Curiosity with lethargic, transparent organ cherry shrimp

wetfalafel

Hello! I am very new to shrimp and tank keeping in general, perusing this forum has given me a lot of information and inspiration on maintaining my new tank and it has been a fun and exciting first couple months! I do have a peculiar situation with one of my cherry shrimp inhabitants that I hope more experienced users can provide some insights into. Provided is the template information and some photos.

Template:

Water parameters:

6.8-7.0 PH (I have a hard time telling apart the green colours on the API test kit)
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 0ppm (yes I have shaked the tube like crazy and followed instructions to a T, perhaps the plants are sucking any traces of nitrates)
GH: Approximately 6.7-7.8 dgh (fluval test kit gives a vague range)
KH: less than 1 dkh
Temperature: 21-23C (70-73F)

Aquarium:

9 Gallon Fluval Flex tank, no co2 injection, introduced an air stone for oxygen.
Nitrogen cycling for approximately a month and a half before parameters were stable (established in early April).
Fluval Stratum substrate, plants include rotala rotofundia, 'monte carlo', hellanthium 'quadristicus', corkscrew vallisneria, anubias nana, and 'flame' moss. The only hardscape are a few chunks of dragon/ohko stone.
I do a 10-15% water change every week.
Inhabitants include 4 (four) orange sakura cherry shrimp , and 3 (three) amano shrimp.
I do not feed them due to a recent algae explosion and more than enough biofilm for them to munch on throughout the day, but I have offered a variety of foods every week including hikari algae wafers, hikari crab cuisine, blanched kale, and a very tiny toothpick end's worth of bacter AE to stimulate some bacteria growth in an attempt to get the cherry shrimp in question to eat (more on this later). The foods were removed after two hours, and definitely not at the same time.
I use Seachem Prime to dechlorinate tap water, + Seachem Equilibrium to raise GH levels. This sits in a bucket for at least two days in order to let the salts and dechlorinator to mix well with the water. I also dose Tropica Specialized Nutrition every week (less than a ml's worth) and Seachem Excel every other day (12 drops, probably close to 0.5 ml, dosing low due to melting val but the monte carlo loves it). Tropica nutrient capsules were dug under the val as well. Filtration is the default that comes with the Fluval Flex, a big sponge filter with a carbon and biomax insert.

Introduction:
The cherry shrimp have been in the tank for four weeks now, the amanos were added last week. I have acclimated both by a slow drip for two hours. No signs of shock and went straight to munching away.

Now for the fun part.... whats going on!
For some background, the tank had started with 6 (six) cherry shrimp, unfortunately one has died two days after introduction from unknown causes (arrived from same-day shipping with two milky dead legs and one was detached), and the other developed a green fungal infection on the swimmer legs ( Ellobiopsidae?). He was not doing super well since I spotted it late so I gave him the quick mercy and euthanized him. I kept a close eye on the remaining cherries, removing any existing molts and luckily I since have not seen any sign of the fungus spreading. Unfortunately ( or fortunately?) the remaining shrimp are all female so unless I introduce some more, it looks like I wont be having any baby shrimp. I have also done a few beginners mistakes, such as low oxygen during nighttime causing all the shrimps to frantically swim to the surface to breathe ( an added air stone has fixed this!), and not taking GH into account when first introducing the cherries. They were sitting at ~2 dGH for two weeks, they were definitely molting more than I expected. A slow introduction of Equilibrium infused tank water changes helped! I added the Amanos after all the parameters were doing good and everyone has since been thriving.

Anyway, my current issue is more of a curiosity than an emergency. One of the cherry shrimps has been very lethargic the last three weeks, but all of her limbs are working well and she can move around and clean herself just fine. No signs of any fungi that I can see. I never see her eat, and her digestive tract is always empty. She will occasionally peck on the surface that she is sitting on and "eat" but she is never actively foraging. For a shrimp that I have never observed eating, she seems to still have the energy to hang onto plants and has not starved. Perhaps she only eats under the comfort of nighttime? It is very similar to behaviour I see on the other shrimp right before they molt, but it has been ongoing for weeks. She has made at least one successful molt that I have observed, so I dont think she is struggling to molt. Her organs that lay within the head of the shrimp are also very transparent, I was curious if this is due to a lack of food? Here are some pictures.

P1070326.JPG
P1070322.JPG
She still reacts to other shrimp that are nearby and jumps away to be in private, but seems to show no reaction to a detrius worm (NOT plainara) brushing up against her 'whiskers' or legs.

Here is another shrimp with similar colouration who has been healthy and eating well for comparison:

P1070318.JPG

Its a bit of a puzzling case, and its not spreading to the other shrimp since it has been a while, I see no need to quarantine her and give any further stress. I was wondering if some of the more knowledgeable folks on this forum would have a clue as to the mystery behaviour of this shrimp. Perhaps I am worrying too much for my new tiny children?

Thank you so much for reading this long dump of a post, feel free to ask any more questions! I appreciate everything this forum has taught me so far.
 

richiep

Croeso welcome to fishlore Wetfalafel
this is a strange one and it dose look as if there's no organs there at all and a strange looking white rostrum which the other one dosnt have
(optical ellusion)she looks perfectly healthy otherwise, it will be interesting to see her moult and get berried
The way you've written things down you certainly understand and know what you're talking about, perameter wise everything's fine from what I see
The long dump of a post as you put it was a very interesting read,
Keep us posted on how she progresses
 
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JettsPapa

I just have a couple observations (probably not related to this shrimp).
  • I'd suggest leaving the food for longer than 2 hours; especially the kale. When I feed vegetables to my shrimp I typically do so in the evening, and leave the food until the middle of the next morning (so probably 12 hours).
  • Since it doesn't sound like disease is an issue you might want to start leaving molts in the tank. The shrimp will eat them, and this helps them replenish minerals.
 
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wetfalafel

Thank you for your replies! I do agree it is an odd situation, I haven't been able to find anyone online talking about anything like this, the closest I could see topics of were muscular necrosis, but this does not appear to be a case of that.

I definitely will be updating the situation on this little girl! After all, someone may have a similar thing going on. So far she is behaving normally apart from the unwillingness to eat. Her situation has not been deteriorating since I first saw it, and she did not arrive to me in this condition. If anything, she has been a lot more active since I have improved the GH and oxygen levels.

The only outward observation I can make compared to her roommates is that her shell is not nearly as vibrant- I hope that a few molts will help her out. Or she will remain a very speckled yellow/orange, her colour may not be as strongly expressed as the others. She is still a unique girl despite the colouration!

I appreciate the comment on feeding! They definitely are more active at night so that makes plenty of sense. It is a small tank so I was afraid of leaving food for too long, but leaving it overnight will probably stimulate the shrimp to show more interest in eating when they feel more safe. I do leave the molts in the tank, I merely commented that I removed the molts when I first observed the fungus case, just to make sure if that particular shrimp left anything behind that it would not spread. Afterwards I left their future molts alone. It is a good idea to let them eat molts though, so I still appreciate the suggestion.

I hope I have linked this right, here is a short video of the odd shrimp if anyone is curious.

 
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richiep

I don't know if its the light but I can see internel organs there in the video, you were right to take moults out, there's no sigh of muscular neceracosis or ellabiopsadie or other fungal problems in fact she looks healthy, you could try feeding a dark food this will show up in internal organs
 
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wetfalafel

Its partially the light and the transparency reflecting the green val background inside her body. It was morning when I recorded, I like to gradually increase and decrease the light over time, so it might have been a little too dark. But I do see small hints of organs if I squint really hard. They are there but I am assuming she is just not eating much (at least nothing dark enough), to show up inside her body.

She is not interested in any foods that I offered to her in the past unfortunately, even when I leave it up close infront of her. That tends to be a signal for the other shrimp to muscle in and take it away from her anyway haha.

I will try leaving multiple small pieces of food overnight and see if I can observe anything in her digestive tract tomorrow morning. Thanks again!
 
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wetfalafel

Short morning update! I think leaving some food out overnight helped a tad bit (a tiny mixture of broken up pieces of hikari algae wafers and bits of crab cuisine, since that really seems to attract them like a magnet). There were plenty of leftovers in the tank, it came as no surprise since there is plenty of algae and biofilm in the tank. But for a change, the odd shrimp developed some opacity in her head organs. This time not due to low light :) . I've cleaned up the food since everyone is more interested in grazing the biofilm.

It is nowhere near as pronounced as the others and neither does she have a full gut, but it is progress! She came up close to the tank glass so I could get a less fuzzy macro shot.

P1070354.JPG
Where her head carpace joints up with the rest of the body is the saddle, but closer to the front there is a hint of opacity under the saddle not seen before. I'll give further updates on how she is doing, hopefully she will molt sometime soon!
 
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richiep

She looks well im sure it'll turn out fine for her.
 
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wetfalafel

Wouldn't you know it, I take a peek and she pooped something small and light coloured. I guess that confirms that her digestive tract is working at least. No idea what she was eating, but I agree with your judgment, I'm sure she is doing fine, just a little odd.

I'll update on her if anything major happens ( like, she starts foraging and eating enough algae to be visible, or if she passes away), but I think this mystery is no cause for concern anymore.

Thanks again to everyone who replied!
 
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wetfalafel

Unfortunate news, she did not make it very far. She was ok in the morning but she died hanging onto one of my plants. I spotted one of the amanos trying to peel her shell off while she was still hanging on then dragging her across the tank in defiance of my tweezers. Completely unresponsive and could not see her breathing, she did the classic "cooked" curled dead body position.

Needless to say, I removed her body and gave it to my tomato garden instead.

Water parameters look good and the rest of the shrimp are as happy as ever. I could not see anything odd with the dead body apart from the usual absence of any food in her digestive tract. There were barely any signs of necrosis so she must have died close to when I found her. Perhaps she eventually starved or it was due to disease.

Thanks for staying and reading this journey regardless, there are definitely hiccups when taking care of any living organisms. :)
 
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richiep

You were right from the start,
There are a few diseases that do have an affect on the digestive system but that shrimp looked fine unless the colour was masking her problems
Sorry it came the this i hope your others stay fine
 
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wetfalafel

No problem! I am just happy if this thread is of any use to someone else who may have a similar situation or just for a quick informative read. There is not much I could do for the little one even if a disease was visible and identifiable, and the fact she survived a whole month in that condition brought me hope that at least there was clean water and plenty of food for her should she develop an appetite.

I've come to the conclusion that casualties are inevitable in this sort of hobby, but it is a learning process that we can all gain experience from.

I will update if this seems to be something contagious, but the rest of the shrimp are doing wonderfully so far. :)
 
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