A cherry shrimp seems to be doing well, but looking a bit haggard - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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A cherry shrimp seems to be doing well, but looking a bit haggard

Hello folks,

So I have a particular cherry shrimp that has been in my tank for 5+ months now. The pet store had typical tap water parameters of high GH, high KH, high pH, high TDS. My tank has GH 6 KH 0-1, pH mid 6's, etc, which are more for Caridina parameters, but whatever. After a slow acclimation, the first month its colors were messed up, i.e. it was more of a clear maroon color instead of solid bright red. But after that, and for the next few months the color stabilized and became more of a solid bright red, but with a pink stripe on top. (I'm willing to blame that on my water parameters.) It lived on an over-fed diet of various shrimp foods every 2-3 days or so, e.g. protein this, mineral that, Complete this, etc etc.


Starting about a month ago I had an overfeeding-related disaster which polluted the water, so I cut way back on the feeding. This seemed to help out, as now it became more active and is usually grazing on the various plants and moss around the tank. However, it's appearance got worse again. The color got darker, and the shell, after this most recent and successful molt, has more of a wrinkled and shriveled appearance. My best guess is the change in diet, since now it eats mostly biofilm and algae, and doesn't really care much for the shrimp food any more. The other shrimp (a blue bolt and two amanos) seem to look and act fine.

Anyway, I add here a picture of this shrimp approximately at the 2-3 month mark after its color stabilized.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 11:29 AM
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The carapace and abdominal segments look like that, most likely, because of maturity and water parameters. Food plays a role in shell strength and health but water params play a bigger one when shrimp get toward the end of their lifespan as yours is in the photo.

What were you feeding? I've found most (absolutely not *all*, however, as I'm not trying to sell my own stuff) commercially available shrimp food to be relatively meh. Some of the Asian ones I've tested the past couple years have even included a ton of astaxanthin - without any labeling or mention - because they apparently used salmon & shrimp meal and didn't feel the need to disclose it. One of them was a baby food product the manufacturer claimed was important for rare "shrimp bacteria" - whatever that means. It helped make cherry shrimp look more red and most people using it got excited. Needless to say, it didn't end well for a lot of them because they were feeding more protein than was necessary. That's just one example and I don't want to get on a soapbox.

The issue you experienced could have been semi-related to water quality as a result of over-feeding. But water parameters also likely played a role.

No matter how long they're acclimated, water parameters are never going to be ideal in the long term. They may be fine for eight months or a year but there are almost always problems, whether they're immediately clear or not. I've kept Neos and Bees in non-ideal parameters for well more than a decade and can say ideal parameters are widely accepted for a reason.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 12:29 PM
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The Neocaridinas prefer higher pH, mine are at 7.5 pH and they do very well.

Your KH should go up a bit, I usually dump quarter or half a cuttlefishbone that can easily be got from the fish shop or beach. TDS as well, high means what? I've noticed they prefer 22p to 250.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 02:39 PM
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It's generally better/easier to focus on hardness - kH & gH - than pH. If you get hardness right, pH will come along with that. And in the cases of super-low or no kH, shrimpkeepers generally use buffering substrates to keep things in check.

OP is keeping Neos and Bees in the same tank.

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Originally Posted by barrieo View Post
The Neocaridinas prefer higher pH, mine are at 7.5 pH and they do very well.

Your KH should go up a bit, I usually dump quarter or half a cuttlefishbone that can easily be got from the fish shop or beach. TDS as well, high means what? I've noticed they prefer 22p to 250.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
What were you feeding?
Randomly alternate between: Shrimp King Protein, Complete, Mineral, Barley pellet, soy husk, Bacter AE, custom mix of agar and chlorella, mulberry leaf, Indian almond leaf. These days (post-pollution incident) I feed much less often, and have only used so far: Mineral Junkie, Shrimp King complete, barley pellet, Bacter AE, Indian Almond leaf. That cherry shrimp doesn't seem to care much for these foods anymore.

Quote:
I've found most (absolutely not *all*, however, as I'm not trying to sell my own stuff) commercially available shrimp food to be relatively meh.
Meh in what way?

Quote:
They may be fine for eight months or a year but there are almost always problems, whether they're immediately clear or not.
Problems such as what?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 03:03 PM
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Meh in that some are using low-grade ingredients. Some that you mentioned I feed myself and are great, though.

If your shrimp aren't interested in what you're feeding, that's probably a good sign that your tank is providing what they need.

Problems like: Smaller or larger growth than usual, shell pattern development problems that you can't easily see, leg and swimmerette issues, molting problems (they're not always easy to see) and generally shorter lifespans. Depending upon water temperature, acidity, and things like that, shrimp are much more likely to be exposed to pathogens that aren't always present in their ideal parameters. That can make treatment tough.

After years and years of keeping both Neos and Crystals outside their ideal parameters (I still do it some), it's not something I would advise anyone to do unless they have no other option.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks for sharing your experience. The thing I am wondering about is whether shrimp living off biofilm need supplementation for any deficiency, e.g. protein or minerals. The only "food" I have in the tank constantly is Indian Almond leaf, but is there some kind of leave-in-the-tank, non-polluting source for protein? What about the various mineral balls? (Reading the description for many of them, it sounds like Asian quack medicine magic water)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 02:34 AM
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Biofilm that grows in the tank and on the surfaces of things you put in it like leaves is great for shrimp. Plenty of protein there. Mine usually wait til stuff grows on the surface of leaves. Then they pick that off and as the leaf begins to decompose and break down, they eat that.

Catappa leaves are great vacation feeders. They've kept my shrimp tanks alive while I've traveled for as long as I can remember.

For the most part, those mineral balls are just different types of fired clay. I use them sometimes in areas were I want to be able to easily observe shrimp but not for much more than that.


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