Amano shrimp deaths - Investigation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Amano shrimp deaths - Investigation

Hi everyone,

Short history:

I have 33g planted tank. Been running since March. Added 12 amano shrimp maybe in April ? don't remember but the tank was cycled. Lost one right away but he was really small and I probably did not do a proper acclimatation. Now, I have had 3 deaths in a couple of days. So now I am down to 8 shrimp theoretically since I can never find them all.

Now all my shrimp sleep and eat and stay in this one corner of the tank instead of being all over the place or hidden in my driftwood. Just like this, there is no particular reason that they should be there. Apart from the fact that its the furthest away from the scene of my two probable murderers:


Here are my probable causes:

1. These rocks might be slowly releasing copper in the tank and it has just now attained a somewhat toxic level for the shrimp ?



2. I unrooted some crypts and replanted not very long ago. I have Flourite only has my substrat. I was careful and I did not see any changes in water parameters ( no nitrites ). Now, is it possible some copper was released??

Course of action:
Water change 40 % for now. As I doubt its the rocks and most likely something in the gravel...

What do you guys think ?

What about starvation ? I have a tiny bit of algae on my driftwood. But at the same time I gave them blanched zucchini a couple of times and I always make sure a pinch of the vegetarian meal my fish get falls to the ground.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 10:14 PM
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Never heard of rocks releasing copper. Do you know what type they are? I doubt disturbing the substrate would have released copper.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 10:56 PM
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how long has the tank been running? what are your water parmaters, ammonia, NitrIte and NitrAte?

i highly doubt the flourit is leaching copper as its being used by hundreds of people on shrimp only tanks with no issues.

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Tank is running since March.

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 20ppm
Ph 7.6

I have some root tabs in the gravel. Maybe they created some pockets of something?.... I have no clue
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 11:31 PM
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what you can do to test the rock, pull it out of the tank, and pour a little vinegar on it. if it fizzes its leaching something.... i don't think one rock could leach enough to kill 3 amanos in a 33g

i use root tabs in all my tanks and have never had that problem. sometimes the overall stress of moving to a new enviroment can be hard on shrimp and they die for no reason.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Yes but, after 4 months in the tank? And this whole grouping in the corner behaviour is scaring me. Instinctively it looks like schooling behaviour as if they were stressed...

I tested the rock with vinegar before I put it in.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 12:39 AM
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if your keeping up with w/c it wouldn't be a problem..... i can say almost 100% without a doubt that unless you treated with copper, that is not the issue. what else is in the tank?

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 12:56 AM
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You can try take out that rock for check. If you still have shrimp death, then it could be something wrong in your water.
Nitrates should be 0ppm
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure nitrates are supposed to be 0 in a planted tank. I was told from several sources that 20 to 40 ppm is quite fine. I actually posted asking about this in these forums (and others). Or are you saying they should be 0 for amano shrimp ?

A couple of pearl gouramis and 15 harlequin rasboras are the rest of the population for this tank.

They are still huddling and hanging out in the corner.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 02:10 AM
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What type of rocks are those?
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 02:46 AM
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Amanos dying with blue gills is usually a sign of oxygen deficiency. I've had that issue before.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Do you see blue gills on the picture I posted, because I honestly don't know what to look at for gills on shrimp.

I don't know the type of rocks sorry.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 04:08 PM
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i spent some time looking for a mention on blue gills on amanos and never really found anything so lets work our way down the check list.

do you run CO2 on that tank? how is the water current, are there a lot of dead spots where there is no flow? do you have a lot of surface film?

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I also did some research for blue gills and amano shrimp. Did not find anything.

No CO2. I dose Excel though, and I have only started doing so recently (3 weeks ago). I dose 3 ml daily for 33 gallons, I'm pretty sure I am not overdosing.

I have not seen any fish acting as if they are lacking oxygen either.

Surface film disappeared when the tank got settled.

I have a Eheim 2213 running on this tank. So there is alot of water movement.

The only dead zone could be the "cave" formed in my driftwood. But I vaccum that part every water change ( 25% weekly ).

I dose liquid fertz daily using the PPS Pro ratios.

What else can I say ? At the start of my aquarium I did do a full treatment of Paraguard. The shrimp did not seem affected. Maybe its a latent effect ? We are talking about 2-3 months ago.

New line of inquiry: Is it possible its something in my tap water? Though I changed 40 % of the water yesterday. If it was something int he water they would all be dead today I guess.

No new deaths btw, though they are all still huddling in that same corner.

BTW, thanks alot for the follow through Aquatic Delight, its much appreciated.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 05:28 PM
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To cancel out the possibility of any copper in the tank throw in a small sack of cuprisorb just to be safe, My red flag there was excel, I have heard from people on the forum that excel is not good for shrimps. I would recommend a search for that topic. I'd post a link myself if I wasn't on my phone. Good luck!

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