Why are my neocaridinias dying?

Trekker1125

Background: I got 7 blue velvets a little over a month ago, 1 was already berried. They went into a 5g planted tank that has been cycled and housing a couple snails for atleast a few months prior to adding the shrimp. The snails were 1 ramshorn and 1 mystery, but have since moved the mystery and added 2 small horned nerites. I was adding a 50/50 mixture of water from my 29g (same water parameters) and fresh water during water changes to help keep the cycle going and switched to just the fresh water after the snails were in for a couple weeks,15-20% wc per week. Since adding the shrimp I have done a 2 cup water change every other day, adding a half cup slowly every 30 minutes. I know they are sensitive to changes, so I have gone for these super tiny changes to reduce that issue. I have drop kits and test strips that I have compared and generally just use the test strips for regular testing once a week, but did a drop test 2 weeks ago and again today, they were the same.
PH-7.4
Ammonia & Nitrites- 0
Nitrates-10
GH-215
KH-80
Temp: 74°F
Feeding: Broken up algae wafers.
Tank contains the snails listed above, cholla wood, anubias barteri and petite, subtulata, a baby Amazon Sword, and floated brazillion pennywort.
Problem: After getting them into the tank, a week went by and then 1 died, but 2 more became berried... It was too long to be an acclimation issue, so I figured maybe old age. Another week went by and the initial berried shrimp was no longer berried and there were lots of baby shrimps (yay!), but another adult died... I was concerned, but water parameters were fine, so I figured maybe another old age, but was suspicious. Another week went by and another died along with some of the baby shrimps... worried, did drop test, everything checked out fine, thought maybe I'm not feeding enough, increased feeding and checked water a couple times for the first couple days to ensure no spikes were occuring. Another week went by and 2 more died a few days apart, but baby shrimp had hatched and were fine... now I'm confused. I had switched to a neocaridinia shrimp algae wafer that week and thought perhaps that was the issue and switched back to the previous ones. Another week later, today, I still have the 2 adults, but I saw a dead baby shrimp and noticed that there appears to be about half the amount of babies left... now I'm frustrated.

I will be setting up a 20g long heavily planted tank in a couple days as the supplies comes in, and will be cycling it with filter media from my established 29g, but I was wanting to wait atleast a month before transferring them over to allow the tank to get a little biofilm and algae going. I had planned to order more shrimps to increase the gene pool, but I'm on hold for that until I can figure out what I'm missing here.
 

Flyfisha

Sorry Trekker1125 I don’t know why your neocaridina shrimp are not lasting in your tank .

I will write of what is happening with my tanks and you can draw your own concussions about wither or not neocaridina are sensitive to water changes.
I keep shrimp in all tanks especially those that are fry grow out tanks. When the fry are tiny the shrimp eat a little of the food left over from the 4 meals a day given to the fry ( fish) . As the fish fry grow they consume more or less of the juvenile shrimp depending on species as a deliberate food source for the growing fish.

These tanks get two or often three 45% water changes each week. The shrimp quickly multiply into pest numbers ( hundreds) except in tanks with species of fish that hunt down every last adult cherry shrimp. Apistogramma fry are good at eating every last shrimp in their grow out tanks.

While your water parameters are good it may be lacking in something we can’t measure. Calcium comes to mind. Some calcium is used up with every shrimp molt. A juvenile cherry shrimp grows a new exoskeleton many times per week. Fresh green vegetables are a source of calcium as well as fresh water which might be part of the issue?

I suggest adding a good quality dry fish food or something like crab cuisine as well as fresh green vegetables to their diet.

Adding waste water from a fish tank will not help do anything to maintain the cycle.
No bacteria live in the water.
Nitrates are bacteria poop not the bacteria themselves.

Just the shrimp alone will produce enough ammonia to feed the bacteria numbers for the daily poop load of shrimp.

Do not be afraid to add fresh clean conditioned temperature matched water to a neocaridina tank in my opinion.
 

Trekker1125

These tanks get two or often three 45% water changes each week.
Do not be afraid to add fresh clean conditioned temperature matched water to a neocaridina tank in my opinion.
I forgot to specify that I switched to only adding freshwater (matched to tank parameters, minus the nitrates of course). I'll edit that in. I've read people saying that even with water changes they do a drip to replace the water slowly because even a shift in nitrates can affect them negatively. Since the nitrates are maintaining at 10 with what I'm doing, I don't see the need for larger water changes, but may switch to a larger weekly change instead of the super small ones more frequently.
While your water parameters are good it may be lacking in something we can’t measure. Calcium comes to
The algae wafers that I have been using are supplemented with calcium (they were made for snails). I haven't seen any "white ring of death" issues, but I also haven't seen fresh molts in a couple weeks. I could add some calcium, but since the GH is already over 200 I was concerned that it would raise the GH too high and be an unnecessary step since GH is already up there. Is there something I can add that would provide a constant calcium source that wouldn't leach into the water and raise GH?
 

ProudPapa

How much are you feeding? Just those few shrimp should need very little supplemental feeding, and in a well seasoned tank probably wouldn't need any.
 

Flyfisha

If you are not seeing molts perhaps they are being eaten immediately?

I read somewhere that cherry shrimp molt 14 times in the first two weeks of life, or something close to that number anyway, lots.

Green vegetables are a good source of calcium.

Are you familiar with Mark the Scottish guy from Marks shrimp tanks .

In one of his recent videos he states he can feed his neocaridina every day because he can change water often.

A link to a more recent video on using wild green vegetables.



I use a 3/4 inch hose and electric pump to add water in as fast as possible.

. As Mark says if you change the PH of the water shrimp are in it takes weeks before the shrimp acclimate to the change,or die.
Not sure if it was this video?
I have shrimp living in outdoor ponds that don’t get feed for weeks on end but I acknowledge people like Mark who feed a lot more often.
 

Trekker1125

How much are you feeding? Just those few shrimp should need very little supplemental feeding, and in a well seasoned tank probably wouldn't need any.
This is what I had thought, but I was feeding a tiny pinch of broken up wafers once a day just in case, and then went to twice a day.
I read somewhere that cherry shrimp molt 14 times in the first two weeks of life, or something close to that number anyway, lots.
Green vegetables are a good source of calcium.
They're so small for the first few weeks that I don't think I'd be able to see their molts. I feed zuchinni to my other tanks that have mystery snails 1-2 times a week, so I can add some zuchinni for the shrimp tank too.
Are you familiar with Mark the Scottish guy from Marks shrimp tanks .
As Mark says if you change the PH of the water shrimp are in it takes weeks before the shrimp acclimate to change, or die.
Not familiar with Mark, I'll look him up. I hadn't heard that it could take weeks, thought it was a few days from what Ive read about acclimation/parameter shifts, but the water they came in was extremely similar to mine and the pH has stayed consistent.
 

Blacksheep1

Mark is so funny and educational, I was watching one of his vendors before. He’s a wealth of knowledge. I was thinking it could be acclimation , even after a few weeks , until you mentioned the babies dying. They should be more acclimated to your water being born into it than the adults , which is making me think this is a food issue.

your gh and kh are high enough you shouldn’t need to add calcium to the water column. I would vary up the foods you’re feeding massively. It’s hard when you only have a few shrimp as you feel you’re massively over feeding , which is obv bad , just take it out after a couple of hours. Kale, spinach, courgette, green beans and broccoli are my shrimps favourites.
Do you feed any powdered foods for the babies ? Try leaving your lights in a little longer if you’re low on biofilm , again powder food will help to grow that for the babies to feed on.

How long Exactly has the tank been fully set up with the snails in ?
 

Gennasharples

Background: I got 7 blue velvets a little over a month ago, 1 was already berried. They went into a 5g planted tank that has been cycled and housing a couple snails for atleast a few months prior to adding the shrimp. The snails were 1 ramshorn and 1 mystery, but have since moved the mystery and added 2 small horned nerites. I was adding a 50/50 mixture of water from my 29g (same water parameters) and fresh water during water changes to help keep the cycle going and switched to just the fresh water after the snails were in for a couple weeks,15-20% wc per week. Since adding the shrimp I have done a 2 cup water change every other day, adding a half cup slowly every 30 minutes. I know they are sensitive to changes, so I have gone for these super tiny changes to reduce that issue. I have drop kits and test strips that I have compared and generally just use the test strips for regular testing once a week, but did a drop test 2 weeks ago and again today, they were the same.
PH-7.4
Ammonia & Nitrites- 0
Nitrates-10
GH-215
KH-80
Temp: 74°F
Feeding: Broken up algae wafers.
Tank contains the snails listed above, cholla wood, anubias barteri and petite, subtulata, a baby Amazon Sword, and floated brazillion pennywort.
Problem: After getting them into the tank, a week went by and then 1 died, but 2 more became berried... It was too long to be an acclimation issue, so I figured maybe old age. Another week went by and the initial berried shrimp was no longer berried and there were lots of baby shrimps (yay!), but another adult died... I was concerned, but water parameters were fine, so I figured maybe another old age, but was suspicious. Another week went by and another died along with some of the baby shrimps... worried, did drop test, everything checked out fine, thought maybe I'm not feeding enough, increased feeding and checked water a couple times for the first couple days to ensure no spikes were occuring. Another week went by and 2 more died a few days apart, but baby shrimp had hatched and were fine... now I'm confused. I had switched to a neocaridinia shrimp algae wafer that week and thought perhaps that was the issue and switched back to the previous ones. Another week later, today, I still have the 2 adults, but I saw a dead baby shrimp and noticed that there appears to be about half the amount of babies left... now I'm frustrated.

I will be setting up a 20g long heavily planted tank in a couple days as the supplies comes in, and will be cycling it with filter media from my established 29g, but I was wanting to wait atleast a month before transferring them over to allow the tank to get a little biofilm and algae going. I had planned to order more shrimps to increase the gene pool, but I'm on hold for that until I can figure out what I'm missing here.
I have no idea why your shrimp are dying.

about a month ago I got 10 yellow cherry shrimp, 1 was already berried.
hoe I have babies of 3 different ages/sizes and all adults are still alive. I have at least 50 shrimp now. And they are housed with 6 Pygmy Cory’s and a male betta. The older babies are probably almost 1cm and the middle babies are like 4mm and the smallest I can see are like 1mm, they are super tiny.
I haven’t noticed any dead ones.
my ph is 8.4 and I don’t have a kh test kit so I just have a couple small pieces of coral in that tank to keep the ph up. I do a 10% water change every fortnight and that’s it. Shrimp have a very little bio load so really you don’t need to change much water.

I feed algae wafers and shrimp snow and also they eat any fallen bloodworms and insectivore pellets I feed the betta: the Pygmy Cory’s eat some of everything that I put in for the shrimp or the betta.
 

Trekker1125

Kale, spinach, courgette, green beans and broccoli are my shrimps favourites.
Do you feed any powdered foods for the babies ? Try leaving your lights in a little longer if you’re low on biofilm , again powder food will help to grow that for the babies to feed on.

How long Exactly has the tank been fully set up with the snails in ?
I can do kale, spinach, and brocolli easily. I had tried spinach with my snails but they weren't into it, so I just stuck to the zuchinni. No powdered foods, just the crushed up algae wafer (which ends up being some small bits and some powder). I can up the lights for more algae. There was a bit more than the snails could keep up with before the shrimps went in, but they're pretty great little cleaners.

I had to check my profile on here to see when exactly I had set this tank up. It was July of last year, so a little under a year (and here I was thinking it was like 5-6 months... time flies when you're having fun). The first couple months it just had plants though.
 

Blacksheep1

For that age of the tank you’ve got more than enough biofilm !!!

by all means try the varied diet , I found it helped.
Does the tank have a lid ? I’m just wondering if somethings in the air that could be causing mini die offs , sprays or cleaners etc.

Just clarify for me again please , your water changes are now all fresh water that’s temp matched ? What would you say the amount each change and how often ? I’m clutching here …

It’s like they thrive for some people and others they just don’t which is strange. Oh , another thought , was this a brand new tank? No copper meds ever used in it ?
 

Cherryshrimp420

Doesn't seem like the tank went through proper cycling.

How much food did you add to the tank in the 1 month prior to shrimp? Did you add the same amount of algae wafers as you are now?

If not, then tank is probably not cycled to be able to handle the current bioload. Dying baby shrimps is a big sign of inadequate conditions
 

Trekker1125

Does the tank have a lid ? I’m just wondering if somethings in the air that could be causing mini die offs , sprays or cleaners etc.
Yes on the lid, BUT, it's mesh. I'll definitely keep an eye out during cleaning days, but from what I can think of the worst possible thing would be using a steam mop on the tile with lysol... perhaps it disperses in the air and gets into the tank??? I have 2 other tanks that have the same mesh lids and haven't had any issues with the inhabitants in those. The new tank setup will have a glass lid, so that would be a non issue for that tank. If that's the problem then that's a super easy fix.
Just clarify for me again please , your water changes are now all fresh water that’s temp matched ? What would you say the amount each change and how often ?
Oh , another thought , was this a brand new tank? No copper meds ever used in it ?
Yes, all freshwater. Parameters are matched (minus nitrates of course), and temp is matched. It was new, have never used meds in it.
Doesn't seem like the tank went through proper cycling.
How much food did you add to the tank in the 1 month prior to shrimp?
If not, then tank is probably not cycled to be able to handle the current bioload. Dying baby shrimps is a big sign of inadequate conditions
Could you elaborate on what gives you the idea that it isn't cycled? The parameters I listed suggest it's cycled and they have been consistent the entire time.
As mentioned, there were snails in there for a few months prior to adding the shrimp. They received some bits of algae wafer, but only once or twice a week, as there was adequate algae growth for them. Shrimp don't have much bioload and there were only 7 to start, but I did check parameters everyday for the first week just to make sure, and atleast weekly thereafter. They remained the same.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Yes on the lid, BUT, it's mesh. I'll definitely keep an eye out during cleaning days, but from what I can think of the worst possible thing would be using a steam mop on the tile with lysol... perhaps it disperses in the air and gets into the tank??? I have 2 other tanks that have the same mesh lids and haven't had any issues with the inhabitants in those. The new tank setup will have a glass lid, so that would be a non issue for that tank. If that's the problem then that's a super easy fix.

Yes, all freshwater. Parameters are matched (minus nitrates of course), and temp is matched. It was new, have never used meds in it.

Could you elaborate on what gives you the idea that it isn't cycled? The parameters I listed suggest it's cycled and they have been consistent the entire time.
As mentioned, there were snails in there for a few months prior to adding the shrimp. They received some bits of algae wafer, but only once or twice a week, as there was adequate algae growth for them. Shrimp don't have much bioload and there were only 7 to start, but I did check parameters everyday for the first week just to make sure, and atleast weekly thereafter. They remained the same.

The idea for nitrogen cycle is not to feed the snails, it's to feed the bacteria. You need a healthy colony of bacteria prior to adding any livestock, enough to process whatever food, poop, waste that will be produced once the livestocks are added. Ideally, near the end of the cycle you want to be feeding as much food to the tank as you would normally to the livestock.

If you only fed 1 algae wafer a week, then the bacteria will only grow to accommodate that amount of waste, they will not be able to handle 2 algae wafers per day. It will take some time for the bacteria colony to catch up, in the meantime you will experience some shrimp or fish deaths.
 

Blacksheep1

Doesn't seem like the tank went through proper cycling.

after a year ? I know shrimps are a low bioload but not the same for snails .. if I’ve read correctly the half a wafer was shrimp food not snail food. If the shrimp population had an increase then it’s a small increase on bioload so I don’t personally think that’s the issue here.
I’m not disregarding what you’re suggesting, I think after a year it would be mature enough to support babies easily, even in a 5G.
 

Cherryshrimp420

after a year ? I know shrimps are a low bioload but not the same for snails .. if I’ve read correctly the half a wafer was shrimp food not snail food. If the shrimp population had an increase then it’s a small increase on bioload so I don’t personally think that’s the issue here.
I’m not disregarding what you’re suggesting, I think after a year it would be mature enough to support babies easily, even in a 5G.

I didn't see a year, from what I understand OP had snails-only for a few months?
 

Trekker1125

I didn't see a year, from what I understand OP had snails-only for a few months?
I can see your confusion there. I had said atleast a few months prior to shrimp, and someone asked exactly how long, to which I had responded (after looking it up on my profile here for the exact timeline) that it has been set up since July of last year (10 months), and only had plants the first couple months. So, snails have inhabited it for 8 months, which would have been about 6.5 months prior to arrival of the shrimp. Parameters have been checked through the whole process and have remained stable.
 

Blacksheep1

I got a little confused at first too. That’s why I asked for clarification. There’s very little chance after a year that you’ve not got enough biofilm to support babies. Which , again makes me think it’s something else.

try the varied, veggie rich diet ( btw i prep , Blanche and freeze for ease , it doesn’t have to be a meal prep daily kind of thing ) and see how you get on. Try a single ( or more) male and female for fresh blood to add to the colony too.
 

Cherryshrimp420

I can see your confusion there. I had said atleast a few months prior to shrimp, and someone asked exactly how long, to which I had responded (after looking it up on my profile here for the exact timeline) that it has been set up since July of last year (10 months), and only had plants the first couple months. So, snails have inhabited it for 8 months, which would have been about 6.5 months prior to arrival of the shrimp. Parameters have been checked through the whole process and have remained stable.

Ah okay now I understand. So to clarify, stable parameters is not a sign of a cycled tank, rather it's stable parameters WHILE a consistent ammonia source is added. That is a sign that there are actually nitrifying bacteria present and in enough quantities to keep livestock. The idea is, you want enough bacteria to be able to convert 1ppm - 2ppm of ammonia into nitrates per day. That would be enough for most aquariums.

I think there was simply too little feeding prior to adding shrimp and the tank couldn't keep up with a sudden introduction of new shrimp and food. The tank went through a mini-cycle and should be back on track soon.

As for food, I don't like algae wafers, I feed mostly boiled vegetables to my shrimp about once a week and a sprinkle of fish food throughout the week.
 

Trekker1125

So after some digging, I found my water utility's test results that showed some trace amounts of copper, 0.0586ppm. I mix this 50/50 with RO because my tap is really high in GH and pH, so the copper content of the water used for the tank is 0.0293. However, over months and months of evaporation (mesh lid) resulting in higher concentration and small water changes with the same copper water, the overall concentration in the tank would slowly rise. I was using the water outside my house to maintain the moderate level of GH, but I have a water softener for my inside water that does not put salt into the water. If I were to switch to using my inside filtered water, the copper would not be an issue, but GH would have to be replaced. The pH and KH of the inside filtered tap is still really high, so it would still have to be mixed 50/50 with RO... Is there a way to add GH without increasing the pH/KH? I don't have an RO system, so using plain RO would be a pain. I'm working on setting up the new tank, but on hold until I figure out the water situation. The 2 adults, along with a 1/2" juvenile and a lot of babies are still alive and appear healthy in the current 5g, but if the copper is the issue here, then I need to figure out a solution as soon as possible for these guys. Suggestions, concerns, and advice are all welcome.
 

Gennasharples

So after some digging, I found my water utility's test results that showed some trace amounts of copper, 0.0586ppm. I mix this 50/50 with RO because my tap is really high in GH and pH, so the copper content of the water used for the tank is 0.0293. However, over months and months of evaporation (mesh lid) resulting in higher concentration and small water changes with the same copper water, the overall concentration in the tank would slowly rise. I was using the water outside my house to maintain the moderate level of GH, but I have a water softener for my inside water that does not put salt into the water. If I were to switch to using my inside filtered water, the copper would not be an issue, but GH would have to be replaced. The pH and KH of the inside filtered tap is still really high, so it would still have to be mixed 50/50 with RO... Is there a way to add GH without increasing the pH/KH? I don't have an RO system, so using plain RO would be a pain. I'm working on setting up the new tank, but on hold until I figure out the water situation. The 2 adults, along with a 1/2" juvenile and a lot of babies are still alive and appear healthy in the current 5g, but if the copper is the issue here, then I need to figure out a solution as soon as possible for these guys. Suggestions, concerns, and advice are all welcome.
mine are breeding really well in a ph of 8.4, not sure on GH. but I wouldnt worry too much about putting them in a high ph and gh
 

Trekker1125

mine are breeding really well in a ph of 8.4, not sure on GH. but I wouldnt worry too much about putting them in a high ph and gh
Thank you for responding. My problem is that my unfiltered water (high pH & GH) contains copper, but my filtered water (no copper) has no GH. So if I switch to my filtered water then I need to replenish the GH without raising the pH even more since the pH is already high. Could I use the SaltyShrimp Bee Shrimp GH+ to raise the GH in water that has a higher pH? I know it is made to be mixed with plain RO for bee shrimp to maintain a lower pH, but since I already have the pH and KH that I need, I only need the GH. The other option would be to use RO water with the SaltyShrimp GH/KH+, but I'm trying to avoid using plain RO since I don't have an RO system.
 

Gennasharples

i
Thank you for responding. My problem is that my unfiltered water (high pH & GH) contains copper, but my filtered water (no copper) has no GH. So if I switch to my filtered water then I need to replenish the GH without raising the pH even more since the pH is already high. Could I use the SaltyShrimp Bee Shrimp GH+ to raise the GH in water that has a higher pH? I know it is made to be mixed with plain RO for bee shrimp to maintain a lower pH, but since I already have the pH and KH that I need, I only need the GH. The other option would be to use RO water with the SaltyShrimp GH/KH+, but I'm trying to avoid using plain RO since I don't have an RO system.
dont see why that wouldnt work (adding the gh+ to water with a high ph)
 

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