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Hello guys,

i am a newbie to fish keeping as well as keeping aquarium plants in my tank. Just earlier i bought a couple of plants from LFS and i did a 20% water change and used the tank water to clean the aquarium plants along with a second rinse with new treated water and soaking it for about 10 minutes before adding them to my 5-gallon tank.

However, about 10 minutes in i realized that my shrimp were behaving weirdly in my tank. They seemed to be jumping and scrambling frantically out of my tank. After another 5 minutes, they were jumping and then started sinking. I immediately knew something was wrong and transferred them to a 2-gallon container containing some old tank water with some plant trimmings from tank maintenance that i did a week before and added some new treated water and hurriedly researched to find out about the issue.

I found out that my new plants might have pesticides that contained copper to kill snails but even trace amounts will kill invertebrates as well. I removed my snails from the tank after hearing that. I'm not sure if my shrimp/snail will survive the night but they seem to be doing much better ( active) now in the quarrantine tank. I will continue to monitor them.

Problem now is, my quarantine tank is not cycled and i want to return my shrimp & snails back into the main tank but I am unsure of how I can remove the pesticides from the tank.. I can't restart my tank again as there are fishes inside the tank that are doing fine..

I really regretted my ignorance and not researching about putting new plants in my tank as my existing plants were bought from fellow fish keepers in my area that grew these plants in their tank and did not add any form of pesticide/fertillizers.. I've tossed in an active carbon filter pack in an effort to remove the pesticide but i had researched that it does not work so i'm unsure if i should leave it in my tank or remove it.. Please advise me on how i can remove the pesticides from my tank.. :(:help:

Here is more information about my tank:

Water Parameters
How old is the tank: 6 months cycled
Type: Freshwater
Size of tank: 5 gallons
Water parameters: ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 2.5ppm, PH 7.0, TDS 146, ( i dont have the test kit for KH & GH)
Test Kit: API, TDS meter
Temperature: 80F ( no heater as i live in a tropical country)

Type of Living Creatures
Half Moon Betta x1 ( 6months)
Mosquito Rasbora x 8 (2 months)
Cory catfish x3 ( 3 months)

Amano Shrimp x2 ( 3 months)
Cherry shrimp x4 ( 3 months)
Assassin Snail x 3 ( 6 months)
Nerite Snail x1 ( 6 months)

Type of Live Plants

New plants i added:
Anubias on drift wood x1
Rotala Macrandra Mini pink x 6
Hygrophila difformis x6

Existing plants:
Java Moss on Drift wood x1
Cabomba caroliniana x10
Hornwort x 4 ( floating in tank)
Peacock Fern x 6 attached to driftwood
Marimo giant moss ball x 1
Dried almond leaf x 1

Floating plants:
Giant Duckweed ( covers tank surface)
Sweet potato plant ( 1 giant sweet potato + 4 slips)
Cucumber plant ( 4 sapling )

Substrate
2mm gravel
3-5mm gravel
a handful of mini bio filter medium that i tossed in to help with initial tank cycling

Tank Decorations
Seiryuu rocks x 5

Filtration
No filter, no heater, no fertilliser, no C02, No oxygen pump

Lighting
Philips E27 LED 10W 1000 Lumen
Very minimal sunlight exposure
Schedule: 9 hours a day ( sometimes longer to increase algae growth if the shrimp & cory cleaned all the algae in my tank)

Water Change Schedule
25% Once a month with 5 days tap water top off ( my sweet potato and cucumber soaks up water extremely quickly)
I would add about 1ml of bacterlife to replenish the bacteria that i siphoned away when i vaccumed the gravel

Water conditioner: Prime
 

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Water change could also be the issue, was water temp and ph similar to the tank? You remembered water conditioner or let the water degas over 24 hours?
I’d do two 70% water changes over 48 hours and put in a shrimp or two a few hours after the last water change. I always have a breeders net handy, you could put them in there and observe to see if they become distressed. It also means easy removal if they are distressed.
When I move shrimp I use the drip method even between tanks, just for safety.


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snails are your friend
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Carbon isn't great at pulling out copper if that's what is causing the problem, but I wouldn't remove it in case it is something else. Your LFS (if you have one) should sell Poly Filter, which will remove copper though. I wouldn't worry too much about a bacterial cycle in the bucket for now. Just don't feed them for a couple of days while you get the tank straight. There should be enough to graze on to keep them alive with some plants in there with them.
 

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You'd probably be safer in the short term taking your main tank filter, running it on a bucket of fresh (declorinated) water for a couple of hours and then moving it on your quarantine tank. If your quarantine is small - grab a bigger bucket or storage container. That way you keep your cycled filter and have time to work on your main tank.

Copper hangs about - I'd remove the new plants, do a 100% water change a couple of times and run it for awhile with a polyfilter pad in - that will absorb copper.

Then try moving a few back as a test and see how they do.
 
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