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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My shrimp have learned to flip upside down, but they haven't figured out how to right themselves. I am not entirely sure what to do with how the shrimp react to my tank. It seems to be a death trap to the legged inverts but doesn't affect snails. There are also otos in this tank, they're slightly lethargic but not dying by any means.

So far the tank has not seen any real problems. Been running for a month with HC/Dwarf Hairgrass growing, added Rotalas and Pennywort. After about 3 weeks with those plants there was no ammonia, nitriates, nitrates at 10-15ish and little algae. Added some CRS and were fine for about a week, then one died in the night. I panicked after I saw another shrimp upside but wiggling his little legs. I moved them all to an established tank and all seemed well, the upside down one was fine and made a full recovery. Now its been week after the incident of the upside down CRS. I added some fresh amanos and it happened again. All of a sudden theres an upside down one. Placed him in the established tank and he righted himself after 20 minutes. Not even sure whats going on in the tank of shrimp death, but its very disheartening.

Parameters: (brand new master test kit)
Gallonage: 10
Nitrates: 5
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
pH: 6.2
Temp: ranges up to 76°F during the day, 69°F at night
Ferts: 1ml Excel daily, 3 drops of Flourish bi-weekly
Filtration: Zoomed 501
CO2: DIY 1bps
Lighting: 2 desk lamps 3.6watts per gallon
Substrate: Washed silica sand foundation, Flourite, Amazonia I
Plants: HC, Dwarf Hairgrass, Brazilian Pennywort, Assorted Rotalas and A java fern baby
Rocks: Local river rocks, inert, tested true.
Airation: Air pump at night
Water: Tap water, dechlorinated. Local watershed info reports very, very minute traces of copper.
Algae: Hair/thread algae for a little while and some slimy green on the substrate in some areas.

I think I covered everything I can physically test. If theres any other info that can help diagnose let me know.

edit: Only one or two shrimp show the upsidedownsys at a time, today only 1 of 3 amanos went upside down. Another is lethargic but still scavenging, the other is perfectly content.
 

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Well... if they are doing fine in the other tank and that tank is using the same tap water, then the problem isn't your water. The temperature is changing quite a bit from day to night but i don't think that's the problem. The only problems that i can think of is your rock and your excel. You said your rock is inert but i guess you can never be 100% sure. I have heard people losing shrimps from dosing excel while others swear it's fine. I don't know how heavily planted your tank is, but if your plants aren't using up the excel fast enough, it can accumulate to a dangerous level. If i were you, i would ditch the excel and get a cheap CO2 system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think its the rock because the same thing is in another tank, but I guess I can't be sure. Definitely stopped the Excel for now. On the planted tank forums someone shared a similar story about the CO2 causing this. Will be trying all factors here for a few days to hope conditions improve.

I also just purchased a regulator and a 20oz tank. I will try Rexx Griggs CO2 reactor as my diffusion method.

Thank you for assistance so far :D
 

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Definitely something wrong with your water.

How often are you doing water changes on this tank? If the water is evaporating and you are topping it up then you are concentrating the copper in the water over time.

Try doing many large water changes (50% every other day), this should help reduce whatever is causing the stress.

Any DIY CO2 mix leaking into the water? It would look like a white buildup in the tank around the CO2 tube if it was. Also I doubt DIY CO2 would put out enough CO2 to stress the inhabitants (usually you will see the fish breathing faster and the shrimp go to the top along with snails and everything else that can move).

If non of these apply, use another test kit for the basics (NH4, NO3, NO2) like milalic said.
 

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Well... if they are doing fine in the other tank and that tank is using the same tap water, then the problem isn't your water.
I wouldn't be so sure of that. The tank is only a month old and the addition of some Amanos caused the same symptoms again. Sounds to me like the filtration isn't able to handle the bioload of the tank quite yet. Since the shrimp recovered once you moved them to an established tank, I think you may have just found your cause.

I'm guessing ammonia or ammonium is the problem. Does your kit test for both ammonia and ammonium? If your pH is below 7 you may not get an ammonia reading and if it doesn't test for ammonium, it may be present if your pH is below 7.
 

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I wouldn't be so sure of that. The tank is only a month old and the addition of some Amanos caused the same symptoms again. Sounds to me like the filtration isn't able to handle the bioload of the tank quite yet. Since the shrimp recovered once you moved them to an established tank, I think you may have just found your cause.

I'm guessing ammonia or ammonium is the problem. Does your kit test for both ammonia and ammonium? If your pH is below 7 you may not get an ammonia reading and if it doesn't test for ammonium, it may be present if your pH is below 7.
Oops, i meant to say the problem is not the tap water. And yeah, even the smallest amount of ammonia can cause problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have an API master test kit, going to assume it doesn't test for ammonium. Another ammonia test now shows that it could be .25 ammonia, its borderline yellow yellow/green. I will continue ammonia tests daily too see if it goes any higher.

Recommendations? More high % water changes?

Thank you for assistance thus far :)
 

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If your test kit is showing 0.25 ammonia, then there is your problem. Like MatPat said, your filter is not handling the bioload. Big water change will reduce the ammonia concentration, but it will come back up eventually.
 

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Do you have access to some "seeded" filter material from your other tank you can use on the shrimp tank? Simply by placing some used filter material into your ZooMed 501 you can increase the biological ability of the filter. If you can't swap in some "seeded" filter media, how about adding some mulm from the other tank/filter to your shrimp tank? Both of these should get beneficial bacteria into your tank/filter and help out with the ammonia problem.

I have not tried this with shrimp, but a lot of the water conditioners work for ammonia as well. Depending on the brand, dechlorinators used at the recommend amount to dechlorinate your tap will detoxify a certain percentage of ammonia from your tank water. You may want to give this a try if you don't have extra "seeded" filter media.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I tested again and the ammonia is at 0, no water change. Are these indications its not done cycling or is there too much rotting matter? Seeding material shouldn't be a problem, though what do I add? Theres the option of adding some ceramic material and charcoal, not so much the sponges.

Once again thanks for the support.


Maybe I should just give up on the tank :rolleyes:
 
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