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Jenbenwren

Need help with diagnosis possibly bacterial, fungal & wp issues all in 1 tank

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Jenbenwren

I took a heap of peacock moss (filled a 4 litre icecream tub) out of my RCS & Chameleon tank tonight and I found 2 dead RCS in amongst it that were very dark and almost black in places. There was also a lot of detritus underneath like old uneaten food, remnants of old IAL, Mulberry & plant leaves, and excrement from our large male Bristlenoe (I gave him to a friend on Friday to keep his 2 BN girls company).

While I was watching the shrimp eat and taking a few pics, I saw a female RCS being rolled around in the current from our filter until she was able to latch onto a plant. She's a lot darker than normal and black in places, she may have a fungal or white growth on her face, is showing signs of mount troubles and may have a leach or hole or something attached to her side as well.

I've removed her from the tank and considering ending it for her quickly as she really doesn't look like she has any chance of pulling through. Here's a few pics of her

post-868-0-62470200-1417961012_thumb.jpgpost-868-0-92697700-1417961032_thumb.jpgpost-868-0-33836800-1417961045_thumb.jpgpost-868-0-61820500-1417961057_thumb.jpg

The tank wps aren't very good either:- TDS 413, ph 6.4, ammonia, nitrites & nitrates 0, gh3, kh0 & temp 26. So tomorrow will be water change day and I'll be using RO water with Salty Shrimp Minerals plus gh&kh. There's alot of yucky gunk amongst the gravel and substrate which needs to be Vacced out, but I'm worried I may accidentally suck out some shrimplets too. I think I'll need to treat the whole tank as well if it is a bacterial infection as well as problems caused by the low gh&kh, as the dead RCS had similar black markings and I don't want it spreading through the tank.

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fishmosy

fix the water parameters first before worrying about trying to treat for bacterial infections. More than likely they are the sole cause of the problem/s, any infection is likely secondary.

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Jenbenwren

Thanks Fishmosy. I gravel vacced part of the tank and did a 25-30% water change using RO water and Salty shrimp gh&kh+, replaced the IAL, added some dandelion leaves and flowers and dosed the tank with Levamisole HCL today and I'll be doing 20% water changes and gravel vaccing other areas of the tank every 2-3 days until the wps are a lot better

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fishmosy

Just be careful changing too many things at once. For example, gravel vaccing the substrate can disturb your denitrifying bacteria and send the tank into a mini cycle, further stressing the shrimp. The levamisole is also likely to stress your bacteria, so it may be worth checking your ammonia levels regularly.

However I think you are on the right track with 20% water changes every 2-3days. Slow and steady.

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kizshrimp

There's a weird issue here with Jens water parameters. GH 3, KH 0, TDS 413. That's a whole lot of dissolved solids that aren't from conditioning salts. Jenni has posted about this problem on another thread and the discussion has centered on conditioner dose rates, which IMO is not relevant here. The substrate in this tank is ADA Amazonia - which I have never used. Can this substrate cause such a massive TDS increase or is something else probably contributing? I can't imagine so high an organic load or an EC meter so badly out of calibration to cause these readings. 

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petfish

i'm using ADA Amazonia in a system with 2 x 4' tanks, both tanks are divided into 4 sections, the perameters are : ph 6.5, GH 5, kh 0, tds 154, i don't think it is the substrate that is the problem, i am using rainwater and salty shrimp GH+

Edited by petfish
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jayc

Agree with Petfish.

My own experiences with ADA Amazonia is the same. This substrate alone won't cause TDS to get that high.

 

Jen,

you need to tell us what else is being added to the tank mineral wise, apart from Salty Shrimp.

Do you have rocks (Seryu, limestone, etc)?

Do you use Montmorillonite Powder or Mineral stones?

What media is in your filter?

 

 

Maybe a picture of your tank could help us pinpoint a cause of increasing TDS.

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Jenbenwren

Thank you Kizshrimp. I'm going to recalibrate my tds meter tonight and see if that makes a difference. My other 2 tanks are showing slightly higher readings and but I've been top ups instead of water changes for a few weeks so I'm not surprised.

Thanks Petfish. I'm glad to read the ADA Amazonia isn't affecting the tds in your tanks. There are other people who use it in their shrimp tanks and haven't had any problems with it either, once it was cycled. I thought the ADA might be causing the high tds readings because of how much fine silt it has released into the tank.

The problems with ADA occurred

a) when I first filled the tank with prime treated tap water tds 37 in the tank, (after I'd put in the unrinsed ADA, hardscape and plants and put plastic on top of the ADA when I fiiled up the tank), the water went so brown and murky over night you couldn't see the rock a couple of cm's from the front of the tank and tds was up the 200's. It took 6-7 weeks to clear up enough to see the back of the tank through water that still had a slight tint to it. I had to do a lot of large water changes every 2-3 days, quite a few times I had the garden hose filling the tank while I was draining it until the water become clear enough for me to siphon the thick layer of fine silt covering everything in there. I even took nearly all the bio media out of the filter and filled it with filter wool hoping it would clear up the tank quicker. The water going into the tank always had a tds 36-38 the water coming out tds high 200's-mid 300's sometimes high 400's

b) once it was cycled and clear and I had the wps where I wanted them to be, except the tds being in the 300's which I thought was ok for RCS, I put our large male BN in the tank and some of our RCS. Our bn stirred up a lot of silt when he was near the bottom so I topped the ADA with black gravel which stopped it happening. But once a week or so he'd try to dig a cave and I'd wake up to a tank with brown water and fine silt covering everything, and the tds would be up again. I started using RO water mixed with Salty Shrimo gh & kh to the wps the tank should be at but with lower tds, not long after the tank finished cycling.

The BN moved into a tank with some girls to keep him company at a friends place last week. So thankfully he won't be relandscaping the tank anymore and I'll find out if the ADA being broken down into dust was why the tds has stayed around 370, or if it's something else in the tank causing it. Most likely me doing topups instead of water changes caused it to go into the 400's.

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Jenbenwren

Thanks JayC, I was starting to feel like I was hijacking your thread and was about to post a link on there to this one.

I was adding Benibachi mineral powder every week or so when I add it to my other tanks. It's a 125 litre tank and I'd sprinkle 1 of the spoons it came with in the tank. But now I use Boss Aquaria Mineral Powder at first I add 2 spoons to the tank but now I only add 1 slightly heaped spoonful.

I add 1 spoon of Boss Booster every week or two.

and after a waterchange I add 1 heaped spoon of Super Bacteria Bee Max

I use the spoons that came with packs. I only add 1 product at a time, never on the day and normally a few days apart.

I have a layer of inert 6mm black gravel covering the ADA, under the ADA on the bottom of the tank is a fly screen (the aquarium safe type) bag I made and filled with inert gravel, there's some wood in there, I can't remember what type of rocks are in there and half a small terracotta (maybe this causing the high tds) pot. The gravel and wood didn't affect the tds when they were in with the fish, the tds used to stay around 110.

For filtration the tank's running a Fluval 205 canister filter with 4 coarse foam pieces, behind that the bottom container has filter wool and the next two containers are filled with ceramic noodles and stars. I checked the ceramics about 3 weeks ago when I changed the filter wool and cleaned the sponges. I replaced a couple that were broken. I made a spray bar out of pvc pipe and have it connected to the 205. And there's also a dual sponge air filter running in the tank as well.

Edited by Jenbenwren

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Jenbenwren

I forgot to mention I had IAL leaves and Mulberry leaves in the tank as well. The IAL had been in the tank for around 2 weeks and the Mulberry leaves get eaten pretty quickly and I take the veiny bits out. The yellowish rock with the anubias on it could be yellow strata rock.

Hers a few pics of the tank

post-868-0-26206500-1418132137_thumb.jpgpost-868-0-36827000-1418132159_thumb.jpgpost-868-0-81374100-1418132175_thumb.jpg

And I found this guy belly up on the bottom. I've taken him out and added a little aquarium salt to the container he's in

post-868-0-09619400-1418132493_thumb.jpg

Edited by Jenbenwren

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jayc

Ok, there is a lot of info to digest.

 

Firstly, the salt bath is as it sounds ... a bath, which means you only expose the shrimp in the salt solution for a couple of minutes at a time. And remove the shrimp back into unsalted (normal) water. That picture of the shrimp looks like it might be too far gone to save.

 

Second, wood, pvc piping, IAL and Mulberry leaves won't cause TDS to rise, at least not by much. So you can cross that off the list as a cause.

 

Third, I'll let others comment on Boss Mineral powder and whether it causes a rise in TDS or not. I don't have that product so I'm not sure. Maybe Squiggle can chime in if he has tested for impacts to water parameter. But I do use Benibachi mineral powder, and it does contain Calcium and magnesium, which increases TDS. However, it won't be by much of an increase unless you overdose. So the Mineral powders you are using might not be the only cause of TDS rising to 400+.

 

Lastly, I see you have quite a few rocks in the tank. Some rocks can increase TDS, and this could very well be your issue and main culprit. I would suggest taking them out and placing it in a bucket with RO water. Test it after 24 hours to see if TDS rises. Test it again after 48 hours to confirm if TDS continues to rise.

There is also a slight chance that ceramic noodles might raise TDS, especially cheap noodles. So if you don't find the rocks as the cause, test your ceramic noodles.

<not sure what stars are, that you mentioned>

Edited by jayc

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Jenbenwren

Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and advice JayC, and also to the members that have posted as well. I really appreciate it.

I left the shrimp in the salt bath for around 5 minutes then moved him into a container of tank water. I checked on him about 1:30 and he was still on his back, weakly waving his legs around. I didn't think he had a chance of pulling through, so the kindest thing I could do was end it quickly for him instead of leaving him to suffer like that.

I don't believe the Boss Minerals are contributing to the high tds. I use it in my CRS tank and Mischling/TB, TBM, TBMM/RCS tanks and there hasn't been a noticeable difference from when I was using the Benibachi Mineral Powder.

Good idea to test the rocks and I'll start that today. I'll also take out the terracotta pot cave just in case. I'll be pretty peaved if it is the rock causing it as both lfs I purchased rock from knew it was being used in a shrimp tank and know a lot about shrimp and sell them as well. I brought 'yellow strat Rock' (I think that's what 1 is) from the store that talked me into buying the ADA amazonia when they said 'it would stop releasing ammonia and be fully cycled so I could start putting our RCS & BN within 7 days'.

The ceramic stars are the same as ceramic noodles but shaped like a star to increase surface area. I've attached a pic of something similar I found through Google.

post-868-0-82710600-1418154522_thumb.jpg

Edited by Jenbenwren

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jayc

Let us know the results after you have tested the rocks and it's effect on TDS.

 

I've never seen nor used those Star ceramic noodles. Could be worthwhile testing them too.

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Jenbenwren

I took the yellow strat rocks, the pieces of the other rock around and under the cave and the terracotta pot the cave was made from this morning then did another 20% water change with straight RO. I vacced the left back quarter of the tank and the water that came out was nearly black and left fine black mud in the bottom of the bucket. I'd say the fine silt under the gravel was caused by our BN when he tried to dig his caves and would crush the ADA into a fine powder while he was doing it.

After the WC the tds dropped to 328 at 8:10, rose to 343 at 9:00 then dropped again to 327 at 11:00. And I just noticed Miss 4 has put colored chalk in 1 of the test containers of RO and rock, so I'll start again and put the containers somewhere that both our dog & Miss 4 can't get to lol.

There's 4 different ceramic noodles, including the star shaped one, so I'll take out and test a couple of each type. I'll also do some reading about different types of bio media, just to see what's out there

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Jenbenwren

After 2 days both rocks have raised the tds a little. This is the results so far, as well as tonight's wps in the tank.

Tank:- Tds 328 08:10 10/12

Tds 343 09:00 10/12

Tds 327 11:10 10/12

Tds 330 18:15 10/12

Tds 332 15:30 12/12

rocks (both a similar size) but Yellow strat is in about 5 litres water to cover the anubias attached to it, and the other rock is in about 2.5 litres of water

Pre rock RO water tds 0-1 added 9:15am 10/12

Yellow strat:- tds 2 11:10 10/12

Tds 5 18:32 12/12

Other rock:- tds 2 11:10 10/12

Tds 4 18:32 12/12

Tank wp 19:55 12/12

Ph 6.6, gh 3, kh 0, ammonia nitrite & nitrate 0

From what I've seen there's been 1 death every 2 days.

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jayc

What's the ceramic noodle's TDS reading like?

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Jenbenwren

I haven't had a chance to take any out to test yet, but I'm hoping to find some time to do it during the week.

I've been looking into some of the other types of Bio media that's available and I'm thinking of gradually replacing the ceramics with Marine Pure, even if they aren't breaking down yet.

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Jenbenwren

I've finally finished testing the rocks and various filter media. The different types of filter media didn't raise tds at all. The rock I was unsure of was bluestone it raised the tds by 3 in the first 5 days and the tds didn't go up any higher over the next 2 weeks. The piece of bluestone took up nearly half of the container I tested it in. After nearly 3 weeks the yellow strat Rock kept raising the the tds and the tds was 36 when I stopped the test. The piece of yellow strat I used for the test was about a third of the size of the piece of bluestone, but it was sitting in about 12 times more water so the anubias attached to it wouldn't dry out.

I picked up some Hydrochloric Acid for the pool yesterday and this morning I thought I'd see what would happen if I brushed a little bit of the acid onto the rocks. None of the bluestone caused a reaction but the yellow strat fizzed and bubbled. I did ask if the yellow strat would be safe to use in a shrimp tank before I brought it and I'm just glad it didn't cost to much.

The tds in the tank is slowly coming down with regular waterchanges, but the gh & kh are still low to 0. I did add 1 dose of Levamisole HCL when I did the first waterchange and I noticed that within 48 hours all the noticable black signs of the bacterial infection had disappeared. I'm still losing the ocassional RCS but it looks more like a moulting issue now, and the Chameleons still haven't been affected by any of it.

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Sprae

Looking like you're on the right track Jen. Take a latest photo of the whole tank for us. 

 

Remember, most shrimp keeping tanks are pretty bare except for moss and centre piece driftwood. 

 

If low GH/KH is your main issue now, get some mineral balls and add them in your tank (1 per 20L) or dose mineral powder into your tank if you're just using tap water. If you're going RO, make sure you're using good water mineralisers like Salty Shrimps Minerals (1 for RCS and 1 for CBS/CRS)

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jayc

After nearly 3 weeks the yellow strat Rock kept raising the the tds and the tds was 36 when I stopped the test.

Looks like you found the problem. Well done.

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Squiggle

Third, I'll let others comment on Boss Mineral powder and whether it causes a rise in TDS or not. I don't have that product so I'm not sure. Maybe Squiggle can chime in if he has tested for impacts to water parameter. But I do use Benibachi mineral powder, and it does contain Calcium and magnesium, which increases TDS. However, it won't be by much of an increase unless you overdose. So the Mineral powders you are using might not be the only cause of TDS rising to 400+

Sorry I missed this thread, I have done extensive comparisons between my mineral powder & the Benibachi Mironecton & there is very little difference. As jayc mentioned, there is a slight TDS rise but very little & not enough to affect the TDS level in a negative way. :thumbsu:

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kizshrimp

I think it's significant that Jen appears to have successfully treated a bacterial infection using Levamisole HCL after finding a reference somewhere that it may work. Levamisole is normally used in aquaria for treating intestinal worms like Camallanus in fish, and is much safer to use than the older alternative Ivermectin. It has also been found to have significant immunostimulant properties. 

 

I believe this is an inspired course of action and one that others should also experiment with. As there doesn't seem to be any comments regarding this, I hope I'm not the only reader to have noticed. 

 

Jen, I think you should post your success on JayC's thread about disease treatments, so the information is all assembled in the same place. 

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jayc

I think it's significant that Jen appears to have successfully treated a bacterial infection using Levamisole HCL after finding a reference somewhere that it may work. Levamisole is normally used in aquaria for treating intestinal worms like Camallanus in fish, and is much safer to use than the older alternative Ivermectin. It has also been found to have significant immunostimulant properties. 

 

I believe this is an inspired course of action and one that others should also experiment with. As there doesn't seem to be any comments regarding this, I hope I'm not the only reader to have noticed. 

 

Jen, I think you should post your success on JayC's thread about disease treatments, so the information is all assembled in the same place. 

 

 

No it wasn't missed. I noticed it too.

Adding it to the sticky thread will be a big boost to the database.

Don't forget to also tell us where to buy Levamisole HCL. 

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Jenbenwren

Sorry I've been offline for a while. I'll post it on the sticky as well as a link to the article I found that first made me think Levamisole might be worth trying to treat the infection

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