The Planted Tank Forum banner

First shrimp death.. another one is on the way out

2346 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Gsneufeld
Had my first death last night, got a batch of tigers, acclimated them the right way, popped them in the tank and everything seemed fine. Came back later in the evening and had a dead one lying upside down on the bottom of the tank.

His color was good, didn't see any damage or anything wrong with him at all he was just dead. About 30 minutes ago i noticed a really lethargic shrimp upside down on a piece of moss. I moved the moss a bit and he moved, although it was slow. Went to the otherside of the tank, I put some food in for feeding time and he didn't go for it even though he was an inch or two away. Just latched onto another piece of moss upside down.

I thought he was dead, but he's still kicking so I moved him to an isolation tank where he drifted to the bottom on his side. prodded him a little and he swam up on some moss, but he swims sideways a bit almost like he's drunk. Still don't see anything wrong with him, but figure he may have a damaged something?

Anything I should worry about here? My tank currently has 10 oranges that have been in for 2 weeks or longer, 10 more oranges that went in wednesday, and 12 tigers that went in yesterday. I also added 3 small cory's monday I think. All the oranges appear to be perfectly healthy and active. The tigers aren't near as active as the oranges, but almost all of them seem fine and swim around the tank, forage, etc.. really haven't' noticed anything odd except for the one that died and the lethargic one I pulled from the tank.

I did see a Tiger with something weird that seemed to be "stuck" under his tail late last night. Looked almost like a tiny stick as long as he was, but it wasn't still as a cory bumped it and it moved and didn't affect the tiger. Have no idea what that was all about, but whatever it was didn't appear to be alive or moving just stuck. Either way, I don't see that today but then again I've got a half dead shrimp.

Any suggestions on this or things I need to watch for? The cory's seem to be fine one is actually in the feeding dish eating with the shrimp so I wouldn't think it's an issue with them unless a shrimp can be scared to death lol. Shock maybe? No ammonia in the tank or anything else that would throw things out of whack and as mentioned the oranges appear to be super-healthy and happy..
See less See more
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
What is the pH, GH, and KH? Nitrites & Nitrates?
And everything else about the tank you can think of. How long has it been set up?
The tank is fully cycled, the ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, Nitrate was between 0-10ppm. Hard to get an exact estimate on that one as the orange shades are all way to close together on the kit, but I'm guessing it was 5.0ppm on that one.

I did a small water change on Monday probably 2-3 gallons out of a 20 gallon tank. Just did a small one as I knew I had shrimp coming, and I had some evaporation so I was putting more in than taking out.

As mentioned the oranges are great, eat like horses, etc.. the rest of the tigers seem to be just as hardy and are eating with the cory's and oranges right now.

The one I put in quarantine is already dead so I'm glad I got him out of the tank when I did, lasted about 5 minutes in the other tank before keeling over.

I did have A LOT of difficulty getting them out of the bag yesterday which I'm sure wasn't good for them. I got them into my acclimation bowl just fine, but a few would not come out of the moss almost like they were trapped in the stuff. There was some kind of moss I couldn't identify in the bag that they literally would not let go of. Most of them did when I got ready to dip them out, but several of the bigger ones simliar to the ones that died would not come off the moss and almost appeared stuck. Both the dead ones are good sized too, not juvies by any means...
See less See more
GH & KH were fine when I checked a week ago, I actually busted the kit (long story) in the floor and have to pick a new one up tomorrow. No chemicals in the tank, all plants are checked and quarantined before they go in as well.
Did you acclimate them? Sometimes shock can do it.
Sometimes you get losses, especially if they were shipped, considering the heat. If this is the aquarium that is less than a month old, then you may be pushing your luck though. Shrimp are pretty sensitive compared to fish, and new tanks can and do have ammonia and nitrite fluctuations.
My only guess would be the acclimation. How long was it? Did you test the water they came in compared to your tank water? That should determine how long your acclimation period is.
The tank is fine, it's been up close to 2 months now. No deaths with anything I've put in it and I had ghosts and fish in it the first week to help get things cycling. Tank is fully cycled, so it's not that...

I followed the acclimation method on PlanetInverts for the shrimp. I did both batches of oranges that way, and no deaths or shock. As mentioned my first batch of oranges have been alive and kicking in the tank for close to or around 2 3 weeks with no issues except for the fact they sold me all females lol.

The second batch or oranges went in the day before the tigers, no issues there either yet. 3 pregnant ones, everyone seems very happy, even added cholla and Indian almond leaves earlier in the week to give them some new hiding spots.

I'm thinking shock as a few were just lethergic as soon as the bags were dumped while the rest were active. All hid under the moss, but 2-3 were unusually lethargic. Like I said several almost seemed stuck in that coarse moss when I was trying to get them from the bowl into the tank.

As far as shock is concerned, how much does adjusting thinks in the tank disturb them? I am prone to moving things around, adjusting plants, adding cholla, etc.. I actually have a huge ball of moss to put in and arrange but am waiting as I wanted to give them more time to get used to things as I've just had those two deaths.

Really want to remove some of that blue gravel out too. Put too much in initially, have been slowly taking some out over the past month. It screws up my pictures and doesn't look like I thought it would :icon_cry:
See less See more
I would let the tank mature a bit more before you start changing substrate. It also depends on what kind of filter you are running. If you have a cannister filter, you have more room for beneficial bacteria to live. So if you change your substrate, you have more room to account for any ammonia or nitrite spikes. If you just have a small hob with a single filter pad, then you don't have that much room for error.
Some shrimp just don't recover from the stress of shipping. Keep watch on them for a week or so then report back after they've had time to settle in.

As for the "stick" you saw, that was shrimp crap.

Sorry for your loss. A few things I can think of,
1. I don't think it's acclimation since you said you follow the good practice. I have one OEBT escaped the breeder box (where they acclimated) within a minute and he was fine. (acclimating from PH 7.6 to PH 6.6).
2. Caridinas (your tigers) are more sensitive than Neo (your orange).
3. Two months old isn't that long.
4. My guess on the death -- unknown. How long did the shipping take? Could be ammonia positioned but it's too late to test the water in the bag I guess. The symptom of ammonia/nitrite poison is similar to lack of oxygen (since these things inhibit the blood cell's ability to bind with oxygen), they may stay still, they may act crazy, and breathing rate increase if you observe closely. This can happen in hot weather in a long journey, who knows the temp in the trucks/vans they were in.
5. My suggestion: keep your fingers crossed and move on.
ROFL... I wanted to say it was shrimp poop, but didn't want to get laughed of the boards. As much as I've watched the little buggers that's the first time I've seen it so I wasn't sure... too funny lol.

As for the filtration, I've got nice big spongfilter to go along with an AC 50, and an airstone.

I'm not actually changing the substrate, the blue rocks were just sprinkled on top of the actual deep black substrate. I just sprinkled way too many when trying to cover an airline...

Shipping, that's a tough one. I believe I got my tracking number Monday, but it never worked until around 3am wednesday. I messaged the seller about it, and it started working the next day and then the shrimp arrived right after that. Shipped from Cali so yeah, they could have gotten stressed if they were on the road for 4 days. I basically ordered from 2 different companies at the same time (kind of a test) and one arrived a full day earlier while the other (dead shrimp shipment) came a full day later. Would have to check but I think they were both west coast sent.


I have been meaning to ask about feeding. I've ready dozens of places to feed them and remove what they can't finish in 2-3 hours. I get that, but they never say "how many" shrimp that applies too as my guys have never finished anything except the borneo wild barley. How long would recommend leaving a flake in for 30 shrimp?
See less See more
The food depends on the tank proportions, the size of your colony, the nitrate levels, and especially, your TDS.

If you have a huge tank, very low nitrates, and a low TDS, it doesn't matter what shrimp you keep nor how long you keep the food in the tank. Keep in there for weeks if you had to. However, the smaller your tank volume, the more food will affect the water parameters. Do you dose ferts? Is the colony of inverts large? Perhaps your nitrates are already at the threshold, and your TDS keeps creeping up? In that case, you have to be much more careful of course. The food will raise, TDS, raise nitrates, and potentially and depending on the species, bother your inverts.

As for your deaths, you probably just received a few shrimps that didn't enjoy their trip through the postal service. Otherwise, because your tank is still quite immature, you still have a lack of beneficial bacteria in the tank itself. Just because other inverts are doing just fine, it doesn't mean that they're living in a perfect environment, one that could potentially take out a weaker shrimp.

Further, since you are using a large sponge, you really don't have to do anything to address this unless you wanted to get hyper about it and start dosing BT-9. But still, just for some tigers? No worries there. Just wait it out and your tank should be fine.
See less See more
Like others have said, Caridinas tend to be sensitive compared to Neos. From what you describe, it sounds like poisoning, (chronic - the result of being exposed to ammonia during shipping as opposed to acute poisoning which would have been the result of your tank) Unfortunately, sometimes the damage is done and nothing can change it, and they continue dying due to the irreversible damage from the toxicity. I find that "acclimating" is more stressful on the animals than a straight shop and drop, so I just do a quick test of the shipping water to match temperature and ph and dump them straight into the QT tank. Haven't lost a shrimp in over a year.

**edit** I never have any livestock shipped to me though... If you ask nicely at your local fish store they'll usually order in anything you want.

Lost an orange shrimp yesterday afternoon. Same as the rest just keeled over dead with no damage, but it's the first orange I've lost which is worrisome as the rest were tigers.

Checked all my levels again yesterday, everything was fine except the N3 which prompted the water change. It was right around the threshold of "bad" but again it's hard to read the damned color chart.

Went and bought an in-tank N3/Ammonia reader, did the water chance, cleaned the feeding areas good when I did the change.

Woke up this morning and two oranges were eating a dead tiger shrimp. I thought they were helping him molt at first as I saw a tiger help another tiger pull out of it's molt yesterday, but nope they were eating him around his head. Pulled him out of the tank along with a fresh molt I noticed. Nothing else seems dead as of now, but I have to head to work soon so we'll see whats tonights nightmare will be.

I figure the N3 being a little high with the shipping thrown in may have done a few of them in, but if they keep croaking with the water being fine (for now) then I have no idea. I haven't noticed any of my G1 Oranges dead, just the new tigers, and I "think" the one orange was a new shrimp as well.

As for the feeding, I have around 27 shrimp and 3 corycats in a 20 gallon tank. Still unsure how much to feed them and it's a real bitch to get the access out of the tank if they can't finish it off. I bought dishes, but that's a joke as they haven't kept it in there yet.. they are very, very messy eaters when they get going. Guess the only good thing is everything that's died has done it in the open so I haven't had to hunt although I check under the almond leaf every so often to make sure there isn't one rotting in the tank.

I am also due for a filter change soon, but dont' want to mess them up anymore than they already are. I'm guessing I should wait a few days then stagger changing out the filter? Do the foam one day, charcoal the next, etc..?

Thanks for all the help so far and advice. I knew I would lose a few eventually which is why I went with the cheap route starting out. Nobody here carries shrimp except for a few cherries and they're asking 5 bucks a piece for them "on sale" lol. I've had shops want my oranges for trade credit, but nobody will order any so it basically sucks here. Part of my goal in this was to get some local interest drummed up, and it seems to have worked, but not enough for them to start stocking them theirselves lol
See less See more
We need numbers, not your word that everything is "fine" What are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? What are your GH and KH? I assume you're using some sort of HOB filter with carbon inserts? That isn't recommended because every time you change the cartridge, you throw away most of your biological filtration.

If I were you, I would do daily 25% water changes with water that you've aged, dechlorinated with a heavy metal binding agent, and added a buffering thing to. Add a sponge filter and don't mess with the carbon filter cartridge for now.

It makes sense that the tigers were the first to die - but the orange are a morph of the regular cherry shrimp, and they are very, very hardy. The fact that they are dying means that something is seriously wrong.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.