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FAQs about Hippolytid Cleaner Shrimps, Health-Disease

Related Articles: Hippolytid Cleaner Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp, A Few Common Shrimps for the Marine Aquarium by James W. Fatherree,

Related FAQs: & FAQs on: Hippolytid FAQs 1, Hippolytid FAQs 2, Hippolytid Identification, Hippolytid Behavior, Hippolytid Compatibility, Hippolytid Selection, Hippolytid Systems, Hippolytid Feeding, Hippolytid Reproduction, & by species: Atlantic Cleaner Shrimp (L. grabhami), Blood/Debelius Shrimp (L. debelius), California Cleaner Shrimp (L. californica), Pacific Cleaner Shrimp (L. amboinensis), Peppermint Shrimp (L. wurdemanni), Saron Shrimps, Sexy Shrimp (T. amboinensis), & FAQs on All Cleaner Shrimp 1, Cleaner Shrimp 2, All Cleaner Shrimp Identification, Cleaner Shrimp Behavior, Cleaner Shrimp Selection, Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility, Cleaner Shrimp Systems, Cleaner Shrimp Feeding, Cleaner Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction, & Coral Banded Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Most all problems are directly or indirectly the result of one or two categories of causes: Improper or vacillating water quality... or predation. These animals need high, constant biomineral and alkaline content, a dearth of competitors, no predators present; places to hide during moults.

Question about Lysmata amboinensis; hlth.        4/14/15
<Hey Nic>
I'm amazed by the ton of valuable information posted on the FAQ dedicated to L. amboinensis, but unfortunately did not find any for my case, which I will describe below.
My three L. amboinensis died (one died first, three weeks ago, and remaining two passed away yesterday). Symptoms were similar : they had some kind of brown algae on the antennas and the thorax, and considerably reduced their activities since then. I assume this is a disease or a parasite, but could not find any related resource on the web. Have anyone ever heard about such case ?
<Ah, yes... methinks this may be due to overall lacking circumstances: Most often an imbalance of N,P,K and alkaline earth components... some that may be made up from feeding; some through dosing (particularly iodide-ate); secondarily from accumulation of shrimp-toxic materials (again, from supplements mainly). Bob Fenner>
Re: Question about Lysmata amboinensis          4/15/15

Hi Bob,
Thanks so much for the feedback.
Can you be more specific about imbalance ?
<Mmm; yes... though much more detail to be had w/ a bit of look/see in the scientific lit.>
I regularly record my parameters as follows : d 1024, pH 8.2, KH 6.7, NO3 0, PO4 0,
<... how are nitrate and phosphate rendered zip? You do realize that some (measurable) is necessary?>

Ca 370, Mg 1200.
I do not supplement anything (old school, I know…).
<I think this lack of practice IS best. Again, I caution against the use of chemical filtrants. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner and Fire Shrimp with white spots    6/18/12
Hi there,
For the past 3 days all of my shrimp including 4 x cleaner shrimp and 2 x fire shrimp, appear to have white spots over their exoskeleton.
<I see these in your pic of one of the former>
This range from a couple of spots on one, to a dozen spots on another shrimp.
Do you have any idea what this maybe?
<I do not, unfortunately... could be "spurious" (e.g. sand or such stuck to the outside of their exoskeletons), and doubtful if "very" harmful... would remove with a scalpel and look under a low power 'scope if interested; likely ignore otherwise... Perhaps a double/triple dose of iodide/ate will move them. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpdis.htm>
 I've searched high and low and can't find any information.
I've attached a picture.
Many Thanks Matt
<As many welcome. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!  4/9/12
Hi guys! In urgent need of some help here!
I've had these two cleaner shrimps for about 5 months, and they have been at the peak of health.
But today suddenly while re-aquascaping a bit today I suddenly noticed that one of my cleaners had this strange unknown spot/blotch or lesion.
<I see this/these>
His behavior is fine, he does not seem in any kind of distress and is acting completely normal, just like any other day.
Water parameters are all fine, and my cleaners have no prior history of health issues during the entire 5 month period.
And I have not added anything at all to the tank, period, since then, no livestock, no rock, nothing!
This mark seems to have cropped up out of nowhere in the last 24-48 hours.
Specific gravity: 1.026
PH: 8.3
Alk: 9 dKH
Calcium: 400 ppm
Magnesium: 1350 ppm
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Phosphate: 0
<How are NO3 and HPO4 rendered zip?>
Would be really happy if someone could shed some light on this, thanks!
Kindest regards,
<Mmm, the most likely "explanation" for this/these mark/s is environmental... Do you administer Iodide, -ate regularly? I would. Oh, and read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpdisfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!  4/9/12
Hi! Thanks for the quick reply!
My fear was because of the oval shape that it could be some kind of parasite,
<Mmm, highly unlikely>
although thought it odd if it would pop up now.
I have to admit that I do not know what the abbreviation "zip" means.
<My apologies... as in "nothing" "zero", "zilch"... In other words, am wondering if you're utilizing chemical filtrants (there should be "some" measurable nitrate and phosphate in all biological systems...), or perhaps there is an aggressive pest algal issue here scavenging up all available>
And no, I don't supplement Iodide, mainly because I have not found a test kit to reliably test for it in my tank.
<Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/IodineSWArt.htm
and the linked files above. I would "under add" if nothing else here...>
Plus I have been told that it should be enough with regular water changes, to replenish the trace elements.
<And you, BobF>
Re: Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!  4/9/12

Wow thanks! That clears up a lot!
So happens that I do have a fair amount of macro algae in my tank, and I run a refugium loaded with Chaetomorpha on a reverse daylight cycle.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I guess this is likely the reason I have a "0" reading, and I suppose could also be depleting my iodine levels.
<Ah yes... a likely scenario. B>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!    4/18/12
Hi Bob!
Just thought I would give a follow up on my shrimp.
After I last wrote the discoloration on his carapace turned completely black, and took on a somewhat "dented" appearance in the middle.
Though after a few days most of the black discoloration faded only the edges of the anomaly remained black.
Today he finally molted, and there is nothing black left, though a slight discoloration and scarring seems to remain, in particular something that looks like a tiny clear cyst-like disfiguration in the middle of where the black spot was in the images I sent you.
To me this almost seems like it could have been some kind of physical trauma to his carapace and maybe some minor complications with it during his molt.
But then again that's just me guessing as I have not been able to find any comprehensive information on shrimp injuries or what scarring would look like on critters with an exoskeleton.
<Thank you for this follow-up Mark. BobF>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!    4/20/12
Hi again.
Sorry to trouble you again, but there's been a complication.
My shrimp or some other tank inhabitant has scratched off the bubble/cyst from his carapace.
He now has a hole open into his gut, and some of the food he eats ends up spilling out.
For the moment he seems chipper, but the hole is decidedly not a good thing.
Is there anything I can do for him? Can the injury heal itself?
Or is an injury like this inevitably terminal?
<I do hold out hope that this wound will self-heal. I would "step up" your iodide-ate dosing to help>
<And you, BobF>

Two Feather duster worms and blood shrimp gone on same day 1/11/12
<Hi Janice>
We have a 55 gallon salt water tank with about 53 pounds of live rock and live sand. About a month ago we added a blood shrimp and two feather duster worms. The blood shrimp stayed hidden in the rock from the day we put him in there. The feather duster worms did great. However, over this past weekend we woke up in the morning to the blood shrimp dead.
<Mmm, are you sure it's not the skeleton from a molt?>
One feather duster was hanging out of his tube and eventually lost his crown. That same day the other feather duster was hanging almost completely out of his tube and also lost his crown. Not sure if either worm are back in their tube. If I had to guess I would say they are not.
Also there was this spider web like string floating in the tank.
<Have you since taken an ammonia test? Did any foreign substance find it's way into the water that you are aware of? Were these animals fed properly?
There is generally not enough food in a system to sustain tubeworms and cleaner shrimp and supplemental feeding must be done.>
We have two clowns, one damsel, one yellow tang, four Chromis and one scooter blenny which all appear fine. We added some coral on Christmas eve. We checked the water levels and everything was perfect. Really confused on what happen. Hoping maybe you can give some insight.
<I do suggest reading/learning here and related FAQs/articles.
Thank you,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Janice Waters
Re Two Feather duster worms and blood shrimp gone on same day 1/11/12

Thank you.
<You're welcome Janice.>
I had checked out both the sites you recommended and found them very helpful. Not the skeleton :( He had molted two times previously. No ammonia either. The only test we do not have is the calcium?
<For future reference it is a good idea to dose iodine when keeping crustaceans. It makes molting a little easier for them.>
I'm assuming that they didn't get enough food.
<More than likely.>
We did not supplement their food. We feed twice a day dry flake food and some pellets for the blenny and once a week some frozen brine shrimp. We have a power head as well to help circulate everything. The live rock as plenty of healthy algae that the tang and other fish munch on as well.
Thank you for your advice.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Greatly appreciated.
Janice Waters

Peppermint shrimp injury? 9/19/11
My fiancé© and I have been reading your forums on peppermint shrimp and haven't found anything applicable, so we hope you don't mind that we're asking our own question. Apologies if you had the answer somewhere and we missed it.
<No problem.>
We recently received a hand-me-down 20 gallon tank, and decided to try our hands at a saltwater aquarium (we're starting fish only for now). Neither of us have any experience with fish at all, so we've been trying to read as much as possible, and have been following plenty of advice from our local fish store.
We have spent the last 3+ weeks cycling the water and trying to get all the levels perfect (our tank has 21lbs of live rock to jump start this). We initially dealt with high nitrate and nitrite levels, and a minor Aiptasia issue, but everything cleared up after a 15% water change. Four days ago we finally had everything ready and all of our levels were great, and we added 6 tiny hermit crabs and 2 peppermint shrimp (as we were told these might be a way to ward off possible Aiptasia in the future). We're waiting another week or so before getting our 2 Nano clowns, as we really want to be certain everything is stable before adding more life to the tank.
<Sounds good.>
In the process of getting the shrimp into our tank, one of them decided to jump and landed on the floor outside of the tank (we were not warned they were jumpers!). We scooped him up and got him in the tank as quickly as we could, and so far he's survived, but he doesn't quite seem normal. He doesn't swim around like the other one and most of the time stays in one of holes in the live rock, coming out only to walk around that large piece of rock cleaning/looking for food. We know they are nocturnal, so hiding during the day is to be expected, but even when the lights are off we still haven't seem him venture more than half an inch from his favored hole, while his counterpart swims all over the place and has a blast exploring and bouncing from rock to rock.
We are assuming that he was injured in the jump/fall, but seeing as he hasn't died yet and it's been 4 days, is there anything we can do to help him get better? Or are we really just waiting for him to die?
<Sounds like pretty typical peppermint shrimp behavior to me, I would not be too concerned about it.>
Thank you so much for all of your help!
- Natalie

Cleaner Shrimp sick? 2/1/11
Hello Crew!
<Hi Mark!>
First let me say that your site and the information on it is just awesome. :)
<Thank you>
But now I present you with a small problem I seem to be having.
My Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) seems to overnight have developed some kind of problem.
<I see this>
He seems to be healthy as can be but his carapace has white spots all over it and some seem to almost be like a bump or cyst.
<Might be...>
I have attached as good as a picture I could get of them, not easy when he won't stand still!
The last thing I added to the tank was about 3 days ago, and that was only some cured live rock and a few corals.
<Mmm, not likely something this animal ate...>
No fish or new hermits/shrimps were added, though I did get a whole bunch of hitchhiking turbo snails.
I don't know if it is a coincidence or not but yesterday he did seem to have had one of his antennas nipped off and he had no spots then.
<Could be related... unilateral ablation is actually a technique used for inducing molting, other beh... What we are seeing might well be hormone related>
I'm at a loss at the moment trying to figure out what's wrong with him, and I hope one of your guys may be able to shed some light on the situation.
Kindest Regards
<I would take a/the watch and be patient approach here for now. You have read on WWM re the use of iodide-ate, biomineral and alkalinity needs of this Hippolytid I take it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp sick? 2/5/11
Thanks for the Quick reply, thought I would give you an update on the situation.
While I have not read that very article I am well aware of the needs.
I moved ahead my bi-weekly water change and performed it on Wednesday instead, and related or not I did notice later the same day that my Cleaner had molted during the day.
What's more I also spotted that it was carrying eggs after the molt.
It has now been 3 days and no sign of any strange spots, just one healthy cleaner shrimp with a shiny new exoskeleton.
Thank you very much for your advice. :)
Best Regards
<Thank you for this follow up Mark. Will accrue. BobF>

Fire Shrimp is dying?! 11/7/2010
Hi, This morning I found my Fireshrimp on his back with his little legs slowly moving. I was shocked. Now I am trying to figure out why. I have a 14 gallon
<Hard to keep such small volumes stable>
Biocube tank that has been running for about 2 months.
<Too soon for stocking shrimps/Natantians>
(I had actually sent you a previous email regarding a limp coral which I had to throw away.) I have had the shrimp in my tank for eleven days. I was feeding him tropical granules from LFS. My temp is 80 salt is .025
<Uh, no>
no nitrates/nitrites/ammonia
<... need some NO3>
I have been using tap water in my tank. I use water conditioner. I notice that I have phosphate at about .25? and possibly silicate as I have brown algae (diatoms) and some red fuzzy algae on my live rock. Tuesday I added macroalgae to my tank thinking they would help clear the algae outbreaks. they are red grape, fire fern and red Gracilaria.
I am trying to figure out if I should use RO water or distilled water from a store or prepared salt water from the LFS.
<RO from home is best>
I don't have a test kit for calcium, magnesium or iodine. He did shed most of his exoskeleton the second day I had him.
<... I'd be reading more>
I have been doing 40% water changes trying to clear the water. I am wondering if he actually had enough to eat as I didn't want to overfeed him as I thought he would be eating from the bottom. I am so sad about this. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks, Michelle
<Mmm, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpdis.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fire Shrimp is dying?!
Hi again, I took a water sample to Petco and they said the PH was low at 7.8! I bought a liquid that is supposed to raise it up to 8.3. Do you think the addition of the macroalgae messed it up?
<Can't tell from the data provided... you should do a bit of reading re alkalinity... B>
thanks, Michelle

Peppermint Shrimp/Health 2/15/10
<Hello Mike>
I have a 150g marine tank, 30g sump, 40g holding tank in line for more capacity, with 1 Yellow Tang, 2 damsels, 1 Chromis, 2 Percula Clowns, 4 Emerald Crabs, 1 sally crab <Sally Lightfoot>, many hermit crabs, and 2 cleaner shrimp (the ones with long white antenna).
<Ah yes, the Longnostrus antenataelus :-)>
My question is every time I add some peppermint shrimp, they die over night. Are the cleaner shrimp killing them?
<Likely the opportunistic feeding Emerald Crabs and/or improper acclimation. Shrimp are very sensitive to abrupt changes in water parameters, and
Emerald Crabs will pose a risk to all ornamental shrimp.>
Temp is 76F, PH 8.3, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0. Thanks for any help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Peppermint Shrimp/Health And James Who Doesn't Have The Heart To Correct " Longnostrus antenataelus" 2/15/10
Subject: re: peppermint shrimp
How long would you suggest an acclimation period be? I did a drip method for 2 hours.
<That should be fine.>
One of the Longnostrus antenataelus was also bought at the same time and survived after acclimation.
<As mentioned earlier, could be a predatory problem re the Emerald Crab(s), and quite often, shrimps will attempt to molt in a new system and may have gone into hiding until it's new exoskeleton hardens. There is also the likelihood the shrimp may have been in poor health to begin with.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Acclimation of Lysmata amboinensis -- 12/15/09
Good day crew,
I am experiencing problems acclimating skunk cleaner shrimp to my tank. All tank parameters are fine except for nitrate being around ten. Also tested for copper. My first batch of three were flown in personally by me from Singapore and made it in good condition. Temperature acclimated them for half an hour.
<Mmm, a critically important question. Did you measure/check for both pH and nitrogenous (ammonia, nitrite) issues?>
But on drip acclimating them over a period of an hour and then releasing them in the tank, they initially climbed all over the rocks then just dropped to the floor lifeless ! I reasoned that the acclimation was too short. Then I got one specimen flown over from Sri Lanka. This was acclimated for two hours. Was alive for maybe half an hour and then again died ! What am I doing wrong ?
<Likely didn't measure for reduced (in transit) pH, nor ammonia... the rapid (yes) change to normal seawater values... caused the ammonia to poison/toxify the shrimp. Actually very common where aquatic livestock is
"bagged" for hours>
I really want to keep these alive in my tank. Please do advice. And is it possible they are perishing due to netting them and hence exposing them to air for a few seconds ?
<Mmm, no; not likely>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HighInvertInd.htm
scroll down... the few FAQs files on Shrimp Health
Bob Fenner>

Acclimation of Lysmata amboinensis JustinN's indept. reply-- 12/16/2009
Good day crew,
<Hello Blesson! JustinN here!>
I am experiencing problems acclimating skunk cleaner shrimp to my tank. All tank parameters are fine except for nitrate being around ten.
<Actual numbers here would be beneficial -- may be an imbalance somewhere..>
Also tested for copper. My first batch of three were flown in personally by me from Singapore and made it in good condition. Temperature acclimated them for half an hour. But on drip acclimating them over a period of an
hour and then releasing them in the tank, they initially climbed all over the rocks then just dropped to the floor lifeless !
<Oh dear>
I reasoned that the acclimation was too short.
<Is possible, but not my likely guess>
Then I got one specimen flown over from Sri Lanka. This was acclimated for two hours. Was alive for maybe half an hour and then again died !
<Definitely something wrong here>
What am I doing wrong ? I really want to keep these alive in my tank.
Please do advice. And is it possible they are perishing due to netting them and hence exposing them to air for a few seconds ?
<Not likely to be the problem here.>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<It sounds to me like there is either an undetectable/untestable toxin within the water, or perhaps iodine deficiency. The iodine seems far less likely to me, due to the fact that the duration is so quick -- I would expect an iodine issue to manifest closer to time for a molt. Please do provide a full breakdown of your tank parameters -- perhaps there's a clue lying there? -JustinN>

Re Acclimating Lysmata amboinensis... RMF interregnum 12/16/2009
Good day Bob,
I have actually read all the files pertaining to shrimp and am sort of confused about the different techniques for acclimation.
<Let's see if we can reduce your confusion here>
I agree it is a mistake on my part for not checking the ph on arrival. If it is reduced what am I to do ?
<Match it in the acclimation, drip water... and after a few volumes of this has been "run over" (i.e. spilled to waste, to dilute the nitrogenous metabolites), allow system pH water to be slowly blended/mixed in>
Is the use of dilute Hydrochloric acid necessary as mentioned in the Guerrilla technique ?
<Mmm, actually, better to use a "less strong" acid like sodium biphosphate (common ingredient in freshwater pH adjusting products) or an organic acid like acetic/vinegar>
Or should I just employ a longer acclimation ?
<Mmm, no>
Maybe over an entire day after discarding bag water as quickly as possible.
I also read something mentioned in the FAQs about poking pin holes in the bag and letting it float in the tank, this is supposed to mix water very slowly. Is this a viable technique with regards to my situation.
<No. Best not to add shipping water to your main display>
I am kind of nervous on ever attempting to keep another specimen after killing four ! Thanks for all the effort in trying to help me out. Blesson.
<Does the protocol above make sense to you? Imagine that aquatic life (including fishes) when in their shipping bags have about the same concentration of metabolites in their blood streams et al. as the water tests for in the bag/s... They can't take the sudden change (in pH in particular) with these materials present... So, time needs to go by with matched pH water (with not metabolites in it) diluting the bag water, allowing the animals to flush out the metabolites from their systems...
After this is done (by serial dilution) slowly raising the pH back up is done ahead of adding them to "normal" system water. BobF>

Re: Acclimation of Lysmata amboinensis -- 12/16/2009
Good day Justin,
<Hello again Blesson!>
This mail was already replied to by Bob. He reasoned that pH difference and accumulation of metabolites within the bag to a toxic state while slow drip acclimation to be the problem.
<A very reasonable assumption here -- that's why he's the man.>
Anyways these are my parameters :
Sp.gr 1.024
Temp constant at 25 c
Ph 8.1
Alk 8 dKH
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10
Phosphate 0
Calcium 440
Cu 0
Trace elements including Iodine are dosed on a regular basis
<As a side note, I'd personally up the salinity to the 1.026 range, but otherwise looks great. Glad that Bob was able to help you -- I would agree with his assertions completely. Cheers! -JustinN>

Re: Acclimating Lysmata amboinensis, and CP trtmt. 12/16/2009
Hi Bob,
Thanks a lot, that cleared up almost everything.
<Ahh; clarity is pleasurable>
When I adjust the ph upwards with the system water, how slow should this be done ?
Over how many hours ?
How slowly should I drip the ph adjusted water into the bag water ?
<An hour per full pH point is about right... as a medical student, earnest academic I am sure you appreciate the order of magnitude in Hydrogen ion content, the implications here>
And one last question. Three weeks back you had suggested I use Chloroquine phosphate to treat my fish which showed symptoms of both Crypt and Amyloodinium. Since my qt is not big enough I had to separate the fish into
two batches as I am leaving the display fallow. Most of them are treated in the qt whereas the yellow tang and the cleaner wrasse are treated in a large inert plastic tub. Everything was going on fine until suddenly the water in the container has turned deep yellow about a day back ! Its almost impossible to see the fish and the Tang keeps trying to jump out. What is this due to ?
<A over simplistic jargonistic statement but: "Metabolite interactions"...
Best to...>
Already did a partial water change. Should I go with another larger change and replenish the medicine or not ?
<Change most all the water and re-new the medicine to full concentration.

Odd Lysmata amboinensis Deaths, poisoning 11/6/09
Greetings! I have now lost my 6th Scarlet cleaner shrimp for and unknown reason. For starters my system specs: 120 gallon system with Rena canister filter and an aqua remora protein skimmer with a large pump. My tank contains 175-200 pounds of live, well cured rock and 5 clay pots of various sizes. I have three fish, a 7-8 inch unicorn tang ( not of the Vlamingi type) a two inch Sailfin tang, and a 5 inch gold stripe maroon clownfish.
None of my fish that I have ever had nor the ones I currently have ever showed any aggression towards the little shrimp. I have never purchased adult sized shrimp nor very small shrimp. Usually around the 1 inch
measurement ( usually a bit larger). My water quality is excellent and feather dusters do very well. I feed my fish Spectrum Thera +A and Mysis shrimp and Spirulina algae every two-three days. I feed them so long as the feeding session lasts 5 minutes then they're done. Every single shrimp has always cleaned and
eaten well. Here's the catch, I've never found any remains and they all last 3-4 days before vanishing into murky water (pardon the pun). The only chemical I put into my aquarium is purple up on a regular basis and
ChemiClean when necessary.
<Either one of these... Likely the Algicide...>
I keep up weekly water changes and filter media changing. If you have a remedy to my expensive problem, my fish and I would be ever so grateful!
<I wouldn't use the Algicide, nor likely the coralline booster product/s.
See WWM re both, and Hippolytid Health FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Shrimps Dying 7/14/09
Dear WWW crew
Hope you can help me
<Will try.>
Over the course of 3 weeks, I have lost all my shrimps (3 Lysmata debelius and 2 Lysmata amboinensis) I have had them all for more than 2 years.
<Were they being fed a few times per day. Most shrimp identified as cleaners will consume one another to a degree, if a lack of alternate food or cover exists. Any sudden change of pH and/or salinity can also be
detrimental to their health.>
I started to check my water, and the only thing out of order were nitrates that were at 10. Everything else checked out at 0. Salinity 1.025.
I have a little bit of Cyanobacteria. Today I bought a Lysmata debelius and it died almost instantly, when it went into my tank. What is going on?
Temperature is at 27.5 degrees. I am a bit puzzled, and I am almost tearing my (remaining) hair out.
<Did you drip acclimate this shrimp? As above, sudden changes in pH/salinity..... Do read/search here for more help.
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Michael Fick
<Great country, have been in Copenhagen (enjoyed Tripoli Gardens) and other cities years ago. >

Re Shrimps Dying 7/16/09
Hi James
I have been dosing some iodine, but not on a regularly basis, it has been more sporadic. Ca is at 300 and Mg at 1220, could that have any effect? My Ca is usually between 300-350.
<Not directly, but best to keep Ca at 400ppm and Mg at 1280-1300 or somewhere close to that.>
You mentioned food (in another mail) Do you think that cold have been the culprit?
<Based on what you have told me, I'm thinking it is likely the major reason. Do dose iodine on a weekly basis, shrimp in good health generally molt on a monthly basis.>
Of course that doesn`t explain why the new Debelius I bought died.
<I believe we are on another train here. James (Salty Dog)>
P.s I have only been to the States once. In 2000 my wife and I went on a 3 week holiday. Driving around the states of California, Arizona, Nevada and a little bit of Utah. The Californian coastline is so dramatic and beautiful. It was a great holiday.
<Never been to any of those states, but do agree with you on the California coast line. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/15/09
Hi James
<Hello Michael>
Thanks for your reply
<You're welcome.>
I did drip acclimate the shrimp, over the course of an hour, but I did notice toward the end that it seemed to be struggling, so I rushed it into the tank.
I started to think if there was something seriously wrong with my water. I added a couple of hermit crabs to today (Calcinus elegans) they seem to be doing fine.
<Much hardier than the shrimp.>
About a month ago I added some new substrate to the tank, but it wasn`t much. Could that have anything to do with it?
I did another test of pH. the first one was done one Sunday. Today it reads 8.5. That is a bit high is it not?
<No, not alarming, could be the test kit.>
I used to do weekly water changes, but stopped doing it by the beginning of March, on the basis of some advice I received. I wonder if that had an effect?
<Would have. Shrimp need to molt to survive/grow and iodine is needed to do this. Have you been dosing iodine/iodide?>
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
P.s So you have been to Tivoli Garden that is indeed a wonderful place
<Yes, very peaceful atmosphere. Did shoot across to Norway also, liked that too. People were so helpful/friendly.
Food and bier wasn't too bad either.>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/15/09
Hi James
I have never fed my shrimps intentionally. But I have been cutting down on feeding over the last couple of months to avoid overfeeding.
<Not good. Likely that food availability on the live rock diminished with time and your shrimp slowly starved to death.
Supplemental feeding is required for survival. Personally, I use a pellet type food and they do not waste any time getting to it.
Too many folks think these type critters can survive on whatever they find and this is not the case in our systems. In a moderately stocked tank, there isn't going to be too much food left for scavenging.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/19/09
Hi James
Thanks (again) for your reply. so why do you think that the "new" shrimp died?
<Could be from handling/bagging, acclimation, etc..>
Also if I start to do water changes regularly again (which I am considering). Would enough iodine from that be sufficient?
<On average, natural seawater contains .064ppm of iodine, not much, is it? In that regard, I would dose weekly with iodine as I have no information on how much iodine is present in various salt mixes. Standard mixes likely contain none, while some reef mixes may provide a small amount equal to natural seawater. You may want to read the iodine FAQ's here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Michael Fick
P.S Go and visit those states someday, the landscape is absolutely amazing. And you got to see places like Bryce Canyon, which in a way is even more fantastic than Grand Canyon.
<Yes, I plan on it someday. My daughter moved to Arizona and is always wanting us to move there, sooo, the day
may come.>

And then there were two. Lysmata hlth. 8/18/08 Dear Crew, <Rich> I think one of my Lysmata amboinensis died last night. Here are the details. The tank is 6 months old with two tank bred Amphiprion percula for 4 months (after 2wks in QT), two Nemateleotris magnicifica for 3 weeks (after QT 3wks), and three tank bred L. amboinensis for a week (after QT 2wks) until today, I think. It is a 72 gal bowfront with a 10 gal sump, <I bet both of us wish this was larger> about 80 lbs of live rock, and a skimmer. When I looked in this morning, it looked like one of the shrimp was trying to hide in a small space between the rock and sand substrate. He was not moving. I figured he had molted and was trying to hide because there were pieces of exoskeleton scattered in the tank. <Very likely so then> Molting had occurred before and none of the shrimp had ever tried to hide. <Mmm, do "naturally"> An hour or two later, the body was floating around near the substrate. I thought there might have been more molting because the eyes and dark internal gut parts were gone, but when I removed this piece from the tank, there was muscle/meat in the tail and the tail coloration was bright red unlike a molted exoskeleton. In addition, there was more skimmate than usual. <Good observations, relating> I'm pretty certain he's dead although we'll see if he crawls out of the rock in the next few days. Assuming he doesn't, this begs the question. why? <A few regular possibilities> Tank parameters today are stable: 80F, 1.022, <Mmm, really too low... s/b 1.025-6> pH 8.2, Ca 380 ppm, KH 196.9 ppm, <Mg... and its proportionality with Ca?> and zero ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. All remaining livestock are eating well and acting normally. One of the remaining shrimp is a little larger and carrying eggs. She will push the other shrimp out of the way, but could she actually kill another shrimp? <Could, yes> This seems unlikely although I imagine she nibbled on the presumed deceased. Will these shrimp attack a freshly molted comrade? <Can, yes> I have a hard time believing there is an intruder in the rock because I haven't noticed any evidence with the other fish or the shrimp when molting has occurred before. The only other possible source I can imagine is some parasite or contaminant in the SF Bay Frozen Cyclops I feed them. I alternate this with Spectrum dried pellets. If the frozen food is the culprit, are there any ways to avoid unwanted contaminants? <Not the food> Any idea what happened to my shrimp? <Perhaps just "bad genes"...> Of note, at least one of them was accidentally exposed to air three weeks ago when I was acclimating them. <Perhaps a stress element> Since I have your attention, I have a couple other questions. First, how long should I dip fish in Methylene blue? <Posted... generally not much more benefit past about five minutes immersion> I used the Kordon Methylene Blue preparation for all the fish mentioned so far. The manufacture recommends no longer than 10 seconds. This is supposed to make 50 ppm. <I'd bath for longer> For the clowns and Firefish, I did so, but I tried 3 minutes for my most recent arrival, a royal Gramma. I thought it was ok as long as there was no evidence of distress. He rolled onto his side. I didn't use an airstone, but a standard 5 gallon bucket with only an inch or two of solution. However, he didn't look good for hours after being placed in the QT where he is now. At first, he was gulping for air at the surface, nearly jumping out of the covered tank. <Typical behavior> Then, he just rolled on to his side and breathed very deeply then very shallow for most of the night. <Ditto> Today, he's more active although we just started working on feeding. He'll QT for 4 weeks. All my livestock fed well in the store and were acclimated prior to QT, the shrimp with a drip. My last question is about stocking. I plan to finish my piscine roll call <Neat> with either a Centropyge bispinosa or a Centropyge loricula. I realize I'm probably done after this, but I wondered if you could render an opinion about adding a Sand Sifting Star to the tank after all the fish are in. What do you think? <I wouldn't... for the reasons archived... on WWM> Oh one more. can a shrimp molt while carrying eggs? <Mmm, no... not w/o losing the eggs> Thanks very much for your time and all the work that goes into this site. Rich <As you know, a pleasure to share, learn thereby. Bob Fenner>

Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp/ Ammonia levels 03/28/2008 Hey guys, <<G'Morning, Andrew here>> OK here we go. I have a question within a question. First my tank info: 20 gal (salt water) tank is 3 months old Whisper 20 power filter (Activated Charcoal) Generic small skimmer rated for a 30 gal tank Temp: 79F Salt: 1.025 Nitrate: 2.0 (yes I know) Ammonia: .23 (again I know) 1 x Brown Saddle Back Clown 1/2"-3/4" 1 x Lawnmower Blenny 3"-3 1/2" 1 x Fire Fish 1 1/2"-2" 1 x Coral Beauty 3" 1 x Butterfly Fish 3" 3 x Turbo snails 1 x Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp 4 x small assorted hermit crabs 30-35 lbs live rock 3"-3 1/2" Crushed coral/shell live substrate All was well till 2 days ago. The snails were doing their grazing, the Blenny eating everything in sight, the Coral Beauty being the Diva she is, getting cleaned every 10-20 minutes. All in all everything was going well, then everything went to hell in a hand basket. All levels started to sharply rise to dangerous proportions. I did a 70% water change last night. The ammonia is now slightly higher than it was yesterday. I think I may be over feeding the fish so I cut back. What can I do besides another 70% water change or starting the tank from scratch. <<Yikes...In all honesty, that is far far too much livestock for a 20 gallon tank. The Coral Beauty and the Butterfly do need a lot bigger homes than their current habitat. Suggest around the 50 gallon mark. The stocking levels of your tank are not helping water parameters. It could well of been, as you mention below, over feeding and this is causing the bio-load to be raised higher in the tank>> This I do not want to do. The fish have been very stressed. Also I am noticing my cleaner shrimp has tiny hairs and "fuzz" like stuff growing on her since the water change. She is my favorite in the tank cause she has such personality. She runs around seeking out the fish and cleans them nonstop, and my hand as well if offered. I would hate to loose her. Any ideas? <<As above, I think if you removed the Butterfly and the coral beauty, the bio-load levels on the tank will drop considerably as I feel its too much for the filtration of the system.>> <<Thanks for the comments, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Parasite on New Cleaner Shrimp - 2/18/08 Hi, Great website by the way! <Thanks, Ed! It's a collective treasure, isn't it!> I recently purchased a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp <Lysmata sp.> and I am having some difficulty with it. It is living in my FOWLR tank on its own and there are some things I don't understand. <Alright, let's see if we can't figure them out.> 1) There is a peach coloured, bubble type of growth on the side of the shrimp, is it a parasite or will it go at the next molt? <This is a blood-sucking parasite, generally called a Eucarid or Bopyrid Isopod. We see them occasionally on shrimp, especially in the genus Lysmata (cleaner shrimps). These parasites don't come off when the shrimp molts and they're next to impossible to remove without killing the host. The growth you see is actually a female isopod that before it attached, looked like a typical small 'roly poly' isopod. These organisms attach themselves to a shrimp, bury under the carapace, and change form into what appears to be a whitish tumor/mass. Color can vary based on the hue of the overlying carapace. The good news is that although unsightly, these parasites do not necessarily kill the host. Nor do they pose a likely threat to any future shrimps in your system. This is because they require an intermediate host, a type of copepod, that isn't normally found in aquaria. One thing of note however, is that although these don't actually kill the shrimp by themselves, they can weaken it as well as render it sterile. A shrimp with one of these parasites attached is not going to be as strong as one without. It's going to be more susceptible to changes in its environment, such as water chemistry, etc.> 2) The shrimp appears to be having some difficulty swimming vertically, and does not get very far before it sinks, could this be because of the growth? <Yes, it's possible.> 3) I am having trouble feeding the shrimp. I am trying to feed it Hikari small marine pellets, are they correct for a shrimp? <My experience is that they'll eat just about anything: sinking pellets, small meaty bits of marine origin, flake food, small worms, etc. Just make sure that it's getting a varied diet.> ..and finally, 4) The shrimp never really seems to venture out when the aquarium lights are on, but as soon as they are switched off begins exploring the tank, is there anything I can do to help this? <This may change as the shrimp becomes more accustomed to its surroundings (as long as no predatory fish are introduced!). Part of this behavior may be a function of its slightly weakened state. For example, when shrimps molt, they instinctively hide because they know they're vulnerable. Your shrimp could well realize that it's not a hundred percent and be a bit more cautious. For more information/photos regarding these parasites, please see the following links: http://www.qualitymarineusa.com/article.asp?page=feature&id=968EF63B-2D1D-469A-847A-8E8541B12BE4  http://home2.pacific.net.ph/~sweetyummy42/hitchshrimp.html > Thanks for all your help as I am new to marine fishkeeping. Many thanks Ed. <You're very welcome, Ed! You've come to the right place! Please let us know if there's anything else we can help you with. Best wishes to you and your little cleaner shrimp. Take care, -Lynn>

Re: Parasite on New Cleaner Shrimp - -02/20/08 <Good morning, Ed!> Thank you for your help regarding my last shrimpy questions, <You're very welcome!> ..but after reading the articles on one of your links, it appears that the parasite (Eucarid) can be removed from the host shrimp, and that the shrimp will make a full recovery. <Hmmm, yes, it can be done, but it sounds like a potentially tricky (and risky for the patient) procedure, particularly if you've never done it before. You've got to have a pair of very fine tweezers, or the like, as well as know the anatomy of the shrimp so that you don't go in at the wrong place. Furthermore, the shrimp is not anesthetized. You've got to capture it, turn it upside down and keep it still in that position under water, reach in at the right spot with fine tweezers. taking care not to puncture the body -- during which time, the shrimp is most likely trying to get away. I've seen reptiles and sharks enter a sort of catatonic state when they're upside down. I'm not sure if shrimp react similarly. At this point, you have to determine which is more life threatening -- the actual parasite or the removal procedure?> Would you recommend this procedure? <Personally, I wouldn't do it and wouldn't recommend it. The shrimp can survive with the parasite and there's little, if any, risk to the rest of the livestock. More importantly, the shrimp is a new addition, already dealing with enough stress. I'm not sure it would survive the procedure.> Many thanks again, Ed <You're most welcome. Take care, -Lynn>

Fire shrimp acclimating -- 07/24/07 <Hey Joe.> I bought a fire shrimp at a reputable salt water store near where I live. I put him in and he seemed fine all day just moving on the live rock. He is in with 3 damsel fish, 1 Bali starfish, 1 chocolate chip starfish and 4 turbo snails. I turned the light in the tank off at about 12am and woke up to the kids screaming hat he was bit in half. It turns out that he must have molted in that time, because his shell was off and there were no signs on him that he had been bit. He did die though. <Did you find the carcass or did you only find the empty shell?> I was wondering if this is common or just a fluke? <They are very sensitive to changes in water quality, temperature and need a very long period to acclimate (several hours) during which water from the tank is slowly added to a bucket with the shrimp and the water in which it was transported in. Many of them die in the first days when acclimated too fast or when water used for larger water changes differs too much from the tank water. Disturbing crustaceans while they are molting might also result in a loss.> Any reasons or suggestions before I look at getting a new one? Thanks Joe. <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i2/fatheree%20shrimps/james_w.htm ; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpselfaqs.htm ; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpdisfaqs.htm could be interesting. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Kole Tang Shaking, and Lysmata hlth. 5/9/07 Thanks Bob for your quick response. This site has become my bible. I've tried adding cleaner shrimp before but on both occasions they haven't made it through QT. <I would NOT quarantine these (Hippolytid) shrimps... Direct placement after careful (for Spg mostly) acclimation will be fine> I like to QT everything now. SO far I've already stopped Aiptasia and a true crab (not sure what kind) from reaching my show tank. I'm also paranoid about adding more ich in the free floating stage with LFS water. <Understood... But there is exceedingly little to gain by such procedures with these crustaceans.> I have a QT setup with sand and rocks for my inverts. Parameters are the same as the show tank except for nitrates which are higher ( 5-7ppm. ) The first time I added a cleaner shrimp it did fine for about a week until it went off food (perhaps I was overfeeding). A couple of days later it died. The second time the shrimp was dead the day after I purchased it. Both times, the shrimp were very small as I feel that putting creatures in a tank when they're small gives them more chance of becoming used to their surroundings. The water current in the QT is quite strong - do you think they could have been blown about too much ? <Mmm, not likely... Just "too much stress" for these animals, facultative cleaners to be separated from host fishes...> They did both seem to struggle when they first went in. Any ideas again would be much appreciated. Thanks -Peter <Again, I would place directly, sans quarantine. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp Hello again! I have a question about our one-eyed cleaner shrimp. (No, he's not some sort of Cyclops, he had a full complement of eyes when we acquired him five months ago but about three months back one eyeball mysteriously disappeared overnight!) <This will "come back" (regenerate) next molt cycle> During the last week we have noticed that he has developed small, black, irregular shaped markings on his body and legs, almost like freckles. They are not raised and don't seem to be bothering him at all. <Are they symmetrical? Likely just coloration, natural markings> My husband has been feeding him by hand since he lost his eye just to make sure he didn't lose out food wise. I was wondering if you have any ideas as to what these marks are and whether we should be concerned. Our other three cleaner shrimp are all fine and mark free (although none of them have ever cleaned a single fish since we've had them!) <Maybe a sexual, size, age difference... the others may be a different species even> Also (sorry, this is a second question), we have spotted a bristle worm - Aarrgh! After reading through your site we have decided not to panic but it is exactly like the photo on your website. It came out of the substrate briefly, saw us staring at it in horror and burrowed back in! <It may have felt the same way> It was just over an inch long. As far as we can tell, all corals and inverts are fine and unbothered (so far!) Are we ok just to keep an eye on things whilst containing our panic or should we be actively trying to remove it? <I'd leave it for now... and not worry> We do have a Pseudocheilinus wrasse but he's only a bit bigger in length than the worm. I imagine he's too small to view the worm as a tasty snack. Your views would be appreciated! Many thanks (again!) Lesley <Enjoy this life. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp Hi again! And another prompt response - thank you, you work so hard! The markings are not symmetrical, one side of his body has more than the other (so far). <Mmm, likely "old age" sorts of markings next in line of probability...> I expect he's looking forward to his new eyeball though! <Yes... this animal will get the new eye, lose the markings next molt... you might want to try feeding it a bit more, and checking on alkalinity to "speed things up" here> Thanks again! Incidentally, will you be coming to the UK anytime soon to give talks, etc? <Most anytime am invited. Am on way past there a couple of times this year... for a big tradeshow in Germany in May and to visit with friends, my business associates family (they live in York) at some as yet undetermined time. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp and crab not surviving in my tank Hi Craig, <Hi Jun!> It's me again. I purchased a cleaner shrimp and a sally light foot crab today (third or fourth cleaner shrimp and the second light foot crab in the last 6 weeks). Within several hours they're already dead. What am I doing wrong? Water parameters are all good. I followed the acclimation process and still no luck. Please help!!!!!!! Thanks.....Jun <Hmm, did you purchase these from a local fish store or have them shipped? If shipped, this could be from adding a normal pH water to a waste laden shipping bag, perhaps affecting the toxic ammonia levels. Also, these guys are incredibly sensitive to salinity changes. If there is a big difference in salinity it needs to changed very, very slowly, like over a day or so. A drip line works well for this and changes water very slowly. These guys are sensitive! I sure hope this helps you. Craig>

Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp Sudden Death after Water Change? Hello Just wondering if you have any information on scarlet cleaner shrimp that relates to water changes. <its extremely common with all arthropods and many mollusks. They are all quite sensitive slight errors in temperature and especially salinity differences between new and old water. Are you sure the new water SG was exactly the same?> I Never had a problem before. The only thing that I did different from before is that I switched to Coral Reef Red Sea http://www.redseafish.com/Products/Coral_Reef_Salt/body_coral_reef_salt.html from my Kent brand. <actually... I don't hold either brand in high regard for their quality control/consistency compared to Instant Ocean, Tropic Marin and Omega brands> Is there something that could be in that mix that causes instant death to shrimps? <not likely... but if a batch had too much of a common metal like magnesium... that would do it> I just finished doing a water change (about 10 gal out of a 55 gal - new water temp perfect match, chlorine removed and matched salt density). My shrimp was fine when I was siphoning the tank, but as soon as I finished filling it back up again he looked listless and was slightly on his side. <has the water been mixed and aerated over night or was it raw? If raw... you've been dodging bullets for a while> He jittered a bit and everything stopped "running" inside him and that was it. He molted last night and I fished out his dead skin first thing this morning. Was the water change too traumatic for his freshly molted self? <not at all likely> I am very concerned as I wish to do a water change in my other tank containing 2 shrimp and I don't want them to suffer the same instant death. For age - I am guessing a year to year and a half (I've had him for about 8 months and he was medium sized when I purchased him). Nothing in the tank is threatening so I can rule that out. I would greatly appreciate any advice you have to offer. <I am sorry to hear of the loss... but be assured that they truly are strict and sensitive about water chemistry issues. It could even have been the simple change between brands of slightly different composition. 10 galls was not too much... all else sounds like good husbandry. Let me suggest you try another bag or brand of salt for a water change on the other two tanks for perspective then follow later with the current bag (perhaps even blend it to wean from the old Kent mix).> My complements on the best site out there! Kudos! <best regards, Anthony>

Cleaner Shrimp Deaths Hi Bob.....I have got a problem which I can't figure out. Three days ago, I bought 3 cleaner shrimps and it died the next day. <"It" or they?> At that instance, the only cause that I can think of is the SG level. Immediately, I measured the SG level and the reading was 1.024. Thinking that it might be due to stress because of the long hours in the bag, I bought one more cleaner shrimp the next day. Sad to say, it died also. Strange........all the corals and fishes in my tank are ok. Any clue to it? Thanks. <Could be the acclimation gap, your practices, the source of the shrimp... Not enough data offered here to render much more. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnshrpf.htm and beyond. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp I hope you can answer my question regarding 6 cleaner shrimps that recently died. I have a 125 gal reef tank that is a year old. Recently I purchased some new fish (1 purple tang, 1 yellow tang 2 maroon clowns and a mandarin). Two weeks later I discovered small white spots on my purple tang. One day after that I noticed them on my 2 regal tangs. I was informed that it was the marine equivalent of ich. <Yes... this is another holociliate protozoan species, Cryptocaryon irritans> Within a couple of days the symptoms cleared and all was well only for them to re-appear a number of days later. <What you describe is the "cycling off" of the parasites as they become temporarily free-living, and possibly resting stages... a mechanism of further dispersal.> After calling my local aquarium store I was told that I should consider purchasing cleaner shrimp and cleaner (neon) gobies. I informed them that I already had 2 cleaners but they said I could use some more. I purchased 4 cleaner shrimp and 2 gobies. One of the shrimp died right away so I replaced it with a new one. I saw no fighting or unusual behavior. Within a few days I would have a shrimp die. Within 2 weeks they all died. I noticed that they would become lethargic and would stay in one spot. Overnight they would die. The rest of my tank looks great. I did have another mild bout with the parasite but the worst seems to be over and they (store clerk) said that it is not unusual to have a reoccurrence while the parasite goes through another life cycle. <Yes... did you place a chemical of any sort in your system to treat the crypt/marine ich?> I also have two peppermint shrimp that I believe are still alive but they are quite shy and I do not often see them. I heard that there were cleaner shrimp coming in from the pacific that were being attacked by a parasite. Is this possible in my case? <Doubtful> I would like to buy more shrimp but I am nervous about buying more until I can figure out what went wrong. I tested my water and everything seemed normal. Salinity was 1.022-1.023. My pH was 8.0. Calcium was 450ppm. My water temp. runs from 78-80 degrees. I would appreciate any information that you have. Sincerely, Lori Reiss <Strange that the shrimp died as you relate. Or that by their use alone the ich was cured permanently. Again, what other "treatment" did you render? Bob Fenner>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp Thank you for your quick response. The only chemical that I used to help reduce ich was Coral Vital. <... this shouldn't make much difference... the equivalent of adding a bit of apple juice.> I use this on a regular basis but I increased the dose when I first noticed the first stages of ich. Normally I would add a 1 capful per week. I increased this dose to 1 capful (approx. 1 tsp) every other day. I do not believe that the ich is cured but I was hopeful to reduce the number of parasites. I stopped using the Coral Vital a few days after I added the shrimp and Neon Gobies. I can not think of anything else that has changed. I believe that shrimp I originally had were a mated pair. When I cleaned out my powerhead I found what I think were shrimp larvae. This is as much information as I know to give you. I am trying to come up some possible reasons for their death. I realize that there may be some things that may never be explained but I consider this a way to learn more about my tank. Thank you.-Lori Reiss <Curious... more curious. Bob Fenner>

Question on cleaner shrimp I am trying to acclimate cleaner shrimps from the LFS that keep them in natural seawater. What is natural seawater salinity anyways? My tank is now at 1.024-1.025. <Right about here specific gravity wise... Not important that this be a particular density, but that the Spg be kept more or less constant... best to check on daily, learn to adjust simply (like by adding freshwater from a jug next to the tank to a predesignated water level...> What procedures do I need to take in order to acclimate cleaner shrimps to my tank. <I would "drip" acclimate them... Protocol stored on site: www.wetwebmedia.com. No need to dip/bath, and generally, if they're in good apparent condition, no need to quarantine> Right now I'm trying to get a LFS water sample to match salinity. Then I will try the cleaner shrimp. <Theirs will likely be much lower... to save money on salt mix, allow for higher gas solubility (and hence stocking capacity), and reduce likelihood/spread of pathogens/parasites... If more than a thousandth, do acclimate the shrimp in a quarantine system slowly to your standard> Do you think you can keep a cleaner shrimp in tap water tank? <What? If you mean, salt mix made with tapwater... this will likely work, unless your tapwater has real troubles... See the tapwater use for marine systems works on the WWM site re... If you're suggesting placing these animals directly in tap/freshwater, no... this will likely damage them to the extent of causing their deaths.> Thanks. <Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp-high mortality Greetings Bob: I have a 37 gal (tall) salt aquarium with a Eclipse 3 system. It has been up and running for almost two and a half months. It has approximately 35lbs of LR as well as a Yellow tang, Saddleback Clown, and a Yellow-face Goby. I have gone through 3 cleaner shrimp in the past 4 weeks, 2 pacific cleaners as well as a peppermint. I acclimate the shrimp as quickly as possible. I normally take about 30 minutes to acclimate. All my water parameters are checking good, except the kH level. Its pretty high. Can you give me some clues on what water conditions as well as food items these shrimp require? I have read many articles, many posts on boards. I have supplied the shrimps with frozen brine as well as flake food. They keep dying, and I just can't figure out why! Thanks for your help Bob <<Thanks for writing, and I do agree, the Shrimp losses do appear anomalous... I suspect either one of two of the common causes of their captive mortality are at work here: too low specific gravity/big change from normal seawater, or too little biomineral at the expense of alkalinity... Do review what you can re your supplement usage and its probable harmful side-effects... At this juncture, if the supplement-imbalance is the/a cause, a massive water change is the direction to move the system back towards center. If low Spg, augmenting daily with hypersaline solution. Bob Fenner>>

Re: Cleaner shrimp-high mortality Greetings Bob: WOW! A marine celebrity like yourself taking time out to answer a newbies crazy water question. <Hoboy... some strokes now! This and five bucks and we can get coffee at Mickey D's> Thanks for the reply. I have you book ordered, " The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". It should be here any day now. It came highly recommended from many knowledgeable marine aquarists I have met online, especially on the various saltwater discussion boards. <Thank you for the input. Am sure you will enjoy and benefit from the reading> I had a hard time with the conversion of ppm to dKH ( I'm a product of public education). <Hmm, divide ppm by 2.8...> I finally grasped the formula, and came up with a dKH of 5.4. A little high according to the test. <But not excessive... are you running into a situation of precipitating out biomineral as a consequence?> I think I will let this dKH level ride it out for now. I was told that it will come down shortly. <Yes, assuredly... the reductive activity, over activity(?) of captive aquatic systems results in this> My specific gravity stands at 1.022. I will mix up some new water & salt and raise the SG a little to 1.023-1.0235. I will let the tank stabilize for a week, then go out and buy another cleaner shrimp and see what happens. Once again, thanks for your help Bob................................................ <Sounds good... but do consider raising the Spg to 1.025 or so... this would be ideal> Regards, Kevin <And thou, Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp Hi Bob, Over the past two weeks I've tried to keep two Pacific Cleaner Shrimps unsuccessfully. As soon as I would release them in to the tank, after acclimating them for about a hour they would land on one spot and sit there for about two hours and die. My pH, nitrite, and salinity are fine except my nitrate. Could this be the problem? If so could you tell me how to reduce the nitrate. Thanks <<Hmm, nitrates could be the problem... as could a myriad of biomineral and alkalinity causes... All can be addressed by the culture of some macro-algae in your system, and/or better in a connected sump/refugium... A constantly or reverse light photoperiod system to boost the algae growth will take up anomalous material, produce food, and make your overall water quality better... Do look into this possibility... among other ways by a long read through the pertinent parts stored on the site: Home Page Read up, and we'll be chatting. Bob Fenner>>

Invert problems Hi- I have had two shrimp die on me, one coral banded, and one blood shrimp. Here is my set up: 72 Gallon tank, Millennium 3000 filter, two power heads, and 100 lbs Fiji live rock. Tank is two months old, and I have the following fish, 6 percula clowns, 1 yellow tang, 1 bi-color dotty back, and 1 watchman's goby. <May be the Dottyback... perhaps the Goby... any bodies left? Chewed on?> The water tests are normal. I tested the copper level as well. I use DI water. The fish are doing fine, but the shrimp, and will as the crabs have done so well. (Some of the crabs are still doing ok) <Ah... > A couple of questions. 1. Are any of the fish I have incompatible (I was told before buying them that they were, and everyone I ask seems to have a different opinion. <Yes to different opinions... likelihood that these animals were eaten... killed by the two fishes mentioned exists> 2. Should I avoid shrimp, starfish, or sea urchins? <Perhaps> 3. I feed them 2 cubes per day, (one daphnia, one brine or 1 shrimp) I feed them once per day to make sure some gets to the bottom for the goby. Is this too much food. <Don't know... what sort of measures of... nitrates, phosphates do you have? Any food left over after a few minutes?> 4. What type of protein skimmer would you recommend. <Many choices here... hang on, sump models... for a seventy two gallon system that's up and going... Maybe a AquaMedic product like a Turboflotor T-1000...> 5. Looking ahead what might be some compatible fish to consider adding? <Too big a category... read over the Reef and Marine Selection articles and the many survey articles posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site> Sorry to pile on the questions, but I'd appreciate any help you could give me! Thanks!! Ron :) <Ron, do you pour in "supplements"? The crustacean losses (if there are no signs of outright foul play (could be from Alpheid shrimp, Mantis... hiding without your seeing them... nocturnal), I strongly suspect the "additives" as a/the cause... especially if all are dying, soon, about the same time. Bob Fenner>

Re: invert problems Hi Bob- Thanks for the reply. I bought the goby after both the shrimp had died. The Dottyback was around for both. The coral banded seemed to be able to take care of himself. After he died I took the body out and it was intact. I did see the dotty pecking at the blood shrimp. When he died he was between the rocks and I couldn't get a good look at him. <Thanks for this info.> Nitrates are low, so I guess I need to check the phosphates. I don't add any supplements. The only thing I added was a chlorine neutralizer after the DI process to make sure there was no chlorine, and I used about half the recommended dose. <Hmm, maybe trouble here... I would dispense with the water conditioner period, and strongly suggest you pre-make and store your new synthetic water for a good week. Please take a read through the seawater use sections posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site re this protocol and the rationale for it> I use instant ocean for sea salts. The algae was brown, now I am starting to get some coralline algae. (at least I assume it is as it is purple) <Likely, yes> Thanks for the help! Ron :) <You're welcome. Bob Fenner, who is working on the "shrimp" areas of WWM in part due to your prompting.>

Lost Cleaner Shrimp Mr. Fenner, As you suggested I added a cleaner shrimp to my tank. I left it in the bag for 10 minutes than poked two small holes in the bag to get the shrimp used to the climate and salt content. I then opened the bag and added about a cup of the tanks water in the bag and waited a few minutes till I put it in the tank. None of the other creatures seemed to bother it, so I turned the lights off and kept an eye on it. I turned on the lights 2 hours later and it was dead. Why do you think it died? I have never had a creature die on me like that before. I guess I will try the goby instead. Thank You, Jason Cohen <Hard to say... often these losses can be traced to differences in just specific gravity... I would/do suggest you read over the "acclimation" sections on the www.WetWebMedia.com site, as well as the "Shrimps" ones... and develop a protocol for more slowly adjusting invertebrate life to your systems (like a controlled drip line... of airline tubing and a knot to slowly add your system water to the shipping... and throwing away the mixed water...). Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp parasite and coralline algae questions Dear Bob, <Lorenzo here, responding for Bob-in-Indonesia> Well we survived Ick thanks to your recommendations and now we have a cleaner shrimp problem. I mentioned that our shrimp had a growth on its side and you said there was nothing we could do about it but live with it. Now the shrimp's antennae are starting to look like they are becoming brittle. Is this related? Could the parasite be depleting the nutrients the shrimp needs? I've started feeding it vitamin enriched flakes (any vitamins we need to look specifically give it?) directly and added some calcium to the water. We can test the calcium levels since we purchased a kit (rather expensive). Our tang visits his shrimp regularly so I suspect he's eating parasites. <Sounds like you're doing pretty everything you reasonably can, for this shrimp.> I've also noticed that the beautiful coralline algae on our live rock from Fiji is dying off. We have fluorescent lights (2 actinic 2 full spectrum) and given the heat and blackouts in California, we're reluctant to upgrade to metal halide since we'll need to get into chillers. Do you think that increasing the calcium level would help? Our LFS recommended we add some every day. <Hmm. Coralline usually does fine under fluorescents, unless your tank is particularly deep, or the bulbs are quite old (>1 year) Metal Halide is definitely not necessary for healthy coralline. Yes, increasing the calcium level may help, especially if it's quite low, and if the 'full-spectrum' bulbs are more than 10-12 months old, I'd replace those as well. My favorites for standard fluorescent fixtures are the 180 degree (internal reflector) 'Trichromatic' from Coralife, the 'full-spectrum' from the local Home Depot definitely won't do. If you really want to upgrade your lighting without moving to MH, look to Power Compacts, or compact fluorescents, as they're sometimes called. Most modern, efficient lighting currently available to the hobbyist. Not cheap. But cheaper than MH! (especially the electricity!) -Lorenzo>

Only in cocktail sauce... <Hi Cheryl, Lorenzo-for-Bob again...>
Earlier I told you about having a tang (with Ick) in another tank (5 gal.) and you told me to get Lysmata shrimp and/or goby for my main tank before putting the tang back in the main tank If I get them I won't have a place to quarantine them...is it just alright to fresh water dip them and then put directly into the main tank. What are the common names for these two...is the shrimp just called a cleaner shrimp?
<Yes, you can do a freshwater dip on the goby (3-5 minutes is plenty) - read Bob's article(s) on prophylactic dips before you get started. - DO NOT FRESHWATER DIP THE SHRIMP! - Yes, they're commonly called 'Common Cleaner Shrimp' - a nice translucent/white with scarlet stripes and long white 'whiskers'. - Great addition to any tank. Float the bag in your main system for 15-20 minutes, and, if you're really obsessive, gradually pour some of your system water into the transport bag with a cup. You can then scoop the shrimp from the transport bag with a small net or your hand, and just plop him into the main system. -Lorenzo>

Fire Shrimp Died Something killed my Fire Shrimp a couple of days ago. One minute he was on the gravel grazing (which I found rather peculiar, since he's usually underneath something where it's dark), then the next he was on his side. I pulled him out and put him in a specimen tank to see if he'd molt, or whatever. He died very soon thereafter. He had some sort of "erosion" on both sides of his body where the guts are, behind the head, and also on the left side in the middle of the tail. Not sure what it is, but I'm assuming it can only be some sort of parasite / fungus / bacterial thing. I recently started feeding live brine (but I soak them in fresh water for about ten minutes or so beforehand!), and last night I thought that maybe the metal in the net I am using had something to do with it, except for the fact that the hermits and my duster are OK. This doesn't look to be a copper related death, but I'm too new to know. He had also molted a couple of days before this. And he wasn't getting picked on. Also please note the white spots on top of the shrimp are probably because he started to get covered in fungus; he was dead for about a day when I took the pics... I tried to take him out of the water and he split in half, and all this gray goop came out of where his guts should have been. I included it only because it may help you put a finger on the problem. It's a wonder he hung on as long as he did with this kind of erosion of his innards. Kind of gross... Sorry. Any ideas? Also, I had my Yellow Tang get a whole bunch of little black spots on him, so I pulled him out, dipped him (about 3 minutes. Freshwater, about 5gals, a fair amount of Methylene Blue added, PH and temperature corrected) and quarantined him (had to net him - that was nasty. He evidently has quite a few pointy protrusions that like to get stuck in the net...). The spots went away entirely, but I'm going to dip him again, just to be sure. After I dip him, I'll put him back in quarantine and let him get a slime coat up before I put him back in the display tank. The other inhabitants aren't affected, by the way. One of the contributing factors is possibly that I had tried to clean the algae from the back of the tank and when I did that he started fighting with his ghost. It was shortly thereafter that I noticed the spots; maybe he was getting stressed to the point that his defenses were down and that gave them the ability to attach. ??? Please let me know what you recommend. Like I said, the spots DID go away, and I don't really think it was ich (I thought it was the Oodinium (or whatever), but somebody told me it was another parasite, I forgot the name). I also have some pics of my tank and the sump, if you'd be interested in seeing them. I didn't send them right off because: A: AOL has a 3MB limit, and I might get real close to that as it is with the limited shots I'm sending you here, <got them, just fine> B: Since I'm assuming you're downloading all this stuff via modem, this message alone will take you quite some time to download, so I'm already being intrusive enough, and <Never a bother, a treat actually> C: You've seen a million of 'em, anyway, so you just may not care. <Not in the last 32 years in the trade... always amazed at what is new... everyday> I'm only trying to send you the pics I think are critical for the diagnosis for the cause of the death of my shrimp. I'm holding off on all further stocking until I get the parasite thing wrapped up (well, maybe not; maybe I'll get them now and just have a little more lengthy quarantine duration, until I identify the cause... Can't hurt!). Any thoughts you may have are, as always, greatly appreciated. Thanks. Bruce Webster <<Hmm, well, regarding your Fire/Scarlet Shrimp (Lysmata debelius)... the root cause of the loss is hard to pin down... Do agree that from your description (the animal being out and about in the open... especially so close to having molted...) and images (the body seems secondarily decomposed... difficult to ascertain if the appearance has much to do with the real cause of death) but does seem "soft" as if the animal didn't have the wherewithal to remake its exoskeleton... Did you see it ingest its old skeleton (this they do as a valuable source of biomineral to build the new, larger one... and it should be left for such purpose in the tank)? Do you do much, anything to supplement minerals, alkalinity in the system? This over, under abundance could adversely affect the animal... The Tang complaint is actually a flatworm, a Turbellarian of the genus Paravortex... my old grad. school roomie worked on their life history... you can read bits about this animal and its control (mainly just found on Yellow Tangs), in an article about its host posted at www.wetwebmedia.com Your treatment thus far sounds fine... I would continue with the dipping procedures and quarantine for all new fish livestock.... and not worry about infectious agents re the shrimp. Bob Fenner>>

Black Spots Two days ago I noticed some fairly good sized black spots on my cleaner shrimp. They don't appear to be raised and it almost looks like someone spattered him with paint. I'm not sure of his scientific name, but he has a white stripe down his back with a red stripe on either side. He acts normal and has been eating frozen food and riding around on the fish a lot. Then, last night, I saw that my Yellow Tang has very tiny little black dots spread evenly on pretty much his whole body. It looks like a very fine black pepper. I removed the shrimp and the tang and they are both in my quarantine tank. None of my other fish seem to have it (Powder Blue, Purple, and Kole Tangs, Tomato Clown, Green Chromis, Damsels, and tiny Snowflake Eel.), but the Purple and Kole Tangs are dark enough that I don't even know if I will be able to see it. <The black spots on the Shrimp and the Yellow Tang are two different cases... the first, "just" markings from age, growth, conditions in your tank. I would leave this (probably) Lysmata amboinensis, Pacific Cleaner Shrimp in with the Tang though... For about a month (watch their water quality)... to let the Tang's problem animal (a Turbellarian worm called Paravortex) die off in the main tank... And after that month, freshwater dip the Tang on its return to the main tank, and simply net and move over the Shrimp... If you don't know what I'm getting at... (can be confusing, for sure), please take a look at the "Shrimp", "Yellow Tang", "Dips/Baths", "Quarantine" pieces et al. stored in the Marine Index at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com for much more> What is this stuff and how shall I treat it? My main tank is a reef, and I have never had any diseases before. Will my other fish probably get it too, and how will I tell if the darker colored fish have it? <The other fishes will not "get it"... pretty species specific, and easily defeated... Take a few minutes and peruse the WWM site... All will be well. Bob Fenner>

-Can't keep cleaner shrimp alive- I have purchased individual cleaner shrimp on two separate occasions, and both have died within a month of buying. <Unlikely that it's acclimation; they'll die right away. Hmmm...> one of them died tonight, in fact, after molting yesterday for the second time in a month. <Death during molting has been linked to iodine deficiency, not sure if this is the case here.>it was a voracious eater, feasting on the algae on the back walls of my 20-gallon hex tank. the water quality is pristine - ph is 7.8, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels are all at 0.0 ppm. <pH seems low if it is like this all the time. You may want to check your carbonate hardness.> its only tankmates are a Sebae clown and a royal Gramma. what am I doing wrong that my shrimp do not survive? <Not sure, since there are no other inverts in the tank, it is possible that a heavy metal or some other contaminate has been introduced into your water. If so, the fish would probably remain unaffected. I may have a better guess for you if you describe your setup more in depth and let me know what your

Another Dicky Shrimp and Mandarin Question >Hello hello! Good-day to all! Arg, I must be going through a transitional phase with my tank because I am just swimming (hehe, or is that "oh no"?) in questions! This is going to be a long one, so please forgive me! :) >>We shall try. ;) >I wrote in about a very sick Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp recently -- I thought it might be a lack of iodine, but I failed to mention that I do weekly water changes, about 5 gallons (from a 55 gallon tank) and in asking around I hear this should be sufficient to keep the iodine in the tank at respectable levels. If that's true then there's definitely something else going on with my shrimp because he's looking worse every day. (Btw, I have had a miserable time finding an Iodine test kit so I added the lowest suggested dose as a precaution until my LFS can get a kit, Wednesday -- if the planets align properly). >>Honestly, it would be better not to dose at all until you can properly measure. In the meantime, you should be able to feed it raw shrimp as a dietary source of iodine. Another question for you is - Is this the only arthropod in the tank? If so, then we might look to insufficient iodine/calcium levels as the culprit. If NOT, then that is far less likely (assuming the others are healthy). >>In addition to the symptoms mentioned in my first email (weak legs that bent in funky ways, missing leg and antennae tips) I noticed that one of his little body parts -- something like a pair cilia-type deals located directly above his gills, inside his clear carapace, are moving *very* slowly in comparison to the much healthier looking shrimp I have in the tank. >>That just answered question one. I would have to surmise that there is something wrong specifically with this one shrimp, and unfortunately for it and the hobbyist, there is a real dearth of information on diseases of these animals. I would recommend isolation (separate system) and watching the other animals. >(The healthy shrimp's "cilia" move impossibly fast, faster than I can count, the sick one's cilia flop up and down less than once per second). I've searched for some sort of identification so I could give you the proper name of the part, but I could barely find pictures that were detailed enough to mention maxillipeds much less this tiny little inner appendage thing. At any rate, this little gadget seems to have some brownish gunk at it's base. Before he shed the last time the gunk was *very heavy* and the little thingie barely moved and it seemed it moved with great difficulty. The gunk disappeared when he finally shed but it almost immediately re-infected him and is seemingly getting worse than the last time. So, if this isn't an iodine dilemma what is it and do you think it's contagious? >>It could be a bacterial, parasitic, viral, or other infection. It's really very difficult to tell. Isolate, and should you like to experiment with antibiotics I recommend Spectrogram. >My other shrimp doesn't seem to have any related problems and I'd like to keep it that way. eek. >>Then definitely separate the sick one. >Whew ok, now to less-stressful things. I have a minor (so far) problem with Cyanobacteria. I used to keep a golden-headed sleeper goby (until I lost him in a very unfortunate heater mishap over a weekend when I was out of town) and he kept all that under control, but since that sleeper goby died I purchased a psychedelic mandarin dragonet to keep the prolific and newly-unchecked microfauna (namely Planaria) under control. >>You, my dear, have a terrible nutrient export/control problem. I suggest upping the weekly changes to 50% minimum, starting with one full water change (do be sure it's properly aged and matched for temperature, salinity, pH). >The mandarin eats just about anything it can find, including the Mysis I feed, but my concern is that those two fish seem to fill very roughly the same niche and I worry that adding a sleeper goby might take away a lot of the mandarins "wild" food, do you think these guys could happily live together? >>They won't quarrel, but your system is likely slim as it is for just the mandarin. Deal with the excess nutrients that are likely the cause of the Cyano issue, and the rest should fall into place. Along with water changes, consider the addition of a refugium (make it approximately 1/3 the volume of the tank). If you don't skim, a good skimmer might be very helpful. You may also have an issue with phosphate/phosphorous (I don't know anything about the source water for your w/c's). >Like I said, the mandarin eats the food I feed the rest of the fish in addition to the "wild" stuff he finds in the tank, and my old Sleeper did the same. When I kept the Sleeper he was fat and sassy and now that I have the Mandarin *he* is nice and rotund, but I don't want to compromise that by keeping them *together.* And on that same note, I'm partial to the beauty of the V. strigata, but I've seen some other sleepers that seem to be just as dutiful, for my purposes (stirring the sand bed) would you suggest something else instead? I don't mind the way sleepers re-arrange things at will, I just want something to shake up the sand a bit. Thank you for your patience and time! Have a fantastic week! >>For the time being, I really think you should deal with these other issues first. Worry about adding a fish to stir sand later, as a 55 is rather small. If you MUST have sand stirring, consider an Archaster typicus (sandsifting sea star). One ONLY. >Rachael >>Have a good weekend. Marina

Cleaner Shrimp Deaths Hi Bob Very informative website you have. <Hi! Ananda here today....> I have a 30 gallon tank with only 2 small - less than 1 inch blue tang and clown fish, with skimmer, live rock and dead corals. (planning a bigger-75 gallons once the grow) <I'd suggest something even larger so you can give that tang some space to swim in....> Trying to add a cleaner shrimp, 1st try - died the next day, after moving a bit stood in a corner and died the next day. acclimate for 2 hours, 2nd try - acclimate using the drip method for 3 hours - he looks very happy for 2 days eating and walking around. then died again. PH - 8.3, Salinity 1.23. <Hopefully, you mean 1.023 for that specific gravity...! Anyhow, at this point, I'm wondering if you've ever used a copper-based medication in the tank, or in any tank that the dead corals had been in. Any other substances that may have contaminated the tank or those dead corals might still be present in concentrations that are lethal to the shrimp but weak enough that the fish are not obviously affected. Also check your water quality (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, etc.); inverts are particularly susceptible to poor water quality. You might also find out what the water parameters are at the store where you purchased the shrimp, so you can compare data. If there's a big difference, going even more slowly with the acclimation may help.> Thanks Henry <Hope this helps. --Ananda>

Black spots on cleaner shrimp Thank you so much for all this wonderful information, when my cash flow will be a little better, I do intend to give money. I have had 2 cleaner shrimp for 6 months that seemed to be thriving up until last week when I noticed little black markings on its body. like little black specks here and there and scratch like blackish markings? Now he is on his side in the back of the tank and I think he is dead :( all seems good in my tank from what I can test. 35 gal with 40 gal sump, display filled with live rock, DSB with plenum, high turn over Ammonia: non detectable nitrite: non detectable nitrate: non detectable KH: 15 ph: 8.2 night time calcium: 340 salinity: 1.023 now bringing it slowly up to 1.025 temp: 78 to 80 3.5% daily water change small granular, flake, Mysis and as a treat brine once a week, any idea what this could be? << Unfortunately no. I've seen this a few times before as well. I think it may have to do with an Iodine deficiency causing molting problems. However I've also seen it in tanks with lots of Iodine. So unfortunately I haven't figured out what causes this. >> <I can... just opportunistic algal growth... Passes with molting. RMF> Gratefully yours Tristan << Blundell >>

Cleaner shrimp death Hey crew, how are you guys today? <Still kicking, James here.> Well you recently helped me with my tank concerning my 2 false Perculas and royal Gramma with ich. Everyone is doing well in the QT tank except for the male percula, he seems to always have it. At one point he was so badly covered that I had to give him a 10 minute freshwater dip. After that he seems better but still has some spots. Anyways I went to go buy a cleaner shrimp on Friday for my main tank while its going fallow. I bought him and acclimated him very slowly over an hour. He seemed to tolerate it well. So this morning he looks fine, nothing appears wrong but I come home 5 hours later and he's on the sand dead! I immediately see a medium sized bristle worm close to him, but not touching him. I removed the bristle worm and began examining the shrimp to see if it was his molt I was looking at. Nope it was the actual thing. I tested the water and it was as follows: Ph: 8.4 SG: 1.023 ammonia and nitrites: 0 nitrates : around 7 or so. As you had suggested I raised my main tank to about 85 to speed the parasite cycle along and I did so. Again I acclimated him very slowly. Could the high temperature seem to have done it?<Unlikely> He seemed fine with it for the last 2 days. Also when I found the body the eyes were missing no where to be found. What do you think happened to him? <Do you have anything in your tank that would include shrimp on the menu? James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again crew! <You're welcome>
Cleaner shrimp death
Hello again James thank you very much for your help. No, I don't have any shrimp predators in my tank just a couple of turbo snails and hermit crabs. So it's probably unlikely that the Bristleworm killed him? It is still a mystery to me. What do you think? Thanks again! <Chase, after getting more information together, I would have to tell you the short acclimation period may have killed the shrimp. Shrimp along with starfish require much longer acclimation periods as they are very sensitive to changes in temp, ph, etc. James (Salty Dog).
Cleaner shrimp death part II
James, You think that even though he lived for the other two days that he still could of died from acclimation? Why is that? Thanks (sorry to keep sending) <Even though the shrimp are a hardy invert, they just don't take well to sudden changes in water chemistry. James (Salty Dog)>

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