Cause of "white band of death" on Red Cherry Shrimp - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-16-2020, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Cause of "white band of death" on Red Cherry Shrimp

Problem:

Been seeing a number of Red Cherry Shrimp with the “white band of death” and dying. Not sure what the deal is. Are they getting too little calcium? Too much calcium? I can’t seem to find a definitive answer online. Here are the pics:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xS...apM8CuKDMzQ-Ut

I’ve had upwards of 80 shrimp in my tank. Sold a ton of them off. Unfortunately, I still have slow deaths.
Tried adding GFO to the tank to reduce phosphates and increase calcium update from the water column for the shrimp. Did a number on my on my plants. Reduced the shrimp deaths a bit, but not enough to make a direct correlation with high phosphates and shrimp deaths. I contacted seachem and they told me they’ve had phosphates at 1ppm and their RCS were doing great.


Tank parameters

Tanks has been running for about 3 years.
PH 7.6 -7.8
Ammonia – 0
Nitrites – 0
Nitrates – 0-5ppm
GH – 6
KG – 3
Phosphates – 0.25

Tank

20 gallon long
Fluval aquaclear 50
100 watt heater running about 70F.

Food

Provided nightly
Hikari Crab cuisine – 2 pellets
Omega one veggie rounds – ¼ piece
Dennerly shrimp king – ¼ piece
Wardley fish flakes – 2 pieces
Blanched vegetables each night – Broccoli, spinach, arugula, asparagus,
Guys getting generic calcium tablets – ¼ tab 3x. If the clay dish is empty I put in a little bit more.

Additives

Kents iodide – 6 – 7 drops.
Seachem Flourish – put in dose for 15 gallons worth (about ¼ cap). 1 – 2 times a week
Flourish Trace – ¾ capful (15 gallons) 1-2 times a week.
Flourish Excel – 1.5 capfuls 1x a week.
Flourish potassium – ½ capful 1x a week.

Seachem Equilibrium - to get GH to at least six. Usually goes between 6-8.

5 mg of bentonite clay.
A little scraping of “mystery shell” into the tank.
Some cuttlebone in there for the snails and shrimp.


Fellow tankmates

Mystery snail
Black racer snail
Some tiny little snail that’s not a nerite but some kind of pest snail. He came with a bland but doesn’t breed. I figured if he made it on a live plant through the mail, he gets to live in my tank.

If someone could tell me if the white band is being cause by too much or two little calcium I’d appreciate it. What is the ideal GH? I heard it was 6 but maybe it's something else? Is feeding them calcium tabs or calcium rich food a bad idea? Will they just eat and eat and their shells get as hard as tank armor, or do they eat just what they need? Is there anything that stands out that could be causing these problems? Thank for your help!
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-16-2020, 11:23 PM
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Thanks for providing all pertinent info! I've yet to encounter WRoD in mass numbers but my understanding is too little calcium either in the diet or water column. I've also heard that too large of a parameter change can cause it by forcing an early molt. Unless your KH is all magnesium I can't imagine it's a deficiency in your water. Or an issue with such a varied diet. I am not a fan of Excel in shrimp tanks. It kills exactly what they eat. Here's a slightly alarmist article on it, but think about that impact on an animal that forages for film algae and biofilm: https://www.sunkengardens.net/blog/2...glutaraldehyde I'm sure a lot of people use it with shrimp and never have a problem. But I do feel it's had a negative impact in my own shrimp tanks, though never with the symptoms you're seeing. I've changed my mind about a number of things over the years in this hobby, but to boil down what I believe about keeping healthy shrimp would be: Use mature tanks with growing live plants, keep them hungry (they should always swarm food, I feed 2-3x weekly except for tanks with high populations), keep their tanks and filters clean, keep them cool, no or minimal fish, try to avoid large water changes, and don't use Excel. I'm a fan of some leaf litter for foraging, I use oak because it grows in my yard but there's a list of safe ones for shrimp if you do a site search. Not sure how many shrimp you have left, but all you need is a pair and the tank can be crawling with them again. Wishing you luck.
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Blue Ridge Reef! I'm going to stop with the excel and see how that goes. Also going to make sure they have a little piece of generic calcium tablet available at all times in the tank. I'll try keeping that GH at 6. I googled the ingredients of Seachem Equilbrium:

Guaranteed Analysis
Amounts per 1 g
Soluble Potash (K2O) 23.0%
Calcium (Ca) 8.06%
Magnesium (Mg) 2.41%
Iron (Fe) 0.11%
Manganese (Mn) 0.06%

Does that look okay for the GH? I don't really understand the chemistry behind it, although I've tried.

I could put baking soda in my tank, but my PH is so high right now I'm having problems with shell erosion of my mystery snail. I'm thinking I need to paint him to protect his shell, but I'm concerned that the acrylic paint (fingernail paint) will come off into the tank and cause a whole new set of problems. He hasn't been moving around too much over the last few days. Hoping he's not dying.

Couple things I missed for you. I do water changes once a week and I take out 5 gallons in my 20 gallon tank. I run an upflow algae scrubber but not beaming light onto it at present to grow the algae. The phosphates are pretty low as it is, so the plants seem to be using enough of it (no algae blooms, although I'd love to see some green algae on the scrubber but don't want to risk screwing up my plant growth). As to the UAS, essentially it's just a rectangular airstone with a piece of plastic mesh attached to it. I use it mostly for water flow because I've heard the current is good for the plants and to reduce algae formation. Nevertheless, it is growing some weak black algae on it, which the shrimp seem sort of interested in. If I beamed light onto it I'm sure I'd get some green algae growth but I'd rather have the phosphates used by the live plants.

Funny you had mentioned oak leaves. I did that last year with black oak leaves (I live in NH) that I harvested in the fall and the shrimp liked it. I checked on my white ringer today and it's not looking good. I see him in the upper corner of the tank holding onto the silicon sealant for the aquarium glass and not moving. Other shrimp are checking him out, which means in my experience he's going to drop onto the substrate and he will become lunch.

So are you saying that a varied diet is a bad thing for these guys, or are you concerned that maybe one of the things I'm feeding them is not agreeing with their diet? Or maybe something I'm feeding has gone bad? Thanks again for your help!
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 04:21 AM
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I was saying your diet looks good and varied. Do not add baking soda, it’s pure KH. I’m on mobile and turning in for the night but will elaborate tomorrow.

Between the shrimp and mystery snail shell erosion, signs would point to a calcium deficiency but your GH says otherwise and you keep cuttlebone in there and feed high calcium foods. As far as I know, API only makes a calcium test for marine but Nutrafin makes a fw one: https://www.amazon.com/Nutrafin-Calc.../dp/B0002568F4 I would go that route and determine a value before adding more calcium to a tank that may be quite high already. Here's a good primer on KH, take a moment to navigate to the GH page from there and it should clear up a lot of the terms: https://fishlab.com/aquarium-kh/

Your tank water results look fine for Neo shrimp. You feed more frequently than I would but diet looks on point and if uneaten food isn't an issue then it shouldn't be contributing to what you have going on. I used Equilibrium for years with good results to remineralize RO water. I no longer use that brand because it had a lot of precipitates when I'd mix large quantities and Salty Shrimp and Dennerle products did not. Of course, you can "roll your own" too. But if using tap that is shrimp-friendly, I'd be inclined to use straight tap and not alter it. It's just one more variable to have to match each water change. Neo shrimp will live and breed in awfully soft water. Can you test your tap (KH, GH, and TDS)?

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-18-2020 at 01:25 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 07:43 PM
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My recommendation... try to keep the GH at 7-8. Pre-treat all new water going in so it matches what's in the tank.

Stop dosing Excel. Probably don't need iodine either?

Stop feeding so much food!


The biggest issue could be too much protein in the diet and overfeeding. Feed a vegetable/algae based diet twice a week (please read labels! many "algae tabs/pellets" are algae infused, not algae based!) and then a protein food once a week.


Do this for at least a month or two before changing anything else.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-17-2020, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the additional feedback and thanks Blue Ridge Reef for the links!

I have a KH test kit. Is KH different than calcium? Sorry for my stupidity. I know they are different chemical symbols. Are they different chemicals? Like phosphates and nitrates? I thought there was some kind of relation between KH and CA.

Equilibrium - when you say "precipitates" do you mean that white stuff that gets on the glass? I have that too, but the equilibrium is much less expensive than the salty shrimp so I'm just using it for now.

With the KH and shrimp, I've heard everything that KH doesn't matter for them to you should keep it around 3-4 so you won't get PH swings and shock the shrimp at night. What would you recommend the KH should be for the RCS and snails (my mystery, racer nerite and peanut - I don't know what he is) snail?

I've stopped the excel.

I'll bump up the GH to 7-8 from 6. I tried that before and it didn't seem to make a difference on the deaths. Only thing that seemed to have helped was the GFO, but not in the long run and my plants suffered badly from the lack of phosphates. Right now phosphates are good at 0.025 - 0.50. Plants need some to grow and if I drop it lower my plants decay.

I had added the iodine to the routine many months ago b/c of these unexplained shrimp deaths. Didn't even see a band of death. They just fell over and died. BTW - I lost another adult today, not the one with the band. Amazingly he's still alive and kicking. I saw a shed today with eggs on it. So one of the females jettisoned her cargo to molt - that sucks. Anyway, I had read the jury's still out on whether the iodine is helpful or harmful but I figured it was something I'd try. Apparently, it's not helping but since I already spent money on it I figured I'd continue.


There's no uneaten food in the tank by morning. Plate is licked clean. I don't want to skip meals because my mystery snail, Cthulhu, needs to eat and so does my emerald corycat. If I don't feed them they will be really hungry. Zoidburg, I'm giving the guys fresh veggies + the omega one veggie rounds. I thought the veggie rounds are supposed to be the top dog for algae wafers. Are they no good? Here's the ingredients:

Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Wheat Flour, Rice Bran, Kelp, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Spirulina, Herring Oil, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement
Guaranteed Analysis:

Min. Crude Protein….35%
Min. Crude Fat……….10%
Max. Crude Fiber…….4%
Max. Moisture………. 8.5%
Max. Ash……………..9%

Is there another one either of you would recommend that's algae based I should feed them instead? Should I try to generate some green algae on the algae scrubber? Not sure how it will go but I'll try it.

They do get a lot of protein, but emerald likes the crab cuisine and the veggie rounds. He's not a big fan of the shrimp king food. Cthulhu prefers the fresh veggies (spinach, kale, arugula, asparagus, etc.) but he'll eat the other stuff in a pinch. He hasn't been moving that much the past few days. I pulled him out the last two to make sure he didn't die. I gotta paint his shell b/c he's got a lot of erosion. Speed racer (my black nerite) doesn't have any erosion problems. New tiny peanut guy / I don't know what you are shrimp is also fine.


Thanks again for your help!
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 02:20 AM
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@asquirrel the issue with those wafers and pretty much every single other one is that the first algae ingredient is #10 on the list, sure there are peas at #8 and kelp at #6 but the primary ingredients as you can see is fish and wheat products.

I personally have just kind of dealt with some dying. I have a pretty much community tank with shrimp. The neos are sensitive to diet but I dont have much of a way to prevent them from eating everything I put in the tank. Heck the male RCS have started skimming the water upside down to collect flake food I put in for the fish. The shrimps reproduce often enough to keep a population going and the dead shrimp disappear within a day give or take a few hours so .....
I will say the false amanos dont seem affected by the higher protein diet at all besides getting bigger and more rambunctious.

Guess thats why the ideal shrimp tank is just a shrimp tank.
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 07:00 AM
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I have a KH test kit. Is KH different than calcium?
Yes and no. KH is carbonates and bi-carbonates. Calcium typically falls under general hardness, aka GH. If you use calcium bi/carbonates, you would be raising both KH and GH. There's also calcium citrates, calcium gluconates, calcium lactate, calcium sulfates, calcium chloride... non-carbonate sources of calcium would only raise GH but not KH.


Sorry for my stupidity.
If you don't know, how else are you to learn but to ask or research? No apologies necessary!


I know they are different chemical symbols. Are they different chemicals? Like phosphates and nitrates? I thought there was some kind of relation between KH and CA.
See first response.


Equilibrium - when you say "precipitates" do you mean that white stuff that gets on the glass? I have that too, but the equilibrium is much less expensive than the salty shrimp so I'm just using it for now.
It doesn't dissolve very well or leaves clumps on the bottom of the water when you mix it in.


With the KH and shrimp, I've heard everything that KH doesn't matter for them to you should keep it around 3-4 so you won't get PH swings and shock the shrimp at night. What would you recommend the KH should be for the RCS and snails (my mystery, racer nerite and peanut - I don't know what he is) snail?
If your KH is at 3, it's fine. Some shrimp do prefer higher or lower KH, but for what you have, it's fine.


I'll bump up the GH to 7-8 from 6. I tried that before and it didn't seem to make a difference on the deaths.
And this is why I believe the issue is primarily diet related more than anything else...


I had added the iodine to the routine many months ago b/c of these unexplained shrimp deaths. Didn't even see a band of death. They just fell over and died. BTW - I lost another adult today, not the one with the band. Amazingly he's still alive and kicking. I saw a shed today with eggs on it. So one of the females jettisoned her cargo to molt - that sucks. Anyway, I had read the jury's still out on whether the iodine is helpful or harmful but I figured it was something I'd try. Apparently, it's not helping but since I already spent money on it I figured I'd continue.
I feel like this confirms diet related issues even more so.


There's no uneaten food in the tank by morning. Plate is licked clean. I don't want to skip meals because my mystery snail, Cthulhu, needs to eat and so does my emerald corycat. If I don't feed them they will be really hungry. Zoidburg, I'm giving the guys fresh veggies + the omega one veggie rounds.
Feeding a fish/shrimp community tank can indeed make things more difficult....


I thought the veggie rounds are supposed to be the top dog for algae wafers. Are they no good? Here's the ingredients:

Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Wheat Flour, Rice Bran, Kelp, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Spirulina, Herring Oil, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

Shrimp just merely do best on a vegetable and algae based diet. The veggie rounds? Algae is the 6th ingredient...I don't know that Hikari crab even has any algae in it... not seeing it in the ingredients list... Wardley's, if it's the right product, algae is the 9th ingredient. Don't know about Shrimp King. (many products)

In other words, they aren't getting enough algae/vegetable based matter in their diet and they are getting too much animal protein.... this has the potential to cause them to grow too fast, thus being unable to molt because their bodies aren't ready *TO* molt. Failed molts, deaths.


Is there another one either of you would recommend that's algae based I should feed them instead? Should I try to generate some green algae on the algae scrubber? Not sure how it will go but I'll try it.
I've been using Ken's Fish veggie sticks, Sera algae wafers (stick to glass) and spirulina powder. I can't say any of these are the best products, simply what I use for algae/vegetable based foods.



This is what I would recommend for the shrimp, so it could very well help to move them to their own tank. Myself and others have had the same issues where everything else seemed "okay" but we were still having deaths. Changed the diet and the shrimp started to thrive.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 03:39 PM
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Out curiosity, how old are those Veggie Rounds? I have a jar on hand and first ingredients are whole kelp and spirulina. Just wonder if that change was for the better for worse for our purposes. Either way, I think you'd be well-served to reduce food however possible. Force them to forage the best you can. Hard to do in a fish tank, I realize.
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Hey folks!

Blue Ridge Reef, I checked my actual package and my first two ingredients are whole kelp and spirulina as well. I pulled the info from Omega one's site:

https://www.omegasea.net/products/nu.../veggie-rounds

Maybe the formula has changed?

Tonight I'm giving just 1/4 wafer of the veggie rounds and a small piece of broccoli. Hopefully emerald and my mystery snail realize what's been dropped into the tank before the shrimps do.
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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 01:21 AM
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You really don't have to feed mystery snails often either! For one snail especially, I might drop in 1/4 wafer twice a week -if I remembered to. And I wouldn't feel bad if I forgot. They graze all day. SO much food grows in a planted tank, and it's exactly what they eat naturally. Remember, these animals are regarded by some as a "cleanup crew." I don't view them this way at all, but it's important to remember that the tank alone can feed them until the populations get out of hand.
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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What would my big guy snail and corycat eat if I don't feed them? Does my mystery snail eat algae on the tank glass and substrate? I'm really concerned about the shell erosion. Edit - His trap door is almost gone.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=189...7CPAZDhcinetry
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asquirrel View Post
What would my big guy snail and corycat eat if I don't feed them? Does my mystery snail eat algae on the tank glass and substrate? I'm really concerned about the shell erosion. Edit - His trap door is almost gone.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=189...7CPAZDhcinetry

You need to feed the fish food like you have been doing, they are not just herbivores as you know. I cant help with the snail, thats pretty rough looking and I would think very likely something to do with your water parameters, atleast thats been my experience.



Issue with having shrimp and other critters is trying to match parameters for the shrimp and maintain the other critters. In my case I take care of everything all together and the shrimp either make it or they dont. This usually results in some deaths (usually the older ones) but in general everyone is healthy.



Only thing I personally can suggest if you have the parameters in spec, feed the cory cat enough to live healthy, the snail should get some from this. Put some kind of veggie in like zucchini slices, thawed shelled frozen peas, cucumber slices with seeds removed, even tiny garlic slices. Just remember to remove after a day or so any uneaten veggies.



Piece or two of cuttle bone, Ive added some to my tank and the critters chew on it from time to time but it has been in there a while.



Thats about all I got.


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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 03:51 AM
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Oh and dont forget to blanch the veggies to make them easier to eat.


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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-19-2020, 02:23 PM
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This is an interesting topic. I've heard many times about the "white band of death", and I've just started seriously breeding various Neo's here in the last 6 months. I only see it in my bloody mary's, but I'll see several with the white band around the mid section, but I don't see deaths. Currently, I've got several BM females showing this band, all of which are berried. So I guess my question is - is the white band ALWAYS a bad sign? Obviously, in OP's case, deaths are occurring so it's a problem there, but is it always a problem?
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