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HELP!! shrimps dying from not being able to molt

21794 Views 19 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mztee
In the past week I think I've lost about 5 out of the 50 red cherry shrimps I have and they all seem to have the same problem some die trying to molt and some were only able to molt just they body part but the head part gets stuck. I just found one today with half of its head shell lifted up a bit. He's still moving big a little so I put him in a separate tank by himself to see if he would make it or not. Before some of them die, they have a horizontal Crack from left to right side of their body (in-between were the head and body connects). I have a shrimp only tank(50ish red cherrys and 5 crystal Reds in 5.5 gallon tank with fluval underwater filter) that is planted and I use fluval plant substrate. The crystals are doing fine though. I feed them shirakura soft pellets every 2-3 days and white pellets by biomax or cucumber once a week. I also have a piece of catappa leaf in there.

These are my water perimeters:

Ph- 7.4 - 7.6
Ammonia - 0 (since I use prime, the only way to test for free ammonia for me was to get the seachem ammonia alert that sticks to the side of the tank)
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5
Kh - 4 (drops before it turned color)
Gh - 5-6 (drops before it turned color)
Temperature - 23-26 Celsius through the day

I change water once a week with top water and use seachem prime to dechlorinate the water as well as fluval shrimp Mineral supplement since my water was really soft with no minerals. I also have a small Mineral rock in there.

I desperately need help since I have done everything I could including tons of online and in store(shrimp store that specializes in shrimp keeping) research but nothing is helping.

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Take out the moss balls. Then add one regular dose of the F shrimp mineral thing.
Unless this is a rash of it that just started, try slowly bringing things up to better.
I've heard of multiple issues/w those moss balls and suspect they are changin your
perameters. You may need to add some MGSO4(epsom salt/Walmart)but see if what I said already brings a change in their shedding. It takes more than just a couple of days
but not weeks to see a difference. Also get a can of Asperagus and feed a small like
1/2" piece of it each feeding. Read the label to make sure it don't have anything else in it like oil etc.
Thanks, I'll try that. I've never heard anything bad about the marimo balls before :s and also, if I add more of the fluval Mineral wouldn't that raise my gh too much?

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Update- so I tested my tds and it was shooting through the roof at 436ppm. I did a little test and found out that my tap is at 163 and then by adding prime to it, it jumps to 196. On top of that the mineral supplement I used from fluval bumped it way up to 295. But I don't get it since my gh was maintained at 5 and kh was at 3-4.... If I don't use the supplement they won't have any gh?
Prime will NOT cause TDS to increase that much, are you sticking your tester in right after you add prime and not shaking the water up? Prime dosed properly in one gallon of water will raise the TDS by 2-3 points and that's it. It takes 4 drops for one gallon of water ( I use a 1mL syringe, then invert the water to mix properly). Something ain't right here, either your Prime isn't mixed with the water properly, you are overdosing or you aren't shaking the Prime before adding it to the water (which you need to do). You don't add Fluval to tap water, you add it to RO water which is 0 GH, 0 KH and 0 TDS. And lastly, there is not a dang thing wrong with marimo balls, I have them in all my tanks and many shrimp keepers and breeders use them in theirs. They don't do anything to paramaters. Mineral rocks can alter params but not a moss ball.

Yes if you use remineralizer with tap water you are going to shoot your TDS and GH through the roof since that's what a remineralizer does (raises GH and TDS). If your tap out of the faucet is registering 163 then your first statement that it has no minerals is wrong.

So just all over the place confused. Those SEachem ammonia alerts are dang useless if you ask me, I've had them read 0 when I had almost .5 in a tank and kept wondering why my fish were struggling (and it was a new ammonia alert too). When using Prime you want to use the Seachem Ammonia test. HOWEVER Prime only affects the API tests if you test right away. If you wait 24 hours after dosing with Prime it will not affect an API test.

The crack in the shell is a molting issue yes but it can be brought on by overfeeding or feeding too much protein just as easily as it can be a GH issue. Your GH seems fine, KH is a little high for the CRS but they aren't the ones having the issue it would seem. Typically molting issues are a GH/KH problem first and dietary second.

How long have you had the shrimp in question? If you have received them recently your parameters may be so far off from the breeders/source that they are having trouble adjusting.
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Wow you seem very angry or maybe I'm just reading it that way but anyhow, thank you for clearing that up. In regards to the gh is not that I don't have any, its just that it's so little to the point where my api gh test can't detect it and that is why I used the fluval Mineral supplement to raise the gh since I have extremely soft water. Also I have had the shrimps for over a month now
Wow you seem very angry or maybe I'm just reading it that way but anyhow, thank you for clearing that up. In regards to the gh is not that I don't have any, its just that it's so little to the point where my api gh test can't detect it and that is why I used the fluval Mineral supplement to raise the gh since I have extremely soft water. Also I have had the shrimps for over a month now
Hard to read emotion on the internet but no I'm not angry, got no reason to be, trying to help. Maybe if I use a bunch of smileys that will help;)

But here's the thing, if you are running 163 TDS out of the tap you can't NOT have some sort of GH. It makes me think something is wrong with your test kit, old fluid, something. And like I said on the Prime, there is something wrong here as it simply will not raise the TDS that much if used properly. You didn't answer any of those questions. :)

Warmer temps promote faster growth and can also lead to premature molting, perhaps dropping your temp down will help as well
When I was testing the gh, it changed color on the first drop but maybe I'll pick up another one to confirm. As for the prime I put in 0.5ml using a dropper for my entire 5.5 gallon tank. I haven't tried testing it the day after though, I usually do it after my water change so I'll test it again tomorrow since I did the water change today
Don't add the Prime directly to your tank. Add it to your water change water and just enough for the amount of water you are changing. That's why your TDS is shooting up that high, you are overdosing. If you were changing 100% of the water that's when you would use that much (.5 is correct dosage for 5 gallon). Otherwise you dose only for the amount of water you are changing and you add it to that water BEFORE you put it in your tank. And you may have misunderstood me, only the ammonia test is affected when you dose with Prime and that's just in the first 24 hours.

What is your KH testing? If your GH/KH are testing 0 then your TDS would test 0. How do you know your TDS meter is accurate? Are you testing it on straight RO water to doublecheck? If not, go get a gallon of RO (0 GH/KHTDS) and use that to be sure your TDS meter is testing correctly. Anything under 10 TDS is what you want to see on RO water.
My kh is at 3, but I haven't tested my tap water alone yet. Also where could I get ro water? Is the Dasani bottled water the same? On the bottle it says they use reverse osmosis
if you are not using ro unit you can try the grocery store. they have the machines you can fill up a 5 gallon container.
Oh OK, I know what your taking about. So if I start using ro water to do my water changes I can continue doing what I'm doing?
Grocery stores should have it, it will say purified by Reverse Osmosis but don't get anything that has 'added minerals for taste'. Defeats the purpose we need it for.
Okay, so what changes during my weekly water changes then?
YOu will have to remineralize RO water, you can't use it straight as shrimp need the minerals to molt properly. You want to use a remineralizer, like your Fluval Shrimp minerals. YOu have to shake these products up before using (Prime, Remineralizers, etc) or you will get inconsistent batches. Fluval Shrimp minerals after properly shaken, you can add 1.2 mL to get a GH of 5-6 and TDS of 125-135 or so. It won't affect KH. That's the dosage I use. Make sure you mix the water after you add remineralizer. Test GH and TDS to make sure you are getting the params you want, add to the tank, make sure the water is the same temp (too cold will force molts which can lead to death). Add the water slowly. Adding water change water too rapidly can lead to problems (lowering GH is the fastest way to force molts, even faster than colder temps so be cautious and do slow water changes)
I am by far not one of the experts on here but if you do switch don't change any of the parameters drastically. go slowly with changes. you are gonna need something to add gh and kh. personally for my pfr tank I use salty shrimp gh /kh. it will also raise the tds. just make sure to test the source water before adding anything to it.
Alright I'll give the ro water a shot and see what happens. Thanks everyone :)
Just did a slow water change today with ro water instead of the tap and my shrimps look happier already, even the tiny baby shrimps are out now. For some reason they keep running into the bubbles that the filter makes or maybe their just playing in it since after they get blown away they swim right back. Tds is now down to 320 from 460 yesterday :)
Are they just running through the bubbles or trying to get to the surface? If they are running towards the surface that signifies a problem (lack of oxygen, ammonia spike and more). But if you did the water change slowly you should be in good shape. Hopefully things will improve molt wise soon!
I actually just saw a molt, not sure when that happened though. They are running directly into the bubble stream. The bubbles are near the back of the tank they usually go up back there. I actually turned it off once to see what would happen and they seem to understand after a few times that if there are no more bubbles then they stop going up there. So I think their just playing, my betta used to do that too
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