So here's the story: I've had a freshwater tank going for about 3.5 years. It started as a 10G tank, but has upgraded over time into a 20G long planted tank. I've successfully kept fish and shrimp in there before; I've had ghost shrimp and even RCS in there, which all lived for a while until the fish ended up eating them (I didn't know any better at the time). Recently I've decided to move all the fish in this tank to a different tank and make this one into a shrimp-only tank. The fish have already been removed and are doing swimmingly in the other tank (get it? Swimmingly? Nothing?). I've decided I want to start off with Red Cherry Shrimp, I'd like to try and get a colony going.
I ordered about 30 RCS from eBay. When they got here they didn't look so good. Over half of them were dead on arrival and the other half didn't last very long in the tank. None of the shrimp in this batch were adults, they were all 1/2" or less. I recently tried again, getting RCS from a local guy. There were 25-30 this time, and they were roughly the same size (no adults). They all seemed very happy once they got into the tank, but 24 hours later I could only find one living shrimp, and later that same night I couldn't find any that were still alive.
Before, when I had just the eBay shrimp to go off of, I had just blamed it on the shrimp I got that one time, but this second batch all looked great before I got them and they didn't last very long. Now I'm suspicious of my own tank, but I have no idea what the problem could be. I don't know all that much about keeping shrimp so there could easily be something I'm missing.
Here are all the details on my setup:
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 20 ppm
(I've been shooting for this level since it's a planted tank)
This is everything I could think to test for.
Two AquaClear 20
filters Ė no carbon inserts, I use an extra foam insert instead
50W submersible heater, I keep the temperature between 78F and 80F
Four small pieces of driftwood used for decoration. The java fern is attached to one of the pieces of driftwood, and there also Anubias plants in the tank.
thereís an inch of some kind of fertilizer at the bottom, with an inch of Flourite
red gravel above that
Lighting: Nova Extreme T5 10000K 30"
system, which is on about 8 hours each day.
After water changes the tank gets micro nutrients (Flourish Comprehensive
). Twice a week the tank gets Flourish Excel
(5 mL), Potassium Phosphate (1 tsp), and Potassium Sulfate and Potassium Nitrate (1/2 tsp each).
Every other week I do a 50% water change using tap water and SeaChem Prime
I put some pantyhose over the filter intake so that shrimp don't get caught in it.
Even after I removed the fish from the tank, I've continued to feed the tank to keep the filter bacteria fed. I'm using the same flake food that the fish usually got.
I used drip acclimation both times. Over 30 minutes I added tank water until the volume was tripled, then I took all of it and put it in the tank, including the water it was shipped with.
Any ideas what I'm doing wrong here?