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crystalite
05-09-2012, 02:58 PM
Hi all,
I'm new to the whole aquarium thing and need a bit of advice.
I've lost 8 shrimp in the space of about two weeks (2 red cherry and 6 red crystal) and I think another one is dying right now. I've had my water checked by different aquatice stores and they all say it's fine and wouldn't cause any problems for the shrimp so it must just be stress thats doing them but I'm still concerened I'm doing something wrong. I've lost soem through the night so not sure what happened with them but most of them seem to get the same symptoms before they die. They twitch around a lot and don't seem to be able to stand up or grip anything, then their swimmerettes (this may not be the right term) are kicking around but the can't stand up, eventually they stop moving and thats it. Its really distressing to see and I'm not sure if its some sort of ilness there all getting or if this is just what happens when shrimp die but some of them are like it for hours before they do.
Can anyone offer any advice on whats happening or how I can prevent more losses?

Stlouisfish
05-09-2012, 03:05 PM
Hi all,
I'm new to the whole aquarium thing and need a bit of advice.
I've lost 8 shrimp in the space of about two weeks (2 red cherry and 6 red crystal) and I think another one is dying right now. I've had my water checked by different aquatice stores and they all say it's fine and wouldn't cause any problems for the shrimp so it must just be stress thats doing them but I'm still concerened I'm doing something wrong. I've lost soem through the night so not sure what happened with them but most of them seem to get the same symptoms before they die. They twitch around a lot and don't seem to be able to stand up or grip anything, then their swimmerettes (this may not be the right term) are kicking around but the can't stand up, eventually they stop moving and thats it. Its really distressing to see and I'm not sure if its some sort of ilness there all getting or if this is just what happens when shrimp die but some of them are like it for hours before they do.
Can anyone offer any advice on whats happening or how I can prevent more losses?
Is your tank cycled? What were your latest parameter readings - you can't go by a fish store saying your water is "fine" because sometimes you might have ammonia and my LFS's say up to 1.0ppm of ammonia is fine - it totally isn't - it needs to be 0.

I'm assuming you don't have a testing kit of your own? How long has your tank been set up?

crystalite
05-09-2012, 03:49 PM
It's been running about 7 weeks now. I cycled the tank and there are 4 white cloud mountain minnows in with the shrimp who have went in in two stages a week apart and have been totally fine. I was told there was a small amount of amonia after the first 2 shrimp died sometime in the night but I did a water change and the levels were back to 0 when I went back for the next water check and to replace the lost shrimp. I tried to gradually introduce shrimp and only got 4 at first then added the rest a week later.
Not sure where you are but I'm in the UK and the store I got the fish from is the biggest aquatic specialist in the area so I hoped they would know what levels the water should be at. Is there anything I can do to remove any amonia there could be in the water? I did another water change today in case losing the other shrimp has had any effect but I saw them looking off and kept an eye on them so I could take them out the second they died to avoid an amonia spike.

ScottishFish
05-09-2012, 05:33 PM
I havent kept shrimp before but I have an idea. I know that bottom feeders like khuli loaches and plecos are always better to be added after the tank has been running for a couple of months so they don't starve as easily. Are your shrimp getting fed? A new tank like yours would have little for them to scavenge, you will really need to direct feed them.

f1shg33kz
05-09-2012, 05:43 PM
Shrimp are very sensitive to copper. Have you added anything to the tank that contained copper? Some fish medications have tons of it.

mermaidwannabe
05-09-2012, 06:10 PM
First, get an API Master Freshwater Test Kit.

In addition, get the API separate test kit for copper.

Follow the instructions exactly for both of these kits.

When you feed your White Clouds, I assume you feed them food that's small enough to fit into their tiny mouths. I suggest you put in just a tad more so that some falls to the substrate for your shrimp to scavange on. Not too much -- just enough so they get their share. Maybe adding shrimp pellets will help in the beginning until the tank establishes its own supply of natural shrimp food (i.e., they can scavenge plenty off of what is already in there and what drops to the substrate from fish feeding.)

Get a bottle of Seachem's Prime. That will temporarily neutralize toxic ammonia.

When you do water changes, I assume you're using a dechlorinator that neutralizes both chlorine and chloramines? Prime, again, is the best product for that.

What kind of filtration do you have? Is it adequate to handle your bioload?

You say your tank is cycled -- how do you know this? Sometimes it can take up to eight weeks to complete a cycle, unless you seeded the tank when you set it up.

There may be other heavy metals in the tank that could be toxic to the shrimp. However, these usually are also toxic to fish, and if your WCs are doing fine, that might not be a problem. If in doubt, have your water tested for heavy metals. You can do copper at home.

Finally, what is the pH of your tank? The API master test kit comes with two pH testers -- one for normal range and one for high range.

Finally, what is the temperature in your tank? Is your water too cold or too warm for the shrimp? Red cherries can tolerate cooler water, I'm not sure of the other species you have. It may be only a matter of temperature ...

Aside from that, I don't know what else to tell you. My shrimp don't get sick, so have no idea what those symptoms are all about ...


-- mermaidwannabe
:ariel:

crystalite
05-09-2012, 06:21 PM
I tried feeding the JBL nanocrab feed but I think it's too tough for them to break up. I also got the tetra algae wafers but I was told to only feed them two or three times a week. I think maybe I've been getting bad advice from the store. They told me to only feed the minnows once every two days but they go mad for any food that goes in including the shrimps algae wafers. How often and how much should I feed them? I now have 3 red cherry shrimp and one very ill crystal red shrimp and 4 White cloud mountain minnows.
As for the copper I've read all the food and nothing mentions copper. The only chemical I've added is dechlorinator which I've started using a special shrimp one since losing the first few. I have live plants in that have metal weights on but I was told these are lead and contain no copper. Is there a test I could do to see if there's copper in the water?
Is there anything I can do to help my sick crystal shrimp?

crystalite
05-09-2012, 06:36 PM
Just saw your reply after I'd posted mermaidwannabe. In answer to your questions I was told one month was cycled enough for the shrimp and I assumed that was right because I'm a complete novice to all this. My ph is 7.4 and I've got the temp set at 23c (not sure what that is in farenheit) because I wanted a temp the fish and the shrimp would be happiest at. The filter came with the tank so I'm not sure what it is but it has a sponge and some pebble things in it. I've asked all over about the bioload and I think I'm well under what my tank can handle so that shouldn't be a problem. I considered up grading to a bigger tank but this experience is putting me off as it's awful to see them struggling for so long and then dying.
Please keep all the advice coming and let me know what I'm doing wrong as I'm starting to think the stores I've been going to have given me some bad information so far.

f1shg33kz
05-09-2012, 06:48 PM
It is possible that you have metals in your tap water. Prime is usually pretty good at removing that stuff. Also, have you added any live plants to your tank? Plants that get shipped from overseas can have a chemical treatment to kill invertebrates. They treat the plants with these chemicals to prevent invasive species from entering new countries.

Many plants we find in pet stores are from foreign countries that are treated with anti invertebrate chemicals. Something to keep in mind.

crystalite
05-09-2012, 07:06 PM
I doubt the plants I have were treated as I have lots of bladder snails who seem to have hitchhiked in on them. I have to do a constant snail search to get them out so there not taking the shrimps algae. I'll be sure to check in future though just in case.

mermaidwannabe
05-09-2012, 08:23 PM
Just to be safe, I would remove the lead weight bands from your plants and bury their roots in your substrate to anchor them. If they have rhizomes (Anubias or Java Ferns), don't bury those, but attach them to something using fine grade fishing line. If there's nothing to attach them to, you can bury the roots only, but leave the rhizomes on or above the substrate.

Foods aren't the only places you might find copper. If there is copper in your water pipes, that can transfer to your tank when you do water changes. That's why you need a test kit for copper, so you'll know.

The point about chemicals having been sprayed on new plants is a good one to consider. It's a good idea to thoroughly wash and scrub new plants before putting them into the tank.

As for the shrimp pellets being too tough for them to handle, the trick is to soak them in tank water for awhile, in a small cup, and when they've softened up, then serve them.

Ditto for algae pellets and Veggie Rounds.

You can feed a little more often than you've been told. Just don't put in a lot at one time. A tiny pinch, maybe once or twice a day, is sufficient. It's okay to fast your fish one day a week, but if your shrimp are starving, don't start doing that yet until you can be certain they're receiving adequate food.

Don't always believe the folks at your LFS -- sometimes they give accurate information and sometimes they don't. Come on here for answers -- you'll usually get good advice.

-- mermaid

Jacko
05-09-2012, 08:42 PM
Crystal reds are a touchy shrimp, ScottishFish is right that they are best added to an established aquarium, the smallest parameter spike will stress and potentially kill them. Your ph is also too high for crs, I shoot for 6.5 - 6.8 for mine, the temperature is just right though.

Your feeding schedule is fine IMO, if it works dont change it. My tank with vietnam white clouds and crystals s fed twice a week, thats it, same as my other shrimp only tanks.

Id suggest just starting with the red cherries and seeing about lowering the ph nturally (indian,almond leaves work great for that) before you add anymore caridina species (crystals, bees, tigers)

f1shg33kz
05-09-2012, 09:20 PM
Another possible issue is calcium. Shrimp need calcium in order for them to harden their shells. There are a lot foods you can feed to help with their calcium levels. Just another thing to consider. Zucchini is supposed to have a fair amount of calcium and shrimp like it.

crystalite
05-09-2012, 10:19 PM
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I think I might stick to the cherry shrimp if these ones stay healthy. My last crystal is still hanging in there but is definitely not well. I'm going out tomorrow to get some testing kits and I'll try to fish out the weights. I do have java moss but I attached it with thin cotton threads is that safe? I was told by the store that my ph was ok so now I'm quite annoyed they've been telling me all this stuff. Its hard to get fish/shrimp from anywhere other than the places I've been going and I think there pretty useless so I'd rather take my business elsewhere. I might try my shrimp with some zucchini (that's courgette right?) just to be sure the shrimp I have left are getting the best chance possible.

f1shg33kz
05-09-2012, 11:24 PM
Zucchini is courgette, correct. I like to blanch mine, boil it until it is soft. That helps it sink. I break up a few pieces and put in there. My colony of RCS devour it pretty fast.

Cermet
05-10-2012, 11:15 PM
After reading the post i do not believe the tank is cycled - a month with just a few tiny fish didn't necessarily cycle the tank. Any reading of ammonia means the tank isn't cycled. You are wasting time, money and shrimp if you are not testing for ammonia and nitrites every day. Shrimp are hyper sensitive to waste - if you have ammonia then nitrite is very likely too and chemicals will not 'fix' that. Get the water test kit and prove the tank is cycled before adding any more shrimp.

Regardless - don't ask the people at the LFS - ask here. You and the shrimp will benefit.

Strider199
05-10-2012, 11:45 PM
I agree with Cermet on the ammonia, nitrite thought. Shrimp can not deal with these. Do yourself a favour and get your own liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
Just to be on the safe side while you find your kit, keep up daily partial water changes. These will help keep the bad gases to a minimum.

I have fairly hard water (7.8 pH) from my tap and my 10 gallon red cherry shrimp tank is doing really well now for over 6 months.

Java moss is a great plant to have in your tank and the cotton thread should not be a problem. I too use fishing line only because I have it and it's hard to see in the tank.

Keep the faith and dont give up. You'll get through this.thumbs2:

wijnands
05-11-2012, 10:00 AM
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I think I might stick to the cherry shrimp if these ones stay healthy. My last crystal is still hanging in there but is definitely not well. I'm going out tomorrow to get some testing kits and I'll try to fish out the weights. I do have java moss but I attached it with thin cotton threads is that safe? I was told by the store that my ph was ok so now I'm quite annoyed they've been telling me all this stuff. Its hard to get fish/shrimp from anywhere other than the places I've been going and I think there pretty useless so I'd rather take my business elsewhere. I might try my shrimp with some zucchini (that's courgette right?) just to be sure the shrimp I have left are getting the best chance possible.

You keep the LEAD weights on the plants?!?! And you wonder why the shrimps display all the signs of poisoning?

Most store staff is hard put to provide accurate advice on fish, shrimps are miles beyond them.

Stlouisfish
05-11-2012, 11:50 AM
Just saw your reply after I'd posted mermaidwannabe. In answer to your questions I was told one month was cycled enough for the shrimp and I assumed that was right because I'm a complete novice to all this. My ph is 7.4 and I've got the temp set at 23c (not sure what that is in farenheit) because I wanted a temp the fish and the shrimp would be happiest at. The filter came with the tank so I'm not sure what it is but it has a sponge and some pebble things in it. I've asked all over about the bioload and I think I'm well under what my tank can handle so that shouldn't be a problem. I considered up grading to a bigger tank but this experience is putting me off as it's awful to see them struggling for so long and then dying.
Please keep all the advice coming and let me know what I'm doing wrong as I'm starting to think the stores I've been going to have given me some bad information so far.
1st of all I agree that your tank isn't cycled yet - you were told "one month was cycled enough" - you can NOT place a time limit on cycling - it is done when it is done - when your water parameters read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites & 20 or less nitrates.

2nd please do not mess around with your pH - that is the least of your worries - it's more important to test your water and change your water often enough that toxins do not build in the water to stress the shrimp or fish.

3rd as everyone else here has already stated, even if a pet store is very established & well known, that doesn't mean the employee you speak to knows their stuff - they are there to sell you fish and & related products.

crystalite
05-11-2012, 02:51 PM
Well I removed the lead weights and went to get the API master test kit yesterday but by the time I got home I'd lost all of my shrimp. I did a copper test on the water in the tank and the water straight out of my tap and both were copper free. I had the water tested in a store that uses the same API kit and the levels of amonia were below 0.4 but they said thats common when somethings died in the tank. My amonia levels have been zero every other time I went.
I think the store I bought the fish from sold me bad stock as they had signs up saying do not sell these fish but the assistant sold me shrimp from this tank. I assumed it just meant the fish weren't for sale that were in with the shrimp but the other store told me that if one fish in a tank is sick then the whole tank should be classed as sick and nothing should be sold from that tank until its sorted. I guess I've just had to learn the hard way this time.
Thanks for everyones help on this and for letting me know my tank is probably not fully cycled. I think I'm going to leave the shrimp idea until I can be 100% sure this won't happen again.
I am definitely going to upgrade to a larger tank in the long run and will seed it and leave it cycling for at least two months before I start to transfer my fish. I've also invested in a drip acclimating kit so any future fish will have the best chances.

Stlouisfish
05-11-2012, 03:20 PM
I am definitely going to upgrade to a larger tank in the long run and will seed it and leave it cycling for at least two months before I start to transfer my fish. I've also invested in a drip acclimating kit so any future fish will have the best chances.
Again, there is no such thing as "leaving a tank to cycle for 2 months" - it is cycled ONLY when your water parameters read like THIS: 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites & 20ppm or less nitrates - it might take longer or shorter than 2 months depending upon whether you do it with fish or without fish (which tends to take less time because you can grow bacteria faster).

Strider199
05-19-2012, 04:39 PM
Sorry to read of your loss.
If that store medicated the tank which housed some fish and shrimp, the shrimp would have been poisoned by the med's in the tank.
But as you have already read, make sure your tank is totally cycled before adding some shrimp.
When I sterilized my tank I knew I had killed off all the beneficial bacteria and I would have to start over again.
After the tank was set-up to my liking, I went to my larger established 55 gallon and took a piece of the filter material out of it and placed it in the filter of my 10 gallon to be shrimp tank. I didn't want the beneficial bacteria to run out of food and die in that filter so I went to the pet store and bought two male guppies to put into that tank until I was sure the ammonia and nitrite levels stayed at 0.00ppm. After a few weeks (with weekly water changes), I took out the guppies and added my shrimp.
The tank stayed at 0.00ppm every test since then. My shrimp have tripled in amount and are really a nice dark red colour.
Good luck and dont give up.

wijnands
05-19-2012, 05:40 PM
And what did you do with the guppies?

crystalite
05-20-2012, 02:07 PM
I'm upgrading to a larger tank as soon as I can find a decent one so I might try adding the old filter media like you did strider199. I might try the shrimp again once the new tank is fully established but I won't be buying them from the same store and I definitely won't be asking for their advice on anything relating to my aquarium.

nosebleed
06-27-2012, 06:05 AM
If the tank is cycled i would check gh and kh on the shrimp you are keeping. RCS are hardy shrimps and they shouldn't die that easily.

Lady Hobbs
06-27-2012, 12:46 PM
Get some algae pellets for them. They need a constant source of food and with your tank new, there probably isn't much for them to eat. You did not mention plants but they love java moss, too. For hiding and cleaning. They also will eat a slice of cucumber and shrimp sticks, as well. Just stick a slice of cucumber with a fork and drop it in the water.

Nephalem
08-04-2012, 07:42 PM
Sorry zombify a post so long dead it's rotten, but we have a crystal red and I just wanted to check on something in this post on his behalf.

As someone said, lead is a very toxic heavy metal, and unles I'm really mistaken (and please by all means educate me if I am) as such it will be doubly toxic to any invertabrates as they are exceptionally sensitive to heavy metal poisoning. The reason I bring this up is I expected more people to point this out as the cause of death when I read that the plants were weighted with lead, and when only one person did I started to wonder if my logic here was flawed. Will the aquarium water not eventually leach so much out of the lead weights that everything in the tank can become poisoned?

Anyway sorry again to bump this buried post, but my curiosity frequently gets the best of me, and if I didn't ask and get an answer I'd sit up all night wondering. :)