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  • NQ Algae Shrimp turning milky

    I adde NQ algae shrimp to my tank about 2 weeks ago. I've recently noticed that quite a few have been turning a milky white colour. I have only lost one I know of.

    Some background info - my tank is a planted 45 cube with CO2. I'm fertilizing with an LCA all in one 3 times a week and perform a 50% water change every week. I'm dosing some excel to help with bba. In the tank are lots of NQ algae shrimp (80??), 40-50 cherry shrimp and an otto. I feed algae discs, spinach and zucchini.

    Water parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20ppm nitrate.

    The NQ shrimp came with some hitchhikers in the form of tiny leech like things that attach themselves to the head and abdomen. I didn't notice at first and I'm not sure I could have done anything different if I had I did not have anywhere else to house all the new shrimp. I catch and isolate affected shrimp when I see them.

    The cherry shrimp seem fine.

    What I'm concerned about is the whitening of the once glassy looking shrimp. Are they unhappy with the parameters, or is there a disease taking over my tank. Or is it normal and I'm worrying about nothing?

  • #2
    Going milky is not usualy a good sign for shrimp in general.

    You think those things are planaria? Occasionally they can attack shrimp!

    AFAIK those shrimp are reared in outdoor ponds which can have all sorts of pests in them.

    Is it possible to quarantine a few milky ones to observe them?

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    • #3
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuHd_cP7FeY

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      • #4
        AKAIK the milky occurrence can be muscular necrosis caused by stress or infection, or a buildup of internal parasites in the muscle tissue, or they can also look milky just prior to a moult as the new carapace begins to separate from the old.

        What about water temperature, GH, KH, EC?

        There probably isn't much you can do about as blindly treating something that very few people could diagnose with confidence is rarely helpful. The parasites that do this often live only part of their lifecycle in the shrimp so provide the best conditions you can and cross your fingers they get better. If you have the resources and inclination quarantine would be a good idea - generally before you add them to your tank rather than later.

        ... they could just be moulting ...which brings us back to "provide the best conditions you can and cross your fingers they get better. "

        The hitchhikers on the outside are likely to be harmless temnocephalids.

        Perhaps a good in focus photo might help others chime in?

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        • #5
          I took some pictures. Quite tricky as they move a lot and there isn't a lot of light right now.



          An example of colour differences.



          A parasite - looks like a temnocephalids (thanks Grubs!)



          A lot (most??) have these spots on the tail. I'm not sure if it's normal.

          I'm pretty sure I don't have planaria. There are a couple of flat worms I see on the glass, but they are very tiny, slow and do not have pointed heads. Nothing at all like the Rebel's video.

          I keep the water at about 25C - I haven't checked GH / KH in a while though.

          I've decided to keep the tank dark for a few days, stop ferts and CO2 to make sure I'm not overly gassing them.

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          • #6
            The bright white "spots" are normal pigmentation but in that last photo I can see what looks to be 4 coiled nematode parasites in the posterior half of the tail just under the carapace. Perhaps a 5th one just under the "kink" in the tail but a bit hard to see there. This may have nothing to do with the milkyness - I cant see any nematodes in the two milky shrimp in the first photo but they are not in focus. I suspect that give clean living conditions the shrimp might be fine and the nematodes will shed with the moult (just guessing based on their position). If you see the shed moults remove them in case there are eggs laid on them.

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            • #7
              Grubs, would it be possible to treat with fenbendazole for the parasites? Maybe isolate and treat?

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              • #8
                I use fenbendazole in the form of Panacur sheep/horse wormer to safely clear hydra and planaria from shrimp tanks but I don't know how effective it is on internal parasites that are insulated from the water column.

                I have heard of shrimpers using Praziquantel mixed into shrimp food (soaking or mix with agar) to ensure its ingested...

                I'm sure Dr Google has some advice somewhere... Clean living and replacing any losses is probably cheaper.
                Last edited by Grubs; 19-09-19, 11:34 AM.

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                • #9
                  It looks like spironucleus and is highly contagious. It's transferred from fish to fish or shrimp to shrimp when they eat contaminated food (eg: dead fish or shrimp that have spironucleus).

                  The only way I have managed to treat it is with high levels of salt (4 heaped tablespoons of rock salt, sea salt or swimming pool salt per 20 litres of water). Keep the salt in the water for at least 2 weeks, preferably 4 weeks. If there's no improvement after 2 weeks you can increase the salt levels to half strength sea water but do that as a last resort because it will kill plants and can mess up the filter bacteria.

                  If you have fish from soft water (tetras, barbs, angels, Corydoras, etc) move them into a different tank or move the shrimp into a different tank so the salt does not harm the fish.

                  Before treating them, wipe the inside of the glass, then do a 80-90% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

                  Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. Wash filter media in a bucket of tank water and re-use it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Colin_T View Post
                    It looks like spironucleus and is highly contagious
                    Eek. What are the signs of a spironucleus infection?

                    Does that much salt affect live plants? There are no other occupants besides an otto (I'm guessing he needs to move out if I do treat with salt).

                    Looks like praziquantel is available for pet deworming - time to do a lot of research...

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                    • #11
                      QUOTE OP: "The NQ shrimp came with some hitchhikers in the form of tiny leech like things that attach themselves to the head and abdomen"



                      I got a batch of NQ Shrimp from my LFS last week which came from LCA.

                      99% of my shrimp have Scutariella Japonica... No too impressed but its curable. Its caused from them being bread in ponds and not a nice enclosed environment like our tanks.
                      I salt dipped each shrimp in 1 table spoon salt, 500ml water for up to 1 minute to kill any adults, dosage confirmed by Jeff at LCA. A salt dip will kill the external adults in around 30-60 seconds but you need to remove the malts as they lay eggs in the shrimps body. Quarantine for around 2 weeks should eradicate it completely, 1 month to be sure.

                      Im 1 week into my quarantine and have eradicated at least 50 adult parasites from just 10 shrimp. Ive had one malt that was riddled with eggs that ive removed but I just have to bide my time and keep checking daily so the eggs in any malts dont hatch and re infect.

                      These NQ shrimp will be going into my display tank with over 50 red cherries so I am taking the opportunity to quarantine before creating a huge problem for myself.


                      EDIT:

                      You can see the Scutariella Japonica attached to this shrimps body. Ive had them on the body, legs and rostrum.


                      This poor guy had around 20 on his lower body above his legs. This pic was in the salt dip and you can see the already dead Scutariella at the bottom.


                      Malt with the eggs ready to hatch and re infect...
                      Last edited by FishyFellow; 01-10-19, 09:50 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FishyFellow View Post
                        QUOTE OP: "The NQ shrimp came with some hitchhikers in the form of tiny leech like things that attach themselves to the head and abdomen"



                        I got a batch of NQ Shrimp from my LFS last week which came from LCA.

                        99% of my shrimp have Scutariella Japonica... No too impressed but its curable. Its caused from them being bread in ponds and not a nice enclosed environment like our tanks.
                        I salt dipped each shrimp in 1 table spoon salt, 500ml water for up to 1 minute to kill any adults, dosage confirmed by Jeff at LCA. A salt dip will kill the external adults in around 30-60 seconds but you need to remove the malts as they lay eggs in the shrimps body. Quarantine for around 2 weeks should eradicate it completely, 1 month to be sure.

                        Im 1 week into my quarantine and have eradicated at least 50 adult parasites from just 10 shrimp. Ive had one malt that was riddled with eggs that ive removed but I just have to bide my time and keep checking daily so the eggs in any malts dont hatch and re infect.

                        These NQ shrimp will be going into my display tank with over 50 red cherries so I am taking the opportunity to quarantine before creating a huge problem for myself.


                        EDIT:

                        You can see the Scutariella Japonica attached to this shrimps body. Ive had them on the body, legs and rostrum.


                        This poor guy had around 20 on his lower body above his legs. This pic was in the salt dip and you can see the already dead Scutariella at the bottom.


                        Malt with the eggs ready to hatch and re infect...
                        While this may be an issue faced by pond breeding these, IMHO these should not be sold to the consumers. I can't see how an average aquarist can deal with this sort of quarantine and treatments themselves.

                        Thanks for all your photos and information!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pnit View Post
                          Eek. What are the signs of a spironucleus infection?

                          Does that much salt affect live plants?...
                          Spironucleus is identified by the muscle tissue turning cream/ white in colour.

                          The infected fish gradually gets weaker over a couple of weeks and then dies. In shrimp the rear half of the body is affected before the head and the shrimp normally die before it spreads into the head.

                          Infected fish get cream/ white muscle tissue in the body and it usually starts in the dorsal side (top half).

                          ----------------------
                          High levels of salt will kill plants so it is best to remove the plants and give them a quick bleach bath before rinsing with fresh water and putting them in a quarantine tank for the duration of treatment.

                          A bleach bath is simply straight bleach in a container. You can use liquid chlorine bleach from a supermarket, or granulated swimming pool chlorine. Swimming pool chlorine does not have a surfactant (soap) in it and is easier to remove. Rinse the plants under tap water to remove dirt, then put them in the straight bleach for 1-2 minutes. Remove them and rinse under freshwater, then put them in the bleach for another minute or two. Take them out and rinse well under tap water and put them in quarantine until the salt has been removed from the tank.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FishyFellow View Post
                            You can see the Scutariella Japonica attached to this shrimps body.
                            Scutariella isn't an Australian genus in the key (link below) and looking at random google pics Scutariella japonica is much much smaller and not pigmented. I suggest you have a different species of temnocephalid. Any planaria/hydra treatment will get rid of them if you get sick of salt dips. Fenbendazole (Panacur), No Planaria etc.

                            Have a crack at the key if you have a good magnifier/microscope. Key to the genera and checklist of species of Australian temnocephalans (Temnocephalida)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rebel View Post
                              While this may be an issue faced by pond breeding these, IMHO these should not be sold to the consumers. I can't see how an average aquarist can deal with this sort of quarantine and treatments themselves.

                              Thanks for all your photos and information!
                              I completely agree Rebel, no one should have to go thru this shit.
                              I was very close to returning them to the LFS and asking for my money back but I figured they would be re sold to someone else with the parasites still in play... Glad I checked before putting them into my main scape.

                              I dont have an ideal quarantine for fish anymore, was a 20L Kmart tank (I scaped it lol) but have jerry rigged a solution for these 10 shrimp. I think I can eradicate the parasites from all the info ive read, just need to break the cycle by removing the eggs but im also prepared to cut my losses and not add these to the display tank if I cant rid the eggs from the malts. Im planning on waiting out 2-3 malting cycles, I check 2-3 times a day and remove all malts and inspect them with a magnafine glass.

                              If all else fails my son has asked me to put my small 20L Kmart tank in his bed room so ill just chuck them in there with some red cherry culls.

                              Glad I didnt buy a batch of 30 as I had replied to a post on the LCA FB group and a few responded that their NQ's also had the parasites...
                              Last edited by FishyFellow; 01-10-19, 11:25 AM.

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