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Parasites?


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Hi,

 

From time to time it pops up in some of my tanks. The slow dead of a population. One or two dead shrimp a day. Most of the time it happened when I do something with the tank (like replace the substrate) that maybe stressed the shrimp. This makes sense, because stress weakens the Immune System. So bacteria or parasites get a chance to attack the weaker animal. Also shrimp that just molted seems to be affected. This also could be explained, maybe a shrimp that is under heavy attack of parasites try to get rid of them by molting. Or a shrimp that just molts is much more venerable to these attackers.

 

I don't like antibiotics, because of the possibility of resistance. So I'm searching for new treatment and first I thought of H2O2, but these is too aggressive in my opinion, also doing damage to the filter bacteria. So now I'm testing with Chloramine-T, which seems to decline faster by influence of light and is less active in the dark. So that's a good thing for the bacteria living in the filter and substrate. The dose depends highly on the PH and GH, so don't just throw in something. When things work out, I might write something more about it, the best dose proportions and schema for it.

 

But first I need you help in determine what we see here. I've made a (bad) video with my microscope at about 400x and 100x zoom. You can see very active creatures. Oh wait, let me first tell how I get them: I took a dead shrimp and dipped it on the glass. So slime from it skin and all creatures in it were released.

1. You can see they are moving very fast. So this seems to be parasites and not bacteria right?

2. Can it be creatures that got on the shrimp after it was dead already or is it logic these are parasites that killed this shrimp?

 

If anyone knows more about this, I would love to hear this. Thanks.

 

Video:

 

To know for sure, I've got to examine a living shrimp. But I don't like the idea of killing one for this experiment. Or I should try to get a swap from a living shrimp and release it after that...

 

 

 

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It is very hard to say from the video. Soothing is right that bactria and fungi are part of the skin flora of all animals and they are important to keep the organism healthy.

Do you really want to expose your shrimps to chloramine? It is very toxic to shrimps. We have it in our tap water and I once forgot to put water conditioner during a water change. The shrimps went crazy and I immediately added the aqua safe to the tank. Within a few moments the shrimps turned to their normal behavious and luckily all survived.

I don't think you have pathogens in your tank, in that case you would likley loose more shrimps. More likely you have problems with the water chemistry, substrate etc.

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2. Can it be creatures that got on the shrimp after it was dead already or is it logic these are parasites that killed this shrimp?

Very likely. A dead shrimp attracks many scavengers. The largers moving creatures might be such scavengers.

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Do you really want to expose your shrimps to chloramine? It is very toxic to shrimps.

No way I'm going to expose them to chloramine :D. But don't worry Chloramine-T is something different: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloramine-T

 

Indeed I believe all kind of organism are on the skin of all living things, but parasites should not (or in very small numbers) be on our shrimp.

 

I referrer to my little knowledge of keeping fish in a pond. You can take a skin swap and count the parasites. They are bigger and easier to identify. For some parasites a few is no problem at all, the immune system in the skin will deal with them. When their numbers grow because of stress they will take over and create little wounds, which give bacteria a chance creating infections. Leading to all kind of problems and the dead of the fish in the end. And some aggressive parasites should not on the fish at all and be dealt with immediately. If not, problems will be ahead for sure.

The amount of parasites(?) swimming around under my microscope started me to worry. If they are parasites, well maybe this is the cause the are dying...

So why not with our shrimp I thought?. The symptoms looks quite the same as I seen with fish: not eating anymore, slowing down, isolate themselves, stagger.

 

For fish I've got a whole list of parasites, with pictures, video's and a treatment for every case. For shrimp we know very little. If somebody know more information or want to point me to an article about this matter, I would appreciate it.

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Too much movement for bacteria/fungi (also really too big). First guess is a flagellate, could be a cilliate although I think the movement pattern is not right for that.

Given your description, a parasite is very possible. That being said, step one is always water quality. Any source of stress makes succumbing to parasites more likely.

Sorry I have no articles on crustacean parasites.

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Thank you very much for your observation. It sounds you know a little more about them. Flagellate or ciliate, ok I will look into this.

 

I agree totally when it comes to water quality and avoiding stress.

 

So far the treatment is going well. I did some interesting observations. But as always, the long term will prove me wrong or right, so I will observe them for a while and come back to it later.

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