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Red Cherry Shrimp update

Well, thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I think I did something to 
contaminate the water. I lost two of the cherries yesterday, the last one 
is dying as I type, and two of my three C. japonica were at Death's door 
until I did some major water changes. Bizarre, since the fish and snails 
were fine. If the snails were acting weird, I would have suspected copper 
poisoning (though aside from pennies, I don't know where it would have come 
from). Water tests showed that GH and KH were 2 German degrees; I thought 
this really only mattered when they were molting. I put a tiny plastic cup 
of crushed coral in the tank to raise the hardness. I'm hoping that the 
Yamatos will pull through. One came very close to kicking the bucket, 
yesterday. Ammonia was undetectable, pH was 6.6, temperature fluctuates 
from 76 to 78F, and the tank doesn't use a filter (it's only 5.5 gallons).

For now, I'm going to resist getting any more shrimp. I'll let the tank age 
and stabilize a few months more and give the plants a chance to grow in 
more densely. 'Til then, I'll keep my fingers crossed that the LFS will 
continue stocking these cute little guys. Ugh - that was an expensive 

Thanks again.