Help! RCS dying!
First planted tank, first aquarium. 20tall with T5HO 6700k & 10,000k bulbs. 50/50 mix of fine black eco-complete and fine black flourite sand. An aquaclear HOB 50gal with polyfiber & ceramic bio media, a small sponge filter.
Java ferns, pennywort, crypt spiralis, hygro kompakt, watersprite, and some riccia floating. Temp is kept at 78.
Fishless cycle completed.
Started getting some algae, so about 1.5 months ago I got 75 RCS. They were the first fauna I put in. They seemed to do very well. Added 5 nerite snails a few weeks later. RCS still doing fine. About two weeks ago I added 10 purple harlequin rasboras & two otos. Now for the past week or so I've been finding at least two dead RCS on the substrate a day. Started testing daily and am getting healthy results-
NH3 - 0ppm
NO2 - 0ppm
NO3 - 5ppm
I did notice that my pH which was steady at 7.5 - 7.6 went up to 8.0 and is holding steady there now. I got a GH/KH test kit as someone told me this was important for keeping shrimp. I don't understand the results though. The KH test resulted in 6 drops, 107.4ppm, GH was 8 drops, 143.2ppm.
The other fish are healthy and active. I can't imagine that rasboras or otos would go after shrimp. And if they did, wouldn't they eat them and not just leave the corpse laying on the substrate? I can't figure out what's going on. Anybody have any insight?
Shrimp deaths are a royal pain in the rear to troubleshoot.
Are the fish doing fine? Rasboras will certainly go after shrimp that are smaller than 8-10mm but you 'd never find those.
What do the bodies look like? Curled up or stretched out? Are you running co2? What are you feeding? Are you using any chemicals in the same room (polish, air fresheners?) Any aerosol? Any metal at all in the tank? What's your water conditioner? Did you use meds? Are you using aquarium salt?
The otocinclus will not bother the rcs. The rasboras however might, the shrimp deaths seem to have started around the same time as their arrival. They may be picking at the shrimp and not eating them. talldutchie mentioned any meds you used, many of them are not shrimp safe. When you do a water change, are you dechlorinating the water before or after it's added to the tank? Also you can do a water test on your tap water to see if anything is off. I've lost a few shrimp tanks do local tap water in my area. Sometimes the water company will dose the water a bit more heavily in spring time or whenever they are experiening an algae bloom.
Whoa, that's a lot of questions, but good ones.
Originally Posted by talldutchie
-The other fauna are doing great, the rasboras are schooling around, the otos are fat and happy, the nerite snails are doing their thing. I really don't think the rasboras are going after the shrimp. As this is my first tank, I'm a little obsessed and stare at it for hours sometimes. I never see the rasboras even have anything to do with the shrimp, or any other tank mates for that matter.
-The bodies of the dead shrimp are not stretched out. Maybe slightly curled?
-No Co2. Almost daily doses of Excel. Weekly doses of Flourish.
I'm feeding Aqueon flake food for the rasboras, Omega One veggie rounds for the shrimp and otos, and some Hikari shrimp food that I can't remember exactly what it was because my gf bought it, and it came in this little package that could not be closed back up. So I put it in a tupperware and threw away the package.
*Side note- after googling some Hikari stuff, apparently they have a "Shrimp Cuisine" that contains copper. This could very well be the thing that my gf bought. I will stop using that IMMEDIATELY.
-The tank is on the counter in between my kitchen and living room, so yes, probably a fair amount of stuff in the air. Mostly cooking ingredients, but we've been known to throw some pledge on the living room furniture from time to time.
-The only metal in the tank is some metal plant weights that I used to weigh down the Java Fern. Since you can't plant the Java Fern in the substrate, and I personally don't like to the look of it attatched to driftwood or stone, I got these from the LFS, and it stated that they were completely harmless to any aquarium inhabitants. They were lead if memory serves (?). Another instance of throwing away the package. This is kind of ringing a warning bell in my brain now. Lead does not seem like a safe thing to put in an aquarium . . .
-I'm using Stress Coat as a water conditioner.
-I have never used any meds
-I have never used aquarium salt
-I used to dechlorinate the water before putting it back in, but that was such a PITA. I asked on some forums and everyone said they add the dechlorinator in the tank, then add the replacement water. Which is WAY easier for me to do since my sink is only a few feet away from my tank, I can just use the faucet attachment with my hose directly into the tank. What I was doing, was putting water into a 5gal, add the dechlorinator, wait a little bit, then have to use a small pitcher to laddle water back into the tank. It sits under a cabinet, so I can't just upend a bucket into it. Took at like an hour to do.
Last edited by fallenangelf; 05-14-2013 at 05:25 AM.