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Need your advice please


Citycode01
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Hi Guys,

I'm after your professional advise as I'm still new in this hobby. I've got 20G tank with around 30-35 adult mischlings and they aren't breeding very well. Now I'm only having around 8-10 babies (no bee shrimp yet) and only one berried female. I've got this tank for months since December last year and can't make them to breed well. I regularly find dead shrimps, last one I found last week and another one about three weeks ego and it's like normal they always dying like average one shrimp in a two weeks.

I'm keeping them with cherries and they breeding like a crazy, I've already sold more than 350 shrimps on ebay trying to keep population under control and hoping my mischlings start breeding same way too. I'm regularly buying new mischlings to replace dead ones and spend that money I've got from selling cherries.

I'm suspecting my PH is a problem - it's always between 6.8 and 7 and I know it's a bit high for caridina. I was trying to use a lot of IAL and Alder cones plus I've got humic black water in the bottel but the problem is Purigen in the filter sucking all up and I'm only wearing purigen out without effect on PH. I've got Red Bee sand substrate about 2,5-3 inches thick but for some reason it's not working as I expected - I thought it should keep my PH 6,4 -6,5 but insted  I've got 6,9. I'm using RO water with SS GH+ and keeping TDS 140 with GH6 and KH0, nitrate always 0 as I'm using plenty purigen in canister filter plus I have double sponge filter, Temperature is 74 and  very stable as I've got STC-1000 thermostat and collers above the tank, whater change 20% every second week. Feeding once a day with different pelet food (Ebita breed, Shrimp king, SL - Aqua) adding Bacter AE 2-3 times a week plus sometime deep frozen organic spinach, mulberry leafs, IAL, cones, Guava leafs etc.

I have read a lot of topics here and learned a lot about how to care of caridina but maybe I missed something, I'm only been successful with neos but no success with caridina yet.

Do you think I can use peat in the filter with purigen as well to lower PH? Is it any other way to drop PH without changing substrate? Do you think PH is the problem maybe I'm missing something else? Should I separate cherries from them to give them more space?

I would be much appreciated for your advice.

Thank you.

 

 

P.s the picture of the tank (sorry for the quality)

post-1693-0-74999600-1431619654_thumb.jp

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The strange thing is I had my TB at pH 6.8 for months with no deaths of the adults and the females would berry regularly just low survival rate of the shrimplets.  Your pH is high but not high enough to cause constant deaths.  I know you have lots of shrimp in that tank but even so you might want to try and cut back on the feedings. I would continue Bacter but it could be water pollution that causes a death and then kind of chain reaction. To address your pH issue your best option without a substrate swap would be peat media. I use Fluval peat and put it in the stainless steel mesh reusable K cups. They float right at the surface and keep the pH nice and low. If you use peat let it soak for a couple days prior to use otherwise it is extremely acidic and would cause a pH crash. I still doubt the pH is the cuase of the deaths but everything else sounds ok. Out of curiosity have you tested amonia and nitrite recently?

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Hi RyeGuy,

Tthanks for your advice, yes I'm cheeking ammonia and nitrate once a week or when I'm having dead shrimp and they always 0 never had more than that from my cycle completed. I think maybe you right about feeding I'll try to cut back a bit it's jus I had a lot of Neos and now I sold 2/3 of them and now I can feed much less.

Do you think that peat and purigen would work together?

I have ordered 1l of Eheim torf peat and it should arriving tomorrow.

I don't know what's going on, I read a lot of journals here and the guys just setting up new tank and got berried females almost instantly and then in a couple of months they start uploading pictures of the nice babies, i just done everything like step by step and it's not working for me. Sometime I having thoughts just rip-off  the tank and start over again, but i understand it's a lot of work and need a place for the shrimp while doing cycle and it's not the fact it would work.

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Purigen does not have any effect on peat other than it absorbs the tannins that leech out of it. Filter media peat is generally pretty good at not darkening the water anyway. What do you keep your tank temp at? I added bees to my tank on December 4th and have had 6 batches of babies born since then and im using a substrate that does not buffer the pH. I have had issues with baby deaths and mine was caused by pH being to high and a hardness issue. The adults were never effected and that is the strange thing about yours. Where do you get your mischlings from? 

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I hear stories all the time about people keeping RCS with Caridina and the RCS just taking over, out-competing the Caridina for food and such. When they are separated into species tanks, the Caridina flourish again. This may be what's happening to you to.

 

You may want to try something like BorneoWild Humic to lower your pH as well.

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That's good to know about purigen and peat, I'll put some peat into the tank once i have it, I'll soak it prior as you advised. All mischlings I 'got from ebay all from one seller and they have nice strong colour and good patens, I also won 10 of them from different seller so I've got them from two different sources, but mostly all of them from one guy, he has them quite cheap - I've got 15 of them for £40 (60$) including delivery, it's good price for UK. I think I've ordered them 3 or 4 times but had a lot dead since start.

Do you think they might be weak? He told me he has close water parameters to mine except ph and I measured his water in the bag and it was as he said. Still quite not believe 100% that my misclings are actually mischlings though.

I think I had baby issues too I should have more than like 10 now. The first batch of shrimps getting berried quite quick and then I had that dying stuff happened - it was one week like one shrimp every day until i placed carbon in the filter (probably was som chemicals issue) but I think few shrimps managed to gave birth but only few babies have survived.

The temp at 73, I can't make it lower with only coolers, its under the roof and quite hot in the summer.

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Hi Chiumanfu,

I was wondering why breeders not keeping them caridina with neos together, maybe this is the reason why. I'm trying to sell out all my Neos as I only have my community tank with fish but all adults will go there eventually and I definitely end up with only caridina in the tank

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I'm not sure if purigen works with peat but you can always take the purigen out. Nobody can pinpoint a problem in a shrimp tank but I would start with lowering the GH. GH 6 is acceptable but I would try 4 or 5 just to see if the shrimps do better. I would also up the water change to weekly 20%. People have been able to keep TB's in GH 7 and no water change at all, but that's where I would start experimenting.

I have a few questions for you. Are you topping off your water with RO? How often? How are you doing your water changes?

I would also suspect the cherries out competing the caridinas as well. I don't think temperature is a problem for you. Sometimes you can find a source of the problem. Sometimes you never will. Sometimes people get a bad batch of substrate and that plagues their shrimping for months. At some point, it's a good idea to restart too.

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I keep neos with my TB my pH is 5.6-6 and the neos dont breed at that pH. I also keep my tank at 76-78F which is the highest I would ever go. You said you are using RO water, is it your own RO unit at your house, how old is it what TDS does the water coming out of it read.  I had an almost identical situation with my RCS but I was using tap water, even checking everything that I could test for the water looked fine but it had something in it that was bad. I would lose a shrimp one every week or two then switched to RO and deaths stopped. Im wondering if your RO unit is old or the membranes were dried out and its not filtering properly. 

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I'm not sure if purigen works with peat but you can always take the purigen out. Nobody can pinpoint a problem in a shrimp tank but I would start with lowering the GH. GH 6 is acceptable but I would try 4 or 5 just to see if the shrimps do better. I would also up the water change to weekly 20%. People have been able to keep TB's in GH 7 and no water change at all, but that's where I would start experimenting.

I have a few questions for you. Are you topping off your water with RO? How often? How are you doing your water changes?

I would also suspect the cherries out competing the caridinas as well. I don't think temperature is a problem for you. Sometimes you can find a source of the problem. Sometimes you never will. Sometimes people get a bad batch of substrate and that plagues their shrimping for months. At some point, it's a good idea to restart too.

Thanks Miwu, I actually though about lowering GH to 4-5 as I noticed a lot of breeders keeping GH quite low and try to do WC more frequently as you suggested.

Yes I'm topping up with RO water only every second day or third, When I do big water change more than 20% I change it slowly using air tube, for small amount like 20% I just pore lage amount of water quicly but I do close match to tank water temperature but with slightly different TDS - old water 155 and new water 130 TDS. GH always claiming up from 6 to 7 in a couple of weeks and TDS from 135 to 155.

I don't really want to restart now, this is going to be very last option when I completely giving up to looking for issues.

 

I keep neos with my TB my pH is 5.6-6 and the neos dont breed at that pH. I also keep my tank at 76-78F which is the highest I would ever go. You said you are using RO water, is it your own RO unit at your house, how old is it what TDS does the water coming out of it read.  I had an almost identical situation with my RCS but I was using tap water, even checking everything that I could test for the water looked fine but it had something in it that was bad. I would lose a shrimp one every week or two then switched to RO and deaths stopped. Im wondering if your RO unit is old or the membranes were dried out and its not filtering properly. 

RyeGuy, I've bought RO unit when I set up this tank on December and I think it's still relatively new, I plugged it into washing machine connector. I didn't purchased the last gadget called deionisator or something and my RO water TDS is 9-10 but I though it should be low enough - do you think I need that gadget for the filter to get more pure water with 0 TDS? Maybe I should adding a little bit of water conditioner in RO unit in case I've got some heavy metals or chlorine left? But recently I started using airstone over the night after RO water collection just in case any chlorine left in the water.

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Thanks Miwu, I actually though about lowering GH to 4-5 as I noticed a lot of breeders keeping GH quite low and try to do WC more frequently as you suggested.

Yes I'm topping up with RO water only every second day or third, When I do big water change more than 20% I change it slowly using air tube, for small amount like 20% I just pore lage amount of water quicly but I do close match to tank water temperature but with slightly different TDS - old water 155 and new water 130 TDS. GH always claiming up from 6 to 7 in a couple of weeks and TDS from 135 to 155.

I don't really want to restart now, this is going to be very last option when I completely giving up to looking for issues.

 

RyeGuy, I've bought RO unit when I set up this tank on December and I think it's still relatively new, I plugged it into washing machine connector. I didn't purchased the last gadget called deionisator or something and my RO water TDS is 9-10 but I though it should be low enough - do you think I need that gadget for the filter to get more pure water with 0 TDS? Maybe I should adding a little bit of water conditioner in RO unit in case I've got some heavy metals or chlorine left? But recently I started using airstone over the night after RO water collection just in case any chlorine left in the water.

 

I can't seem to notice anything that's sounds obviously wrong. Could be anything really, and you just need to keep experimenting. Take out the mineral rocks if you don't think it is doing any good and can be doing bad. If anything will work, I think it'll be the water change though. How heavily stocked is the tank?

 

I thought about your RO too. 9-10 is not ideal but it shouldn't be a problem. The last stage is a deionization (DI) filter, and I do use it just to feel extra safe. What's the TDS of your tap water like? Do you have a quality RO unit?

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I can't seem to notice anything that's sounds obviously wrong. Could be anything really, and you just need to keep experimenting. Take out the mineral rocks if you don't think it is doing any good and can be doing bad. If anything will work, I think it'll be the water change though. How heavily stocked is the tank?

 

I thought about your RO too. 9-10 is not ideal but it shouldn't be a problem. The last stage is a deionization (DI) filter, and I do use it just to feel extra safe. What's the TDS of your tap water like? Do you have a quality RO unit?

Miwu, the tank was heavily stocked but I sold 370 neos and still keep selling them until they all gone except large adults but they go in my community tank. Now it's much fewer shrimps as it used to be, still a lot of cherry babies but not everywhere like before. As you all guys mentioned the main problem was overstocked with neocaridina and I can see that bee shrimp attitude is changing now the fewer neos I have the more active bee shrimp is become. I had so many neos, they could eat a dead shrimp completely within an hour, crazy.

Definitely going to buy that extension to my RO unit as you suggested. I don't think I have very good RO unit, I just bough a cheap one. My tap water is very hard and TDS is 350.

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Miwu, the tank was heavily stocked but I sold 370 neos and still keep selling them until they all gone except large adults but they go in my community tank. Now it's much fewer shrimps as it used to be, still a lot of cherry babies but not everywhere like before. As you all guys mentioned the main problem was overstocked with neocaridina and I can see that bee shrimp attitude is changing now the fewer neos I have the more active bee shrimp is become. I had so many neos, they could eat a dead shrimp completely within an hour, crazy.

Definitely going to buy that extension to my RO unit as you suggested. I don't think I have very good RO unit, I just bough a cheap one. My tap water is very hard and TDS is 350.

 

Happy to see improvement already. I live in Los Angeles and have about the same TDS in my tap. You actually have a pretty nice rejection rate (RO is doing a good job) but if money is not a big issue, definitely get the DI just to rule out water problems. Keep us updated on how everything works out.

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Happy to see improvement already. I live in Los Angeles and have about the same TDS in my tap. You actually have a pretty nice rejection rate (RO is doing a good job) but if money is not a big issue, definitely get the DI just to rule out water problems. Keep us updated on how everything works out.

Thank you for your advice. I'll order extension to my ro unit on Sunday and see if it'll make a difference. I also going to add some peat in the filter this weekend to low my ph a little bit. I will keep you updated on this.

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Hi guys, just want to share my update with you.

The things what I've done:

Removed mineral stones and dropped gh from 6 to 5.

Ordered deionizator extension to my ro unit for 0 tds - it should arrive tomorrow.

Sold 65 more cherries and now get the total population to around 150 which is quite low.

Did large water change, cleaned both filters and placed bag of peat in the tank to drop ph and - this is where thing gone wrong:

First I was happy to see my ph dropped to 6.6 then to 6.3 and in a couple of days very quick dropped to 5.8 I was a bit panicked and removed all peat, but that was too late, one of my mischlimg was dead next day and when I've checked the water it was ammonia 0.25.

I haven't got this in the past in this tank it's about 6 months old and fully cycled, I read that sadden drop ph can be very bad for beneficial bacteria. I did 50% water change and after 2 days ph still 5.9. Ammonia is 0 today and other parameters is ok. Now I'm only worrying about ph. Do,you think I should add some baking soda to rise it a bit?

My other mischlimg and all left over cherries looking fine and active I even have even 2 more berried mischlimg so probably because I've changed a lot of water last few days.

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I would leave it for now. Sounds like it's been two days without a dead shrimp. Only one died which could be due to anything, even just the water change alone. As long as you're not seeing dead shrimps daily, don't panic too much. Keep doing regular (not excessive) water changes and hope the pH gets to a "steady state." Keep observing and don't try to do too much.

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I had a similar situation, my pH was higher than I wanted so I added peat it dropped slowly to right where I wanted it 6.2. Then shrimp looked stressed checked again and it was 5.5 shrimp died released ammonia and caused a chain reaction of deaths. Beneficial bacteria process almost no ammonia at pH below 6 and go dormant. But the worst thing you can do is try to change the pH back up. I have let mine stabilize and it sits at 5.8 shrimp are fine. The drastic changes that can happen from adding the peat are big shocks. Always soak your peat for a couple days in alkaline water first before adding to the tank.

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Good to hear from you guys :D

 

I'm going to stick with your plan and leave it as it is for now. The shrimps looking good and they dancing today, so hopefully I'm going to have +1 berried soon.

I have ordered KHCO3 to use instead of baking soda but I leave it for now.

 

I will do update again in near future.

 

Thank you for your help again

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Just want to share a quick update on this. Ph now is 6.4 for 3 days and it's seem to be quite stable which is good sign. I ve got two more berried mischlimgs and shrimps are active and happy. Not much of the small cherries left but all the adult rcs females are berried now. I can say that things getting better (touch the wood). I've install extension on ro unit and now have water with 0 TDS. Haven't done any water change with new water yet but will do it next weekend. I'm thinking to replace my external Fluval 106 to new Eheim 2215. Fluval is easy to disconnect and connect with one click but I think the way it runs the water through is awful and with 3L capacity I can only place 500ml media in, it's reticules . I heard a lot of good about Eheim on this forum, the things like there is no way for water to by pass, the problem is that almost no Eheim brand in uk which is odd and I have to order it from Germany.

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