shrimp deaths.

I’m confused but assuming the death is related to too much sudden change?

Lowering my Nitrate too fast? Because it from 40 to 5 in 24hrs.

Increase in CO2 to match plant mass is too much?

API Nitra-Zorb is defective?

ADA Sand tainted? ( I rinsed themvery well, the water was almost clear).

I stirred up too much substrate when removing substrate and adding new Plants? ( still doesn’t explain frequent water change has no effect).

Plants were contaminated? ( I didn’t quarantine the plants but bleach dipped, rinsed for a minute and sat in declorniated water/ Seachem prime for 30 minutes).

What do you guys/gals think?

I’m afraid that I will lose all my shrimps and would have to start over.

I suppose after this I should stick to one shrimp species because I’m assuming due to my parameters none of the shrimps bred. So I might stick with neocaradinas as they are less demanding and my water parameter is closer to their liking.

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you.

Sorry for my long long first post.
 

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Some folks run their co2 aiming at 10-15ppm because their shrimps die at higher levels. The best way to measure is through ph change and there is some maths that go into figuring it out 'properly'. Honestly I don't do that, I run my co2 pretty light so don't bother. Other folks are able to run their co2 higher and still keep shrimp alive, not sure if its a shrimp hardiness issue etc. But in your case if you are seeing shrimp trying to stay as close to the surface as possible I'd think its a co2 issue and you should turn it down a bit. If you have a drop checker in the tank and its green, your co2 is probably too high.

As to why you saw them dying after moving things, frequently moving hardscape will stir up the substrate and might cause an ammonia spike. That should go away within a day or 2, and a big water change also usually takes care of it. So that's clearly not still your issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does the ADA sand you added leach ammonia? I know some of the ADA soils do.
Not that I know of. If there was a leach, the nitrazorb did its job.

Some folks run their co2 aiming at 10-15ppm because their shrimps die at higher levels. The best way to measure is through ph change and there is some maths that go into figuring it out 'properly'. Honestly I don't do that, I run my co2 pretty light so don't bother. Other folks are able to run their co2 higher and still keep shrimp alive, not sure if its a shrimp hardiness issue etc. But in your case if you are seeing shrimp trying to stay as close to the surface as possible I'd think its a co2 issue and you should turn it down a bit. If you have a drop checker in the tank and its green, your co2 is probably too high.

As to why you saw them dying after moving things, frequently moving hardscape will stir up the substrate and might cause an ammonia spike. That should go away within a day or 2, and a big water change also usually takes care of it. So that's clearly not still your issue.
Thank you for the reply. I don’t have a drop checker (everyone is sold out of the UNS drop checker) but I estimate it based on PH and KH. It’s about 1+ BPS of CO2.

Yeah, I’m not sure what the issue is honestly. I’m a noob but never lost a shrimp up until now.

I lost 3 today.

I’m beginning to think it’s a bacterial infection or something. Out of panic. I ordered 10 Neos and they are starting to die, so it’s definitely something. Again, I drip acclimated them for 2-3 hours and never lost a shrimp prior.
 

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Thank you for the reply. I don’t have a drop checker (everyone is sold out of the UNS drop checker) but I estimate it based on PH and KH. It’s about 1+ BPS of CO2.

Yeah, I’m not sure what the issue is honestly. I’m a noob but never lost a shrimp up until now.

I lost 3 today.

I’m beginning to think it’s a bacterial infection or something. Out of panic. I ordered 10 Neos and they are starting to die, so it’s definitely something. Again, I drip acclimated them for 2-3 hours and never lost a shrimp prior.
You can start eliminating possibilities then. Take a scoop of substrate and put it in a jar/tank/storage tupperware and put a couple of shrimp in there (as many as the container will reasonably hold), and watch and see what happens. If its bacterial then they will die at the same rate. If its co2 they will live.
 
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