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What is killing my shrimps?

Ben C

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2011
Messages
169
Location
Witney, Oxfordshire
I've successfully kept and bred red cherry shrimps for years and I've read about largely unexplained mass die-offs before, but its now happening to me..

I'm losing about 10 shrimps a night at the moment but just a moment ago, found one in the final throes of death. On closer inspection, I noticed what looked like a fungus (it actually looked like its own exoskeleton) attached to the front of its face. It was kicking around the water column as if trying to get this thing off itself.

I've never seen that before, but it was quite distressing to watch. Does anyone have any idea what this could be and what the solution is?

The tank is a red cherry-only tank, no substrate (as it was only supposed to be temporary) and I'm well on top of water changes. I'm confident parameters are not to blame for this, particularly having just seen the above.

Thanks for your help, all.

Ben
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,454
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I've successfully kept and bred red cherry shrimps for years and I've read about largely unexplained mass die-offs before, but its now happening to me..
If you use tap water it is often a lot softer in the winter, so it may be a problem with low water hardness.

cheers Darrel
 

nduli

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Joined
26 Oct 2011
Messages
496
Location
Bury
Agree with Darrel. I lost hundreds 2 years ago which stopped late spring having been left with just 4.... I noticed last year that tds dropped to 70 over winter. I now re-mineralise to at least 130 using salty shrimp. The stuff on the face could have been moult it couldn't rid itself of. I occasionally add some beta-glucans which is an immune booster from genchem but you can use thinks like alder comes, banana leaves, oak leaves or catappa leaves.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,454
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Wow - I had no idea about this. That's an incredible revelation.
I'll get on to it now..
It depends upon whether your tap supply is from a deep aquifer, or from surface flow (via reservoir or river).

If your water comes from a deep aquifer it will be fairly consistent in chemistry and is very likely to be hard (a lot of aquifers are limestone), but if it come from surface flow, the water in the river or reservoir will be mainly rain-water in the winter and a lot softer than it is in the summer.

Like "Bogwood" says a conductivity meter is a good idea (all TDS meters are really conductivity meters), they are low maintenance, robust bits of kit, and even a cheapish meter will give you a fairly accurate reading.

cheers Darrel
 

ukjay

Seedling
Joined
10 Feb 2015
Messages
20
If you have noticed a shrimp with issues releasing its exoskeleton, then there is another contentious area which may be worth looking into.
This area could be a calcium / iodine imbalance in its diet (basically a deficiency) as these two parameters are supposedly very important for shrimps to molt correctly.

They would normally get the calcium and iodine from their diet, but if for some reason the uptake is restricted due to poor diet, the shrimp will not be getting enough to maintain the correct levels within its body which has been reported to be a contributor to shrimps dying through failed molts.

Just adding another area to possibly investigate the deaths of the shrimps.

Kind regards

Jay
 

basil

Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
625
Thats the problem with tap, its impossible to guarantee any kind of stability for any length of time. Soon enough something will change or get added to supply without you ever knowing and some of these changes can prove fatal for shrimp. I've found the only way to maintain consistent water for shrimp is to use RO and to remineralise new water to add back in the essential elements they need, particularly for moult. That's about as close to control as you'll ever get and when stability is king for most shrimp, it's really the best fix for long term piece of mind :)
 
Joined
26 Feb 2013
Messages
3,372
The water could be too soft as suggested.
Cherry shrimp are otherwise super tough. I found one surviving in a glass bowl I had set up last summer on the window sill, temperature 12C, TDS over 1000. It was munching on top of the big bunch of moss the sides of which were covered in mould and very little water to move around, although I topped it up when I thought of it.
 
Joined
26 Feb 2013
Messages
3,372
I hope you've resolved the problem with the shrimp.


I found more shrimp today, baking themselves under the sunshine in my neglected bowls. I don't know how did they survive the winter, such low temps, TDS sky high, also no food at all.

I think one of the reasons my shrimp maybe so hardy is because all my hundreds of shrimp were started with 2 cherry females and 3 red rili shrimp, from totally different populations, so not that inbred as some others maybe.

Warning!! Very ugly!!

Shrimp1_zpsmg0yrvje.jpg



Female shrimp carrying eggs!! Bottom of picture. She's a bit pale. I suppose she hasn't watched her diet :)....
Shrimp2_zpswcklhepo.jpg
 

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