Shrimp Dying Off

  • #1

What is the water volume of the tank?
How long has the tank been running?
4.5 months
Does it have a filter?
2 small sponge
Does it have a heater?
What is the water temperature?
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
5 white mountain minnows
6 Pygmy Corys
3 sun snails
2 adult Bloody Mary shrimp
2 generations of shrimplets with the first being teenagers (maybe 20 or so)

How often do you change the water?
Weekly, occasionally more
How much of the water do you change?
What do you use to treat your water?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Water mostly. Recently did a large water change and reorganize of plants
*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
No, but started with only two minnows and added slowly.
What do you use to test the water?
ADI liquid test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
pH: 6.8

How often do you feed your fish?
How much do you feed your fish?
Pinch of flakes and 6-10 small shrimp pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Last few days
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
My two oldest shrimp and one small shrimp have died over the last few days. They both looked like something might have been picking at their stomachs, kind of split open.
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
No, the big shrimp have been doing great and reproducing; put into the tank in January.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
One shrimp looked light pink (cooked?) The two original BMS remained dark after death. The male was acting weird and swimming sideways and limping around a few days before he passed.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

We have had a great run with some minnows and BMS in a 10G. 2.5 weeks ago we bought my final round of fish to meet my stocking plan: 6 minnow, 6 Pygmy Cory, 3 snails, and a brood of red shrimp.

We had been dealing with a white cloudy tank for a while so we did a thorough cleaning, split some plants or reorganized with a 50% water change 2.5 weeks ago. We also vacuumed the sand we’ll. We acclimated the fish and let everyone go. We also started using a liquid fertilizer (one pump per week) that does not have Cu.

This week we ended up loosing one minnow, then our oldest/largest male BMS and a baby the next day, then today our favorite “big red” female :-(

Is there something going on here? My parameters have stayed at 0 forever. We did hit between 10 and 20 ppm on nitrate and did a water change. Back to 5ppm now.

Is there a disease? Attaching a picture of big reds white belly.


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  • #2
Before you start can you show a side photo but to me That shrimp looks to have (Scutariella) and needs a salt bath, put 1 teaspoon of Aquarium salt in a cup of Aquarium water have the shrimp in a net and dip the shrimp for 30 seconds have another container with clean tank water and put the net back into the fresh do this s few time until the parasite drops off, it's not really a killer just unsightly which leads me to think there's more going on and the first that hits me are the water changes from what I'm reading you're doing to many and to big this is leading to shock for the shrimp then moult issues 15% once a week is plenty, next you've started using a fertiliser! Is it shrimp safe there may be something toxic to shrimp in that which give the symptoms of walking sideways, you have a few issues to address to narrow things down, edit can you also show pictures of surviving shrimp closeups

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
The shrimp was already passed at this point. She was really good at hiding so we had not noticed distress before she was just at the bottom.

We’re stopping the fertilizer for the time being and will do less frequent water changes.

Since this initial loss, we’ve had a few small shrimp die (I think 2 since I posted this). I also have a white cloud minnow that is listless and won’t eat.

Water parameters remain good. I did get a Gh/KH test kit and our water is low (2 degrees if I’m doing it right).

I’ve attached a side shot of the large BMS that died and a shot of their brood eating from tonight. We have a lot of shrimp still very active. I think we’re at the fourth generation or so.


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  • #4
Your water changes shouldn't account for you minnows behaviour and if you had an ammonia problem your shrimp would be dead, all this seems to have started since you used fertiliser, you need to get to grips with your test kit and post your readings of gh/kh I can't see anything untoward on the dead shrimp and nothing on the active ones, if it was the fertiliser then things should slow down as it dissipates, but could still see a couple more of the weaker die of, keep a close eye on them and take photoes of any showing problems, there may something I've overlooked that someone else as picked up on so chime in
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for the advice. Tonight we had four dead shrimp and the minnow that wasn’t eating was also dead.

I retested all parameters tonight as follows:

pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm
KH: 1 degree / 17.9ppm
GH: 2 degrees / 35.8 ppm

Maybe it’s a lack of hardness causing molting issues? There are lots of molts in the tank. What should I be looking for if that’s the case?

Photos of the deceased are attached and a shot of the tank; minnow was very skinny.

Thanks again for the help!


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  • #6
That gh of 2 will definitely cause moult issues it should around 8 as for the fish it could be something completely that killed it maybe an internal parasite, you need to check the GH in your source water as this is the only thing jumping out at me
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks. I ordered some remineralizer and will check the tap waters Gh. I think it is very low here. With my final stocking the nitrates are growing steadily so I will be looking to add a few more plants (our java fern has not done well) and continue with weekly 20% water changes.

Appreciate the advice and concern.
  • #8
not a problem if I can help I will

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