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Cherry Shrimp Problems

Subject: Cherry Shrimp Problems
by Anonymous on 2011/10/27 17:00:33

Please help me with my cherry shrimp; they're acting odd. Out of the ten, about two are lying on their side at any one time. I'm not sure if it is the same two all the time. They are not really eating and stay very still until disturbed, then again I only got them today. Here's the background story:
About eight weeks ago I set up a 38l tank in my bedroom, intending to breed cherry shrimp in it. I used play sand (spare from my big tank) as the substrate. The filter is a cheap internal filter I bought many years ago, but it gets the job done and has plenty of space for filter media (currently filter sponge, fluval biomax media and lots of thoroughly washed filter floss). Lighting is from a normal angle-poise desk lamp, sat on the glass lid.
I went through a full fishless cycle, constantly testing the water until I could add ammonia (in the form of fish food) and have it converted to nitrate quickly and consistently.
I added cabomba about a week through the cycle, along with some lagarosiphon major and a huge piece of bogwood. This is how the tank stayed for the next seven weeks or so. Yesterday, my Elite 50w heater arrived, so I set that up on 24C before adding the plants I had ordered from Plants Alive (which had also arrived yesterday). I added three cryptocoryne becketti, three vallisneria torta, three java fern and one java fern "windelov" as well as a huge bunch of ceratopteris siliquosa (fine leaf indian fern).
Today, I bought 10 cherry shrimps ( a mixture of sizes, ages and genders) from a shop named Fish Finatics in Burscough, Ormskirk. The tank they were in was pretty nasty and full of snails, but they all looked okay and were not kept with any fish. They were 5 for ?2.50. I acclimatised them to tank before netting them and finally putting them in.

Sorry to blab on so much, but I really need help with this.
Readings: (API kit)
Ammonia: 0ppm ( could have been 0.25, but looked more yellow for 0)
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10-20ppm
pH: 6.4 ( possibly because of bogwood - usually 7.2 in my other tanks)

I though it may have been copper poisoning from the snail treatment that Plants Alive may have used, but I rinsed the plants very thoroughly before putting them in. Anyway, I did a 50% water change as a precaution and put carbon in the filter to try to remove as much as possible. Could it even be this, or are they so cheap because they are inherently unhealthy?