My corys FREAKED as I introduced the female bettas to the tank. They raced all over, while the bettas didn't pay attention to them. My gut tells me they stressed out. A diseased fish usually lingers for at least a few hours; these fish looked like they had strokes!
I have hard water and a pH of around 8, and I have ghost shrimps in both of my planted tanks and they are doing fine. I also have cories in my 29 gallon, and they're doing great too. I didn't really do anything special to acclimate them - floated them for 15 mins, filled the bag up with tank water and let them sit for another 15 minutes and then let them go into the tank. My shrimp are doing well - even have a couple carrying eggs! They eat pretty much everything I feed my other fish and they also eat some algae and decaying plant matter (and poop, believe it or not).
I really don't think the pH is your problem. When I first got shrimp for my 29g they all died within about a half hour after I put them in the tank, and I'm pretty sure that my dissolved oxygen levels were low. Bettas breathe from the surface so it wasn't affecting them, but shrimp are very sensitive. I now have a bubble wall and haven't seen any shrimp deaths yet with my second attempt.
HHmm I'd like to know about dissolved oxygen levels! It's the 1st time I've heard this addressed. At one point I bought a tiny air stone curtain: about 4" long (with a decorative arch over it.) I was thinking of tucking it against one of the short walls, out of the main swimming area, but since I have 2 female ee's, I thought it would be too difficult for them to swim.
My tank is heavily planted; would this improve oxygen? Is there a test for dissolved oxygen?
My tank is heavily planted too. Is your tank new? When I first attempted ghost shrimp my tank had only been set up for a couple weeks. When I got my new batch, I noticed they were fine at first but at night they all headed for the surface of the tank, so I decided to try the bubble wall and that did the trick - no more hanging out at the surface! I also tried some loaches when I first set up my tank and they basically gasped for air at the surface of the tank and so I ended up returning them to the store. From what I've read, in planted tanks there can be a sharp decrease in oxygen levels at night because the plants aren't producing it and everything in the tank (including beneficial bacteria) is using up the oxygen, so by morning levels are very low. In new tanks, the plants probably aren't actively growing yet so oxygen levels are lower because of that too. I actually haven't checked the levels of oxygen in my tank but you need a special meter to do that (I have one at my work). I think if all of your other parameters are fine but you are still having fish die that don't breathe air like bettas, that might be the reason why. Not sure what else to tell you about it though, lol.
Oh, they sell different sized air pumps too, I bought one that was crazy strong and all my fish were being pushed all over the place so I went with one that is actually for a smaller tank and it gives off just enough bubbles to look nice and add oxygen to the water without affecting the fish. My cories and otos LOVE to swim through the bubbles too. :)
Last edited by carbonxxkidd; 02-02-2013 at 04:05 PM.
I set up my 29 gal on Dec. 20. After running it (with plants and rocks from 2 other smaller, established aquarium). After a week or 2, I added the 6 corys. (No bettas yet.) One cory died overnight; I returned it for another. After a week of happy corys, I added first 3, then another 3, then 6 betta girls. I should have used a hospital tank, but this was not an established tank, so it became the hospital tank. 3 corys overnight, the rest the next day! I then lost 2 bettas (imports) in short order. With that, I broke down the 29 gal. 100%. I couldn't risk that there was something toxic in the big tank so all substrate, plants, snails, and decor was disposed of. I removed the remaining girls to a sparsly planted 10 gal, where they have been for 3 weeks. I lost one more lovely import a few days later. Now, I have the 29 gal replanted & ready to go, but I AM SCARED!! Everyone in the 10 gal is doing so well...
I set my 29 gallon up on Dec. 22nd! Funny. I didn't add my corys until Jan. 23, though and the new set of shrimp have only been in there a week. That's really weird that the corys would suddenly die, especially if all your bettas were healthy! Maybe the corys were sick when you got them and just weren't showing symptoms or something...that's so odd. So sorry to hear that :(
I would try again with the 29 gallon. Wondering if the ammonia spiked or something when you added the bettas and that's what killed the corys?