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Shrimp wipe out!

705 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TrevorElwin
I have a temporary 450lit tank set up with no substrate and all plants are potted and waiting to go into my new larger tank when it is finally completed. The tank was set up nearly a year ago and s is filtered with an FX5 canister and I do weekly 10 to 20 % water changes and a floor vacume. I have a low volume of fish mainly tetras and BN plecos which have bread out of control.

Ten months ago I added a dozen RCS and they settled down well and thrived in the forest of Java moss and fern and have bred at an alarming rate. Eight months ago I also added several large ghost shrimp which also did well. However over the past month all but one or two ghost shrimp have died! First to go were the larger ghost shrimp most of them dying within days and then over the following two weeks all RCS have died. My water conditions – Ph, Ammonia, Nitrates all seem fine. All fish and apple snails are also fine and I have no casualties on this front?

I added two more ghost shrimp a few days ago and they died within a day or so, although two of the original ghost shrimp remain. I plan to move operations across to the larger new tank within a month and would be keen to try RC shrimps again, but I first need to work out what has happened here as I’m really baffled ?? Could the substrate ( a mixture of gravel, fluorite and palm peat) in the potted plants perhaps have over time generated something unsavory for the shrimps?

Would be grateful for any advice or suggestions as to what might have happened?
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Some of the ghost shrimp that are sold over here as feeders are actually from brackish water conditions. They make it for a while in freshwater, but often not very long.

Now why your RCS died... no idea. Not sure what "palm peat" is so let's blame that one. :wink:
Hi Trevor,

Welcome to TPT. Can you tell us if there were any other changes recently, such as new plants added, work on the filter, other water or foods added/changed?

Decomposing organic matter (such as the soil in the plant pots) can cause anaerobic conditions, fouling water.

Things to consider: did you somehow knock out your biological filtration capacity (ability to take out nitrogenous waste) by cleaning or killing off the filter media?

Did you add any plants that may have had toxic treatments? Water treatments? Medications?

Do you overfeed, causing a nitrogen spike?

Has your water quality changed, such as your municipality adding new treatments to the water that are toxic to shrimp? Do you use tap, and do you pre-treat it with water conditioners?

Did you have a heater malfunction? CO2 overdose? Shift in pH?

The other possibility is the ghost shrimp came in with some disease that took a while to knock out the others, although the recent addition of them and their very fast death suggests some other toxic or deficiency death. It is within the realm of possibility that there is something toxic enough to knock out shrimp that is not toxic enough to affect the snails or fish.

What are all your water parameters: pH, GH, KH, TDS, nitrates, temp - any changes to any of them?

How is the filter set up?

We need more specific information to suggest etiology of shrimpicide. :biggrin:

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I'd speculate there's some sort of disease running through your tank, or as greenisgood mentioned, you accidentally introduced a high quantity of a lethal chemical, like copper, when adding more plants.
how can we tell the dead shrimp have disease? if some shrimp have disease!!
how can we tell the dead shrimp have disease? if some shrimp have disease!!
Appearance and behavior. Go to for more detailed info so we don't hijack this fellow's post.
I guess. TREVOR don't mind if we can learn together at the same problem.
I read the other night that ghost shrimp are known to eat other shrimp. Are you finding the dead shrimps?

If all you have is 2 ghost shrimps left I would do a couple 50% water changes over a week period before introducing anything else in to the tank. RCS are a little to expensive to keep having them die on you. =)
Thanks folks for all your suggestions and comments, most appreciative. Apologies ... was offline for three days with DSL exchange problems, but have just been reinstalled, so will get back to you with some more details and answers asp.
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