View Full Version : Please help, I'm having problems with shrimp molting

03-22-2014, 05:06 AM
I know there are many post it there concerning this and trust me, I've read most of if not all of them and have yet found a solution to this craziness, please help, any help is appreciated, thank you.

In the past week I think I've lost about 5 out of the 50 red cherry shrimps I have and they all seem to have the same problem some die trying to molt and some were only able to molt just they body part but the head part gets stuck. I just found one today with half of its head shell lifted up a bit. He's still moving big a little so I put him in a separate tank by himself to see if he would make it or not. Before some of them die, they have a horizontal Crack from left to right side of their body (in-between were the head and body connects). I have a shrimp only tank(50ish red cherrys and 5 crystal Reds in 5.5 gallon tank with fluval underwater filter) that is planted and I use fluval plant substrate. The crystals are doing fine though. I feed them shirakura soft pellets every 2-3 days and white pellets by biomax or cucumber once a week. I also have a piece of catappa leaf in there.

These are my water perimeters:

Ph- 7.4 - 7.6
Ammonia - 0 (since I use prime, the only way to test for free ammonia for me was to get the seachem ammonia alert that sticks to the side of the tank)
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5
Kh - 4 (drops before it turned color)
Gh - 5-6 (drops before it turned color)
Temperature - 23-26 Celsius through the day

I change water once a week with top water and use seachem prime to dechlorinate the water as well as fluval shrimp Mineral supplement since my water was really soft with no minerals. I also have a small Mineral rock in there.

I desperately need help since I have done everything I could including tons of online and in store(shrimp store that specializes in shrimp keeping) research but nothing is helping. http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/22/e6e6a6ev.jpg http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/22/6a7u7uzu.jpghttp://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/22/etana3u5.jpg

03-22-2014, 05:30 AM
if you can find a calcium test and a copper test, those would be very helpful with something like this. shrimp are more vulnerable to everything when molting so it can be many other things. also, even using prime, you can test for ammonia with any test kit. all prime dose is detoxes the ammonia and converts it to Ammonium that tests the same as ammonia lol. 3*c is kinda large of a swing. how good is your heater?

03-23-2014, 06:49 AM
I don't use a heater because temp ranges from 23-26 on its own throughout the day. I use the API drip test for ammonia but it's not accurate. I read on seachems website that you can't test ammonia if your using Prime unless you have one that test for free ammonia and not total since prime changes ammonia to ammonium (free ammonia).

03-23-2014, 06:50 AM
I'm planning on getting the calcium test though just to make sure they are getting enough

03-23-2014, 12:43 PM
What do you feed them?

03-23-2014, 06:39 PM
Calcium is fairly important for inverts, for their exoskeletons. Usually molt as they grow in size, or sometimes when stressed it can cause them to molt early. The foods you mentioned feeding them is fine.

If you suspect other metals/minerals in the tap water, might be worth trying filtered water and see if that changes anything for a few weeks. For my shrimp tanks I tend to use ro/di, in my area I can't trust the city water. Sometimes in the spring the county dumps more chems in the water to treat for bacterial blooms at the water source. I lost a few shrimp tanks several years ago when something like that happened.

A bit pricy but you could buy a piece of polyfilter, it's usually marketed towards people who keep reef tanks. The polyfilter will absorb contaminants like minerals, metals, chemicals, etc... The great thing it will change colors depending on what it absorbs. It will turn a blue color if it takes up any copper. Here is a link so you can read up on it http://www.marinedepot.com/Poly_Filter_Filter_Pad_Mechanical_Filter_Media-Poly_Bio_Marine-PB1111-FIFMMEPM-vi.html , should be able to find it in any fish store. Can just a cut short piece of the filter foam and put it in your filter.

03-23-2014, 07:01 PM
Doesn't sound like metal poisoning though. I'd say mineral shortage. Last time I had a round of that I just took some egg shell, peeled the membrane away from it, bashed it a few times and placed it in the tank.

03-23-2014, 09:45 PM
Hmm, I don't think it's metal poisoning either, I'm leaning more towards lack of calcium or high tds which I haven't really tested yet and am looking into that.

03-23-2014, 10:48 PM
high tds usually means the same thing as high calcium, so it will be either or.
I doubt that an undemanding species like cherry shrimp would have issues with hard or soft water, unless the area you live in has really extreme water parameters.

on the other hand, I've heard that chemicals leached from certain rocks(I think it was lava rock mentioned) will disrupt successful molting of crustaceans.

03-23-2014, 11:10 PM
I have really soft water, I think that's why

03-24-2014, 01:03 AM
throw some cuttle fish bone in the tank and start feeding them blanched kale. that has loads of clacium in it. my water is super soft too like 1* kh+GH. also you can look into gh booster, that might give you an algae problem.

03-24-2014, 05:28 AM
I use the fluval Mineral supplement now so the gh and kh are fine. So just to make sure I'm going to get it tested

03-24-2014, 06:10 AM
Cuttlefish bone will spike the hardness in a rather short period of time. Recipe for other problems doing it that fast.

03-24-2014, 06:46 AM
It's been a week now, so should I stop and get the cuttlefish bone or should I just continue since I've already started? Shouldn't they be past the shock now if anything?

03-24-2014, 10:50 AM
You can add a small piece, say about the size of a spoon. Put it in see what happens.

03-24-2014, 08:49 PM
Update- so I tested my tds and it was shooting through the roof at 436ppm. I did a little test and found out that my tap is at 163 and then by adding prime to it, it jumps to 196. On top of that the mineral supplement I used from fluval bumped it way up to 295. But I don't get it since my gh was maintained at 5 and kh was at 3-4.... If I don't use the supplement they won't have any gh?

03-24-2014, 08:57 PM
Although TDS is a good indication of GH and KH it is only a rough guide. Usually the TDS doesn't make much of a difference to shrimp especially cherries as long as the GH and KH are fine. are you replacing evaporated water with pure ro water? if not as water is evaporated it will leave the minerals behind and since water changes will add more minerals and not dilute the minerals left from evaporation, the TDS will continue to rise. It's either that or there is something in the tank such as decor that would be causing the increase but usually this would increase one or both of GH and KH.

Although cherries are quite hardy in regards to fluctuations in TDS, if the increase is high and rapid enough, it may cause problems.

03-24-2014, 09:02 PM
No I don't refill the tank with ro water, It usually doesn't get that low and by the time I do my water change I just fill it back up. Is it safe to refill it with Dasani bottle water? On the bottle it says they use reverse osmosis

03-24-2014, 09:03 PM
And gh and kh are fine but they keep have molting problems and so I figured the tds was too high and read somewhere that it will be a problem of it is

03-24-2014, 11:12 PM
TD, i added a full piece of cuttle bone to my 10g tank with my kh/gh around 1 and i got a .1 ph swing. just my experience.

03-26-2014, 01:26 AM
Just did a slow water change today with ro water instead of the tap and my shrimps look happier already, even the tiny baby shrimps are out now. For some reason they keep running into the bubbles that the filter makes or maybe their just playing in it since after they get blown away they swim right back. Tds is now down to 320 from 460 yesterday :)