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Shrimp (CRS/CBS) dying: self help guide

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  • Shrimp (CRS/CBS) dying: self help guide

    Updated version thanks to input from many. All future suggestions/corrections most definitely encouraged!

    __________________________________________________ __________________

    Self-Help Guide for Crystal (Red/Black) Shrimp Killers:
    Troubleshooting and Remedy Advice

    RECOMMENDED: Always keep a stock of quality activated carbon and a chlorine neutralizer that also binds ammonia and heavy metals (eg. Prime, Water Ager ACN).

    In text below, symbols have the following meaning:
    ≤ less than or equal to
    ≥ greater than or equal to
    < less than
    > greater than

    Common Causes of Shrimp Death:

    1. Chlorine: insufficient neutralization, leaking of unneutralized water from frozen bottles being used to regulate temperature. Replacement water should be neutralized before adding to tank.

    2. Ammonia: inadequately cycled tank, excess food, decaying bodies, anaerobic activity in substrate.
    ACTION: add Prime or equivalent. Consider water change. If no test kit, add Prime anyway. If tank inadequately cycled, can also add bacterial cultures (media from other tanks, commercial cultures such as Stability, or Stress Zyme).

    3. pH/temperature shock: as for fish.
    ACTION: slowly re-adjust tank.

    4. Temperature: CRS and CBS require temperatures ≤ 25 oC. They can survive at higher temperatures for short periods of time. Mortality increases rapidly ≥ 28 oC.
    ACTION: can use frozen bottles to reduce temperature but be careful of inducing temperature shock. PC fans blowing air across water surface is a more intermediate solution, chiller recommended for hot climates.

    5. Nitrate: CRS and CBS are susceptible to nitrate poisoning. Ideally tank should run as near as possible to 0 ppm. Shrimp can tolerate 1-2 ppm.
    ACTION: water change. Nitrate adsorbing materials can be added to canister but these take a couple of days to affect levels

    6. Copper: using hot water to temperature match, copper-based snail kill, tank previously exposed to copper-based medication, some foods, water supply. Toxicity can be experienced at levels below that detectable with test kits.
    ACTION: add Prime or equivalent immediately. If have no test kit, add anyway. Cuprisorb can be added to canister, although be aware it takes time to adsorb all copper. If continued exposure to copper is a risk, ie through water supply, it is recommended Cuprisorb be added to canister as a protective measure.

    7. High GH: substrate, rocks, water supply. High GH values (> 14 dH) suggested to cause molting problems.
    ACTION: water change

    8. High pH: substrate, rocks, water supply. There are many myths surrounding pH required to maintain healthy shrimp populations. Experienced shrimp-keepers tend to favour pH values around 6.8, however there are a number of reports of successful colonies being kept at pHs as high as 7.4. pH stability may be important than the actual numerical value.
    ACTION: water change if supply has lower pH, consider using commercial substrate.

    9. Bacterial infections: poor water quality, introduction of new inmates, bacterial imbalance in tank. In addition to general indicators of shrimp illness (paleness, listlessness, poor appetite), shrimp suffering a bacterial infection can have missing body parts (legs, antenna, eyes etc).
    ACTION: if water quality is high, difficult to treat without antibiotics.

    Troubleshooting Cause of Shrimp Deaths

    NOTE: if insufficient oxygen is suspected, add an air stone.

    If cause of shrimp deaths still cannot be identified, then consider the following:

    • if adding fertilizers to tank, check trace copper levels

    • if DIY CO2, check no reside entering tank

    • use of fly sprays, deodorants, air fresheners

    • substrate health. The role of this in maintaining healthy shrimp colonies is becoming increasingly understood. Many overseas shrimp breeders are returning to undergravel filters. Be aware only a small range of commercial substrates are compatible with UG filtration (eg. Gex, Volcania D, Magic Soil)

    • external pesticide spraying (insects, plants) in vicinity of open windows

    • painted ornaments, painted gravel

    • any general plastic items not specifically for aquariums (eg. gutter guard)

    • rusting light fittings

    • something foreign dropped into tank (eg. poisoned insect, child’s toy, dust from renovations)

    • contaminated hands/arms (eg. contact with pets recently treated with Frontline etc for fleas, touching mosquito coils, detergent)

    • contamination from air pump

    • something toxic added to tank (wood, rock)

    If shrimp deaths continue, isolate a colony in a well cycled tank. If deaths stop, then problem lies with the original tank.
    Last edited by Brushy; 21-01-11, 02:26 PM. Reason: updated

  • #2
    I'll see if the article function on the forum gives us better formatting, in recommendations I would include "aged water" =/> 10% tank volume. Looks really good.

    other wise just insert the tables as jpegs and type in the rest?

    Here you go brushy, see of you can edit this:


    • #3
      Thanks Solomon, I didn't know that article function was there. Didn't have any luck with your link though as can only see half the second page. Will keep fiddling.


      • #4
        try now? You can do tables and page breaks and other things, I havn't used it much so not really sure what it can do.


        • #5
          This is great information, Sherryl. Well done!

          Thanks for all the fish!


          • #6
            Looks amazing Brushy - fantastic job!

            A few suggestions, if this is going to be a sticky, for it to be user friendly by all levels?
            2. maybe specify how to add bacterial cultures, as you have with the Prime (media from old tank or Cycle or alternative)
            4. rather than the arrows, which tend to be a trap for new players, just write greater than or less than?
            6. ...water supply (if affected). (? Just a thought) Seachem Cuprisorb can be added to cannister, but may take up to 4 weeks to absorb all of the copper currently in the system, then will act as a protective mechanism for any further added, and is recommended as a safeguard.
            8. maybe give eg of commercial substrate?

            Do you want to add what to do if there's insufficient O2 - add an airstone or whatever?

            You are just too good! This is brilliant!
            "Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place" - Jackie French
            Gardening is just racism for plants - Amber, The Old Guys


            • #7
              Thanks heaps for your feedback DiscusEden. This is exactly what I was looking for - fresh eyes and ideas. My aim is to make this as user-friendly and helpful as possible. I'll update the original post with your feedback today (just got into work, so have to "perform" for a bit).


              • #8
                Can anyone suggest commercial substrates for CRS keeping? I researched the UGF-combatible ones but not nothing of the UP/AMAZON type ones people are using in Oz.

                DE, can you please run your excellent eye over it again? I'm not entirely sure I understood what you meant by the "arrows".


                • #9
                  The lady who sits next to me with the IQ3 with 4 neons and cherry shrimps claims that 4 days without food caused the neons to decimate the shrimps :-)

                  You may want to add "Killed by predators in tank" to your list. Great read though.


                  • #10
                    by arrows I meant:
                    4. Temperature: CRS and CBS require temperatures 25 oC. They can survive at higher temperatures for short periods of time. Mortality increases rapidly 28 oC.
                    instead of:
                    4. Temperature: CRS and CBS require temperatures less than 25 oC. They can survive at higher temperatures for short periods of time. Mortality increases rapidly greater than28 oC.

                    In terms of substrates, the ones I keep seeing on the forums are Up-Aqua Soil and ADA Soil. If you just put those in with an eg, you should be covered, as you're not saying those are the only suitable ones, just that they are ones that may be used.

                    Maybe - in case of contamination or toxins, remove suspect object, test if possible, perform water changes
                    Under added ice bottles, what about leaking ice bottles (unsure how to word this, the ones with the blue fill in them?)
                    New rocks - marble based - do vinegar test (this may be getting bigger than Ben Hur, feel free to ignore suggestions)
                    New rocks - are they painted (you may have covered this by "contaminated", or may choose to hyphenate for both in there) eg contaminated/painted/marble based
                    "Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place" - Jackie French
                    Gardening is just racism for plants - Amber, The Old Guys


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all your suggestions guys. Am bit busy at work at moment so will update next week, maybe over weekend a few more changes will be suggested?

                      Agreed about the Ben Hur comment. Going to keep it to troubleshooting shrimp health because there is a lot of general info out there about fish eating shrimp and how to test rocks. Do like the idea about painted rocks/gravel. As CRS get cheaper and people don't read up on them first, I think this sort of thing could be more of a problem.

                      Big thanks to those helping out with ideas and info!


                      • #12
                        And a huge thanks to you for doing it - the work you have put in is amazing and very impressive. Thankyou so very much for doing this for everyone!
                        "Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place" - Jackie French
                        Gardening is just racism for plants - Amber, The Old Guys


                        • #13
                          Brushy = Awesomeness! Very comprehensive and detailed information. A great source of information for all CRS/ CBS keepers. Great work!


                          • #14
                            Well I'm about to set up for my first lot of CRS and thought i would come on here to find out some info and got this thread, Well done answers a lot of questions I had and a lot I didnt have, Thank You.


                            • #15
                              Ok, I've updated the first post. Constructive end to the working week. Hopefully it's clearer now. Mods do you reckon we could make this is sticky now?


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