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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had 16 orange sakura shrimp And two Amanos. They neocaridina have been dying off, about one a day. and today, one of thr Amanos doesn’’t look so good. I have checked and re-checked water parameters every day.They are as follows:
GH. 7​
KH. 3​
pH 7.2 (taken 3 hours after CO2 stopped, 2 1/2 hours after lights dimmed, nut not off)​
pH 7.3 (taken 13 hours after CO2 stopped )​
Ammonia. 0ppm​
Nitrites. 0ppm​
Nitrates < 5ppm. (when it even looks like it’s creeping above 5ppm, I do a partial water change)​
Copper 0ppm​
Phosphates 0ppm​
(I didn’t suspect the last two to affect this, but hey, why not be thorough?) The water is RO/DI remineralized with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+. I weighed it instead of using the scoop, for better accuracy and converted between litres and gallonsso as not to overdose.

I watch the drop checker, which I don’t have over-full of bromothymol blue, and while it gets green, it doesn’t get anywhere near lime green.

It is a 15 gallon cube tank. The only tank mate is a (possibly pregnant) Mystery Snail, so nothing is chasing the shrimp around and hassling them.

I bought about 1/2 of these shrimp online from a reputable vendor and they arrived in great condition. Tank is planted with marsh mermaid, a largish Amazon Sword, some Crypt Wendtii Green.
That’s all I can think of to tell you about the aquarium, but you may want to ask more questions.

Please help! Any ideas would be welcome! Thanks in advance

 

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My amanos were kept dying in a couple of days after I put them in the aquarium. It was a mystery until I figured out why. Amanos that I was sourcing was keeping them in a non-CO2 tank and I was putting them after a brief acclimation.

Last time, I shut the CO2 during acclimation and I drip acclimate them very slow, snail slow, like in 6 hours. Now they are living their best life and never lost a shrimp after that.
 

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75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
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How long ago did you start them? Is this two days in? if so likely just acclimations still. I moved tanks, moved the water too and lost one adult Neocadinia on day 2 and a second yesterday, roughly a week after the first. This was after being in the initial tank with no deaths for about 3 weeks.

If it's been 2 weeks with one a day, then I bet there is some sort of pest or worm or illness that they came with unfortunately.

and I think copper is a big deal with inverts, so good to test that in case.
 

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It wouldn't hurt to try using no CO2 for a while to rule that out as a possibility.

To be sure.... is this all new equipment or used/possibly treated with meds that aren't shrimp safe?

Temp? (is there a heater in the tank?)

Diet? (what foods and how often)

Any idea if these are imported or "home-bred" shrimp?

Did you get them as adults or juvies?

What substrate?

How did you cycle the tank?

How long has the tank been set up for?

Any plant weights in the tank?

Any chance that anything is being sprayed in your home that could be causing issues? Air fresheners, room deodorizers, or? Or anything that could be putting a smell or toxin into the air?

Do you notice any unusual behaviors prior to death? Have you noticed any failed molts or discoloration prior to death?




It honestly sounds like you are doing everything right so it might be hard to pinpoint the issue. If it was just Neos, it might be a little more "telling", but if the amanos are also being effected, then something really sounds off.


Pictures of the tank and inhabitants might help, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for all of the items to consider, folks! I’ll answer the ones I know the answers to, not necessarily in order.
But, I want to say I really, really, really want a shrimp tank. A heavily planted one. I apologize for the novella-length post, but please read. At bedtime if you must, because it’s prob better than a sleeping pill.

GH/KH were 8/4 of the arriving shrimp, but I still did a four hour acclimation.

Near the shrimp that have died, I have noticed indications of a weird kind of molt. The shrimp that died are neos with the exception of one Amano. The Amano acted odd for hours, squirming, etc, almost as if it couldn’t molt. Didn’t think of that until you asked, Zoidburg.

All equipment is new, including the aquarium, diffuser, heater (set at 74 and checked daily), CO2 tubing, plants. There were two rocks which I hadn’t realized weren’t inert and were very slowly letting the KH creep up, so I got rid of those.

Shrimp were obtained from reputable breeder.

Now, the one thing I have changed since I posted this is to remove a mat of dwarf hair grass. Seems like there were snails in it. I also found out it was grown emersed; so was the beautiful Amazon Sword Compacta. I wondered about the possibility of pesticides, so I caught the remaining shrimp, removed the two “iffy” plants and performed a 100% water change, matching the GH.KH and pH exactly to what the parameters had been. I removed all hardscape I wasn’t 100% sure was inert, using API’s pH down adjusted down to 10%. I am very suspicious of the hair grass mat, because several berried shrimp seemed to just stay there and the next morning it seemed like a shrimp that was no longer berried was dead nearby. I saved the hair grass mat in a quarantine tank and after 8 days, even with a magnifying glass, we cou see nothing moving except more damned pond snails. The snails had also gotten on the Sword plant, but since removing those two plants, I have found only three snails, other than the two mystery snails and the Nerite.

I did take a few plantlets of S.subulata from another aquarium, but everybody in that aquarium is happy, including the lone Amano. After removing the two suspect plants, I added in some Java Fern, “regular” and whaletale. The regular came from another healthy tank. Anything else I add will be tissue fukture or have been in another tank for a couple of months with everything stable there. I AM seeking some Fissidens fontanus, but everyone except some Amazon sellers seem to be out of stock. If you have some extra—or even F. Nobilis,—that you want to sell, let me know. I will assume I can trust PT members, although that may be a naive assumption.

There are plant weights in the tank, but they are NOT the ones that came with the plants, as I‘m not sure what they’re made of, so I use Blue Ribbon Pet Products Safe Non-Toxic Plant Sinkers, if necessary, I would loosely tie clear glass beads to those that need anchoring.

Substrate is a mix of Fluval Flourite Black sand and Seachem’s Aqua Vitro underneath it. I will have only resin hardscape, because I can trust it’s clean and rinse with bleach water followed by a long bath in strong Prime solution, sollowed by a rinse in straight RO/DI.

DIET: This may be my weak spot. Not sure if I have enough of everything. I have an order from FlipAquatics coming this week with more Orange Pumpkin Spice Sakura Neos and more Amanos. I will be adding to the order their Shrimp King 5-in-1, which consists of smaller containers of SK’s food, minerals, etc. Let’s hope the new shrimp won’t be a bad investment.

I do not add iodine. I haven’t read any conclusive evidence it’s needed for FW shrimp. If it‘s included as an iodate, I would consider it, but not as a 100% iodine additive, because I don’t like using the Epi-Pen and calling the ambulance and that’s how allergic I am.

Oh and I stopped CO2 for two days and that didn’t stop the slow attrition. When I began running it again, I check the KH daily. I am dosing with Flourish.

PLEASE, let me know what I may be missing. I’m hoping that between removing the suspect plants and by improving the diet, things will be fixed.

oops! Forgot. Tank is fully cycled, but I’ve changed water and pulled stuff out so how long it’s been going is a hard question to answer, I originally started it up around January 1.

Thanks again to all,
Skayell (Susan)
 

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Okay, some thoughts....

Turn off CO2
Remove heater
Stop using pH adjusting products

I'm not sure about the plant weights.

If you mean Aquasolum underneath Flourite... that could mess with water parameters... but it doesn't seem like it's doing much?

FlipAquatics sells a lot of imported shrimp.... so this alone doesn't necessarily mean "good"... imported shrimp often don't acclimate well to tanks within the US... you're best bet is to find a breeder of these that will sell you juvies... acclimation would be better in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, some thoughts....

Turn off CO2
Sounds reasonable. I will try this for a longer stretch this time.​

Remove heater
Easy enough to do. Since it will only be invertebrates, I guess I don’t need the heater.​

Stop using pH adjusting products.
By this, I guess you mean adding the KH? If I’m not running CO2, I shouldn’t ”use up” KH, that shouldn’t be a problem in the future. Also, I think I mentioned API pH down, but I didn’t use it to adjust pH, only to test rocks to determine if it was going to leach carbonates. I removed the rocks first, trust me! I only bought the pH down because it is a readily available source of sulfuric acid useful in helping to identify rocks that I collect. I don’t think it is the best way to go about lowering the pH of an aquarium if I needed to except in an emergency. I also think the product is not marked with enough easily spotted warnings.​

I'm not sure about the plant weights.
Wow! i called the selling company. It turns out the company discontinued them many years ago, so these must have been old stock that got put on the store’s rack. I found some references online to “safe lead.” Now, I’m not a chemist, but my chemist friends say lead’s not safe. So, I will remove the lead weights and fasten clear glass beads by wrapping loosely with nylon line to weight plants.​

If you mean Aquasolum underneath Flourite... that could mess with water parameters... but it doesn't seem like it's doing much?
The Aquasolum black humate isn’t really mixed it, like I said. I lied. There is about 1/2” under the Flourite sand in a couple of deeper areas. I thought it might keep me from having to use as many root tabs, but by volume, the percent of the AquaSolum is only about 5-7%. For neocaridina, I didn’t want to be constantly fighting its pH lowering properties and how it softens the water. My GH disappeared at an alarming rate when I used it as a substrate in a previous setup of a different tank.​

FlipAquatics sells a lot of imported shrimp.... so this alone doesn't necessarily mean "good"... imported shrimp often don't acclimate well to tanks within the US... you're best bet is to find a breeder of these that will sell you juvies... acclimation would be better in the tank.
Noted. I will watch put for this in the future, but it’s too late for the order I have in right now.​
These were great points you brought up and easy to act on. Thank you so much, Zoidburg, for taking the time to help out.

Regards,
Skayell
 

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Adding KH is fine, if the substrate isn't altering your water parameters.

It's the pH Up/Down that you want to stop using. If you aren't using it, then great!

Active substrates are fine if you know how to use them right. Some do alter GH and KH, but mostly, it's KH only... if there's no KH, then they last longer and you have more stable parameters. I've got a tank running at 5.5 pH and 0 KH. I use RO water and GH minerals in it.



I really hope that it's a simple fix and once you've got the tank where you want it with shrimp and plants, you could try to slowly reintroduce CO2. Let's get the shrimp doing well first! And hopefully, this new batch of shrimp will do fine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Found the answer! After I removed the dwarf hair grass mat, I put it into an empty snall tank and observed it for a couple of days. Two days later, feeling like Sherlock Holmes with my magnifying glass, I spied Hydra. My daughter, whose eyesight is better than mine, and I, had both looked at the shrimp tank multiple times and had never seen any—and from a past infestation of her betta tank, we know what they look like. Our working theory is that the Hydra had enough to eat in the hair grass as there were multiple berried females going into the grass—and staying there long times, which of course was from the Hydra paralysis. And I’m surre the darned Hydra loved snacking on the eggs and newly hatched babies.

After the grass mat was removed from the shrimp tank, Hydra started appearing on the glass of that tank. Treating the shrimp aquarium with Planaria Zero (remove any snails first!), and the problem is fixed, as Planaria Zero works on Hydra like magic. Any more plants added to my aquariums will be immersed in a Planaria Zero solution for a day before being rinsed in RO/DI water and then planted. Unsure whether I will also follow the Planaria Zero treatment with Alum or Potassium Permanganate also.

Planaria Zero is a product of Japan. The label is entirely in Japanese. It is Betel Nut extract and entirely shrimp safe. I think it’s safe for all freshwater fish, but don’t take my word for it. Check the net for more info. Very few LFS carry it, so you’ll probably have to order it from Amazon.

Aftercthe grass mat was removed, the five shrimp that were still alive managed to avoid the Hydra until the treatment killed the Hydra off. I now have 20 more orange neocaridina davidii and five more Amanos. (It’s a 16 gallon aquarium, so can support tyat many shrimp since there are no fish). While I will keep checking for hydra and other nasties, everybody’s happy so far.

Thanks to all, especially to Zoidburg (am I supposed to do @Zoidburg?) for all of the advice. Even though the problem wasn’t what was mostly raised, the ideas are all things to keep in mind.
 

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That's amazing that it is most likely such a simple fix that couldn't even be seen! If that's all it is, then I'm glad you figured out the issue and didn't have to do anything drastic! Wish you best success in your future shrimp adventures! :D
 
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