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Steensj2004

Shrimp Dying, No Idea why

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sdlTBfanUK

When you say a ghost town I hope you don't mean the shrimp are dying off?

When I set up my Betta tank I think I mentioned the soil was fighting with the water and I was getting PH of about 6 for a few months and it has crept up more recently. The culls I dumped in there were fine at the low PH etc so I would be amazed if that caused too much of a problem!

If you now don''t have any shrimps in there maybe I would put the rock back into the tank so that can speed up the exhausting of the buffering substrate and it would probably be safer to wait until the substrate isn't buffering before buying any more shrimps as a precaution for a while? 

Oh I see JayC beat me to it........ hopefully what you mean then is the forum ghost town and not the tank?

Simon

edit - I like the Green shrimps but dismissed them as the plants are also green so they will be very difficult to see, green on green, if that makes sense. Just something to consider?

Edited by sdlTBfanUK

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Steensj2004
9 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

When you say a ghost town I hope you don't mean the shrimp are dying off?

When I set up my Betta tank I think I mentioned the soil was fighting with the water and I was getting PH of about 6 for a few months and it has crept up more recently. The culls I dumped in there were fine at the low PH etc so I would be amazed if that caused too much of a problem!

If you now don''t have any shrimps in there maybe I would put the rock back into the tank so that can speed up the exhausting of the buffering substrate and it would probably be safer to wait until the substrate isn't buffering before buying any more shrimps as a precaution for a while? 

Oh I see JayC beat me to it........ hopefully what you mean then is the forum ghost town and not the tank?

Simon

edit - I like the Green shrimps but dismissed them as the plants are also green so they will be very difficult to see, green on green, if that makes sense. Just something to consider?

Al the shrimps in the tank( one Neo and two Amano)are doing fantastic. I suppose I’m just going to ride all this out. Hopefully the substrate is going to take a dump on buffering sooner than later.

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Steensj2004

How low does this substrate buffer, inknownit isn’t an exact science, but has anyone had experience? The PH has parked at 6.4-6.5. 

Edited by Steensj2004
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Blue Ridge

If it makes you feel any better, what you've done happens all the time! Acid-buffering substrate with a CACO3 stone that "fight" one another, and conflicting information between the two genera of shrimp can cause a lot of confusion. But where you are right now should be a perfect environment for crystals, bees, and such. Aqua soil, remineralized RO water (GH+ only, not the KH and GH product) and you should be all set for most Caridina.

If buying shrimp online, just be sure that they are "home bred" and not imports. Survival rate is typically much higher this way. I prefer to buy from other hobbyists whenever possible.

If you really want cherries (Neocaridina) they will live on Aqua Soil but the water will always be softer and more acidic than ideal. But cherries are tough creatures and people keep them in tanks set up for Caridina all the time with success. As for how long the substrate buffers, that is determined by how much "work" it has to do. If using soft water and no lime based stones in the aquarium, it is said go for many years. You don't want to speed that up in my opinion, kind of defeats the purpose of buying buffering soil.

Edited by Blue Ridge
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jayc
5 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

How low does this substrate buffer,

6-8 months. if you keep making it work hard with your SS GH/KH+, maybe towards the 6 month mark.

 

5 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

The PH has parked at 6.4-6.5. 

That should be fine for Neo shrimps. Add another little rock of yours back in might bump it up closer to 7. But that is entirely optional. pH 6.5 should be fine for Cherries to adapt to. 

 

5 hours ago, Blue Ridge said:

You don't want to speed that up in my opinion, kind of defeats the purpose of buying buffering soil.

Except that Steensj2004 already has cherries in the tank and they aren't doing too well. So we have to try to get the parameters under control with the Fluval stratum that he has in the tank, which is fighting to bring pH down. He is balancing the pH, GH, KH using SS GH/KH+ and some rocks against the Fluval stratum soil. 

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Blue Ridge

Just my opinion but I think the shrimp would do better at 0 KH and >6.0 pH at a steady basis than to have water buffered to more appropriate parameters and then it bouncing back down from the soil. Over and over every again water change. If there's one thing I've learned about Neos, these things hate change. And they can thrive and breed in acid water on ADA, lots of folks do it (myself included). If the soil is going to remain, I'd either leave it alone or attempt to find some balance that can be achieved with a small amount of dragon stone. Or just bite the bullet and change out the substrate. I'm not trying to be contrary here (on my first day, no less) but I truly believe that adding buffered water each water change to try to exhaust the soil is taking away the #1 factor in keeping shrimp alive -stability.

With new shrimp, particularly imports, they tend to have some losses acclimating sometimes. And it's a fairly new tank, as shrimp tanks go. Any that make it past 2-3 months should live to a ripe old age and if you can keep even a gendered pair long enough to drop a nice batch of babies, they should positively thrive in the water they hatched in, whichever way you go.

Edited by Blue Ridge
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jayc

Don't disagree with anything you said there @Blue Ridge. Completely agree. 

We have already solved one issue for Steensj2004 with the rocks raising TDS, KH, GH and pH. He has removed the rocks, and the pH has plummeted in the last couple of days getting back towards equilibrium. So we are now working on stabilising the tank after the rocks were removed. Maybe we should have gone slower at removing the rocks. 

I don't know if changing out the substrate is an option for Steensj2004. This is the long term, ideal solution. But in the mean time, if changing substrate is not an option for the short term, than I believe Steensj2004 maintains his current maintenance procedure and keep the tank at 6.5 pH and 190 TDS that he currently has. If changing substrate is not an option at all, then we need to maintain stability until the buffering is exhausted. We don't care for the buffering of low pH because these are cherries, not caridina. The existing cherries were used to much higher pH anyway.

We are just working with what Steensj2004  has on hand at the moment. RO water and Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ is one of those items. 

Fluval Stratum is the other item, which is pulling pH down as low as 5.9. Cherry shrimps are currently in the tank. They have been used to 7.2+ pH and 250+ TDS only a few days ago. We don't want the pH to drop too much further, as the existing cherries are not used to pH that low.

 

What would you do in this case?

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sdlTBfanUK

You two seem to have it well covered and I think Steensj2004 is pretty much sorted anyway as he doesn't hang about from what we have seen here?

The plants and the natural look are almost certainly why people use soil even with Neocaridina shrimps. My last tank (Betta) it was pure dumb luck the shrimps survived as I didn't  want them (culls) anyway. You are both spot on in that shrimps thrive stability, and fluctuating water isn't going to suit them but I personally suggested trying to exhaust the substrate as he only has 3 shrimps at the moment anyway so if he can get the parameters ideal quickly/quicker it will be a better starting point for the new shrimps he wants to get and going forward from there - worst case scenario he may lose some or all of the 3 he has now admittedly but it would be for the greater good/long term? I used JBL soil so it may be different but the PH went from 6 at the very start 1 march to 7 by 29 march so exhausted really quickly!

I bow to both of your way more experience, just thought I should explain the theory. 

Simon

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Steensj2004

Hang about? I’m not sure what that means, lol.

 

I didn’t take all the rock out at once, but it is all removed as of now. Only driftwood, plants, and Stratum remain. PH has stayed at the 6.4- 6.5 range since my last post about ph.

 I’ll see how this continues for the time being, I’d like to be higher than 6.5, but it is what it is. Removing the substrate is an option, one I’m not excited about, but if you insist it’s needed, I suppose I could. That would inevitably stir up a mini cycle, no?

 

Things as of now are:

PH:6.5 and seemingly holding

GH:6

KH:1

TDS: 185-190

 

I’ve backed off fertilizer completely, as well as any other additives besides food and BacterAE. Ive changed the amount of SS GH/KH I’m adding to my RO/DI. I’ve also ordered the GH+ only supplement and began using  a Shrimp King pellet food, that is easier to feed and subsequently remove when it’s uneaten. Still using RO/DI water, and have adjusted my Lighting schedule slightly. The Tannins in the driftwood are bringing the PH down as well I assume.

 

At this point, I may target Caridina in this tank and set up a separate, more appropriate Neo tank.

Edited by Steensj2004
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Steensj2004

Oh, and if anything in my post above strikes you as the wrong move, please, let me know. I’m very appreciative for the help and knowledge you’ve provided. Lots I didn’t want to hear,  but I’d rather be told I’m wrong and fix the tank, than reject the obvious experience you all have that I don’t. 

 

Im going to have to start frequenting this forum more often. By far, this forum is one of the better ones I’ve ever used for any of my hobbies.

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sdlTBfanUK

I actually think you are sorted as you are and are correctly just going to see how it goes. I wouldn't worry too much about a PH of .1 and I would (and did, as have many others) stick with the soil substrate and cherry shrimps should be fine. Any new ones you should take longer to acclimatise if it is still a bit low when you get some? The soil will start to lose its buffering slowly anyway, not all at once so the shrimp will adapt readily enough especially being the hardier cherry shrimp.

As you have removed the rock completely there isn't anything in your tank to cause any swings in parameters so I expect your all set now and it should stay stable enough? It may take a bit of time until the buffering stops but my cherries were fine in PH6 and many others keep cherry shrimps in the soil substrate, I have 2 such tanks.

Simon

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Steensj2004

Thanks. I’m going to ride this out for a while longer. I really don’t want to nuke livestock because I’m impatient. The three inside now seem to be thriving. Several molts have occurred without any failures or problems. They are all very active and are plugging along doing ,”Shrimp Stuff.” Thanks for all the help again!

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Blue Ridge

@Steensj2004

You've gotten good advice all around and I think you are on the right track. The biggest thing I would change going forward is let any tank set up for shrimp go a bit longer before adding livestock. I typically set mine up for 3 months with just substrate, leaf litter, plants and snails and let a good base of algae and biofilm develop. This is probably overkill but my luck has changed dramatically since adopting this method. Ours is not a hobby for the impatient and nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.

Another issue with many of these active soils is that they produce NH4 for the first several weeks. While this is great to give plants a nice head start even trace ammonia is incredibly hard on shrimp.

I suspect Caridina will do great in that tank if you decide to try some down the road. Do drip acclimate, and feed ridiculously lightly until you get a population built up. If they aren't swarming any added food, there's enough for them to forage on in the tank. Small populations of these things require almost no care! Coming from the reef side of the hobby, it was quite difficult for me to have these tanks of creatures and not be "doing anything."

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Steensj2004
25 minutes ago, Blue Ridge said:

@Steensj2004

You've gotten good advice all around and I think you are on the right track. The biggest thing I would change going forward is let any tank set up for shrimp go a bit longer before adding livestock. I typically set mine up for 3 months with just substrate, leaf litter, plants and snails and let a good base of algae and biofilm develop. This is probably overkill but my luck has changed dramatically since adopting this method. Ours is not a hobby for the impatient and nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.

Another issue with many of these active soils is that they produce NH4 for the first several weeks. While this is great to give plants a nice head start even trace ammonia is incredibly hard on shrimp.

I suspect Caridina will do great in that tank if you decide to try some down the road. Do drip acclimate, and feed ridiculously lightly until you get a population built up. If they aren't swarming any added food, there's enough for them to forage on in the tank. Small populations of these things require almost no care! Coming from the reef side of the hobby, it was quite difficult for me to have these tanks of creatures and not be "doing anything."

Thanks! I mentioned in the OP the tank was 3 months old when I started adding shrimp. Ammonia testing is in the 0.00 in every test I’ve done. I also done reef tanks for years, I’m finding out that often things from the reef world don’t directly translate to the shrimp world.

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Blue Ridge

Ah, I misunderstood. I thought the tank was just now three months old and the shrimp were added after set up. But yeah, outside of testing water here and there and some small partial water changes, this is so much more hands off than reef keeping. In a shrimp only planted tank, there is so little bioload from these tiny creatures (unless overfed of course) that maintenance is minimal. Especially to those of us who come from a side of the hobby where you are often getting your hands wet.

 

Am I correct that only one Neo has survived? Even if so if it's a female, there's a good chance she's been bred and can save the population for you. Just keep an eye on that abdomen.

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sdlTBfanUK

Fantastic advice from blue ridge. I should probably have left my re-setup tank for longer than I did (a month) but hopefully it will settle down in time. Unfortunately you can't buy patience and we all get too excited when looking at an empty running tank! Hopefully you are right Blue ridge about the biofilm when starting up as my shrimp won't touch any foods or veg I have tried yet?

Also,as blue ridge says, the parameters  you mention above at the moment would suit caridina shrimp, but they are more fragile and sensitive, but you have some time to consider that? Also if your tap/source water is PH6 then you may not need to change the substrate if/when it stops buffering in the future? The only other thing that would then be different as you just want GH+ remineraliser for caridina, but GH/KH+ for cherry shrimps.

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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Steensj2004

I’m seriously considering some Red Crystals🤔🤔

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Blue Ridge

You're in the US, no? There's a guy on another forum who breeds nice CRS and sells them for $1 each +actual shipping. Home bred, hardy and beautiful shrimp with lots of positive feedback. Not sure of rules regarding crossposting, so will hold off for now, but if rules allow I'll post a link. Or PM me when you are ready. He's had this colony for years, so no need to rush. I only mention this because most vendors sell imports for between $5-10 each.

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Steensj2004
5 hours ago, Blue Ridge said:

You're in the US, no? There's a guy on another forum who breeds nice CRS and sells them for $1 each +actual shipping. Home bred, hardy and beautiful shrimp with lots of positive feedback. Not sure of rules regarding crossposting, so will hold off for now, but if rules allow I'll post a link. Or PM me when you are ready. He's had this colony for years, so no need to rush. I only mention this because most vendors sell imports for between $5-10 each.

I am. I’ve looked at a few vendors. I ha w a buddy ordering from Aqua Huna in a few weeks, but I honestly don’t know if them import or tank breed. I know Flip tank breeds, he’s from my home state. I don’t know, but I have time to decide. I’m in no hurry. 

Does the vendor you’re talking about sell only reds, or does he have other colors?

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sdlTBfanUK
13 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

I’m seriously considering some Red Crystals🤔🤔

As you have already ordered the GH+ why not, they are more colourful and the different patterns make them more interesting, and the water parameters of your tank are already spot on for those!

I looked at the Aquahuna website you mentioned and they had a good variety and very reasonably priced I thought?

Simon

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Blue Ridge
14 hours ago, Steensj2004 said:

I am. I’ve looked at a few vendors. I ha w a buddy ordering from Aqua Huna in a few weeks, but I honestly don’t know if them import or tank breed. I know Flip tank breeds, he’s from my home state. I don’t know, but I have time to decide. I’m in no hurry. 

Does the vendor you’re talking about sell only reds, or does he have other colors?

AFAIK, only crystal reds. FWIW, Rob at Flip imports the vast majority of his stock. Price of success, I suppose. He can't breed them fast enough to meet demand. He's very open about this and a great guy to deal with. But I wouldn't buy Caridina as imports when they can be had (much) cheaper home bred from a hobbyist. Mischlings might be a good way to go, you'll usually get a variety of black and red crystals F1, depending on what they were bred with. And they tend to be a little hardier like tigers, though still more fragile than most Neos.

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Steensj2004
1 hour ago, Blue Ridge said:

AFAIK, only crystal reds. FWIW, Rob at Flip imports the vast majority of his stock. Price of success, I suppose. He can't breed them fast enough to meet demand. He's very open about this and a great guy to deal with. But I wouldn't buy Caridina as imports when they can be had (much) cheaper home bred from a hobbyist. Mischlings might be a good way to go, you'll usually get a variety of black and red crystals F1, depending on what they were bred with. And they tend to be a little hardier like tigers, though still more fragile than most Neos.

Gotcha. I’ve really been eyeing some ,”Fire Reds,” or some,”Blue Dreams,” from LRBretz, those are out of this world.

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sdlTBfanUK
1 hour ago, Steensj2004 said:

Gotcha. I’ve really been eyeing some ,”Fire Reds,” or some,”Blue Dreams,” from LRBretz, those are out of this world.

It may be a good idea to 'at least' decide Bee shrimp or Cherry shrimp at this stage, as they prefer different water parameters and you can then work towards those ideals?

As blue ridge has said, Flip import most of their shrimp from what I have seen on the youtube videos?

Simon

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Steensj2004
6 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

It may be a good idea to 'at least' decide Bee shrimp or Cherry shrimp at this stage, as they prefer different water parameters and you can then work towards those ideals?

As blue ridge has said, Flip import most of their shrimp from what I have seen on the youtube videos?

Simon

One already decided on the Crystal Reds. But I’ve been eyeing the Neos mentioned for the other tank build I’m scoping out right now..... lol.

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Blue Ridge

If you are a ways away, I might be able to part with a dozen-ish nice Blue Dreams from Bretz line by that point. Not counting chickens before they hatch, but my colony is back to being productive again, though I had the bright idea of adding his line to an imported line and am having to work out culls (again) now. 

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