Notes re my RCS hanging on to their eggs

Discussion in 'Cherry Shrimp' started by BullRider, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. BullRiderValued MemberMember

    Over the past 16 months, I have had 30-ish seemingly healthy red cherries in a 20 'long' gallon tank that the females just would not hold on to their eggs. Every few days or so, I would find a pile of yellow-green eggs laying around somewhere. Random losses of the adults have been rare and the shrimps were always active.

    Incidentally, with a bit of experimentation, I had set up a bubbler in a funnel and managed to hatch some of those eggs but natural "delivery" remained elusive.

    In another experiment, I had transferred a few into a tank with a betta, Fiero. They immediately went to work and did a fantastic job of cleaning up that tank and to my surprise, fry soon appeared! Since then, I've seen two more batches of fry in there and yet still none in the main tank.

    So what is the difference?

    Well, some plants were different so I decided to remove plants from the dedicated RCS environment that were not in Fiero's environment. No improvement and I continued to consider my options.

    The tap water here has a natural pH of around 7.8 and, to date, has not been a problem but I recognize this is towards the upper (numerically) end of the scale commonly accepted as suitable for red cherries. Therefore I wondered if perhaps lowering the pH would help.

    A few years back, I used Seachem Neutral Regulator which is formulated to achieve a pH of 7.0. Since I use Seachem Prime figured these might be a good compatibility match. Therefore over the next two weeks, via a series of small water changes, I added a bit of the Neutral Regulator to slowly bring down the pH numerically. I was just targeting a reduction and not specifically a wholesale drop to a pH of 7.0.

    Well guess what happened?! In the past two weeks, I have seen at least five batches of fry. I can EASILY count 30 little ones feeding on the glass and know for certain there are more in a huge mass of java moss and hiding elsewhere.

    A month after integrating a measure of the Neutral Regulator into my replacement water routine, the pH has settled in around 7.4.

    Was the higher numerical pH causing the females to abandon their eggs and/or was it something "chemical" the Neutral Regulator ? I certainly cannot say.

    The evidence currently suggests that this change seems to have had a positive impact but I remind everyone that this was with respect to the composition of the water where I live and the entire ecosystem in my tanks.

    Perhaps the water here suggests a slightly different target pH range for RCS.

    Perhaps there is something in the water here that the Neutral Regulator is improving or neutralizing.

    Whatever it is, I just thought I would present this for all as food for thought for those in a similar situation.

    Meanwhile, I've got some little red cherries shrimpies to watch.... FINALLY !
  2. Chris99Well Known MemberMember

    I will share that my tanks with limestone and a slightly higher pH (around 8.0) seems to have produced the highest rate or reproduction in my RCS so I'm not sure the pH is the leading factor in this case. It seems it has come down to feeding for me. I have a dedicated shrimp tank as well, but it does not seem to show the same results as my planted sump/refugium. It almost seems to contradict several of the recommendations because this sump/refugium is at a slightly higher temp than the dedicated shrimp tank, higher nitrates, and higher pH. The only real reason I can think of is the increase in available food, either from algae due to nitrates or just food getting sucked into the overflow.
  3. BullRiderValued MemberMember

    I am not familiar with how a sump and refugium affects the parameters but, yes, that is another variable to consider.

    This gets more interesting the more I think about this....

    The point is that you have added that an even higher pH is a possible direction to consider.

    Thanks for your input!

  4. BullRiderValued MemberMember

    Headline: Population Explosion Continues

    I've seen at least three new sets of fry in the past week or so....

    One evening, I counted 45 fry on the glass.

    After over a year with no fry to this in one month...

    I would post pics of the fry being all cute little shrimpies but I don't think the server could handle it!
  5. BullRiderValued MemberMember

    Latest update: I gave away about 140 or 150 red cherries this morning. We took a photo to get an idea of how many remain in the 40 gallon tank. In one photo there were at least 350 shrimpies. I wouldn't be surprise if there were 600 or 700 in there.

    And don't worry. I've been watching the water params and everything is fine, although I have stepped up the water changes a bit to keep the nitrates from reaching 20 ppm.

    I did an experiment. I have continued using the Seachem Prime AND Seachem Neutral Regulator in the 40 gallon tank but using only Seachem Prime (no Neutral Regulator) in the 20 gallon tank. Everything is identical between the two, same substrates, java moss floating around, same lighting and otherwise the same water.

    The difference: in the 20 gallon tank, the females are dropping their eggs again and haven't seen a fry in months.

    Call me stumped.