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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 7 month old established shrimp tank. Moderately planted, sponge filtered & a weekly 30% w/c.

I've always been able to maintain a pH from neutral to 7.5 without any additives.

However, the last 3 weeks the water has gone acidic within hours after a water change & I've had an outbreak of planaria, even though I hardly add food to the tank.

It now takes me close to a week to get the pH back to neutral by adding pH UP...but then it's time for another w/c & the water reverts back to acidic again.

Tap water is 7.5-7.8 prior to adding to the tank.

I then changed to a fortnightly w/c & was able to maintain 7.5.
I took a water sample to my LFS & his tests (pH & kH) was both optimal readings.
Also picked up No Planaria.

I went home & did a w/c change & overnight it's gone back to acidic.

I've lost so many shrimp...I'm at a loss as to what happened, much less what to do?

Part of me wants to give up on shrimp altogether...I've lost count of how many hundreds of dollars I've invested in this tank. Another part of me says, break down the tank & start fresh...

Any idea/advice on why the sudden drop to acidity would be appreciated.
 

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Hello Kil...

When I kept shrimp, I followed five steps: I kept the tank water well aerated. I religiously changed half the tank water weekly to maintain a steady water chemistry. I didn't heat the shrimp tank and kept the water around 70 degrees and I never put my hands in the tank water. And, I never put any chemicals into the tank water. Shrimp like Java moss. I would introduce some this aquatic plant.

You need to be consistent with your tank care. Even slight changes to your maintenance routine can be fatal to shrimp.

M
 

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That is really weird. Do you have anything in the aquarium that could be acidifying the water? Like peat, driftwood, indian almond leaves, or a substrate like ADA Amazonia? Have you made any changes in the tank lately? Are you gravel vacuuming thoroughly, or are organics starting to build up in the tank?


In my experience, pH up doesn't buffer the water as much as it should, so it tends to create pH swings more than anything. You might consider adding some crushed coral to the filter in a media bag to try and raise the pH and hardness more steadily and naturally and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is really weird. Do you have anything in the aquarium that could be acidifying the water? Like peat, driftwood, indian almond leaves, or a substrate like ADA Amazonia? Have you made any changes in the tank lately? Are you gravel vacuuming thoroughly, or are organics starting to build up in the tank?
Yup. I totally agree it's weird.
It's been a stable tank for the past 7 months then all of a sudden acidic within hours of a water change.

There's nothing new in the tank that would acidify the water & the weekly w/c includes vacuuming so there's no build up of organics.

Since writing this post I've replenished crushed egg shells in the tank. Maybe their "deterioration" added to the pH drop..?

I've also changed the weekly w/c to fortnightly to maintain a longer period of ideal pH.
 

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Maybe a long shot, but did you try contacting your water company? Sometimes in the winter water companies do annual disinfect change by adding lots of chlorine and possibly other things that could be changing your tap water and not showing up on regular tests. Shrimp are especially sensitive to changes in water like that, so maybe it would be worth calling your tap water company and asking if anything like that is taking place right now or if they have made any other changes to the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My local fish shop is only 2 suburbs away & he's confirmed that the tap water is fine.

I added more egg shells & did a w/c this morning...so far it's 7.5 pH.

If it's still stable by tomorrow then I'll put it down to to the previous egg shells deteriorating & needing a top-up.
 
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