No Luck Keeping Rcs

  • #1
It's been 2 months into trying to keep shrimp and have had no luck so far. 2 months ago I purchased about 10 RCS. They came in looking healthy, I acclimated them into my cycled 3 gallon planted nano tank, and 2 months later 9 of them were dead. At this time I learned that my water was extremely hard, somewhere in the 18 GH range. I chalked the deaths up to the hard water.

I decided to change it up and start over with RO water and the 1 last survivor. Now with 2:1 RO:Tap, both my GH and KH are sitting around 7-8. I ordered 10 more RCS and got them in last Friday. I did a slow acclimation over an hour by dripping the aquarium water into their water. Unfortunately this didnt matter and now 5 of the original 10 are dead.

I honestly don't know what the problem is. I started with RCS after hearing that they are extremely hardy shrimp and the many success stories i've read on these forums.

Here's my water parameters hoping someone can help me out here.
PH: 7.6-7.8
GH: 7-8
KH: 7-8

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5 ppm

Copper: 0 ppm

I dose with Flourish once a week and API Leafzone every other day.

  • #2
Did you get them from the same place both times? And how big were they when you got them?

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Yup. I don't want to say the name just in case there's any rules on this forum regarding positive/negative reviews.
  • #4
Well there are a few possibilities. One is just bad stock (ive had less than stellar results from a few particular breeders over the years although I'd also rather not name names) or shipping practices. Another is that they're being raised in drastically different water conditions that what you have. They'll tolerate a wide range of water parameters as long as they're stable but they have a very hard time adjusting big differences in water conditions especially as they get older (which is why most breeders ship them young..young shrimp are more likely to adapt to new tanks). If you could get the water parameters from your source it might shed some light on things.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
The source could be the problem. I remember in my first batch, one of the shrimp had a viral infection where it had green growths on its swimmerets. It died shortly after. This second batch I noticed that a lot of the shrimp were rather large (definitely not juveniles) and ranging in color from bright red to brownish red.

After looking at their website, the water parameters they show aren't too far off from mine. Maybe 1-2 difference in GH and maybe .4 in PH.
  • #6
Might want to try a small group of lower grade/cheaper RCS from an alternate source to see if you have more success. They're pretty hardy and your water parameters are well within their tolerable range (and even your original hard water shouldnt preclude you from keeping them as I started with them with water that was in the 20-25GH range).

The differences in their water and your water aren't large enough to be an issue either with the acclimating you're doing.


  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Here's what I woke up to this morning


  • 20170321_090118 (2).jpg
    20170321_090118 (2).jpg
    93.4 KB · Views: 205
  • 20170321_090117 (2).jpg
    20170321_090117 (2).jpg
    92 KB · Views: 234
  • #8
In the months that you were able to keep them alive, did they ever molt?

Are you feeding them any additional food, or do they just eat what the aquarium produces?

Is this a shrimp only tank?

The reason I ask is, the pictures look like older shrimp, or shrimp that died because they were unable to successfully molt. I know they need a little calcium in their diet to help them molt and build new shells. In a community tank, they can get calcium and other vitamins from leftover fish food and such. In a species only tank, you may want to try feeding cucumber, zucchini, or even some algae wafers have added vitamins and minerals.

Here is a link to a thread here that might be similar to the problem you are having.

Red Cherry Shrimp Die At Molting

This is a picture from one of my tanks that I believe the cause of death was a molting issue. Notice the white band on the shrimp.

  • #9
Yeah those white bands running across the body are a good indication that they're having trouble molting for one reason or another.
  • #10
Over the last month, I've lost 25 shrimp out of 30. Each one that has died has had that white line. I thought that they were dying because of high nitrates, but I guess they've been dying from molting issues.


  • #11
Stop using the API leaf stuff and add a cuttlefish bone to the tank. I lost a lot of shrimp when I was full dosing Excel. Cut back to once a week at half dose added the bone and everything seems good...
  • #12
I haven't had a way to deep clean the gravel without doing a huge water change. So, I fill the inside of the barrel of my water changer with cotton fill to catch all the mulm from the gravel and let it drain into a bucket. Then, since I'm not doing a water change, I pour the water back into the tank. My nitrates are starting to finally come down.
  • #13

If the GH/KH/TDS is either too low or too high it can cause problems. Recommended GH 4-6, KH 1-5 (need citation), TDS ~90-150
Temperature: conflicting reports of 21-26 C or 25-27 C
Water changes stimulate shrimp molting , don't do too often approximately once a week
Iodine is required for molting, but this is usually found in fertilizers and doesn't need to be added


"Genchem Beta-G which is a unique powder that should be added to your shrimp tank every week. This will stop any molting problems in the future enabling your freshwater shrimp to grow at the speed they wish without any risks." ()
  • #14
I think a KH of 1-5 might be low... IMO.. also I have been told TDS should really match what the source TDS is which makes sense. I would think you could apply that same logic to GH and KH as well though in all three cases you need to check with the vendor and get there numbers if at all possible.
Jocelyn Adelman
  • #15
First off, get a gravel vac and be careful when you have shrimplets... they love getting sucked out, takes forever to net them back into tank.
I dose seachem line on some tanks, and then an EI based fert on others. (Switching over for all but using up my old stuff on upstairs tanks). Five tanks get excel daily.
My gH is 20, and I add alkaline buffer to maintain my kH at about 6, both way higher then recommended.
I started with 6 rcs from my lfs, all but one died within a week or two. I then ordered 20 shrimp this past summer from aquatic arts, all survived, and I now have well over 300.
I doubt the ferts are what is hurting them...
I would try ordering from another source, I loved mine from aquatic arts, possible their gH/kH matched mine better then lfs.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Locked
  • Question
  • Locked
  • Locked


Top Bottom