What Am I Doing Wrong??

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Kysarkel000, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Kysarkel000

    Kysarkel000Well Known MemberMember

    So I bought 5 ghost shrimp and put them in my 10g fish tank with my 3 danios and common pleco. I gave them 2 sideways baskets used for holding plants to hide in. They lasted about 3 days and then one disappeared. I couldn't find him anywhere. Then a few days later another one died and then the rest died and disapeared after that. I waited a week and then got a peice of drift wood and 5 more ghost shrimp. The lady told me that the pleco ate some and the rest probably died from stress. She said my water parameters were fine. So I brought my 5 new shrimp home and got them all situated in the tank and all was good. The next day, one shrimp was dead, and another missing and now today the other 3 are dead too. Also, they've turned pink. The drift wood had lots of holes, nookes, and crannies to hide in so I don't think it was the pleco. So I took another water sample in and she said the only thing wrong was the water was pretty acidic. I do 50% water changes once a week and get my water tested once a week as well. They have always told me my water parameters were fine and that the shrimp should be okay (other than the hiding spots and the acidic water from today). I bought tetra pH balance ( I think it's actually called easy balance) and put that in the tank.


    All in all, I'm not really sure what's happening and what I'm doing wrong. Any advise?
  2. FishFish221

    FishFish221Well Known MemberMember

    What are the specific parameters?
    A common pleco can grow up to 2 feet and are not suitable for a tank your size. Zebra danios also need at least 20 gallons.
  3. OP

    Kysarkel000Well Known MemberMember


    This is my tank btw. The plant baskets I was using is on the left side and another behind the shorter grassy looking plant.

  4. Katie13

    Katie13Fishlore VIPMember

    Common Plecos need a much, much larger tank. Giant Danios are schooling fish that need groups of an absolute minimum of 5 if not 6. I would return the fish. You could keep 10 Celestial Pearl Danios. Is the tank cycled? You should ask for the numbers when asking about water parameters. Ammonia and Nitrites should be 0 with some nitrates.

  5. Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    I hate to tell you, but the species of plecos sold as common plecos usually average between one to two feet in legnth. They get huge and make a whole lot of waste!
    Zebra danios (do you have zebra danios or another species?) need a school of 6+ and a 20+ gallon tank due to their swimming habits. They like to zip around.

    Shrimp are more succeptable to high ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. You really do not have to mess with your PH either. It does more harm than good if you don't know exactly what you're doing and have a species that absolutely needs an exact PH.

    Pictures of the pleco Petco sold me as a 'common pleco' for my pond (gold spotted pleco). He's still a baby and is a good 4 inches long. He'll get to about 12 inches. image.jpg
  6. OP

    Kysarkel000Well Known MemberMember

    The lady at the store didn't give me any specific perameters. I know the ammonia is at .1 ppm, but she didn't say anything about the nitrates or nitrite s. The pH she said was bottomed out on both normal pH and pH low tests.

    The pleco size is not my issue at the moment. He is a tiny baby the size of my pinky finger. I know he can get much much bigger and am planning on moving him to a bigger tank when the time comes. The lady told me the danios would be an okay match for my tank. Could they be why my shrimp are dieing?
  7. TerryCat

    TerryCatValued MemberMember

    How long have you had your tank? Do you know anything about the nitrogen cycle? I would defs read up on it because it sounds like your levels might be off. I would invest in a master test kit so that you can monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Until the cycle is complete you will likely keep losing all of your fish. who was it telling you all your levels are fine? Sometimes big box fish stores are not too reliable for that kind of info. You want your ammonia and nitrite to be at 0 and your nitrates to be around 10ppm
  8. SFFishSticksValued MemberMember

    Driftwood can lower your pH. I'd stay away from strict pH adjusters. Without buffering they can lead to pH crashes or big swings in pH.

    Do you happen to know your GH and KH? Inverts usually need a decent carbonate hardness since they molt. Calcium/Alkaline buffers will also raise your pH some.
  9. Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    Do you know what kind of danios you have? Can you get a clearer picture?

    From the images of the shrimp it looks like they died from water issues. There is no missing antenna or anything that would make me think bullying was the case.
    When she said bottomed out, did she mean super low? Because a drastic PH swing could have killed them just as easily as bad water quality.
  10. OP

    Kysarkel000Well Known MemberMember

    So I should return the danios? They didn't tell me the type of danio. I didn't really like them in the first place ( my boyfriend picked them out) but they've grown on me. I feel guilty returning them.

    So shouldn't have to bother with the pH at all? Even if I use bottled water that has a neutral pH?

    It's okay to just grab your pleco like That? And he can be out of water long enough for a decent picture?? I always freak when scooping my fish out of water!
  11. Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    Just use your tap water with a good dechlorinator (I recommend Prime) unless you have an issue with your tap water. Bottled water usually lacks minerals and fish need minerals in the water. Shrimp too.

    If you get a picture of the danios I can help you ID them. From what I can see of them in the picture you provided, they don't really look like zebra danios.

    He was fine for the photo shoot, I rinsed my hands off in hot water first to get rid of anything, then lifted him up to get shots so people could help me ID him. He was still so it didn't take long at all.
  12. OP

    Kysarkel000Well Known MemberMember

    I've had my tank for a month now. I know about the nitrogen cycle. I'm saving up for a master test kit. I get my water tested at pet co. The lady said my ammonia was a .1ppm and the pH was acidic and that I should use the tetra easy balance or to add a 1/4th tbs. Of baking soda, which I thought was weird. She didnt say anything about nitrates or nitrites.
  13. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    If you have ammonia in your water the tank isn't cycled. That would be what is killing the shrimp most likely. I am also guessing they are testing with test strips which are notoriously inaccurate. I would recommend going out and purchasing an API freshwater master test kit. It's the only way to really know what is going on in there.

    Don't worry about your pH. It's fine. As long as you are drip acclimating the shrimp AFTER the tank is cycled they will be fine. They don't do cycling well and just dumping them in new water after floating the bag won't cut it. I use a piece of airline tubing and dump most of their water down the drain then set the tubing so it expels one drop per second into the bag. After around 20-30 minutes of dripping so they get used to the changes in water I net them and put them in.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2017
  14. OP

    Kysarkel000Well Known MemberMember

    They didn't say tell me what type of danio. They just said it's a danio(picture below).

    She told me the water was super acidic and that I needed to add tetra easy balance or a 1/4th tbs of baking soda l, which I thought was weird. Someone else said that drift wood can lower pH. Maybe when I added it, the water had a low pH swing and it was too drastic for my shrimpies?


    Don't the live plants I have put minerals into the water? I don't like using tap water, I don't trust it plus I like to stay away from the chemicals. I remember using bottled water as a child without any issues and then I tried tap once with a declorinater and all my fish died. Also, I figure if drinking tap water makes my tummy upset, it's probably not good for fishes either.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2017
  15. Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    Giant danio maybe? They get to about 4 inches each and need a school of 6+ ideally. I'd return them unless you have a really large tank planned.

    Driftwood lowers PH, but not drastically enough to kill anything.
  16. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    If you re using bottled water with little to no minerals and no calcium your shrimp wouldn't be able to molt and that could be another reason they are dying. Also, live plants do not add anything to the water. They just absorb a little of the nitrates and add oxygen when they give it off.
  17. Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    Live plants don't add any minerals.

    Okay, so I assume your tap water is bad. Do you use RO, distilled, or spring water? Spring is the best of the bunch if you can find true spring water. It has some minerals at least.
  18. OP

    Kysarkel000Well Known MemberMember

    I've been using distilled water, but I can switch to spring. Is there a rock or something I can add to give off minerals?
  19. TerryCat

    TerryCatValued MemberMember

    If you have ammonia in your water it means the tank hasn't cycled properly. Can you get your hands on tetra safe start or seachem stability? Those will help you cycle faster so that you don't lose so many fish. I wouldn't try to add any more fish until you get through the cycle. Are you using a decholrinator?
  20. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498Well Known MemberMember

    They sell products to remineralize water but it's usually for use in RO water since RO has everything removed so you know what you're starting with. Bottled can have all different values of things left. If your fish died in a tank where you were using bottled and then you just decided to switch to tap one day that would be why. You would need to do 10% water changes to slowly acclimate the fish to the new type of water instead of just out and out changing it.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice