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Onyxiss

What am I doing wrong?

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Onyxiss

Hey peeps,

So I'm a newbie shrimp owner (literally like a week ago) and just looking for some information on things I'm doing wrong or not doing at all that I should be. 

I have a 30L tank that has been running for the last 2 years with on and off fish in it. The substrate in the tank is Fluval Stratum on the bottom with a fine gravel on top(I could never get the plants to say down with just the stratum as it was too light). There are 3 different tissue culture plants around the tank, that I am trying to get to spread, as well as some java moss. 

I have started with 3 RCS that I did ask for at least one of each sex but the more I have watched them the more I'm starting to feel like I have 3 females. 

Water parameters;

Am - 0
PH - 7
GH - 4
KH - 0
This is all I can test for right now. 

Okay so my problems;
My plants aren't growing. I have had the plants in the tank for the last 2 years and they have just never seemed to grow at all. The algae on the other hand spreads so fast that I can see a notable difference just from the morning to noon. It's a really annoying stringy algae too. I am half dosing a plant food that I have twice a week(it recommends once) as the guy at my local aquarium said I could do that to hopefully boost the plants up enough to take from the algae. I'm also removing the algae strands when they're big enough for me to grab with my long tweezers. 

Second problem is my water hardness. When I first added the shrimp to the tank the GH and KH were both 0 so I have slowly been adding salts to up the GH over the last week. I know the stratum can lower the water hardness but I'm not sure if it reaches a point where it stops. So question is, am I going to be constantly battling against this? 
I also have KH powder that I haven't added any of yet because I had problems in the past with it adding an out of control amount of Phosphates. Are phosphates really bad for shrimp or can they handle an amount? 

Soo... I'm going to end it here before I reach novelist level.

Let me know if you need anymore information.

Thanks in advance 😃

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jayc
On 5 December 2018 at 7:01 PM, Onyxiss said:

My plants aren't growing.

What plants do you have? You only mentioned Java moss. 

What lights are you using? It might not be enough for the plants you have in the tank.

 

 

On 5 December 2018 at 7:01 PM, Onyxiss said:

Second problem is my water hardness.

Is this tap water?

And what are you using to raise GH?

 

On 5 December 2018 at 7:01 PM, Onyxiss said:

So question is, am I going to be constantly battling against this? 

 It is a constant adjustment that is required as part of your weekly water change.

GH being mainly made up of Calcium and Magnesium, fluctuates due to evaporation of water, or it's used up by Shrimps for their carapace, or the plants use some up. 

So this is where a weekly discipline of water changes is required.

Measure the tank's GH. Adjust your new water to the suitable level to bring GH up or down to the ideal levels for your type of shrimp, in this case Cherries - so GH6-8.

Especially if your new water has low GH/KH as found in RO or rain water or even Melbourne tap water. <-- these types of water need added "salts" ie Calcium Sulfate & Magnesium Sulfate.

If you invest in a TDS meter, this job of measurements can be made a lot easier. Rather than measuring GH/KH each time. You use the TDS meter to measure TDS to determine when a water change is required.

 

On 5 December 2018 at 7:01 PM, Onyxiss said:

I also have KH powder that I haven't added any of yet

Don't add it. 

 

On 5 December 2018 at 7:01 PM, Onyxiss said:

Are phosphates really bad for shrimp or can they handle an amount? 

Shrimps cannot handle too much phosphates, but phosphate is also one of the know causes for algae growth.

If you are experiencing algae growth, particularly hair algae, check your Nitrates too.

Edited by jayc

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kms

My personal experience with shrimps keeping, I'm also new, about 6-7 month now, and I have encountered shrimps dying, plants not growing. but now I have a stable tank at only about 16L, and my shrimps has breed, even the babies from those perants are starting to have eggs, this was about 2 weeks ago.

I have a Fluval 3.0 plant LED light

Fluval C2 hang on filter

A cheap low power and low flow Sun Sun hang on filter for UV light ( filter has room to accommodate a 3 Watt UV light)

Intense Co2

WIFI power strip

ADA substrate

Aponogeton madagascariensis

fissidens fontanus

Limnobium laeviatum

 

I think its normal if you do get dying shrimps if you start a new tank or the condition are not right, and plenty of trial and error before you get everything right, plants will grow better if you have CO2 and a full spectrum light, but some plants will do well without CO2, try to have the tank without fish, with the exception of a few species.

That is my present setup, before that I have tried other filter, different layout, even gone starting from scratch with new equipment and substrate. all the equipment is control with a WIFI power strip for auto on/off settings and manual control through smartphone apps, with the exception of the Fluval light which has it's own setting for dust to dawn light effect and the Fluval C2 filter which is on 24/7.

I always have water available which a kept a few days before adding to the tank, the water kept for a few days I am using a good quality water conditioner and is dripped slowly when adding to the tank, any sudden change in water will affect the shrimps.

I try not to add any algae remover as sometimes it will kill the shrimps, that is why I use a UV light, this is switched on about 3 hrs a day.

 

Hope this helps, from a beginner.

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Onyxiss

Phew life got busy all of a sudden, thanks for the help so far guys, much appreciated, and sorry for the super late reply. Working two jobs and studying a bachelor does that to you. 

Update so far;

I bought a new female and a male from the pet supplies store I work at about a week ago. 
Also after I did a water change and algae clean out today I noticed one of the females actually has eggs!!
I know for the first one there's a chance they won't make it and especially since I did a big clean out today, so I may have shocked them a bit. (Would've been a bit gentler if I had of seen her beforehand and not as I finished the clean -.-) 
Algae is still dominating everything and not much else has changed. 

On to the reply!

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

What plants do you have? You only mentioned Java moss. 

Java moss was the only one I knew the name of at the time. 
I have 3 tissue culture plants; glossostigma elantinoides, micranthemum monte carlo, and the third I still don't know what it's name is. (Just copied the names from the packets) I tried to attach a photo of the other plant but still working out how to use this forum system, so sorry if it's not there or somewhere that doesn't make sense. 

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

What lights are you using? It might not be enough for the plants you have in the tank.

I'm just using the light that came with the tank. It's an AO Ecostyle 42 with the LED light, not the old bulbs. Ideally I'd like a better light but considering it's an enclosed tank I'm very limited with lights that are compatible. 

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

Is this tap water?

And what are you using to raise GH?

My tap water is pretty soft and when I do try to test it I get no reading for GH or KH
I'm using salts that I get from the supply store I work at. We order our fish through Aquarium Industries and they supply us with the salts they specifically designed. I don't know exactly what's in it because we get them in massive buckets and I took about a cup that's lasted me like a year now. I don't work very often so not sure if we still have it but I am working there tomorrow so I'll see if I can figure it out. 

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

It a constant adjustment that is required as part of your weekly water change.

The last one may have been two weeks but I am trying to do it weekly. I just miss one very now and then... oops

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

If you invest in a TDS meter, this job of measurements can be made a lot easier. Rather than measuring GH/KH each time. You use the TDS meter to measure TDS to determine when a water change is required.

I've looked at few online but they seem to be either $20 or $200. I've also never worked with TDS before so I'm really not sure what I should be looking for. 

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

Don't add it. 

So should I not worry about KH then? I know Seachem says they have something that raises the KH and doesn't add any phosphates so I was going to get that next payday but if I don't have to worry about it I wont. 

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

Shrimps cannot handle too much phosphates, but phosphate is also one of the know causes for algae growth.

The phosphates haven't been over 0.5ppm since I haven't been using the KH powder. I do have still PhosGuard from when I was originally having the problems. Should I use that to try and keep phosphates at 0? 

On 12/6/2018 at 12:04 PM, jayc said:

If you are experiencing algae growth, particularly hair algae, check your Nitrates too.

I'll take a sample to work with me tomorrow. Haven't bought Nitrate or Nitrite test kits yet. 

Thanks for your knowledge jayc 😃

 

I really appreciate your help kms but a lot of your suggestions are a bit out of my budget. It does help speaking to another beginner though. 

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

I have a Fluval 3.0 plant LED light

Was not expecting the price for that when I searched it o.o 

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

Fluval C2 hang on filter

A cheap low power and low flow Sun Sun hang on filter for UV light ( filter has room to accommodate a 3 Watt UV light)

I didn't say it in my original post but my tank is completely enclosed so hang on things wont work. The same with CO2 unfortunately as there just isn't anywhere it can go. Although if I could have one thing CO2 would be it.

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

ADA substrate

I have Fluval Stratum which to my understanding is fairly similar albeit a bit cheaper. 

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

Try to have the tank without fish, with the exception of a few species.

What fish species would be your exceptions? I was planing on only shrimp as I'm worried any fish I put in would eat the shrimplets when I eventually have some.

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

All the equipment is control with a WIFI power strip for auto on/off settings and manual control through smartphone apps, with the exception of the Fluval light which has it's own setting for dust to dawn light effect and the Fluval C2 filter which is on 24/7.

Wow that sounds fancy. I just have an old fashioned timer attached to the power point for my light. I'm not sure on how I should be cycling the light though, any recommendations? I have it on half/half at the moment but am almost sure that's too much light.

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

I always have water available which a kept a few days before adding to the tank, the water kept for a few days I am using a good quality water conditioner and is dripped slowly when adding to the tank, any sudden change in water will affect the shrimps.

I have read of this before but I just don't think I can be that prepared to have the water out for a few days, as I'd probably forget about it and it would go stagnant before I could use it. I do try to let it sit for at lest 10 minutes with the conditioner mixed through it before it gets added to the tank though. I'm also using Seachem Prime as I feel it's a better quality product than most conditioners.

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

I try not to add any algae remover.

The only things added to my tank are Prime, Stability, the salts, and plant food. I have heard the problems of algae killers before so I will be stearing clear. 😃

On 12/24/2018 at 12:41 AM, kms said:

Hope this helps, from a beginner.

It does! Many thanks!

IMG_1242.jpg

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kms

I did spend a lot on my shrimp tank, but even more for my turtle, yep the light was kind of expensive, but finding a good looking light small enough for a Nano tank, and with full spectrum, isn't easy, depend on the size of you tank, i'm sure you can find a full spectrum light, cheap, they are many alternative but may not get the special effect. A package setup with matching hood and light don't using provide enough light for plants, and usually a open top tank shrimp setup usually look nicer, that's in my own opinion.

As for filter, you don't need a powerful one, but one that cleans pretty well, I find that most hang on filter cleans pretty well, and the Fluval C2 operates as a chemical and biological filter, it does the job, and cleaning is fairly easy.

 Fluval Stratum doesn't come close to the ADA, the ADA is know to be the best, but only slightly expensive.

Otocinclus are pretty safe with shrimp, unless you intend to breed, babies will get eaten. Amano Shrimps are good with algae.

As for C02, if you want your plants to grow and look good Co2 is a must, it does make a difference, as I tried a none Co2 setup.

Edited by kms

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jayc
15 hours ago, Onyxiss said:

I've looked at few online but they seem to be either $20 or $200

The $20 ones will be fine to start with. The more expensive ones are more accurate. But the cheap ones are good enough for now. We just need to track TDS consistently, even if it is a few ppm off.

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