Caridina Shrimp Help

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LHanna61

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Hi Everyone--
About one month ago, I decided to start a caridina tank. I'm at a loss and before I buy more shrimp, I need to know if it's my water quality or not.

One month ago, I converted my neocaridina tank into a caridina tank. I did this by relocating my neo shrimp to a different tank and doing a 50% water change with RO water. I then added some dwarf rasboras (I've lost two in the month of this crazy process, one VERY recently). At this time, I also added some peat pellet to my canister filter. After two weeks, I was experiencing issues keeping the PH low and constant, so I removed the fish (still had 10 fish at this point), plants, water and eco-complete substrate that was in there and replaced it with a buffering substrate. I re-scaped the tank, drip acclimated the fish with 100% RO water that was remineralized to a TDS of 175. Immediately, my PH was lower and all seemed well so I purchased 10 caridina shrimp. A few days later, I had received 13 shrimp in the mail and all looked well in the bag. I drip acclimated them for several hours to match the TDS levels. I then temperature acclimated them for about 20 minutes, added them to the tank (NOTE: When acclimating in the bucket, they were falling over on their sides and all-in-all seemed very poor quality.) After a few hours in the tank, I saw two dead and the rest returned to their normal active selves. Now it's been two weeks and I have one shrimp left. I need help determining if this was just a bad batch or if something is off in my water. SOS.

The shrimp added were Crystal Blacks and something else I found odd was the stripes on the shrimp turned from black to more of a brownish color (which looks nicer in my opinion but was obviously cause for major concern.)

10 gallon tank running on a canister filter that has been cycled for four months (using conditioned tap water; I make this clarification because I am now using RO water in this tank and wonder if I killed my cycle by doing this).

Other Parameters:
Copper: 0
PH: 6.4 ****This seems to fluctuate 0.1 degree +/- every so often****
Ammonia: .25 (I think this is just because I had a few shrimp die and I just pulled them out of the water)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
Phosphate: 0
KH: 0
GH: 4
TDS: 178
Temp: 73.6

I did recently remove an air stone I had running in the tank but all of my fish seem fine (swimming mid-level) and my two snails also seem fine (one is at the surface, the other is very actively munching mid-level), I also have a dwarf goby in this tank (added at the same time as the shrimp) and it seems to be very active and in good health.


If I am able to continue with caridina shrimp, I will be changing suppliers.
Any advice is appreciated!
 

richie.p

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the first thing that struck me was the shrimp going on their side during acclimation this is not normal and straight away points to tank water or the bucket they were put in was the problem, there's nothing wrong with those parameters for Caridina, i dont suppose you took photos this is so important when things like this happen.
 
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LHanna61

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richie.p said:
the first thing that struck me was the shrimp going on their side during acclimation this is not normal and straight away points to tank water or the bucket they were put in was the problem, there's nothing wrong with those parameters for Caridina, i dont suppose you took photos this is so important when things like this happen.
I did not take a picture :/
I use it for water changes, I did rinse it out and wipe it down before I used it. I do believe I must have shocked them because I acclimated the goby in the same bucket so some of that water definitely made it into the bucket with them. When I checked the TDS in the bucket it was at 400 if I remember correctly? (which is VERY high, I know)

Initial shock aside, they all perked up and were feeding very well for a full week and then they started dying off. I know I'm most likely at fault in this. Does the fluctuation in PH also shock them? How can I stabilize that better without chemicals?
 

richie.p

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Ph fluctuations are a killer with shrimp and the chances are you shocked them and a week later they tried to moult which killed them, also the rise to 400 tds from 175 would have risen your gh again putting them into shock.
You would not have killed your cycle by using RO water,
Obviously your on top of it from they way your talking and know where you went wrong,
What reminerilise are you using?
Are you making your own RO water?
The best way for you to get your gh to 4or5 will be to use a ph down buffer, or what has you substrait got it down to,
 
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richie.p said:
Ph fluctuations are a killer with shrimp and the chances are you shocked them and a week later they tried to moult which killed them, also the rise to 400 tds from 175 would have risen your gh again putting them into shock.
You would not have killed your cycle by using RO water,
Obviously your on top of it from they way your talking and know where you went wrong,
What reminerilise are you using?
Are you making your own RO water?
The best way for you to get your gh to 4or5 will be to use a ph down buffer, or what has you substrait got it down to,
Okay, I'm definitely thinking it's my PH-- I just checked it again and it is now down to 6.0 (from 6.4 yesterday). The substrate I'm using is fluval stratum which has a PH buffer in it.
I'm using RO water and remineralizing it to a TDS of 170 with Equilibrium. Should I be using something different?
 

richie.p

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I've never used Equilibrium .
This Is what I use its in the photo
I use a substrait to lower the ph to a stable 6.5 then add the minerals to RO water to a mix of 130TDS that holds my GH at 4/5 and KH1.
I think you need to run your tank just for a few weeks to let it stable you ph is being knocked about a bit and you need to find out why. Take out the peat that my buffer it down below what your substrait is doing which is what you dont want.
You seem to have everything going for you is just the change over is not quite working but it will come and stable out,
Once you get through this things will become a lot easier for you
 

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richie.p said:
I've never used Equilibrium .
This Is what I use its in the photo
I use a substrait to lower the ph to a stable 6.5 then add the minerals to RO water to a mix of 130TDS that holds my GH at 4/5 and KH1.
I think you need to run your tank just for a few weeks to let it stable you ph is being knocked about a bit and you need to find out why. Take out the peat that my buffer it down below what your substrait is doing which is what you dont want.
You seem to have everything going for you is just the change over is not quite working but it will come and stable out,
Once you get through this things will become a lot easier for you
Ah yes, I am familiar with that product-- I bought equilibrium before I heard about that one, my container is almost empty so I will definitely make that change.
As for the peat, I'm sorry I wasn't clear with that-- I did actually remove that from my filter when I replaced the substrate with the buffering substrate. I found that it dropped the PH all the way down to 5 or so (this was done before the shrimp were in the tank).
Patience has never been a virtue of mine but I will start practicing that haha

Thank you SO much for your insight-- you are a blessing to this forum! You've helped me quite a bit in the past. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 

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As long as the help works I'm happy,
Once you've got this stable you'll be right
Your problems have bounced around s bit during the transition to caridina just have z little patients and it will pay of , for the next 2 weeks do regular water tests that will show us what's happening and when it's safe to try again. Erratic ph is no good but I'm sure things will settle,
Keep us inforne7on hoe things go and dont do anything drastic without talking first
 
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richie.p said:
As long as the help works I'm happy,
Once you've got this stable you'll be right
Your problems have bounced around s bit during the transition to caridina just have z little patients and it will pay of , for the next 2 weeks do regular water tests that will show us what's happening and when it's safe to try again. Erratic ph is no good but I'm sure things will settle,
Keep us inforne7on hoe things go and dont do anything drastic without talking first
Thanks Richie! I will give it another two weeks. I'll plan on trying to do two 10% water changes a week (so 4 WCs in total) and go from there. I tested my PH last night and it was 6.1 and tested it again this morning and it was 5.9
I added the air stone back in the tank because an oil-looking type slick was forming on the surface. Is that something that might help you think? I did read that adding more oxygen to the tank will effect the PH but I'm not sure in what way.
 

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Putting the airstone in should raise your ph if I'm not mistaken, it aggitats the water and disperses C°2. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct that please,
Getting your ph between 6&7 will suit caradina. Your RO water should be ph neutral which is 7 Equilibrium dose not affect the ph so if the airstone helps then we're on the right track if not then eather the substrait is dropping it or theres something else which I thought may be the peat,
It's only a case of ether it levels out or something is not quite right, as long as you can get the ph stable you'll be right
 

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Hi LHanna61,

Very sorry that you are having a difficult time with Caridina. Having dead shrimps when you started out really sucks. Look at my posts about 2 years ago when I first started out keeping Crystal Red Shrimp, you will see what I have been going through as well. Now that I go from one Caridina tank to 10 Caridina tanks, I am confident to give you some following advices:
1) If it's possible, can you swap the canister filter to a sponge filter? you can use the canister filter for a fish tank since fish has bigger bioload compare to shrimp. Another reason is if canister filter intake not covered carefully, baby shrimp can be sucked into it.
2) If you still using canister filter, then please remove the peat. Peat is good for lower the pH but it does not keep pH stable. pH swing is +- 0.5 pH is not very good for shrimp.
3) As richie.p suggested, switch from Equilibrium to Salty Shrimp GH+, I remineralize my RODI water (0 TDS) to 110 and having GH of 5. All my caridina tanks' TDS are from 100 to 120.
4) When shrimps introduced to a new environment, they will be hiding a lot for 1 up to 2 weeks. During this time, feeding pellet food is not very good because shrimp will not come out to eat food and the piece of pellet left unattended will be a source of ammonia. Instead, buy yourself a bottle of Bacter AE+ and use it sparingly like 2 times a week. That way shrimps will not be starving and the power stuff will promote biofilm.
5) And lastly, this is my way. I know I will get blamed a lot when I say this but this is how I did it for last 8 tanks caridina tanks and having good success. So, I don't cycle shrimp tank :) My tank always set up with 2 cholla wood, 2 mesh moss, 1 box filter (for easy substrate swap out) or sponge filter, and about 20-30 shrimps. I leave it run for 5 days with light turned 24/7 just to get some algae for shrimps and a stable TDS. Then when I introduce shrimps to my tanks, I add Stability everyday for 10 days. And that's it. Keeping it simple and shrimps will love it. I attached some of the photos for you to see my setup. Let me know if you have any questions ^^
 

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Daniel Nguyen said:
Hi LHanna61,

Very sorry that you are having a difficult time with Caridina. Having dead shrimps when you started out really sucks. Look at my posts about 2 years ago when I first started out keeping Crystal Red Shrimp, you will see what I have been going through as well. Now that I go from one Caridina tank to 10 Caridina tanks, I am confident to give you some following advices:
1) If it's possible, can you swap the canister filter to a sponge filter? you can use the canister filter for a fish tank since fish has bigger bioload compare to shrimp. Another reason is if canister filter intake not covered carefully, baby shrimp can be sucked into it.
2) If you still using canister filter, then please remove the peat. Peat is good for lower the pH but it does not keep pH stable. pH swing is +- 0.5 pH is not very good for shrimp.
3) As richie.p suggested, switch from Equilibrium to Salty Shrimp GH+, I remineralize my RODI water (0 TDS) to 110 and having GH of 5. All my caridina tanks' TDS are from 100 to 120.
4) When shrimps introduced to a new environment, they will be hiding a lot for 1 up to 2 weeks. During this time, feeding pellet food is not very good because shrimp will not come out to eat food and the piece of pellet left unattended will be a source of ammonia. Instead, buy yourself a bottle of Bacter AE+ and use it sparingly like 2 times a week. That way shrimps will not be starving and the power stuff will promote biofilm.
5) And lastly, this is my way. I know I will get blamed a lot when I say this but this is how I did it for last 8 tanks caridina tanks and having good success. So, I don't cycle shrimp tank :) My tank always set up with 2 cholla wood, 2 mesh moss, 1 box filter (for easy substrate swap out) or sponge filter, and about 20-30 shrimps. I leave it run for 5 days with light turned 24/7 just to get some algae for shrimps and a stable TDS. Then when I introduce shrimps to my tanks, I add Stability everyday for 10 days. And that's it. Keeping it simple and shrimps will love it. I attached some of the photos for you to see my setup. Let me know if you have any questions ^^
Wow-- your tanks are beautiful! Thank you for your feedback/thoughts.
My comments back:
1. I'd prefer to keep the canister because it's SO quiet but if the best course of action truly is having a sponge filter then I can certainly make that swap.
2. The peat was removed a while ago, that was not mentioned in my original post-- I apologize.
3. I will definitely make that swap from equilibrium to salty shrimp.
4. I do have dwarf rasboras and a dwarf goby in this tank so I have been feeding lightly.
5. The tank was already cycled but I can look into implementing some changes but the wood was dropping my PH lower than 6.0 and since everything is super unstable at the moment, I took it out to try and get some consistency so that will have to wait. I do have christmas moss and a ton of other plants in this tank. What is the stability good for-- I want to avoid adding extra ferts and things to my tanks because I want them to just be self reliant.

Other than that, I do have an update for richie.p

- I did not end up doing a water change after we last spoke. I decided to give it a week to settle and I monitored the PH for that week. It was ALL over the place. I logged it all on a note card so if you'd like me to share that with you, I can.
- I also did a 10% water change last night and I'm still seeing a lot of PH irregularity. I'm going to keep monitoring for another week and see how that goes.
- ALSO-- I thought I only had one shrimp left but it turns out there were actually three in the tank. One passed away right before I did the water change so I've only got two left.
- We had a plumber come to the house to figure out my water pressure for my RO unit and so that is still a work in progress. I'm going to have to go to the LFS and buy my RO water for the next couple months, until that gets figured out.
- I also added two stones (sanitized from my backyard) because I needed a surface for my goby to perch on and eat extra biofilm from.

Additional Question: I know it's advised to have an air stone running in the RO water bucket until it is used. What is the downside to not doing that? (keep in mind, I drip the water back into the tank so it should be getting oxygenated during that process, right?)
 

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Glad your progressing
I make around 100ltr of RO water each week I make it on a monday its put in sealed containers and use it on the friday the only thing I've ever used with it is Prime, I have never not once used an airstone in my water before a water change in all my years of making it, before that ide get it from my lfs and they never used an air stone.
Now if your water pre7is low why dont you use a pump to raise the pressure like the one in the picture,
On my 280ltr tank I have two fluval 406 canisters running and the shrimp are not bothered, in my 10 gallon I use double sponge with power heads and the shrimp dont mind
So the choice is yours there.
Lest see how this ph fairs over the next week
Now if your getting RO water from your lfs it should be 7 so you can check that
 

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richie.p said:
Glad your progressing
I make around 100ltr of RO water each week I make it on a monday its put in sealed containers and use it on the friday the only thing I've ever used with it is Prime, I have never not once used an airstone in my water before a water change in all my years of making it, before that ide get it from my lfs and they never used an air stone.
Now if your water pre7is low why dont you use a pump to raise the pressure like the one in the picture,
On my 280ltr tank I have two fluval 406 canisters running and the shrimp are not bothered, in my 10 gallon I use double sponge with power heads and the shrimp dont mind
So the choice is yours there.
Lest see how this ph fairs over the next week
Now if your getting RO water from your lfs it should be 7 so you can check that
oh that's interesting! Is that pump hooked up directly to the RO unit? We have a pump on our water tank but something is wrong with it. Our water pressure for our house is 60 psi but I'm only getting 40 in my upstairs sink. Still waiting on the plumbers to come back and take another look at it. If there's another way to increase the water pressure though, I am ALL ears!

Good to know, I will not waste the electricity on an airstone in the stored RO water. I will check what my LFS levels are when I go this weekend. don't need the water just yet thankfully
 

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Yes the pump is inline with the RO unit this one pushes the pressure up to 130psi
It takes 22minutes to do 12ltr but in the winter it goes up to 33minutes
 

kered

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Just out of curiosity how are you checking ph? with a test kit or with a ph pen.
I use both, the pen for everyday use but for setups and problems i always use drops test kit and if something is not stable i do 2 test vails at the same time.
When i test with drops i always use the pen too to see any differences.
The pen types tend to not be very stable and can fluctuate beyond the decimal point, i have on rare occasions had the test vails show slightly different colours too, I blame drop size or water slightly off the line, using a small syringe to fill the vails helps.
 

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I do exactly the same as you kered the pen Is fine if you keep them calibrated
Your RO system should have no problems keeping it at 7 and tbh I rarely check the RO water straight from the unit these days
Whats the TDS readings of your shop bought water
 

kered

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My RO water has a tds of 0 and ph of 6 - 6.2, it goes in at tds 38-45 but ph of 5.2-5.4. Its well water that used to come out at ph 6.8. Unfortunately i did not find the change in ph till fish started having problems, after years at 6.8 it suddenly dropped after 2 months heavy rain and has not gone back yet(5 months) It taught me to check every time and not get complacent.
My system is a 6 filter with motor, I have modified it to put pure RO water in one tank, remineralised to another tank for drinking and the discharge into a 3rd tank as the discharge is usable for many things, no chlorine, tds of 114-120 but ph 5-5.5.
You can cut down on waste/discharge by putting a flow valve on the discharge and adjust it so that the discharge is similar to the RO production, production will drop slightly but the waste by about half. There are other tricks but i'm getting too far off topic, Sorry
 

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It seems you need to buffer up your ph that's very low
Take s look at this it may give you some tips
 

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The last half of the last message only now came up it's very interesting on reducing discharge of wastewater,
It seems things for you out there are far more complicated than we get, our water is constant no fluctuations, with that amount of rain water ide imagine it'll take a long time to settle, and I agree you cant get complacent when things like this happen to you
 
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