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DKC

I thought I was doing so well...

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DKC

Started my tank, waited till it cycled, planted it well, started growing diatoms and got some Otos and plain old red RCS. All the Otos grew fat and happy, 8 RCS except for one survived the first day. Then all started growing well. Two of the remaining 7 coloured up deep red and I realised they were females with saddles. Meanwhile, algae started growing more and plants stalled, so I started dosing with Dino Pee and Dino Spit. And the plants started to green up. Then I did a 50% water change. With one bucket of 36 hour aged tap water and bucket and half of usual outside water from a tank, that I’ved used for 20% water changes up to this time. Later that afternoon I noticed the shrimps swimming about more restlessly than usual. I thought that they were spending more time near the surface or on the tops of the driftwood near the surface. WP were ph6.4, amm 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 40, GH 6 TDS 130. Didn’t think much of it. But next day, found one DAE I top of the glass top, one definite RCS dead, others not to be seen. I can spot 6 DAE out of 10 looking ok.

Perhaps it was the large water change, or the temperature change from the new water, or I messed up the Dino Spit. Fish have not turned a hair. Plants doing well. Heartbroken for my poor RCS....

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sdlTBfanUK

The water parameters are more caridina than neocaridina!

I wouldn't do a 50% water change unless really there was a serious problem. With water changes anyway it is best to drip the new water into the tank, this will also mean you don't need to worry about the temperature difference of the 2 waters.

Shrimps normally swim about more when you do a water change anyway, it also can trigger breeding and molting - I guess it would be the equivalent of heavy rain in nature!

You may also want to check the plant food is ok as they may contain something not good for shrimps, generally I believe it is better not to use plant feeds and don't use them.

Hope everything settles down and you don't lose any more shrimp.

Simon 

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ShrimpNewb

pH does seem pretty low.  From what I've read, neocaridina like the pH in the low to mid 7s and struggle to survive below 6.5.  I'm new to this hobby too and I would definitely listen to Simon, as he has given me a bunch of good advice thus far.  

Also, when I was researching shrimp, I was advised to avoid planted aquarium ferts because they negatively impact the shrimp.  That may be the reason for the deaths.  Unfortunately, I know nothing about the Dino products, though I am avoiding Seachem Excel and the other ferts I normally use in my larger planted tank for the neocaridina tank.  You may want to look into other ways to combat algae.

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DKC

Thanks @sdITBfanUK and @ShrimpNewb. For the last month or so the RCS and Darwin Algae Eater shrimp were growing and colouring up well with the small water changes I was doing. The water I have hovers around ph of 6.4 and I have Amazonia substrate. I thought the RCS were tougher than other shrimp and I know others have commented that the WP were closer to Caridina preferences. RCS are cheaper here, my LFS stock the plain red ones so I thought I would start with them. Anyway, will try smaller changes and dripping them in. It really is a balance isn’t it? Shrimp first or a lush planted tank first. Different requirements. I need to make a drip system for bigger changes. Thus far when I was “drip acclimating” the shrimp to put in the tank, I used a syringe over several hours. Dripping 6 litres by syringe might be rather tedious.

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ShrimpNewb
1 hour ago, DKC said:

I need to make a drip system for bigger changes. Thus far when I was “drip acclimating” the shrimp to put in the tank, I used a syringe over several hours. Dripping 6 litres by syringe might be rather tedious.

I just use an air line and a valve to set the drops and let it run.  It requires zero supervision.

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jayc

Dino Pee is made up of 

50gm SOLUBLE CHELATED TRACE ELEMENT 
(Fe, Zn, Mn, B, Cu, Mo)
250 gm POTASSIUM SULPHATE (K2SO4)
250 gm MAGNESIUM SULPHATE (MGSO4.7H2O
125 gm POTASSIUM NITRATE (KNO3) 
25 ml HYDROCHLORIC ACID (HCl) (optional as preservative)
swimming pool strength (350g per litre)
3 litres WATER (demineralised H2O)
If the acid is not used, the brew must be kept in the refrigerator. The stock solution is dosed into the water at 10 ml per 1000 litres of aquarium water. - straight from Dave at Aquagreen.

It's a pretty good K & P macro fertiliser. Dose is 10ml per 1000 litres. So make sure you have added the correct dose. That's very little required. You could halve the dosage if in doubt for a tank with shrimps.

 

Dino Spit is a ten percent solution of glutardaldehyde. Dosage is 1 drop per 10L of water. Again this is a very low dose. Check you are not over dosing. It's equivalent of Seachem's Flourish Excel. An alternate source of carbon for plants.

Both products are low cost alternatives to the expensive imported brands.

It is a compromise, either you look after the welfare of the plants or the shrimp. High tech, fast growing plants with shrimp is a bigger compromise than low light plants. So choose low light plants. A shrimp tank can still look beautiful with low light, low demand plants. I know, I have many like that with shrimps in it and minimal fertilisers being used. Not saying you can't succeed with high demand plants, it's just harder. Ferts need to be introduced slowly into the tank if there are shrimps.

Of the two ferts above, Dino Pee might be the culprit based on your shrimp's reactions. "Hanging" out on the surface means they are trying to get to more oxygen. And of the two ferts, Dino Pee with it's glutardaldehyde would cause such a reaction in the shrimp. Glut depletes oxygen in the water.

If you add a pinch of Bicarb Soda to your water changes, you can raise the KH and pH of the tank. And by doing it every water change, the increase is slow enough to not affect the shrimp. Aim for a pH of 6.6 -6.8 for RCS (they can handle 7.0 just fine, slight acidity is good for the plants).

Edit - As for drip container i use a DIY system. Air hose, Cleaned 4 (or 3, cant remember) Litre milk bottle. The soft plastic makes it easy to work with. Cut open the milk bottle at the top to allow you to add water, much like a water can hole. Basically, large enough for you to pour water in. Leave the handle for easy carrying.

Make a small hole just a fraction smaller than the air hose at the bottom of the milk bottle and fit int hose into it. Silicon it in for a water tight seal. You might not need silicon if you did it right, should be tight enough. But use silicon if you butchered the hole while making it.

At the other end of the hose, attach an air valve. One of these ...

 

5 pcs Aquarium Air Line Tubing Volume Flow Control Valves ...

 

 

 

 

Edited by jayc
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sdlTBfanUK

Cherry shrimp are a lot tougher than caridina but they are still more sensitive than fish for instance.

I think smaller regular water changes are safer than the bigger one you did.

JayC has covered a lot more than I know about but generally I think shrimps and plant fertilisers don't mix well. As long as the plants don't actually die, them growing slower will also save on maintenance, or maybe try using a lot less than the recommended dosage may work if it is shrimp safe.

I use this dripper that is made for reptiles to keep them moist, but it works well as a tank re-filler as well (it just sits on the top of the tank). As JayC says, he makes his own version.

https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/14032-dripper/

Hope you still have some red cherry shrimps left and you decide to continue with them.

Simon

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beanbag

Even though this isn't the acute cause of your problem, the nitrates are too high.

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DKC

Ok then. Will add more plants to try and reduce nitrates. 

Thanks Simon and JayC for the pointers and hints. I think the Dino Spit is the Glutaraldehyde and the Dino Pee has the macro and micronutrients. I will leave off the Glutaraldehyde and reduce the dose of the Pee to one third. I am pretty careful with the dosing. 

Good news is that there are at least two RCS females still in the tank and looking well. Maybe they went and hid and moulded after the big water change? The surviving  DAE are all looking well. 

Anyway will take all your advice on board and do smaller water changes and work out a dripper system.

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jayc
9 hours ago, DKC said:

Dino Spit is the Glutaraldehyde and the Dino Pee has the macro and micronutrients.

Oops did I mix them around?

 

<edit> - I did mix the names around. Fix it now in my post above.

Edited by jayc

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    • DEL 707
      Again, thanks for all the help. I ordered the Shrimp GH+KH minerals and they arrived today and did a 20l water change. I plan to do 20l on Saturday and 20l on Tuesday when I'm off, so that'll be over 100% water change. If my tank stats come back o.k, I might finally look into getting some shrimp next week.
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