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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've had an established 10 gallon shrimp tank for over a year. Last week, I decided to rescape it because the clump of moss I had was getting a bit unsightly. The tank before the rescape had about 0.25-0.5 inches of substrate, so I added more stratum and ecocomplete so I can plant dwarf hairgrass and baby tears. I also added cholla wood which I boiled and scrubbed. Ever since the rescape, the shrimp have been struggling. Some of them lay on their side for hours, and while a couple of them seem to molt successfully afterwards, there's some that are still dying. I've probably lost about 4 out of 50+, but unsure because all my shrimp are hiding. Ammonia is holding between 0-0.25 the past 4 days. Nitrite is 0 while nitrates have fluctuated between 0-5ppm.

Should I just keep adding prime everyday until ammonia levels are 0? Also is my PH holding at around 6.8 normal despite putting into stratum? My other tank which also has stratum and eco-complete in it is at 6.0.

Note: shrimp have not been eating the shrimp king food I put in after rescape.
 

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The ammonia level at the substrate level where shrimp are is probably what's killing them. Prime will help but it's not going to get everything, as it's being constantly released by the substrate. Unfortunately, even trivial amounts of ammonia coming from substrate is enough to be deadly for shrimp.

Definitely keep adding Prime. And do water changes. But if you have another container you could move your shrimp to until your tank is stable, that'd be best.
 

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Did the tank have Fluval in it prior to adding it in? And was the pH low? (just to be clear)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did the tank have Fluval in it prior to adding it in? And was the pH low? (just to be clear)
Yes the tank originally had a bit of Fluval in it.

As for updates...I've had this problem for just about a week now. I've been testing my water twice a day. Ammonia levels aren't completely zero, but it's not the 0.25ppm color. Nitrate is in between 0-5ppm. Zero nitrites. pH ranges between 6.6-6.8 depending on morning/night. GH is 8-9, KH is 3. I know people are going to frown upon the lower KH, but that's the KH that these shrimp have been in for over a year (original person I bought the tank and shrimp from didn't even use any remineralizer and they're on the same tap as me. Only things that changed are I added substrate, dragon stone, cholla wood, and plants I bought from buceplant. All hardscapes were washed and boiled thoroughly and the plants were rinsed before planting them. The past 4 days, I've had around 7 or 8 die on me; five died on me today despite me not doing anything to it besides adding prime and stability. I've pretty much given up at this point. There's 30+ in the tank, but who knows how many are even going to make it. Shrimp won't eat, and I've observed that my snails aren't eating as voraciously either. I'm debating trying to do a 100% water change in the span of a couple days in case something got in the water like cleaning chemicals, but I'm inclined to think if chemicals were the issue, they'd all be dead at this point.
;'
 

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As for updates...I've had this problem for just about a week now. I've been testing my water twice a day. Ammonia levels aren't completely zero, but it's not the 0.25ppm color. Nitrate is in between 0-5ppm.
As alluded to by @somewhatshocked even tiny amounts of ammonia will kill. Doesn't even have to be detected by a test kit. Will also cause "unexplained" algae as well. Keep doing WCs and if you can add some extra plants temporarily, plants will take up the ammonia continually while WCs are good, but not continuous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I'm going to supplement my prime dosing with slow water changes. I've already got a bunch of red root floaters, duckweed, hornwort, pennywort, and pearlweed in there. Threw every fast growing plant I had in the tank.

There doesn't seem to be a visible white ring of death on the shrimp I pull out. Although I do leave then in their until their coloration looks dead which might make it look like they don't have the white ring of death?
 

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WRoD is a molting issue. You seem to be having a nitrogen poisoning issue. Floating plants like frogbit and Salvinia minima uptake ammonia at crazy rates. If you have any, those would be helpful though they will shade the other plants to a degree. I'd offer to put some in the mail for you, but time isn't on your side. Aeration and frequent partial water changes can only help if you have nowhere to move the shrimp. No worries about 3 dKH water for Neos, my own tap is half that and they thrive once acclimated to it. Wishing you luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just lo
WRoD is a molting issue. You seem to be having a nitrogen poisoning issue. Floating plants like frogbit and Salvinia minima uptake ammonia at crazy rates. If you have any, those would be helpful though they will shade the other plants to a degree. I'd offer to put some in the mail for you, but time isn't on your side. Aeration and frequent partial water changes can only help if you have nowhere to move the shrimp. No worries about 3 dKH water for Neos, my own tap is half that and they thrive once acclimated to it. Wishing you luck.
I have all my floaters in the tank right now along with all the fast growers. Would increasing the amount of light the plants get help the floaters increase their ammonia uptake?
 

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It should. Anything that speeds up growth/photosynthesis should equate to more nitrogen being absorbed. Culling some of the floaters as they grow will keep growth steady too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It should. Anything that speeds up growth/photosynthesis should equate to more nitrogen being absorbed. Culling some of the floaters as they grow will keep growth steady too.
What do you mean by culling the floaters? Does that mean I should remove some if they're completely covering the top of my tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Also, a question for future reference. Does Fluval Stratum leach ammonia or cause ammonia spikes? I initially added Stratum instead of just eco-complete because from what I've read on the different forums and reddit is that it doesn't leach ammonia or cause ammonia spikes. Is it a your mileage may vary type of situation?

Yep. Or before then, even.
My bacopa from buceplant is melting. Should I also remove all the dead or dying plants from the aquarium for now? Or are WCs along with prime enough for now? Part of me says to remove all the bacopa for now, but I don't really have anywhere to plant the bacopa. Sorry for all the question and I appreciate the answers. Just have been in a panic mode for about a week.
 

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Anything that is dying should be removed; even if just to a jar for the time being. It's doing no good decaying in there. Sorry you're going through this. If ever rescaping again, putting the aqua soil in a bucket of water for a few weeks and doing large water changes on the bucket while it releases ammonia will make it more appropriate for a tank with life in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you to everyone that helped and answered questions. I'll continue doing water changes and dosing prime and stability for the time being. I removed all the plants that were melting and threw in a bunch of floaters and fast growing plants into the shrimp tank. I would move the shrimp into my other tank, but the water parameters are completely different and there's a betta in there that doesn't do well with any other inhabitants. I'll be updating the thread as time goes. Hopefully, I don't lose any more of my painted reds. Just glad my three berried females aren't curling up. knock on wood
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: No deaths this morning. Shrimp seem a bit more active today, but some are lethargic and laying on their side and then getting back up. Ammonia isn't zero, but still doing water changes and leaving my light on for twice the normal length. I found hydra in my tank while doing a close inspection though, but don't think they're big enough to sting my adult shrimp, unless I'm mistaken about how bad my hydra problem is. The hydra aren't even half a centimeter big. I'm debating using medication to get rid of the hydra, but I have a lot of snails in my tank that the medicine might inadvertently kill which will definitely exacerbate my ammonia issue. I read fenbendazole won't kill ramshorn snails and I think that's what I have, but I'm not 100% sure. Contemplating kicking my hydra problem further down the road until my ammonia levels are zero. Thought I could starve them out by not feeding the tank, but there's around 5 I can count near and on my sponge filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Another morning update:

Two shrimp died throughout the day yesterday. There's two more dead juveniles this morning. Thought things were reversing course since I saw that my shrimp were finally out and about, grazing and swimming around.
 

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I would personally recommend using No Planaria or Planaria Zero over Fenbendazole...


And it's hit or miss if either one will harm ramshorns. I believe most people don't notice it harming ramshorns, though.



I would half wonder if something toxic in the air could be harming them if it's not something in the tank... although I wouldn't rule out hydra, other things such as flea treatment, bug spray, carpet cleaner or air fresheners could potentially cause harm.


Please keep up on the water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would personally recommend using No Planaria or Planaria Zero over Fenbendazole...


And it's hit or miss if either one will harm ramshorns. I believe most people don't notice it harming ramshorns, though.



I would half wonder if something toxic in the air could be harming them if it's not something in the tank... although I wouldn't rule out hydra, other things such as flea treatment, bug spray, carpet cleaner or air fresheners could potentially cause harm.


Please keep up on the water changes.
Yeah, I was leaning more towards using noplanaria or planaria zero because dosing seems a bit easier with that than fenbendazole. I'm just hesitant on using it right now in case it kills a bunch of snails and causes an ammonia spike. I have a lot of baby snails that I can't feasibly take them all out.

I wondered about something in the air since I don't keep lids on my tanks, but I haven't sprayed anything around the house. I also thought crossed that possibility off since I thought a chemical getting in my water would have wiped out my whole tank instantaneously, though I could be mistaken. I feel like the hydra in my tank aren't big enough to harm my shrimp, since they're all pretty much not even half a centimeter big. I still took out as many as I could see on my sponge filter and glass with a pipette.

I've been taking about 1.5 gallons of water out of the tank and slowly dripping in new water 24/7 for the past couple days.
 
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