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I have a new 10 gallon shrimp-only tank set up with about 12-15 cherry shrimp and one amano. I have lots of fast-growers (mostly water sprite) in there, as well as some moss and java fern. It has only been set up for about two weeks, and the shrimp have been in there for one week. I've got an in-tank filter with some bacteria colonized from another tank. Substrate is sand and rooted plants are potted.

I noticed three of the shrimp were swimming like crazy today, so I tested the water--ammonia was at 0.25! I promptly did a 50% water change (using Prime), and now the shrimp seem worse. Not only are they swimming in circles, but several appear to be stunned. They swim in a circle, then kind of stop and float to the bottom. One landed on its back and only righted itself after 10 seconds or so. I'm terrified they'll all die and I'll be a shrimp mass murderer :(

What can I do?? My 30gal community tank has 0ppm ammonia, but nitrates are rather high in that tank. Should I move them in there? Or just wait until tomorrow and do another water change, hoping that they survive overnight? I feel like it might almost be worse to move them and shock their system some more.

I feel so awful. I know now that I should have waited and cycled the tank, but I'd read in many places that a small shrimp-only tank can be started without cycling as long as there are enough fast-growing plants and a small number of shrimp. Any advice? Are my poor shrimp doomed?
 

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what substrate are you using? did you test your tap water? if the nitrate in your community tank is below 20ppm, i would move the shrimps to there.
 

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I think I would move them as well and hope for the best. Ammonia poisoning affects the organs and with shrimp even small amounts can be fatal.

Sadly getting in a rush with shrimp often has this outcome and I wish you the best with the little guys. Once your tank fully cycles and matures as well shrimp will be fine and thrive in it. I usually go a month or more before adding shrimp to a new tank.

Sadly I too learned the hard way a year and a half or so ago....

Bill
 
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