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ineke

It pays to know your shrimp behaviour

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ineke

I went into my shrimp room this morning and found a tank of shrimp I had recently changed the substrate in all madly swimming around their tank . At first I thought wow the boys are doing their crazy dance but then I realised even the babies were madly swimming around. I straight away did an ammonia test which was fine. But I still wasn't happy so -and I really dont know what triggered me to do this -I tested the ph and it was 8 -I tested again with a different tester and still the same . I did a slow water change and have got the ph down to 7.8- don't want to shock them but they were frantic. they are somewhat calmer now but will need to do a tank change for them. The only difference was the substrate which I had changed last week -the shrimp were only put in last night. The substrate is the playground white sand from bunnings, which other members on the forum have recommended for cherries, it was washed sand and I also washed it myself . I used this new substrate in three of my tanks so I tested the other two and sure enough they were in the high range too. I thought maybe my RO water was bad so I tested that but no thats fine , and the only other thing was sulawesi 7.5 salts.

Lesson learnt here despite what other people say best test substrates that are not shrimp specific before using it .I know several members use this sand which is why I changed to it -so I could see the colours of my shrimp in my Blue program . Anyway I luckily kept the shrimp soil I had taken out so will now have to spend the day redoing my 3 tanks. Poor shrimp I might have killed them:(

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Squiggle

Awesome stuff Ineke, good catch! I always wondered why sand would be inert as most sands are from saltwater areas but I guess they aren't, lesson learn't. Thanks for sharing! :encouragement:

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ineke

Thing is Squiggle other members are using it with no problems- unless they haven't said anything. Regardless I think one of the first lessons I was taught on this forum was know the normal behaviour of your shrimp then you will know if something is wrong. Without the shared knowledge of the forum members I would possibly have lost my Blue Velvets and my Blues from Chocolate and I would have been devastated. So take heed any new members -listen to the people here and learn but not just learn put what you learn into practice.:encouragement:

just in case- I did test all my parameters Sunday night. I put the shrimp in 24 hours after I was happy with the WP's

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newbreed

Good catch Ineke! Could have been a very different result if you weren't so observant!

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ineke
Good catch Ineke! Could have been a very different result if you weren't so observant!

I have an even better excuse for shrimp staring now:D

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KillieOrCory

Awesome Ineke :encouragement: You are a great shrimp mommy!

Maybe you need to add less of the sulawesi salts next time.

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Squiggle

Yeah Shrimp Staringâ„¢ has it's advantages & definitely comes in handy by just being observant & knowing their habits & movements. I know there are some who do use sand with some success but I just can't get my analytical brain around the facts about sand & where it comes from, lol :encouragement:

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ineke
Awesome Ineke :encouragement: You are a great shrimp mommy!

Maybe you need to add less of the sulawesi salts next time.

Thanks Serkan but a great shrimp mommy wouldnt have let it happen in the first place:(

I test the new water with salts in before I use it and the fact that the only tanks affected were the 3 with sand makes me believe it has to be the sand. Anyway lesson learnt test everything before it goes into the tank:)

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DeagonTheo

I've only been keeping shrimp for a few months, Cherries and CRS, I've killed a few CRS but I have yet to kill any Cherries. The Cherries are in all kinds of water from full rain to full tap and mixtures in between. The PH ranges from 6 to just over 8, I've seen ammonia and nitrites in a couple of tanks and I've yet to kill any Cherries.

Some have seen wild fluctuations in PH and temperatures as well as hardness etc, still no dead Cherries. I have seen the phenomenon you're talking about, both in the Cherry tanks and CRS tank with shrimp dancing around all over the place and trying to climb out of the water, it scares the bejesus out of me. I have done tests to see if there have been any changes and there are usually none, well none that I have tested for.

I don't know what causes it but it usually seems to last less than an hour and they just calm down again, and no deaths. One thing I do know if a PH over 8 kills Cherries then a lot of mine should be dead, but they're not.

Maybe someone on here knows more about this crazy phenomenon and will enlighten us, I suspect it is some kind of change, but it doesn't seem to kill my cherries.

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ineke

The males will dance crazily around the tank when a female is ready to breed, but this behaviour this morning was frantic and the babies were unusually active. It not really like breeding behaviour with the adults flicking themselves off anything that touched them. I agree water parameters are not so critical with the cherries but I still like to keep mine within their favoured limits. My shrimp are now in a tank with shrimp substrate and good water conditions and are just acting normally again. It is possible that the sand was washed with some chemical before they bagged it and we couldn't test for that. Anyway I am happy now they are calm again. I still have 2 tanks to change but have given them a big water change and they are fine at the moment. I will see how they are in the morning-if it was the sand it should raise the ph again by then.

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jayc

Bunnings plays and is widely known to be sourced from different places in each state. The inert sand is silica. But the problem with some sand from certain sources is the it contains calcium carbonates, whic buffers your pH up. Pool filter sand is a better bet, but also no guarantee that it is silica sand. Unfortunately, pools filter sand might be a bit more expensive than Bunnings play sand.

I NSW I'd look for Nepean river sand, that's know to be inert.

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northboy

Well done Girl, you are now a Shrimp whisperer. See it pays to stare at them LOL, more staring Ineke

Bob

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ineke
Well done Girl' date=' you are now a Shrimp whisperer. See it pays to stare at them LOL, more staring InekeBob[/quote']Thanks Bob and I suppose not playing in the tank might help to ?:DPrice wasn't an issue in this case. I just couldn't see the true colour of my shrimp and other members have used this sand. however when you wash it the sand disperses into the water becoming fluid and I wonder if they use something that stops that happening. Will be interesting to see if the 2 tanks I only did a water change in change ph overnight?as you say it may be the calcium carbonate that caused the problem. Will post the ph of the 2 tanks in the morning.

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JohnH

Oh dear. Glad you caught it in time. I must have scored the good sand as I just re-tested my rack and my PH is 6.3. Although the other 3 tanks have Benibachi soil in them but I would suspect the PH would be higher if I had sand that buffers PH up. The sand I got is from NSW http://www.grangegardenhealth.com.au/range/range_files/range_blurb_data//kidssand.pdf

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ineke

Well I will know tomorrow because the other two should theoretically go up overnight as I haven't taken the sand out of them yet. It is a good lesson though not to just blindly follow what someone in another state does without checking it out first when it involves non shrimp specific items. John did you see my other thread????????

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JohnH

Other thread? I haven't been online much the past few days. I'll go looking.

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Baccus

Very lucky Ineke and a good save. I guess I have been lucky with my Bunnings bagged sand. But I did rinse it till it ran clear and that really took some doing, plus I put the sand into established tanks with fish well before any shrimp where ever added. I don't know if that would affect the quality or chemical make up of the sand but my cherry shrimp breed like crazy with it.

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BlueBolts

I've used pool filter sand in two of my tanks without any issues.... There are different grades, just got to check to ensure they're 100% silica sand.

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ineke

Yes I've heard it is safe which is why I used it. I will know in the morning if it was the sand when I retest the remaining tanks. If the ph hasn't risen again I need to back track what I did in the affected tank last night.

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ineke

Just a quick update the other 2 tanks are now also sitting on ph 8 so they climbed again overnight from 7.6. The only things in common are the sand, RO water which is ph 6, plus sulawesi salts -the salts have been added exactly the same as all other times and since I've been using them for at least 6 months and I am doing nothing different it definitely appears to be the sand which will be coming out today!

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DeagonTheo

I think what the problem here is RO water which is very acid, so you mix soft acid water with sand and if there's any calcium carbonate in there it's going to react very quickly and raise the PH.

Probably the people who are using the same sand might be using tap water which has a higher hardness and PH so it's not going to react as much.

I wouldn't ditch the sand, maybe do some more experiments with different water, and it could also settle down after a while.

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ineke

I've already put the shrimp soil back in. I did like the effect the sand gave but I don't want to change back to tap water as I'm happy with the way the shrimp have been breeding . I may try a different substrate when the buffering qualities of this one stops working but there is not much available in SA I will have to travel a bit further afield and see what some of the southern areas have.:)

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Squiggle

I think what the problem here is RO water which is very acid, so you mix soft acid water with sand and if there's any calcium carbonate in there it's going to react very quickly and raise the PH.Probably the people who are using the same sand might be using tap water which has a higher hardness and PH so it's not going to react as much.I wouldn't ditch the sand, maybe do some more experiments with different water, and it could also settle down after a while.
I don't know about that, I understand what you're saying & if it was pure RO water only then I would totally agree but when you add the Salty Shrimp Sulawesi salts to the RO water it becomes a lot more stable in that respect. The Sulawesi salts are designed to buff the water to about 7.5 & raise the GH & KH to the desired levels. Once the RO water has been remineralized to the correct EC(I believe it's 270 microsiemens for Sulawesi 7.5) then the PH will be alkaline which is why you use an inert substrate for Cherry Shrimp, the fact that the substrate has Calcium Carbonate in it is the problem cause, as in this case, it will raise the PH beyond the required level & cause problems to the shrimps health. :encouragement:

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DeagonTheo

I'm not necessarily saying that he should keep the shrimp in the water, although personally I don't think it would harm them, I'm just saying he should carry out more tests, maybe the amount of calcium carbonate is minimal and could be used once it expires or maybe not.

it just seems strange that some people are using the exact same sand and having no problems, that tells me it's a water issue.

Another thing I've learned over many years of keeping fish is that playing around with PH probably kills more fish than anything else in the hobby. I know these aren't fish but the problems remain the same.

From my short time with Cherries I have yet to find something that kills them, maybe pesticide.

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Squiggle

Ok, as I said, I understand what you're saying but if she has changed the substrate back to what it was before & the problem has been resolved then I think it would point pretty convincingly to the substrate being the problem. At least with remineralized RO water you know exactly what is in it, you don't get that luxury with tap water. Also, how can you be sure that other people are using the "exact same" substrate? I'm pretty sure there are a lot more variables in the different bags of pool sand across Australia than there is in a sample of remineralized & tested RO water. I would think that SaltyShrimp would have better quality control in getting their product consistent that some dude shoveling bags of pool sand? :encouragement:

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