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Old 01-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #1
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Dying shrimp

Hi all,
I have a 29 g tank with 7 white cloud mtn minnows, two bushynosed plecos and multiples of their offspring, four julii corys and now about four rcs.

I keep hearing about how easy shrimp are to keep and that they breed like crazy, but I am now on my third infusion of shrimp and they keep dying. I gave my tank more time to mature (its about a year old now), got some sponge to cover the filter intake, and got them more things to hide in.

So yesterday I did a 50% water change, removed some driftwood so I could capture some juvenile plecos to take to my lfs, and rearranged some decor. Tested water prior, pH was 6.7, water between soft and hard, alkalinity dead center, nitrites zero, nitrAtes were less than 20ppm, I'd guess 10 (I just have strips right now, no ammonia on them). I did a fair amount of gravel vacuuming, although I stayed more superficial than usual. After the water change my values were identical.

Went to my lfs after that and bought four new rcs. This morning when I woke up I found my one remaining rcs from before, dead on the bottom of the tank. He didn't look injured or nibbled on. All other inhabitants of the tank, including juvie plecos, seem perfectly happy. So I'm wondering, what am I doing wrong?! Are they very prone to stress and corralling up the plecos did him in? Did I stir up toxins from the gravel? I also dosed ferts for the first time, flourish complete and trace, could that have added to his stress? I saw one of the new shrimp today, seems to be fine.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to make sure I had all the info out there. Thanks for any help!!
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:58 PM   #2
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I believe that Flourish and Trace contain copper. Shrimp cannot tolerate copper and I'm not sure if the amount of copper in these products is of any significance.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:24 PM   #3
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They do both contain copper 😥 and I dosed them at the same time, probably did not help. Thanks for the info, I did not know that about shrimp.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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Yeah shrimp are very sensitive to copper, so dosing ferts or anything like that really isn't an option when you have shrimps and other inverts in the tank
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
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I can only talk from my own experience. I have been using Seachem flourish excel at the stated dose of 1 capful per 50 gallons daily for the past 4 months. My plants are thriving, my fish are active and healthy and most importantly my shrimp are healthy, feeding and breeding (RCS). The tank is very heavily planted and I am assuming that they use up the excel efficiently. I also inject low level Co2 to help along the way.
I do however feel that the excel has reduced the overall algae level in the tank and so I feed the shrimp on algae wafers occasionally to ensure they have enough food.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:15 PM   #6
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Ok. I have 5.5 gallon. How do I use the flourish excel properly in it?
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #7
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Dying shrimp

The excel dose is one capful 5ml per 50 gallons per day. Scale that down and a 5 gallon tank needs 0.5ml per day. One droplet is accepted to be 0.05ml (unless more viscous than water). As excel is very thin I would use 10 drops per day giving the required 0.5ml. If your tank is sparsely planted then I would start at half dose until plants are increased. Co2 injection would seem over the top for a small tank and very hard to keep under control if fish and inverts are present.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:51 PM   #8
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The new shrimp in the tank seem to be doing fine, so if it was the copper it seems the level has disseminated enough. I had put both doses in the first bucket of replacement water, maybe that was too concentrated for him. Right now I just have some anubias and a very small amount of java moss, but I want to add some more plants in the near future and wanted to get used to using ferts. If I don't have many plants, could I be overdosing by using the recommended dose? Is it ok for me to use a smaller amount even with shrimp? It seems as though in your experience it should be fine. Can't believe I poisoned my shrimp 😣
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:54 PM   #9
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I use the recommended dose of excel and have not lost any shrimp. I started at half dose for about a month and increased to full dose as the plants thickened out.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #10
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I had trouble with RCS for the first 3-4 months. 10 out of 15 died shortly after molting. No fish present in this tank; just plants and snails. I added some chunks of cuttle bone suspecting that the calcium was low. 20g long with dual T5 NO. Weekly water changes and no ferts aside from root tabs. I also suspected the remaining five were all females (I picked out the most colorful ones at the LFS; females tend to be more colorful).

In October I ordered 20 shrimp from another member which included 4 berried females. The population has steadily grown. Some may have died but there are enough babies and juveniles to make up for it.

IMO I would wait until the weather improves.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:59 PM   #11
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Do you think the cuttlebone helped? I have some, and I've used it before, I stopped because my water got very hard, wasn't sure if it would hurt the fish.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:14 PM   #12
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I think so. There were fewer molting related deaths after adding it. I did not measure the calcium. I did measure the GH and KH and I believe it was 9 and 5 respectively.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:59 PM   #13
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I just measured the GH and KH as well, I just assumed the rise in GH was from higher calcium, although I guess I don't have proof. Well I went ahead and put some cuttlebone back in, so far everyone seems to be doing well, we'll see how it goes. Thank you everyone for your help!
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:19 PM   #14
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Well, good luck with this. Things are better now in my tank than early on. Perhaps the shrimp are benefitting from biofilm that might not have been present at the start. Also, the few shrimp I had used to hide all of the time. I do not see that now; shrimp, large or small, constantly roaming the tank or grazing somewhere.
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