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Old 09-09-2015, 03:24 AM   #1
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Mysterious Snail and Shrimp disappearance.

I currently am breaking in my very first low tech (Walstad) Tank. Never tried it this way before but seems to be working as described. Is about 2 months old.

Tanks is 20 gal long profile. (15 gal actual water)
1 inch of Miracle Grow Organic Choice soil covered by 1 inch pea gravel.
1 Small power head for aeration.
BRS DIY style Screen Top.
Current USA Sattalite LED Plus fixture.

I have about 18 plants of various species including Amazon Swords, Baby tears, Anachris etc.
I had 1 Dwarf Groumi
3 Sunrise Guppies
11 neons
3 Bristle Nose Pleccos (Small)
5 trumpet snails.
5 cherry shrimp.

Water specs are as follows and have been stable for weeks now.
pH 7.99 (pHep 5)
GH 10dkh (API)
KH 8 dKH (API)
CO2 5.63 ppm (Calculated from pH and KH)
Total Ammonia 0 ppm (API)
Nitrite 0 ppm (API)
Nitrate 0 ppm (API)
Phopshate 0.09 ppm (30 ppb) (Hanna Phosphorus ULR converted to PPM)
Iron 0 ppm (Seachem Multitest)

I dose Flourish Comp, Flourish Potassium, and recently Excel.

I added the livestock slowly over a 1 month period.
First to disappear was the cherry shrimp. 3 days after adding only 1 was around. Now I see none for weeks.
I think I have 1 trumpet snail left. he only moves at night. The others may be hiding but I don't think they burrow?
After a week I found one of the 3 guppies dead. A few days ago the 2nd one was pale and all tore up. He had some fin damage on the lower part of his tail fin. I see no signs of anything bad with the other fish. I have no ammonia present. I suspect he got beat up but all my fish are peaceful. Maybe he swam into the power head? he seems to be recovering now.

I have plenty of plants and yellow water so heavy metal should not be an issue?

Seachem Multitest shows no detectable level of Copper. Reference sample still reacting so test is still working. I don't think I trust my eye at the low end of the chart though. What is the toxic level of Cu to Inverts?

BTW plants seem fine. No growth as expected but the tissue has improved a lot since I started adding fish food,Flourish Comp,K etc.

Some people I consult with have suggested my pH is way to high for cherry shrimp. Is that the most likely issue? I mixed in a large amount of oyster grit with the soil to buffer my GH and KH for the plants. Some of the woody stem species have twisty leaves which I believe can be from too much Ca? Also the water is slightly hazy, also consistent with too high of a ph? Guess I I have to live with it.

Thanks for any input.
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