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Sakura Deaths - Confidence to build up a colony knocked a bit


18 Apr 2012
I'm looking to use my Ebi tank to start a Sakura colony, with the idea being that any excess numbers will be moved into my other tanks to improve the RCS bloodlines in there.

I got 4 about 6 weeks or so ago, 2 male and 2 female (I think, I'm no guru!). I lost a male about 2 weeks in, but all others seem fine. I've come home today to find the other male dead. Both had dark marks on the underside, although I'm guessing that could just be a clearer view of their internals as they've got less opaque after death? The females (larger, darker coloured) seem fine in the tank.

pH 7, Temp 24C, low tech tank dosing all-in-one, mature substrate, good filtration and flow, TDS 290, gH at the tap is really soft. My Rio 180 has a huge RCS colony in there with the same water parameters and it's going from strength to strength.

I rescaped the tank last weekend, but used the existing substrate in the tank etc, so can't see any issue there.

I wouldn't normally post up, since the sad truth is that from time to time you lose some livestock, it's just less noticeable in a larger tank because remains get scavenged more quickly. Since I want to put an initial stock of Sakura in the Ebi though, and they're not cheap (say I add 10 shrimp, that'll be £30!), irrespective of the fact that I'd rather not risk their little lives,I am trying to get rid of my worry/anxiety that there is a tank issue rather than bad luck.

I don't believe the females are berried, which was going to be my hope to stock up the tank - they're so heavily coloured that I can't see through them, so can't tell if they're saddled or berried.
I am sorry to hear about the shrimp deaths. It's always hard when something like this happens.

gH at the tap is really soft.

What exactly is the gh in both tanks where the cherries are fine, compared to this one? Lack of calcium can be an issue with shrimp as they can't molt and will die when trying. The sakuras are probably more inbred too to achieve this colour, so possibly more sensitive than normal cherries.
Hey there,sorry to hear about the deaths it's never nice and often frustrating! shrimp deaths can be quite mysterious and often the cause isn't obvious. My guess (wishful maybe lol) would be the first death may have just been bad luck and the second could be due to the rescape?
Single shrimp deaths tend to be bacterial and group deaths environmental, this being the case id suggest getting some catappa leaves or alder cones to help in case it is bacterial, along with the usual good housekeeping then just wait and see.
Sadly it's something that has to be expected as a possibility when keeping shrimp mate, simple things can cause havoc.
Did you rescape with any Asian import plants or just a move around of current flora?
Hope that it all stabilises and you continue building a colony, gotta get back on the seahorse :)
Thanks to both for the replies.

- Don't know on the gH - since the other tanks have always been fine, I've never tested it. All I know is that it's barely 1 degree on the water report. Shrimp in other tanks all molt fine though, never had any deaths partway through a molt.
- I've got some banana leaves, do they have any antibacterial merit? If not then I'll get your suggestions (probably alder cones, since am I right that catappa will taint the water with tannins?)
- Rescaping only added some plants from a well established member's tank on here, and some 1-2-Grow, so I have confidence in both of those sources.

Ah well, I'll have to live with the tannins and let the Purigen take care of them. Time for a mail order to be on the safe side I reckon! Even if it's not required, it can't do any harm :).
A couple of hours, since I kept about half of the old tank water (I avoid changing any more of a tank in one go than I have to).

Very little sediment released, but in fairness I haven't done an ammonia test. Tank did have fish in it up until the rescape, so I would have thought they was a good bioload capacity in the filter. It's a fair challenge though.
Just a thought, did you wash the gel off the 12grow, bit of a long shot but its packed with nutrients that may foul the water enough to damage shrimp..???

As a side note, my bees didn't want to berry up for a long time and while its possibly circumstantial things started to move a long once I started using mosura bt9, looks pricey but you use a tiny amount so cost effective ( if it works) A lot of breeders say they add bacteria after WC so they can't all be wrong :)
When ever I buy new shrimp I tend to drip acclimatise for 3-5 hours depending on the water they came from although if you've had them 6 weeks then they ought to have been ok.
I know when I did a fairly hefty rescape a month or so ago I lost a couple, could have just been coincidence but I think it was the rubbish that got kicked up so now I overdose the prime in the new water to try and combat any effects.
Yea, rinsed it under a fast running tap, then dumped it into a Prime'd bowl of water througout the planting process just to get those last pesky bits of chlorine!

Half of me really thinks I'm fretting for no reason (after all, there must be 70+ shrimp in my Rio 180), but on the other hand I know smaller tanks are massively less forgiving, so if anything shows up my failings, this will.
I wouldn't worry unless it happens consistently but I'd still measure the Gh, since that's important in shrimp tanks. What is the substrate in both tanks? Some substrates can increase the hardness of the tank, making it more inhabitable for shrimp that need that. Plus rescaping the tank may mean you've reset it back to water stats, causing lack of essential minerals. Gh normally increases in time if one often tops up evaporated water without doing a partial water change so it's possible the two tanks have different parameters when it comes to that.
There's also no point using alder cones or leaves of some sort if you are using Purigen as there's info it counteracts the effect.
This is unrelated, but I wonder why is your TDS 290 so high with such soft water. My water is quite hard with a Gh of 12 and Kh of 8, ph 7.4 and my tanks have a TDS 290 before water change, tap water being around 270. I don't dose nutritients in the shrimp tanks(which also raise TDS) because anecdotally I had some unexplained shrimp deaths many moons ago while I did, but from what I've read that may not have been the issue, although I never had a problem since I stopped.
I do dose ferts, so I guess that could be it. Never done my tap tds, I'll measure it sometime. Substrate is fluval stratum. Looks like the general consensus is the rescape is to blame. Makes me feel reassured and guilty at the same time. Thanks guys.
There have been worries about summer bacterial blooms during this time of year which causes problems with molting for shrimps and leading to their demise. Frequent water changes can help with this.

This is worth a read: Spring/summer bacterial blooms - Practical Fishkeeping Forum

The main article that thread links to ( http://shrimpsider.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/shrimps-bacterical-infection/ ) is no longer available as the user has taken his blog offline. Does anyone have a saved copy of this? I have tried google cache and the way back machine with no luck.
I ask because I think my shrimp may be suffering from a bacterial outbreak but cant find many reference photos. Could any experienced eyes cast an eye over the cherries in this video and have a look please?

Even the males have developed a white 'saddle'. They are still lively but I'm worried it's the first stages of something more serious.