Trouble with shrimp

rcf2211

Hey y’all, new the forum. I recently got my first 2.5 planted nano tank with a small sponge filter and have cycled it for over a month. I did water testing and everything seems to be good— little to no ammonia, good pH, at room temperature, etcetera. I recently got 2 shrimp (1 amano and one “blue shrimp”) from petco. I temp acclimated them for 20 mins and then drip acclimated for 2 hours. They were kind of in shock at first but then started to move around. It’s been 2 days, so I get it’s still early in adjustment, but I just did a very small water change and they went back into weird behavior after an hour. Very lethargic, twitching, not swimming around. The amano has started to turn red, but I think that started before the water change. I’m not sure what I did wrong because everything is properly cycled and seems to check out. I thought maybe it was because I added 66 Fahrenheit water, and the tank is at 71-72? Could this have hurt them? I also know that my water is on the harder side, I use dechlorinated tap. Any ideas? There is nothing else in the tank other than a rock and 5 different types of plants (it’s heavily planted).
 

JLAquatics

Welcome to Fishlore! Shrimp are extermely sensitve to changes in water parameters, much more so than fish. It is quite possible you shocked them by mistake with the temperature changes.
 
Upvote 0

RedOnion

Hey y’all, new the forum. I recently got my first 2.5 planted nano tank with a small sponge filter and have cycled it for over a month. I did water testing and everything seems to be good— little to no ammonia, good pH, at room temperature, etcetera. I recently got 2 shrimp (1 amano and one “blue shrimp”) from petco. I temp acclimated them for 20 mins and then drip acclimated for 2 hours. They were kind of in shock at first but then started to move around. It’s been 2 days, so I get it’s still early in adjustment, but I just did a very small water change and they went back into weird behavior after an hour. Very lethargic, twitching, not swimming around. The amano has started to turn red, but I think that started before the water change. I’m not sure what I did wrong because everything is properly cycled and seems to check out. I thought maybe it was because I added 66 Fahrenheit water, and the tank is at 71-72? Could this have hurt them? I also know that my water is on the harder side, I use dechlorinated tap. Any ideas? There is nothing else in the tank other than a rock and 5 different types of plants (it’s heavily planted).
First off welcome to fishlore

If you cycled the tank there should be no ammonia present. Do you have an nitrates? Also shrimp need the exact same temp when you do a water change. They are more sensitive then fish are.
 
Upvote 0

JLAquatics

Do you also have a Copper test kit? Inverts are particularly sensitive to Copper, so I would also check this value to see if you have any Copper in your water.
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

First off welcome to fishlore

If you cycled the tank there should be no ammonia present. Do you have an nitrates? Also shrimp need the exact same temp when you do a water change. They are more sensitive then fish are.
My testing kit says my nitrates/nitrites are in the “safe” zone. I guess it must be due to the 4 degree temperature difference?
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

how did you cycle the tank? When I first started in this hobby the petstore worker told me just to turn the filter on and wait. You have to add an ammonia source initially or the bacteria won't multiply and colonize
 
Upvote 0

RedOnion

My testing kit says my nitrates/nitrites are in the “safe” zone. I guess it must be due to the 4 degree temperature difference?
I would recommend getting the liquid test kit for more accurate readings. But yes it probably was due to the temperature. Also how do you add the water back into the tank?
 
Upvote 0

JLAquatics

My testing kit says my nitrates/nitrites are in the “safe” zone. I guess it must be due to the 4 degree temperature difference?
Are you using testing strips? If so, they are not as reliable or accurate as a liquid test kit. Liquid test kits are a much more reliable and accurate way to measure your water parameters.
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

how did you cycle the tank? When I first started in this hobby the petstore worker told me just to turn the filter on and wait. You have to add an ammonia source initially or the bacteria won't multiply and colonize
It’s a planted tank so I actually added a small (organic) soil layer and capped it off with a thick layer of aquarium gravel. I have plenty of plants which I think did the job with starting a colony. The tank itself looks healthy and well and has tested ok
Do you also have a Copper test kit? Inverts are particularly sensitive to Copper, so I would also check this value to see if you have any Copper in your water.
That could be it. I have not tested for copper! However the shrimp were doing ok at first, and I’m guessing if the copper was an issue they wouldn’t have started to act normal in the first place?
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

It’s a planted tank so I actually added a small (organic) soil layer and capped it off with a thick layer of aquarium gravel. I have plenty of plants which I think did the job with starting a colony. The tank itself looks healthy and well and has tested ok

Did you add ammonia though? I'm just asking because it sounds like you just let it run for a month
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

I would recommend getting the liquid test kit for more accurate readings. But yes it probably was due to the temperature. Also how do you add the water back into the tank?
I have a liquid test kit for ammonia but the other kit is just a simple dip one, pretty basic. I have a bucket of tap water (with added dechlorinator) in my room, and whenever I do water changes I just use that via siphon. I thought keeping it in my room would make the temps of them equal but I just measured the temps and the tank is about 4 degrees higher. Makes sense because it’s on a shelf, whereas the bucket is on the floor.
Did you add ammonia though? I'm just asking because it sounds like you just let it run for a month
No, I never added anything. Just the plants (including Frogbit) and waited for it to do its thang
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

I have a liquid test kit for ammonia but the other kit is just a simple dip one, pretty basic. I have a bucket of tap water (with added dechlorinator) in my room, and whenever I do water changes I just use that via siphon. I thought keeping it in my room would make the temps of them equal but I just measured the temps and the tank is about 4 degrees higher. Makes sense because it’s on a shelf, whereas the bucket is on the floor.

No, I never added anything. Just the plants (including Frogbit) and waited for it to do its thang

Your tank isn't cycled unfortunately.. you need to physically introduce an ammonia source in order to colonize the beneficial bacteria. A "fish-in" cycle is when you add one or two small fish just to have an ammonia source and let it cycle that way, and a "fish-less" cycle is when you dose the tank with liquid ammonia to get going. Look up the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle. Basically its ammonia --- nitrite --- nitrate. Without adding ammonia your tank will just sit there. Plants won't produce ammonia unless they're dying
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

First off welcome to fishlore

If you cycled the tank there should be no ammonia present. Do you have an nitrates? Also shrimp need the exact same temp when you do a water change. They are more sensitive then fish are.
Oh, I should also mention that what makes me hesitate about the temp thing is that they are acting very similar to when I first put them in the tank, but when I first put them in they were fully acclimated. Also, I think the amano started turning red, which led me to do the water change. I only changed about 25%
 
Upvote 0

JLAquatics

It’s a planted tank so I actually added a small (organic) soil layer and capped it off with a thick layer of aquarium gravel. I have plenty of plants which I think did the job with starting a colony. The tank itself looks healthy and well and has tested ok

That could be it. I have not tested for copper! However the shrimp were doing ok at first, and I’m guessing if the copper was an issue they wouldn’t have started to act normal in the first place?
Yeah, I would definitely recommend picking up those liquid test kits for your nitrites and nitrates. API makes a master freshwater kit which has all of that as well as ph. for water readings that I use every week. As for Copper, API also makes a Copper test kit, which I think anyone with invertebrates should have as it is extremely toxic to them in low amounts. I know that if you use hot or warmer water from a tap when filling up water, Copper from the pipes can leach into that water and cause a lot of problems to you and your shrimp, even if you cool that same water down. However, I believe Pfrozen is right in this situation and your tank isn't cycled yet. Those liquid test kits are much more important to have to determine when it is safe to introduce fish/inverts again.
 
Upvote 0

RedOnion

Oh, I should also mention that what makes me hesitate about the temp thing is that they are acting very similar to when I first put them in the tank, but when I first put them in they were fully acclimated. Also, I think the amano started turning red, which led me to do the water change. I only changed about 25%
Can I see a pic of your amano please? Also like Pfrozen has said your tank isnt cycled unfortanetly. Luckily shrimp barely produce any waste so if you have some plants in it may soak up the ammonia from the shrimps.
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

Your tank isn't cycled unfortunately.. you need to physically introduce an ammonia source in order to colonize the beneficial bacteria. A "fish-in" cycle is when you add one or two small fish just to have an ammonia source and let it cycle that way, and a "fish-less" cycle is when you dose the tank with liquid ammonia to get going. Look up the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle. Basically its ammonia --- nitrite --- nitrate. Without adding ammonia your tank will just sit there. Plants won't produce ammonia unless they're dying
Thank you! Good to know. I should add that some of the plants melted and some of them still have little melting spots, would that not help jump start?
Can I see a pic of your amano please? Also like Pfrozen has said your tank isnt cycled unfortanetly. Luckily shrimp barely produce any waste so if you have some plants in it may soak up the ammonia from the shrimps.

967866F3-BD5E-48F7-AC0D-3D7886BB261F.jpeg
A70D0FBA-B282-4EC0-A609-32CA7AAD71B4.jpegAs you can see the amano is dotted with redness. I think it has turned less red over the past few hours. The blue one has done well though, which is weird because I heard amanos are better at adjusting.
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

Thank you! Good to know. I should add that some of the plants melted and some of them still have little melting spots, would that not help jump start?

Probably not, no... you can cycle a tank with decomposing plants and leaves but it takes a lot longer and you would need a lot. Now that you know just look into it, it might seem like a lot but its pretty easy to cycle a tank. if everything goes well you won't ever need to cycle a tank again... a bit of the filter media can be used to start a new tank instantly
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

Probably not, no... you can cycle a tank with decomposing plants and leaves but it takes a lot longer and you would need a lot. Now that you know just look into it, it might seem like a lot but its pretty easy to cycle a tank. if everything goes well you won't ever need to cycle a tank again... a bit of the filter media can be used to start a new tank instantly
Thanks, that’s a handy fact. I did put in a decent amount of boiled leaf litter too, a week before they were introduced.
 
Upvote 0

RedOnion

Thank you! Good to know. I should add that some of the plants melted and some of them still have little melting spots, would that not help jump start?


967866F3-BD5E-48F7-AC0D-3D7886BB261F.jpeg
A70D0FBA-B282-4EC0-A609-32CA7AAD71B4.jpegAs you can see the amano is dotted with redness. I think it has turned less red over the past few hours. The blue one has done well though, which is weird because I heard amanos are better at adjusting.
Yeah thats not an amano. Its a neocaridnia. Either the wild type or super low grade red. Both the blue and red are the same kind of shrimps. The blue is a male and the red appears to be a female. Most of my petcos also sell wild colored neo shrimps as amano but they arent amanos. The blue is gorgeous tho!
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

Thanks, that’s a handy fact. I did put in a decent amount of boiled leaf litter too, a week before they were introduced.

The leaf litter may have helped. Those two shrimp won't have enough bioload to cycle your tank and they're very sensitive so you'll want to test your water regularly. buy the liquid tests. keep ammonia and nitrite at 0. if you keep adding leaf litter eventually your tank will cycle. if you add anything else then read up on "fish-in" cycles and cycle your tank that way
 
Upvote 0

Sauceboat

Honestly I think you are just fine. Shrimp have a near zero bioload and since you have plants and only two neos right now you shouldn’t have anything to fear. I do loads of similar walstad bowls that I don’t cycle very similarly set up with loads more shrimp and it’s been fine. They are super hardy in my experience. It just takes them a while to warm up. In a week they’ll be plenty active.
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

Yeah thats not an amano. Its a neocaridnia. Either the wild type or super low grade red. Both the blue and red are the same kind of shrimps. The blue is a male and the red appears to be a female. Most of my petcos also sell wild colored neo shrimps as amano but they arent amanos. The blue is gorgeous tho!
Wow, I had no idea! It’s hard to tell for me since it’s clear. I had no idea about the petco thing, that’s crazy. So the red is okay, then? Not necessarily a sign of stress?
 
Upvote 0

RedOnion

Wow, I had no idea! It’s hard to tell for me since it’s clear. I had no idea about the petco thing, that’s crazy. So the red is okay, then? Not necessarily a sign of stress?
Nope, thats just her coloration.
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

Thank y
Honestly I think you are just fine. Shrimp have a near zero bioload and since you have plants and only two neos right now you shouldn’t have anything to fear. I do loads of similar walstad bowls that I don’t cycle very similarly set up with loads more shrimp and it’s been fine. They are super hardy in my experience. It just takes them a while to warm up. In a week they’ll be plenty active.
Thank you, that’s really relieving. Y’all have been so helpful.
The leaf litter may have helped. Those two shrimp won't have enough bioload to cycle your tank and they're very sensitive so you'll want to test your water regularly. buy the liquid tests. keep ammonia and nitrite at 0. if you keep adding leaf litter eventually your tank will cycle. if you add anything else then read up on "fish-in" cycles and cycle your tank that way
Do you think adding a snail might help get the cycle going? Or would it just hurt it? I’m definitely not planning on any fish, seeing that it’s a 2.5 gal (probably less with rocks and such)
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

just wanted to add that shrimp are best added to a tank that's been cycled and running for at least 3 months. they feed on biofilm. make sure to feed them a full diet since there won't be enough food in there naturally
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

just wanted to add that shrimp are best added to a tank that's been cycled and running for at least 3 months. they feed on biofilm. make sure to feed them a full diet since there won't be enough food in there naturally
I didn’t know the 3 month thing! Though I do have a very low flow filter and I saw algae starting to build up on everything so it felt okay. I will keep this in mind with future tanks
Nope, thats just her coloration.
Interesting though since when I first got her there was no redness!
 
Upvote 0

RedOnion

I didn’t know the 3 month thing! Though I do have a very low flow filter and I saw algae starting to build up on everything so it felt okay. I will keep this in mind with future tanks

Interesting though since when I first got her there was no redness!
Yeah they can change color quite a bit!
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

just wanted to add that shrimp are best added to a tank that's been cycled and running for at least 3 months. they feed on biofilm. make sure to feed them a full diet since there won't be enough food in there naturally
Going back to the testing, how will I know when my tank is more cycled and ready to add a snail? Since my ammonia was 0 and the test strips (for right now--will invest in better methods) say everything was fine. What am I necessarily looking for in terms of numbers?
Honestly I think you are just fine. Shrimp have a near zero bioload and since you have plants and only two neos right now you shouldn’t have anything to fear. I do loads of similar walstad bowls that I don’t cycle very similarly set up with loads more shrimp and it’s been fine. They are super hardy in my experience. It just takes them a while to warm up. In a week they’ll be plenty active.
Do you put snails in yours? If so, how long do you wait since the bio load is much higher.
 
Upvote 0

RedOnion

Going back to the testing, how will I know when my tank is more cycled and ready to add a snail? Since my ammonia was 0 and the test strips (for right now--will invest in better methods) say everything was fine. What am I necessarily looking for in terms of numbers?

Do you put snails in yours? If so, how long do you wait since the bio load is much higher.
Since your tank is already small you really only want about 1ppm of ammonia to convert maybe even .5ppm. What you want ideally is for your tank to process about 1ppm of ammonia to nitrates in 24 hours. So after 24 hours you should have 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and a little bit or nitrates. Nitrates are safe for fish and shrimp in small amounts. Ammonia and nitrites are not safe for fish nor shrimp. Getting your tank to convert "x" amount of ammonia in 24 hours takes usually 4 weeks to cycle. Since you plan on adding a snail into the tank then you have to cycle it since snails poop quite a lot. I dont think the shrimp could live throughout this cycle. I would recommend either returning them back if you want to cycle the tank and once its cycled you can add the shrimp and snail. If you dont get the snail then I think the shrimp will live fine in a moderately planted tank as long as ammonia and nitrites dont go above 0.
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

Since your tank is already small you really only want about 1ppm of ammonia to convert maybe even .5ppm. What you want ideally is for your tank to process about 1ppm of ammonia to nitrates in 24 hours. So after 24 hours you should have 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and a little bit or nitrates. Nitrates are safe for fish and shrimp in small amounts. Ammonia and nitrites are not safe for fish nor shrimp. Getting your tank to convert "x" amount of ammonia in 24 hours takes usually 4 weeks to cycle. Since you plan on adding a snail into the tank then you have to cycle it since snails poop quite a lot. I dont think the shrimp could live throughout this cycle. I would recommend either returning them back if you want to cycle the tank and once its cycled you can add the shrimp and snail. If you dont get the snail then I think the shrimp will live fine in a moderately planted tank as long as ammonia and nitrites dont go above 0.
You’re saying it’s better to remove them and dose the tank with beneficial bacteria and wait? You don’t think that I could just wait another month for the leaf litter to break down some more and the shrimp to produce some waste?
 
Upvote 0

AggressiveAquatics

Not really sure how you can cycle the tank now. Any bit of ammonia even .25 ppm can be deadly to shrimp because they are very sensitive. Eventually over time you’ll have some sort of bacteria colony but you shouldn’t be purposely adding ammonia
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

Not really sure how you can cycle the tank now. Any bit of ammonia even .25 ppm can be deadly to shrimp because they are very sensitive. Eventually over time you’ll have some sort of bacteria colony but you shouldn’t be purposely adding ammonia
Hm. What if I took out the sponge, cycled that in a different tub of water, and then moved the sponge back into the aquarium? Also, if my aquarium isn’t cycled, then how come the shrimp are still alive?
 
Upvote 0

AggressiveAquatics

Hm. What if I took out the sponge, cycled that in a different tub of water, and then moved the sponge back into the aquarium? Also, if my aquarium isn’t cycled, then how come the shrimp are still alive?
That could work but then there’s no filter in the tank. And they are still alive because shrimp produce very little waste so there isn’t any ammonia
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

That could work but then there’s no filter in the tank. And they are still alive because shrimp produce very little waste so there isn’t any ammonia
Okay, sounds cool. I might take a new sponge and just sit it in a tub for a month with the bacteria solution and then stick it in. I don’t want to kill the shrimp but I am looking to add a snail at some point!
 
Upvote 0

ProudPapa

Okay, sounds cool. I might take a new sponge and just sit it in a tub for a month with the bacteria solution and then stick it in. I don’t want to kill the shrimp but I am looking to add a snail at some point!
  • That sounds like a good plan. If your tank was larger I'd say wait a week or so and go ahead and toss a snail in, but in your case adding a cycled filter seems like a good precaution.
  • Someone above mentioned adding ammonia, and I wanted to clarify that's for cycling a new tank. Adding ammonia to your tank with the shrimp in it will almost certainly kill the shrimp. I think you already know that, but I wanted to make sure.
  • I don't think changing 25% of the water with the new water a few degrees cooler caused any harm to your shrimp, though in the future I'd limit water changes to no more than 20%, and 15% would be better. I do that weekly in my shrimp tanks, and never even test the water beforehand, though I wouldn't discourage anyone from testing their water, especially in a tank as small as yours. My smallest is 5.5 gallons, and the others are 10.
 
Upvote 0

Pfrozen

you have "some" semblance of bio-load in there. 2 shrimp isn't enough to cycle a tank under normal circumstances but if you add in a good amount of leaf litter it'll help. just add some bottled bacteria and monitor your parameters. it should eventually cycle, albeit super slowly. with only 2 shrimp and just some leaves you may never notice ammonia but its there and its doing its thing

Edit: can you post a picture? if you went walstad then you don't really need to worry about any of this anyways. maybe you have a lush jungle in there lol
 
Upvote 0

rcf2211

you have "some" semblance of bio-load in there. 2 shrimp isn't enough to cycle a tank under normal circumstances but if you add in a good amount of leaf litter it'll help. just add some bottled bacteria and monitor your parameters. it should eventually cycle, albeit super slowly. with only 2 shrimp and just some leaves you may never notice ammonia but its there and its doing its thing

Edit: can you post a picture? if you went walstad then you don't really need to worry about any of this anyways. maybe you have a lush jungle in there lol
Here’s what I got! I wouldn’t say lush but plenty of plants. If I added a bacteria capsule with a snail would it stay in balance?
 

Attachments

  • E21649B8-7380-4ED8-9406-8127289B571D.jpeg
    E21649B8-7380-4ED8-9406-8127289B571D.jpeg
    215.6 KB · Views: 20
Upvote 0

ProudPapa

I really think you'll be okay to just wait a week or so and go ahead and add the snail. I can't see one snail creating enough ammonia to cause harm to the shrimp, especially with all those plants in there to help soak it up.

I know there have been several comments about your tank not being "cycled", but my understanding of the term just means that it has enough of a bacteria colony to handle the bioload of it's inhabitants. With only two shrimp that bioload is negligible, so there's no need to add anything.
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Question
Replies
14
Views
242
Craig_84
Replies
5
Views
64
Shadowfox
  • Question
Replies
6
Views
277
JesstheWanderer
Replies
16
Views
235
Slapp
  • Question
Replies
9
Views
227
RedOnion

Random Great Thread

New Shrimp Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom