What am I doing wrong? I'm about to give up 😞

Mcostas

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I have 3 aquariums, the one I'm asking about is the10 gallon aquarium. My little koi betta lived there until she got stuck under a rock and died. It was heartbreaking, she was my favorite fish. The store had red cherry neocaridinas when I went back to pick up something or other and I decided to give them a try. I got 5, one got stuck in the filter, I solved that by putting netting over the intake. It was from that batch I got the berried female, she didn't come that way. I took this as a sign everything was going well. I saw nice molts too.

The second batch was 3 blues and a little brown one, I was hoping to get more males, I didn't think I had enough males.

I went back to the store for something or other again and they had just gotten in the shrimp, they were hanging on the side in a box, how convenient. I took this as a sign to get a few more. That was the batch with the big purples.


So I got more, at one point 16. The last batch I got 4, 2 were big and dark, kind of purple. The one got stuck in the pitcher I was using to drop acclimate and I didn't notice at first. It wasn't dead and was very active when I put it with the rest. I still wasn't surprised when it died. Actually I lost both large purples. Then I noticed a dead shrimp almost every morning. The snails get to them first so I may be losing more than I know.

I haven't lost them all but I've had no more berries. Since I've gotten a few small batches I can't really keep track of the individuals anymore except for the distinctive ones. I have no idea how many I have left.

I'm about to give up on shrimp, I don't know what I'm doing wrong. At first I didn't lose any, and I even got a berried female. She dropped the berries, it didn't look like she had a good grasp on them, plus she was small. But I no longer see nice molts. I watch them for hours and besides the purple ones, that acted distressed everyone else acts fine, then the next day I see a dead one. It's very discouraging.

The irony is that the first batch wasn't drip acclimated and they didn't seem affected by that.

Here are my tank indices


GH 12
KH4
Ph 6.8
Nitrate. 0-5 (trace)
Nitrite 0
Nh3 0

One wonder she'll
One small oyster shell that serves as a food dish.
Driftwood, plants, cholla wood

I wish I would have just gotten another little Betta at this point. But I would like to know what I'm doing wrong that I can't raise shrimp that are so prolific they are like guppies.
My shrimp tank
 

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White Crown

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That sounds extremely frustrating. As a novice all I can say is it sounds like you are doing everything you can think of which is all you can do. I hope someone else that has more experience can weigh in.
 
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Mcostas

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I was starting to suspect the snails were killing them as they slept but my search revealed that wouldn't happen.

I think it has something to do with failed molting but I don't know why it would. I saw a successful molt a little while ago, I hope it leads to babies but if not I'm going back to bettas.
 

White Crown

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I remember reading that the shell won't split in soft water. I had this issue before with triops.
 

Rocky998

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GH 12. KH 4. Don't know the tds.
GH is the hardness. TDS is different but don't ask me why cause its a bit confusing for me to understand sometimes 😅... It seems li!e you have very hard water though
 

Lajos_Detari

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Firstly, shrimps are very sensitive to chemicals, medications, etc.
1)Have you ever used any medications in the shrimps tank in the past?
If yes, you will have to do a 100% water change and let the filter run with carbon for a few weeks before introducing the shrimps into the tank.
But with shrimps in your tank now, you cannot do 100% water change as it will shock and kill the shrimps.
When your shrimps are new in the tank, it's best not to change more than 30% of water each time.

2)Did you use tap water conditioner? What brand are you using?
When changing water, it's best to mix the tap water with the water conditioner in a bucket and leave it overnight before using it.
This is to ensure that the water is properly treated before use.
Also, when you leave the water overnight, it will prevent fluctuation in pH as water coming out directly from the tap usually has lower pH due to the CO2 in it.


Secondly, your water GH is slightly higher though some Cherry shrimps might be able to adapt to it.
Among the Neocaridina shrimps, I think Cherry shrimps, Malayan shrimps and Tiger shrimps(the cheap ones, not the expensive one) are the most hardy.
Blue shrimps, Red fire, Yellow back and all other colorful shrimps are less hardy than Cherry shrimps.
Usually the cheaper the shrimps, the more hardy they are.

If you follow the information from the links below, the optimal GH is 6-8 though some Cherry shrimps probably can adapt to GH 12.



My strategy to keep shrimps is to buy mostly berried females. If you have too many males, they will kill the females.
Get more females that are berried.
When they give birth in your tank, the shrimplets will be used to your tap water and become very hardy.
When they are born in your tank, even with 60-70% water change won't affect them but provided that the GH, pH are almost the same for both new water and old water.

I suspect that most deaths are due to different GH, pH from the fish farms' water.
The shrimps cannot get used to your water GH, pH since they were bred in different GH, pH.

To reduce the water GH, the quickest way is to replace 20% of your tank's water with reverse osmosis (RO) or distilled water.
Don't do too big change of water as the GH, pH will change too much.


Thirdly, you need a fully cycled tank.
You cannot claimed that your tank is fully cycled and established when you only had one Betta in the tank in the past.
The colony of beneficial bacteria(BB) is dependent upon the bio-load in the tank.
If you only had one fish, then I assumed that there is very little to zero beneficial bacteria in your tank especially when you have plants in our tank..
The more fish you had, the more BB you will have.

You can speed up the cycling of the tank by using bottled bacteria.
Anyway, since you have some fast growing plants in your tank, probably ammonia may not be an issue as long as you don't overfeed them or add too many shrimps at the same time.

Lastly, what is your tank's temperature setting?
Too warm temperature will also kill them.
 
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Mcostas

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I can (could) actually see the biological film on the driftwood. I occasionally add bacterAE, I don't use the recommended dose on my small tank. I also can see little cocopods jerking around on the glass, I understand that's a good sign. I suspect the number of snails I temporarily have in the tank might be too many, the literally run up and eat the stuff I put in for them to eat. The shrimp are always observed eating too though.

I tried to lower the hardness by adding distilled water in increments. It seems like some of my parameters change now, whereas before they were always exactly the same.

when I do my water changes I mix the waters in a bucket and put a couple air stones in the bucket for a few hours.

I have, or at least had more saddled females than males. I was concerned I didn't have any males at all before the one had berries. I've never seen any of them harassed, sometimes I've seen them squabble over a pellet.

The temp is between 72-74.

The irony is the first ones seem to surviving, even growing. Besides the big purple ones the others were pretty small when I got them.

I added the wonder shell so they and the snails could get enough calcium, and I have to say, the snails are doing great in there, they are growing so much faster than the ones I put in the other tanks.

Several of the shrimp have really grown, I figured that was a good sign they were getting enough to eat.

So the past couple days I've seen one good molt and no deaths that I can see, although the snails clean those up quick.

I thought neocaridinas liked water a little hard? I guess I need to decide who has parameter priority, the shrimp or mystery snails. I've grown rather fond of the snails but my original plan was one per tank, I probably have 6 or 7 in there that are getting quite large.

I was hoping to get enough shrimp to reproduce that I could put some in the tetra tank, I don't have any bottom feeders or clean up crew in that one. Oddly enough, it's the cleanest one.
 

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hansgruber7

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That tetra tank is beautiful. I wonder if your tank is a little cold for the shrimp? Do you have a heater in there? Not sure what else could be the problem. In my experience shrimp are pretty hardy. You might have just got a bad batch or something. I thought this was useful review for water hardness and shrimp:

 

Lajos_Detari

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I can (could) actually see the biological film on the driftwood. I occasionally add bacterAE, I don't use the recommended dose on my small tank. I also can see little cocopods jerking around on the glass, I understand that's a good sign. I suspect the number of snails I temporarily have in the tank might be too many, the literally run up and eat the stuff I put in for them to eat. The shrimp are always observed eating too though.

I tried to lower the hardness by adding distilled water in increments. It seems like some of my parameters change now, whereas before they were always exactly the same.

when I do my water changes I mix the waters in a bucket and put a couple air stones in the bucket for a few hours.

I have, or at least had more saddled females than males. I was concerned I didn't have any males at all before the one had berries. I've never seen any of them harassed, sometimes I've seen them squabble over a pellet.

The temp is between 72-74.

The irony is the first ones seem to surviving, even growing. Besides the big purple ones the others were pretty small when I got them.

I added the wonder shell so they and the snails could get enough calcium, and I have to say, the snails are doing great in there, they are growing so much faster than the ones I put in the other tanks.

Several of the shrimp have really grown, I figured that was a good sign they were getting enough to eat.

So the past couple days I've seen one good molt and no deaths that I can see, although the snails clean those up quick.

I thought neocaridinas liked water a little hard? I guess I need to decide who has parameter priority, the shrimp or mystery snails. I've grown rather fond of the snails but my original plan was one per tank, I probably have 6 or 7 in there that are getting quite large.

I was hoping to get enough shrimp to reproduce that I could put some in the tetra tank, I don't have any bottom feeders or clean up crew in that one. Oddly enough, it's the cleanest one.

Firstly, remove your Wonder shell unless your tap water GH is too low like below 4.
Your tank water GH will keep going up if your have Wonder shell in it.
This may kill your shrimps if they were bred in lower GH and cannot get used to your GH 12.

Whenever you change water, you actually replenish the minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, etc in the water.
So, you actually don't really need the Wonder shell unless your tap water GH is too low.
If your tap water has very low GH like GH 1-3, then probably the minerals content is too low.
Try to keep your tank water at GH 6-8 for optimum condition especially when your shrimps are new.

Your snails GH requirements are the same though they may prefer higher pH.

Nevertheless, if you really want to ensure that they are having enough Calcium & minerals, use distilled water or RO water and mix them with the GH salt(minerals).
But I don't think this is necessary if you can get free minerals from your tap water.
Check your tap water GH.

When I was keeping Sulawesi shrimps, I used only distilled water and mixed it with Shrimps GH minerals.
My fire red shrimps grew so fat and healthy and their colours were so brightly red.

Some salt(mineral) for shrimps:


The biofilm on the driftwood is not the same as the beneficial bacteria.
You can read this link for more details:


Next, probably you might want to increase your tank temperature to 80F for optimum breeding.

Take note also that the temperature will affect the male and female ratio:

By the way, Bacter AE has little use.
It's a waste of money.
In fact, I have another Asian brand made that is similar to Bacter AE.
I used both of them in the past.
If you overdose the Bacter AE, the ammonia may rise.
 
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Mcostas

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I only give them bacterAE a couple times a week, they seem more active when I put it in.

I had read about using RO water and adding the minerals but I was hoping not to have to fuss that much.
 

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