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Neocaridina eggs and babies under the microscope


@ashrimplab
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Thanks!  I thought people might enjoy a different look at them... the hatch was neat. 

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    • jayc
      It's good you tested the rocks. There might be something else causing KH to rise. What substrate do you use? What filter and media do you have? Sponge air filter or External filter? I have seen cheap glass noodle filter media causing KH to rise when tested in RO water. Reducing your fertiliser dosage also helps. If there is nothing else in the tank that is causing KH to rise, then it must be the ferts. Using straight RO water for your water changes to reduce KH is a right path to take.  
    • alkemist
      I believe the rocks are banded jasper. Previously when I first set up the tank, I was worried about the rocks. I have done previous testing with them before. I don't have hydrochloric acid but I've done the vinegar and water soak test. I had a test rock in RODI for a month with no change in GH and KH. There were no reactions to vinegar. The rock was marketed for aquatic use but it doesn't always mean it's correct. Sometimes I do question it though. I previously moved some rocks higher out of the substrate to help fix the scape and there was a dividing line in the color of the rock. The portion originally above the substrate had darkened and the part that was previously buried in the substrate stayed it's original color. The only other thing that comes to mind is that maybe I have been overmixing my re-mineralized water. I could have sworn that when I originally made the mix to 180 TDS in 1 gallon of water, it was 6 GH and 4 KH. I did some mix testing yesterday and at 160 TDS, it was 6 GH and 3/4 KH. I did a 10% water change and replaced it with straight RODI water. It brought the KH down to 5/6 but GH also down to 5. I will do another 10% water change next week and probably add in mostly RODI and a little re-mineralized to keep calcium and magnesium content in the water for the shrimp.   I think the KH rise could have been part of the issue. If I recall, I saw a shrimp laying around and twitching, like I've seen in a failed molt. The higher KH had totally skipped my mind and I went straight to thinking it was a food issue due to the ton of shrimp in the tank and light supplemental feeding. Though maybe it can be a contribution to possibly shortening their lifespan.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      The copepods are only really a problem as they compete with the shrimp for food, and look unsightly, but are actually otherwise a good thing and indicate the tank is good! As mentioned by JayC, I had success using fish, they wiped out the infestation in a couple of days. Every environment will find its 'maximum occcupancy' level based on how many it can sustain, and this can be increased with additional food but thats a difficult balancing act to get right. If the filter is clearing some of the copepods, then it will almost certainly also be clearing some of the new born shrimp (hense the decline) as they are similar sizes, rarely do you see newly born shrimp as they are soooo small. I would do as JayC recommends and change the substrate, but would also add some nano fish and plants as it is quite a big tank? Most substrates have some sort of run-in period so this may mean putting the shrimps back in the old tank for now? Shrimp don't need hiding places, unless there is something that predates on them. If you want to try the fish route then sufficient plants/cover/hideouts would be recommended to maximise the survival rates of the shrimps. If you do use soil substrate with plants you don't need additional plant fertilizer as the soil and shrimp waste will cover that.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      The KH is to high for sure and should be reduced, as JayC recommends. Best way to check the rocks is to put them (individually) into a container with pure RO water (which should be zero on all reading) and test the water after a week to see if it has stayed the same parameters. Water changes, slowly added is the only route I know of to reduce the KH! Other than that, everything you are doing etc seems to be well informed! Are you convinced there really is any real problem (other than high KH) as shrimp only live 12-18 months anyway so it could just be natural life span with the high KH also contributing?
    • jayc
      Copepods themselves don't pose much of a threat to shrimps. Apart from out competing the shrimp for food. They would be eating the same foods as adult and baby shrimps.  Copepods can be unsightly in a tank, especially in plague proportions. Unfortunately anything that will kill them will also kill shrimps. The only method that I have had success with is to catch all the shrimp and start a new tank. Do not reuse the gravel, plants or filters. Nothing from the old tank must move to the new tank. The shrimps are caught and placed in a temporary tank/hospital tank, for a few days while the new tank is set up, and then caught again to be placed in a new tank.  It's pain for sure. Oh, another method that works is to add fish! As long as the fish are shrimp friendly of course.  High Nitrates can be an issue for shrimps and shrimplets. So I would put this high on the list to remedy. High Nitrates is linked to detritus. See below.  Heavy amounts of detritus is one of the causes of Nitrates. Detritus that has sunk deep into the gravel, and stuck on filter media can be the causes of Nitrates increasing. When was the last time you gravel vac'd? Or the last time you squeezed out your filter sponges and cleaned the filter media? Of course, cleaning media should be done in the old tank water. Never clean filter media in chlorinated tap water. Lots of fast growing plants also help control Nitrates.  Do you still have the old 40 tank? I would use that as a temp holding tank and move all your shrimp across while working on the 180 tank.  Sand, even if it's black blasting sand, can get compacted and trap detritus. I would look at replacing it with substrate that has a similar shape to ADA Amazonia. That round shape has a reason. It allows more water flow between and as a result is "lighter" and easier to clean with a gravel vac. Plant substrates also have other benefits like holding more nutrients for plants, easier to plant with and has pH buffering abilities.  Yes, that is an increase in costs, but I have never thrown out old ADA substrate. I use it new in my Caridina tanks. And when the substrate has lost it's nutrients and buffering capabilities, I wash and re-use it in my Neocaridina tanks.    Hopefully this has given you some ideas.   
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