View Full Version : This tank is trying to say the least,

10-08-2011, 08:08 PM
My 10 gallon shrimp tank has been my nemisis.

The shrimp thrive, the shrimp start passing away slowly. I alter my feeding, cleaning routine and the shrimp thrive, now I seem to have a white skinny worm like parasite which came in on my last batch of shrimp I picked up last month. I thought I had captured the white parasite when it was attached on one of my RCS but apparently not. I have found the occasional RCS on the substrate and yet all water parameters are excellent and the newly hatched rcs are thriving.
As of yesterday I have noticed there are little white skinny worms all over the place.

I sucked up alot of these little things with my turkey baster but I've had enough of the eco friendly treatment. I have been trying to eliminate those flatworms for like 6 months and they are still in the tank. Just not as many and alot smaller.
Maybe if I didn't have any plants in the tank I would be able to do a better job of getting these parasites out but the java moss is way to nice to remove.

So today I researched the net and went to the store to get some meds for parasites. I did a 50% water change an hour ago and took out my carbon. Added the med's to the new water I added to the tank. So far no immediate deaths of my rcs (I can see the babies as well), so we will see what happens. I have two buckets of treated water ready in case I have to do an emergency w/c.
I considered putting the rcs in a quarantine tank while I treated their tank but these white skinny worms are actually said to live inside the shrimp so I decided to treat the whole eco-system.

Wish me luck or tell me what I've done wrong. This 10 gallon shrimp tank is trying my patience.:help:

10-09-2011, 12:26 AM
Thats rough man, not much that I know if to use on flatworms that wont kill shrimp. What did you end up getting?

Might be a dumb question, but are you sure the parasite is actually harming the shrimp?

10-09-2011, 01:02 AM
The first time I saw a shrimp with something underneath it that I thought it was eating. It looked like a white ball. The next thing I noticed was the shrimp trying to flee, it was going like crazy. I got my turkey baster and tried to suck the thing off the shrimp but it wouldn't give. A few minutes later the shrimp was on it's side on the bottom. I sucked up the shrimp and the white skinny worm with it and put both in very hot water. I hoped it was the end of that.
I was wrong. It's been a month since that first incident and now I have a bunch of those critters in the tank.

The med's I bought today have prazquantel in them which I have read kills worms type parasites. It also said, not safe for inverts.

Thats why I'm at my wits end. I didn't medicate at full strength.
It's been around 5 hours so far and the shrimp are doing ok.

Fingers crossed.

10-09-2011, 02:36 PM
Hi my friend,

I would really advice to keep things simple and do not add medication to your tank.

Do water change 10% every 2 weeks should keep your water parameters well.

10-09-2011, 03:24 PM
Water changes have not been doing the job unfortunately. I too believe that w/c solve 80% of issues but I can't keep up vacuuming up these pests. To see one of those white worms attached to a shrimp is not pleasant.
Medicating this tank is my last resort.
This morning there are no shrimp deaths but the little skinny white parasites are also still around.

Lady Hobbs
10-09-2011, 04:55 PM
I assume the tank is planted since you mention Eco-Complete? I think I would have broken the tank down rather than using medication. You probably have an infestion in the gravel and it needs a huge cleaning to get the food out of there. It's a small tank so it wouldn't take much to re-do it again.

Shrimp don't need much food. A couple flakes now and then or an algae pellet but none at all if there's algae on the plants for them.

10-09-2011, 07:02 PM
Breaking the tank down and starting with new substrate was one of my first plans. But with all the java moss and other plants in the tank I was worried I would not be able to eradicate all these little worms. The flatworm I can deal with, it's the white skinny ones that attach themselves to the shrimp that made me opt for the med's. Some report these are leaches and some report they are a flukes type parasite.
It was a tough choice and I will probably lose this battle and have to start over.

10-14-2011, 09:19 PM
Update; the med's didn't do a thing. The white little parasite worms are still in the tank. Also the shrimp are doing what they do, graze on the java and algae.
So tonight I went to the lfs and bought a new bag of black aquarium gravel.
I will be netting out the shrimp and putting them with the hob (bought a new sponge pre-filter) in a bucket while breaking down the tank. Old Fluval Stratum will be disposed of and I'm hoping I can save the java moss and other small plants by soaking them in alum (searched forums for this info and it sounds better then bleach)*.
I will take some java moss out of my 55 gallon community tank to keep the remaining shrimp comfortable in their bucket until they can be re-introduced to their sterilized tank.

Am I missing anything?
*Note; Thanks Lady Hobbs and 850R for the Alum posts. Never would have thought of this.

10-14-2011, 09:41 PM
Poor shrimps! :(

If you do redo the tank, I'd recommend trying out some coral sand. My amanos loved it, it did a great job of trapping bits of tasty things for them, and food didn't get stuck out of reach the way it does with gravel. It was also good traction for the all-important perching activity.

If you have flatworms on your glass in addition to on the shrimp, that's a good sign that you have too much infusoria in your water. I had an infestation of planaria in one of my amano tanks that cleared up after a week without food. This is especially an issue if you have fan-feeders, because you obviously can't just stop with the infusoria.

Good luck! Hope the rebuild goes well for you!

10-14-2011, 09:58 PM
Thanks Pulmonatus.

The planaria I had a few months ago are no more. Less food more gravel vac's and picking them off with a baster did that trick.

The parasite I have now is a thin white skinny worm that seems to attach itself into the shrimp after they molt. The shrimp doesn't live long after that.