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Local outbreak

1267 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ShyShrimpDoc
I was talking to one of the LFS guys and he said there has been an recent issue with some Protozoa infecting tanks that is coming from the tap water.

I use RO so that is pretty unlikely to be the source if my issue (and drink RO, so I am wondering a little less about what I have ingested!). But i thought I would post in case someone is trying to figure out what's going on in their tank and the symptoms fit.

I had a problem with my CRS tank, and we found exoskeleton eating parasites (protozoan appearing) on both bodies and shed shells. I am treating my tank as we speak and will be testing the rest of mine tomorrow. I am not sure how these got into the tank. Will know more tomorrow. If it came in on plants all the tanks will have it, if the pleco brought it in then it should be fairly isolated. Treating with paragaurd, will update the post with results.
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first ive heard about this and i just use tap and rain water and have had zero issues to date, i have heard of and pretty sure ive had snail eggs making it though and hatch but that really depends on the water treatment.

do u have a uv sterilizer? if not and u can afford to get one a nice portable one is "thegreenkillingmachine" at petsmart kinda bulky but it comes with a pump and u can transfer it easy to any tank unlike some that have to be hardwired.

make sure u not using anything from one tank to another like a net or anything, im sure u know but just a reminder. how did u find these, just randomly pick them up and use a microscope?

on a good note all the shrimp i got are doing great, i got lil babies hiding everywhere but there like ninjas blink and there gone, well @ 1mm not to hard in a tank full of plants/moss.

update when u can and thanks for the heads up, are the plants/moss i gave u doing ok in your tanks?
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I have separate nets for the tanks. There were a lot of deaths in the CRS tank (3-4 a day). At first I thought the tank had gotten too warm. But when they weren't stopping I pretty much knew they had parasites. We found them on the dead shrimp as well as the shells that were shed. Personally I suspect the pleco had them, but just isn't affected by them. I run 18w UV in line. It runs on the same timer as the tank lights.

The shrimp in my other tanks look fine. I am going to check microscopically today after rounds at the hospital. I just want to be sure the tanks are actually clear. If there is a minor outbreak in them I would rather catch it now and treat it.

I thought the tap water thing was interesting, but he said those were ciliates. These did not spear to be. His scope was fairly low power. I will be using a research microscope later (with a camera - so will post pics). I should be able to better classify it at that point. The shrimp did seem to be getting some relief from the paragaurd. I just hope I don't get out of bed and find a lot of deaths.
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leave your uv on full time for a week+ it will help minimize any that are free swimming and pass though, it cost less than one shrimp to leave it on for a week so id put everything on to slow and stop it. i suspected it would be the pleco as my first choice, plants not so much but possible if the water was contaminated, another good reason to acclimate fish and then just dump the fish in no water and with plants rinse/seterilize bath then place without useing the stored water.

definate learning experiance here to set up a qt tank and use uv on it cause that situation blows, and id bet most of us have been there at one point or another in our time of keeping fish/shrimp. i honestly cant say how long its even been from the last time i got a sick tank but the simple precautions can help save your 455 if there was a possiblity of them coming in infected/contaminated. good luck hope you get that in check.
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They don't seem to free swim much, and UV light tends to radicalize larger molecules. I don't need a bunch of free radicals rom the medication in the tank. I am 100% sure they came in inside the pleco. The plants went in all of my tanks, the other tanks are clear. The plants are doing well by the way (except the flame moss, which fell victim to an unknown vegetarian, and the real thin grass, which fell victim to my spixi snails before I could even get it planted). I wanted to post the bug on the main forum for those who might need the info. Here is a link to the post And FYI, I never put the water from other tanks into mine. I either net out the critters, or in the case of most catfish, I grab them by hand (they get stuck in the nets too easy).

It was interesting how many things are in our tanks that we have no idea about. I love microscopes. There were some cool critters in there. I did some experimentation, it looks like paragaurd will work well for this. I hope no one else has to go through this. Maybe this will save someone else from the hassle. I did find out that paragaurd is a much better plant dip than hydrogen peroxide. Just wish it were stable for a longer period when mixed, and not so expensive.
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how did this end up? good(well better than it could have been) or bad? i gotta say i love your shrimpies they are doing great in the tank couple of them finally popped and with the other ones i had i got tiny ninjas hiding everywhere, hope u didnt lose to many they are nice quality! i took a few nice macros with my phone of a couple of yours if u ever need a good pic to use.

for a plant dip u can use h2o2 or 1pt bleach to 10pt water or potassium permanganate but it really just depends on where u get ur stuff ive only had one case where i wished i had dipped that was for ug if uve had it u know ;p
I am not sure. I did surveillance on the other tanks and originally did not see the same bug in them. There were other creepy crawlies (as is always the case with tanks, but not those guys). So I treated the shrimp tank with paragaurd. Full or 3/4 strength is ok for a few days, but the life cycle of most Protozoa is a couple to three weeks long. I did find out that the Denver aquarium treats their outbreaks full strength on an every other day basis, with water changes on the day off. Having seen what I just did, that seems like a really good policy. The info came too late for me.

I had to bump it down to 2/3 strength after about 5 days. At about a week and a half (death rate had slowed) I re-surveyed all the tanks except the cardinal one (left the sample on the window sill-ughhhh). I had treated the community tank for 2 days to kill of some of the worms. It went cloudy to the point that 3 sand vacuum treatments and massive water changes (cleaned filter too) did not fully correct. It now had the critter, but no deaths. I got a better look at the bug that was on the shells and was finally able to ID it. It was paramecium putrinim. What I thought were chloroplasts, were bits of internalized algae.

Here comes the part that made me feel like an idiot for trying to kill it. It feeds on algae and bacteria. This was a bacterial infection. A bacillus species to be more specific. I could not see them because the paramecium were eating up the vast majority before they made it to the microscope. Once the paramecium level dropped from the paragaurd I could see the shells were coated in rods. I thought it was a secondary infection until I identified the original (non parasitic) species. The picture I posted at first sucks too. I think the alcohol deformed it pretty bad. That messed me up for trying to identify it.

So anyway, I did a massive water change. I stopped the paragaurd and I turned the UV back on. The death rate is even slower, but I am still losing shrimp. I think it's ones that were infected and weak just finally succumbing. It's been one or two a day for the three days since then. Will do another water change today. I am watching the parameters closely. I could hit them with an antibiotic in the food, but want to give them a break and see if they recover on their own. I lost all of my huge mama shrimp. I will probably have to augment the gene pool on the colony when this blows over. The higher end ones were more succeptible.
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