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KPainter 10-03-2013 08:22 AM

My shrimp are dying again.
I'm SO frustrated. Every time I think I've figured out what the problem is, they start dying again. I have a batch of shrimplets (about 10-14 days old) that seem to be doing fine, but the larger/older shrimp are the ones I'm losing.

I realized a while back that my tap water has nitrates in it and that the tank water was therefore pretty high in nitrates. I started doing RO water changes and that seemed to help, but then this past week, the shrimp have started dying again. 1-2 a day it seems. I'll be out of shrimp soon.

I'm just stumped. I've periods of great success with them, then the die offs start all over. I took several of the larger shrimp out and transferred them to the 16g tank right next to the one they're in now and those shrimp are doing great. Two of them are berried and the other three males look pretty happy. I don't feed those shrimp at all, they just forage for whatever the fish and snails don't eat or what they find on the plants and moss.

I've tried skipping feeding days with the shrimp in the main tank, thinking I was over feeding them and that had no effect - actually it might have made the die off worse. I added a feeding dish, which really seemed to help, but then again, after a while, the die offs started up again.

There's no ammonia, no nitrites, Gh/pH/KH are all in line with what works for RCS. I'm going to do another RO water change today since the nitrates are still hovering in the 20-30 range.

Could it just be the nitrates? I'm really struggling to figure this out. Tank is planted and has eco complete substrate.

jaysee 10-03-2013 10:15 AM

I wish I had something to tell you. Diagnosing problems with inverts is very difficult. Hopefully someone with more shrimp experience can point you in the right direction. These are the cherry shrimp?

KPainter 10-03-2013 10:21 AM

Yes, sorry, cherry shrimp.

I just did another 50/45% water change with RO water to bring the nitrates down some more. I did one yesterday too. Both days, the water changes were followed immediately by at least one shrimp molting. Not sure that means anything.

jaysee 10-03-2013 10:26 AM

Okay. So how would you compare your shrimp losses before and after using RO for water changes?

Agent13 10-03-2013 10:26 AM

I think high phosphates can cause problems with RCS. Try grabbing a test for that. Also a guess here but maybe the Eco complete itself could be an issue. Shrimp are so darn sensitive. How long has that tank been running?

Sent from App

KPainter 10-03-2013 10:34 AM

Jaysee - I just started doing the RO only water changes yesterday. I had one dead this morning. Before that I typically mixed in a little RO water (we have an RO tap at our sink) but never anything measured.

Agent13 - This tank has been set up for at least five months. Before setting up the tank, I put the sponges from the filter into one of my other tanks to seed the media and also transferred some plants into this tank to help cycle it.

The first couple of months I had no issues with shrimp deaths. In fact, I had quite the population explosion. But these last two months have been a very different story. Sad thing is, nothing's really changed making it extremely difficult to pinpoint the issue.

Agent13 10-03-2013 10:38 AM

Well that is a bit of a mystery. I forgot to ask what percent WC are u doing ? They prefer much smaller WCs then fish. Like 15-20%. Do u see more deaths the day after WCs?

Sent from App

KPainter 10-03-2013 10:41 AM

Agent13 - I just ordered a phosphate test kit. It'll be here Saturday.

I haven't noticed any more deaths after a water change than any other time. Put it this way, I only had one this morning after yesterday's WC. Yesterday morning, without a WC I had two.

jaysee 10-03-2013 10:50 AM

I don't mean like before or after a water change - I mean before and after you started using RO water instead of tap water for the changes.

KPainter 10-03-2013 10:52 AM

Jaysee, I've always used some RO water in my water changes, so that's been happening from day one. I just started using solely RO water yesterday in an effort to combat my nitrates, so two days isn't really enough to answer you on that. Are you think somethings up with the RO water?

Should add I also have some Indian Almond leaves in there. I started adding those about a month ago in another attempt at stopping the deaths.

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