White Ring Of Death In Shrimp

Kathryn Crook

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See the berried shrimp to the far right in the picture. See the yellow band?
Ive had this band on my shrimp from time to time. I thought it might be a molt thing. (I'm new to RCS and awaiting my first babies), but on a berried shrimp that shouldnt be molting, I'm curious more then worried. Anyone can help explain what these bands are?
 

WTFish?

Have you had any molting problems in your other shrimp? Sometimes this is referred to as the white band of death when they have trouble molting. However, I’ve had some berried gals do this too with no problems. I can only guess that maybe they are close to throwing those babies and needing a good molt.
 

-Mak-

Molting issue, do you know your KH and GH?
 

georgelee1000

Yea. What’s your gh kh and tds. You have a molting problem. Shrimps may die due to this.
 

Kathryn Crook

Yea. What’s your gh kh and tds. You have a molting problem. Shrimps may die due to this.
My water is 0/0/0 and at this moment kh is 3, gh is 6, tds about low 200’s, and ph holds about mid 7’s. I am hoping its just a shrimp ready to bust...some are already building their next saddle. Anything you can suggest? I know I'm riding the low end of gh but I fear adding any salty be and upsetting the water. 4 of my 5 females are berried.

Let me add, no, no molting issues since the shrimp have adjusted to my tank. I did lose 3 when first getting them, but none the last few weeks.
 

richiep

I wouldn't add anything there's nothing wrong with your water, I think its something that's just happened to one shrimp out of them all that you put in a few weeks ago,
 

Kathryn Crook

I wouldn't add anything there's nothing wrong with your water, I think its something that's just happened to one shrimp out of them all that you put in a few weeks ago,
Thanks richie. Strange thing is...these bands have popped up on my shrimp since I got them and me knowing nothing about them, thought they were just natural...then I guess a molt? Then another one would get it then gone...so if this is life threatening, why does it seem to happen with every molt for some? Cuz I was curious before, now I'm worried about a problem down the road.
 

-Mak-

Yeah, your parameters look great so I'm inclined to say it was just bad luck for this little one

edit just saw your post, if it's happening with all of them can you tell us if you're adding anything to supplement GH or if it's just your tap?
 

Kathryn Crook

Yeah, your parameters look great so I'm inclined to say it was just bad luck for this little one

edit just saw your post, if it's happening with all of them can you tell us if you're adding anything to supplement GH or if it's just your tap?
Its complicated. My tap is 7-9 kh/gh which is great but low tds tbh...its kinda weird. Then I added fluval startum to the tank and it buffered down hard, so I added just a bit of salty mineral just to bring things back up. Ive held pretty steady at the perameters ive stated since so I haven't added anything. I do small water changes twice a week and test to keep shrimp happy. That's about it. No trouble. So, for me, the white band means nothing. I haven't had any deaths from them. At least not from them in the shrimp that survived the last few weeks. They have all molted and females berried. If richie.p didnt point out that band could be bad news, I would have thought nothing of it at all.
 

richiep

Its ond of these things when you add new shrimp some adjust ok and others don't and it normally shows on the first moult in the a new environment, that's a classic sign of not dripping properly, but I know you did drip so that one as just not adapted, she may pull through and moult but loose the eggs in the process
 

Kathryn Crook

Its ond of these things when you add new shrimp some adjust ok and others don't and it normally shows on the first moult in the a new environment, that's a classic sign of not dripping properly, but I know you did drip so that one as just not adapted, she may pull through and moult but loose the eggs in the process
She may be my first berry! Hold on baby! Drop my grandfleas then you can pop your top!

Thanks guys for your answers and pray for my mamma!

Ooh ooh! I just thought of something else. This is first batch for these shrimp. I got them as juviniles. Could being a preggo teenager be a complication? I'm reaching for straws here guys! Just weighing options.
 

georgelee1000

Yea I agree. Gh is slightly on the low side. But if you get some berried one, chances are some of them may not have molting problem. Because they only get berried after molting. So I would just keep everything as it is. Losing one or a few doesn’t matter. Dinner or later you’ll have more babies.
 

Kathryn Crook

Ok! So I wanted to polish off this thread. I will rename it the White Ring of Death but that's a misnomer. Seeing a white (or yellow) ring around your shrimp is not necessarily a death sentence, but a sign you are likely doing too large or too many water changes and forcing a molt before the shrimp is ready.

In my case, yes, my shrimp have had this ring a time or two and molted fine, but a berried shrimp could be an issue. It is possible she will drop her eggs to molt and save her life, or she may die...that is up to her. BUT! By no means should I do a water change because that's what caused the problem to begin with.

Hope it helped guys!

Heres my girl, still has belly full of eggs out foraging.
Keeping my fingers crossed for her.
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-Mak-

What I haven't figured out is does this line occur right before a failing molt, or right after a failed molt?
I think the second makes more sense but I don't know, anyone have ideas? As far as I can tell the band is exposed flesh, the location makes sense because that's where shrimp pop out of their old exoskeletons.
 

Kathryn Crook

What I haven't figured out is does this line occur right before a failing molt, or right after a failed molt?
I think the second makes more sense but I don't know, anyone have ideas? As far as I can tell the band is exposed flesh, the location makes sense because that's where shrimp pop out of their old exoskeletons.
From what I understand...its like the shrimp is stretched exposing their skivvies because the exoskeleton is stressed from water change stress. Mine have had this issue on and off and I didnt know why or that it was even a worry till it was pointed out and all my shrimp molted fine...but its not something you want to see.

Ive noticed this line right before a molt, a couple days before.
 

georgelee1000

How do you do water change? Maybe you can try drip method when adding water back up.
 

Kathryn Crook

How do you do water change? Maybe you can try drip method when adding water back up.
It wasn't the speed as much as just too much too often for me.
I have a 10 gallon tank. That's likely 8g with my stuff in it and I was doing a gallon to two twice a week (adding for evaporation as well) and although I added water slowly...in the end, that's like 40% change a week! I did not realize how much that “little” change can effect shrimp. I'm very new to them and they DO LOVE stabilility and I was “torturing” them with kindness I guess.

Oh! I want to give a shout out to richie.p for bringing this concern up. I would never had known without his keen eye. Thanks Richie!
 

georgelee1000

It wasn't the speed as much as just too much too often for me.
I have a 10 gallon tank. That's likely 8g with my stuff in it and I was doing a gallon to two twice a week (adding for evaporation as well) and although I added water slowly...in the end, that's like 40% change a week! I did not realize how much that “little” change can effect shrimp. I'm very new to them and they DO LOVE stabilility and I was “torturing” them with kindness I guess.

I think if your parameters and temperature match up, doing a weekly small water change esp in a slow dripping method are fine. They molt prematurely when there’s a big change in parameters, like tds or temp.
 

Kathryn Crook

I think if your parameters and temperature match up, doing a weekly small water change esp in a slow dripping method are fine. They molt prematurely when there’s a big change in parameters, like tds or temp.
Yep, a small water change for a shrimp only tank (with a few snails like I have) is probably one gallon once a week or even every two weeks...I was doubling that. My perameters disnt seem to swing all that much, but I'm not a shrimp. Apparently they disagree with me upsetting their comfort.
 

georgelee1000

Yep, a small water change for a shrimp only tank (with a few snails like I have) is probably one gallon once a week or even every two weeks...I was doubling that. My perameters disnt seem to swing all that much, but I'm not a shrimp. Apparently they disagree with me upsetting their comfort.

I think if the parameters are fine, just leave them for a good 2 weeks. When I started (not a while ago), I do a lot of water change. I just hate seeing detritus on the bottom. And I have some significant shrimp die off. Not just molting problem. Like actively dying. Then I stop doing it (water change once per 2-3 week, my nitrate is still 0) now they are alive and stable, no more dying off. Or maybe whatever left are tough and strong lolll.
 

Kathryn Crook

I think if the parameters are fine, just leave them for a good 2 weeks. When I started (not a while ago), I do a lot of water change. I just hate seeing detritus on the bottom. And I have some significant shrimp die off. Not just molting problem. Like actively dying. Then I stop doing it (water change once per 2-3 week, my nitrate is still 0) now they are alive and stable, no more dying off. Or maybe whatever left are tough and strong lolll.
I agree! I'm just going to keep an eye on ammonia and tds and cut waaay back on water changes.
 

GeoffPro

HI guys,

I have had almost 12 of my shrimp die over the period of a few weeks, half of my original population. It all started when I dosed fenbendazole to kill hydra. I did a 1.5x concentration dose, a little over the recommended amount (which I REGRET HIGHLY BC I DIDNT KNOW). They have been dying from then. However, they are still dying now even after water changes! I don't now about before, but these shrimp deaths have been the ones that have the "white ring of death" and there is another shrimp currently with the ring too.

I also remember adding a lot of epsom salt (which again I regret - I did this for the plants) and I also added seachem equillibrium (without any TDS/gH/kH tests because I'm dumb). My tap water is already really hard with a pH of 8.0 so I believe this is the problem! My gH/kH test is arriving tomorrow and it is the problem, I plan on doing a 25% water change with distilled water from the grocery store (is this too much of a water change for shrimp? should I do a 15% instead or something?) keep in mind that shrimps are dying everyday so I don't want to prolong my treatment any longer. I have a berried shrimp (another berried shrimp died during fenbendazole treatment) so I don't wanna affect her either.

SIDE QUESTION: does the white ring of death indicate that the shrimp FAILED to molt? As in the shell did not come off? Or does it mean that the shell came off (like you can see the molt in the aquarium) but there's a crack in the new exoskeleton?

THANKS.
 

windrunner9189

hi, i'm of no help here but richie.p is good with shrimp.

if you have some carbon sitting around, try slipping some into your filter. this should remove any medication/additives leftover, if there is any.
 

windrunner9189

i'm not sure, but I found this.

apparently it removes organic compounds only, not inorganic and organic compounds like carbon does.
 

midna

I think fenbendazole can stay in the substrate? so maybe it's not all gone, even with the water changes. I agree that adding activate carbon should help.

what kind of shrimp are these? neos or caridinia? I think regular cherry shrimp should be able to adapt to a ph of 8. my cherry shrimp are in a tank with the same ph. I do have lots of almond leaves and driftwood in there to try and bring the ph down a bit, but I don't think it's done much. you could try adding a bit of shrimp substrate such as fluval stratum or uns controsoil to bring it down some.
 

richiep

Sorry to hear problems, its obvious that one of these if not the two have had an overdose impact in the tank anything like this can be deadly. The band you are seeing is the carapace parting as the shrimp tries to come out of the exoskeleton if the shell is soft enough I have seen them live but if they can't get it off then its game over the old shell will crush the shrimp as it tries to grow inside, it may already be to late for them but if they stay alive long enough for the berried ones to hatch you have a chance, ide be looking at doing a 75% water change or even 100% or do 50%straight away and 50%in 24hrs that should help thin out your problem but take your time no doubt you will lose some more but what your trying to do now is give those berried shrimp a chance to hatch their young, by then the water should bd back to some sort of normality, gh/kh readings are now important along with normal tests to see what's happening, don't make the mistake and rush the water change, last thought do you or a friend have another tank,if so catch what you can and drip them into that water over a few hrs then hold them there while you sort the overdose tank, but you will have to re drip back into your tank.
 

GeoffPro

richie.p should I do the water changes with distilled water? Like a 25 percent we with distilled to lower gh? Or instead do a 75 with my regular water that’s still hard? I have other tanks but they aren’t compatible with with the shrimp. They are orange neos. Not all of them have the band tho so would they still survive? Only 1 has the band. Question does the band mean that the shrimp FAILED to get out of the shell? As in there won’t be a molt laying around? Bc I’ve had molts laying around so I was just wondering. Thanks
 

richiep

GeoffPro the band you are seeing is where the shrimp is trying to moult but because the shell is still hard it breaks at its weakest point this on the shrimp Is at the back end of the carapace, what you are witnessing is the inner body pushing through, if the shell is soft enough it may break away if it can't the shrimp dies, there will be no sign of a moult, you can't lower your GHif you don't know what it is to start, its possible it's to low now which is giving you moult issues So we must have the latest gh/kh ph ammonia Nitrite Nitraits to go forward without these your working blind, so until then do a 30% change to thin out fenbendazole & Epsom salts this at least will dilute what's gone in, do the change slowly or you will shock the shrimp leading to further complications
Edit mix 50/50 distilled with tap and prime to detoxify
 

GeoffPro

Test Results:

gH of tank water = 10 drops = 179 ppm gH
gH of tap water = 10 drops = 179 ppm gH

kH of tank water = 5 drops = 89.5 ppm kH
kH of tap water = 5ish drops = around 89.5-100 ppm kH (bc I accidentally did a half drop)

I don't know what this means!

edit: I also have a water softener at my house and the gH is like 0 (but that is not my source water my source water is the city water) so should I do water changes mix city water and water softener water at 50:50? Also keep in mind that these shrimp were fine BEFORE I started fenbendazole so maybe the chemical caused them to molt badly?
 

richiep

You stick with what your doing don't change anything your water it perfect, it's obvious the fenbendazole&Epsom salts were overdosed so it's a case of water changes to thin it down and by the sounds of it most of them are ok, don't use the distilled water there's no need, you may have already done one water change at 30% as we said so do another in a few days then I'd start doing 10% weekly, you'll need to give things time so settle down, its possible you'll loose that one but the others should pull through, just try and get the water you are putting in up to temp not to shock them and dose with prime or similar,
 

GeoffPro

HI richie.p

My shrimp are doing better now, no deaths...previously I had 1-2 per day. Tomorrow I am going to do another small wc. However, a lot of my shrimp have developed the white ring of death, when previously only a few had them. However, they are moving fine and have I have seen molts laying on the bottom of my tank (so they are molting ok I assume?) And also, my berried shrimp had babies! I've only seen 2 or 3 babies but I am sure they are hiding. What should I do now...wc?


EDIT: I do water changes really quick as in I dump water right back into my tank. Should I do the drip method instead?
 

richiep

A few of degrees ether side of tank temperature plus dumping water straight in will shock your shrimp that leads to the white ring and molt issues, you don't have to drip it in just do it a lot slower, slow up on your water changes now the fenbendazole and Epsom salts should have diluted to a safe margin
10% to 15% weekly water changes is ideal in shrimp tanks, if you can't get you water close to tank temp use a small bore pipe and let it siphon in the tank around the heater that will help a lot, it's great you've got young this is your next generation of breeders if the older ones don't make it, they will hide for a week or so, you must now be extra careful changing water have a look in the bucket for young you can easily miss them, post a pic of your tank and shrimp if you can that will give people a better insight and allow them to evaluate what's going on better, as they say a picture speaks a thousand words
 

GeoffPro

Here are pics of tank and white ring of death! Hopefully it'll be cured after I do a 20 wc tonight.
 

GeoffPro

richie.p

Hi, its been a while but my problem is actually still persisting. I had 3 die before I went on vacation, and to my surprise none died when I came home after being gone for 6 days. After I came back, however, 1 died and today (3 days after) another female pregnant one died . I think I figured out the problem, I just tested ammonia nitrite nitrate kH gH all are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 40, kH 5, gH 11. So apparently that's ok. But I think it isn't a coincidence whenever I dose NilocG Thrive (that has copper) that the shrimp die like 1 day after. So please help I'm actually frustrated and confused and I only have a few shrimp left like 6 from my original batch of 25. But Ive seen babies and they are growing and they're not dying which is weird. Like all my other shrimp are fine just zooming around and then I find a dead one? The only thing wrong with my theory is that I'm confused why only one or two shrimp are affected at a time.

AND just to mention the dead shrimp had the ring of death = molting issues but WHERE are the molting issues coming from? pH is 8.0 if you need this info. Thank you SO MUCH I'm ranting but I'm stressed
 

LeahsTank

I don’t have shrimps, so excuse my lack of knowledge. I have heard that copper is VERY bad for invertebrates. And, I think I’ve heard that it is not easy to get it out of the tank. You may need to move them to a temporary container while you deal with getting rid of the copper.

Hopefully, someone else will chime in to tell you how to go about it all, but for now I would remove the shrimp from the tank.
 

kallililly1973

I haven't been very lucky with my RCS as of late either but if you suspect its the Thrive you should probaby get the one that they claim is shrimp safe. Unless that is the one you have already in which case my post would be totally useless. Sorry I couldnt be more help
nilocg ThriveS
 

GeoffPro

Thank you! I don’t have the “shrimp safe” one but I found on their website

“Yes Thrive products are completely safe for shrimp assuming you dose as suggested and keep up with the suggested water changes. 2. If Thrive,Thrive+ and ThriveC are safe for shrimp then why do you have a shrimp safe version(ThriveS)? This comes down to a question of the focus of the tank.”

You are right of course and I will be switching to thriveS after I finish this bottle. I think I’ll do half doses from now on? Maybe nitrate levels are high bc of this too
 

richiep

NilocG Thrive is safe for shrimp according to the manufacturer if dosed in accordance with instructions but you overdose and you have problems Toxic copper levels for shrimp are 0.003ppm NilocG thrive as 0.0002% which is safe
Niloc S dose not contain copper
Nitraits are as toxic to shrimp as much a ammonia you need to get that down to 15ppm to be safe even then that's high, mine are 5ppm, now if your seeing deaths after dosing NilocG thrive then stop as something is not right, or as a test do a Nitrait test before the next dose then another 24hrs later and see if its affecting it, you also need to test your source water for Nitraits and if present in high ppm you need RO water to thin it out which ever way 40ppm is way to high for shrimp, when you first had a problem we looked at overdosing fenbendazole & Epsom salts back then I asked for a nitrate test and it never came and this could have been a contributing factor we also didn't know you were dosing NiglocG which could also have been contributing to your problems, it's very important for everyone to reveal all this information as a process of elimination could have been started. Please don't think I'm having a personal dig here Geoff but this is important to others reading this how easily things are overlooked that could be part of the problem like Nitraits &ThriveG, even on my part I should have kept pushing you for information like Nitraits and other things being added but we all got to involved with fenbendazole overdose
 

Ssnaaiil

I’ve been noticing one shrimp every 5-7 days with the white ring of death and noticing them dying soon after. I will be getting a gh and kh test kit in about a week, Is there anything else I should be doing while I wait on the gh and kh test kit?
I’ve had these shrimp for a about 4 months now and they just started having these issues within the last 2.5 weeks and were fine until now, I only see one shrimp every few days with this issues, today is shrimp number 3 that I have witnessed die from this. Could it be that they need more calcium in their diet? Or protein?
I feed veggies, snello, mk breed cheeseburger, and dose bacter ae once a week after water change.
I do a 70% water change once a week, could I be changing too much of the water at a time causing them to molt before they are ready?
 

richiep

70% once s week is way to much and will shock them and that lead to the white ring, I only do 15% some do a little more and some less, feeding veg will help with calcium and parameters need to be checked
 

Ssnaaiil

70% once s week is way to much and will shock them and that lead to the white ring, I only do 15% some do a little more and some less, feeding veg will help with calcium and parameters need to be checked
I have fish and snails in the tank too,it’s also a planted tank. How much would you recommend for a water change?
 

Roman96

I have fish and snails in the tank too,it’s also a planted tank. How much would you recommend for a water change?
I'd say 50% is the limit, but I'm going off others experiences. Really just depends on how many nitrates at water change time.
 

richiep

This now depends on your fish stocking and as mentioned by RomanNoodles96 your water parameters, these are problems people face when mixed tanks, doing bigger changes also means you must be close with temperature of new water going in to that coming out, you can also have problems if your ph is higher or lower by .5
 

Ssnaaiil

This now depends on your fish stocking and as mentioned by RomanNoodles96 your water parameters, these are problems people face when mixed tanks, doing bigger changes also means you must be close with temperature of new water going in to that coming out, you can also have problems if your ph is higher or lower by .5
55g tank, stocking is 5 adult platys, 3 younger platys, 10-15 baby platys, 2 mollies, 1 swordtail, 1 bn pleco, 7 mystery snails, 7 nerite snails, some Malaysian trumpet snails, and cherry shrimp. I will be testing nitrite, nitrate and ammonia after this post
 

Newbie1234

How many gallons?
 

Ssnaaiil

55gallons
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate between 80 and 160 (I’m guessing 120ish??)
Did a 70% water change 6 days ago
Ph of tank is also 7.6-7.7
I have well water at my house and the well water tested at zero for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and ph is same as tank water
 

Ssnaaiil

I just did a 35% water change to try to lower the nitrates, I was thinking of doing another 25-30% water change in 3 days to try to lower the nitrates because they are so high, or should I not for the shrimp? None of my fish, shrimps or snails seem to be exhibiting signs of too high nitrates....
Another note on the high nitrates, I just happened to remember that 3 days ago I stirred up the gravel in my tank to try to get some of the build up out of the gravel, I can’t really gravel vac around my tank due to shrimp and baby shrimp EVERYWHERE and also I have plants and decor everywhere so it makes it hard also... I am going to test the water parameters again in a day and see where they are and also going to test the gh and kh in my tank and we’ll water at my house as soon as I can get a test kit.
 

AquaBaby

To start off, I apologize for the length of the post. I know myself and I usually can't do that perfect, short response. I take a lot of words to get there!

I have a 55 gal community tank with different fishes, snails and shrimps; and some plants.

I have found it's easier to maintain with light stocking on the fish. This helps keep the nitrates from getting too high and requiring large volume water changes. Plus, there are fewer mouths to catch shrimplets.

Yes, I gravel vac. I use Eheim’s Quick Vac. After vacuuming, I empty the "filter unit" into a large white bowl and use a turkey baster to catch the shrimplets for return to the tank. The white bowl makes it easier to see tiny shrimplets. And, if you want to save as many shrimplets as possible, be aware I have spent hours leaning over that bowl with a light angled across it catching babies. Sometimes there aren't many, but sometimes... there's definitely a lot. I've had well over 50 to catch at a time. You'll definitely want to find a good location for putting the shrimplets back into the tank. If they have to swim in the open, they'll be eaten. Our fish already associate our hand above the water with food, so there's a strike against the babies making it to safety right there.

I don't use the vac for the water changes. I do the WC's and Vac'ing completely separate. I don't vac every WC, either. I vac like once every 3 or 4 months. Having a lighter stocking on fish helps here, too.

It's going to be figuring out how to make it work for your tank. But, in my opinion, you've got to get those nitrates down to a level that is manageable with a much lower % WC than 70. Otherwise, you're going to be doing A LOT of small changes... think about 10-15% every day if you're needing to do 70% a week.

If you can get the nitrates to a more manageable "weekly WC level" and get a "good match" on your replacement water, you might can get away with 20-25% weekly WC, but 15% is a good percentage to aim for, as richiep said; 70% really is a lot.

So, what's causing the high nitrates? This is what I'd be asking myself rather than trying to determine if the high nitrates are causing issues. The high nitrates lead to large volume water changes which can lead to moltings issues.

Of course, in addition to the WC's is proper nutrition, as mentioned above.

Before venturing a guess as to whether you should be adding additional calcium, I think it would be better to know the size of your colony (if you posted that, i missed it), have a look at your feeding schedule (actual specifics, not just a list; like 1/2 scoop bacter ae on Monday, or what type of veggies and how often, what's in your snello, etc), and wait on your other tests to come in and get some results. ......Besides the fact that it could be the large water changes causing the molting issues rather than not enough calcium.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Oh wow that's crazy high nitrates. Might be feeding too much and not enough plants to suck up all the nutrients....

I would bring the nitrates down before worrying about calcium and KH and other parameters (Nitrates higher than 40ppm is toxic to shrimp).
 

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