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Discussion Starter #1
I need help. I don't know what's going on but my red cherry shrimp have started dying off to the point that I find one - two dead in the tank almost every morning. It's a shrimp only tank, no fish, well planted, and up until a couple weeks ago, they were doing great, having babies and carrying on like normal shrimp.

pH: 6.6 - 6.8 Hard to tell with the colors
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5.0 - 10.0 ppm but that's how it comes out of the tap so that's not a change
Temp: 76-78

In the last four weeks, I've traveled twice leaving my husband in charge of feeding them, which was about a fifth of an algae tablet every other day. Since then I've cut back to about one shrimp pellet twice a week as I've had an outbreak of scuds (I've been sucking them out with a turkey baster 10-30 a day) and another outbreak of seed shrimp, which I've also by trying to suck out but there are so many it feels impossible.

I realize the critter outbreak comes from overfeeding, something that's definitely not happening now.

Any thoughts about what's going on or how to stop this die off would be greatly appreciated. I can also tell you I moved a few of the larger shrimp to my 16 gallon tank and they're doing fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The dead shrimp are of various sizes, so various ages. I haven't had a berried shrimp in a long time. I just did a some cleaning and sucked out quite a few more scuds, plus gave the sponge filters a good rinse. Hoping something helps.
 

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It might be nitrate issue. I know shrimps can be more sensitive to that than fish are. My shrimp tank runs less than 5ppm nitrate. If it was a more sensitive variety pH would play an issue as neocaridina usually seem to prefer a pH just above 7, but RCS should be bomb-proof (for the most part) in regards to pH.

Here is another thought. I've had a very wet summer here and with all the rain the water treatment plants adds some funny stuff to the water. A couple of times it's caused some odd behavior in my fish, and I've seen some die-offs in my shrimp tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have the ability to incorporate a decent amount of RO water. As much as I need actually. Do you think that would help? I know adding too much can mean also having to add minerals back in though.
 

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It's not just the minerals you'd need to add back in. Neocaridina (the genus that RCS belong to) don't appreciate water that is too acidic. They tend to like it just above 7.0. I'm wondering if it could be a combination of nitrate in the water and an acidic pH.

Just what kind of plants do you have in the tank? A lot of fast-growers? Root-feeders?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Anubias, wisteria, anacharis, lots of water lettuce, heaps of guppy grass and peacock moss.
 

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Those should do a decent job of knocking back the nitrates. I'm kinda stumped here. Shrimp can be fickle sometimes and die at the drop of a hat. RCS are usually pretty tough suckers but sometimes even they kick the bucket at the drop of a hat.

One last question. Are you still feeding them? The only other time I noticed large die-offs was when I stopped feeding entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You know that's really the only thing that changed. I fed them today and they seemed so happy. I'm going to feed them for a few days and see what happens. Small amounts, but daily. I'll keep you post. I appreciate your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No deaths this morning! And after my thorough cleaning yesterday, the seed shrimp seem a lot more under control. I'll still be sucking scuds out for days to come, I think.

I ordered some more RCS to up the population and bring in some new DNA. Also bought some Indian Almond leaves as I understand they can be really beneficial for shrimp and their babies.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I thought I was doing pretty well, then noticed another dead shrimp in my tank this afternoon. I am just befuddled as to what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just found a second one dead. Feeling very defeated that I can't figure this out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I ordered some more from a different supplier, hoping to keep things active. It's stupid, I know, but finding two dead tonight makes me feel like crying. Over shrimp! I'm losing it.
 

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Don't worry. I completely understand. I was close to losing it when my shrimp just started to die. I almost completely gave up on the tank. I'm pretty sure I went days without even giving it a glance. Shrimp are odd little things. Something happened, and the tank turned around.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I haven't had a death since that last post on the 1st and the new batch of shrimp I ordered are doing fine. I've got three saddled females and high hopes this is the start of a new upswing.
 

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New to this thread but interested in the topic. I too have a tank that up until today was completely dedicated to the shrimp. It is a 25 gallon tank and lightly planted. Eco complete substrate and a sponge filter. I have duck weed covering the top. I know there are those that hate duckweed but I love it. It spreads fast and all you do to control it is take a scoop out from time to time. I have a hundred plus RCS in that tank and have moved a few dozen to a larger tank to see how they do in there. I feed mine daily and toss a 1/2 dozen algae wafers in at a time. They clean them up in no time. I do regular water changes but have no issues with the shrimp, they are obviously happy and healthy and breeding like crazy. Maybe yours just want to eat more? Good luck with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I feed them daily now but a pretty small amount. Seems to be working!
 
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