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sdlTBfanUK

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Here are a couple of pictures so you can see what I mean, it just isn't going as nicely as before? I can only assume it is the different substrate, still it will get there I am sure and the shrimps seem happy enough and the plants are very slowly growing and going a bit greener than they were. As can be seen in the pictures the shrimp are totally uninterested in the shrimp lolly (or spinach) at this point so I guess there is enough biofilm? It all looks a bit drab, uninspiring and unhealthy? I may remove the Java fern in the middle at some point as I do have another greener (quite small though) bit floating around in an old tank?

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Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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New tanks often go through a brown diatom phase and its just a waiting game before the diatoms naturally senesce.  Ride it out. The shrimp will certainly help clean it up and I'd wager that diatom rich biofilm is good nutrition.  You'll have shrimp breeding before you know it.  There is certainly a good complex variety of habitat for them to explore and exploit.

Are you using any plant fertilisers yet?

Edited by Grubs
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Thanks for that, it helps to know that it is probably going to be fine with time. I tried a different substrate this tie so that is all I can put it down too! I will revert to the JBL in future as this hasn't happened with that?

I don't use any plant ferttilisers, and as above have never had to with the JBL substrate. The JBL is primarily a plant substrate and the shrimp king is primarily a shrimp one I guess, though they both seem to do the same buffering /softening etc?

There will be a bit of a delay with breeding I expect as they don't mature until they are 6 months I believe?

Again, thanks for that, it helps to know what someone else thinks and the tank has improved (hard to believe from the photos) going a bit greener and the stringy algae virtually now disappeared. Also a few new leaves on some plants etc.

I just checked the water parameters and they are spot on!

Simon

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14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

It all looks a bit drab

But the shrimp will be thinking otherwise. Look at all that yummy brown diatom!

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  • 2 months later...

This tank is being a real nightmare this time, but it is now looking green and lush (algae all died off) and I have had the same shrimp survival for over a month, although that is only a third of what have been put in the tank. Hopefully the tank just wasn't ready (or maybe I added too many at once) and is now better as I have ordered some shrimps to be delivered tomorrow so hopefully this batch will do better - how many times can I say that and still truly believe it?

Simon

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Fingers crossed these survive, but probably best to post pictures of them alive anyway!! The tank has been running for 6 months now so if this doesn't now work????????????????????????????

They all have lovely colour and came well packaged from shrimpcorner.couk

Just drip acclimating the smaller batch at the moment?

Simon

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Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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You will be fine. After all the experiences gained here ... you're a pro.

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Scrub them off the walls.Get some stem plants or nerite snails(pray u dont get a egg laying female) and plop them in.Do u turn on lights or have natural sunlight?

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  • 1 month later...

This really isn't going well this time. I am not really sure why either? The plants are nowhere as green and lush as the other tanks and the shrimps seem to be dying off slowly despite all parameters being perfect! The different substrate must be part of this but as it is shrimpking I can't believe it can be the main problem!

After a lot of considering the only thing I can come up with is I tend to do this tank the same day as I do washing so I 'MAY' be contaminating the water if I have some washing product residue on my hands but this is really clutching at straws - it is the only thing I can come up with and a possibility............... I have left a note next to the tank to remind me for the future!

I am thinking of changing 50% of the water and 1 of the 2 sponges at the weekend and running the tank for a few weeks then trying One last time a new batch of taiwan bee shrimps, and at least they will be in situ by the end of our winter so they should readily breed this lot?

I probably have just under 10 shrimps left.

Any advice appreciated on what they would do? I have a few days to mull it all over?

Simon

 

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Had a thought last night? Are rubber gloves safe for using in shrimp tanks, has anyone tried this? If so that will work well going forward! Surely I can't have missed such an easy solution - that is worrying? I know some people can have a reaction to rubber and I 'believe' it releases some sort of protein maybe so thats why I ask?

If this last ditched try (and believe me it is) doesn't work I will probably get dwarf rasboras (spotted/emerald/chilli/mosqyuito) as a change and they seem to like the lower Ph etc of the tank so the tank shouldn't need much/any tweeking!

Any thoughts from anyone please say now as this is definitely LAST chance for taiwan bees so it will be too late if advice not given NOW/SOON - don't hold back!!! I will probably change 50% water on sunday as I have company here that can get roped in to lugging the water around.....................

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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Mark's Shrimp Tanks didn't like the Shrimp King substrate either, btw.

Some gloves have powder residue on the outside, so I don't recommend using them.

What parameters did you test?

I can only think of two possibilities:

1) Substrate is leeching something bad into the water.  How many water changes have you done?  Maybe time to do more to "dilute" the poison out.

2) Bacterial environment is not right - maybe wastes not getting converted over into nitrates for the plants?

 

 

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Thanks for the reply.

I will wash the outside of the gloves a couple of times if I do go that route so that should remove any powder residue?

There are no Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate 10 (test starts at that so may be 0) readings and other parameters are TDS 142, Ph6, Gh6, Kh0 (1 drop), temp 22!

All I can come up with is as you say to do a large water change in case there may be/been traces of something toxic. Today, I did the tank before I did some washing just in case it was related to something on my hands. I will get some rubber gloves and give those a go if no one thinks they will cause any problems and see how it goes for a few weeks I guess? Then I will review whether it is worth trying one last group, I have a few survivors left in the interim?

I doubt that the substrate can be the problem but the other tanks I used JBL and everything went so much better and are very green and plants much healthier!

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Hope yours are all doing well?

Simon 

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Man. I just lost another shrimp too. Wife messaged me and said another one is down. It’s so frustrating because I can’t find anything that could be causing it..

 

I have a decent population going so losing several isn’t the end of the world, but, will it continue.

Edited by Steensj2004
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9 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

wash the outside of the gloves

That's what I do when I use rubber (nitrile) gloves.

 

9 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I doubt that the substrate can be the problem but the other tanks I used JBL

Man, substrate makes a huge difference. Set another tank up beside it with JBL as a test.

We are here to help people, so an experiment like this will be very useful.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on which way you look at it, we don't get Shrimp King substrate here. So I have no experience with it to say if it is good or not.

Edited by jayc
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13 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

Man. I just lost another shrimp too. Wife messaged me and said another one is down. It’s so frustrating because I can’t find anything that could be causing it..

 

I have a decent population going so losing several isn’t the end of the world, but, will it continue.

We are having similar issues, though I have only seen 1 dead shrimp but they are disappearing!

I am only giving it one more go as we are half way through winter here so at least if I go carefully and manage to keep them alive they will at least start breeding as yours are. That was when mine exploded with shrimps in the previous case and losing a few adults then doesn't matter quite so much? I tend to believe the babies are tougher because they have always lived in that environment anyway and not been as stressed as purchased shrimps.

You are not alone in getting frustrated with this type of problem, at least if you can pinpoint what went wrong you can correct it? I have done pretty much exactly what I did last time so am really baffled and clutching at straws now!

Simon

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10 hours ago, jayc said:

That's what I do when I use rubber (nitrile) gloves.

 

Man, substrate makes a huge difference. Set another tank up beside it with JBL as a test.

We are here to help people, so an experiment like this will be very useful.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on which way you look at it, we don't get Shrimp King substrate here. So I have no experience with it to say if it is good or not.

I won't be using the gloves for long in the tank, quick front glass clean and then the sponges so they won't be in the tank long, but I will rinse them a couple of times and dry them off before I first use them!

I don't have any spare JBL soil to do that experiment, but I have used that in the other tanks and all has gone soooo much better, though there is more prep required with it but that is a small price to pay for the rewards. Shrimpking is by dennerle so I don't for a second think that can be the actual problem killing the shrimps! But the other tanks with JBL are so lush I would definitely use that in future! 

Simon 

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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My first choice is still to blame the substrate.  The reason is that it becomes "not your fault".

But secondly, I might blame the biological ecosystem.  I don't think you ever "proved" that you have a cycled tank, in the standard sense that it can remove 1ppm of ammonia per day.  And in my own experience, if you have a low pH (like under 6), it could take forever to cycle a tank.  (I wasted about 1-2 months on this)  It's possible that you have a case where you don't have much nitrifying bacteria, but rather the plants are the one consuming the ammonia.  And maybe that is ok, I dunno.

Thirdly, I am not a big fan of using dead meat or fish food to cycle a tank, because not only does it create ammonia, but it also creates water pollution.  Again, the standard thing to do is a 95% water change before adding animals to get all the nitrates and pollution products out.

In any case, if I were in your position, I would do the standard "it can't hurt" things of:

25% water change per week with remineralized water

A low dose of Prime anyway, in case there is a very small amount of ammonia

Add some nitrifying bacteria in a bottle, or keep adding some bacteria from other tanks (as long as they have a similar pH)

Maybe add some probiotic bacteria like Dr Tim's Eco balance.  I have no idea if this will actually help, but it probably won't hurt.

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You are indeed correct in that I didn't see a cycle as such, I only had nitrates of 25 to start (cooked prawn) and that dropped but also as you say the PH was very low, below 6 so a proper cycle may not have happened - well spotted, I had forgotten about that. I set the tank up in June so if it isn't cycled by now though I guess it never will be? Incidentally I have only got the Ph up to 6 (recently) by putting a bit of the old rock back temporarily, and possibly that caused the tank to cycle or something???

I have thus far got 4L of RO water and hope to get more done so I can do a approx 50% water change at the weekend.

You make a lot of valid points and thanks for giving me more to go on, maybe the plants aren't as green in this tank because of the different parameters and the substrate isn't as bad as it appears? The other tanks have Ph 7.5 so quite different!

I like your point one and that seems to be how most people think in the modern world, but I am 100% sure it is my fault one way or other, I am old school! I am however physically restricted so it isn't anything I can do anything about! Got friends coming on sunday so if I get the water ready they can lug the buckets of water around.................

I will get some rubber gloves anyway as that means I can rule that out, and give me peace of mind for the future that I won't accidentally contaminate the water by mistake? I have been using a lot of cleaning products (scrubbing floors) around xmas which makes me think I may have contaminated the tank without realising???

Simon

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In relation to the PH, what is too low? Because several people in other groups act shocked at my PH at 6.1-6.2. The substrate is ADA and has always buffered to that range. Even the Fluval Stratum I used in the smaller 5 gallon buffered similarly.

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22 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

The other tanks have Ph 7.5 so quite different!

If you try to put bacteria from a pH 7.5 tank into a ph 6 tank, you will probably kill off the bacteria right away.  In my experience + forum reading, you have to very slowly acclimate the nitrifying bacteria to low pH.

Let me tell a brief story:

In my current tank, when I first set it up cycling, the pH with UNS controsoil was some number around 6 and I would add bacteria from a bottle and wait and wait and the cycle would never go thru.  Eventually I got impatient and decided to "cheat" by using household ammonia (which raises the pH because it is basic, instead of ammonium chloride, which is slightly acidic) and also adding a little bit of Potassium bicarbonate or Salty Shrimp GH/KH to bump up the pH a notch.  When the pH was above 6.2, the cycle would go thru, but if the pH falls below 6, the cycle will stall.

Eventually I just added shrimp anyway and at first they were fine, but within a few days, the pH went down a little bit and the shrimp became more quiet.  (Nobody died, though).  After a few more days, the shrimp resumed activity.  During this entire time, I never saw ammonia with the test kit and I added a little prime anyway just in case.  But the point is even then, the shrimp can "feel it" somehow.

Anyway, in the future what I will do is first grow bacteria + media in a jar at high pH to get the numbers up, then very slowly bring down the pH to acclimate the bacteria.  Then I will add this to my tank with substrate and plants and etc.  The point being that this way I don't wreck my buffering substrate with the higher pH.

20 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

In relation to the PH, what is too low? Because several people in other groups act shocked at my PH at 6.1-6.2. The substrate is ADA and has always buffered to that range. Even the Fluval Stratum I used in the smaller 5 gallon buffered similarly.

Many asian shrimp people have pH below 6

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I have set the water change up and am doing 6L (25%) and keeping the other 2L for the next weeks maintenance! I have ordered rubber gloves and will use those in future but I think beanbag has probably steered me in the right direction and I think it is more likely to be down to the 'cycle' or lack of it? Hopefully this water change won't be detrimental as it may reduce the PH a bit but I will test it tomorrow and see where it ends up? My test kit goes 5 then 6 (then 6.5???) so thats very little help for this, but all I have to go on.

I may have been better off not adding the rock to get the PH up but I didn't have this problem last time when I did similar? Maybe, if this water change takes the PH back below 6 I should remove the rock and just let the tank run at its natural 5.5ish (est)?????? Any thoughts???????

I will run the tank as normal for a few weeks before ordering any more shrimps (last try), there are a few left in the tank, and I will try the rubber gloves etc and see how it all goes, though I wouldn't think they would harm shrimp anyway?

I don't tend to use stuff from the other tanks generally as the parameters are so different!

Thanks Beanbag as at least now I think I have some idea as to what may have gone wrong and caused the problem whereas before I really was just 'clutching at straws'!

I don't have any ammonia or bacteria products.

Simon

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PH reads 6 this morning so I think I will leave the rock in the tank for NOW and I will mull that one over, I still tend to think it may be better removed and let the tank naturally (slowly reduce with normal small weekly water changes) find its own PH level without the rock to increase it, which with this water is around 5.5 I think.

Gloves coming today and I have seen a couple of shrimps so will plod on with it for now!

Simon

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I use bicarbonate of soda to temporary raise the PH, my 3.5 gallon tank at once PH dropped to PH5 after I put carbon to remove extra color from putting wood in the tank.

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I removed the rock this morning so plan to leave it a few weeks (mid february) to run as is before getting some shrimps. At least then we are near breeding time so that gives them an extra (last) chance? Of coarse that involves a lot of self control to NOT order more shrimp immediately...................

Simon 

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