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So, I’ve been running a 10-gallon since like 2019. Around the end of 2019, my cycle ended up crashing, and I lost all my fish. The tank for a very long time had been running untouched, just with the plants. I was too sad and trying to sell all my tanks.

Then in 2020, the love for the hobby returned, and I continued with my tank, did a few water changes because the nitrates were skyrocket high, ammonia was intense yellow, nitrites was intense and so was pH with intense blue.

I added a betta (baby), and the Bette has grown since, and is doing well, ~4-6 months later. No issues.

Because of this, my dumb head, though it would be OK to add shrimp. I use to have neos (and somehow, one survived the intense water parameters after I had neglected the tank for x amount of time.) So, I spent quite a bit of money on shrimp from local breeders who aren’t professional.

The low quality shrimps were doing fine, I didn’t notice any deaths, unless there was, but I don’t think so.

Then, 2-3 weeks later I added higher quality ones, about 14. Ever since adding the higher quality ones, it’s been nothing but death. I’ll go feed them, and they’ll be grazing, then 2-3 hours later, I will find one or two dead. On their backs, and twitching.

I check my water parameters everything is fine, 0, 0, and nitrates either 0-5 ppm anywhere in there (loads of floaters, and some stems, anubais, ferns, etc) so makes sense that they’re showing 0. pH is high in the morning it seems, then hardcore drops to 6, by later or night time.


So, then I checked my temp, 83 F. Turns out the heater was overheating from 77-78 to 83 F. I end up buying a new heater. New heater even set at 78, still heats up to 80 F / 81 F. I do think the temperature is playing a big role in their die off.

Then I check GH / KH today, I don’t know if I’m doing the test strips wrong, but I get everything as 0. I couldn’t make it to the store to get a liquid version.

Now, I’m stumped. I don’t know what to do. My shrimp are all dying, I spent a lot of money on them; only to lose them (I really liked their colour). I don’t know how to get the deaths to stop, and I don’t know what to do about my water, it seems “too soft” (Burnaby) so I don’t know if the water changed, but I didn’t have this issue in 2019.

Do I just buy crushed coral and drop some in there, or Seachem Equilibrium? I don’t know how rise both the KH/GH and I’m worried it will end up killing the cycle, or betta too.

Please help me out guys, I’m really feeling like an idiot, stressed and upset. I don’t know what to do.

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TL;DR:

* Added shrimp; they’re all dying off 1-3 per day. Shrimp end up grazing, then suddenly on their backs, hardly moving and can’t get back on their backs.

* Found some shedded skin; some did molt, but still deaths. I think molts are the issue.

* API Test Strips shows 0, for everything.

* Don’t know how to raise GH/KH. Question: Will it kill my cycle (and not kill more shrimps, or my betta?) what product to add in order to raise it?

* pH seems to be high during the day (blue - I have to double check, then drops to 6 later, or night.)
 

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Try taking heater out all together. My shrimp tank ( blue dream, red/black crystal and sunkist ) don't have heater and survived whole year including winter time. My tds meter is at 600. I do put shrimp gh additive
 

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Hey! If GH and KH are 0 (not surprising in the lower mainland as we have soft water) and the pH is crashing, that's almost certainly the cause of the deaths. Neocaridinas like medium-hard water, and don't do well with shifting PH at all. Personally, I use a crushed coral sand substrate in all of my neo tanks--it buffers the water and keeps the pH stable. Alternatives are Seachem Equilibrium, Salty Shrimp, or other GH/KH buffers added each water change, or even adding chunky coral or cuttlebone to the filter if you have a hang-on-back or canister style.

Regarding temperature--while they do prefer it under 80, they'll get used to almost anything. I have a thriving colony in an 82F tank.

Best of luck!
 

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I have a 10 gallon planted tank with tetras, amanos, and fire reds and live in the same area as you. I add about half of a small cuttlefish bone in my filter for KH (Brings it up to 2-3 from 0). The cuttlefish bone does have to be replaced once in a while after it dissolves away. I get mine from Mr Pets bulk supplies in the section for birds, if you do decided to do this be careful the cuttlefish bone you get doesn't have additives or colouring. For GH, I add Seachem Equilibrium. I forgot how I did it initially but nowadays I do 2 gallon water change weekly, so I just add 1/4 teaspoon into the 2 gallons I'm replacing into my tank and it keeps my tank at about a GH of 7.
 
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