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Shrimp are dying. Please, someone help


lexi
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Okay. So originally I had 13 shrimp to start off with and it's been around a month and they all seemed fine, molting from time to time. Then my parents just told me a few days ago (3 days) that when I was on my trip for a week, nearly a shrimp died every day. When I came back, the shrimp seemed fine and I didn't see any problems. Yesterday, I decided to clean the tank by sucking out some of their poop at the bottom of the tank that is always under the tiny black pebbles I put there (the filter doesn't filter anything). I was moving the pebbles around a lot and the black dust from the pebbles just whooshed up into the water and lingered there. The water looked disgusting. I had some tap water which I conditioned already so I took the shrimp (there were 5) and put them in that water. I cleared out all the water in that tank and filled it back with my conditioned water with the shrimp. My sister bought a new filter cotton thing to replace the old one cuz that has turned black from the dust probably. But today when I checked on them, the yellow ones had black stuff in their head, which has never happened before. They are still eating though. A red one just died. So I really don't know what to do. I know I shouldn't have changed all the water but I couldn't leave it there cuz the black particles were clouding the water. Someone please help!!

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Well first welcome to the shrimp spot. Hope we can help. Based on you description I'm going to assume you have cherry shrimp. Do you know your water paramiters, pH, kh, gh, nitrates, nitrite, ammonia. How are you conditioning you tap water. Is it well or municipal water.

How long was the tank cycled before you added the shrimp. What size is the tank.

have a gneiss day

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I don't know anything about water parameters because I wasn't going in that advanced. I'll try and upload a picture of my shrimp later. The ones that I'm worried about are the yellow ones because of the black stuff.

I condition my water with Nutrafin aqua plus which removes chlorine and chloramine from tap water. That is the most advanced thing I have for my shrimps. I didn't cycle the tank before adding the shrimp. I just added the water conditioner into the tap water and let it sit for a bit (like 10 minutes) then I poured it back into the tank and started the filter again. The tank's measurements are around 21cm x 18cm x 11cm.

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Well first welcome to the shrimp spot. Hope we can help. Based on you description I'm going to assume you have cherry shrimp. Do you know your water paramiters, pH, kh, gh, nitrates, nitrite, ammonia. How are you conditioning you tap water. Is it well or municipal water.

How long was the tank cycled before you added the shrimp. What size is the tank.

have a gneiss day

I don't know anything about water parameters because I wasn't going in that advanced. I'll try and upload a picture of my shrimp later. The ones that I'm worried about are the yellow ones because of the black stuff.

I condition my water with Nutrafin aqua plus which removes chlorine and chloramine from tap water. That is the most advanced thing I have for my shrimps. I didn't cycle the tank before adding the shrimp. I just added the water conditioner into the tap water and let it sit for a bit (like 10 minutes) then I poured it back into the tank and started the filter again. The tank's measurements are around 21cm x 18cm x 11cm.

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An uncycled tank will kill anything including fish because of many reasons. Also you mention that a month into the tanks life you removed the filters sponge which is a big no no. Good bacteria will start to grow on the sponges/cotton in your filter which help establish the mini ecosystem required for your tank to thrive. If you must clean this filter floss simple take some tank water place in a small container and dunk the filter floss and give it a light squeeze in that water then place back into the filter. If you just remove and replace with a new one you have undone all the hard work the tank went through to establish it self.

 

I would highly recommend reading up on the basics of cycling a tank and general maintenance to get a good foundation of the knowledge you need to avoid future issues.

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Greenteam is right .   You can't just drop shrimp into an uncycled tank. 

 

My first advice if you still have living shrimp would be to go get some tetra safe start  and an API test kit.  

 

Follow the directions on the tetra safe start and try to get the tank cycling.  

 

If you have no live shrimp left then that is even eaiser because you can start a fishless cycle 

here is a link for how  http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling

 

I remember the days of first starting out how confusing reading those fish cycling  instructions were because I had no idea what I was trying to accomplish so in very simple terms this is how it works.

 

Life in your tank when it pees and poops creates ammonia which is the most toxic to fish/shrimp ect.    so you want to turn that ammonia into something less toxic.   As your tank ages bacteria grows that will  change your ammonia into something call nitrites, which is better than ammonia but still not good.  eventually your bacteria will mature enough to change those Nitrites into nitrates which is the best you can do.     Once you read  0 ammonia,  0 nitrite and  have only nitrates in your tank, your tank it cycled.  You would do a good size water change to bring your nitrates down as low as possible then  add your fish or shrimp     After this happens you do not EVER want to change out all of your filter media at one time.  If you do, you take away that bacteria and it will not be able to keep up with detoxifying the ammonia in your tank.   Maintenance after that is easy.  Just check your Nitrate levels in your tank once in a while and do small water changes if they get to high. 

 

I hope this makes sense.   There are a million threads in google about how to cycle a tank.    If the one I linked doesnt make it clear enough, try another one. I also noticed there are some Utube videos on  how to do it but didnt have time to watch them and pick you a good one. 

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Exactly what is your substrate? Did you wash it before setting up tank?

 

What kind of filter are you using?

BTW, do you have any other tanks, like with fish?

 

Measuring pH, GH, KH, etc are not really advanced concepts. They are often important to know for keeping shrimp. You may be able to get by without knowing these, but when problems arise, they can be really handy to measure to help you figure out what's wrong.

But first, you do need a cycled tank and stable conditions.

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Good advice from everyone.  I see you have neos which are more tolerant of param swings.  :)

 

The black on their heads is actually their "guts."  You can see through them to the contents they ate, so they much have eaten some dark stuff recently.

So does that mean I don't have to worry about them? I haven't changed the pellets they eat so would it be a possible that they ate their poop or something else in the tank?

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Greenteam is right .   You can't just drop shrimp into an uncycled tank. 

 

My first advice if you still have living shrimp would be to go get some tetra safe start  and an API test kit.  

 

Follow the directions on the tetra safe start and try to get the tank cycling.  

 

If you have no live shrimp left then that is even eaiser because you can start a fishless cycle 

here is a link for how  http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/resources/fishless-cycling

 

I remember the days of first starting out how confusing reading those fish cycling  instructions were because I had no idea what I was trying to accomplish so in very simple terms this is how it works.

 

Life in your tank when it pees and poops creates ammonia which is the most toxic to fish/shrimp ect.    so you want to turn that ammonia into something less toxic.   As your tank ages bacteria grows that will  change your ammonia into something call nitrites, which is better than ammonia but still not good.  eventually your bacteria will mature enough to change those Nitrites into nitrates which is the best you can do.     Once you read  0 ammonia,  0 nitrite and  have only nitrates in your tank, your tank it cycled.  You would do a good size water change to bring your nitrates down as low as possible then  add your fish or shrimp     After this happens you do not EVER want to change out all of your filter media at one time.  If you do, you take away that bacteria and it will not be able to keep up with detoxifying the ammonia in your tank.   Maintenance after that is easy.  Just check your Nitrate levels in your tank once in a while and do small water changes if they get to high. 

 

I hope this makes sense.   There are a million threads in google about how to cycle a tank.    If the one I linked doesnt make it clear enough, try another one. I also noticed there are some Utube videos on  how to do it but didnt have time to watch them and pick you a good one.

Thanks for the message so quickly. So does this mean that I shouldn't change my filter board? Even when it's all dirty? I was just scared that the filter isn't working anymore even after I washed it in tank water. I did try squeezing it a few times in water to try and remove the black stuff but only a teeny came off so I figured it was probably useless therefore I changed it and threw that one away.

My shrimp are still alive. I have 6 I think, I can't count. What's is tetra safe? Also, isn't the water conditioner enough already?

I also want to ask anyone who uses water conditioner, do you just add it in the tap water, give it a stir then add it in the tank?

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An uncycled tank will kill anything including fish because of many reasons. Also you mention that a month into the tanks life you removed the filters sponge which is a big no no. Good bacteria will start to grow on the sponges/cotton in your filter which help establish the mini ecosystem required for your tank to thrive. If you must clean this filter floss simple take some tank water place in a small container and dunk the filter floss and give it a light squeeze in that water then place back into the filter. If you just remove and replace with a new one you have undone all the hard work the tank went through to establish it self.

 

I would highly recommend reading up on the basics of cycling a tank and general maintenance to get a good foundation of the knowledge you need to avoid future issues.

I did read about the basics but I didn't think I would actually need to go into that much stuff. Since they seemed okay for so long as well. When I started out, the owner of the aquatic shop let me bring some of his water from his shrimp tank home along with the newly bought shrimp so u had some of that water. He told me to add tap water bit by bit if I didn't have any water suitable for them. Since I have the water conditioner now, I thought everything would be safe.

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The challenge is that shrimp are more sensitive than fish.

 

Here's an example of params for pretty hardy neos:

 

pH – 7-8
gH – 6-9
kH – 0-4
TDS – 100-400
Temperature – 64 – 80F

Also test for Nits and ammonia(-ium)

 

Not all those params will have a cherry shrimp thrive, but they'll survive.  Challenge is if you don't know basic information about your water, it is almost impossible to troubleshoot.

 

If you are really strapped on money, test strips are better than nothing, and don't cost an arm and a leg to buy.

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Exactly what is your substrate? Did you wash it before setting up tank?

 

What kind of filter are you using?

BTW, do you have any other tanks, like with fish?

 

Measuring pH, GH, KH, etc are not really advanced concepts. They are often important to know for keeping shrimp. You may be able to get by without knowing these, but when problems arise, they can be really handy to measure to help you figure out what's wrong.

But first, you do need a cycled tank and stable conditions.

The substrate I have is a black sand. The package is all in Japanese and I attempted reading it but I didn't understand one bit. I thought it said not to rinse it and just put it straight in slowly, so that's what I did. I did ask the person in the shop and he said it's alkali.

post-1833-0-14244000-1428591033_thumb.jp

post-1833-0-29501200-1428591149_thumb.jp

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Hikari supplied info on shrimp blood awhile back. :)

 

Here's their answer: "...we (humans) have red blood cells which
contain hemoglobin. Hemoglobin contains iron metal (Fe), and this iron
actually absorbs oxygen at large and delivers this oxygen to every part of
body and organs.

However, in the case of Shrimp, they have Hemocyanin in their blood cells, with
copper metal. They use copper to deliver oxygen to their vital organs and circulatory system.
That is why their blood is clear or green color rather than red color like ours (humans)."

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OK, perhaps it's obvious, but whatever you stirred up was likely due to not rinsing that substrate. Generally, you do not want to disturb substrate, because of the poop and particles.

Your filter will work if those fine particles are on it, but it will work better (more water flow) if it is cleaner.

What type of filter are you using?

 

Since he says 'alkali', I am now wondering about your pH.

Tank water you got is somewhat useful to keep the shrimp in the same parameters, but it will NOT help you cycle a tank.

 

Tap water - best practice is to fill a bucket and let it sit for a day or two. (Make sure nobody/nothing can fall into the bucket. No kidding. ) Add your conditioner, and mix. If your temperature of the bucket/tank are drastically different, you should try to equalize them. Then add slowly to your tank. For shrimp especially, large differences in anything (temp or parameters) is stressful.

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OK, perhaps it's obvious, but whatever you stirred up was likely due to not rinsing that substrate. Generally, you do not want to disturb substrate, because of the poop and particles.

Your filter will work if those fine particles are on it, but it will work better (more water flow) if it is cleaner.

What type of filter are you using?

 

Since he says 'alkali', I am now wondering about your pH.

Tank water you got is somewhat useful to keep the shrimp in the same parameters, but it will NOT help you cycle a tank.

 

Tap water - best practice is to fill a bucket and let it sit for a day or two. (Make sure nobody/nothing can fall into the bucket. No kidding. ) Add your conditioner, and mix. If your temperature of the bucket/tank are drastically different, you should try to equalize them. Then add slowly to your tank. For shrimp especially, large differences in anything (temp or parameters) is stressful.

 

 

I don't have any substrate in there because it's really hard to clean. Should I put some in? And if I should decide to put some new substrate in there, do I rinse it with tank water then put it in? 

My filter seems useless to me although I'm not sure if all filters are like this. None of the bigger physical dirt is actually filtered away (the poop) and since I read online that the poop will release some kind of chemical if it isn't cleared away, I always stick a sucker in the tank and try to suck out the poop but it takes ages. My filter hangs outside the tank and it's from aquaworks ( I can't remember where I put the packaging). The filter sponge inside says there is an ACTIVE CARBON BOARD, a FILTER SPONGE, and a BIO-SPONGE.

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Substrate adds additional area for beneficial bacteria to grow on.  As far as filters, the carbon is not needed except to remove meds.   The sponge is important to grow more bacteria on, and if desired mechanical filtration.  Some people even take their HOBs and empty it so they can put in ceramic media.  Really, the biggest thing you want is the bacteria.

 

Sucking up mulm can create small Nitrite spikes which can hurt your shrimp.  Just leave it lay for now.

 

Many people (myself included) just do air driven sponge filters.  Cheap, and effective.

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Substrate adds additional area for beneficial bacteria to grow on.  As far as filters, the carbon is not needed except to remove meds.   The sponge is important to grow more bacteria on, and if desired mechanical filtration.  Some people even take their HOBs and empty it so they can put in ceramic media.  Really, the biggest thing you want is the bacteria.

 

Sucking up mulm can create small Nitrite spikes which can hurt your shrimp.  Just leave it lay for now.

 

Many people (myself included) just do air driven sponge filters.  Cheap, and effective.

Does your filter take the mulm out? Or do you just leave it there forever? I can't find a way of cleaning it except for sucking it out. Do you recommend me washing the substrate and putting some new bits in?

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I don't have any substrate in there because it's really hard to clean. Should I put some in? And if I should decide to put some new substrate in there, do I rinse it with tank water then put it in? 

My filter seems useless to me although I'm not sure if all filters are like this. None of the bigger physical dirt is actually filtered away (the poop) and since I read online that the poop will release some kind of chemical if it isn't cleared away, I always stick a sucker in the tank and try to suck out the poop but it takes ages. My filter hangs outside the tank and it's from aquaworks ( I can't remember where I put the packaging). The filter sponge inside says there is an ACTIVE CARBON BOARD, a FILTER SPONGE, and a BIO-SPONGE.

 

I thought the 'pebbles' you put in are your substrate?

 

A filter will remove some particles, but only what it is able to suck up. If there is particles on the bottom of the tank, it can't really get those, so you do periodically have to remove that with a vacuum-- or a piece of airline tube that is a tiny vacuum :)

By the way, sounds like you have a HOB (hang on back) filter, and you need to cover the intake with something to keep the shrimps from getting sucked into it. They are not strong swimmers.

 

I think the biggest question right now is getting your environment so that you have an established nitrogen cycle.

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