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I looked into my shrimp tank this morning and saw lots of little "shrimp bodies" on the substrate. I thougth I had killed them, but upon counting, I realized that I hadn't actually lost any (I don't think). I was wondering if the "bodies" I saw were just the exoskeleton? How can I tell the difference between dead bodies and molting?
 

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Molting - empty shells, translucent/opaque.
Dead bodies - the shells aren't translucent and they'll be pretty red still.
 

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Trust me, you'll know if they're dead shrimp or molts once you've witnessed both. Like others have stated, RCS when dead look like minature cooked lobsters. Molts are completely see-through and if you look close enough, right behind the head you'll see a crack where the shrimp crawled out.
 

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There are mixed feelings about removing them or not. They will eat the molts over time. Some people say remove them to keep the water parameters stable. I leave them in because my RCS eat them. :)
 

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I would leave them in. I know from raising crayfish for a long time that the carapace hardens much faster when they are allowed to eat the old shell.
 

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Yep, your instincts are right cjyhc4. They will get a solid amount of calcium from eating the molts that will help them harden their new shells. Leave them in there. Besides, the molts are such an insignificant amount of matter that, even if they dissovle, they won't mess with your water parameters at all.
 

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There is absolutely no reason to remove the moltings. Anyone who says to remove the moltings to protect the water parameters is totally inventing. The moltings will not harm the water parameters one bit. You will just be wasting your time when attempting to remove the moltings.
 
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