02-01-2020, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2020
| | Nitrate spike cause? (10G Walstad)
Good afternoon, everyone!
I tried my hand again at setting up a Walstad tank again earlier this week, and after coming home yesterday and seeing the water levels appeared good, decided to go to my LFS and add some Neocaridina to the tank. While there, I also saw a couple plants they hadn't had in stock before, and decided to add them while I was drip acclimating the shrimp.
The shrimp seemed fine during the acclimation process, but as soon as I added them to the tank itself, they started acting really weird. They alternated between rapidly swimming up towards the surface, freezing up, and then falling back down in a paralyzed manner, or barely moving at all on the substrate or whatever plant they happened to end up on. The rare times they moved about the ground level of the tank, they'd move like they had no sense of up and down.
I tried googling their symptoms, and the only thing that seemed in line with the swimming towards the surface was low oxygen, which didn't make sense because of all the plants, but I added an airstone just in case. After that, they weren't swimming towards the surface as much, but still weren't acting "normal".
Finally, as I was falling asleep, it occured to me to recheck the water levels. Someone on a forum somewhere had mentioned a breach in the cap, and sure enough, my nitrates were much higher than earlier, somewhere above 40 mg/L according to my API test strip.
I rounded all the shrimp up and tossed them in my guppy tank, figuring it would be better to take them out of the toxic environment immediately instead of doing a usual drip acclimation. It worked, and today they're all happy and healthy.
I would, however, like to eventually return them to their intended home. I've laid more sand over where the breach was (at the front right of the tank in the second picture, where I've inserted some crypt parva). Is there anything else I can do to help this process along/ are there any recommendations going forward?
(Also, any recommendations for more precise water level testing? I've read Neocaridina can be finicky, and would like to provide the best care I can for them)