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Amano Shrimp Dying!?

scoobiemandan

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29 Apr 2015
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53
I've recently completely stripped down my tank and redone. New substrate (Unipak fine gravel), lava rock and replanted some plants. After a few weeks I noticed that my Nitrates were sky high and put this down to some of the plants decaying, most likely down to lack of nutrients. I have been removing the decaying leaves and done some water changes to get the Nitrites back under control which are now sitting at around 10-20ppm.

However, I have lost 4 of my 5 Amano shrimp over the last week. Initially I assumed this may have been down to the Nitrates but I'm not so sure! It appears as though they are trying to moult but not succeeding! I say appears as I'm basing this on a split across their backs (on the dead ones).

My water parameters are as follows;

Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate 10-20ppm
Temp 25-6ºC
pH - 7.6
HRpH - 7.4
KH - 6.4 (based on water company information)

I am dosing Tropica Premium Ferts and have, only yesterday, put a few root tabs in.

Anyone any idea what the hell may be going on in my tank for me to be loosing these shrimp hand over fist?

I don't have any issues with any of the other inhabitants, including some Bamboo Shrimp, other than the Cory haiding away since the change also. They used to be all over the place all of the time!
 

xim

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Most info on the webs attributes unsuccessful moulting to the lack of calcium. But I doubt that.
Especially if you can see calcium water line deposits in your tank.

I think it's more about bacteria or toxicity. Your rotting leaves could be a source for the first.
Stray mist of insecticides or copper for the latter.

This problem is inconclusive, like many things about running an aquarium.
 

scoobiemandan

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29 Apr 2015
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Indeed, inconclusive! I can't fathom out why it would affect only the Amano and not the Bamboo shrimp though! I've today found a Bamboo shrimp moult so they're obviously not having any problems!

Certainly no stray mists, tank is covered and no farms or planted gardens nearby ;)

I've heard that certain plants decaying can give off very poisonous toxins to shrimp but haven't had any luck finding out which these would be and whether I have them in my tank!
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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I've kept various shrimps for years in soft, acidic water (unlike RO water there are macro & micro nutrients, just at very low levels, eg calcium 1.2 mg/l , magnesium 170 ug/l, potassium 160 ug/l etc) - I've yet to see any moulting problems BUT I do feed frozen brine shrimp, "bloodworms", daphnia etc.
Going on shrimp forums, moult issues are often discussed in terms of disease (bacterial, viral, water quality/shipping etc stress) & occasional physical trauma rather than focusing on water calcium levels.

It's quite possible that your Amano's were stressed enough during the high nitrate phase leading to eventual death ... I see this with shrimp that come in very stressed after shipping, some die immediately, all look poorly, most appear to recover activity, but only a few actually survive longterm.

Your hiding cories also indicate health issues, especially as this is a new behavior for them ... I'd just focus on water quality, get into a routine of 25-50% water changes at least twice a week for the next month or so.
If you can manage 25% daily, do so; when doing larger water changes, always check that tap & tank water have similar parameters, when adding water conditioner into the tank always dose for the entire tank volume rather than just the change water volume (if you pretreat water in bins, then add to the tank, you can just add sufficient conditioner for the new water) - always check your water company's chlorine/chloramine range & make sure you're adding enough conditioner, this is especially important when fish etc are already showing signs of stress.

Massive plant or algae death can release various chemicals ... I've seen more in reference to cyanobacterias & algaes, rather than plants (but this may be a meaningless comment).

Sorry for your losses
 

scoobiemandan

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If only it were water quality issue's! I'm very anal about keeping the tank well maintained, always have been. I'm currently changing 30% twice a week even though I don't think it needs it now the nitrate readings are in check.

I think it all stems from replanting and the plants decaying for whatever reason. that's something I'm trying to combat with the addition of root tabs presently. It's a low tech tank so I don't want to go down the route of complete ferts (in the water column) and liquid carbon as I seemed to start having issues when I started that prior to stripping this tank down.

I'm really trying to cover all bases with regards to this as I really would like to put some Amano's back into the tank as they make a great clean up crew but for obvious reasons, can't do that at present.

As for the Cory, it's bizarre as they show no outward signs of stress (other than not coming out) but I wonder whether they're peeved about their environment having changed so drastically, although that was a few weeks ago now so one would have hoped they would have become happy in their surroundings by now.
 

PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Very difficult to fathom but do you think you may have had ammonia spikes at any point or added fish and used the bag water. My nitrates are quite high but it's not bothered the shrimp
 

scoobiemandan

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No, no ammonia spikes, no nitrite spikes, just the nitrate issue! No new fish have been added and I never introduce water from any LFS into my tank if I were adding fish ;)

As I mentioned, I've had these shrimp for over a year and they've been through some tough times when I've had to move them due to other tank problems and they never even blinked!

The only changes are the substrate (aquarium specific fine gravel) and the replanting which has led to decay for whatever reason. I can only fathom that it's down to the nitrate spike which I've never encountered before and I can only attribute this to the decaying plants as I've not dosed anything any more than I have done previously!

I have one Amano left and am assuming the same fate awaits him and there's nowt I can do about it I fear :(
 

scoobiemandan

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Filter isn't the issue as ammonia and nitrite are all being munched quite happily
 

scoobiemandan

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No pics sorry and I've removed dead leaves. The decay wasn't horrific just holes forming in leaves.

Other problems have been issues with the fish which would have been medicated. The shrimp have always been moved whilst medicating and never returned until large water changes have been completed and carbon run for a week or so.

Last issue was camelanus worms. Treated with Sera Med Nematol. Shrimp were removed and tank has been stripped right down before they went back in. Substrate was thrown to make way for new. As I mentioned, only plants, media and bog wood were retained.
 
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scoobiemandan

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dunno then.

Thanks :lol:

hope the cories pull through.

I've done a water change this morning and checked on numbers and they are all present and correct. A few of them ventured out whilst I was doing the change but have since retreated again. They all appear to be fine with no outward signs of issues so perhaps they really are just pee'd off with me having changed the tank although I would have thought the change from gravel to sand would benefit them and make them happier. Something to keep an eye on I suppose!

I'm gonna do some daily 30% water changes for the next week or so to see if things improve. the last Amano is still alive today.....so far!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Sorry for your losses
No, no ammonia spikes, no nitrite spikes, just the nitrate issue!
Assuming that your test kit was showing accurate NO3 levels, it is unlikely to be the decaying plants. The reason for this is that plants don't contain a huge amount of protein, and it is the protein that is broken down to ammonia, then nitrite and ultimately nitrate. Nitrate is the "smoking gun" of high ammonia levels. You need a lot of decaying plants to effect water quality, but a much smaller amount of dead protein rich fish etc.

I think these are the likeliest options are:
  • Your old substrate was performing most of the biological filtration in the tank.
  • Your old tank substrate had some DOC which acted as a chelator for copper, zinc etc.
  • Your tap water supply was compromised somewhere locally, and the water company added an emergency dose of chloramine.
If you are Prime user for your dechlorinator?, you can scrub the last one, but if you aren't and there are new houses being built? or water main work locally?, it is the most likely option.

cheers Darrel
 

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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A massive die out of shrimp in a short periode of time is almost al times a indication of poissoning.. :( Something shrimps are ver sensitive to. And once they are poissoned there is from what i understand little to no change of recovery..

I had some shrimp issues lately as well... I found out by now what the cause is.. I used to feed my fish for the most part with a variaty of frozen food insect larvae, worms etc. What i didnt expect to happen so soon was within 3 months a massive planaria poppulation came with it. The planaria eggs seem to be inclosed in the frozen food.

I asked a shrimp breeder for the best remedy, i was advised to use NoPlanaria as an absolutely safe product for shrimps and fish and deadly to planaria.

So i gave it a go.. :) :(

Indeed it works as discribed within a few days to a week no more planaria to be found all dead. Also some snail spec. will finaly die of it too, shrimps and fish are not affected.

But now comes the tricky part in the aftermath, since these wurms all live in the soil for the most part of their live you'll never know how much you have. Actualy it could be if you see 20 that in reality you probably have a huge population hiding in the soil. And since all these wurms dying means a major fall out of the treatment in a huge bioload in the soil with organic waist, all dead planarias start to rot. The nitrite values in the soil can explode to a poissones level for shrimps.

Since shrimps mainly are bottom dwellers they are most part of the day in close contact to the soil.. Even if you do multiple water changes after the treatment it doesn't clean the soil enough. The soil slowly leaches a high amount of nitrites and probably amonias into the lower part of the waterlevel and delutes slowly while it rises and mixes with the water colum. So even measuring for nitrite and amonia didn't show problematic values because of the frequent water changes. But still i had shrimp clearly dying with an indication of poissoning and dying a horrific death, i had 16 shrimps dying in 14 days time. Nitrite poissoning seems to distroy a chrimps oxygene supply, only very little amounts already can affect them while fish are still ok with it and show no signs of trouble at all..

Luckely i didn't have a huge snail poppulation, because here comes the second downside of the ordeal. Since the chances are your snails wont survive this treatment as well. I didn't see them dying straight away. the go lethargic for weeks and die very slowly over a longer periode of time, poor creatures, while the product states safe for most snails (but not mine). So if you also have a uge snail poppulation you might encounter a second cycle of bioload explossion after they all died as well a few weeks later on.

what have i learned from this ordeal?
If you dont want planaria don't feed (much) frozen foods.
Do you feed frozen food, you will most likely have them, learn to live with it and catch them conventionaly to keep in check.
If you still do and want to treat, do it on time, dont wait for the planaria poppulation to explode.
Treat in regular intervals preventive, already before seeing one, seeing one means you have many more and maybe already to much to treat safely.
Take your snail population in consideration, do a test first to find out if it is safe to use with your kind of snail.
In this case if the product doesn't kill your shrimps, the fall out maybe will.
Shrimps are highly sensitives to changes in water values even more sensitive then our drop tests can show.

Here is a very good extensive website about shrimps and their issues.. Its in german so you might need a translation.

http://www.crustakrankheiten.de/
 
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PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Location
Lancashire
There was a outbreak of fatalities in shrimp investigated by PFK and it was discovered far eastern plant suppliers are required ti disinfect plants for export.the treated plants pass the chemical on to shrimp killing them. As a result many UK plant retailers started to use European only suppliers
 
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