Red Cherry Shrimp Exoskeleton Peeling Off - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Red Cherry Shrimp Exoskeleton Peeling Off

Hey folks,

My name is Alan. I've been reading bits and pieces about shrimp on PlantedTank for some time now and you have helped me a lot in maintaining healthy shrimp tanks. So I'd like to start off by saying thanks!!

I've been keeping red cherry shrimp (Neocaridina) for about three years. Currently I have a problem with a 4ft, 100L tank that houses roughly 600 cherry shrimp. I set this particular tank up about 8 months ago. It was fully cycled before adding any livestock and I started with 50 shrimp.

The params are:

Temp - 24C
PH - 7.5
GH - 7
KH - 3
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 2.5
TDS - 190

Tank Equipment:

I use the liquid API Test Kit for testing.
I have no plants.
1cm depth of gravel (bought from a shrimp-specific shop).
2 large pieces of bog wood.
3 of the double foam filters.
2 Air stones.
An 8 litre canister filter (was new when added to the tank and sponge filters are on the intake pipe).
Lights on for 10 hours per day on a timer.
100% RO/DI water re-mineralised with Salawesi Mineral 7.5.
Tantora Mont Powder.
2 Dried Catappa leaves.
1 Dried Guava Leaf.
I added 3 alder cones about the time the problem started, but have since taken them out.

Feeding:

Shrimp King Complete.
GlasGarten Shrimp Dinner Gran.
Tantora Amaranth Leaves.
GenChem Biozyme.

I feed just one of these per day, on rotation, and they have 1 - 2 days per week with no feeding.

Everything had been going well up until about 3 weeks ago. All shrimp were molting, eating and breeding very well and then suddenly I began to loose a few shrimp every day. All of the dead one's had the famous white crack on their back. Obviously, the first things that came to mind were bacterial infection or GH issue.

The shrimp had no signs of bacterial infection. No cloudy body etc.. I ruled out poisoning also as I didn't have a mass die-off and nothing new was added to the tank. I also never use any sprays in the same room as the tank. I have not seen any sign of parasites either.

I did notice that the GH had risen from 6 to 10. Probably from evaporation due to the summer heat. I have spent the last 3 weeks slowly bringing it down to 7. However, the deaths are still continuing at a rate of about 10 per day. All sizes of shrimp are being affected, including the babies.

They freeze while swimming and gently float to the tank floor on their back or side. Their legs still move while they are on the floor, but they can't swim and the other shrimp swarm and devour.

Sounds like a failed molt right? However, I don't think this is the case.

I have had this before a couple of years ago with a different tank when I used to use tap water that had a GH of 16. I lowered it to 6 and the issue stopped, but it doesn't seem to be the same problem this time as the GH is well within the acceptable range.

Now, here's the strange thing. When I take out the affected shrimp, before the other eat them, I keep them in a separate container to observe. They will live for about 24 hours (sometimes longer), but their actual exoskeleton is peeling off. It's not a molt. I have seen 100's of shrimp molt in the past and I can guarantee that this is not what is happening.


Another thing worth mentioning is one day only shrimp measuring 1cm die. The next day they will be 5mm and the next would be 1.5cm. I don't get a mix of sizes die on any one day.



The red exoskeleton is literally coming away from the body leaving the "meat" exposed. By this time they are dead.

I was just wondering (if anyone is still reading after this long and boring post ) whether anyone has had the same issue or any idea what's causing it?

I'm well and truly stumped and would love to get to the bottom of the issue, so any educated suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to hearing your ideas.

Regards, Alan.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 08:46 PM
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I've never heard of shells peeling off of live shrimp before. As you mentioned I would have also suspected a gH/calcium issue but you don't seem to be having one. Your supplement is supposed to be complete so I don't think that's the issue either (unless it separated in the jar, which I don't know enough about to confirm/deny as a possibility in the first place).
Poison from the tap also sounds unlikely with an RO/DI system. Are you maintaining it properly?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Yukiharu,

Thanks for your reply!

Yes, I replaced all of the RO/DI units 3 weeks ago when the problem started. The tds reads 0 when filtered.

I have an image of a shrimp with the issue. The shrimp was dead and half eaten when I took it out of the tank.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 09:01 PM
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Very weird. To me it looks like a typical low calcium/gH death.
Do you have any other tanks to compare with?

10 Gallon Planted Shrimp Tank
Blue Diamond Neocaridina
Tangerine Tiger Caridina
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 09:56 PM
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damn that sucks. looks painful like they just had 3rd degree burns and their skin is peeling off.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukiharu View Post
Very weird. To me it looks like a typical low calcium/gH death.
Do you have any other tanks to compare with?
Low calcium you say.. To be honest, I've not researched that before. Much of the food they have has calcium in plus they have the correct GH levels in the water. Do you mind me asking what symptoms are associated with a calcium deficiency?

I do also have cherry shrimp in a community tank. They are doing well, but not breeding as the GH is about 18 and the PH is 8.0. Nitrates are very high in the community tank too. They are not showing the same issue though.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntotheWRX View Post
damn that sucks. looks painful like they just had 3rd degree burns and their skin is peeling off.
It certainly does suck..

They look completely normal to start with. They then fall to the floor. I get them out and that is what they look like after about 24 hours. The one in the picture was eaten slightly before I had a chance to grab it unfortunately.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 12:07 AM
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Hopefully someone knows for sure, but to me, the symptoms sound like micrococcus (bacterial) where sometimes the shrimp will just stop mid walking and even die upright. I've never had it, but your description reminded me of something I'd read on a listserv (anyone still use these? ). The solution was dosing Oxytetracycline which targets gram negative bacteria.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 01:09 AM
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Curious as to why you have Sulawesi remienralizer for Neos?


Do you do any water top offs with pure RO or do you only do water changes with remineralized RO?


When doing the GH test, does it turn green at 7 drops exactly? Or is it green before then?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2016, 03:50 PM
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Try a drop of invert iodine in your water. You can get that in the reef section of your lfs.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Hopefully someone knows for sure, but to me, the symptoms sound like micrococcus (bacterial) where sometimes the shrimp will just stop mid walking and even die upright. I've never had it, but your description reminded me of something I'd read on a listserv (anyone still use these? ). The solution was dosing Oxytetracycline which targets gram negative bacteria.
Hi natemcnutty,

Thanks for your reply!

Hmm.. Maybe micrococcus related. They certainly do freeze in mid air and fall to the ground, but they aren't dead when it happens, so I ruled it out. Plus they aren't showing any of the other symptoms that come with the infection. The inside of the head isn't inflamed or off-colour.

May have to look further into it and get hold of my vet to see what tests they can do. Can't buy the antibiotics over the counter here in the uk unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
Curious as to why you have Sulawesi remienralizer for Neos?

Do you do any water top offs with pure RO or do you only do water changes with remineralized RO?

When doing the GH test, does it turn green at 7 drops exactly? Or is it green before then?
Hi Zoidburg,

Thanks for your reply!

The SulawesiMineral 7.5 is suitable for Neos also. I find it disolves in the water much quicker than the Salty Shrimp GH/KH+.

During the summer I just added re-mineralised water when doing weekly water changes to top up the tank to the normal level. I think that's why the GH went up from 6 to 10. I shoud have been checking, but my liquid test ran out.

Sorry, I made a mistake. I use the NTLabs test kit not the API. The colour changes to blue when I add the seventh drop to the GH test tube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Try a drop of invert iodine in your water. You can get that in the reef section of your lfs.
Hi mistergreen,

Thanks also for your reply!

I managed to find some iodine that's meant for use with coral. Would that do?

The GlasGarten Shrimp Dinner Gran is supposed to have iodine in it. I'm interested to know what prompted the suggestion?

I just thought I'd share some pics of my setup and shrimp.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 11-20-2016 at 03:43 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 02:51 PM
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Iodine supposedly fixes exoskeleton issues.

They should be fine if there's iodine in the food but a drop or 2 in the water couldn't hurt.
You'd need very little for freshwater.

What's your regular tap water look like? Maybe you don't need to go through the hassle with RO and remineralize.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Iodine supposedly fixes exoskeleton issues.

They should be fine if there's iodine in the food but a drop or 2 in the water couldn't hurt.
You'd need very little for freshwater.

What's your regular tap water look like? Maybe you don't need to go through the hassle with RO and remineralize.
I may invest in some iodine then. Is the one for coral suitable?

My tap water is very hard. The GH is about 18, nitrate is 10+ and the PH is 8.0. I tried to raise a shrimp only tank a couple of years back with just tap water and they struggled to survive.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 08:43 PM
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I was just curious as to why Sulawesi over the Neo! Makes sense!


And yes, if you don't add RO at top offs, that can certainly raise the tanks parameters!



I'm currently using hard tap water to remineralize soft tap. I do have a remineralizer, but I'm not a big fan of it. It's very dirty, TDS wise.

My tap water is 3-4 GH and KH with a TDS of around 50-60, and the hard water I'm mixing it with is about 10 KH and 19 GH with a TDS about 475. I'm currently mixing the water together to get about 150-200 TDS, depending on how high the TDS is in the tank. This is a recent switch though, so still in the early stages of seeing how well they like it, but so far, so good.




I haven't seen the exoskeleton peal away like that when they are in water that's too soft... normally, they just had problems molting with not enough minerals in the water.
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