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Jenbenwren

How do I stop losing shrimp after a water change?

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Jenbenwren

After finally getting the wp in our tank suitable for crystals and keeping it there, (probably not for long enough), we decided to add some CBS (which I found out later are mischling culls but don't know f generation). I took around 9 hours to drip accliamatize them before adding them to their new home. 2 days later, while I was out for the day, my partner decided to surprise me by adding 2 ottos to their tank and we lost 1 CBS that night. Turned out he just tipped the ottos straight into the tank along with their bag full of green water.

I checked the wp and ph was 7, up from 6.7, gh 5, kh 1, ammonia 0 & TDS 398.

The lfs, that stocks & breeds CRS, advised me to do a water change and add ph down to the water I was adding to the tank, which I did. I took out 10 liters and added the water over about 12 hours using an ice cream container with a pin hole in it to let the water drip in. I had a 20 liter bucket (that's only ever used for adding water to our tanks) of tap water that I'd treated with Biotec water ager and conditioner CN and left it to sit for 8 days so I added the ph down till the ph was 6.7 and used it for the water change. We lost another mischling and the ottos that night.

The wp was a bit better and as I was worried about losing more shrimp I didn't keep up with doing water changes every few days. I also added a large air stone to a fresh bucket of water treated with the Biotec and a little peat moss I'd boiled first to lower the ph.

I've been checking the water every few days over the last 2 weeks, but on Monday the TDS was 338, ph 6.9, ammonia 0, gh 1.5 & kh 0 so I had to do another one.

The 10 day old bucket of aging water was TDS 31, ph 6.7, ammonia 0, gh 0, kh 0. I added fluval shrimp minerals the ph & ammonia stayed the same, TDS 119, gh 5, kh 1. I took 7 liters out of the tank (it's a 100 liter tank) and dripped in 8.5 liters over 10 hours. On Tuesday arvo we lost another shrimp, TDS is 296, ph 6.8, gh 4, kh barely registered, ammonia nil.

I know I need to lower the TDS to between 120-160, kh should be around 1-2, ph could be a little lower and gh a smidge higher, temp is 23.

So what am I doing wrong to lose shrimp when I do a water change and how can I get the wp back to where it should be? Should I only do very small water changes (about 500ml-1litre) every few days until everything is right again?

At the moment ro is out of the question, as is buying any products, thanks to a bad work contract that led to high financial losses and a dodgy tenant, in a house we can't sell, that doesn't pay rent on time and forgot about a pot of oil on the stove causing substantial damage to the kitchen. The rainwater from our roof contains high phosphates and is very alkaline so I can't use that either.

The fluval stratum in the tank isn't very old and there's driftwood and IAL in the tank as well. Our cannister filter has ceramic rings, ADA bio rio, red bee balls and a bio sponge and we also run a dual sponge bio filter on our air pump. We do have a bottle of out of date Fluval shrimp safe water conditioner I was given, but I don't know if it removes chlorine, chloramide and heavy metals so I haven't used it.

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FishBeast

This is above my level of shrimp skill. I am sorry to hear about your frustrating losses, it must be so disheartening. Please keep us posted on your progress, and I look forward to seeing you succeed in tackling the problem.

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yeswaitnosorry

I hope someone can give you the help you need. There are so many knowledgeable people on this forum (I'm not one of them).

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newbreed

Sorry to hear of this dilemma.

 

You are right about getting the TDS down and ph needs to drop too. Gh 5 is ideal. The TDS will come down with a series of water changes. The Water change will assist if there is a nitrate issue too. 

 

Changing 8.5litres in a 100litre tank should not be an issue. There may be an issue with moulting, which can be inspired with water changes. If the dead shrimp is soft to the touch this would usually be the problem. I am not certain on the make up of the Fluval Shrimp Minerals, but Benibachi Mineral Powder assists with fixing moulting issues.

 

Is there a particular reason you let the water sit for 8-10 days before adding. To me this seems like a long time, do others see this may be an issue?

 

I hope others have more to suggest to remedy this for you.

 

If you like, shoot me a pm. I will be down in Glen Waverley tomorrow night and may be able to give you some spare Mineral powder (assuming you are in Vermont, Victoria). Cheers.

Edited by newbreed
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Jenbenwren

Thanks everyone. Haven't found any more dead shrimp today so fingers crossed we don't lose anymore. 1 shrimp is still missing, but he could be anywhere in the driftwood or plants and may turn up at dinner time. Another 1 is feeding on an ial and his black markings have turned brownish. The other 5 look healthier today than they did before the water change yet I can't find any fresh molts.

The one that died yesterday was a little soft and his black had turned pale browny red.

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jayc

It's unfortunate that RO water or even rain water is not an option. 

Cause the most obvious (and immediate) action to take is to reduce that TDS level down to around 150.

If your only option is to use tap water, then please run some tests of the tap water for us - pH, and TDS. Without any added pH Down or water conditioner.

Since your TDS is so high already, my recommendation is to forgo adding fluval shrimp minerals (which raises TDS). Drip in the change water slowly over several hours. You can go faster than 8.5L over 10 hours. 8.5L in a 100L tank is nothing - 1 hour is sufficient. I'd be changing 20L of water at a time. Drip new aged water in over 5 hours. That should be much faster water changes.

 

The other issue seems to be pH, or rather the instability of the pH reading. It's rising. you're countering it with pH down chems. It rises again as the chems wear off. You need to find the cause of the pH rise. Could possibly be the pH of the water out of your tap is already high. Or something in your tank is buffering it higher - rocks, cheap ceramic ring filter media, old carbon media are some possibilities. You can test them in some clean water out of the tank/filter. Check pH before adding the suspect item. Then test again after 24 hours.

 

Also, how old is the tank since it was setup?

I truly believe (not physically tested yet) that most tanks will run low on Calcium and Magnesium after 3 months. Even if you add a little back in each water change using Salty Shrimp or whatever re-mineralising water treatment. More Ca and Mg needs to be added or it will be depleted in that time frame causing moulting issues. If Calcium : Magnesium is low, take up Newbreeds offer immediately. If you need more Ca and Mg, our sponsors Aquotix AOS sells it fairly cheap for the amount you get.

 

Next time it rains, put lots of buckets out.

But if your aged tap water has these readings "TDS 31, ph 6.7, ammonia 0, gh 0, kh 0", then you have very good tap water for fish/shrimp. But I doubt tap water pH is that low out of the tap. Is this 6.7pH with pH down?

 

Hope that helps, you now have a few ideas to act on immediately.

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jayc

 The other 5 look healthier today than they did before the water change yet I can't find any fresh molts.

 

 

 

If you have low Calcium and Magnesium levels, all the shrimps will look fine ... until they try moulting the next time.

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Jenbenwren

Newbreed, I got the idea for aging water from everything I've read on keeping shrimp. Being such a noob and wanting to learn as mush as I can, I spend at least an hour a day going through everything I can find on the net about them, and ask lfs or other Shrimpkeepers when I can. Everything I've read and been told points out how important the quality of the water being added to their tanks is and that fresh tap water is not good to use, even if it's been treated to remove the nasties. A lot swear by ro water, others use rainwater, and we can't do either. Melbourne waters pretty good and I've read and also had suggested to me a quite a few times by other people that do it, that it would lessen the chance of shrimp dying, to age the water first by leaving the bucket of water, treated with water conditioner to remove the nasties in tap water, for at least a week with a large air stone bubbling away and to add some boiled peat moss to lower the ph.

Also nitrite in both tank & bucket is 0 and nitrate barely registered.

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Jenbenwren

Our tap water is ph7, TDS 31-33, gh 0, kh 0. I test the tap water every time before I fill the bucket up. The ph & TDS went up this time after my partner added the ottos and large bag of green water into the tank. The kids said he poured it in and stirred up the lots of dirt from the bottom so I'm hoping this caused the swing.

I used ph down once in the bucket of water I was adding to the tank on the advice from a lfs. Now I use the pure Canadian peat moss to lower the ph instead.

I tested the aged water before I added the minerals. It was ph 6.8, TDS 31, kh 0, gh 0, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate very slight reading. There was a 3 degree difference between the water temp. I added the fluval minerals and tested it again before I added it to the tank ph 6.8 TDS 119, gh 5, kh >0.5-<1.

The tank has been running for about 4.5 months, the ceramics are a mix of mostly hollow ceramic stars and fluval rings, with some ADA bio rio, red bee balls, purigen and bio sponge.

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Daydream

Over the years fishkeeping and breeding I have used 1micron pre filter and .4micron carbon filter fitted to my tap for water changes cost about $80 to set up and $20/$30 for filters every 3 months on about 7000lts of tanks.I do 30% water change weekly and will emty and refill 30% of a 100l tank in about 10mins.As others stated tds is a bit high but not to the point I think its the problem.Shrimp and fish are the same as both like stability of water peramaters and when adjusting them done gradually.Personally I don't use chemicals or additives often not saying they don't have their place but I tend to use other methods to achieve results where possible.Sounds like a moulting problem but it could be just a matter of to much change to fast.I use blackwater and IAL to acidify and soften small amount of shellgrit or coral sand to help with calcium for moulting.Hope this helps a bit.

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newbreed

Also, if you are trying to reduce TDS, when you add minerals to the replacement water you are adding to the TDS in the tank. Best to replace with water that hasn't had minerals added, over a few water changes the TDS will lower.

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Jenbenwren

Thank you all again for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with met, I really really appreciate it all!

I was told that ial wouldn't lower the ph but to use pre boiled peat moss in the aging water instead. I have noticed they are doing a lot of toe touching (can't think of a better way to describe it sorry) the last few days, before and after the water change. Also 2 of them kept climbing part way out of the water before the water change.

I like the idea of softening the shell grit or coral sand to add calcium and was wondering how to do it and how I would know if I was adding to much or to little.

I thought I should add the minerals to boost the gh as it was low in the tank and the TDS was still lower than the water I took out. I've only just started a fresh bucket of aging water ph 7, TDS 31, haven't checked gh or kh yet. Should I wait a couple of days before I try to lower the TDS and then only doing small changes every few days?

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jayc

I thought I should add the minerals to boost the gh as it was low in the tank and the TDS was still lower than the water I took out. I've only just started a fresh bucket of aging water ph 7, TDS 31, haven't checked gh or kh yet. Should I wait a couple of days before I try to lower the TDS and then only doing small changes every few days?

 

Just add this aged water in slowly without adding minerals. Don't need to wait for two days. An hour is enough for the Dechlorinator to work. Unless you want to treat this water with peat to reduce ph. 

 

You can make your own blackwater extract.

Boil your own using IAL, Peat Moss, autumn leaves like Oak, and Alder cones using dechlorinated water. Boil it for a while till the water looks like tea.

Let it cool and strain it of debris. Use this as your water change. Stop when you reach 6.6 - 6.7 ph.

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Jenbenwren

Thanks jayc, think I'll give that a try. I only have peat moss laying around here at the moment.

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BlueBolts

There's been a lot of great suggestions....my advise is to stop using PH down etc, ... these additives fluctuates the WP, Affects TDS .... Although your tap water may appear good, there are inconsistencies of other elements like copper, fluoride etc, that are silent killers..... Investing in a RO unit will pay itself off in no time, and stop all the guesses and issues you maybe facing....... I learnt a lot about shrimp breeding/keeping once I switched o RO, as it eliminates so many possibilities, and when there's a shrimp death, determining why is so much easier and becomes a science.

We need another RO water unit comp :-)

Great that you're asking all these questions...well done :-)

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Jenbenwren

Thanks Bluebolts, and an RO unit will be the next addition once we get everything settled, but it will have to wait. Also I only used the ph down once, but as I really didn't like the idea, I didn't add the full dose. I'm using Canadian peat moss, that I boiled first in treated water, to lower the ph atm.

I have to say a huge thank you to Newbreed for calling past tonight. Not only did he run through some ideas and offer some great advice, but he very generously gave us some Benibachi Super bacteria bee max, Benibachi Mironecton powder mineral for shrimp, Salty Bee Shrimp Mineral + gh and Prime!

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Jenbenwren

Our CBS are definitely looking healthier and more active today, the RCS are thriving and there's been a few molts. I tested their wp again this arvo and TDS still 296, ph 6.9 so up 0.1 since Tuesday, gh 2 down from 4, kh again barely registered & ammonia nil. I was going to duck up the lfs with some water sample to test nitrite & nitrate and then do a small water change, 5 litres out 6 litres in, but something came up & I had to go out for a while and ran out of time, so will do it in the morning.

The water I'll be putting into the tank is TDS 29, ph 6.8, gh 0, kh 0 & ammonia 0. It was suggested to not to add minerals for the next few water changes to bring the TDS down, but with the gh being low shouldn't I add them to raise it? The low gh seems to affect them more than the high TDS and the water going in will still have a lower TDS than their tank.

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newbreed

Hey Jen, I am known to be a little slow at times and three things have occurred to me that may be not helping the issue.

1. I can't remember what the shrimp house was made of, with the subwassertang in the front, was it stone, wood or ceramic?

If stone, it could be a source of buffering up the ph.

2. I noticed the intakes and rain bar of your filter but didn't check it out. What kind of filter and flow rate is it?

3. It surprises me that with your tap water at 7ph that the substrate, with such a good level, isn't buffering it down more. On the fluval packs it suggests to wash the substrate in tap water before using, did you do this? I believe it can reduce the ability of the soil to buffer if rinsed prior to going in.

I am thinking it could be assisted by adding some Fulvic Grain maybe, depending on others feedback on this.

I am sorry not to have asked you these things and paid more attention on my visit, but I was distracted by how well planted the tank is and how healthy all the cherries are going. Cheers

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BristledOne

I honestly think doing one thing at a time is your best way to not just solve the problem but figure out it's cause.
Considering even with minerals added you had a TDS of 119 going in something appears to bee pushing the TDS up, that's probably what I'd try to tackle first. If it's an old or secondhand filter it might be time to change out the medium (some noodles only last 6 months before starting to break down)

 

My dad was having an issue where his CRS were dying off buy the YCS were still breeding, I did a test on his water and it was 1100TDS. Your tank is no where near that but I have to admit your symptoms sound similar.
Another thing if you're using tapwater that may help is one of these:: http://www.bossaquaria.com.au/benibachi-zero/

 

Good luck :) Keen to hear how you go

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Jenbenwren

Hi guys. I added a little bit of the Benibachi Mineral powder to the tank after Newbreed left and atm all the shrimp are a lot healthier and we haven't lost any more. I have to admit I've been I've been worried about doing another water change and wanted to give everything a chance to settle before I did anything else. I haven't had a car so haven't had the nitrite or nitrate checked yet, but I'm hoping to today. On Friday night I did a 5 litre top up with the aged water and Bee Mineral + gh as the gh was still low in the tank, TDS 292, ph 6.8, kh1, gh2, ammonia 0. The wp of water added was TDS 132, ph 6.6, gh 6, kh 1, ammonia nil. Today the tanks wp is TDS 290, ph 6.8, gh 2, kh 0, ammonia nil. Seems all the shrimp are looking so well today I'll bite the bullet and do a 10-15% wc.

Newbreed, I've used a little plastic pot (unused) that I cut holes in and used fishing line to hold the subwassatang in place for the subwassatang house. There's 1 smooth black river rock with a java fern tied to it, it's about 5cmx2x2.

I have more of the rocks in the com tank & a container of water and plants outside, think I'll put 1 in another container and monitor the wps, will be interesting to see the results :-)

The filter is an Eden 501. The lfs said it would be perfect for the shrimp tank and limited space around it. I did query them about it as it would be under filtering the tank, but was told the lower lph would be fine in a shrimp tank. The smaller tank I got for Mother's Day runs the same filter with the same media but seems to pump more water out of the spray bar. I put a longer hose on ours to the spray bar so that may be affecting the lph.

Ii rinsed 1 bag of the fluval as they said, didn't rinse the second one just put it straight in and the rest I siphoned out of the com tank, it had been in there about 3 weeks.

Before I added the CBS I ran our fluval 205 on the tank for 3 days to try to lower the TDS but it made no difference so did a large wc to bring it down.

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Jenbenwren

Just had a small win with the lfs that did the llights for our com tank that kept dying and we have a $119 credit with them now. Woohoo!!

They don't stock shrimp products but I'll speak to the manager during the week to see if they can order some. I was wondering the same as Newbreed if fullvic grain might help. Also debating whether I should use the credit for another small filter, or if I should get nitrite, nitrate, calcium & magnesium test kits, save it in case something goes wrong.

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newbreed

Definitely need to get a nitrate kit, I am thinking this May be your issue. As your substrate isn't really buffering that much I think the Fulvic may help but would need to be added gradually so not to change conditions too quickly. Well done on the credit!!

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Jenbenwren

Had the nitrite & nitrate tested yesterday, nitrite 0 & nitrate <15 and at home the wp TDS 290, ph 6.8, gh2, kh0, ammonia nil.

Today 5 of the CBS have joined the RCS boys, for the first time, and are doing crazy laps of the tank. 1 CBS and the RCS girls are carrying on normally, grazing around the tank. So I'm hoping it's a girl and she's become saddled.

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Jenbenwren

Yay! Haven't lost any more CBS after a top up or water change since Newbreeds visit! TDS & ph are slowly coming down & gh slowly coming up with each wc.

There's been a Cherry explosion in the tank with little shrimplets everywhere, more freshly berried Mummas and young girls saddled for the first time.

Thank you again everyone for your help and input especially to Newbreed for his generosity!

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jayc

:beerhat: Keep doin' what you're doin' !!

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