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Shrimp keep dying. Just bought some 2-days ago, found it dead? :(

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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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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.)

· Registered
599 Posts
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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