Confession about my biggest lost!!
I have been keeping shrimps from last 5 years . Recently moved to a new apartment and the biggest tragedy of my shrimp keeping tenure happened. The tragedy happened is mostly attributed from my side.
Earlier in my old apartment I haven’t used any remineralizing salt as the tap water quality there was good. I used to mix tap water and RO water and used to get the desire TDS and GH. My shrimps were happy so never bothered.
I moved to my new apartment, same city around 15 km away from my old place. And as usual I have used the same water mixing criteria, tap water plus RO water to get desired parameters. The TDS of the tap water was fine around 180ppm.
I even used ADA Do Aqua with the tap water to remove the chlorine effect and then mix it with the RO water.
The tanks in my new apartment were already cycled 15 days prior with fishes in it. Removed the fishes and then introduced my shrimps.
But once I started doing the water change with the tap+ro water mix, my shrimps started dying. Just 6-12 hours post the water change interval I could see dead shrimps.
The deaths were constant sometime 5-8 in number sometime in 1-2. In no time I lost my Crystal Red Shrimp from 70 to 5, and lost my entire stock of tigers, tangerine tigers, blue jelly.
Some of the shrimps died post molting, some I found dead in extreme corners.
In every aquarium on mine I have double filtration – one canister and one air driven sponge for effective filtration and decent amount of aeration. So death due to improper oxygen flow is chalked out.
Possible Issue –
As the tank was cycled and also no new shrimp have been introduced so all things point down to one issue – WATER Quality!!
Took my tap water to a friend and got it tested there and found high level of magnesium, copper, lead inside the water which possibly could be the culprit of the mass demise.
Action and Prevention –
After discussing thoroughly with my shrimp friends and gurus decided to move every shrimp setups into 100% RO + Remineralizing Salt.
So prepared a new tank as per that and after some days moved my remaining shrimps to that setup and luckily they are doing good. Introduced some Indian Almond leaves also in the new setup. It’s been around 3-4 weeks and they are still doing well. Hope they continue the same way.
For keeping shrimps the most important thing required is – pristine water quality. Either due to less amount of knowledge, or may be unwillingness to spend on remineralizing salt we tend to do the same permutation & combination with tap water and RO water. If it primarily worked fine for you don’t be so much buoyant as the moment your tap water quality decreases you are doomed! And tap water quality is inversely proportional to water the municipality people are pumping inside it.
My honest suggestion would be to get a remineralizing salt and use 100% RO. In this way you can chalk out the water fluctuations and also removal of the heavy metals from the water. This also enables you to maintain proper water parameters. If money is an issue to get a remineralizing salt, my suggestion – wait for some days – accumulate fund – then start the tank.
A simple math to show you how effective it will be –
For e.g. you are going to buy 6 Crystal Red Shrimp at INR 250/pc so total is 250*6 = INR 1500.
If your entire stock goes for a toss you lose INR 1500.
A remineralizing salt (SL Aqua Blue Wizard/ Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp GH+ or Shrimp Mineral GH/KH+ ) will cost you around INR 1250 maximum and can prepare 660lt or more of ready to use water.
Investing INR 1250 can save your entire shrimp stock and if happy they can multiply so its return on investment. Choice is yours.
Some more precautions –
Water Change –
Don’t do a massive like 40%-50% water change, do it in small quantity like 10%-20%. With nominal water change you can reduce shock.
Introducing new plants –
Many aquarium plants are grown emersed in plant farms and treated with all kinds of pesticides which are, obviously, extremely toxic to shrimp. Fish will do fine, whereas shrimp will almost immediately fall over and die. Unfortunately, rinsing does not always get rid of all traces of pesticides. Therefore, it is imperative to buy non-pesticide treated plants or exchange plants with other hobbyists instead of buying plants grown in huge plant farms and offered at your local pet store or your favorite internet retailer. Best Bet will be to keep the plants in a separate set-up after rinsing for a week and then introduce them to your main tank.