I'm new to the whole aquarium thing and need a bit of advice.
I've lost 8 shrimp in the space of about two weeks (2 red cherry and 6 red crystal) and I think another one is dying right now. I've had my water checked by different aquatice stores and they all say it's fine and wouldn't cause any problems for the shrimp so it must just be stress thats doing them but I'm still concerened I'm doing something wrong. I've lost soem through the night so not sure what happened with them but most of them seem to get the same symptoms before they die. They twitch around a lot and don't seem to be able to stand up or grip anything, then their swimmerettes (this may not be the right term) are kicking around but the can't stand up, eventually they stop moving and thats it. Its really distressing to see and I'm not sure if its some sort of ilness there all getting or if this is just what happens when shrimp die but some of them are like it for hours before they do.
Can anyone offer any advice on whats happening or how I can prevent more losses?
Is your tank cycled? What were your latest parameter readings - you can't go by a fish store saying your water is "fine" because sometimes you might have ammonia and my LFS's say up to 1.0ppm of ammonia is fine - it totally isn't - it needs to be 0.
Originally Posted by crystalite
I'm assuming you don't have a testing kit of your own? How long has your tank been set up?
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted cory catfish, cherry barbs, guppies, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
It's been running about 7 weeks now. I cycled the tank and there are 4 white cloud mountain minnows in with the shrimp who have went in in two stages a week apart and have been totally fine. I was told there was a small amount of amonia after the first 2 shrimp died sometime in the night but I did a water change and the levels were back to 0 when I went back for the next water check and to replace the lost shrimp. I tried to gradually introduce shrimp and only got 4 at first then added the rest a week later.
Not sure where you are but I'm in the UK and the store I got the fish from is the biggest aquatic specialist in the area so I hoped they would know what levels the water should be at. Is there anything I can do to remove any amonia there could be in the water? I did another water change today in case losing the other shrimp has had any effect but I saw them looking off and kept an eye on them so I could take them out the second they died to avoid an amonia spike.
I havent kept shrimp before but I have an idea. I know that bottom feeders like khuli loaches and plecos are always better to be added after the tank has been running for a couple of months so they don't starve as easily. Are your shrimp getting fed? A new tank like yours would have little for them to scavenge, you will really need to direct feed them.
My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .
Shrimp are very sensitive to copper. Have you added anything to the tank that contained copper? Some fish medications have tons of it.
First, get an API Master Freshwater Test Kit.
In addition, get the API separate test kit for copper.
Follow the instructions exactly for both of these kits.
When you feed your White Clouds, I assume you feed them food that's small enough to fit into their tiny mouths. I suggest you put in just a tad more so that some falls to the substrate for your shrimp to scavange on. Not too much -- just enough so they get their share. Maybe adding shrimp pellets will help in the beginning until the tank establishes its own supply of natural shrimp food (i.e., they can scavenge plenty off of what is already in there and what drops to the substrate from fish feeding.)
Get a bottle of Seachem's Prime. That will temporarily neutralize toxic ammonia.
When you do water changes, I assume you're using a dechlorinator that neutralizes both chlorine and chloramines? Prime, again, is the best product for that.
What kind of filtration do you have? Is it adequate to handle your bioload?
You say your tank is cycled -- how do you know this? Sometimes it can take up to eight weeks to complete a cycle, unless you seeded the tank when you set it up.
There may be other heavy metals in the tank that could be toxic to the shrimp. However, these usually are also toxic to fish, and if your WCs are doing fine, that might not be a problem. If in doubt, have your water tested for heavy metals. You can do copper at home.
Finally, what is the pH of your tank? The API master test kit comes with two pH testers -- one for normal range and one for high range.
Finally, what is the temperature in your tank? Is your water too cold or too warm for the shrimp? Red cherries can tolerate cooler water, I'm not sure of the other species you have. It may be only a matter of temperature ...
Aside from that, I don't know what else to tell you. My shrimp don't get sick, so have no idea what those symptoms are all about ...
Last edited by mermaidwannabe; 05-09-2012 at 06:15 PM.
20 gal. high: planted; 1 zebra danio, 6 glofish, several snails, 2 (visible) RCS; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 4 rosy barbs, 6 glofish, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 zebra danios, 5 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.
I tried feeding the JBL nanocrab feed but I think it's too tough for them to break up. I also got the tetra algae wafers but I was told to only feed them two or three times a week. I think maybe I've been getting bad advice from the store. They told me to only feed the minnows once every two days but they go mad for any food that goes in including the shrimps algae wafers. How often and how much should I feed them? I now have 3 red cherry shrimp and one very ill crystal red shrimp and 4 White cloud mountain minnows.
As for the copper I've read all the food and nothing mentions copper. The only chemical I've added is dechlorinator which I've started using a special shrimp one since losing the first few. I have live plants in that have metal weights on but I was told these are lead and contain no copper. Is there a test I could do to see if there's copper in the water?
Is there anything I can do to help my sick crystal shrimp?
Just saw your reply after I'd posted mermaidwannabe. In answer to your questions I was told one month was cycled enough for the shrimp and I assumed that was right because I'm a complete novice to all this. My ph is 7.4 and I've got the temp set at 23c (not sure what that is in farenheit) because I wanted a temp the fish and the shrimp would be happiest at. The filter came with the tank so I'm not sure what it is but it has a sponge and some pebble things in it. I've asked all over about the bioload and I think I'm well under what my tank can handle so that shouldn't be a problem. I considered up grading to a bigger tank but this experience is putting me off as it's awful to see them struggling for so long and then dying.
Please keep all the advice coming and let me know what I'm doing wrong as I'm starting to think the stores I've been going to have given me some bad information so far.
It is possible that you have metals in your tap water. Prime is usually pretty good at removing that stuff. Also, have you added any live plants to your tank? Plants that get shipped from overseas can have a chemical treatment to kill invertebrates. They treat the plants with these chemicals to prevent invasive species from entering new countries.
Many plants we find in pet stores are from foreign countries that are treated with anti invertebrate chemicals. Something to keep in mind.
I doubt the plants I have were treated as I have lots of bladder snails who seem to have hitchhiked in on them. I have to do a constant snail search to get them out so there not taking the shrimps algae. I'll be sure to check in future though just in case.
Last edited by crystalite; 05-09-2012 at 07:09 PM.