Help With Shrimp Deaths

shrimpment76

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to keeping shrimp and many of my shrimp have died in the last week so I'm looking for help please. I started my one gallon tank for my desk at work at the end of March with a fishless cycle using treated tap water. The tank has a filter, sponge filter cover, gravel, a java fern that seems a bit "meh" (kinda green/kinda brown), and a java moss. Once the tank was cycled and I added my shrimp, I was doing weekly 10%ish water changes by adding pre-treated water from a gallon jug on the side (1 drop of API Tap Water Conditioner).

Here is a timeline:
4/25- 7 Neocaridina Davidi shrimps arrived and I acclimated via the drip method. For the next week, all seemed well and the shrimps were molting
5/2- 1 shrimp died
5/7- I panicked and thought that two shrimps had actually died by now, but miscounted and it was really only one shrimp from 5/2. In my panic, I went out and bought Prime as I was worried the API water treatment was not cutting it. I refilled my side water change jug with new water and added 2 drops of Prime and set it aside until the next day.
5/8- I did my 10%ish water change and I also added a drop of Prime to the tank water.
5/9- Shrimp #2 died overnight. I panicked again and did another 10% water change thinking I must have done something wrong by switching to Prime or I should not have added that extra drop. Another shrimp died later this day, totaling three deaths. I noticed one shrimp in the tank seemed to be sluggish and hoped he would not be next.
5/10- By mid-day, the sluggish 4th shrimp died. Now only 3 of my original 7 remain.

Here are my water parameters as of 5/11-
pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: between 10-20ppm (in the past week, as high as 40ppm)
GH: 4 (this was a 2 last week until I added some WonderShell)
KH: 6
Temp: ranges from 73-78 during during the day (73 at 6am, 78 by 3pm)

Is there something else I should be testing in the water? Is it possible that a one gallon is just too small? I know the pH is high and it actually was 8.2 prior to adding my shrimp, but I added peat granules and almond leaves which lowered it to 8.0 (perhaps I did not add enough? pH is 8.0 straight from the tap). I have since stopped trying to alter the pH with peat and it is staying at a steady 8.0. I'm also using API Stress Zyme (.5ml once a week).

Any advice is very much appreciated.
 

Kiks

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Sounds like you're doing everything right.
RCS are quite hardy shrimp, but compared to many other fish that are also considered hardy, RCS aren't as hardy. Especially not when they're new in a tank. Usually what people have difficulties with is keeping them alive for the first couple of weeks. When that period of time has passed they've usually settled in and won't die as easily as in the beginning.
Their bio load is small, but so is your one gallon tank. It's sufficient in size, but I'd advise you to do slightly larger water changes - around 20 - 25% each week.
It's good that you've stopped altering the pH. Your shrimp like a high pH and altering is difficult to do correctly without harming anyone.

Do you have a filter in the tank?
And how did you cycle it? How long did it take?
 
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shrimpment76

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Kiks said:
It's sufficient in size, but I'd advise you to do slightly larger water changes - around 20 - 25% each week.
It's good that you've stopped altering the pH. Your shrimp like a high pH and altering is difficult to do correctly without harming anyone.

Do you have a filter in the tank?
And how did you cycle it? How long did it take?
Thank you so much for your reply! I will up the water change volume. There is a filter with a sponge cover. I cycled for just under a month without fish until the ammonia and nitrites were 0 and nitrates were 10. The numbers have stayed very consistent
 

Mom2some

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What are you feeding them? I may have missed that. I wonder if there is insufficient biofilm for them to forage (just guessing- I don’t keep shrimp, I just dream of keeping shrimp one day). Sorry - that many losses stinks.
 

TexasDomer

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8.2 is fine for shrimp - I wouldn't change it.

The low GH could have been an issue in the past, since you just started increasing it last week.

The temp fluctuation is a little extreme too.
 
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shrimpment76

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TexasDomer said:
8.2 is fine for shrimp - I wouldn't change it.
The low GH could have been an issue in the past, since you just started increasing it last week.
The temp fluctuation is a little extreme too.
Ah yeah, I didn't realize it was that low. It was 6 or 7 before I added shrimp, but I was not checking GH as frequently. I'll look into a heater, thanks!
 

TexasDomer

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Normally you'd want the lower temps for RCS, but you don't want the fluctuation, so a heater may be a good option. Otherwise, you could add a fan and have it come on as the temps increase? A timer would be easy.
 
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