Posted: 2010.06.15(Tue)2:21 Post subject: RCS practicing abstinence?
Both I and a buddy of mine have a problem with our RCS.
I have about 50 RCS in a 10-gallon, heavily-planted (crypts, java moss, and moss ball) tank along with about 10 ghost shrimp and some MTS.
My buddy has about 150 RCS in a 30-gallon tank that's fairly full of hornwort at his house but no other livestock in the tank.
The issue is that the females develop saddles but we just don't see any berried RCS or new young, at all, for the last couple of months. In my case, I have a couple of the females that I can readily identify/track and they'll have a saddle growing and then one day it'll be gone but they're not carring the eggs. We're not seeing any other unusual behavior or noticing any deaths.
Both of us have plenty, we think, of males in our tanks.
- pH 7.8
- no ammonia or nitrites
- weekly water changes keeping nitrates under 20
- temp for my tank is 78 degrees and my buddy's tank runs around 80 degrees
Feeding daily with bits of algae discs, sinking discs, shrimp pellets, and crab pellets. Quantity of food seems to be adequate. No copper in any of the foods. My buddy also periodically tries a bit of blanched zucchini. We do also periodically feed nothing for a day -- about once a week.
Not sure if our RCS are practicing abstinence or if they just need some help to get in the mood, such as Barry White playing 24x7...
I'm going to remove some of my moss, put in a small, mature, piece of driftwood from my other tank, remove the ghost shrimp, and I'm also going to nuke the planaria -- and see what happens.
I did see a planaria reach out to a small RCS, wrap itself around the RCS's head like a boa constrictor, and kill the RCS. I also read some posts on the web, not here I think, that said that planaria may secrete a chemical, or have the chemical on their skin, that's harmful to shrimp. That's enough for me to want the planaria dead now!
I can't seem to feed enough to the RCS but small enough to kill off the planaria. I was even thinking of a feeding tray, up on the side on the tank, like in a bird cage, to make it harder for the planaria -- but didn't do it. So I'm going to look into the dog dewormer chemical (can't remember the name at the moment) and see if that'll help.
I'm going to make their happy home very comfy, like Sybaris here in the US. I hope.
AK, how did your guppies end up doing and did you do anything about it?
Joined: 29 Mar 2005 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: 2010.07.26(Mon)21:34 Post subject:
Sounds like a bit of a mystery, must've missed this thread before.
Got a picture of the tank? Strange that you say it's heavily planted but nitrates are also enough of a problem that you have to do water changes; typically in heavily planted tanks nitrate levels crash to 0. What % of water do you change typically & how do you treat it before use?
I don't think high hardness/pH is a problem for RCS at all, if anything they breed faster in these conditions.
Are you sure there are no berried females? I find that is more unusual than not seeing shrimplets as they seem to be quite elusive for a few days after they hatch.
The ghost shrimp could well be picking off small RCS or bullying the larger ones, they're more aggressive than other types of shrimp. I think removing these would be a good idea.
Planaria may also be a problem and a lot of people go through a lot of trouble getting rid of them...there is a new product going around my side of the world called "No Planaria" which apparently works quite well and is shrimp and plant safe that you might want to look into. Can't say I have any experience with the dewormer (fenbendazole?). That said, I have a crapload of them in my shrimp tank and I haven't seen any negative effects (yet). _________________ Fishing in the Rivers of Light
Yeah, I can get a picture of the tank in a day or two.
To be honest, I've not checked nitrates in about 3 months, I just do the water changes out of habit. So I don't know where nitrates are.
While heavily planted (at least in my opinion -- others here who REALLY grow plans will likely disagree ), it's all slow-growing plants like crypts and moss but I also have a 1" blanket of riccia floating on the top and covering about half of the tank. I periodically remove about 50% and give it to my buddy. I have 24 watts of light on the tank from a rig from ahsupply.com.
I'll check nitrates this weekend before changing water.
I agree that the water hardness/pH should be good for them -- part of why I picked RCS over some of the others.
I keep checking and I really don't see any berried females and I don't see any little RCS. I do see berried ghost shrimp and I see their offspring as well (fascinating process, I might add).
I think RCS may be uneasy as well. I'm moving the ghost shrimp this weekend.
Re the planaria, I'm going to try a little bit of levamisole as I just read that it might work. I used that on another tank recently to get rid of cammalanus worms on some fish I got from my LFS -- nice of them, eh?
I do agree with you that I've seen no bad behavior from them other than the one that strangled and killed the one RCS. I spend quite a bit of time watching the tank and have seen nothing else like that. I also hoped that the MTS and bladder snail population that is expanding in the tank would help decrease the population of planaria by eating some of what the planaria would.
I did see a post, last night, about planaria and a toxic chemical. Unfortunately, I'm at work at the moment and can't find the same information, no matter how hard I try. I'll see if I can find it tonight when I get home. Not sure how legit the information is, quite frankly as I was unable to find the reference that the posted information mentioned.
Joined: 29 Mar 2005 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: 2010.07.27(Tue)13:30 Post subject:
How much water do you change weekly & do you temperature match, age or add anything to the water before use?
People often have trouble with shrimplets when doing medium to large scale waterchanges, in my opinion more likely cause of no shrimplets than ghost shrimp or planaria. Trying to reduce your waterchanges (and possibly bioload if nitrates are rising above 10 ppm) would be something else to try if removing ghost shrimp and planaria doesn't help. _________________ Fishing in the Rivers of Light
Well now, that could be it! I change 30% - 40% or so on a weekly or biweekly basis.
I do temperature match, using a digital probe, but since I use a python, I simply drip TetraAqua's AquaSafe at the end of the python to let the drips get caught up in the stream of water. I have other tanks, hence the desire to have a python (would be major overkill for a 10-gallon ).
So, I change my water changes to be 10% or so and see what that does and will monitor the nitrates.
One question though, since there are other chemicals being excreted or created in the aquarium which may be somewhat toxic and we can't measure for them, is merely watching the nitrates enough or should I change the water periodically regardless if I'm able to keep the nitrates down? If so, how often is normally done and what percentage?
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