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Invertebrates Who you calling a shrimp!?

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Old 05-30-2019, 02:32 AM   #1
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Unhappy Red cherry shrimp die off

Hi everyone,

I am having a very frustrating issue that I cannot seem to resolve. I have had this planted tank since December of last year. I got 12 x red cherry shrimp (ultra reds) in feb 2019 and 10 x males a couple of weeks later. I do water changes once - twice /week and more often than not, seem to end up loosing one/two of the cherry shrimp. More often, it is the ultra reds that I loose. I also have 12 amanos in there and they are never fazed.

I noticed the symptoms last week when I lost a pregnant female (pic attached). The fish in the tank soon ate all the eggs that were hanging from its saddle. The shrimp was fine after adding new water, but soon became disoriented and upside down. It was still trying to breathe, but soon it stopped moving and died.

I use tap water in my tank (Mississauga water). I use prime to dechlorinate it. My water changes are nearly 50% per water change. I lost this shrimp however at a 20% water change too. Tap water here is nearly pH 8. However, since tank has Amazonia soil, pH is generally around 5 or 6 last time Big als tested it. I remove water using tube to suction it out. I generally try to get the sludge from under the foreground mat. I add back water by filling up a bucket after adding one capful of prime to it. I run the water gently from the bucket over my hand and drop it on the focal rock in the layout.

I have had the shrimp reproduce in the tank and produce babies. I now have a crew of 10 scarlet Badis in there and I think they will cause a big dent in the propogation. I just need to prevent the water change deaths and I think I might have a nice ecosystem going in there. What can I fix to prevent the deaths?


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Old 05-30-2019, 11:31 AM   #2
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One capful of Prime is enough to treat 50 gallons.

I use a few drop in a five gallon bucket.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:11 PM   #3
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Diagnosing the source of problems is difficult, but here are some ideas to explore:

1. Greg is right that you're using too much prime. If your bucket is 5 gallons and you're dropping in a capful of prime, that's 10x the dose. This gets diluted when added to your tank, but depending on your tank size that could still be a very high dose. I've read that when there isn't enough ammonia for prime to act on, it "goes after" oxygen. I don't have the background to weigh in on the truth of that statement.

2. If you're changing 50% of the water and the incoming water is ph 8 while the tank is ph 6, that'll result in a full 1 ph change very quickly. And then possibly that happens twice a week. There's commentary out there suggesting that ph swings are stressful.

3. You could try running your water through a carbon cartridge with the aim of removing something toxic that might be coming in. The kind used by RV campers is what I'm thinking of. Are you in a building or a house? I've been told that buildings flush their systems with cleaning agents.

If it were me, I'd back off of the water changes without changing anything else and see if the death rate slows. If it does, than you'll have more evidence that the deaths are water change related.

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Old 05-30-2019, 01:19 PM   #4
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Default Red cherry shrimp die off

Shrimp as well like stability, much more sensitive to change than most fish even though cherries are quite hardy. you could try a drip system water change if those parameters are so different as I have had issues similar on smaller tanks but none as of yet on my larger tanks, like yours.

The upside down though, while still alive? I haven't seen much of that aside from the odd planaria attacking a weak or sick shrimp.. though I haven't experienced a lot of shrimp-related diseases, just stress. They are getting enough to eat with the other fish in the tank?

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Old 06-07-2019, 05:28 PM   #5
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THanks guys for the feedback. Yes! The deaths stopped when I don't do any water changes. I tried it for a week and there was no shrimp deaths. I will cut back on the amount of prime I am using and will try to use a more gentle water change method. how do you guys do your water changes for shrimp tanks? Do you pour it in or do you do a drip method? How would u set up a drip method with some airline tubing? do you clamp it to the side of the tank?
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:21 PM   #6
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I don't use prime, I just let the tap water sit for 24 hours and then change 30% of water monthly
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:48 AM   #7
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Why are you using Amazonia soil with cherry shrimp? Cherry shrimps prefer harder water and do not do well in soft water at all. PH of 5 or 6 is extremely low. I wouldn't be surprised this was the reason you are losing shrimps.

Also, with such a low pH, and with a 50% water change, you're probably causing a huge pH swing with every water change.

I think you're better off turning this tank over to the scarlet badis instead, although I hear they're pretty territorial too.
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