Jump to content

How to fix imbalance that's killing rcs

Recommended Posts

I have a 5 gallon eclipse hex tank in my lab. For years I had bettas but decided to switch to rcs after the last one died. I was using deionized water and prime but when the shrimp were dying I started more obsessively testing my water. I realized the pH was reading 6. I would use alkaline buffer but the pH would still crash fast. Testing our diH2O and that pH was low too whereas tap water was 7.4-7.6. I switched to tap water and bought a KH/GH test kit. KH is 2 drops and GH was 13 drops. I got some crushed coral and put some in a bag floating in the tank. That stabilized my pH to about 7.6 on regular pH test and 7.4 on high pH test.  When I check it on the pH meter it is 7.35.  But the shrimp were disappearing despite stable pH so I retested KH and GH. Now they are still KH 2 drops and GH 25! drops. I did a 10-20% water change with diH2O rather than tap water and that came down to 20 drops. 

I'm doing more reading and wondering if there is copper pipes in the tap water system (building went up in the 50's).  I've  also ordered a TDS pen.  I will switch back to diH2O if the copper test kit comes up positive, or I can mix them if it's negative (I have both readily available at my sink). 

Is the crushed coral adding to the GH? I thought that was to buffer pH and should affect KH but it's still 2 while the pH no longer crashes .


I have java fern and java moss and colored gravel with no CO2 or fertilizers. I do need to cut back on the light because along with the plants growing fast, I'm starting to get an bit of bba.


i have more cherry shrimp coming plus 2 amano shrimp and 2 nerite snails (hoping they'll help with the bba), but I'd like to figure out why the shrimp are disappearing before I lose these too.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your constant GH,PH swings as well as constant parameter changes are killing them.

Your GH is way too high and will prevent them from successfully molting and in the end result in death.


The parameters we recommend are :


Water Parameters:
pH : 6.5 - 8.0
Temperature : 66F - 78F
KH : 0 - 4
GH : 6 - 8


Stability is key. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, tank isn't empty.  Two shrimp have appeared for the algae wafer pieces.  I used some alkaline buffer and added more crushed coral (I had removed some Friday to try to help the high GH).

I'll do more diH20 water changes to try to get the GH down and keep monitoring pH and use alkaline buffer if needed.  More shrimp are arriving later this week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly do not bring shrimp before you get your parameters correct and stable.

The shrimp will be much better with pH 6 and stable parameters than with what you are doing right now. pH alone cannot be the cause of deaths of the shrimp if it's stable - rcs can be easily kept on pH of 6 the only question is will they breed. You should firstly check for Nh3, NO2 and No3 if you have had some deaths. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...