View Full Version : Cherry Shrimp dying off slowly...

04-16-2009, 04:30 PM
Hey Everyone,

Every other day I find one or two more dead shrimp in my new tank. Should perform a large (50%?) water change to get rid of whatever toxins may be in the water?

My set-up: about 10 shrimp in a 2.5 G tank, bubble-powered foam filter that was bubbled in an established tank for a week, I'm adding Cycle every week, small heater for temp around 78F.

Feeding: once a week I'll put in 1 or 2 flakes or a lettuce leaf (removed after 1 hour), is this not enough for them?
Plants: java moss clump takes up about 75% of the tank... is this too much?? I assume they eat from this a lot.
Water parameters: checked by local pet store, all OK.

So should I do a large water change? Remove some plants? Feed more often

Thanks for the help!


04-16-2009, 04:44 PM
How long has the tank been set up? How long have the shrimp been in the tank?
A 2.5 gallon tank is better suited to plants than animals. Shrimp are particularly sensitive to water pollution, and in a small tank it happens faster. However, I suspect you aren't providing enough food rather than too much. Shrimp will naturally "pick" constantly, dropping some lettuce in once a week for a couple hours doesn't add many nutrients to the setup. Live plants actually compete with the other microorganisms shrimp feed on.
Best bet would be to keep shrimp in at least a 10 gallon tank, less plants (relative to tank volume) and more food.

04-16-2009, 04:54 PM
I jumped the gun on the set-up, tank was set-up and shrimp were added at the same time. I felt that using a pre-cycled bubble filter would be enough.

2 weeks is the age of the tank. Water was tested at 1 week to be in check.

Assuming the problem is too much plant and nitrates/ites.

a) How much of the tank should be occupied by java moss)
b) Should I frequent small water changes to dilute the toxins (if so, how much?)

Thanks again!

04-16-2009, 04:59 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss of shrimp. Is you tank new or is it cycled? It will take about 4-6 weeks to cycle. The water from your tap needs to be treated to remove ammonia/chloramine . You might know this already. I keep a large plastic container filled with treated water to add to my tanks and when I do water changes. It's marked with Fishes Only.

I had a problem with my food. I heard that if it contains copper it is not good. I did not loose any shrimp in my tank. You should invest in a dropper test kit at the pet store. They work the best then paper strips. I use API freshwater master test kit. If you are going to raise any fish this is easy and you don't need to go to the store to have the water tested. Water changes are good. With 50% water changes you have to be careful of the different water temp. going into the tank. It might be best to do 25% water change everyday.

Your tiny tank is fine. I started raising Red cherry shrimp in mine and they had babies and are doing fine in a 2 1/2 gal. tank. I have floating fake plants and plants on the bottom. The intake to my filter has a netting over it so the babies do not get sucked in. The only problem with this set up is that you have to rehome the extra babies before they get big.

Maybe someone else can give you more input on this. Good Luck keep us posted on your progress.

04-16-2009, 05:02 PM
I'm a seasoned fish keeper, this is just a small project for my dorm room. I do keep aged, treated tap water here for the tank water change.

04-16-2009, 05:10 PM
I started with a cycled 10 gallon, a couple dozen cherry shrimp, and a handful of plant clippings that came along with the shrimp. I also found a single tiny fish fry in the bag, and a second turned up about a week later. Apparently there were praecox rainbow eggs on the plants. Both tiny fry grew out and eventually joined the group in my 55, but I lost about half the shrimp over the first few weeks. They are more sensitive than newly hatched fish fry to changes in water chemistry regardless of the quality. If any survive, and you have both sexes, the survivors will breed. In the meantime give the tank more time to become established. If you do lose the shrimp get a betta for the tank instead.

04-16-2009, 05:37 PM
I forgot to tell you that the small 2 1/2 gal. tank had an underground filter. I got rid of that. I was able to find a nice canister filter from http://www.drsfostersmith.com called Azoo palm filter for desktop aquariums up to 5 gal. I love this filter. Looks like one from a big tank. I had to make some changes to the small tank for it to fit. I cut a opening in the back of the light fixture and the plastic cover so that I could hang the filter in the back. I also bought a bio sponge and keep this in the front of the filter pad and never remove this. I used Cycle I doubled the dose when I cycled the tank and now do weekly doses to maintain the water Quality. Cycle is sold at Walmart also is cheaper then Petco/Petsmart or you can use EasyBalance by Tetra once a week after the tank is cycled.

I would keep the shrimp. They are more interesting then 1 betta and do not make the mess of a betta. If you are still having trouble with the Cherry shrimp go with a cheaper shrimp like a Ghost shrimp. Local fish stores sell these for 33 cents. I have seen them at Walmart when they have them really cheap also. Red Cherry shrimp are better looking if you want color but are more expensive. Did you know that you can add endlers with those shrimp. I had 3 Black bar endler males with mine in a 2 1/2 gal.:fish: Good web-site to get some if you can't find them is http://www.swampriveraquaics.com

Good Luck have fun with them. I'm thinking of getting Black Cyrstal shrimp and having them in their own small tank. They look like little zebra shrimp real cute. You can get Crystal red shrimp also that look like candy canes with red/white sripes.The These shrimp are a little bit harder to keep. It's a step up from my Red cherry shrimp.

04-16-2009, 05:41 PM
Cherry shrimp are extremely sensitive to nitrites and are better in a cycled tank than one cycling unless you are willing to do testing everyday and water changes as necessary, at least from my experience.

Wild Turkey
04-16-2009, 06:06 PM
Cherry shrimp are extremely sensitive to nitrites and are better in a cycled tank than one cycling unless you are willing to do testing everyday and water changes as necessary, at least from my experience.


I disagree that a 2.5 is too small for RCS, the issue is your tank is not being cycled.

First things first you need a way to test ammonia, nitrite and nitates and tell us what the readings are. Without them no one can tell you with any certainty what you should do or whats going on in the tank. However, water changes never hurt and since it sounds like you are having cycling issues a 50% water change can only do good.

Cherry shrimp are very sensitive to especially ammonia and nitrite so they are a bad pick for cycling with fish (well, inverts) so you will probably want to reduce the ammonia and nitrite down to at least .5 instead of 1.0 and even so, I cant guarantee you wont have more deaths before its all over. You reduce it via water changes of course.