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What Happened here?

Mr. Crayfish

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My dad had a 5 gallon tank with a few cherry shrimp at his job. Over time, scuds started appearing in the tank. These two animals coexisted for years. Suddenly, the tank got a few duck weed speck on it. Then it got more. And more. And more. There was at least 1/4 inch of duckweed on the surface and the water turned cloudy and green. When he had time, my dad did a few water changes and saw no shrimp. only scuds. hundreds of them. He also pulled out the guppy grass to find it had been devoured by the scuds. Do any of you have an idea what happened?

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Yeah, what Devin said is most likely what happened, I'll just add that rotting plants could have also a breeding grounds for the scuds allowing their population to grow and eventually outcompete the cherry shrimp, but if this occurred rapidly most likely its the ammonia. 

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