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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just in shock. Came home 2 days early from vacation to find all of my shrimp (except some malawas) dead. My 55 rili shrimp that had just started breeding for me, my pregnant crystals, and all of my juvie fire reds. My husband is ready to kill our pet sitter. She was supposed to feed them 2 algae wafers last Tuesday and 2 Friday (yesterday). The air pump had been pulled out and was disconnected and there is food everywhere. The ground of the rili section is literally covered in dead bodies. Could this have all happened since yesterday??? I feel physically sick.
 

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Could have easily ammonia spiked. Make the pet sitter pay you for all the shrimp. If not bring in the law. This happens all the time with petsitters and fish (in this case shrimp). They don't understand how A. expensive this hobby is and B. how to care for these animals. You're going to want to make them pay the several hundred to several thousand dollars in shrimp so they won't forget this ever happened. If not then get the law in. She/he destroyed your property.

These weren't even my shrimp and I'm furious.

Those shrimp would have probably been fine for a few days without food anyways. Also if the pet sitter is part of any organization report her so she never finds work in your town again. She deserves it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know how to handle it. I did send her an email. I know she is an experienced aquarium keeper and has been watching our animals for a couple years. On top of that, I taught her daughter in school. I am just sick. I obviously spent quite a bit on the shrimp and had just posted some of the rilis for sale...since I convinced my husband that I could make it a semi-profitable hobby. I should have just left them unfed and they probably would have been fine...but how hard is it to pluck 2 tablets out of the container? I have no idea how the pump became unplugged or why my geckos had no food and there squash (moisture for the mealworms) was totally dried out when they should have just been fed yesterday. The last time we went away, my dad came a few days after we left and the pet sitter had watched them and my father said the geckos had been out of food then to.
 

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If there is a lot of food lying around it definitely sounds like an ammonia spike. It is really common for petsitters to overfeed fish and shrimp is probably an even worse scenario as they are probably unfamiliar with them and shrimp eat comparatively little. It sounds like you left her with some pretty specific instructions though (hopefully in writing). I would maybe talk to her about splitting some of the costs of replacements, it will be a tough sell to try and get her to pay for the whole thing and definitely will ruin any kind of relationship you have with her. It is up to you whether that is worth it. It will be a lot easier if you gave her the instruction in writing and then have a photo of the tank showing the food everywhere.
 

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Sorry to hear that. Hopfully you can recope some of them. If the petsitter overfeed the shrimps and than the shrimps died from the left over food it will and always be an ammiona spike. Even with the dead shrimps will give off some. Sorry for your lost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I just got off the phone with the pet sitter. She was here yesterday. She only gave the geckos 5 mealworms each and didn't know the squash was ok because I usually leave potatoes or carrots, so that makes sense. She said she fed them 2 wafers both times she came and didn't touch the pump. The light was off, so I think she may not have noticed that they were dead. The air pump was pulled out from behind the table they are on and the air hose pulled out. I swear I had the pump wrapped in a towel to muffle the vibration and the towel is gone. I'm wondering if my cat was feeling rambunctious and pulled the towel out and that unplugged the hosing. Either way, I guess I'm out a lot of shrimp. I have found one single fire red alive and some malawas. Ugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm sure she wouldn't do anything purposely. I just can't imagine the cat running away with a towel-the towel is GONE...or maybe it was a t shirt-maybe I should super glue the tubing on.
 

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Did the air pump power the filter, and there was no filtration during those days? Problem with mass die off is it starts to increased ammonia exponentially and that causes more die offs and that creates more and more ammonia. And any experienced pet sitter should have not fed again if the previous food wasn't eaten, it was already starting to breakdown and start the ammonia spike in the first place. It should have been removed. Just out of curiousity, what kind of filtration did you have on the tank, what size and how many shrimp? In a tank at its overstock limit with little filtration, any bit of uneaten food can start a spike. Most of my tanks are over filtrated by like 10x the tank size vs rated size of the filter, so uneaten food, even those make cause a spike for a few minutes, with the entire tank being turned over 5-10x an hour, it get eaten by the bacteria in the filter in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes-3 sections in a 20 gallon with air pumps-powered by large air pump. The rili section had 55 adults and a bunch of babies/juvies, the middle section has a bunch of malawa-they survived-the last section had about 75 juvie fire reds...one left. I know the pet sitter should have looked in the tank. She said she saw some shrimp on the walls when she fed them, but I am sure they were snails and she just didn't look carefully. On the bright side, if anyone wants any planaria, I can RAOK a ton:icon_roll
 
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