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Mysterious disappearing eggs?

644 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Bell
Hi, I'm new to shrimp keeping and I have around 15-18 red cherry shrimp in my medium planted tank with a few fancy guppies and otos. Anyway, about a week after I got my shrimps, one of the females berried and I was overjoyed. She's slow and clumsy but I only rarely catch a glimpse of her. But now about 3 weeks into her pregnancy I swear she's carrying only about half the eggs I saw her with the first week! Were they infertile? Is she eating them? is she simply careless and letting them fall off? I've also read horror stories of planaria attacking molting and berried shrimps.... is that what may have happened? I haven't witnessed anything out of the ordinary though. :confused:

edited to add: Also today some of my shrimps have been very "busy" swimming marathon laps around and around and around the tank... mostly against the filter's current, sometimes stopping and walking vertically along a corner of the tank in a line like migrating lobsters. Is that normal behaviour or is something wrong?
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You'd have to tell us your tank's specs (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels, size, lighting, etc) and let us know your water change and fertilizer schedules for us to make an educated guess about how your shrimp are doing.

If you do large water changes fairly often, that could be why your shrimp seem to swim around a lot. Shrimp always swim around a lot more after a water change. If you haven't seen any deaths for several weeks, it's probably not a big issue.

I don't know about the eggs, though.
Females sometimes will drop their eggs when startled.
Its normal.
Remove the fish from your tank, they will eat the shrimplets.
Jadelin, I'm not at home at the moment so I can't tell you the water parameters, but I use the Sera 5 in 1 test strips testing gh kh ph no2 and no3. I will test the water when I get home and get back to you. As for the tank itself I have a Juwel Korall 60, it's 54 liters (whatever that may be in gallons) and came with a Juwel Bioflow Mini filter. Water temp is at about 24 degrees celsius. Lighting is... erm... 15 watt plant light with a reflector, and photo period is 12 hours a day.

I do weekly water changes, 20%. But now that you mention it, I did rescape and as a result did a larger than normal water change a few days ago. But why are they swimming marathons only now and not 2 days ago? I have not had any shrimp die on me (touch wood!!) yet since I got them almost a month ago.

gordonrichards, Thanks for your concern about my future shrimplets... but the guppies are there for a reason. I know it's a little cruel, but as much as I love the shrimp, I'm not keen on getting a population boom...I figure any shrimplets that survive past 3 mm and therefore are too big to be gulped down are winners. Also, I hear they will keep little bug populations in check. If I change my mind about shrimp breeding, then I can probably quite easily sell the guppies. I'll definitely keep an eye on my elusive pregnant female to see if she's losing any more eggs though.
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Sorry it seems to have taken so long to get back to this thread... I finally tested my water today, and my parameters are as follows:
pH - between 6.8 - 7.2
kH - 6
gH - between >10 - >16
NO2 - not quite 0 but not yet 1 mg/l
NO3 - between 10 - 25 mg/l

As I mentioned previously, I use Sera Quick Test 5 in 1 test strips so the numbers are not precise. I also have a Seachem ammonia monitor on the glass of my tank which reads normal. In any case, when I got home that evening the shrimps were no longer swimming laps and doesn't look like anyone died. :)

Do you think I should up my water changes to twice weekly for the next couple of weeks, as I may have messed things up a little during my rescape? NO2 and NO3 seem a little elevated. I may as well have started a new tank :( though oddly none of the tank critters seem particularly bothered...

The berried female is carrying even fewer eggs than I saw last, it's not clear but possibly only about 10 eggs left :icon_cry:... which bothers me a bit but I'll just put it down to beginner's fumbles for now, first time mum and all. I saw a 2nd berried female this morning so maybe she will be able to better hold on to them. *fingers crossed*
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Sometimes females will be clumsy and drop eggs during the first few times they become berried... They are just inexperienced.

Sometimes a change in water parameters can cause them to drop eggs (too big of a water change all of a sudden)

Also fish chasing them will cause them to drop eggs.
This egg-dropping business is a gradual thing over the past 3 and a half weeks... At first I thought I was imagining things but when it definitely became obvious, shortly after my rescaping last week, I compared it with a photo I took a few days after she berried and there were less than half her eggs remaining. And now there are even less. I suppose it could have been the stress of being moved into a bucket and back + large water change + inexperience all put together. I will leave them pretty much alone now anyway, apart from regular 20% water changes and feeding.

The guppies leave my shrimp pretty well alone, except when the shrimp have gotten their sticky little hands on a piece of food that they want. The guppy will head-butt the shrimp a bit, probably hoping to frighten it into letting go, but they just jump backwards a few times and don't let go and the fish will go away to look someplace else. My shrimp also have a bad habit of poking my otos in the eyes to make them go away when they want in on an algae wafer. Cheeky little buggers! :hihi:
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