I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. i would have suggested taking a filter off another tank and slap it on this tank pronto... Bear in mind that erratic changes in tds and water parameters may also prove detrimental as it could evoke premature molting.
If they are still dying 3 hours after the incident, net them out completely and place them in a container of clean water with prime at the appropriate dosage.
Biological without mechanical filtration is often times a problem waiting to happen. Shrimp are just sensative intolerant creatures.
ps, it may feel awful at the moment, but dont beat yourself over it. we have all done something similar if not worse going into any hobby. This is as much a learning process as it is something that can always be improved.
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"I am Groot", the faithful protector
Last edited by acitydweller; 06-01-2013 at 02:33 AM.