Cherry Shrimp Dying

justintree3

Member
Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 10 Gallons
How long has the tank been running? 6 months
Does it have a filter? Aquaclear 20
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 78 F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Cherry Shrimp (started with 12), pond snails (unknown number - it's not overrun, but they're there), generous ceiling of water lettuce, some corkscrew val, and a crypt.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Once per week
How much of the water do you change? 25%
What do you use to treat your water? Seachem Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I vacuum the substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API Liquid tests - Master kit, copper, and hardness
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: 7.5
GH: 14 (!)
KH: 8
Copper: 0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Every 2-3 days
How much do you feed your fish? 1 Algae disc
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Essentials Algae Grazers
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

This is our second attempt at setting up a cherry shrimp colony. The first one failed - we got through two rounds of breeding, and then they all died. This was a few years ago, and we figured we were just new enough at fishkeeping that we made some critical mistake. Now, we're trying again - and we seem to be having a similar issue. The shrimp are breeding ok, and we have lots of little baby shrimp, but the adults have started dying off - I've removed at least 3 bodies, and at last count I could only find 4 adults (though there are lots of hiding places, so that doesn't necessarily mean anything).

I thought the problem might have been a lack of minerals in the water, so I added one of those weekend feeding tablets that is high in mineral content (stupidly without testing the hardness first) - hardness of our water right out of the tap is 8 for both GH and KH, so I assume that my GH reading of 14 today is because of this tablet (which has now been removed - an earlier test of this tank, before we even put the shrimp in, had the harness at 8 and 8).

I have been using Aquarium Coop's Easy Green fertilizer in the tank, which it says is safe for inverts. The shrimp appear to be behaving normally, no frenzied activity or lethargy, just dying quicker than I would expect.

Is it possible that there is something in my tap water that is not showing up on the tests that is killing the shrimp? (Keeping in mind that I have successfully kept Amano shrimp in another tank for the past 2-3 years.)
 

Mazeus

Member
I'm sorry you are experiencing shrimp die off. There is nothing that I can immediately see based on what you have posted. I would (however) suggest lowering the temperature, I've had the best luck with RCS in cooler tanks. I believe higher temps shorten their lifespan. It is possible you had an older group to begin with?
 
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justintree3

Member
Mazeus said:
I'm sorry you are experiencing shrimp die off. There is nothing that I can immediately see based on what you have posted. I would (however) suggest lowering the temperature, I've had the best luck with RCS in cooler tanks. I believe higher temps shorten their lifespan. It is possible you had an older group to begin with?
It is definitely possible that they were older, as the guy at the store was kind enough to hunt for berried females when he heard we were interested in breeding them.

This was my first thought too, but I wanted to make sure there wasn't anything I am doing wrong to make things worse.
 

Mhamilton0911

Member
On those that have died have you noticed anything odd? Any white ring, indicating a molting issue?

Also they need more than algae to eat. Try sinking bottom feeder pellets, or even better ones for shrimp specifically.

Also, I noticed most of my original colony starters died off, and all their offspring are thriving.

And lastly, temp (like mentioned above) and light on length greatly affects their overall life span.
 
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justintree3

Member
First I've heard about light - we have our lights on a timer that matches up with sunrise and sunset - is that too much light this time of year?
 

erbear

Member
Find a good quality shrimp pellet food with at least 30-35% crude protein. Feed them that 2x per week.

What is the Total dissolved solids (TDS)?

I'm a little concerned about the heater in the tank. With any shrimp tank being consistent is key. Some water heaters warm and cool water constantly and that can be stressful for shrimp.
 
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