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  1. Hello, if your pH is potentially dropping from 7.8 to 6.8 over time, this could certainly be the issue. This was happening to me when I first had trouble with my colony, when I had very soft water. The swing could be affecting your shrimp. Though your kH is not terribly low (I'm assuming that is the kH in your tank), you still may need to raise it to help prevent you pH from dropping like this. I would suggest raising the kH of your tank water a little, maybe by 3 degrees kH to target 6 dkH (not sure what that is in ppm). You can do this by adding some alkaline buffer (I used to use the seachem one). I would suggest adding enough to raise by 1 dkH daily until you reach your target (say 6 dkH). Then try to keep the same kH when you do your water changes by adding the necessary buffer to keep it around 6. I would suggest monitoring your kH for a while so you can see how quickly the kH and pH are changing and then you can better know a schedule for adding some buffer to the water. If you don't want to be adding buffer powders, you can try some crushed coral. Note that it will increase your gH too. Your gH is already on the higher side so I would probably just go with the alkaline buffer and start slow with frequent pH and kH monitoring. Note that these changes may not save the current shrimp. But if you start with another batch this could make a difference for them.
  2. Hello, I'm sorry you are having trouble with your shrimp. You are not alone, I also struggled when I started keeping shrimp! My first batch all died when I tried to start my colony. Your parameters and other conditions for the shrimp look pretty good for neocardina. But some things you maybe want to consider, and some questions. Do you know the water parameters of the seller? Even if your parameters are "in range" if they are pretty different from what they were bred and raised in, you can encounter issues. In general for neos, it is good to buy local so you can get shrimp used to your local water. If you can't buy local, find a seller who has gH kH and pH similar to yours. How did you acclimate the shrimp? I typically plop and drop if the parameters are similar to mine, but if not, drip acclimation is a good idea. With a timeline like 4 weeks, though, probably less related to acclimation and more related to general parameters or disease. Did you get the shrimp as adults? Usually the adults will have a more difficult time acclimating to your water if it is very different parameters to what they are bred in. Sub adults tend to do better. Check your gH and kH bottle expiration. You may not have accurate results if expired. I believe these expire very quickly compared to other API tests so it can catch you off guard. Do you see any lesions on the shrimp? I believe there is a good disease guide here https://aquariumbreeder.com/understanding-dwarf-shrimp-diseases-and-parasites/ Finally, though some folks keep neos at a slightly acidic pH, in my experience they do best at neutral to alkaline pH, and higher kH. When I was keeping them below 7 pH will a kH of whatever 3 drops is on the kit, my colony did not do so well. My current colony lives in pH of 7.8-8, gH 12-15, kH of 8 and they do very well.
  3. I have a school of 9 emerald dwarf rasboras in a heavily planted 10 gallon with some dwarf cories and 1 oto catfish. The rasboras swim around in the open when no people are close to the tank, but as soon as I walk close, they immediately hide...I wish they would come out more too! My kids are always running by the tank, so I'm sure mine are more skittish than most fish...
  4. Well, I noticed a bunch of foamy bubbles on the surface of the mesh breeder box today, and an oily scum on top of the water. I did a fry count and only 6 remain, and they all still look pretty small, so I made the decision to move them to the 5 gallon today. I assume that mesh has just gotten clogged with junk and did not allow good water circulation. I'll remember that for next time and move fry out of there sooner. Luckily the 5 gallon tested negative for ammonia this weekend, so I am hoping it is cycled. Additionally I had added some leaf litter which appears to have good biofilm growing. So I hope the environment is good for them. Before putting them in, I removed half the water from their new tank and replaced with water from their parents' tank. Then I put the breeder box in and let them all swim out. Some shrimp and snails joined them. They all seem to be doing ok so far. Unfortunately I go out of town at the end of the week for 5 days, and my sitter will only be feed once a day and will not changing water. I'm just going to do a water change mid week and right before I leave and see how things pan out...I hope my first shot at breeding does not fail miserably! Here are some pics of the set up which is my 1/2 tank! I plan to keep this going for fry and as a potential quarantine space. It is powered by sunlight and just has a sponge filter. And pics of baby cories which are always cute. Not the best quality and they have great camouflage! Thanks for reading!
  5. Thank you @Guppysnail! I need to read up on this more. I haven't seen a shrimp looking like they have the green fungus in a while (maybe one or 2 shrimp in the last 3 or 4 months, with a similar frequency since I started my current colony in summer 2021). My colony is split in 2 separate tanks and thriving in both...I had at one time (July 2022) treated one of the tanks with Ich X, which could have helped perhaps, but im sure ive seen a couple since then...I wonder if there is varying susceptibility among populations of neocardina davidii? Or another factor at play that causes shrimp to be susceptible?
  6. I'm loving what you are doing with this tank! Makes me want my kitchen sink tank back! Keep up the updates!
  7. Hello! What are folks thoughts on the "green fungus" that can affect neocardina (which appears to be Ellobiopsidae and Cladogonium Ogishimae)? I have kept neocardina for years and have hundreds of them. I just found out about this condition yesterday! Looking at the pictures online of affected shrimp, I certainly have seen a few shrimp now and again over the years that appear to have this condition (and I always just thought they had retained egg casing after their babies were born.) I never have noticed any dead ones with the condition either (though I rarely see dead ones because they get swarmed so quickly!). Thoughts on morbidity/mortality, need for treatment/culling, etc? I'm just gonna keep practicing benign neglect unless there is a good reason not to!
  8. Hello again I do not keep rams but this article written by a breeder of rams says 84-86 F https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/ram-cichlid-care-guide. Many aquarium hobby fish don't do well in that temperature long term, so your other inhabitants could have issues. If the temp for the ram is out of range for your other fishes, I would suggest doing the higher end of your other fishes temp range and then adding an air stone to help with oxygen levels, unless you want to move the ram to another tank where you can keep them hotter. There are probably some people who successfully keep GBRs cooler (80-82) maybe they will see the post and answer?
  9. The fin looks like a bit of fit rot which is typically caused by a bacteria. Then you can get secondary fungal infections on top of the damaged tissue, which is why you are seeing the raised white growth. At this point it looks mild but it could get worse. Start by frequent water changes like Tlindsey says. Unless you have live aquarium plants or very salt sensitive fish, I would also do salt per https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/aquarium-salt-for-sick-fish. I would treat the whole tank with the 1 tbsp per 3 gal dose to start. When you water change I would replace the salt with the water change to keep it the same concentration in the water (1tbsp per 3 gal concentration for the whole tank). Also you probably are aware of this GBR but they need higher temps than most tropical fish. Low temps can cause them to become more susceptible to infection.
  10. To add to all that from oddduck, is this a dirted tank? It also reminds me of those little white balls they put in potting soil which will float if they come out of the soil. Not saying that's what it is, just questioning the egg assumption.
  11. Hello! I see your question has gone unanswered so probably there is no good/clear answer to this as it seems like there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum. I don't keep soft water shrimp, so I am not an expert here. However, I believe the buffering capacity of active substrates have a lot more to do with the kH of you water than the types of plants you have in the tank. I have grown a lot of pothos in my tanks. In my experience they suck up a lot of nutrients like nitrates, which would be great for sensitive shrimp species. However, they may outcompete other plants in your tank for nutrients. For example in my tanks where I keep pothos I often struggle keeping nitrates above 5 ppm despite fertilizing at the recommended amounts. Eventually I tend to remove pothos as they start to affect growth of my other plants. I'm not sure if they would affect the buffering capacity of the substrate tho, even once they root deeply in them. If it were me I would keep pothos in the tank especially if you don't plan on keeping a heavy plant load in there otherwise. But if you want to keep a lot of plants and especially if you don't plan on fertilizing much, you may need to consider removing it if you start seeing issues with nutrient deficiency in your other plants. Good luck!
  12. Hello! I would remove the plant from the pot and let it float for a few weeks like your water wisteria. This will help the plant adapt to your tank as it will have better access to light and CO2 while floating. Once you see growth and some more root development, which may take a few weeks, then you could move it to the substrate. If you only have floating plants right now I would just do water column fertilizer. Once you plant your stems in the substrate you can put some root tabs in the substrate near where you plant the stems. In my experience using both root tabs and water column fertilizer is better for plant growth. The root tabs may help them develop strong roots and lets you use less water column fertilizer (which can help prevent algae). So I don't think both is overkill, Just don't overdo it. Though the tabs are in your substrate, some of the fertilizer slowly dissolves into the water column too. So go sparingly on the tabs and perhaps you will need to reduce water column ferts one you add tabs. The other tips I have for a beginner with a new tank is add as many plants as you can from the beginning, particularly fast growing ones (wisteria and pogostemon are both fast growing). Also try to keep your tank clean with manual removal of waste (remove decaying plant matter, excess fish food, siphoning surface of substrate etc) and regular water changes (I do 25% a week). Finally you want enough light for your plants where you see growth but not so much light that you see a bunch of algae. I would start out with your light at a lower intensity if it is adjustable, for around 8 hours a day.
  13. Agree here. Whenever I grow fast growing stems, especially when in rough shape, I let them float so they get easy access to light and CO2. One they have some roots growing and are looking more healthy, I plant them in the substrate.
  14. Is it possible they are not eggs at all? Mold or something similar floating on the surface? They look irregular to me from the pictures, and not like the eggs (at least the healthy ones) I'm used to seeing from my snails and fish.
  15. Hello! Not many updates. I have not seen any platy fry since they were born Saturday, so it's official, cockatoo Apistos are great platy fry eaters in case anyone wants good fry control! Speaking of the apistogramma, they are looking GOOD! I think it is their steady diet of shrimp, ramshorns, and fry. I love this variety. It is a back cross of the triple red onto wild type (bred by Imperial Tropicals). They all have the top part of their caudal fin and the tips of the rays of their dorsal fins a very vibrant orange, but their body color is more of that of wild type and has some blue iridescence around the face and eyes (which is apparently a wild type trait). Very pretty and natural! I continue to see no real fighting between the 3 males. In fact, I don't want to jinx myself, but they seem to be chasing less since I first added them. When aggression is seen, I see a little posturing and a brief chase but that is it. On a couple of occasions I have seen a split in the caudal fins (I'm assuming from the posturing), but by the next day or so the split has healed. I like the look of the 29 better now that I have moved the struggling sword in the middle to the pot. I think I'm just going to focus on root tabs in the pots and let the rest of the UGF just do it's thing, no root tabs. We will see how that goes. In response to some green spot algae on the glass and staghorn algae on the struggling sword leaves and some of the val leaves, I turned the light down further to 50% but extended the photoperiod (1 hr ramp up, 7 hours at 50%, 1.5 hours ramp down) per an episode I watched on Bentley Pascoes channel. I also added some floating hornwort. I'll keep the light like this for a few weeks and think about possibly ramping back up to 65-75% once the plants grow in a little more. As for other tanks, I chickened out moving the baby cories from the mesh breeder in the 20 gallon to the 5 gallon. I'm still getting faint ammonia reading in there so I don't think it is completely cycled. I keep telling myself I need to move the so they don't contribute to excess bioload in that tank, but they are so small! I doubt they could have much impact but as this is my first time rearing fry I have no idea! Thanks for reading!
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