Should I reduce TDS in my shrimp tank? 1 dead

  • #1
Hi all,

I am new to the game. I got my first bloody mary shrimp a few days ago (December 11th) .

I made a mistake though... in my excitement, I replaced as much water as I could in the tank with 7GH/3KH/180 TDS water, but I didn't measure in the tank after adding it. I guess because of the long cycle the little water there was pretty hard and the parameters ended up at 10GH/4KH/265 TDS. I didn't realise this until after adding the shrimp.

I drip acclimated the shrimp for 3 hours. The next morning there was one dead shrimp... one of the smaller ones. Yesterday I saw another poor little guy lying on his back/side occasionally jumping vigorously. I assume he's trying/failing to molt? I don't see him this morning.

There is one molt in the tank, so I'm guessing at least one shrimp has molted successfully.

How bad is 10GH and 260-something TDS? Should I leave it for a while and let the shrimp get settled? I have very soft tap water so I could bring it down with that, if necessary. I raise the hardness with Salty Shrimp GH/KH.

I should also mention, some of the shrimp seem a little sluggish? Some swim around the tank happily, but I see some shrimp not moving at all, occasionally. Not sure if this is normal in a new tank or not.

Thanks for any help!

Here is the emergency template:

What is the water volume of the tank? 5.5
How long has the tank been running? A little over 3 months.
Does it have a filter? Yes, sponge filter (hikari bactosuge mini with tetra whisper 10)
Does it have a heater? Yes, aqueon pro 50w.
What is the water temperature? 22.5C/73.5F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 11 (was 12, one died) bloody mary shrimp

How often do you change the water? Just before adding, and a few times during the cycle. Haven't changed with shrimp in yet.
How much of the water do you change? Most of it before adding shrimp.
What do you use to treat your water? Prime & Salty Shrim GH KH
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Just water so far - no livestock

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? API master kit, API GH/KH, HM digtial tds pen
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Under 10
pH: 7.4

How often do you feed your fish? Every day so far, but they barely touched the food so I took it out.
How much do you feed your fish? 1/4 algae wafer, 1 slice cucumber (one fo these per day)
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Top fin wafer (also have hikari shrimp cuisine, not used yet)
Do you feed frozen? No
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 3 days
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? next morning one shrimp dead
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Dead shrimp, one seems to have problems molting. Some seem a little sluggish, maybe?
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? No

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
See post.
  • #2
Well, one loss in general isn't so bad. The thing what kills them fairly quickly is a sudden temp. rise. Not sure if this is applicable to your situation.

The combination of your water parameters in relation to neo's like bloody marys, doesn't say that much to me. 10GH/4KH/265 TDS isnt so bad. gh should be a bit lower, kh OK, TDS 265....sure why not. I'm breeding neo's in different ranges of hardness parameters, but they do have one thing in common; the water is oxygen rich, decent flowing, shallow, and cool (18-21 C), bit similar to how you would find them in the wild.

A very small water change to bring down gh and tds somewhat along with lowering your temps perhaps with 1 or 2 Celcius could help. Shrimp, likemost fish, have no problem with a sudden temp drop.

Feeding some calcium rich foods helps molting.

Activity levels of shrimp vary strongly. When a female is ready for population growth, your shrimp start acting like fish. But mostly, its grazing, grazing, grazing, till you fall asleep.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks a lot for your prompt reply!

I did go buy these in a Canadian December, so it was pretty cold out, but I put them in an insulated cooler (to keep them warmish) right away and had the heat on pretty good in the car. There may have been some minor temp flucuations, but I suspect it wasn't too bad.

I just meaured my tap water and its 80 TDS, 2GH, 2KH. Can I just use that as is for a 10% water change or should I add some minerals? Are there any guidelines for how fast you can change parameters?

Thanks again,
  • #4
Consistency is mostly preached with shrimp, but I think people will drop their jaws if they would know the immense fluctuations that occur in so many different habitats.

All in all, I would refrain from deviating too much from your main water source. You have soft water and raising gh and kh a bit with minerals would not hurt; gh 8-ish, kh 6-ish. That said, I breed neorcaridina species in both neutral water and in soft "caridina species" water, so I would not worry too much about it. Again, adding some calcium rich food helps.

TDS no doubt goes up once you add water to your tank. Around 200 +/- 50 to a 100 for neocaridina is just fine.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Awesome, thanks!!

Given that the GH/TDS aren't overly alarming I'll just bring them down very slowly with normal mineralised water changes longer term.

  • #6
I just meaured my tap water and its 80 TDS, 2GH, 2KH. Can I just use that as is for a 10% water change or should I add some minerals? Are there any guidelines for how fast you can change parameters?
I would have to say yes. this should work. When I do water changes in my 2.5 gallon shrimp bowl I drip the fresh water back in.. pH and temp of the fresh water is the same as tank water. TDS of the fresh water is the only difference.

I try to keep mine down to about 150 so adjust the TDS of the fresh tap water to lower the TDS in the bowl. It takes doing some math to determine what the TDS of the new water needs to be to lower the TDS in the bowl. 150 is just the number I chose. It doesn't have to be that specific number.

By dripping the fresh water back in the bowl the numbers change very gradually so they acclimate to it much like they did when I first got them and drip acclimated them to their new home. Hopefully now that yours are acclimated to their new home you will lose no more. :)

BTW: My beginning colony of 10 cherry shrimp has grown into the hundreds now. I am sure it is way more than should be in a 2.5 gallon bowl but they don't seem to mind.

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