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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently, I've been dealing with sudden shrimp deaths, where the shrimp will end up slowly becoming sluggish and not avoiding my tweezers when I try to replant plants. I try my best not to kick up a lot of debris. Most of the time, shrimp turn pale, before dying like in the picture.

Plant Terrestrial plant Leaf vegetable Aquatic plant Grass


I've had a mixed grade of Cherry Reds in this tank and they've been doing fine up to the point where I went home for Spring Break two weeks ago. A week ago, when I came back from Spring Break, I found several shrimp dead or dying. I had done a 50% water change before leaving for break and I believed that the shrimp should've done fine like they usually do.

This tank is an EI dosed, co2 injected tank, and while this may usually have mixed reviews between people when it comes to taking care of shrimp, I've read that shrimp can normally handle this.

I do water changes straight out of the tap and here's the parameters:

Tap:
pH: 7.2
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 4ppm

TDS: 295

I haven't checked KH or GH recently but after tests I have in class today, I'll try to test them to see if this adds to any problems.

I'm thinking of getting distilled water mixed with Tap for this tank so that I can lower the GH and TDS somewhat.

If you guys can find something wrong with my shrimp, please help :(.
 

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I'll refrain from gh comments until I know your gh, other than to say if your gh is too high they can become stuck in their shell and not molt.

Your co2 may also be too high.

I can't tell from the photo, but it doesn't look as if the inside of the body is paper white. Correct?
 

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I have been reading a lot about this. I have had die offs too, since I added some new shrimp from auction. My bees do great in another tank. I am thinking that there might be some diseases cropping up in the neo populations.
I assume you use prime or something to dechlorinate. You might want to add a bag of Purigen into your filter. If there is a buildup of metals in your water, this will help absorb them.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll refrain from gh comments until I know your gh, other than to say if your gh is too high they can become stuck in their shell and not molt.

Your co2 may also be too high.

I can't tell from the photo, but it doesn't look as if the inside of the body is paper white. Correct?
I see a molt here and there, but I feel as if it is not as often as they used to. If that's the case, lowering gh will definitely help. I'll try to get the tests asap.

My co2 is usually 1 bubble per sec and it makes the drop checker a really lime green color. Though drop checkers are usually not very accurate, I see several lines of bubbles coming from the plants.

In a couple of the shrimps, I noticed that they'll turn white from the inside out. Like the undersides beneath the legs will turn white. If that's the case, I feel like bacteria might be involved.
 

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If the inside of the body is turning paper white, then it is probably a bacterial infection like you suspect.

If the shell is becoming increasingly frosted, then the gh is too high causing thickening of the shell.
 

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You can try an increase in tannins if it is a bacterial infection. Others will be sure to chime in with their med recommendations.

If too thick of a shell, it is too late for many of them. However for survivors, IMO definitely drop the gh somewhere between 6-9 to make molting easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You can try an increase in tannins if it is a bacterial infection. Others will be sure to chime in with their med recommendations.

If too thick of a shell, it is too late for many of them. However for survivors, IMO definitely drop the gh somewhere between 6-9 to make molting easier.
My gh is around an 8-9 at the moment, not sure if that'll affect anything, and if it really is bacteria, I need to know what I can do to help the rest of the survivors.
 

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Do Paraguard by seachem and start dosing at half the recommended. Then build up to full dose. I use it for treating bacterial infections, Its very mild, and safe for shrimp!! I love it!! I used it to treat Ich in a planted tank, with cherries and Galaxies! Everyone did great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So Seachem Paraguard? Sounds good! I don't think it's a problem with GH, but in order to try and tackle the problem, I'll try to get Paraguard to remove infections and start using Distilled Water mixed with Tap to lower the GH.

Question, how long would I have to dose Paraguard?
 

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If your tap has 295 TDS and you are EI dosing, your TDS should climb substantially by the end of the week before the recommended 50% water change. I aim for 180 TDS with my 29g tank and by weeks end before my 60% water change my TDS is about 280. I'm sure we dose differently, as I add a decent amount of iron and other things, but perhaps TDS may be an issue. I personally haven't seen anything TDS related with my shrimp even at 400 TDS, but I wanted to throw that out there. Are you doing your weekly water changes every week? Missing a week or two can lead to a good amount of buildup if you are following the most common EI dosing regiments out there.
 

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Use RO water and add Bee shrimp mineral GH+. This adds minerals needed to keep shell healthy since i started using this my shrimp stop turning white and dying I keep my TDS under 200. RO comes in at 0 TDS than once I add recommended dose of minerals it brings TDS up to 130. I keep temperature at 74. PH at 7.0
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If your tap has 295 TDS and you are EI dosing, your TDS should climb substantially by the end of the week before the recommended 50% water change. I aim for 180 TDS with my 29g tank and by weeks end before my 60% water change my TDS is about 280. I'm sure we dose differently, as I add a decent amount of iron and other things, but perhaps TDS may be an issue. I personally haven't seen anything TDS related with my shrimp even at 400 TDS, but I wanted to throw that out there. Are you doing your weekly water changes every week? Missing a week or two can lead to a good amount of buildup if you are following the most common EI dosing regiments out there.
The highest my TDS has been at one point was at least 350. I do water changes every week. At least 50% is done and taken out of the tank every Wednesday since wednesdays are the least busiest days of my week.

Use RO water and add Bee shrimp mineral GH+. This adds minerals needed to keep shell healthy since i started using this my shrimp stop turning white and dying I keep my TDS under 200. RO comes in at 0 TDS than once I add recommended dose of minerals it brings TDS up to 130. I keep temperature at 74. PH at 7.0
As much as I'd like to use RO water, I actually have no way of obtaining RO water anywhere near my area, in addition, I can't afford an R/O unit or can put one in my apartment since I am a college student..

Another thing I've noticed recently when observing this tank closer today, was that it had both detritus worms and an even worse...

dun dun DUNNNN. I might have planaria. These worms look slightly fatter than the detritus worms but I can't exactly get a clear picture of any of the worms.

Plant Liquid Water Leaf Bottle


Here's the best I could get. I circled what could be a possible planaria. I feel like this could be another reason I'm losing several shrimp as well...
 

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mistuhmarc,

I just went through your thread getting an idea of your tank conditions.

Judging by the picture in your first post, I want to say that a likely cause of death is bacterial infection, like others have mentioned. It's quite similar to what I had going on in my tank. The thing I realized is that treating with paraguard is helpful to get rid of the bacterial infection, however, will not become a long term solution. My understanding is that the bacteria is always in the tank, and like ich, are opportunistic in affecting weak or stressed victims. I had an extended treatment period with paraguard, because the tank environment was highly stressful for my cherry shrimp (low PH, high CO2, and EI dosing) all which made them continuously more susceptible to disease. I'm not saying it's not possible to keep cherry shrimp in a low PH, high CO2, and EI dosing environment, but that means the other params would need to be in perfect condition.

Another thing I noticed is that in the picture you posted there was a lot of mulm/debris in your substrate. Kicking up the substrate might release a lot of organics in the water. It would be helpful to clean the substrate if you can, but if not then, I'd try to get some Purigen to chemically polish the water for you and remove excess organics in the water.

Water tests would be helpful to get an idea on how your tank stands relative to others who have had success with keeping them. Here are my parameters if it helps.

PH: 6.3-6.4
KH: 3-4
GH: 4-5
TDS: 180-220 (start of week to end)
Temp: 78F
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: 0/0/40
Drop checker: Lime green-yellow

My cherry shrimp population has recovered and has been doing well. No more unusual die offs, although I would presume the high CO2 injection has made them a little less active than I'd like.

I see that you mentioned that you might also have a planaria problem, which would support that there is probably a lot of organic debris in the tank. You can certainly try fenbendazole with success to treat the tank, but just know that right now the shrimps are probably stressed, and another compound in the tank might add to their stress. If I was dosing fenbendazole, I'd try to improve the other parameters, and replace some water with fresh, low TDS water to keep the water as clean as possible for the shrimp. I'd consider your TDS in the high range, so that might also be stressing your shrimp too. It might be better to do the fenbendazole at a later stage, since the planaria probably won't attack the more mature shrimp.

Hope this helps!
 
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