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Amano Shrimp and Die Off

Discussion in 'Inverts' started by nicewicz, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Fizz From CH3COOH Meaningful From H2O2, Not So Much

    Hi,

    Back to the rocks, the usual suspects here are rocks that fizz when vinegar is applied, the more vigorously the greater suspicion, it is simpler to simply exclude any rock that fizzes at all. Then comes soft rocks, so if you have a soft rock that fizzes, I would definitely not consider that rock for inclusion.


    Applying Hydrogen peroxide to rock that has been in the aquarium is not probative, since that is an indication of organic material, which can be a positive.
    ************************************************************************************************************************************


    There is never a bad time for water changes…:)
    ***********************************************************************************************************************



    If I was the betting sort of evil plant monster, I would pick copper was a toxin the cause. Copper can also be a reason for under-performing biological filters. With older plumbing there is always the possibility of lead as well.


    Of course, there can be a number of causes of buildup of organic material in aquariums and ammonia in particular, but ammonium as well can be lethal to invertebrates at very low levels. Particularly as the concentration of the concentration of hydroxide ions, OH[SUP]−[/SUP] increases after the CO[SUB]2(g)[/SUB] is turned off.

    So keeping the tank clean and neat is important.:)
    ********************************************************************************************************************************************


    Not that I would ever wish to dispute Claus Christensen opinion (you dear reader know that is exactly what I am going to do).

    If for whatever reasons shrimp are growing too fast for their shells, I recommend seriously increasing the Calcium in the water.
    **************************************************************************************************************************************


    Activated charcoal does not remove salts or tend to remove chelated metals.

    Chelated metals do not tend to harm our critters and are generally too large to be removed by absorption. So yes, CSM+B is just fine with activated charcoal.

    I am not sure about the hobbyist test kits, I suppose calibrated they would be okay.:confused:


    Biollante

     
  2. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    gsjmia, yes, I decided to cut back on my phosphate dosing and it appears to have had good results in preventing more cyanobacteria, but now the plants seem to be fading a bit. I will go back to the old dosing regimen and try cutting back the lights. I have a 4x54 W T5 HO light fixture. I keep two lights on for 10 hours and the other two on in the middle of the cycle for ~3 hours. I have a feeling that with the plant that I have in there, that it might be too much. I mostly have ferns, but there is also HC and Glosso. I do have a fair bit of hair algae that is growing on the ferns and the blyxa. I wonder if my management of light/plant growth is a large cause of the organic film buildup/dissolved organic/and overall poorer water quality.

    Biollante, I have tested for copper (API test kit) and neither the tap nor the tank water have copper. I mean, the copper test kit does not even turn a hint of color when I test. Also, Excel Fluorish does have trace amounts of copper, but that is not supposed to be enough to effect the shrimp.

    I've removed the soft rocks from the scape and will now really focus on water quality, try to cut back on lights and see what effect that has over the next few weeks. In the end, what you said earlier Biollante, what you said about tweaking the conditions to get better results should improve plant quality, and hence, water quality, and therefore lead to less shrimp deaths.

    I appreciate all of the suggestions and will take any more you might have.
     
  3. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just to clarify something that you said. You clean the filter in tap water? As in dechlorinated water ( Prime added ) out of the tap or as in bring the filter to the sink and rinse it straight out of the faucet?

    -
    S
     
  4. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    Yes, I have been washing the media with untreated tap water (i.e. running the media under the faucet).
     
  5. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you get through everyone else's advice, and still don't have a solution, I've got a "kitchen sink" method of diagnosis you could try:

    Amanos and cherries are pretty tough shrimp... it shouldn't be hard to set up an environment for them. a used 10 gal (cheap on CL if ya don't have one), set it up for quarentine with an air stone. Buy a few new cherries or amanos if you can, and then start slowly adding variables from your existing tank. Save things you suspect of heavy metal leeching for last. If adding anything kicks off the deaths after a few days, try removing everything else and see if the deaths stop. If you get through everything, and find your shrimp are all happy, try turning off your lights and CO2 in your main tank... see if the deaths still happen.
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    I seem To Offend Everyone With This Advice

    Hi,


    I will leave you in Dan’s capable hands,:) as I said when I started there are many possibilities since we are not their methodical as opposed to scatter-gun, “try this, try that” approach will tell you without guessing what worked or didn’t.


    My direct advice was simply to stop the bleeding, fixing the problem and knowing that you have not just “fixed” a symptom.:cool:


    Have fun.

    Biollante

     
  7. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Nah Biollante, he should do your thing first; it's less work. My thing takes setting up a whole other tank, a month of messing around, and buying more shrimp; it's last-ditch anal retentiveness.
     
  8. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    OK, update. Two more shrimp deaths overnight. Still more alive and seemingly acting normal today.

    Purchased a Chemipure bag for the filter. Will wash filter media today (with tank water of course!) and place bag in there. Will also do a 50% water change today as well.

    Also, I managed to get 10 shrimp today. They're not Amanos, but they look like them. I think the LFS had them mislabeled. I will split them up into three batches. One I will acclimate with prime-treated tap water. One with Prime treated tap water with ferts to approximate the conditions in the tank. One I will acclimate with tank water. How long should I observe each batch? What should I look for in each one?
     
  9. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    First I'd say make sure you determine whether you got amanos, or similar-looking ghost shrimp. I'd put all 10 in a 10 gal tank, hold for a couple of weeks with the basics. After that, add one new element per week, starting with what you suspect most. You could also try a blackout on your main tank for 2-3 days, while turning off the CO2, just to completely rule that out. I've come to never trust saying "CO2 is okay" or "CO2 is not the issue" on any of my own tanks, so I can't advise anyone else to discount it until they've pushed to an extreme.
     
  10. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    OK guys, the plot thickens... I did a test based on Biollante and Philosophos' suggestions with three groups of Amano shrimp (I'm sure they're Amano, disregard my previous statement). I split 10 shrimp into 3 large glasses and acclimated these to different conditions discussed below. I occasionally agitate the water to get oxygen to the shrimp. I also placed a piece of Xmas moss in each one. As of this post, I have been acclimating for ~4 hours.

    Test group 1 (3 shrimp): Aquarium water. Result thus far: shrimp behaving normally, picking at algae on the moss

    Test group 2 (3 shrimp): Tap water treated with Prime. Result thus far: shrimp behaving normally, picking at algae on the moss

    Test group 3 (4 shrimp): Tap water treat with Prime, a tiny amount of each of the following: K2CO3, Flourish, KNO3. Result: ALL SHRIMP DEAD WITHIN 2 HOURS,

    OK, so to be certain I did not add too much K2CO3, I checked the pH and it is right around 7.0. The NO3 tests
     
  11. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Bingo!---As "They" Do Say

    Hi David,


    Bingo as they do say!:)



    Yes, heavy metal contamination is fairly common in non-food grade/agricultural fertilizers. It is why we always check.

    Very small doses of some metals are acute toxins.:gw



    I really thought there must be some kind of toxicity and particularly metal.



    Big, as in 60-70% water changes every other day for a week or 10 days, with continued use of activated charcoal and extra Prime dosing.:cool:


    Obviously new fertz.

    Biollante


     
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you added the K2CO3 dry, the exothermic reaction may have nuked your shrimp. I'm not sure how volatile it is that way, though; never worked with it. Heavy metal poisoning tends to take more than 2 hours to cause death. Either way, suspicion should sit with the K2CO3 first (less tested in the hobby) and the KNO3 second, since it's still from an unknown source.
     
  13. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    Just to be certain, I pulled out my pH probe from the inline setup on my tank and took accurate pH readings (I just calibrated my probe a few weeks ago as well).

    Untreated tap water: pH = 6.5
    Aquarium water: pH = 6.3
    Water the shrimp arrived in: pH = 5.9
    Shrimp test batch 1: pH = 6.2
    Shrimp test batch 2: pH = 6.4
    Shrimp test batch 3: pH = 6.4

    So, nothing funny is going on with wild pH swings or anything.

    Yep, I learned my lesson here. I think that trace heavy metal toxins present in the ferts have to be the cause of the problem as well. That would explain why the shrimp (and even fish to some extent) freak out every time I do a big water change and re-add fertilizers.

    I will follow your advice and do huge water changes every other day to rid the tank of the contaminates. I wonder if these could also be screwing up my bio-filtration as well...
    I will keep everyone posted on how this turns out. Could still experience more shrimp deaths, but hopefully this will slow things down to an eventual halt. Thanks in advance for everyone's help and advice. It was really fun, in a way, to show that carefully designed experiments can provide immediate concrete answers.

    Looking forward to seeing my tank full of happy shrimp...
     
  14. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    Good points, however, I added the smallest amount of K2CO3 and dissolved it completely in tap water (along with the trace amounts of other ferts as well) and let it sit for a few minutes. I did not feel an exotherm, so I don't think it's that. I really am suspicious of all of the chemicals that I've added as they are not food/agricultural grade. It may not even by heavy metals that are to blame here, though they are certainly prime suspect number one.
     
  15. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    Do you guys just add baking soda for carbonate hardness/pH buffering capacity?
     
  16. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Even on pure RO tanks, I don't buffer. My wife spawns betas sometimes; she dumps indian almond leaves in with RO, the pH goes down to 6 or less, and they spawn beautifully. Water isn't going to turn into vinegar on you unless something is added, and it's KH not pH swings that tend to hurt fish.
     
  17. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    Right, just didn't know if a specific KH was required for certain plants.

    Just finished the water change and the remaining shrimp did not do laps around the tank like they normally do after I do a water change and add fertilizers. I'll add the test shrimp to the tank and monitor progress over the next several days/weeks but hopefully we solved the mystery.
     
  18. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well if you've got it narrowed down to ferts, replacing the KNO3 and K2CO3 shouldn't be too hard... unless you're in a highly restrictive country.

    Some plants do better in high KH, others in low, it's nothing that usually prevents a plant from growing. Read up on what you have from multiple sources, see if anything has a real requirement for KH.
     
  19. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Your dosing of Prime may be a little low. The recommended dose for Prime is 5 mL per 50 gallons or 2 drops per gallon. You should dose Prime based on the full tank volume when you add it as when you do water changes.

    According to your water supply report, Durham uses chloramine. You might not be adding enough Prime to neutralize it. I live a few miles away in Burlington, but chlorine is used here.


    Prime Dosing Directions: http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Prime.html
    Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 200 L (50 gallons) of new water. This removes approximately 1 mg/L ammonia, 4 mg/L chloramine, or 5 mg/L chlorine. For smaller doses, please note each cap thread is approx. 1 mL. May be added to aquarium directly, but better if added to new water first. If adding directly to aquarium, base dose on aquarium volume. Sulfur odor is normal. For exceptionally high chloramine concentrations, a double dose may be used safely. To detoxify nitrite in an emergency, up to 5 times normal dose may be used. If temperature is > 30 °C (86 °F) and chlorine or ammonia levels are low, use a half dose.
     
  20. nicewicz

    nicewicz Junior Poster

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    Good point Left C. I'll bump up the Prime amounts as well.

    So far, so good. Two days with no more dead shrimp. All appears to be normal with their habits and they are picking a few pieces of fish food that sank to the bottom of the substrate. I'll do another water change in a day or so, but I'm still convinced that it was the trace impurities in the fertilizers that did it.
     
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