Shrimps are dying :(, advice please

Recommended Posts


Hi everyone,

I'm new to keeping shrimp and many of my shrimp have died in the last week so I'm looking for help please. I started my one gallon tank for my desk at work at the end of March with a fishless cycle using treated tap water. The tank has a filter, sponge filter cover, gravel, a java fern that seems a bit "meh" (kinda green/kinda brown), and a java moss. Once the tank was cycled and I added my shrimp, I was doing weekly 10%ish water changes by adding pre-treated water from a jug on the side (API Tap Water Conditioner, 1 drop in the water jug for water changes).

Here is a timeline:
4/25- 7 Neocaridina Davidi shrimps arrived and I acclimated via the drip method. For the next week, all seemed well and the shrimps were molting
5/2- 1 shrimp died
5/7- I panicked and thought that two shrimps had actually died by now, but miscounted and it was really only one shrimp from 5/2. In my panic, I went out and bought Prime as I was worried the API water treatment was not cutting it. I refilled my side water change jug with new water and added 2 drops of Prime and set it aside until the next day. 
5/8- I did my 10%ish water change and I also added a drop of Prime to the tank water.
5/9- Shrimp #2 died overnight. I panicked again and did another 10% water change thinking I must have done something wrong by switching to Prime or I should not have added that extra drop. Another shrimp died later this day, totaling three deaths. I noticed one shrimp in the tank seemed to be sluggish and hoped he would not be next.
5/10- By mid-day, the sluggish 4th shrimp died. Now only 3 of my original 7 remain.

Here are my water parameters as of today-
PH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: between 10-20ppm (in the past week, as high as 40ppm)
GH: 4 (this was a 2 last week until I added some WonderShell)
KH: 6
Temp: ranges from 73-78 during during the day (73 at 6am, 78 by 3pm)

Is there something else I should be testing in the water? Is it possible that a one gallon is just too small? I know the PH is high and it actually was 8.2 prior to adding my shrimp, but I added peat granules and almond leaves which lowered it to 8.0 (perhaps I did not add enough?). I have since stopped trying to alter the PH with peat and it is staying at a steady 8.0. I'm also using API Stress Zyme (.5ml once a week).

Any advice is very much appreciated.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, shrimpment76 said:

PH: 8.0
GH: 4 (this was a 2 last week until I added some WonderShell)

pH is a bit high.

Not crazy high but enough to put a bit of effort in reducing it. Aim for 7.0 for Cherry shrimp.

Add some more peat granules if you have them.


I don't think you should be adding wondershell into the tank. Take it out.  It is working in opposition to the peat. Wondershell is nothing but calcium carbonate. This is keeping your pH high.

API stress zyme is also not needed every week. If the tank is cycled with real nitrifying bacteria, stress zyme is not needed. 


You seem to be doing everything else right. Just too many additives. Cut out the Prime, API StressZyme and Wondershell.


Edited by jayc
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your advice, jayc. I forgot to mention my tap water's pH is 8.0 straight from the tap. I must not have used enough peat as what I thought was a considerable amount only seemed to lower the pH from 8.2 to 8.0

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now