Lost bamboo shrimp and cichlid unexpectedly today...

  1. MissRuthless Well Known Member Member

    Well, the title says it all I guess... I'm so upset I barely know how to start explaining...

    My Kenyi cichlid (female) has done well in a community setting with tiger barbs, an opaline gourami, skirt tetras and serpaes since I got her over a month ago. I recently bought a new 55g setup to accommodate them all, as that "community" started out as a time out tank of sorts for fish who were too nippy for the main tank. The original tank was only 10g but it cycled well and the water was fine. She had one of those white holey rocks that she lived in and she was happy. I got her out of the cichlid tank at Walmart because she was getting picked on, and she let her tankmates here know that she wasn't sharing her rock, but she wasn't aggressive at all unless they messed with her (which they didn't)... but the tank was getting overstocked and my fiancé wanted more barbs so I upgraded them. The water parameters of the new tank finally stabilized and I started moving fish in about a week ago. The cichlid had been in there for I think four days and she seemed to be loving all the new rocks and caves, exploring a lot and then picked a rock cave to defend. She didn't really come out to eat but I figured she was just getting settled in. Last night I finally saw her out, checking out the other caves and I think she dug a small pit in the gravel. She caught a few flakes that floated down her way, and I remember thinking she might have been breathing a bit fast but it wasn't enough to worry me.

    Today before I left for work I had a good look over the tank, and I found her stuck to the intake of the submersible filter. I pulled her off and she did a nosedive into the gravel, and spun in circles really fast. She swam around a bit, like she'd seem fine for a second and then start flipping around like crazy, and then just lay on the gravel breathing really hard. I moved her back into the 10g which was still set up and running, and she spun in a few circles, tried to flip her way over to her holey rock, and then laid down on the sand and died. I took her body out and examined it closely and nothing looked strange at all. I loved her so much, I just don't get it. She declined and died so quickly she didn't even have time to lose most of her color, she was still bright bluish purple with her stripes dark black.

    Now aside from all that... I came home on my break from work, maybe 3 hours after the cichlid died. I look in my 29g community tank and my bamboo shrimp is lying under the driftwood dead. I've had it maybe 3 weeks now, first in one of the 55s but I moved it to the 29 about two weeks ago because I read that some aggressive fish might attack it even though it's huge, and the smaller tank is also older, has more for the shrimp to eat and a more suitable current. I read afterward that they don't acclimate well and often die after moving tanks, but it seemed to be comfortable, it was active, using its fans to eat, chilling in a terracotta vase and climbing all over the driftwood.

    When I left for work it was climbing up into a hole in the driftwood, and when I took my break three hours later it was on its side dead, laying pretty much right below the area it was climbing in. I don't know what it felt like when it was alive, but when I picked it up I thought the shell was kinda soft, not like smushy or anything but like a soft shell lobster as opposed to a hard shell. I wish I hadn't buried it already (my daughter is five and loves all of our 87 fish like family, so we have to have funerals and headstones for every one - luckily there are only four fish in the cemetery thus far) because I thought there might have been some damage to the shell, there was a dark spot on the side of the tail... Is it possible that it got impaled on a bit of the driftwood? I've always worried about the way the wood has some splintery parts, but all the cories and tetras go in and out with no issues - and my fat little bristlenose pleco lives in it. Would the pleco maybe have sucked on the shrimp and killed it? I had a beautiful pair of angels years ago that were killed by a pleco, that's why I rehomed the two common plecos my fiancé bought. The two bn's I have were part of a tank of fish I bought on Craigslist and I only kept them because my daughter begged - she cried when the commons' new owners came to get them, " mama pweeeeease wet me keep my pwecos?!?" so I decided to give them a shot since they're small and will stay that way. I didn't think they were aggressive... But then again how much aggression does it take to just suck a hole in the shell of a shrimp.

    This was my first shrimp, he was so cool and big and pretty and I'm just so bummed. I'm going to go buy 20-30 assorted baby shrimp Friday but they're smaller types, not like this one. Ugh. I'm sorry I just rambled all that nonsense, everyone in my real life thinks I'm insane when I rant about my fish so it's cool to be able to talk to people who actually care and are interested... I'm really depressed over these deaths and everyone I know always says "they're just fish" but dude. They're my fish. And I really am stupidly attached to all of them. I've done so much for them, all the traveling and money spent on tanks, plants, meds and everything else they ever need, the insane amount of never ending research required to learn exactly what they all want and need to thrive, every bit of my free time spent caring for their environments and just observing them, studying their behaviors, trying to understand them as well as I can so I can be a better fishkeeper and provide what they need to live long happy lives... I've worked so hard for these fish. And things have finally started to go well lately. These are my first losses since shortly after I started. All water parameters are proper, nitrates in the 29 were higher than I'd normally like but not over 40, and there were no water changes or anything new added to the tanks before the deaths.

    I just don't understand.

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    ...they were both so beautiful. I already miss seeing their colors in my tanks. </3
     
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I'm really sorry for your losses:( I hope someone here can help!

    First, what are your current parameters in the 10 and the new 55? How did you cycle the 55?
     

  3. MissRuthless Well Known Member Member

    The 10 is 0, 0 and 20ish, and the 55 is 0, 0 and 10; ph of all my tanks is between 7.2-7.4. The 55 was cycled with gravel and filter media from my established 55, a bottle of TSS+ and my fantail goldfish as the cycle fish. All the current occupants were added gradually so there were never any ammonia or nitrite spikes. No one lives in the 10 anymore, but everyone in the 55 is looking happy and healthy. The barbs and serpaes are all bright and colorful, they look like they're loving it. It really just doesn't make sense.
     
  4. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Perhaps it was just a coincidence that they died so close together. The soft shell on your shrimp makes me wonder if it was a failed moult. The cichlid could have suffered from an internal disorder brought on by poor care before you got her or it may have been an entirely unexpected event like a stroke or an aneurysm.

    So far I'm not seeing anything wrong in either tank to account for both their deaths. I hope you don't have any more trouble with your babies x
    LeoDiaz, TexasDomer, any ideas?
     

  5. LeoDiaz Fishlore VIP Member

    My guess is the cichlid already had something from when it was at Walmart you said she was getting picked on so she was probably stressed and stressed fish are more susceptible to picking up a disease or parasites
     
  6. MissRuthless Well Known Member Member

    Aquaphobia, how often are they supposed to molt? When I got the shrimp it had a layer of shell on its tail peeling off so I figured it was just finishing a molt. That was close to a month ago. You guys are probably right about the cichlid I guess. I hoped after a month that there wouldn't be any issues but I suppose whatever it was must have taken time to catch up to her. I just can't believe how quickly it happened.
     
  7. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    I think approximately once a month. If there was still old exoskeleton attached to her tail before then she may have had a history of molting issues.
     

  8. MissRuthless Well Known Member Member

    She? Was it female? How can you tell??

    I bought a new cichlid today as a rebound, haha. He seems to be doing well, swimming all over the tank, eating, not hurting the other fish but he's commandeered a rock cave and is definitely defending his territory. I hope he fits in well and stays healthy. I'm about to post a few photos of him to try and get an ID.