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Please can someone help, my shrimp are slowly dying on me!.


Thread starter
14 Sep 2021
Midlothian, Edinburgh
Hi there, I’m urgently requesting some help. I’m still new to aquariums & fish, so forgive me if I’m getting some things mixed up. For around the last month, my shrimp have been slowly dying on me. It’s not just the one breed of shrimp, it’s them all such as XL Amano, Cherry , Yellow shrimp & blue shrimp.
Over this last month, I’ve had nearly 14 shrimp die on me. There’s nothing in my tank that bothers them or ‘fin nips’ to cause them stress. Every time I find said shrimps , they’re always full and not been beaten or eaten.
What I have noticed is every single time I find a shrimp they seem to be completely covered in white cotton wool looking substance, but once they’ve been pulled from the water you cannot see said fluff.
None of my other fish have had any issues , just these shrimp. My 7-1 test strip is coming back with no issues nor is the liquid amonia test kit. it’s a 80L tank with 8 small neon tetra , 2 BN Plecos & 1 Baby Golden Pearl gourami. All fish are still very small. It is a heavily planted tank. I’ll attach a old photo of what it was like when I first planted it. There is now double the amount of plants and structures for the fish. EDIT , I forgot to mention I will be upgrading to a 200L tank within 6-8 months so allows plenty time for me to source a nice tank while the plecos grow.


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Welcome.I read an excellent article by Gathor Horvath in pfk feb2021. Shrimp just die for no reason sometimes but many casualties like you have. ?Assuming your water has no ammonia or nitrite . Where did you get your plants some imported have been treated with chemicals lethal to shrimp, they are sensitive to air freshners and they have different requirements soft water ph etc Gabor mentions multiple deaths can occur from failed moults due to lack of minerals wrong water . Maybe a shrimp expert /breeder will come in on this for you
It’s unlikely that you’ve got a parasite killing them off. Shrimp are quite hardy generally. I would look closely at the gourami. If it’s eating flakes/bloodworm, it’s nipping.

What are you feeding them?

If the tank was secondhand there could be medicine/chemicals in silicone but that is unlikely.

Anything secondhand not washed?

How often do you do a water change? Do they die after this?

how long have you had the aquarium running?
The lower shrimp in your image looks like it could have the classic white band around its abdomen that might suggest a failed moult. I also see from your profile that you are based in Edinburgh. Many parts of Scotland have very very soft water, so it could well be that your tap water is not providing enough Calcium in the water column to enable the shrimp to grow new shells and moult successfully as they grow.

You should be able to determine the hardness of your tap water by accessing your water company's water quality report on their website for your area. That should tell you, at minimum, the general hardness (dGH) of your tap water which will give you a rough idea of the calcium content.

Cherry shrimp and Amano's are best in at least 5-6dGH+, but your tap water could well be less than 1/3 of that at less than 2dGH, so it might be that you need to add a remineralizer such as Salty Shrimp (when you get a bit more experience can create your own more cheaply with Magnesium Sulphate and Calcium Chloride).

You can also supplement your shrimps diet with calcium rich foods such as dried mulberry and nettle leaves, or man made foods such as Glassgarten Mineral Junkie.

EDIT: I also see you have Oto's in your tank - make sure you target feed them regularly too with a one or two Hikari algae wafers a week and a chunk of Cucumber or Courgette at least once a week. There is generally never enough naturally occurring food in an aquarium to support an average shoal of Oto's.