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Old 02-28-2014, 10:17 PM   #1
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Exclamation New Plants, Nitrite Spike, Dead RCS

I am very new to shrimp and new to planted tanks. I have a Fluval Spec V with a betta 3 purple zebra snails and as of yesterday 10 cherry shrimp. I had recently ordered 3 Anubias Nana "Petite" and they arrived today. I soaked them in some salt water to kill any possible snail pests (I read on some forum that this is a good idea) and then rinsed them and sat them in some dechlorinated water for a few hours until I had time to plant. As soon as I put the first on in the tank, I noticed the shrimp going to the top of the tank. I first thought that they were just trying to get away from me, but then I watched the first one die while I was adding the second "Petite". I decided to do a water test as I thought maybe I had caused an ammonia spike by messing around in the sand (I have a plant substrate in the tank topped with about 1/2" of white sand). The ammonia was about .25 ppm and I didn't think that was killing the shrimp (by now two had died and the rest were acting weird at the top of the tank). I decided to check the Nitrites and they were through the roof! I quickly did a big water change and only lost one more shrimp and brought the nitrites to 0 ppm. What could have caused this? I honestly read a post today and same exact thing happened to someone else when they added new plants. How often should I check my nitrites now? Should I do partial water changes every day? This is my second batch of cherry shrimp and I really don't want to lose all of them. I honestly don't know what happened to my first 10, they just disappeared day by day, saw a few dead and know at least 3 got sucked into the lower intake on the Fluval. The tank has been up and running Since Feb. 11 and I didn't add a fish until the next week. I also didn't test the water at that time because I am still learning and my API water test kit hadn't arrived. Should I wait until the tank matures some more before I try more shrimp? The first batch of cherry's was very small so I ordered "Adult" shrimp this time. Then I read that you should go for the younger ones over the older because they can more easily adapt. I am so confused about the shrimp and about the nitrite spike. I hate to kill any more of those poor little guys. They are so fun to watch! Please help if you can! Oh, I know someone will fuss at me because I didn't do a fishless cycle. I am fairly new to aquariums having bought my first Nano tank for a betta I "rescued" from Walmart last August. It's been a learn as you go thing with the my other two nano tanks...this all started because I wanted another betta and decided they needed live plants! Who knew???? 3 bettas and now 4 tanks. One is "cycling" with plants and a snail....
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:37 PM   #2
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From your post, it looks like your tank is not cycled yet. Avoid buying anymore livestock until it's fully cycled. I've never heard of plants causing any ammonia problems in a tank. Your first 10 shrimp died because your betta ate them. Bettas are aggressive hunters and if presented with prey, will go for it. Your shrimp have a chance of survival in your tank with lots of moss so that they can hide from the betta.

For now, perform daily water changes and testing. When your parameters have reached 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 10-20 nitrate, your tank has cycled.

Buy some java moss - it's the most hardy of all the mosses.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for answering me so quickly. I too thought the betta may have eaten my first shrimp because they were so tiny. That's why I ordered larger cherry's this time. I do have driftwood, rock and plants in my tank for hiding spaces for them and Joey did chase them at first but now seems to be ignoring them. I can account for all the ones that have died. I am looking for some more entertaining tank mates for my betta because he's in that 5 gallon hiding a lot of time and honestly, there's not much to see. My other bettas are in 4 gal and 2 gal Fluval tanks. And please, no fussing at me. These tanks are highly filtered and have live plants and a snail each. The betta are what started my aquarium habit. I have three now and maybe a fourth soon!
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:56 PM   #4
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Shrimp love moss to breed in and the babies love it to hide in. Moss is a must in your shrimp tank if you want them to thrive.

Keep up the daily water changes and things will go well for your tank.
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