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Dead invertebrates =/


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Hey all!  I've recently been facing an issue with dying invertebrates without any clear cause.  My tank is a 10-gallon that has been pretty well-established and moderate to heavily planted.  The water parameters have been consistently stable for months (tested weekly) at:

pH: 6.8-7.0
KH: roughly 1.8
GH: 6.7
Nitrates: 20

I've lost 5x ghost shrimp, then 7x amano shrimp, followed by 3x nerites.  The ghost shrimp died shortly after the introduction of some glowlamp tetra, however I watched them closely and never observed any foul play.  The shrimp themselves never displayed any prey-like behavior and would never go into hiding either.  In addition, the shrimp were a good size (roughly 1" or larger) so I wouldn't expect tetra to harass them.  After I lost the ghost shrimp, I replaced them with the amano.  Admittedly, they were very small (half-inch or less).  While I never observed any foul play either, they DID go into hiding and I would randomly find a dead one out in the open.  The puzzling thing to me are the nerites.  I added 4 of them and 3 of them are now dead.  The fish (combo of glowlamp and neons) have all been happy throughout their course in the tank without losses.  

Anyone know of any unaccounted factors that I may be missing?  I know the glowlamps may be a potential culprit, but it's just odd, and I don't know that they would account for the dead nerites.  I've never had this issue before and I'm rather bummed about the ghost shrimp as I had them for a good long while.  I like diversity in the types of animal life in my tank, but at this point, I'm hesitant to add anything else.  Thanks to everyone in advance!

Martin

Edited by Martin
Grammar
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On 6/26/2021 at 3:19 PM, Colu said:

It could be a mineral deficiency I would add some wonder shell or some mineral blocks what are you feeding them

Thanks Colu, I'm was feeding the shrimp "Crab Cuisine" and the nerites small algae crumbles.  The tank also had a healthy amount of diatoms, so I figured they were okay in the nutrition department. 

Now that you mention it, my GH is somewhat of a mystery to me.  My water is relatively soft, so I had added a small Wonder Shell some time ago that drove my GH up to what it is now.  That was literally about 4 months ago and the GH has never come back down, even after my routine water changes.  I have nothing else in the tank that would be contributing minerals to the water... strange.

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On 6/27/2021 at 12:53 AM, Martin said:

Thanks Colu, I'm was feeding the shrimp "Crab Cuisine" and the nerites small algae crumbles.  The tank also had a healthy amount of diatoms, so I figured they were okay in the nutrition department. 

Now that you mention it, my GH is somewhat of a mystery to me.  My water is relatively soft, so I had added a small Wonder Shell some time ago that drove my GH up to what it is now.  That was literally about 4 months ago and the GH has never come back down, even after my routine water changes.  I have nothing else in the tank that would be contributing minerals to the water... strange.

I would start with adding  by mineral blocks you can get them of Amazon if it is a mineral deficiency it can take a while for the levels build up in in shrimp and snails 

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Did you check your water perimeters?
you didn’t mention your ammonia level, ph nitrate, nitrite 

I would check these, and perform a water change if necessary  

 

I have 2 well Planted 10 gallon aquariums   It is not unusual for everything to go right for a good while then without notice suddenly encounter an ammonia spike and or high nitrate.   Especially if I’ve over fed due to babies in the tank and or if I’ve neglected the hob filter.   

 

 

 

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On 6/27/2021 at 3:27 AM, Martin said:

@Jollypop4321 My parameters are noted above and haven't budged for some time now.  I did a routine change of my hob filter 2 weeks ago.  I keep up with my tank maintenance pretty consistently.  Not sure what it could be.

@Colu do mineral blocks do the same thing as Wonder Shells?  If so, I'll drop another one in and check.

They do similar thing to wonder shell 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2021 at 9:37 PM, Ken said:

A little more info would help everyone help you.

Hmm... Is there something off in my original post?  You're the second person asking about the parameter details, but I had them posted above.  Can everyone see them?  Just in case something is wonky:

pH: 6.8-7.0
KH: roughly 1.8
GH: 6.7
Nitrates: 20

The tank is roughly 7 months old with healthy plant growth.  In my estimation, my tank is moderate to heavily planted (amazon sword, crypto luteo, crypto green, 2x marimo, windelov fern, dwarf hairgrass, and 3x very long susswassertang vines.  Also, the surface is mostly covered with amazon frogbit and redroot floaters.  Okay, after spelling all that out... maybe it's flat-out heavily planted. 😁

 

Edited by Martin
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On 6/26/2021 at 9:08 PM, Jollypop4321 said:

It is not unusual for everything to go right for a good while then without notice suddenly encounter an ammonia spike and or high nitrate.   Especially if I’ve over fed due to babies in the tank and or if I’ve neglected the hob filter.   

That's kind of the weird thing.  The deaths have occurred over the course of about a month with water testing each time.  Parameters are always the same.  No fry either.

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I've run into similar "mass die off situations" with ghost shrimp with water parameters that "look perfectly good".  The fact that  you've lost two species of shrimp and multiple individuals of a species of snail makes me wonder if there's not a bacteriological problem going on (either attacking the inverts directly or producing some sort of byproduct toxin that inverts are sensitive to).  

Spitballing here- I usually avoid dosing my tanks with antibiotics at all costs,  but I wonder if this might be a case that calls for a pharmaceutical strike team. Anyone have thoughts on this with inverts and/or know if inverts are particularly susceptible to certain types of bacteria? 

Edited by NanoNano
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I recently had a similar situation. I was losing shrimp and snails at an alarming rate. I had what I thought were just detritus worms, common knowledge is they don't hurt anything, so I didn't pay them a lot of attention. They turned out to be Planaria. Planaria are really hard on invertebrates. Google Planaria and shrimp. The ones I had didn't have the textbook arrow shaped head just kind of larger. It wasn't until I nuked the tank with Panacure-C that the die off stopped.

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Thanks everyone... sounds like I have a lot of reading to do.  I really appreciate everyone's input.  I'll update accordingly.  I was actually wrong about the nerite count, only 2 out of 4 are dead.  That's what I get for having a black background with black substrate in a low-light tank and using nerites with almost all-black shells lol.

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Another thing to consider ...I have 5 women in my house 😱 (God help me) They all love to use spray perfumes and body sprays and hair spray.   All of which is an airborne toxin to an aquarium.  It lands on the surface of the water even if you have lids.  Before the tank went in...I told all of them that had to stop otherwise it could kill everything in the tank and you would never know it since you cant test for any of it.  They all took it to heart and so for no issues.  

Not saying this is your problem but putting it out there for others who may not know they are potentially napalming their tanks with airborne toxins.

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Thanks @ARMYVET, I don't suspect any such problems with aerosols.  My aquarium is in our kitchen counter and only my wife potentially uses hair products and even then, it is rare.

@Trish, so truth be told, my test strips only test for nitrites (0) and nitrates (20).  I had always thought ammonia was converted into these molecules, so I didn't really fret over it.  I'm semi-newbie, so feel free to correct me if I have misunderstood.  If there is a nitrogenous waste problem the fish don't appear to be showing it.  They have been happy and vibrant since day 1.

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You can have no nitrite and zero to modest nitrate and have high ammonia. Dead inverts can cause ammonia spikes - I had a mystery snail that I didn’t find until it was too late a couple months back and the chain reaction led me to nuke the tank and start over. Rams horns and Malaysian trumpet snails have such a low bioload that they don’t usually lead to this sort of cataclysmic event but nerites and shrimps are large enough to do this. Another thing that occurs is an invert dies, the other stressed out inverts feed off the dead and they get sick and stressed then die. Not an unusual set of circumstances really. 

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 I too had a mystery snail (it was huge ) die off in a back corner and just about wiped out my whole colony of blue dream neos..
 

My rule in the rooms with tanks is... if you can smell something, then there's the potential for the source of the smell to get in to your tanks. Lids or not. Some fish are more tolerant of ammonia spikes than shrimp so an ammonia test strip or liquid test would be a good idea.

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