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Help please with cherry shrimp tank...urgent!!

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Hi guys

Last night had a disaster, the air pump died that goes into the sponge filter and we didn't realise and by the time we did, we had lost in excess of 200 shrimp and most of those were mums with eggs:(

We have a sponge filter (going to Redlands today to get new air pump and another sponge filter) and a canister filter with foam around the bottom to avoid them being sucked up.The canister filter gets blocked quickly due to having the foam on it.

We have a bit of driftwood in the tank that is growing java moss for the shrimp and it's making the water really brown with tannins.

So we put purigen in the filter but it's still not helping much with the brown, we think cause the filter is getting blocked so quick.

So what I want to ask is, what do you guys do to help with the tannins in the water and what do you do to keep good flow through the canister filter but stop the shrimp being sucked in?

We have a 3 ft tank by the way:)

Thanks in advance for any help. We are going up to the pet store now, so will respond to anything when we get back.

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some fish like the tannis and some it needs to be there for them. Discus for example and with live bearers it also helps i believe, don't take my work for it though. If its purely cherries i would just go with yer 1 or 2 sponges and yer water changes to get rid of the tannis.

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Thanks guys:)

We went to LPS and spoke to the guy there and we bought another bigger sponge filter, 2 air pumps (one for back up to avoid this happening again).

During this chat, we all decided to use the bigger sponge filter and adapt it to fit onto the piping for the canister filter and use the other sponge as normal.

So we will see how it goes and if the flow rate is to slow, we will just use both sponges on the air pumps and get rid of the canister all together.

I think it will be time soon to upgrade to a bigger tank (once my numbers are back up again that is).

How many cherry's do you reckon are ok living in the 3 ft??

I started with 300 approx and they have been breeding really well and I reckon there would be close on 1000 now.

As for the tannins, we are going to buy some new purigen (the bags we are using have been recharged enough times now) and put it in the canister while we are still using it and this should rid the tannins, if we have to get rid of the canister, we will just have to put up with the brown water.

It's my hubby that doesn't like the brown water, not me, I don't care either way really, as long as my shrimp are happy.

The only fish we have in there are 2 BN and I don't know if they are happy or not to be honest, cause I think something is wrong cause since they have been in there they have changed colour and they both have these like white big blotches all over them, like patches of colour loss but they seem to be ok in every other way.

I am doing all the water tests and all is ok.

I am still really annoyed at hubby for taking the air out and killing my shrimp but nothing I can do about it now, just wait for the numbers to come back up again I suppose.

The reason he took the air out was we found our 2 biggest cichlids dead cause their air pump died and we noticed the lights had not come on for 2 days. So he took the only other air pimp we had which was the shrimp tank one.

So all up it has been a very expensive weekend!!!!!

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The only fish we have in there are 2 BN and I don't know if they are happy or not to be honest, cause I think something is wrong cause since they have been in there they have changed colour and they both have these like white big blotches all over them, like patches of colour loss but they seem to be ok in every other way.

Could that be ick(white spots)?

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Just a quick offer of sugestion mate with the canister it is always best to have great filtration and if you choose to add a canister to your system I have found that a old net over the inlet pipe is well worth a buy as it does not clog up so quick (unless you have alot of debree floating in the tank), Also a good one in the stainless steel inlets (bought from a plumbing store) as these have a finer inlet.

As for B/N's it sounds like you may have a amoni spike/ nitrites may be way too high so you should check them. Whislt you are going to redlands you can pick up a API master test kit very cheap (if you dont already have one).

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Yes I do and the temp has not changed, I use 2 digi thermometer in the tank so I can monitor the temp well.

So I don't think they cooked.

I know when we first got them and before we realised we need air for them, a similar thing happened but we only lost 2 shrimp.

They all migrated to the top of the tank and some jumped out....even the snails migrated to the top too but once we got the air going, with in an hour they were all back to normal.

So we gather this time with the increase in numbers due to breeding so well, they simply can not survive with no air for ANY period of time.

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The spots are not small like a white spot disease spot, it's like huge patches of colour has just vanished from them and the black coour has turned a pale grey colour/dark browny coour, not nice and black with the small white dots they had when living in the turtle tank.

I will try and get a pic but it will take a couple of days to load up.

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We tried the net/stocking thing over the intake pipe and it seem to slow the flow down to much and then it clogs very quickly, so this is why we changed it to putting a bit of foam over the end of the inlet pipe but this clogged up just as bad for some reason.

So this is why yesterday we decided to adapt the piping and add the sponge filter onto the inlet pipe that connects the canister filter.

I will say, it must be working well cause the water has never been so clear!!! It's always had the slight misty look, where you could see through the other side but it was misty, so this so far is working ok...fingers crossed it stays that way.

We just feel the filtration would be better if we continued using the canister, so this is why we have tried many things to improve it.

Yer as for the B/N's, I have a master kit and I have and do, check the water often and all seems ok, no spikes of anything.

I am going to be testing it daily for the next lil while due to having so many shrimp die and I know this could cause problems with water quality.

We did pick out as many as possible but many of the babies/smaller ones that died just broke up into bit's when we went to lift them out and then disappeared, so we know we had to leave bits of dead shrimp in there but hopefully it's enough to balance out giving the live ones a good feed and not spiking things.

I am about to put some breeding caves in there too, so I'm hoping this makes them happier.

I'm quite sure I have a female and a male in there.

The one I think is female is bigger than the male and she has no bristles at all but the smaller one has heaps and I was told this is one way to tell....is that right or wrong??? And the larger ones shape is slightly different, her belly area is a lot more rounded. The one I think is male is the one who had his tail bitten off a couple of months ago now (I put a thread up asking if he would be ok or not) and his tail is growing back really well, it would be about 1.5cms now, so I don't know if this would affect them breeding or not but if I put the caves in, this at least gives them the chance if they want to get busy:)

I'm actually quite sad about this loss, cause from my count and knowing I couldn't count them all, so it was just a good estimate, I lost in excess of 300 cause after I put my last post up, we went back in to find more dead.

I can see the difference in the tank put it that way, it is no where near as full:(

And to have most of the dead ones be mums with heaps of eggs, just really upsets me.

Thank you all for your help, I will keep you posted to how this sponge filter on the canister inlet idea plays out, but so far so good:)

I will try and get some pics up of the B/N's too.

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How high is your temp.....If i were to hazard a guess i would say your temp is too high, hence why you need the airstone to up the disolved oxygen(warmer water has less capacity to hold oxygen). If you drop the temp just a couple degrees it should give you some more room for error. It probably wont be much

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i use filter outputs to disturb the water surface, this means that I dont need to use airpumps to keep oxygen levels high.

I still use airpumps tho, incase my filter stops/breaks.

My point is you should look at the tanks in your house, ensure filters are rippling the water surface.

And as others are saying, test ammonia and nitrite levels.

Ammonia and nitrite kill fish/prawns super fast

and one last thing, make sure all filters are getting cleaned using water taken from the aquariums the filters are running on. NEVER clean them in tap water.

funny enough thats the main cause of cloudy water.

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The temp sits at 26 and it hardly varies from it.

This is what I was advised to keep the temp at from 3 other breeders.

Sorry, I should have been more clear, yes I have been and do test for ammonia and nitrites and this is what I will test often over the next lil while to ensure there are no spikes due to what just happened.

We NEVER clean anything to do with our tanks in tap water, ALL filter media gets cleaned in buckets that have NEVER been used for anything else and water from the tank it comes from. This also includes all brushes etc, anything used for fish tanks or shrimp tanks have NEVER been exposed to anything but the tank water.

As for the outlet pipes breaking the water, yes we do make sure they break the surface of the water as we do know this helps with aeration but clearly it's not enough for this tank.

I have spoken to hubby this evening and told him I would like to upgrade all the tanks, what I mean is, it's time we bought the 10ft tank we want and put our largest turtle in this from his 6ft, then put our 5 ELN turtles from their 5 ft into his 6 ft, then the shrimp into the 5 ft. We are happy to leave the remaining 4 cichlids in the 4 ft cause it's custom made for the position it's in for the display tank as it's built wide and high, so they are happy we feel.

So this is something we will start working on and I feel the shrimp will be happier in the bigger tank when their numbers increase again.

Thanks heaps again for all your help:)

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good to hear its under control.

I just like to check on the basics. Its what I do.

Exactly! and I thank you for doing so, cause I know sometimes we can overlook the simplest thing and not realise it hey:)

Yep, all is looking good now....I can't believe how clear the water is with the new sponge filter adapted to the go on the canister, it is crystal clear for the first time ever.

I just get so heartbroken every time I look at the tank and notice how empty it looks but I suppose in a couple of months all the numbers will be back up again.

Now I just have to sort out the B/N and why they have these blemishes on them, it's like they are loosing big batches of colour.

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