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Old 04-10-2016, 09:28 AM   #1
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Help!Can't figure out why RCS are dying?

So up until this week I didn't have any RCS deaths for quite some time. This week I'm averaging about one death a day! I keep apiece of cuttle fish bone in the tank, Indian almond leaf, mineral balls, lots of plants. Feed almost everyday, except when they get Shrimp Frenzy which takes them a while to eat. Check parameters this AM: 0 ammonia, 7.6 pH. The nitrates are very hard to determine with the shades or orange, but I think it's about 20ppm, could be higher, can't be completely sure. Not sure if it's the nitrates that are the culprit? I dose PPS daily, 2.5 mL for 30 gal tank. Should I cut it down since by nitrates are higher? Doing a 50% WC right now, like I do every week. Help!!!


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Old 04-10-2016, 01:23 PM   #2
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I've split off the nitrates into a separate container so that I can dose them if needed (only dosed in a planted holding tank with no fish). The bio load in my planted and shrimp tank seem to produce a sufficient amount of nitrates.
I would measure the KH and GH. I believe if they are too low then deaths after mounting can occur.


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Old 04-10-2016, 09:49 PM   #3
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I agree about checking the hardness. Low hardness causes my RCS to die off slowly.


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Old 04-11-2016, 05:52 PM   #4
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I agree about checking the hardness. Low hardness causes my RCS to die off slowly.


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My Gh is about 8 and kH is about 5, how does that measure up in terms of RCS?


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Old 04-11-2016, 06:30 PM   #5
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My Gh is about 8 and kH is about 5, how does that measure up in terms of RCS?


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Last time I checked mine was 9 and 5, respectively. Those are good numbers.


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Old 04-12-2016, 04:30 AM   #6
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Nitrates are super deadly to shrimp at those levels, PJFISH. I don't know what PPS is, if it's a nitrate rich fertilizer I'd stop dosing it. 50% water change may be a good idea to cut down the nitrates. Afterwards, skip feeding the shrimp for a few days. If water quality is already weird, food is the last thing to add to the tank. Do you have another tank with hornwort or water lettuce? I think they absorb nitrates very well.

Aside from that ... Did they all die in the same area or are they being found all over the place? Did you recently cut any plant leaves in the tank that you haven't cut before?
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:43 PM   #7
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Nitrates are super deadly to shrimp at those levels, PJFISH. I don't know what PPS is, if it's a nitrate rich fertilizer I'd stop dosing it. 50% water change may be a good idea to cut down the nitrates. Afterwards, skip feeding the shrimp for a few days. If water quality is already weird, food is the last thing to add to the tank. Do you have another tank with hornwort or water lettuce? I think they absorb nitrates very well.

Aside from that ... Did they all die in the same area or are they being found all over the place? Did you recently cut any plant leaves in the tank that you haven't cut before?

That's an interesting point, about cutting plant leaves. Are there known plants to be toxic to shrimp if the sap is released into the water? I have a variety of plants and have not seen any affect on the shrimps when trimming and thinning out the plants.
Agree about the nitrate level though, 20ppm is the absolute maximum.
I keep the Kh and Gh at about 6 deg and the shrimp have no problem shedding their shells. Look carefully at the dead shrimp and if there is a white line across the back, just behind the head, then the shrimp probably died trying to shed its shell.


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Old 04-15-2016, 07:56 PM   #8
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I think I've read that some anubias if cut in the tank can lead to problems. Though I've also read that many have done that without the problems. I am thinking to compile a list of truly smart plants to have in a shrimp tank. While plants are usually fine, long term a lot of them shed a lot of leaves and take important nutrients from the water. They also may tempt you to fertilize them or provide conditions more favorable for plant growth. Java moss is always best when trying to breed as many as you can. But something tougher like dwarf baby tears? They're picky and will force a shrimp keeper to provide conditions either more healthy for the plant or for the shrimp.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:14 AM   #9
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I noticed you didn't mention nitrite and I'd test for them first because nitrite at even low levels is like poison to shrimp and fish. Damaging them interally (ammonia effects the on the surface of their body) I'd also take a look at what your feeding the shrimp, some flakes contain low levels of copper which is also poison to shrimp. Lastly tds, if it's beyond the shrimps "range" the shrimp can't molt properly and this is the most common cause of deaths.

Nitrates only affect shrimp at high levels which is why people can dose it without any detremental effect. I'm not sure what consitutes "high" but personally, I don't like to go above 10ppm of nitrate within a week.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:14 PM   #10
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I noticed you didn't mention nitrite and I'd test for them first because nitrite at even low levels is like poison to shrimp and fish. Damaging them interally (ammonia effects the on the surface of their body) I'd also take a look at what your feeding the shrimp, some flakes contain low levels of copper which is also poison to shrimp. Lastly tds, if it's beyond the shrimps "range" the shrimp can't molt properly and this is the most common cause of deaths.

Nitrates only affect shrimp at high levels which is why people can dose it without any detremental effect. I'm not sure what consitutes "high" but personally, I don't like to go above 10ppm of nitrate within a week.

No ammonia, got the nitrates down by half. Last week I had no deaths, until this morning. Checked him out, didn't see any white looking line down his shell. Have a chunk of cuttlebone in there to help with molting. I feed them approximately 5 days out if the week. I skip the day after they get long lasting food. Am I over feeding!


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Old 04-20-2016, 03:48 AM   #11
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No ammonia, got the nitrates down by half. Last week I had no deaths, until this morning. Checked him out, didn't see any white looking line down his shell. Have a chunk of cuttlebone in there to help with molting. I feed them approximately 5 days out if the week. I skip the day after they get long lasting food. Am I over feeding!
Personal opinion here but I'd say yes you are overfeeding. I have roughly 20 bee shrimp with very little "visable" algae and I feed them a few pellets to fight over once a week. Usually after a WC because London's water isn't ideal.

But again, you didn't say what your "Nitrites" reading is. This is completely different from Nitrate and the latter is only harmful to shrimp above a certain ppm. A liquid test kit of nitrite could rule out a slew of complications and bring us closer to the issue your facing.
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