Rather than using "time" as a guide we should use the water parameters as the reference of when the shrimp/fish has had enough acclimation.
Now that you have (or will have) a TDS pen, you just need to measure the TDS of your tank and the water the shrimp came in.
Lets say your tank TDS = 150. And the water the shrimp came in = 200.
So you start dripping water into the bag the shrimp came in. You keep dripping until TDS is close to 150 (TDS of your tank water). Say 155 TDS should be ok. This take as long as it needs to reach close to 150TDS. It could be 1 hour. It could take 12 hours. This is why I will hesitate telling someone that 1-2 hour drip acclimation is enough. It all depends on the start water parameters and how fast the drip is going.
Anyway, good luck, and I hope you sort the issue out without too many more deaths.
Maybe I'm nitpicking, but 68-78 F? That's a pretty wide range. How have you been doing your water changes? Dripping the water slowly or just putting it in? That can temperature shock the shrimp. Cold water is better than hot (funky pipes and all) but if you're giving the shrimp a temperature shock in doing so, it could be just as harmful.
Thank you! I am trying to make sure everything is good to go - and I want to take good care of my shrimp for sure. I just ordered an ammonia API test kit (I believe chemical tests provide more accurate results compared to the strip tests) and a TDS pen on amazon so I should get those Wednesday. I will try not to mess with my water too much until I get the necessary things I need. I am glad things seem to be so-so for now. I drip acclimated for 1-2 hours when I got my blue velvets with the current water in a specimen container and dripping tank water into the container itself.
Yeah, sorry about that.
I have a 3cm Apisto Agasizzi right now. It's fairly young, and has some growing up to do.
But it is happily chomping down on shrimp, my culls.
All apistos have relatively large mouths compared to their body size. That means they will eat things that other similarly size fish wouldn't.