FAQs on Freshwater Shrimp Health
Invertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,
Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford
FW Shrimp 1,
FW Shrimp 2,& FAQs on:
FW Shrimp Identification,
FW Shrimp Behavior, FW Shrimp Compatibility, FW Shrimp Selection, FW Shrimp Systems, FW Shrimp Feeding, FW Shrimp Reproduction, & Shrimp by
Family, Genus, Species: Atyids: Genera Caridina & Neocaridina
(Japanese Marsh, Yamato Numa Ebi, or Amano Shrimp, Bumble/Bee,
Crystal), Genus Atyopsis
(Bamboo, Wood Shrimps), Genera Attya, Atya, Atyoida
(Mountain, Rock Shrimps), Freshwater/Brackish/Marine
Palaemonidae Rafinesque, 1815 & FAQs on: Palaemonetes (Ghost/Grass/Glass
(Blue "Lobsters), & FW Crustaceans 1, FW Crustaceans 2, FW Crustaceans 3, FW Crustaceans 4,
& & FAQs on:
FW Crustacean Identification,
Behavior, FW Crustacean
Compatibility, FW Crustacean
Selection, FW Crustacean
Systems, FW Crustacean Feeding,
FW Crustacean Disease, FW Crustacean Reproduction &
Terrestrial Hermit Crabs,
Hermit ID, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health, &
Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Disease, Crayfish Reproduction
Take care to not expose your shrimp to fish
medicines or other nostrums... to prepare and store new water for
changes that is free of sanitizer and similar in water quality to
the main display.
Please help. Wood shrimp med. poisoned
Please help me i have a wood shrimp in my tank along with other fish the
glow fish had ich i used ick away with the wood shrimp in the
tank during medication for three days but used only half the
dose which was three drops in a ten gallon tank today i saw the shrimp
upside down not moving along the bottom on the rocks its still a little
alive we moved the wood shrimp into a separate place with new water and
a air pump and a hiding rock its still alive but wont move much sitting
on the rock cave hands are black and tucked in is it gonna make it and
live and is there anything i can do for it please help asap thanks
<Just keep it under propitious conditions. Bob Fenner>
Red cherry shrimp population dwindling
I'm new to the hobby and hooked, your website has been very helpful.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
I have a 10 gallon aquarium set up for my daughter, with six white cloud
minnows, all seemingly happy and healthy, and started with five red
cherry shrimp, now down to two.
Tank has been up about 3 months now, Ph7, gH4, kH3, ammonia, nitrites
and nitrates all at 0 according to API tests. 2 gallon changes every
week, using ro water from my home system, SeaChem neutral regulator and
following with fresh trace a day after the change to avoid
precipitation. There is one mat of java moss, otherwise unplanted (but
lots of silk and plastic
plants and a ceramic hiding place for the shrimp). Tank is unheated,
Temperature fluctuates between about 74 and 79F daily, I'm in San Diego
CA and its the middle of summer, I'll be letting the temp fall to 70 in
the winter (I have a tank heater ready to go, we rarely use heat or AC
It used to get over 80F but I went to LED's and an egg crate top. From
the research I've done, these numbers actually seem to be more favorable
for the shrimp then the fish, yet I've had a slow die off of 3 shrimp,
each one dying a week to 10 days apart, the most recent today.
<Have you used any fish medicines? These are often lethal to shrimps.
Have you checked your tap water for copper? Failing that, make sure your
water conditioner removes copper, just to be on the safe size. Copper is
toxic to shrimps (well, it's toxic to fish too, but shrimps are more
I've noticed nothing unusual about the shrimp. They do tend to hide a
lot, but would always make appearances, mainly foraging in the Java
Moss. I feed them sparingly, have used boiled carrots and kale and
Hikari shrimp cuisine. They never seemed too interested in eating, one
or 2 would be on the carrots when they were put in, no interest in
boiled kale, don't seem
to sense Hikari food unless I drop it right in front of a shrimp. The
fish scoop the rest up of the Hikari before the rest of the shrimp eat.
<Try Hikari algae wafers; mine love them. Also don't feel afraid to
experiment. My Cherry Shrimp and Ricefish aquarium lives in the kitchen,
and I'll try little bits of all sorts of things; among the things the
shrimps have gone for are avocado, hard boiled egg yolk, cooked clams
and mussels, raw as well as cooked fish fillet, even tiny bits of ham!
Stuff that's soft and easily picked apart is ideal; if you can buy whole
cocktail shrimp, eat the tails yourself and throw some of the rest in
the tank -- my
Cherry Shrimps go bananas for the inside of cooked shrimp heads!>
The first shrimp was found dead in the middle of the tank right on the
substrate, the last two actually were in the java moss, all were
motionless but intact, not more than a few hours dead.
Is there a chance that I am starving them?
<Possible in a new tank. Cherry Shrimps are extremely opportunistic
though and will pick apart pretty much anything, not just algae.>
I doubt I am overfeeding, I feed the fish New life Spectrum pellets and
flakes, Almost nothing gets to the bottom other than a few flakes from
time to time. Is it just the unpredictability of invertebrates?
<Possibly, but Cherry Shrimps are like cockroaches in the right tank.
Basically they want a mature aquarium with lots and lots of plants,
gentle water current, and lots of the right sort of food. Water
chemistry isn't crucial so long as it isn't too soft and acidic (hard
water is probably ideal) and the temperature should be middling, i.e.,
room temperature or slightly higher (around 22 C/72 F is ideal).>
Now that it's more than half of them dead I'm having doubts. Any advice
is appreciated, and thanks very much for your awesome website!
<If you lived local, I'd let you have a few of mine. Meantime, review
the aquarium and feeding, and if you want, have another go. Do try and
get a fair number, at least 6, as these animals are gregarious and may
well pine away if kept in too small a group.>
Red cherry shrimp population dwindling 8/28/13
<PS. Just noticed you're using RO water. Probably best not to. A mix
50/50 with hard tap water is ideal for Cherry Shrimps. Aim for a general
hardness around 10-15 degrees dH, pH 7.5. While they may tolerate softer
water, they do need at least some calcium in the water to properly
manufacture their shell. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red cherry shrimp population dwindling 8/28/13
Thank you, Neale.
The feeding strategies are appreciated.
I will work on a strategy to raise GH. In the documentation I've read,
3° of GH was acceptable for both the minnows and shrimp, and my tank is
between 3-4, it makes sense that it's not ideal for shrimp though.
<I think so.>
The reason I use RO water is, our tapwater registers at one part per
million of ammonia out of the tap (API test) as I believe San Diego uses
chloramine in it's water.
<A good water condition should deal with the ammonia and chloramine.>
The RO water still has traces of ammonia , but with SeaChem Prime I'm
assuming it takes care of it, and I also assume the bio filter is
effective as the aquarium registers zero every time I check, a couple
times a week now. Prime also claims to fix heavy metals, so I
assume copper is not an issue. Haven't tested though, so thanks for that
suggestion. Perhaps I will try the 50/50 ro to tap ratio, unless you
think the 1ppm out I the tap is too much to overcome.
<A good water conditioner should neutralise this.>
Im sure the shrimp would appreciate more plants, but they seem to like
hiding in the fake ones, and I am not willing to open the CO2 can of
worms yet, so I don't think the heavily planted tank is in the near
<Oh, I don't bother with CO2! Stuff the tank with Java Moss and Anubias,
and let nature take its course. My kitchen tank is literally a 10-gallon
vat of Java Moss, and so far as I can tell, there's hundreds of Cherry
Shrimps crawling through the stuff.>
Not trying to sound like a SeaChem ad, but I use their neutral
regulator, which has kept the tank at a constant 7.0 pH per my tests.
The problem is, if I raise calcium with an additive, the phosphate
buffer precipitates it out. Is that even a problem?
<I don't personally recommend adjusting pH directly. Much better to let
animals adapt to the ambient pH of your tap water. If you have liquid
rock like my tap water, then a 50/50 mix with RO or rainwater will
result in something around 10 degrees dH, pH 7.5 or so.>
Will the calcium still raise the GH out of solution?
<Calcium carbonate will raise both general and carbonate hardness, but
this isn't necessarily a bad thing.>
Should I try another buffering system?
<I would not.>
I'd rather not, as this has worked to the letter, and the fish are
<Little steps. Make small changes. Maybe changing 10, 20% each weekend.
See how the fish react.>
Could this be as simple as throwing in some calcium substrate or coral?
<Is an option, but unpredictable. How much is needed? How long will it
last before it stops reacting? Difficult to say.>
Thanks again for your help, any further input on raising my GH is
<Ah, would direct you here first:
Re: Red cherry shrimp population dwindling 8/28/13
Thanks again. Last question: Your vote on quarantining more shrimp
when I'm ready to add them to the community (lots of debate on that, I'd
certainly do it for any fish, is it necessary for inverts? I purchase
everything from the same shop)?
<Quarantining is always a good idea. But shrimps carry few diseases that
can affect fish; the only serious threat I can think of is Whitespot,
and even then, only in the sense that any wet object can carry Whitespot
from one tank to another -- the shrimps themselves cannot be infected by
the parasites. Just be prepared to treat for Whitespot if necessary
using the salt/heat method that's harmless to fish and shrimps.>
The above mentioned is a great article, I read it a few months ago when
I was planning the tank, looks like the Pearson square will help me sort
this out. Thank you!
Ich with shrimp and Kuhli loaches
I would really appreciate some advice on how to best go about treating
Ich in my 55 gallon freshwater planted tank (parameters being nitrite at
0ppm, nitrate under 20ppm, pH around 7. I got some new fish about a week
ago, and they all seemed healthy. Today I noticed that my new Madagascar
Rainbowfish, and my old ones (there's 9) have Ich, but it only seems to
be affecting them for the time being. I'm worried about one of the
Rainbowfish in particular because he has more white specks than the
others. More like 10 or 12 whereas the others have more like 4-5. So far
I've done a 25-30% water change, and right now I'm trying to figure out
the best way to go. I have 5 bamboo shrimp, 5 Kuhli loaches, and 8
Nerite snails that I don't want to lose. I don't want to use anything
harsh for medicating if I don't have to, and I was looking into the salt
and heat method, but I don't know that the bamboo shrimp would do well
with the heat. I am not opposed to taking my plants out if need be, but
of course it would be easier if I had some method to use that is safe
for snails, shrimp, Kuhlis, and plants. I think the salt would be okay
for everybody else, but I'll go ahead and make sure with you guys. My
stocking has Otocinclus catfish, a Bristlenose Pleco, Kuhli loaches,
neon Rainbowfish, harlequin Rasboras, ghost catfish, a dwarf gourami,
gardneri killifish, zebra danios, Madagascar Rainbowfish, and bamboo
Also, one of my ghost catfish kinda has a light gray somewhat cloudy
looking upper lip and instead of facing his whiskers forward, they're
kind of out and down. I'm not sure what that is, but I hope you can take
a guess at it.
Your advice is greatly appreciated.
<Mmm, well; the best process would be to remove the fishes to another
system and treat there, but if it were me/mine, I might try simply
raising the temperature (but not adding salt/s) here. Read:
and the linked files above. All you list should tolerate 86 F., I'd
increase aeration if practical. Bob Fenner>
Weird cherry shrimp illness? – 6/6/12
Hi, my name is Jenny, and I had received 13 or so cherry shrimp as a
little birthday present about a month ago (along with three unneeded
baby apple snails, but I guess they could be good company.)
Now first, I must say, I LOVE your website! Your crew had really
helped me get through the problems I previously had with my fish, and I
am very grateful (along with my fishes :] ) that you have this
<And thanks for the kind words.>
Now, if you can help me with this question, it would be great!
Ever since I got the shrimps, I have been keeping very good care of them
in a 1-1.5 gallon tank, which is all I had considering that my other
tank had a 2.5 inch-tall angel and some voracious guppies dwelling in
it. I changed the water every two to three days, tried to keep the
filter clean as best as I could, and carefully vacuumed the gravel
(being sure I didn't sweep up the babies, [my goodness, they're so
I am feeding them algae pellets right now. I do not really have any
foods high in calcium for them, but I will try to find something.
<They're actually not that fussy. They'll eat almost anything. I have an
8-gallon tank in the kitchen, and I dump all sorts of bits of uneaten
food in there: cucumber ends, wilted lettuce leaves, overcooked sweet
potato, sushi Nori trimmings, and small slivers of fish or shellfish. On
top of that they eat the algae that grows in the tank and pinches of
flake food every few days. These animals are very undemanding and in the
right tank breed at a tremendous rate.>
They all seemed healthy. They molt regularly, and they are just as
voracious for food as my angel and guppies! I knew I couldn't leave them
in there forever, so once I got my Cory into a different tank, I started
cleaning out and re-setting up a 10 gallon for them. I'm planning
on using the same 6.6 gallon filter in the shrimp tank right now, and
pouring the water from the 1.5 gallon into the 10 gallon, just adding
half a gallon of new water every day until I get it completely full.
Now, I noticed two of my biggest/oldest juvenile cherry shrimp are
starting to turn a milky white. It started with one of them, and
where the saddle was supposed to be, it just started to turn white.
It spread all the way down its tail, and its eyes also clouded over.
This just happened to the second-oldest juvenile, too. I looked
this up, and another person had the exact same thing happen, only their
shrimp died two days later. They've been like this almost a week
now. I do not know the ammonia levels, but they are not high, I
can guarantee it.
<Do bear in mind adult males are semi-transparent, varying from
off-white to pink, with only a few darker red markings. Only the females
are genuinely cherry red, and their colours vary a bit as well, with a
nose-to-tail band along the top coming or going, supposedly depending on
their reproductive state.>
The Nitrate is 20 ppm, nitrite 0, pH is somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6
(dang, the test strips are hard to read...) Temperature fluctuates
between 72 and 80 degrees, but not too drastically. May
increase/decrease a degree every hour or two.
<All fine. Cherry Shrimps actually prefer subtropical conditions, and in
summer you may as well leave the heater off. Have the heater set for
about 18 C/68 F to keep the chill off in winter, but otherwise these
shrimps will be happier a little cooler than your tropical fish.>
I believe that what may be causing this is a calcium deficiency, but all
of my adult shrimps, including the biggest, "Big Mama" are doing fine!
I would have expected it to be her instead that is getting this white
Today, I just checked on the shrimp and I saw a white molted shell, but
I only saw one of the white shrimps. Maybe it was something that
happened before molting? Maybe it's just coincidence? I'm
If you want, I could send a picture of one of them.
<Feel free. Try and keep the image down to about 500 KB though.>
I would be very glad if you could inform me on what may be happening to
Thank you for your time,
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Weird cherry shrimp illness? 6/7/2012
Thanks for the reply.
<Ahh, Neale has gone out till Sat.. I'll see that he sees this>
I guess I'll try to keep the temperature a little lower. Maybe the
high temperature could be contributing to the problem..?
Not sure if it's contagious or not, but I can only seem to see one
shrimp with the white coloring. The other shrimp could have gotten
I could not find the connection cord for my camera, and the SD slot does
not work on my computer, so I could not get a picture.
I don't think it's the shrimps' exoskeleton that is changing color, like
how a cherry shrimp can turn white. It seems to be inside the
shrimps' bodies, like they both have eggs, except they don't look like
eggs (also impossible because they had never developed saddles,
and they cannot be pregnant because I have no males) It's kind of
hard to describe, but it looks as how the saddle looks under a female
shrimp's exoskeleton, except it's so much bigger and extends farther
down the back of the shrimp. Like someone filled the shrimp with milk or
something, making the shrimp look a cloudy off-white color.
If you have ever seen a dead ghost shrimp, how it turns a pink-ish white
color, it looks just like that, only it's just in the back of the shrimp
instead of the whole body.
I'll see if the temperature is affecting it by cooling it down to 70-72.
I actually do not have a heater, so I use a small fan to cool down the
water temperature; does it very gradually, so no stress on the
inhabitants of the tank.
In the meantime, I've already put them all in the 10 gallon, so I need
to work on getting the water level to 10 gallons instead of leaving it
Again, thank you for the reply, and I hope the description above will
help determine what this strange condition is!
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Weird cherry shrimp illness? Attn.: Neale
Thank you for informing me that Neale was gone, Bob, and thank you for
If you would be so kind as to show this email to Neale when he returns,
I would be very grateful. Well, it's bad news for one of the shrimps
that had turned white, as he passed away some time last night. I
hope that he hadn't suffered very much…
<Shrimps tend to turn white when dying. So rather than a disease as
such, I'd suggest this is a symptom of some underlying stress. Cherry
Shrimps are astonishingly hardy animals, but there are two things they
hate: copper and high water temperatures. Bearing in mind they come from
relatively cool, well oxygenated streams in Taiwan, they're best treated
as subtropical rather than tropical animals. In summer, check they
aren't overheated. I've kept them in unheated tanks in the UK, and they
seem to have no problems handling cool temperatures down to 15 C, and
perhaps less. As for copper, you can use a copper test kit for this. Any
retailer who handles marine fish should be able to do a copper test for
you, either for free or some nominal amount (one pound is the usual
here). If you have copper in the system, you can get media that removes
copper, or else replace everything inside the tank likely to have
absorbed copper (such as calcareous rocks or shells) and of course
change as much water as is practical, perhaps 50% today, 50% the next
day, and another 50% the day after. Do also make 100% sure you are using
a water conditioner that removes chloramine, copper and ammonia from tap
water, as well as ammonia. Also, in theory anything added to the tank
that might have been dipped or sprayed in pesticide (such as snail
killing potions) can introduce toxins, so things like plants should be
added only after being thoroughly rinsed. Likewise rocks stored in the
shop where bug spray or cleaning fluids might have been used might also
bring in pesticide residues lethal to shrimps. Last but not least, you
never, ever add fish medications to a shrimp tank -- except for salt,
the only safe thing to use with shrimps.>
The other "missing" white shrimp was found last night, so it's good to
know he's still alive, I guess.
<Good. There are white, thread-like worms that can infest shrimps, but
I've not seen them on Cherry Shrimps, just wild-caught "feeder" shrimp.>
Well, now that the first shrimp had passed away, I know that the other
shrimp may do so very soon. So, in case this disease/condition is
contagious, should I remove the other live shrimp? Should I cull
him and any others that may get this way?
<I would isolate any obviously infected shrimps, yes; a floating
breeding trap might be okay, but honestly, I'd probably euthanise (a
whack with a hammer should do the trick for something like a shrimp) or
at least move into its own tank for observation.>
I also saw some kind of oily substance floating on the surface of the
water, and I haven't seen it before. I'm guessing it's from when the
shrimp had died and it released some substance into the water.
Should I remove this oily-looking liquid, or will it go away on its own?
<Definitely remove. Unlikely to come from the shrimps, but oily films
might oxygen getting into the tank. More seriously they do suggest a
shortcoming in terms of water quality or water movement (i.e., turnover,
splashing at the surface).>
I also have a picture of one of the shrimps. Sorry if it's a
little blurry or hard to see, but you can clearly see the white mass in
the shrimp. I hope the picture helps with figuring out what is
<Too blurry I'm afraid.>
Again, thanks for the reply. I'll try my best to care for the
remaining shrimp as best as I can.
<Don't give up hope! It's a question of fixing any potential problems,
and then isolating any infected/affected shrimps until such time as they
recover. Cherry Shrimps thrive on benign neglect (you should see my
Cherry Shrimp tank!) so you've really should be able to find a way to
keep them reliably and easily. Cheers, Neale.>
| Re: Weird cherry shrimp illness?
Well, just looked at the shrimps today, not as active as usual.
I have the tank temperature at 72, but I can't seem to get it to come down
<Water can't get any cooler than ambient air temperature, and direct
sunlight will increase water temperature still further.>
I think I have found a new shrimp that has started to turn white. I
really hope not, though. It's the reddest of all the younger shrimps!
Hope that by bringing the temperature down I can stop it from going farther.
<Let's see. I wouldn't go out of your way to make it cooler than 22 C/72 F
I will euthanize the other shrimp that was white, but probably not with a
hammer. I'll go with a less... messy way of euthanizing it, with a
small cup of water and a bit of clove oil,
<Not sure Clove Oil works on shrimps.>
I did fix the oily substance "problem," though. Sometimes if any of my
tanks don't have very good water circulation, they start to grow some kind
of algae on the surface, and I'm guessing that the substance on the
surface was just the beginning of the algae growing. Small adjustment
made to the filter, so now the water's circulating a lot better. Substance
was "gone" in about 20 minutes or so.
<Good. Yes, more splashing does minimise the oily film.>
I'll try to cool down the tank to around 68 or 70 and try to get this whole
shrimp epidemic under control (easier said than done, haha.) Hopefully
I won't have something like this occur again!
Thank you very much for helping me with this, and have a good evening!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
RCS dying. 5/31/12
Dear WWM crew,
thanks to your site I'm now a much more knowledgeable fish keeper than I
would otherwise have been.
I have a newly established (cycled) planted fresh water aquarium 60cm x
30cm X 30cm, ADA soil with a thin sand substrate and a population of 20
chili Rasboras and 5 RCS, ammonia <0.02 ppm, nitrite 0 and nitrate
I have just one question, is it possible that my RCS could be dying due
to contamination from an Anubias 'nana' that I transferred from a tank
treated six months ago with a copper based Ich treatment.
<Not really; no. The amount of "released" free copper is miniscule... Of
more benefit (Cu is an essential micro-nutrient) than harmful... check
out many commercial fish foods... is often an ingredient>
The shrimp were very active, feeding and swimming and most have molted
in the two weeks that they have been in the tank. The 'nana' in
question had a large quantity of green hair algae on the leaves and I
suspect that this may be the problem.
<Yes! This "hair algae" could be a toxic blue green/Cyanophyte... This
might play a negative role here. I'd be moving the plant elsewhere, even
just isolating in a jar... Using a bit of activated carbon to see if
some sort of chemical can be removed thus>
I have removed the plant to see if this has any effect on the death rate
of about 1 RCs per day.
Thank you in advance for your help,
<Thank you for sharing. Would it do good to have you review what little
we have on these shrimps?
Oh, I would add a bit of iodine-ate... as you'll read re. Bob Fenner>
Re: RCS dying. BGA toxicity poss. 5/31/12
Thank you so much for your response.
After seeing your suggested cause of death, I looked up Cyanophyte and,
after reading the WWM article blue green algae I noticed that
the plant in question has some reddish brown smears on the leaves.
<Ahh; a common appearance for some BGAs>
The plant came from a 20 gallon planted tank, due to the high
temperatures of the South East Asian summer I have been leaving the
lights off in the day.
The tank has a lid and the thermometer is showing temperatures in the
low 30c range. Could this be a trigger for the growth of the Cyanophyte?
<Yes... along w/ aspects like low flow rate, low DO, high nutrients of
different sorts, a lack of competitors for such>
Would it be toxic to the six zebra danios and seven tiger barbs in the
<Some types, yes; not all... That is, put another way, there may well be
types that are toxic to shrimps, but not these cyprinid fishes>
As I understand it, limiting their food source by feeding more
sparingly, providing competition for nutrients by adding plants and
keeping the lights on is a solution to this problem. Is this so?
<Indeed; this is so. You are a quick study>
Thank you again,
Cherry shrimp issue
A very happy new year to you all.
<And to you.>
I've been keeping cherry shrimps for nearly two years now.
The issue I have is that they often die within a month or so and they
<Odd. I seem to be overrun with them.>
I have begun to keep them in a small 9 ltr tank by themselves and
again, same problem.
My tank has 0 nitrites, 0 ammonia and 5ppm nitrates. I do a water
change of 40% every week. I am in London so we have hard
<Neither hardness nor nitrates seem to be a major issue with this
species, so shouldn't be a factor.>
I feed them on algae wafers and occasional shrimp pellets as
recommended by the LFS. There are plants in the tank so I add a
tiny amount of JBL Ferropol, the daily 24 fertiliser drops and a tiny
amount of Easycarb every other day.
<Why not try skipping both these supplements in one tank and see
Do I need to therefore use RO water?
<I do indeed use a 50/50 mix of rainwater with hard tap
The only other problem I could possibly think of is that the tank does
have a large population of tiny snails and they appear to smother the
shrimps for the food.
<Shouldn't be a factor either.>
Any clues as to what I am doing wrong?
<Nothing obvious; but mine do seem to thrive in tanks that receive
benign neglect. No fertiliser, lots of algae, tiny fish (e.g.,
Ricefish), floating plants to remove nitrate, and very infrequent water
Re: Cherry shrimp issue 1/8/12
Ok, thanks Neale - I might just try cutting out all the added
fertilisers and easycarb and adding some RO water.
<Sounds like a plan. You might also have your tap and aquarium water
tested for copper. Any decent marine aquarium shop should be able to do
Possible snail treatment poisoning of FW shrimp? Oh
Firstly I'd like to thank you all for maintaining such an
interesting and informative website.
Despite searching here (and beyond) I've been unable to find the
answer I seek; apologies if it's been here all along and I've
simply overlooked it.
After keeping a large, heavily planted FW aquarium for the last 8
years, I decided it was time for a change. About 6 months ago the last
of the ancient fish inhabitants quietly passed away, leaving what I
thought would be a few cherry and tiger shrimp that I'd adopted
about a year ago. As I slowly dismantled the tank I discovered more and
more shrimp - I gave up counting after a while but I'd say I
salvaged about 60 or 70 of them all together.
I've never really bothered about the shrimp other than ensuring
them a healthy environment, but having been forced to house them in
their own tank while I get round to setting up the old one again
I've kind of grown fond of them, now that I can actually see what
they're up to. During the summer I helped my 12 year-old
granddaughter set up her first FW aquarium, and a few weeks ago gave
her 3 sub-adult cherry and 3 sub-adult tiger shrimp. All was going well
until this afternoon when she bought a large, potted plant
(Limnophila sessiliflora) which I suspect had been treated with some
snail killing agent or other (I shall visit the shop tomorrow to
<Most of these are toxic to other life as well...>
The plant was dutifully checked for snails (none found), rinsed, and
planted in the aquarium where it stayed for the next hour or so.
Luckily my granddaughter lives next door, so when she arrived in floods
of tears telling me that her shrimp were all dead we were able to
quickly take action; the shrimp were in fact still alive but in a very
state. We managed to remove them all and subsequently spent most of the
evening watching them in their makeshift hospital tank.
Amazingly they seem to be slowly recovering, but I can still find no
information on symptoms of poisoning.
The shrimp were at first immobile, but would suddenly flick into life
and swim erratically before drifting to the substrate and laying on
their backs, legs waving. Two of them showed little sign of life at all
<Does read as some sort of poisoning. Glad you were quick to
The 5 neon tetra that live in my granddaughter's 20 gallon tank are
fine; we've removed the plant and are currently filtering the water
with active carbon, having carried out a 20% water change. The tank was
properly cycled and the water parameters were/are all good. Other than
blaming the plant I'm at a loss...
Is it possible that the shrimp could have been made 'unwell' by
this supposed snail treatment as opposed to being killed outright?
Any comments would be gratefully received.
<Mmm, how to be clear, more complete here? There are
"pretty" specific molluscicides, that mal-affect snails et
al. relations more exclusively; however, the products sold in the
aquarium trade include a few that are generally toxic/problematical for
other invertebrate groups... And not much in the way of "warning
labels". Blue solutions/tablets are often metal-based... being
toxic to both snails and crustaceans.
Re: Possible snail treatment poisoning of FW
Hi Bob, thank you very much for your prompt and friendly reply.
<Certainly welcome Wendy>
I visited the pet shop today and discovered that they do use snail
treatment in their plant tank. Unfortunately I was unable to find out
which product it is, as the owner was absent and the young lad left in
charge was unable to help. I'm guessing whatever they use probably
contains copper and that the plant my granddaughter bought was well
enough contaminated that despite her rinsing it, it still caused the
problem with her shrimp.
<Sorry to hear/realize>
On the upside all 6 of the affected cherries and tigers are still alive
and appear to be behaving normally.
<Ahh! Then I give you/them good odds at recovery>
Whilst I've never had cause to use snail treatments I'm still
aware of the dangers that they (and various medications) can pose to
inverts, etc. With this in mind, I suggested to the lad at the pet shop
that maybe they could display a sign advising customers to thoroughly
wash the plants before placing them in an aquarium. Whether they will
do so or not remains to be seen...
A seasoned fish-keeper once told me "Every time you think of
putting something in your tank - whatever it is - think again. And then
think again before you decide." I consider that to be pretty sound
<I do agree, yes>
Cheers, and thanks again :)
<And you, BobF>
shrimp are dying 10/16/11
I'm new to the dwarf freshwater shrimp keeping. I
have a 24 gallon tank (Cardiff by current USA) it came with a pretty
powerful pump which would caused the shrimp to get pushed against the
overflow. I bought another pump that was less powerful (100 gph) which
seems to not push the shrimp against the overflow to where they
can't get off.
<Oddly enough, most of these shrimps are native to fast-flowing
streams, so a fair bit of current suits them well. Of course, they do
need plants or something else to grab onto, Java Moss being
particularly acceptable, but floating plant leaves being popular
I keep reading about the circulation in the shrimp aquaria and am
wondering if I have too low of a flow rate and low O2 levels.
<Red Cherry Shrimps aren't too fussy. I have them in a variety
of tanks, including ones with indifferent water flow, and provided the
temperature is adequately low, 22 C/72 F seems about right, they
thrive. Indeed, I have some at room temperature with Florida Flagfish,
and their aquarium gets rather cooler than that, and the only
filtration is a simple air-powered box filter at almost the lowest rate
of flow. Crystal Red Shrimps are reputed to be much more delicate. Not
everyone finds them difficult to keep -- I've not kept them so
can't comment from personal experience -- but as with Red Cherry
Shrimps, I'd be more focused on water temperature that water
I have about 60 red cherry shrimp and have added about 40 crystal reds.
I have about a handful of pond snails, leopard Nerite and olive Nerite
snails. I took out the assassin snails after I read about others
experiences with those and dwarf shrimp.
<I've never had problems mixing Assassin Snails with Red Cherry
Shrimps, but I dare say in the absence of anything else to eat, these
predatory snails might consume weak or otherwise ailing shrimps. I know
there are reports of Assassin Snails consuming shrimps, but I'd
wonder how many involve healthy shrimps as opposed to dead, dying or
I put the assassin snails in there to get a start on the pond snails.
I've noticed that after the addition of the crystal reds, they seem
to be aggressive towards the red cherry shrimp. I actually saw one
attack a berried RCS tonight, which is dead now. I think she was on her
way out anyway, before the attack.
<This is a very perceptive comment. Most of these small shrimps can
get along if they're similar enough in size, assuming the tank is
big enough and there's plenty for them to eat. But they're all
opportunistic to some degree, and they can and do eat one another given
the chance. Usually the victim is a smaller, sick or weakened shrimp,
but immediately after moulting can be a vulnerable period too,
especially in tanks lacking sufficient hiding places.>
I did a water change last night with dechlorinator and don't use
any additives. The water parameters are: Temp is at 72 degrees, nitrite
and nitrate at 0 as well as ammonia. pH at 6.5 KH at 40 ppm and GH at
<Sounds reasonably good for them, but I find Red Cherry Shrimps do
better in neutral to slightly basic conditions, i.e., pH 7-7.5. Crystal
Red Shrimps may or may not prefer slightly acidic conditions, but
I'd aim for a more neutral set of conditions if keeping both
species together. Acidic water conditions tend to be unstable, and even
if a pH of 6.5 is "ideal" in strictly biological terms of
this species, ensuring a steady pH of 6.5 can be hard work. Slightly
alkaline conditions, say, pH 7.5., might not be ideal, but they will be
stable, and the shrimps can prosper under such conditions.>
I know that the RCS are tolerant to a wide range of conditions and that
the CRS are not so tolerant.
<Red Cherries are certainly the easiest to keep and breed.>
Your thoughts would be appreciated
<Do check the copper concentration of your tap water. Copper can be
very toxic to shrimps. Do also consider keeping, breeding the Red
Cherry Shrimps first, to get yourself going and accustomed to
what's required when keeping shrimps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: shrimp are dying 10/18/11
Thanks Neal. I forgot to mention that the substrate that I use is from
Fluval that is designed to keep pH acidic for the CRS and provide
nutrition for the plants. I have some limestone in the tank to help
offset the pH so it doesn't go too low.
<I do not like to use substrates to alter pH, and in any event,
these two are working against each other, so why bother. The bigger
picture is that when substrates are used to alter pH, you can't
really control or predict the pH. I think it's much better to
produce the water chemistry in the bucket, and then buffer that water
chemistry, and thereby ensure stable conditions in the
I don't even know if the limestone really effects it that much.
<Neither will work much once covered with bacteria and
I'm wondering when the lights go out if the pH dips that much.
<Can do. Use a pH test kit.>
Another question is how often do you feed your shrimp?
<Hardly ever. I keep them in tanks with suitable small fish, such as
Ricefish, and ensure there's a bit of leftover food along with
algae for them to eat. Once a while I'll tip in an algae
I feed Fluval shrimp granules once a day.
Re: shrimp are dying
I'm thinking that the stone might not be limestone. I did the
vinegar test and it didn't foam, but I know this stone raises the
pH of the water.
<Then should react with vinegar, surely? If it raises carbonate
hardness, and thereby pH, it should react with an acid since it would
have to be an alkali rock of some sort.>
It's called lace rock and I took it out last night and did a small
<Do believe this rock is a kind of limestone.>
I lost another 2 shrimp over the night and I can't figure it out.
The tank is only about 6 weeks old. I have a big piece of driftwood in
there that is new and I don't know if this could be the
<Shouldn't do if cured, but uncured wood will lower the pH
quickly, and that could cause problems.>
I don't know how this was treated. I bought it online. It's
African driftwood. Have you heard any problems with using driftwood in
<Not when using cured wood in sensible amounts.>
Re: shrimp are dying 10/18/11
I checked the local tap water contaminant report and copper was at
I should use R/O water from now on. Do you think shrimp would be
sensitive to that level of Cu?
<Could easily be. Water conditioners that neutralise copper are
available, if RO isn't economical. However, I would remain open
minded about other possible problems. My cherry shrimps are breeding
quite happily in water with trace levels of copper. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: shrimp are dying 10/18/11
Thanks again Neal. I didn't mention that there were trace amounts
of Arsenic and Lead as well. I think I'll just look into a R/O unit
and call it good. If they keep dying, I'll be left scratching my
<Again, do look for a water conditioner that neutralises metals. But
yes, RO or rainwater may prove a useful starting point here, with
Discus buffer added as required to create the right water chemistry.
The Rift Valley salt mix at about 25% dosage would be a cheap and
Re: shrimp are dying 10/19/11
Do the rice fish bother your shrimplettes?
<Not as far as I can tell. There's lots of young shrimps in
there! To be fair, my tank has lots of hiding places, so whether the
shrimplettes avoid trouble or are merely left alone I cannot say.
Re: shrimp are dying 10/25/11
I have ordered some "Daisy" rice fish. They should do just as
well as the other rice fish, shouldn't they?
<Should do, but there is some variation, with some Oryzias species
being considered fairly delicate. That said, Oryzias woworae is one of
the easy Ricefish, and doesn't seem difficult to keep at all,
provided it is kept in tropical conditions (some Ricefish need or
prefer subtropical or unheated conditions). Oryzias woworae isn't
fussy about water chemistry, but slightly hard, around neutral water
seems best, ~10 degrees dH, pH 7.>
I have switched to R/O DI water and still am having shrimp loss.
<With some sort of salt mix or Discus buffer added, I take it? Pure
water will not be acceptable to these animals.>
The tank has been set up since mid August. Is it possible that the tank
might not be done cycling?
<Possibly, especially if the water is too soft.>
My test kits are showing zero nitrites and nitrates and ammonia, but
then I've always had a hard time distinguishing faint color changes
on the color charts. If you will recall I have RCS and CRS and both are
dying. RCS are supposed to be very hardy, which make me think the tank
may still be cycling. On a side note, do you know if the dwarf orange
crayfish is compatible with shrimp? I've heard it both ways.
<In theory Cambarellus should be compatible, but honestly, I
wouldn't risk it without having another population of shrimps
breeding away in another tank. Crayfish are opportunistic, and at
moulting time will view shrimps as a useful source of calcium.>
I appreciate your help, greatly.
<You're welcome. Neale.>
Help with seemingly happy RCS that keep passing
Just stumbled across WetWebMedia and must compliment the site and the
volunteers for providing such a informative, valuable and pleasant
<Thanks for the kind words.>
I have kept fish on off for many years but would just consider myself a
recreational fan of fish when compared to the many hardcore enthusiasts
and could use some seasoned advice. I have a 5 gallon tank (I know that
this size tank is quite unpopular here but it is all I have after my
recent move) that has been active for a few years with a few killifish
(A. australe) but which I decided to switch to red cherry
I recently purchased 10 rcs from an individual and added 4 more from a
local fish store when it seemed to me that I could use more female
specimens (an since they were carrying eggs).
<Indeed. A starter population of 4 females to 2 males works
The shrimp were acclimated by dripping my tank water into the water
they came in over a period of two hours until ph reached tank ph.
Initially shrimp seemed to be doing just fine and cleaned the tank of
any algae, slime and growth form the tank walls, plants,
driftwood'¦everywhere. They are very active and showing color
and two molted'¦ so they seem happy.
Unfortunately, I have been losing one shrimp each day (4 so far). I
have been doing 10-15% water changes every day the ammonia in the new
water is the same as the tank at 0.25-0.50 so I don't know if this
is actually helping (out of the tap it is at 1.0+).
<I would avoid such frequent water changes. Red Cherry Shrimps seem
to thrive on "benign neglect". Algae, gentle (air-powered!)
filtration, and some organic mulm on the bottom all seem to be very
helpful. Quite possibly even rather small changes in water chemistry
can affect them badly. On the other hand, when left to their own
devices, with small water changes weekly, and few fish or other
tankmates, they seem to multiply readily. Low nitrate and phosphate may
well be important, but you also want the tiny microbes on the sediment
and sponge filter that they like to eat.>
I have read that water treated with chloramine often still produces
ammonia readings even with established tanks but honestly I wasn't
really checking the ammonia much when the tank was stable with the
former killifish residents who seemed to lead a decent life.
1) Water conditions:
*ph = 7.1
*Ammonia = 0.25-0.50
<Here's one major problem. If your water has non-zero ammonia
levels, then minimise water changes as far as practical, and use an
ammonia-removing water conditioner. In a Cherry Shrimp tank without
fish, 10% weekly would be an acceptable water change.>
*Nitrite = 0
*Nitrate = 0
*General hardness = 130
*Temp = 78
*Water treated with API StressCoat from tap and with Seachem neutral
*some plant tabs inserted in sand.
*occasionally add a pinch of non iodized aquarium salt (say once every
other month or so)
<May or may not be helpful; I wouldn't bother. But I would try
to ensure the water is moderately hard, maybe 10 degrees dH, through
the use of a 25-50% dosage of Rift Valley salt mix, as described
Cherry Shrimps need some calcium carbonate to make their shells, and
conversely, acidity will make it harder for them to grow their
2) Tank set up:
*Sand substrate of about 2.5 in
*Plants: java fern, java moss, hornwort, some duck weed, A. nana,
African tiger lotus
*driftwood, lave rock and some stones.
*I'm currently running two Aquaclear 20s to increase beneficial
bacteria and ensure minimal waste. Filters have sponge, filter floss,
ceramic porous stuff, some AmmoCarb. I plan to cut back to one once I
figure out the problem
3) Fish load
* 1 male Betta in own section separated from shrimp
<Bettas can eat Red Cherry Shrimps; at the least, they'll attack
them if hungry, and even if the damage isn't enough to kill them
instantly, it can cause problem over days, weeks.>
* 14 now 10 (though I only ever can find like 6-8 at any given time)
* 2 Ramshorn snails (one in the Betta space, one in the tank)
Is it the ammonia that is gradually killing the rcs? They look so
active and eating, coloration and molting and retaining eggs (remember
I purchased two rcs with eggs) would seem to indicate healthy
<Ammonia is a problem with all livestock.>
If that is what you suspect, I'm a bit surprised as this tank set
up was previously established BUT there was one big change, I upped the
PH when there were no fish in the tank from some thing below 6 to 7.1
using SeaChem's Alkaline buffer to get to a PH I thought better for
most new fish (since I was changing from the australes). Could this
have killed off all of the beneficial bacteria? The snails and plants
were fine with this change.
<Don't use pH buffers to change the pH without changing the
hardness first. Just adding potions to change pH is always a bad
Outside of the dying rcs, the remaining rcs don't seem
exceptionally bright. They totally cleaned off the algae and slime. So
I put in some flakes which only one or two seem to eat. I put in Hikari
algae tablets (has no copper but other metals is this why they
don't like it?) which none ate
<Mine love them! See here:
and which I had to vacuum back out to avoid fouling the water. They
can't seem to deal with live Tubifex worms. I'm assuming they
will figure out the flakes if they are starving but I thought they were
supposed to be really easy and not picky?
<They are not picky at all!>
Why can you keep so many more shrimp than fish. These guys seem hungry
all of the time and consumed so much on the first day that the sand was
blanketed by tube like rcs poo. How is this any different from fish?
Less protein diet to decompose?
<Shrimps don't have such a high metabolism or oxygen demand as
fish, so there's less for the filter to deal with. You can't
ignore their affect on water quality completely, but six shrimps
probably doesn't have as much impact as, say, a single Neon
Sorry so many questions but I'm just getting back into thinking
about this stuff since I'm having so many casualties. Any insight
would be much appreciated.
Re: Help with seemingly happy RCS that keep passing
Thanks for the quick reply (now that is amazing given the load of
e-mails you must receive).
I have already used ammonia removing water conditioners... see API
Stress coat and SeaChem neutral regulator below. I would think this
plenty... are they not effective or do you have some other conditioner
suggestion here ?
I'm still confused by the happy behavior of the rcs and the
<Should be fine. Do remember not to add anything with copper in it,
e.g., fish medications, as these are toxic to shrimps. Likewise, if you
have copper pipes in your home, then a water conditioner that removes
copper is helpful.>
Also, on the food front, thanks for the pics and nice fish/inverts you
have there. hopefully my shrimp will figure out that the algae tablet
and fish food flakes are more likely going to provide them with food
than just sifting through their own poopy over and over again =)!
I'm quite surprised as any shrimp (Amano, ghost, etc) that I've
had in the past generally take prepped food first! I seem to have an
oddly picky batch of rcs=(.
I'll go get some newer test kits to dest dH and kH versus my GH
scales but suspect that my water is moderately hard.
<Which should be fine.>
In summary it sounds like I will cut back on the water changes and just
be patient and see how it goes. Hopefully they start eating prepped
food and stop kicking the bucket.
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Help with seemingly happy RCS that keep passing
Sorry for one e-mail. I'm assuming that not all questions end up on
the web site? That would be great as I sent all of this from my work
e-mail and my preference would be for that not to be out there. I
looked on the FAQ and didn't see our conversation so if you might
be able to confirm that this isn't posted or to delete my e-mail,
that would be great.
I will be more careful in the future.
Thanks again So much!
<All messages do go on the web site, but without any personal
Messages are usually posted on the web site about 24 hours after
we've answered them. Cheers, Neale.>
Mysterious Cherry Shrimp Deaths-
I added 30 Cherry Shrimp about 4 weeks ago to a planted shrimp-only 10g
tank, and every day one has died.
At the time, 2 Otocinclus were added. The Otos are fine!
Now I'm really confused on why they're dying. This is what I
know - Ammonia and Nitrite are 0. I'd test PH and other, but I
don't have the kits for that.
<Well do check. At minimum check the pH; Cherry Shrimps do best in
water that has a pH around 7 to 8. They dislike very acidic, very soft
There shouldn't be anything wrong with the water source - the four
Amano Shrimp in my 30g are thriving from the same water source - so
that's got to rule out copper, metals, etc...
No Hydra or Planaria present.
Tank has a matured sponge filter. Flow appears to be okay, with
numerous tiny oxygen bubbles about.
Temp is 78F because of Summer.
<A bit warm for Cherry Shrimps, but shouldn't be fatally so.
Ideally, 20-25 C/68-77 F, towards the cooler end of the range in
winter, but not substantially above in summer. Extra oxygen is useful.
Do bear in mind that these are subtropical, mountain-stream animals
that aren't well adapted to stuffy, sluggish, warm water
There is some lava rock in the tank with moss growing on them.
I add half a Hikari algae wafer every 2-3 days. There is algae growing
in the tank.
The majority of shrimp are healthy - scavenging the substrate, climbing
the tank glass, rock and plants and swimming about happily - but then
one of them acts lethargic, sometimes trouble swimming, mostly keeps to
the lava rock and ends up dying within 2 days. I'm really not sure
what's going on, and it's really frustrating because I've
made this tank as shrimp-friendly as possible. Additionally, any
females with eggs seem to drop them. All I can guess is that a plant
had been treated with pesticides (but I do 25% water changes on all
tanks weekly, so it should have been diluted right?) or stress somehow
- but if it's that, what's causing the stress?
<Possibly, but it's unlikely a plant from another tank could
carry enough residue to harm livestock in your aquarium. But certainly
I hope you can help.
<There's nothing obviously wrong here. Copper and formalin are
two common killers, but you say you haven't used them. The water is
a bit warm, but not high enough to kill Cherry Shrimps. The tankmates
seem okay, though sometimes mixing bigger shrimp species with smaller
ones doesn't work out, the bigger ones killing the smaller ones
(perhaps if they aren't getting enough calcium or protein any other
way?). I'm not a huge fan of lava rock for a variety of reasons,
but good quality stuff should be aquarium-safe.
If these shrimps are a new purchase, I'd perhaps suspect the batch
being dodgy, or else be more reflective on how the shrimps were adapted
to the new aquarium. Review purchasing, quarantining (if done),
acclimation to your water chemistry, and so on. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Mysterious Cherry Shrimp Deaths (RMF, how persistent is Malachite
Just had an idea. The aquarium silicone has been stained turquoise-blue
with Malachite Green. However, the treatment was performed (as far as I
can remember), a year and 3 months ago. Is it possible the staining
could still retain it's toxicity?
<Possible, but my gut feeling is that after 15 months any residual
Malachite Green would be at such a low concentration it's unlikely
to harm your livestock. Of course the shrimps may pick at algae that
bioaccumulate the stuff, so it's hard to say. Filtration through
carbon or something better like PolyFilter or HyperSorb may be
worthwhile, but if the aquarium isn't large, and shrimps are key to
your long-term plans, perhaps replacing the tank with a new one, and
using this as a hospital/quarantine system makes sense.
I've asked Bob F. to comment here. He may have an idea on the
toxicity, persistence of Malachite Green. Cheers,
Neale.><<Olde Malachite Green in the Silastic seal should not
be an issue. RMF>>
Re: Mysterious Cherry Shrimp Deaths 8/23/11
I sent a reply on Sunday, but I don't think you've got it.
Just had an idea. The aquarium silicone has been stained turquoise-blue
with Malachite Green. However, the treatment was performed (as far as I
can remember), a year and 3 months ago.
<A long time ago.>
The air pump tubing has also been used in water with copper, and it
does have the blue staining copper gives. It was last used in copper
water about a month/month-an-half ago.
Is it possible the staining could still retain it's toxicity?
<Possible. But really, it's very hard to be sure without
examining the shrimps in a forensics lab for crustaceans! Instead,
concentrate on what you'll do in the future. If you want to keep
shrimps, then phase out any bits of hardware potentially contaminated,
including gravel, and replace with new stuff. Else, set up another
system for shrimps and leave this one as a fish-only system. Different
shrimps have different tolerances, and it may well be that one species
of shrimp survives where another dies, so if you still have happy
shrimps of a different species in the tank, maybe stick with those.
Re: Shrimp query 3/30/11
So its been over a week now since the quarantine and I've
introduced the shrimp to my tank. All seemed well until yesterday where
we noticed that our original ghost shrimp seemed to
have suffered some eye damage (was almost like its left eye had been
slightly crushed!!). After keeping an eye on her we have noticed her
complete eye is now missing!!
<Does happen; usually physical damage on the part of fish.>
I did wonder if the new ghosties have had a pop at her (pecking order),
but she is almost 2yrs old and almost twice as big as the new
I'm going to 'scoop' her out and pop into a small holding
tank so as to minimise any stress. Have you come across any such
injuries before - and are shrimp capable of surviving on one eye.....I
know that some breeders mutilate females in order to promote
<Yes, the shrimp will be fine without one of her eyes.>
Poor thing keeps spinning around in circles - I'm hoping that she
can adjust to the single eye.
<She uses her antennae to find food, so should do okay.>
Look forward to hearing from you.
shrimp problem? 9/6/2010
Dear WWM crew
I have a 60 litre BiOrb set up for tropical fish.
<Unfortunately "BiOrb" and "tropical fish" is a
contradiction in terms. The BiOrb is a very, very bad aquarium.
It's overpriced for what it is, and in particular has a very
limited surface area at the top that limits the exchange of oxygen
between the air and water. The filtration system is pretty basic as
well. You will always be better off with traditional rectangular
aquaria than any other shape, whether spherical, hexagonal, or anything
I have three ghost shrimp and they have seemed very
happy over the 2 months in residence. I have recently lost my blue
Gourami with some sort of ulceration and it happened while was away and
my neighbour did not notice so its rotting body was left in the tank
for a few days.
<Indeed. Blue Gouramis, and indeed Gouramis generally, CANNOT be
kept in this aquarium. It's simply too small for them. Assuming by
"Blue Gourami" you mean Trichogaster trichopterus, that's
a species that needs a 90-litre aquarium at the very least, and I'd
argue 150 litres given how aggressive the males can be. As for the
Powder Blue Gouramis and suchlike that are Colisa lalia, this species
is so delicate and so ridden with problems that I never recommend
anyone buy them unless they can source locally-bred specimens through
friends or fish clubs. The ones pet stores sell very commonly come with
"free gifts" like Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus and Mycobacteria
The water did not look pleasant although the tests were all in the OK
range but I did a Hoover and a 20% water change and all looks well
This morning however, one of the shrimp has back legs covered in a pale
fluffy substance and he is flicking them about. Is this part of a
<Not really. Moulting shrimps tend to hide away for a day or two,
and then reappear. It's rare to see moulting shrimps in the open.
The moult itself looks slightly cloudy, clear, and usually comes off
almost in one piece, and you will often see the shrimps eating the
moult so that they can recycle the minerals. It doesn't come off
one piece and a time, and it always looks like the skin of a shrimp,
not fluff or mould or whatever.
Although Shrimps are fairly hardy, copper-based medications in
particular will kill them. They also dislike very soft water. For best
results, feed them foods designed specifically for shrimps and other
crustaceans, though a varied diet of algae wafers and catfish pellets
will do too.>
He certainly does not look as ghost like as the others which is why I
am hoping he is moulting as one fatality this month is enough!
I would be grateful for your advice.
<Wish I could say something positive about the BiOrb, but I really
can't. They're terrible aquaria. A few Cherry or Ghost Shrimps
might be happy in them, perhaps a couple of Dwarf African Frogs or a
male Betta, but that's about it.
Cherry Shrimp deaths . . . 8/26/10
I (fairly) recently bought 3 Cherry Shrimps to go in with a tank of
Neon Tetras and Lambchop Rasboras about 2 or so months ago. But for
some reason, they keep dying.
<Usually Cherry Shrimps are a very reliable species. Mine breed like
rabbits even in tanks that don't get the best of care! But like all
shrimps they're sensitive to copper, so make absolutely sure you
haven't used copper-based medications in the tank. Also check your
water conditioner neutralises copper, especially if your pipework is
copper, and in the UK, most household plumbing will use copper
somewhere along the line, e.g., for the hot water tank.>
The shell on them seems to split horizontally and they die a few hours
I can't understand this because all the water parameters seem fine
. . . 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 25 Nitrate, PH at 7 and 16 dH water
hardness (apparently Neons are acidic fish but they've had no
problem with my water).
<All sounds fine. Don't use a "pH down" product
though; such potions tend to do more harm than good. For all these
fish, pH 7.5 will be fine, which is what I'd expect for 16 degrees
I also have a snail (well 'snails' now, it bred today!) in the
aquarium and nothing is wrong with its shell.
Can you advise me anything?
<With Shrimps, there are basically just a few things to get right.
One is the copper issue. Also avoid formalin and malachite green. Next
up, ensure plenty of water circulation along the bottom of the tank.
Since these Shrimps need oxygen but don't swim in midwater, they
can suffocate if there is stagnant water at the bottom. When moulting
they need some sort of hideaway, even from one another. Dense plant
thickets are good, but caves are even better, and those caves should
ideally be small enough that fish can't get in. Often, Shrimps go
behind filters to moult. Water chemistry isn't crucial, and Cherry
Shrimps can tolerate slightly acidic conditions well, but the carbonate
hardness should not be too low, 3 degrees KH being about the lowest. If
needs be, offer some shellfish occasionally that they can eat to make
up any losses (small pieces of unshelled shrimp work well).
Finally, iodine is a key nutrient for crustaceans. Shrimps generally
get enough from their diet, especially if you use a food formulated for
crustaceans, such as JBL Novo Crabs. Sushi Nori would also be rich in
iodine and easy to buy at many supermarkets and Asian food stores. But
you could also add iodine to the water. Marine aquarium iodine drops
be used at about one-quarter to one-half the dose needed for marine
tanks, and as such would be very economical. One last thing. Cherry
Shrimps are very gregarious, and while they shouldn't die if you
own just three, you will find your overall success much better in
groups of six or more.>
If it's any help, all aquarium livestock was bought from one of the
Maidenhead Aquatic stores in England.
<Usually a very reliable group of stores. I was visiting the one in
Harlestone Heath, Northampton yesterday afternoon while doing a store
review for another web site. Definitely worth discussing your
experiences with the manager of that store. Feel free to print this off
and have him or her discuss these points with you.>
Thanks in advance!
Re: Cherry Shrimp deaths . . . 8/26/10
I use Tetra Aquasafe for the water conditioner which apparently
neutralises copper, zinc and other metals.
The tank is about 15 gallons, planted with Water Wisteria and Bacopa. I
change a litre of water everyday. I have never used any medication in
the tank, nor any of the PH plus or minus chemicals .
. . I'm all for naturalness. :) I will be going to the fish store
(the local Maidenhead Aquatics store) at the weekend to get another 6
or 7 Cherry Shrimps then (they aren't cheap! Â£12 for
<Â£1.50 to Â£2.50 each is more typical, but the
price may vary with the seasons.>
How would I be able to test how much circulation is at the bottom of
<Put a bit of flake on the bottom. If it sits there, that's bad;
if it wafts along briskly, that's good.>
I have to agree with Maidenhead Aquatics being a very good store. The
staff there have always been knowledgeable and willing to knock the
price off a bit. Great selection of fish there as well! Last time I saw
a disease in one of the tanks, there were staff on hand treating it
with a sign up saying 'not for sale right now'.
<Do ask whether these shrimps might have been poisoned in the shop;
if they've used copper, that's certainly possibly, though
you'd expect to die within a day or two of copper use. If more than
that has elapsed since you purchased them, then something is amiss in
your aquarium. Are you sure there aren't any loaches or catfish in
the tank that might view them as food? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Cherry Shrimp deaths . . . 8/26/10
It has been 2 months since I got them.
<About enough time for moulting; could well be an iodine issue or
I don't have any catfish or loaches in the tank.
I did just try putting a flake at the bottom, and it wafted away into
some lucky Neon's mouth.
Like I said, it's the shell splitting or turning clear in the
middle that seems to happen a few hours before they die.
<When moulting, Shrimps crack open transversely, the slot appearing
between the cephalothorax (the head/body segment) and the abdomen (the
segments with the swimmerets on, the big you eat on proper shrimps). If
you mean by splitting, then that would appear to be a moulting
Re: Cherry Shrimp deaths . . .
No . . . I mean the whole shrimp dies. It's the whole thing. The
carcass is red and looks to contain the dead shrimp . . . One did this
1 and a half weeks ago, and was never found again, so I can assume it
Whenever mine have actually moulted, they've been found again 3
days later and the white, ghostly shell is on the substrate.
The split is formed after the 2nd pair of legs.
<Well, it is what it is. I really can't offer you any more
advice than that already provided. You'll have to read through my
previous messages, try out the solutions offered, and see what happens.
Saying the shrimp "just dies" isn't enough for me to
provide anything more specific I'm afraid. Cheers,
Wood Shrimp - Missing Filter Arms After Molt
<Creeping into the afternoon here PST>
I have a wood shrimp that has molted for the first time under my
ownership (approximately 4-6 weeks) and after doing so, it's
missing it's filter arms.
Have you heard of or seen anything like this?
<Oh yes... generally an issue with nutrition, or avitaminoses/iodide
availability; sometimes linked with a lack of sufficient alkalinity and
alkaline earth (calcium, magnesium mostly) presence. Please read
and the linked files above where you lead yourself... or use the search
tool linked on the left shared border...>
Does it spell death for the shrimp?
<Mmm, not necessarily, no. If this animal can still obtain food/s,
avoid predation... and whatever the root cause/s here are solved/fixed,
the next molt will likely find its limbs replaced>
I had someone mention that I could pipette food toward the shrimp until
it molts again, hoping that next time it'll have fans.
Here's some information on my setup:
-30%-40% weekly water change
-roughly 15 drops of flourish liquid fertilizer
-no dosing of other sorts (no iodine)
<Mmm, I would...>
-crypt wendtii Tropica
-Christmas moss on Malaysian driftwood
2 Kuhli loaches
2 Amano shrimp
1 African dwarf frog
<Happily no real predators here>
-aside from flake, pellet and blood worms
-approximately half an algae wafer a week into the tank.
Thanks for your time!
<Certainly welcome Hugh. Do write back after reading if you have
concerns, questions. Bob Fenner>
Question about Atya gabonesis, hlth.
2/25/09 I had a vampire shrimp (Atya) about five weeks and he
seemed fine until we moved him to a larger tank. After a few days he
started turning more orange/pink instead of bluish gray. and he seemed
fine. The last few days he started turning more orange/pinky looking
instead of bluish gray. He was seen out and about eating, etc, then
started lying on his side. He appeared to be trying to molt (wriggling
about, shell cracked open) but lie on his side twitching for hours. We
went to bed and in the morning, he had molted but was dead, his shell
beside him. He seemed unmolested by the other fish in the tank. Is this
common when shrimp molt? Our LFS told us we needed "trace
elements" in the water to help them and sold us a bottle of some
magic solution we're supposed to put in every few days. I bought
another the next day and substituted him (it was my son's shrimp
and I didn't want him to be sad it died). This shrimp was slightly
larger and bluer and more active. We've had him about 9 days now
and yesterday he started looking a bit pink/orange but this guy laid on
his side only a minute wiggling about then shot out like a cannon,
leaving his entire shell, feathers, feelers and all on the floor, he is
pink and new now, with blue only around his head. He's been sitting
in the back preening and waving his antennae around, occasionally
venturing out. I'm quite happy he molting without dying, do you
think it was the extra minerals we added to his water or do you think
the other guy was traumatized from the move, or just had a "bad
molt"? I'm anxious to avoid any bad molts in the future and
I'm hoping this guy is fine from now on, we're really quite
fond of him. He lives in a 40 gallon planted shrimp and snail only tank
with a bamboo shrimp, 10 cherry shrimp, 3 ghost shrimp and 3 mystery
snails. The fish were moved out to another 20 gallon tank bare hospital
tank to combat a case of ich, I found that easier to do that ruining my
landscaping, plants and shrimp/snails. Which leads to my next question:
how long to leave the tank fallow to ensure ich is completely gone
before putting more fish in? I've read anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks
which is quite a range. I have no plans on doing anything other than
routine water changes and gravel vacuums, I don't want to medicate
it. Melissa <Hi Melissa. The "trace element" they need is
Iodine. While it isn't clear that small (e.g., Cherry) shrimps need
iodine added to the water, big shrimps as well as crayfish and crabs
apparently do benefit. Normally the moulting process begins with the
shrimp out of sight for a day or two in its cave as it puffs up its
body with water. The moult itself takes a few hours, and then the
shrimp stays hidden in its cave for another day or so while the shell
hardens up. It should roll on its back or side, and shouldn't be
twitching. Normally all it does is stand up as it usually does, but
with the shell peeling off its body from head to tail. In any case, if
your shrimp is fine now, then I wouldn't worry too much. As for
Whitespot/Ick; the length of time the tank should be fallow varies with
temperature and whether you're taking about freshwater or marine
Whitespot. In theory freshwater Whitespot parasites can only survive
about 24 hours without a host, but in practise it's better to leave
a much more generous period than that. One week would probably work
fine for tropical tanks. You will of course need to ensure Whitespot
parasites can't get into the tank from anywhere else, so take care
with nets, buckets, etc. Cheers, Neale.>
A worm question (Horsehair worms; stingrays)
10/17/08 Hello, <Hi,> was just wanted to
know I notice some of my ghost shrimp have worms in there intestines
are to believe they are Gordian Worm, a.k.a. Horsehair Worms...one died
bc the worm killed it but I never notice them b4 on my shrimp I feed
these shrimp to my Motoro stingray which I have had for about a week I
know they are prone to roundworms and tapeworms but I was wondering if
I did feed some shrimp that had these in them can they kill my ray I
called the pet store where I got my ray and they never really heard of
these worms really and are not sure if they will harm the ray they feed
there ghost shrimp to there rays and had no prob but they never looked
at there shrimp to see if they had worms so they could be feeding ones
that do so I don't know what I should do I don't want my ray to
die and I don't know if I should get new shrimp the other ones seem
to not have these worms in them..should I continue to feed them to my
ray or go and get new ones?????? <Sheesh... not even a period or
comma. Do please review our very modest "fee" before writing:
we expect e-mails to be spell checked and written with proper grammar.
Not much to ask, and the point is that we depend on properly formatted
messages so that we can share them with other site visitors. The better
Google can index our pages, the more people will view our pages, and
the more revenue our advertising generates to pay for bandwidth.
It's a simple deal really.> HELP!!! PLEASE KINDA SCARED FOR MY
RAY I LOVE HIM!!! <Horsehair worms are not likely to cause your Ray
any harm. Most parasites are species-specific, and while they may be
harmful to the shrimp, they are unlikely to adapt to the particular
anatomy of your Stingray. If you're really that bothered, don't
use the shrimps. Earthworms are a very safe food if collected from an
area that is "organic", i.e., not sprayed with chemicals.
Most rays love earthworms. There's no reason to use live food with
most Stingrays anyway, and a varied diet of mussels, prawns and squid
is easily provided using foods sold for humans.> thanks Maria
Ghost shrimp/jewel anemone hlth/ID - 07/19/08 I
can't seem to find an answer for my questions.#1 I bought
some ghost shrimp from my LFS and I noticed they had some white
dots on their body, is this normal or some sort of disease?
<Mmm, likely more the latter... not communicable though. These
sorts of markings show up in specimens that have been kept in
poor conditions> #2 I have a large colony of jewel anemones
<There are a few species that go by this name... Is this a
Corynactis? Which do you have? and can't find any info on
them any where can you tell me or give me a link to some
information on them? Thanks for any help! <Bob Fenner>
Re: Ghost shrimp/jewel anemone 07/20/2008 Wow I
didn't think I would even get a reply yet alone a reply so
quick! So then it would be safe for my fuzzy dwarf lion to eat
said ghost shrimp his health is of great importance to me. #2 yes
my jewel anemones do resemble Corynactis and now I have their
scientific name I'm finding a lot on them. I saw tanks full
of them at Chicago's Shedd aquarium that's were I got the
jewel name from. thank you very much. I'm sure your words of
wisdom have prolonged the lives of many of our aquatic friends!!!
<<Yes, the ghost shrimp are fine for the lionfish. Really
glad you found the correct name for your anemone, all helps
towards providing a better environment for them. Thanks for the
follow-up, hope this helps. A Nixon>>
Keeping Ghost Shrimp 7/24/06
Hello! <Hi Cathrine, Pufferpunk here> I am hoping you
can help me understand why my ghost shrimp keep dying hours after being
added to my 5 gallon aquarium. In this tank I have 1 male
Betta and 1 Otocinclus. Originally the shrimp was to be the
cleaner but since I am not having any luck with them I got the
Otocinclus. I would like to add at least 1 ghost shrimp
because in the short time they have been alive I find them
fascinating. I suspect something with my water is not
compatible with the shrimp because they are fine until they have been
added to the tank. This tank is heated and stays around 77
degrees (unfortunately it can not be adjusted). I have a
hang on the back filter rated for 2-5 gal and an under gravel
filter. The tank has been running for 2
months. Nitrate is at 20ppm, Nitrite is 0, Hardness was at 0
but since the shrimp seemed to do well in the spring water they were in
before being added to the tank, I added some to the tank and it is now
at 75ppm. Alkalinity is 300ppm. pH is 8.4 (Both
of these are high and I am wondering if one or both might be the
problem.) Ammonia is 0. I have been using treated tap water
only, which is softened with potassium chloride. (Possibly another
cause?) The beta and Otocinclus are doing fine so I am not
sure where the problem might be. The first time I added 1
shrimp (had only treated tap water in the tank so hardness was at 0),
he died within an hour and half. A few weeks later I
added two more thinking maybe the first one was just a "bad"
shrimp. They both died within 2 hours. After that
I started adding the spring water, topping off my tank so my hardness
had increased to 75ppm. Two more weeks later I added four
shrimp trying to increase my chances of one surviving but they only
lived up to 5 hours. They seem fine then all the sudden fall
on their side and finally end up dead on their
backs. Neither the beta or Otocinclus are bothering
them. So not knowing where the problem lies I am beginning
to wonder if I should drain the tank and refill it with all spring
water. Sorry for such a long email but I wanted to give you
as much information as possible. Thanks so much for your
time! <Here is
an excellent article in keeping & breeding ghost shrimp: http://www.thepufferforum.com/articles/other/ghostshrimp.html
HTH, ~PP> Cathrine Daily
African Dwarf Frogs and fish medications
7/13/06 Hello, my name is Robin. I have a 45 gallon tank that
houses one African Dwarf Frog, 4 Ghost Shrimp, and 12 Bronze Cory
Catfish. Yesterday I noticed that some of the baby (I say
baby, my original three bred successfully in my aquarium about
four months ago) Corys have fuzzy fungus growth. I have
Applus+ Anti-Fungus Fungus and Fin Rot Treatment,
whose main ingredients are Malachite Green and
Hydrochloride. <Toxic to your Frogs and Shrimp> I wanted to check
before I add anything to the tank, because I'm concerned about
the frog and the shrimp. Will I have to move them to a different
tank while treating the catfish? <Yes... and do check your
water quality... The Corydoras would not "get" a
fungal/bacterial infection if all was well here> Is there a more
"frog friendly" treatment for the catfish? I know that
the Anti-Fungus treatment is potentially harmful to scaleless
fish, and frogs absorb things through theirs, so I don't want
to poison the frog. Thank you very much. Robin
<You need to separate the non-fish. Bob Fenner>
Ghost shrimp, Acanthocephalans, worms in general...
1/15/07 I just bought a few ghost shrimp and everything appeared to
be going fine until today, when I noticed one of the shrimp had a worm
in it. <You have good sight> After a mild freak-out I
managed to do some research on the internet and found out that it was
most likely a horsehair worm. <Yes, possibly an
acanthocephalan...> Unfortunately, I haven't found much useful
information regarding my situation beyond the initial
identification. The infected ghost shrimp was in a tank that
contained some guppies as well as other ghost shrimp. Could
the worm have possibly laid eggs in my tank? <Could...> Would I
be able to see them? <No, too small> Should I worry about the
larva (assuming there are eggs and that the eggs will hatch) infecting
my fish and other ghost shrimp? <Mmm... possibly the
shrimp... not likely the fish... May well be that the life cycle of
this parasite is "complex" and that your tank is missing
an/the intermediate host... likely guppies are not definitive here>
I know that the young are parasitic, yet I am not completely sure if
they use fish as hosts. The ghost shrimp was in my tank for
less than 24 hours. Are they dangerous to my fish?
<Again, not likely> Should I assume that my whole tank has been
infested? Is there anything I can do to stop the infection,
assuming there is one, without harming my fish? <... I
would do nothing... but there are some useful anthelmenthics...
Praziquantel, Levamisole... you can search re these on the Net,
WWM...> Currently, all of the other inhabitants of my tank seem
fine, and there is no evidence of other horsehair worms infecting my
tank. I hope I am overreacting to this tiny worm.
<Mmm...> Please set my mind at ease. Should I be
freaking out about the possibility of infestation of my other fish and
ghost shrimps? Thanks, Lauren <How to put this... there are actually
several... as in many, species of worms... living in your system... in
your own personal world... This one is likely only detrimental to the
shrimp that are hosting large individuals... in non-propitious
circumstances. I would not panic here. Bob Fenner>
Wood Shrimp / Atyopsis Losses - 03/07/2007 I just lost my
poor little wood shrimp this morning, this is the second one that has
died in more or less the same way. They molt, and then they just keel
over dead. <Perfect observation - some very important clues,
here.> I haven't gotten either of my deceased shrimp past the
first molt. Water conditions are as near perfect as can be, and the
fish in the tank are 3 platies, 5 zebra danios and 2 Cory catfish (15
gal tank.) The shrimp had good hidey holes etc, and was an enthusiastic
eater- until he died! What happened to my poor shrimp?
<There are a number of things that may have contributed to this -
have you ever used copper medications in the aquarium? Any
other medications? Use water out of the tap, and have copper
pipes? The primary thing, though, is likely an iodine
deficiency and/or a calcium deficiency. If your water is
relatively "hard", I'd wager money that it'll help
immensely to supplement your water with iodine. Kent iodine
or Seachem iodide, or other iodine solutions for marine/reef use would
be beneficial to you, here - but DON'T use the marine dose, instead
just a drop or two per ten gallons every week will
suffice. After starting this in my tanks, I no longer lost
shrimp mysteriously. I hope the same will happen for
you!> -Jen <All the best to you, -Sabrina>
Freshwater Amano Shrimp - Hiding or? 2/15/07 <Oh man! I
wish Sabrina were here... She is absolutely passionate re FW
shrimp...> I have a 30 gallon octagon freshwater tank with 5 neon
tetra, 6 zebra danio, 1 gold danio, 2 Julie Cory, 1 peppered Cory and
one striped Kuhli loach. When I asked the LFS what I should add to help
with the algae problem he recommended Amano shrimp. <Neat choice>
I asked for 3 (a baby got scooped up in there with them) so I ended up
with 4. Purchased Friday 2/9. I acclimated them
slowly just like I would for saltwater shrimp <Good> and then put
them in the tank. The baby I found dead the next day, and
two are MIA. The first day they were all out on the
driftwood picking off the algae. The 2nd day is when I found
the small shrimp dead and it turned a reddish color. Since
Saturday I've been searching for the shrimp. <This species and
most all other FW shrimp are reclusive, retiring> At fish feed time
one shrimp comes out and then poof he's gone. At night
I've only seen one shrimp (using a flashlight to look for those
glowing eyes). Tuesday morning afraid that I might have some
dead shrimp rotting I went in and removed the rocks and all but one
piece of driftwood. Again I only saw one shrimp. no bodies,
no shells, nothing in the filter. Tank is covered and
nothing on the floor. I'm at a loss. Can they
hide that well? <Mmm, yes> Any of the above animals possible
culprits? <Of the fishes you list, doubtful> The shrimp are not
small. about the same size as my largest danios. about an inch and a
quarter. In the beginning I did see one of the danios kind
of nip at that one shrimp in passing, it scooted off and the danio went
about its business. I read that iodine should be added, but
I've been using Amquel in tap water for water changes and I know my
Salifert test kit will not give a reading because of the Amquel and
I'm afraid to add iodine without testing. <Mmm... an occasional
(let's say with the interval of water changes) dosing at a low
level (a few drops of a stock solution period)... is a good idea...
this material is very transient... won't overdose... much the same
as iodated salts for human consumption> Which water
conditioner/dechlorinator should I use instead of Amquel so that I can
test for iodine? <I would likely not actually test...>
Tank parameters as follows (testing done Wednesday night):
0 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Phosphate 7.2 pH As this is a tall tank
I have two thermometers one on the substrate and one near the
top. The heater is placed closer to the
bottom. Bottom temp is usually around 76Â°, top
temp usually around 79Â°. <Interesting... this is a
surprisingly large difference. Do me a favor and "switch"
thermometers and see if they register this difference still> I have
Amazon swords and java ferns all of which I constantly have to wipe
algae off the leaves, two pieces of driftwood, 3 large
rocks. So there are plenty of hiding places. Again, thank
you so much for your advice/comments. Regards, Debra P.
<I would not be overly concerned re the consequences or possible
loss of the Amanos... And I do encourage you to consider adding
SAE's here for algal control. Please do take a read re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saes.htm
Wood Shrimp - Atyopsis moluccensis - Mysterious Molting Deaths -
03/17/2007 I just lost my poor little wood shrimp this morning,
this is the second one that has died in more or less the same way. They
molt, and then they just keel over dead. <Good observation - and a
common occurrence, unfortunately.> I haven't gotten either of my
deceased shrimp past the first molt. Water conditions are as near
perfect as can be, and the fish in the tank are 3 platies, 5 zebra
danios and 2 Cory catfish (15 gal tank.) The shrimp had good hidey
holes etc, and was an enthusiastic eater- until he died! What happened
to my poor shrimp? <There are perhaps at least a few
possibilities, but the likeliest are that they died from a toxin in the
water (heavy metals, especially copper, that may be in tapwater are
quite dangerous) or simple lack of iodine and/or
calcium. The realistic solutions to these problems are to
use as "good" a source of water as possible, and to
supplement with iodine - Kent or Seachem or other marine preparations
will be fine, but do NOT use the marine dose - just a drop or two per
ten gallons on a weekly basis is fine.> -Jen <I am sorry for your
losses, and hope that your future shrimp will fare very well for
you. All the best to you, -Sabrina>
FW, shrimp hlth... maint., Dracaena plants...
non-aquatic 4/22/07 Dear crew, First I would like to
thank you for all the information you provide. Thanks to you I have a
flourishing tank full of shrimp and fish. Unfortunately I also have a
flourishing problem. I currently have a 55 gallon freshwater tank that
is cycling with 2 Cory catfish about an inch long, 2 glassfish, 3 ninja
shrimp, and 1 bamboo shrimp that recently molted. <Mmm, a
necessary/compelled comment: Not a good idea to cycle a system with
such livestock present... the shrimp likely molted out of stress more
than all else> I also recently added lucky bamboo <Hmm? The
Dracaena? Not really aquatic...> and java moss. The problem started
when one of the Hikari tropical sinking wafers that I feed my catfish
fell into the java moss where my catfish could not eat it, before long
it had white stalks growing out of it, <The catfish or the
wafer?> the same thing happened to one of my ninja shrimps body
after it died. <Mmm, yes... likely "mycetes"... mostly
fungal decomposer colonies> I also noticed some white specks on the
aquarium glass and when I tried to scrape them off they didn't come
off. <Use a single-edged razorblade if this is a glass tank> Is
this just a side affect of the tank cycling and if not should I be
worried? <Mmm, maybe so...> All my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate
are where they are supposed to be. I apologize if you have
already answered this question but I could not find it on your website.
Thanks, Tuscan <Mmm... the usual water changes,
monitoring should do it here... Bob Fenner>
FW shrimp molt gone awry 6/24/07 Hey
Crew. I have a female wood shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) that molted
about two days ago. Something went wrong with the molt, and the plate
over her "shoulder" area (over the walking legs) didn't
form properly, it is flared out from her body, exposing the flesh
underneath. She seems to be alright for now, although she's climbed
up onto some roseafolia, and isn't moving around much, or fanning
the water for food. I assume the risk to her now is infection, with her
flesh being exposed to the elements. I would hope that this problem can
fix itself the next time she molts; is there anything I can do to help
her through this for now? Thanks in advance for your help.
<Greetings. "Faulty" moults are one of the risks of
keeping any crustacean in captivity. The physiological process behind
moulting is incredibly complex, and everything has to work
'just-so' or the whole thing messes up. The short answer as far
as the aquarist is concerned is to [a] make sure water quality is
excellent and appropriate to the species being kept (which typically
means hard/alkaline); [b] the diet is correct and supplies all the
essential nutrients, including trace elements (i.e., feed as varied a
diet as possible); and [c] make sure the crustacean has somewhere to
retire to during the moult so it cannot be damaged by other animals in
the tank (i.e., some sort of cave). The problem with the family Atyidae
(or fan shrimps) is they easily starve in aquaria. While not
exclusively filter feeders, they aren't "scavengers" in
any real sense, and do need regular supplies of nutritious food. So
your shrimp should have been getting at least a couple of krill or a
few bloodworms per day alongside whatever algae and detritus it was
picking up in the tank. Failure on this count puts the shrimp at risk
of starving, if not in overall terms of energy, then certainly with
regard to specific minerals and trace elements it needs for moulting.
(The parallel in humans might be anaemia -- it's easy to eat lots
of food, and yet be anaemic, because the food you're eating
contains too little iron.) In theory at least crustaceans can and do
repair faulty moults "next time round" but as you say, there
is a risk of secondary infections as well as damaged structures
interfering with the functioning of essential systems like the gills.
That your shrimp isn't eating is certainly grounds for concern.
Medical treatment of crustaceans is basically non-existent as far as
the hobbyist goes, so this really is a case of "wait and
see". Provide the right diet and optimal water conditions and see
what happens. Definitely keep her away from any animals that might
attack her or otherwise express unhealthy interest -- other shrimps,
territorial cichlids, nippy tetras, etc. Cheers, Neale>
Internal Parasites... In ghost shrimp...
possible??? 2/6/08 Hello crew! I'm back with
another question... sorry... So today I went to my LFS and picked
up about 20 ghost shrimp with hopes of keeping them in a tank and
possibly breeding for my GSP to munch on... Well I was looking in
the bag before I dumped them in the net I noticed a long stringy
thing... pure white... by long I mean about 4.5" and upon
further inspection two of the shrimp themselves had these things
INSIDE of them... what are they and should I be worried? The tank
itself is fully cycled and running at tip top shape and I kept
the 2 infected ones out in a separate 1 gallon tank for
observation... Thanks! Jess <Hello Jessica. Without seeing the
"long white things" it's difficult to say what they
are, but they certainly sound like could be tapeworms or
something similar. Shrimps are of course transparent, and they
have a digestive tract (the "vein") running along the
dorsal surface (the back) of the animal. Depending on what the
shrimp has been eating, this can be a variety of colours.
Obviously, this isn't harmful. Tapeworms are segmented and
very flat, while nematodes, the other possibility, tend to be
smooth, cylindrical, and with obviously tapered or pointed ends.
In any case, I wouldn't use the infected shrimps to feed your
puffers; at least, not raw. Boiling should kill the parasites (if
that's what they are). Cheers, Neale.>
Ghost shrimp, horsehair worms.... -02/06/08 Heya
Bobster (and Neale, and all), <Howzit Sab?> Regarding
"Internal Parasites... In ghost shrimp... possible???
2/6/08", the answer is most assuredly YES, it's
possible. The animals Jessica saw, the "long white
things", are almost certainly horsehair worms. These strange
critters affect crustaceans and insects; to my limited
understanding they do not often affect fish. Apparently larvae
can bore into most any aquatic animal and encyst, but that's
it. And you need both a male *and* female worm to make eggs.... I
would only be slightly concerned for a fish that consumes a
parasitized shrimp; in the following link are videos of the worms
exiting animals that have consumed parasitized hosts of these
worms (not for the faint of heart):
<Ahh!> I have seen more than a hearty handful of ghost
shrimp with these bizarre parasites. Often you can see the worm
moving about within the host.... Freaky, freaky, freaky. In my
experience, about 50% of the shrimp with these worms died when
the worms left the host, and thereafter, did not have a great
survival rate. I *have* had shrimp survive after the worms
exited, but not a great many. The worms can leave the water on
their own - I've seen it happen - but I assume they die
quickly if they do so. All the same, I wouldn't put a
container or tank with parasitized shrimp next to or near tanks
with healthy shrimp or even pet or feeder insects. Some nifty
<Fab> Bob, by your leave, I'll log on, recreate a
folder for myself.... I believe I have the capacity to answer one
or two questions daily, though likely not much more than that
right now. <Yay!> Best regards, -Sabrina C. Fullhart <Be
seeing you, BobF>
Fresh water shrimp can fresh water shrimp cause disease in
humans? thank you <Not as far as I'm aware by simply handling...
however, I would cook any thoroughly if consuming. Bob Fenner>
Attack of the Killer Cabomba? - 08/22/2004 My sister put a
plant called Cabomba caroliniana in her aquarium and within hours the
shrimps she had died. <Pure coincidence, unless the plants had some
sort of toxin spread on them....> Does anyone know if this type of
plant is injurious to shrimps? <It is not, not at all. I
have had plenty of shrimp in aquaria containing this species of
plant. Did your sister use any sort of a dip for the plants
before adding them? Some people will dip plants in solutions
to kill snails, etc., and if not rinsed *thoroughly*, I imagine some of
the water from the dip would get in the tank, and possibly cause
harm. Otherwise, I assume this is pure
coincidence. If you wish to explore other reasons for the
shrimps' deaths, please respond with great detail on your tank -
what size tank? How many and what kind of
shrimp? How many and what kind of fish? What do
you feed the animals? How often do you change
water? What other maintenance do you do? Do you
add any chemicals to the water (aquarium plant fertilizers, iodine for
the shrimp, etc.)? What are your readings for ammonia,
nitrite, nitrate, and pH? When was the most recent animal
added to the tank, and what was it? Hoping to help you get
to the bottom of this, -Sabrina>
Ich medication is not working Hello there, I am having a
problem treating ich in my tank. I have a 29 gallon freshwater tank. I
have a few hatchet fish, and some black phantom tetras (I did have
cardinal tetras, but they all died) <A tough fish to keep, indeed;
very, very sensitive to medications and water parameters.> The
hatchet fish were the first to show symptoms. I also have a
wood shrimp, which I took out before adding any medication. <Ahh,
good move!> First I got Kordon RidIch, I have been using this for
over a week and it does not seem to be doing anything. <It may take
a while for the meds to become effective, especially if you are using
it half-strength (recommended with sensitive tetras, etc.).> After I
started using it, I noticed that the black phantoms started to get
spots, it looks like the hatchet fish have more ich now than when I
started. <It may appear to get worse before it gets
better. I would strongly recommend reading the following
article for a better understanding of this illness: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm
> I have been following the directions, and doing a water change
before each treatment. <Wonderful.> I went to the pet
store today and bought some Mardel CopperSafe, it doesn't give me
very much information about it. I also read some where that if I use
copper in my aquarium, I won't be able to put any invertebrates in
the tank, and I would like to put my wood shrimp back in. <You are
*exactly* correct! Copper will adhere to your substrate,
decor, etc., and leach out slowly over time. Returning the
shrimp to the tank after copper treatment is very, very risky - I would
not use the copper, at all. Ananda introduced me to a
product called "Eco-Librium FW" made by Fish-Vet; she has
informed me that it works very, very well, and has thus far been safe
for her scaleless buds - but I do not know how shrimp-safe it would be;
no ingredients are listed. Here is the manufacturer's
.> Do you have any suggestions? <By far, your best option is to
remove the fish from the tank and use whatever medication you prefer on
the fish in a separate quarantine/hospital tank. Then, you
will not have to worry about the shrimp, and he can go back to his home
after you clean the RidIch from the tank.> Thank you so much,
<Any time.> Leeann Pippert <Wishing you
Molting, Dead, or a Shell? Ok, I've had this bamboo
shrimp for several months and when I woke up yesterday it wasn't
moving. <Yikes, sorry to hear it!> Well, I know a dead/ sick/
injured fish when I see one but I don't have much to go on when it
comes to shrimp. Its legs are still spread out as if he's about to
start walking and yet there he stays not moving any appendage at all.
<Do check that this isn't an empty shell - I have been fooled a
few times by shells left over from molting.> Well, the shrimp and
other crustaceans I've seen curl their legs inward as life ceases
but those are usually served with cocktail sauce. So, not wanting him
to be dead I convinced myself that he is/ was merely molting therefore
I should leave him be. <It should be fine to remove the
shrimp/shell. If the shell is empty, your shrimp is probably
lurking around somewhere in there. If it turns out to be a
shrimp, well, my apologies. :( > However, if he is dead I don't
really want him to decay in my tank. <Agreed.> How long should I
wait before removing the body (exoskeleton or carcass) from the tank?
<Go ahead and remove it. My shrimps usually devour their
shells before I get to them, so I've given up trying to pull them
out. If the shell/shrimp is still in there, and still not,
well, alive, go ahead and pull it out. I'd also like to
mention, adding iodine to the tank will help your inverts out
tremendously. I use Kent Marine iodine in my freshwater
shrimp tanks, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every
week. Since doing this, I have experienced tremendous
results with my shrimps. I do wish you and your fan-handed
pal the best! -Sabrina>
Shrimps, FW Hi there I got a 5gal.
tank for Christmas last year. It brought back memories of my
childhood almost 50 years ago. I quickly went down to a
local fist store and to my amazement found a $.79 tank (just
before the store owner would get new fish on Thu. he would
go threw the tanks and any single fish he would put in this tank
just to get rid of them.) I was like a kid again every few
weeks going down to the store and seeing what was there. I
have 3 neon's, 3 white clouds, 3 zebras, and a white
vial tetra in the tank. few weeks ago I got 3
ghost shrimp but they seemed to die during there mullet. <?>
I went down and bought 3 more and again they seem to be dead
one at a time on the bottom of the tank. I went out and got
Kent's Iodine the label said 1 drop per 50 gal. so took
a cap full and cut it with 10 caps of water. I add 1 drop
per. week with my gal water change. And of course went out
and got (yes you guessed it ) 3 more shrimp. 1 seemed to die
but I lost the other 2. <?> My tank is pretty heavily
planted with Java moss and ferns, swords plants, and several other
types of plants I got from the fish store. I really like the
different shapes and colors of the plants with the fish
swimming around them but my real joy is the shrimp. I just got 2
bamboo shrimp but 1 is a fan feeder about 1.5 inches in
length (I think you call it that) and the other is a long armed shrimp
about 2 .5 inches in length. They were in the same tank
about 5gal with about 12 other shrimp of the same types.
After I put them in my than I noticed at least 4 ghost shrimp come
from some place to investigate the newcomers everyone seems to be
getting alone wonderfully. Now to cut to the
chase am I adding the right amount of iodine to the water or
should I just add 1 drop per gal. as you said in the past?
<Not able to tell w/o testing... this material is transient
depending on water chemistry, bio-load...>
Should I buy shrimp pellets for
the bamboo shrimp or is my testament and live plants OK?
<Please read on the Net re... not able to live on pellets>
the best way I could care for OTTO & HERMAN they are so
cool? <Who are they?> I really think my tank is perfect until I
get a bigger tank with more plants and shrimp.
Is there any types of shrimp
or invertebrate I should stay away from in the future? Thank
you so very much for your time and please keep up the good
work Walter. <Walt... please read over, have someone there review
your writing before you send it... Some doesn't make sense, a bunch
is mis-spelled. I do wish our "shrimp queen" were with us
more often (Sabrina). Will cc her here in the hopes she will respond.
Missing Shrimp I am the proud owner of a new 20 gallon
freshwater aquarium. I have had it up and running for about 2.5 weeks
with two scissortail Rasboras, and it is now completely cycled. The
ammonia is 0, as is the nitrite level, and the ph is somewhere around
7.8. After weeks of anticipation, I went out today and bought two
Gouramis that fade from orange to silver, three cherry barbs, a false
Cory, and two japonica shrimp. If you haven't heard of them they
were about an inch long, and looked like ghost shrimp (the store said
they cost more for their "algae eating abilities").
When I returned home I excitedly acclimated them and then released them
into my aquarium, I came back about an hour later, and the shrimp were
gone, I had heard somewhere that some shrimp burrow and I was hopeful,
but it is now the evening and there is still no sign of them. Were they
eaten by the Rasboras (2.5") I hope not. I was also wondering if
you have any suggestions for a peaceful community fish that is blue or
green, I feel like there is so much red in my aquarium. And one last
question, I also have a ten gallon aquarium with a golden mystery
snail, one albino Cory, I adult male guppy and two adult females, 5
juveniles, and about fifteen on week olds. What should I do to relive
my overpopulated tank, my nitrite and ammonia levels are zero but I
can't help but feel that they are crowded. Thanks for having such a
great site, Steven <First, keep testing for ammonia and nitrite. Two
and a half weeks seems a little quick to establish good strong bio
filtration. And you stocked a little quickly. The new fish add to the
amount of ammonia that needs to be filtered by the bacteria in your
filter. The colony will need time to grow and adjust. Do water changes
to correct any spikes. When ammonia and nitrite stay at zero AND
nitrates are on the rise, you are cycled. Not sure what happened to
your shrimp. They may be hiding in there somewhere. They may have been
eaten. Not sure what a "False Cory" is, but my catfish love
shrimp. You may also want to check in your filter. Don>
QUARANTINE FISH TO SAVE SHRIMP Hello! Just a quick question
about my dear little Bamboo/wood/Singapore shrimp... I was unaware that
these little guys could jump so well! I had a problem with a parasite
on some of my other tropicals - Blue and Dwarf Gouramis and a couple
stray fruit tetras, plus three Pictus Cats. The cats brought some sort
of white parasite in with them.. much smaller than any ick I've
seen, more like dust. I'm thinking (and treating for) fish lice,
but the meds I have cover the bases for gill flukes etc as well. Any
thoughts? Anyhow, he needed to be separated since the meds said
NOT FOR USE ON INVERTEBRATES on them. I had him in my hospital tank,
just a 2g with a small filter/airstone and heater, but I left the lid
off. Hearing a noise, I discovered he was GONE. I found him, about 5
minutes later, on the carpet. Will this kill him? Anything I can do to
help him? He seems shocked. Well, any input appreciated! Thanks a
million! Krystin < Most aquatic arthropods can handle some
terrestrial time as long as the gills are not allowed to dry out too
much. Your problem stems from not quarantining your new fish prior to
placing them in your main tank with the shrimp. Many medications can
harm and even kill shrimp so treat your new fish in a hospital or
quarantine tank to keep your invertebrates alive and well in the