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Old 05-13-2012, 08:36 PM   #1
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RCS Mysteriously dying?

Hello all, I recently added 10 RCS to my 20 gallon planted tank. I have 8 harlequin rasboras and 4 oto cats in the tank with them. The day after I brought them home and put them in the tank I found one pregnant female on its back dead. When I took it out it bent very easily in it's midsection and almost broke in half. Over the following days all was fine in the tank and I assumed it didn't survive the three hour car ride back. Unfortunately today I came back from a two day trip and yet another was dead in the same position except it was a male and did break in half! Some of my shrimp were hiding while others were out and about doing their usual foraging. All of them have gotten a lot redder as I have had them as well. I know rasboras can pick at adult RCS but I've only seen them curiously nip at one swimming in midwater, although generally they ignore them. Also, I generally skip feeding my rasboras once a week anyway so I don't think they were very hungry. As far as my parameters go my PH is 7.2, ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, and nitrates are 10ppm, and the Temp is 78F. I haven't used any ferts since I got them and used excel flourish three or four times at half dosage, no CO2 either. I also know they aren't starving because my tank has algae and I give them the an algae wafer every few days. Any suggestions on what to do to prevent any more from dying or what could be killing them? Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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Hello all, I recently added 10 RCS to my 20 gallon planted tank. I have 8 harlequin rasboras and 4 oto cats in the tank with them. The day after I brought them home and put them in the tank I found one pregnant female on its back dead. When I took it out it bent very easily in it's midsection and almost broke in half. Over the following days all was fine in the tank and I assumed it didn't survive the three hour car ride back. Unfortunately today I came back from a two day trip and yet another was dead in the same position except it was a male and did break in half! Some of my shrimp were hiding while others were out and about doing their usual foraging. All of them have gotten a lot redder as I have had them as well. I know rasboras can pick at adult RCS but I've only seen them curiously nip at one swimming in midwater, although generally they ignore them. Also, I generally skip feeding my rasboras once a week anyway so I don't think they were very hungry. As far as my parameters go my PH is 7.2, ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, and nitrates are 10ppm, and the Temp is 78F. I haven't used any ferts since I got them and used excel flourish three or four times at half dosage, no CO2 either. I also know they aren't starving because my tank has algae and I give them the an algae wafer every few days. Any suggestions on what to do to prevent any more from dying or what could be killing them? Thanks in advance!
Yeap! This issue plagues a lot of people. I noticed you didn't anywhere list your KH, GH or TDS paramaters.

These are incredibly important. Your RCS most likely died trying to molt. They unfortunately died in the process because they couldn't get the necessary nutrients to complete their molts. Or that's how it was explained to me.

If it is a calcium deficiency, you'll be able to add a few supplements/natural things to keep your calcium at a satisfactory level.

Once you figure out your KH, GH and TDS, let us know. But my guess is you have just incredibly soft water.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for your response! I've seen KH and GH test kits before but never TDS. Are they available at petco? I googled it and the only thing that came up are $100-$200 dollar kits. Is there a cheaper option or can I just go with the KH and GH testers?
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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Thank you very much for your response! I've seen KH and GH test kits before but never TDS. Are they available at petco? I googled it and the only thing that came up are $100-$200 dollar kits. Is there a cheaper option or can I just go with the KH and GH testers?
To be honest, I'm not sure about petco. I know you can pick up API fluid and API test strips. But the strips work really well in my opinion. People say bah strips are garbage, but the ones from API are pretty close, if not near accurate.

The entire kit will only run you 12. It has nitrate nitrite GH KH and TDS.

TDS is total dissolved solids. Generally the more you have, the better off your shrimp are rather than the less you have. Lol.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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Alright, I could't find the API test strips so I got the Mardel ones petco had. Although I couldn't find anything that gave tds. It reads: 7.2 ph, 40ppm Alkalinity, 120ppm Total Hardness, 0 nitrite, and 10ppm nitrate. What are some ideal numbers for my shrimp that won't interfere with my fish? Also what are some things I can either put in the water/filter or supplements I can add to change things safely?

Also, is it possible my shrimp are getting stuck in their old shells and dying while trying to molt?
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #6
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Alright, I could't find the API test strips so I got the Mardel ones petco had. Although I couldn't find anything that gave tds. It reads: 7.2 ph, 40ppm Alkalinity, 120ppm Total Hardness, 0 nitrite, and 10ppm nitrate. What are some ideal numbers for my shrimp that won't interfere with my fish? Also what are some things I can either put in the water/filter or supplements I can add to change things safely?

Also, is it possible my shrimp are getting stuck in their old shells and dying while trying to molt?
Idk how to interpret Alkalinity as KH or GH.. My total hardness isnt far off of yours. So that baffles me a little. Hmmm
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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From what I've read KH is about the same as alkalinity. Could it be my shrimp aren't getting enough nutrition from the algae in my tank?
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:43 PM   #8
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Hi how long has your tank been set up? Also have you added any plants lately? I recently have lost allot of shrimp,before they died they appeared to be twitching and would be incoherent then simply sink to the bottom dead Good luck
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
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It's been set up for almost two months and I added three micro sword plants when I added the shrimp. I also have driftwood in the tank. Thanks for all the responses!
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Hi i recently read in PFK {Practical Fishkeeping} that some plants can contain pesticides used to control pests,the chemicals used is lethal to shrimps,it may just be a coincidence though? Also if you are in the United States this may not be relevant? In the UK most of the plants come from abroad where they have to treat the plants by law to eradicate pests before exporting,depending on where its from to how safe it is to use? Also it may be simply that they didn't travel well and the remaining shrimps will be OK?
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