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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a batch of shrimp from several breeders about 1 month ago. The first day, or three they were fine, then the deaths kept happening. I was losing 1 per day, or 2 per every 2-3 days. I didn’t know my water was soft (almost RO water, practically.) Since then, I have added Seachem Equilibrium and crushed coral. I do have Salty Shrimp, but haven’t used it.

The deaths seem to have paused after adding Equilibrium, though I did lose, 1-2 of the originals.

Now 2-days ago, I bought some shrimp. These were locally bred just in a different part of the city. They were given to me in a ziplock, and did seem quite stressed because anytime I hovered over the bowl to drip them, they were jumping and trying to get out, one kept running upside down. I then added Prime to the bag, and dripped for 1 hr, or about ~1 hr & 20 minutes.

I don’t know why I found 1 dead today out of the new batch. My old batch, I’ve noticed one of my nicer orange neos wasn’t grazing anymore. She’ll sit on a leaf, and doesn’t move much. Sometimes every now and then she’ll relocate, but doesn’t graze or it looks like she’ll briefly scratch herself, but no movement other than that.

I believe every time that happens, I lose a shrimp, and they die off. She was active 3-5 days ago, and suddenly she no longer is.

I don’t know why I keep having losses, a lot of the orange girls have very large saddles, but even after a molt no berries shrimp either and I had them for a month now.

Tank Parameters:
Tank size: 10 Gallons
Ammonia: 0, tested twice.
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: Dark brown?

Temp: 82 F. I don’t know if the digital thermometer is incorrect or if it’s room temp but my brand new heater is literally set on like 76 F.

(This tank has a betta on the other side. It’s been running for more than 5 months with a betta, it is not an old tank. Pre-betta; it was running for over a year, with a dead fish in it, unfortunately my pleco died when I was on vacation so this location was temporarily.)


GH: 6 Drops = Green.
KH = 1. My water is so soft, that even one drop does turn the colour, but visibility is hard unless I use a white piece of paper.

Water Change Schedule:~2-3 weeks I do a 10-20% water change, mainly when the water evaporates way too much. I did a water change 2-3 days before I bought the new reds, and I only took 6 litres out of a 10 Gallon.

I really don’t know why they keep dying, and no signs of breeding. Every time I see them sit around I just know they’re going to die.

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Years ago, when I kept Cherries, I had no issues they were breeding and my last cull cherries lived in bad conditions (high nitrates), yet still lived. So I don’t know what’s happening with this tank now?
 

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1: Stop making abrupt changes to tank parameters. Stop adding stuff unless you know precisely how it impacts water parameters. Stop adding new livestock until you understand what's going on with your tank. Just stop doing things. The less you do until everything is settled? The better the tank will turn out.

2: What brand of liquid gH & kH test kits are you using?

3: Read through this forum. Put in some effort and read for several hours about shrimp keeping. I promise you'll feel more confident and you'll have fun doing it.

4: Remove the heater. You don't need a heater with shrimp. Not even in Canada.

Have you tested for copper? If not, do that.

Have any medications been used in the tank?

Could you post a photo or photos of the tank?

What are the source (water) parameters of the shrimp you've added?

For Cherry Shrimp, you'd want to SLOWLY - over the course of a couple weeks - get that gH up to probably 8-10 and the kH up to 3-4. Those will be much more ideal parameters. You can accomplish this by adjusting the water you use for water changes. Then slowly add it to your tank. Do regular water changes - maybe a little bit each day. And after a couple weeks, your tank will have entirely new parameters.
 

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Ah the joys of soft water. I haven't yet started keeping shrimp for this very reason (though I do have a tank cycling currently to give it a shot). My water out of the tap is 0-1 for hardness, 80 for tds, ph- 6.5- 6.8. Your water hardness may be contributing to failed malts that are killing your shrimp. I'd suggest looking into using your salty shrimp- that's the remineralizer I'm planning on using as well. I'm aiming for tds of about 120 and gh 4...
 

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Never kept the little guys but I have noticed LFS gets them,puts them in a bucket and drips water from the aquarium they are to be put into, into the bucket with airline tubing..drop by drop. Then later places them in the aquarium.
 

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Ah the joys of soft water. I haven't yet started keeping shrimp for this very reason (though I do have a tank cycling currently to give it a shot). My water out of the tap is 0-1 for hardness, 80 for tds, ph- 6.5- 6.8. Your water hardness may be contributing to failed malts that are killing your shrimp. I'd suggest looking into using your salty shrimp- that's the remineralizer I'm planning on using as well. I'm aiming for tds of about 120 and gh 4...
My tap water is exactly the same just with higher pH and honestly I love it. I do have to remineralize with every single water change for the inverts (I keep them in the 6 to 8 dGH range and don't change the ~1 dKH coming out of the tap), but it suits my preference for fish very nicely. (I would prefer a lower pH, but it's never caused me a problem.)
 

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My tap water is exactly the same just with higher pH and honestly I love it. I do have to remineralize with every single water change for the inverts (I keep them in the 6 to 8 dGH range and don't change the ~1 dKH coming out of the tap), but it suits my preference for fish very nicely. (I would prefer a lower pH, but it's never caused me a problem.)
I love my water supplier. Sometimes living in the middle of nowhere is a good thing 😂
 

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If you really want to rule things out.... go with RO water or distilled. Mix with Salty Shrimp. I agree with 7+ GH.

Also ditto - remove heater.

Has the tank ever been treated with copper meds?

What substrate are you using? (any particular brand?)


What are you feeding them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
1: Stop making abrupt changes to tank parameters. Stop adding stuff unless you know precisely how it impacts water parameters. Stop adding new livestock until you understand what's going on with your tank. Just stop doing things. The less you do until everything is settled? The better the tank will turn out.

2: What brand of liquid gH & kH test kits are you using?

3: Read through this forum. Put in some effort and read for several hours about shrimp keeping. I promise you'll feel more confident and you'll have fun doing it.

4: Remove the heater. You don't need a heater with shrimp. Not even in Canada.

Have you tested for copper? If not, do that.

Have any medications been used in the tank?

Could you post a photo or photos of the tank?

What are the source (water) parameters of the shrimp you've added?

For Cherry Shrimp, you'd want to SLOWLY - over the course of a couple weeks - get that gH up to probably 8-10 and the kH up to 3-4. Those will be much more ideal parameters. You can accomplish this by adjusting the water you use for water changes. Then slowly add it to your tank. Do regular water changes - maybe a little bit each day. And after a couple weeks, your tank will have entirely new parameters.
1. I do not make any changes to the parameters, and I do not add anything. I did add Equilibrium, 1-2 weeks ago, because I had to, the water was too soft, and I think they were having molt problems. Since adding it, I think the die off has stopped, but I need to check again. I only bought a few more live stock now because the shrimp weren't breeding, so I was hoping to get a few males. I barely touch the tank, I barely do water changes too.

2. API Liquid, I have two of them, plus I have the API test strips, which I mostly use for the GH after a wc/then liquid.

3. I have, I've been in the hobby for 10-years. I never had a issue with Shrimp 2-3 years ago, I kept Cherries originally in this tank, and they did breed. I'm guessing my water changed now, and has become softer. I think that's why I stupidly figured everything would've been fine because I never had an issue keeping them in the past. I've been reading for weeks now, but still can't figure out why they're dying. 1) Either acclimation. 2) Because of the low GH/KH 3) No algae/biofilm 4) Something in the water that is unknown to the eye; bacteria. These are my few theories, but nobody seems to know, that's why I'm puzzled.

I really do hope it will turnaround because I really love these guys and the colour on them, and they were expensive. It is really upsetting losing some because I'm really trying.


4. The only reason I have the heater though is because of the betta. The betta is on the other side with a divider. The heater is set to 76, so I can't tell if it's overheating because of the room, or because of the window facing it, or, if my therm is wrong. Back then I never had an issue with them and the heater (they still would breed), when I had it. When I finish moving rooms, I will have to cycle them their own tank that's new, and I'll remove it.

5. Nope, never tested for Copper since I don't have the kit, but since are water has nothing in it, I don't really think there would be, but I will try to get one.

6. Nah, never used any medications.

7. Yup, I will soon.

8. The recent cherries I added were close to mine, their GH when I dipped a test strip was 140 ppm, or so. Their TDS was 220-221. Mine was 150-170. / 6 Drops turned my tube Green. The orange sakuras I had added in the beginning though, my parameters were way off, since my GH/KH was barely 1.

9. For Cherry Shrimp, you'd want to SLOWLY - over the course of a couple weeks - get that gH up to probably 8-10 and the kH up to 3-4. Those will be much more ideal parameters. You can accomplish this by adjusting the water you use for water changes. Then slowly add it to your tank. Do regular water changes - maybe a little bit each day. And after a couple weeks, your tank will have entirely new parameters.

For the orange sakuras, I couldn't do it slowly because they were dying off rapidly day, by day. Someone who is really good on shrimp on another forum had told me to take them out, and raise the levels, them drip them over 3 hours, like an idiot though I didn't do a 3 hr, drip. I did a turkey basting method every 5 minutes, multiple times putting water in their bag for 3 hrs instead. I still have some survivors, I don't think I have lost anymore oranges since the last 2, a week or so ago. So I don't know if the deaths have finally stopped, but I continue to check. As for the red ones, the water parameters were close already, but I already lost 1 red one, but then again in the bag they seemed so stressed (Ziploc)/and one was running upside down, so I don't know if that one was possibly dying, or failed to molt; maybe.

I've noticed they aren't breeding too, even after molts. no sign of breeding behavior, so I'm going to guess something in the tank isn't right as to why they just remain saddled, I believe I do have 2 males in there since they're almost transparent, unless they're just too young, but I can't tell.

I added some Bacter AE (toothpick dips) into the tank just recently too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ah the joys of soft water. I haven't yet started keeping shrimp for this very reason (though I do have a tank cycling currently to give it a shot). My water out of the tap is 0-1 for hardness, 80 for tds, ph- 6.5- 6.8. Your water hardness may be contributing to failed malts that are killing your shrimp. I'd suggest looking into using your salty shrimp- that's the remineralizer I'm planning on using as well. I'm aiming for tds of about 120 and gh 4...
Yes! Mine is even more softer than yours, I'm at the same level of hardness as you from the tap. My TDS like 15 though out of the tap, instead of 80! PH, around that range, maybe up to 7.0 out of tap.

My current water TDS is like 150-180, I need to check again. I do have some Salty Shrimp, but at the time I used Equilibrium because it was still being mailed to me the Salty Shrimp. If I were to add Salty Shrimp, even though I added Equilibrium prior (1-2 weeks ago). It won't harm anything, right? Since it's two different products.

With Equilibrium my TDS was 186 (7 dkH), then 220 (so dkH of 8). Then I did a 6 litre water change, and added approx. 2 grams (lot of water evaporation also) of Equilibrium, after doing that 6 litre water change, it dropped to dkH of 6 / 107.4. Thought he test trips show darker, so maybe it is a higher ppm. My TDS, now 150-180.

What confuses me is knowing how much Equilibrium (or now salty shrimp) to add during a small water change like that, if I take out 6 litres each time, I don't know how much to put back in, and I'm assuming, if I go from 6, to 8 again (that amount) it'll kill them, so how much would I have to dose to keep it at 6-7? Every water change?

Soft water is such a pain in my opinion, or at least for me it is because I'm awful at math/dosing, etc.

I
what kind of water lines do you have in your house/living space? Are they plastic or copper?
I think they're plastic!

Never kept the little guys but I have noticed LFS gets them,puts them in a bucket and drips water from the aquarium they are to be put into, into the bucket with airline tubing..drop by drop. Then later places them in the aquarium.
Yeah, I wish I had done that with the oranges I got, the red ones I did do a drip, people on Reddit told me to not drip them that long.

My tap water is exactly the same just with higher pH and honestly I love it. I do have to remineralize with every single water change for the inverts (I keep them in the 6 to 8 dGH range and don't change the ~1 dKH coming out of the tap), but it suits my preference for fish very nicely. (I would prefer a lower pH, but it's never caused me a problem.)
Oh awesome! Question, how much do you know (and, put) per water change? Usually I only do water changes of 6 litres, every 2-3 weeks. I think my plants do a great job of taking care of the tank (loads of frogbit. Some anubais, java fern, moneywort, Amazon Swords) but every time I do a water change, I only do it because of the evaporation gets too low, so I'll do 6 litres of water taken out + then a top off.

My dkH went from 7, to 8, after awhile of not touching the water. Then when I took 6 litres out, it dropped to 6 dkH. Just from 6 litres alone, I'm guessing if I were to do a water change, and remineralize it to let's say 8 dKH, would that affect them/shock them? Would I need to keep it to 6/7? With the 6 litres, I put 2 grams.

How much exactly would I need to add to get it back to 7, from 6, but if I remove 6 litres, then I'm going to lose my 6. I'm so bad with dosing/math/chemistry, whatever, so I'm having such a hard time and knowing how much to put in.

If you really want to rule things out.... go with RO water or distilled. Mix with Salty Shrimp. I agree with 7+ GH.

Also ditto - remove heater.

Has the tank ever been treated with copper meds?

What substrate are you using? (any particular brand?)


What are you feeding them?
I use Nat Geo's White "sand" bought it years back, and hate it now. National Geographic National Geographic, Aquarium Sand size: 25 Lb, White from PetSmart | BHG.com Shop

No, never treated the tank ever with meds. I do feed them a small piece of Aqueon's Herbivore food every now and then, idk if that has something to do with it.
 

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Oh awesome! Question, how much do you know (and, put) per water change? Usually I only do water changes of 6 litres, every 2-3 weeks. I think my plants do a great job of taking care of the tank (loads of frogbit. Some anubais, java fern, moneywort, Amazon Swords) but every time I do a water change, I only do it because of the evaporation gets too low, so I'll do 6 litres of water taken out + then a top off.

My dkH went from 7, to 8, after awhile of not touching the water. Then when I took 6 litres out, it dropped to 6 dkH. Just from 6 litres alone, I'm guessing if I were to do a water change, and remineralize it to let's say 8 dKH, would that affect them/shock them? Would I need to keep it to 6/7? With the 6 litres, I put 2 grams.

How much exactly would I need to add to get it back to 7, from 6, but if I remove 6 litres, then I'm going to lose my 6. I'm so bad with dosing/math/chemistry, whatever, so I'm having such a hard time and knowing how much to put in.
Rotala Butterfly has calculators that can help you figure out how much you should dose. Figuring out my GH is a little more annoying than other nutrients because it's one more conversion and the conversion factor is different between Ca and Mg because it's based on molecular weight IIRC. I actually went back and recalculated everything because I didn't remember exactly what I picked as targets, I just have a sticky note with amount of each fertilizer I add for my typical water change.

So, in my case I change ~22% of the water (1 gallon) about every 5 days. I add 5.6 ppm of Ca as calcium chloride and 2 ppm of Mg as epsom salt, with the ppm calculated here for the entire volume of the water in the tank, not for the 1 gallon of new water I'm adding. After a few water changes, accumulates to about 25 ppm of Ca and 9 ppm of Mg (ratio of 2.8:1), about 5.5 dGH all together, plus a little over 1 dGH from my tap water. I add a little bit of Thrive and all together this keeps my TDS about 180 to 195 from water change to water change. Evaporation isn't a huge problem for me because it's humid and the tank has a lid, and I don't adjust my KH in anyway. I also be sure to feed my shrimp kale and other calcium-rich veggies.

I'll be honest with you though, I lost most of my original shrimp over about 3 months after getting them. I was done told not to get imported shrimp and I did it anyway (because I wasn't sure how to source the color I wanted and because on paper my parameters were close to the water they came from). But, I was able to get a couple of batches of babies from the originals before they went and all the generations since have been totally fine and the colony is going strong. I think this is probably 75% because of adjustment issues and 25% I'm a better shrimp keeper now. It was tough at the beginning because I was doing so much right, except for taking the good advice about sourcing. 🤷‍♀️
 

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If you are only doing water changes every 2-3 weeks, then top up with untreated water between water changes to try and keep the GH/KH from rising due to water evaporation.


I take RO water and remineralizer it to the TDS that I want. I know that my GH should be around X amount and use that with every water change. That said, if the GH/TDS has risen a bit too much, I may use fresh water with a slightly lower TDS/GH value to get back to approximately where I want to be... i.e. if I want to maintain 160 TDS, but the water has gone up to 180 TDS, I might use water that has 100-130 TDS.
 
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