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View Full Version : RCS - what am I doing wrong?



~Col~
10-03-2010, 05:14 AM
Hi Everyone

Am I the only person around that can't keep RCS alive? I'm down to two, both egg laden females.

Here's what I've got:

1 gal hex
filter (with cover on in intake)
heater
fine substrate
live plants 4-5

Water parameters

Ammonia 0
NitrIte 0
Nitrate 10
PH - 6.0 (WTF?)
Temp 25degC

Tap water is PH 6.4

Could the low PH be killing them off? We use rainwater here and have had a bit of rain lately, possibly why the PH is so low.

Any ideas?

I was thinking of putting a shell in the water to help stabilise the PH. Something that is too small for the RCS to get stuck in.

Sarkazmo
10-03-2010, 09:03 AM
I didn't have any luck with RCS in small tanks either. However in a 10G I had great luck with them for a long time in that tank. Add some aragonite or crushed coral to the substrate of the tank this will up the PH and hardness of the water.

It could just be that the shrimp died of another cause. How many did you start with and how long have you had them?

Sark

EDIT: Also, how old is the tank? RCS need an established tank with lots of bio-film for them to feed on. This very well could be the reason you're having issues if it's a new tank.

~Col~
10-03-2010, 10:15 AM
Thanks Sark!

Tank has been set up for two months now. I used media and substrate from one of my bigger tanks to cycle it originally. There is plenty of algae and biofilm for them. There's some moss mixed in with the plants as well.

I started out with about 20 RCS and now I'm down to 2.

I had some molly fry in there for a couple of weeks and noticed they didn't flourish in there either but have doubled their size since putting them into my 5.5gal.

I've never had much luck with small tanks either. Not sure why, considering how easy they are to maintain. 50% WC weekly, although I've started doing it every few days in the last 2 weeks. I only vacumn up any excess food or bodies. I always treat the water and add it slowly so I don't create a gushing waterfall in such a small space. BAH! I'm ready to give up. Time to save up for a nice Edge or something for my room instead. ;)

Sarkazmo
10-03-2010, 12:26 PM
Plastic/Acrylic tank? From my experience, I'm seeing something disturbing. The fish, inverts, and plants that I have in plastic tanks never do as well as the same things that I have in glass tanks of similar size. I'm really starting to think that the chems in the plastic are leaching and causing issues.

Sark

Sasquatch
10-03-2010, 01:40 PM
...
I started out with about 20 RCS and now I'm down to 2.
...
I've never had much luck with small tanks either. Not sure why, considering how easy they are to maintain. 50% WC weekly, although I've started doing it every few days in the last 2 weeks. I only vacumn up any excess food or bodies. I always treat the water and add it slowly so I don't create a gushing waterfall in such a small space. BAH! I'm ready to give up. Time to save up for a nice Edge or something for my room instead. ;)

The maintenance on small tank may be easy, but small tank are notoriously hard to maintain. It's very difficult to keep a stable environment in such small tanks. A little sunlight, a draft from a heater/air conditioner, a little too much food ... it doesn't take much to throw the system out of balance.

Also, with 20 shrimp in a 1g tank ... probably a little too much to start with.

~Col~
10-04-2010, 05:50 AM
Sasquatch - you're quite right, it doesn't take much to throw the whole system out.

I'll leave them in there for the moment. I've just started back at work so I'm hoping after buying the kids Xmas presents I'll have enough to buy something bigger. Tanks over here are so expensive, even 2nd hand.

Sark - it's a glass tank.

Sarkazmo
10-04-2010, 06:16 AM
Col, try yard sales and local free ad papers. They're sometimes a gold mine for cheap tanks and such. Best way to upgrade!

Sark

korith
10-04-2010, 06:23 AM
pH is fine. I have around 10 5g shrimp tanks at the moment, different types of shrimp. I find the less I do with them the better off the shrimp are. Basically just set up the tank, small partial water changes every few weeks and just let them be.

For your 1g, I would cut back on the water changes, 2 shrimp are not going to have much of a bioload. Do smaller water changes, and less often than you are, maybe every 2 weeks or so.

How much are you feeding them? I put only a small bit piece of an algae wafer into the tanks every few days, the rest of the time they forage on the algae and whatever else is in the tanks.

What type of temp range are they being kept at? Maybe the night/day time temp change is too much?

I have a feeling it may be your water source. May want to try a different water source, perhaps bottled water. Never know what kind of pollution is in the rainwater. You can add polyfilter to your tank perhaps, it will help pull the bad stuff out of the water. It will change from a white color to another color, depending on the type of contaminant is removes.

Shrimp are very sensitive to changes.

~Col~
10-16-2010, 02:38 AM
Thanks everyone!

Sark - I'll keep an eye out at yard sales. Unfortunately most people over here try to resell through the papers or ebay because they cost so much new and want to get some money back. I would love one of our petstores over here to do that $1 per gal sale that you get in the US.

Korith - good point about the water changes. I've reduced them, just did my first one in two weeks. So far I haven't lost either of the shrimp and one has even given me some babies. I added about 5 juvenille RCS a week ago and they are all doing well too. Temp range is 77-78F, I've got a heater in there that keeps it steady. I've started using small vege wafers once every few days and alternating between them and algae wafers.

Fingers crossed!

Thanks again!