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Old 06-12-2006, 05:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Amano shrimp problems (among other things)

Hi there everyone, I'm new here. So glad to find a forum that has discussions on these little critters, it seems to be rare, nice to finally find some other people who share enthusiasm for shrimp, it's not common over here in the UK (at least not in my area). I'm posting because I've had a bit of a tragedy recently and I'm hoping that someone will be able to help me prevent further problems.

My tank has been going for around 6 months now. It's a fully planted 28-gallon tank with dwarf rainbowfish, harlequin rasboras, baby zebra loaches and until recently some dwarf gourami and 10 amano shrimp. The ph is 8 (always high) ammonia and nitrite are at 0 and my nitrate is always less than 10. I do twice weekly water changes with conditioned tap water. The problem's I'm experiencing have been a developing saga so I will try to tell the whole story so the picture is complete.

The first sign of anything wrong was one of my amanos did not grow. All the shrimp were quite small when first put in the tank but they rapidly got bigger except for one. About 3 months ago, I spotted it darting around the tank, swimming really quickly and erratically and bumping into things. I separated it from the main tank but over the following days it's condition deteriorated to the point where it was just lying on the bottom of the tank, upside down, only occasionally moving a leg. I felt I had no choice but to euthanize.

The next thing to happen was a few weeks later one of my female gouramis got sick and died, followed quickly by the second female. There were no external signs of illness but they both had what can only be described as white stringy poo followed by a loss of appetite and listlessness. Having taken advice from my lfs at the time it was suspected that they fell foul of some kind of internal bacterial infection but all the other fish seemed fine so I was prepared to put it down to experience.

A couple of weeks later one of my rasboras "disappeared". I say disappeared because it was never found so has been presumed dead; in such a heavily planted tank, it is difficult to see much but an extensive search revealed nothing.

The latest fish death was my male gourami last week, I had been thinking he had been lucky to survive whatever had killed his lady friends but it was not to be. He exhibited the same signs as the others but also got some kind of fungal problem, probably cotton mouth. I was advised by my lfs to treat the tank to prevent the fungal infection spreading to the other inhabitants so started dosing with Protozin. The lfs said to be conservative with the dosing to avoid upsetting the filter bacteria and the loaches so I used only half of the recommended dose. Everything was fine for a few days until this weekend 2 of the shrimp started darting around the tank in the same way the small one had months earlier. As before, they were swimming very fast like they were on something, crashing into things and appearing distressed. Unfortunately, they didn't make it through to the morning.

As you can imagine I'm very confused. What once was a beautiful tank with happy fauna has become a constant worry. In addition, I now have a really bad stag horn algae problem. No matter how much I clean it, it keeps coming back. I'm not sure how many shrimp are left because as I said it is a very heavily planted tank, you never see them all together, but the ones I have spotted appear to be behaving normally, sifting through gravel and cleaning leaves etc.

Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong? I know many may think the medication had something to do with it but my lfs assured me that at such low doses it should have been safe for the shrimp. I am no longer medicating the tank and have changed some of the water twice to remove any residue. It doesn't account for all the problems though as I was only using it for a few days. Please, can anyone help me? What is killing my shrimp?
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Skip the meds and just keep up with the small, frequent water changes. Fish die, sometimes for no apparent reason. As long as it's not mass mortality, there's nothing to worry about. I don't think there's anything wrong with your tank. Are your shrimp getting enough to eat? I have to put in extra flake in order for mine to stay plump, since the competition from the fish is so fierce. Goiod luck.
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to apc, roz. Sorry to hear about your losses. Any chance of heavy metal/copper exposure from anything? Has your water source changed recently?
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Welcome to the forum.

Water quality sounds like it turned bad. The fish maybe died,and definately the shrimp died as a result of this. Adding the medication seem to trigger the second sudden change of water quality killing the Amanos on the second round.

I also believe in lots of water changes, 20-50% weekly, instead of medications in this case. However as Bert mention it could be that the water company changed their additives and are forcing your inhabitants to get used to the new water.

-John N.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Sorry you're having problems.

As mentioned regular water changes are the best way to prevent problems arising. I clean my filter and sponges in siphoned tank water every month and do water changes every week. I don't use any fish meds in my tanks because they all have inverts in them.

What dechlorinator are you using? Some tap water in various parts of the UK is treated with chloramines and chlorine.

I'm also in the UK and I agree that there aren't a lot of variety shrimp wise here.....I keep amanos, cherry shrimp and tiger shrimp. I had some blue shrimp but I found these to be very delicate and lost them all.

Are the zebra loaches a type of botia? Botias and shrimp don't usually work so well together....the shrimp either hide away all the time or get eaten after a moult.
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Old 06-12-2006, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I thought I read that the white stringy poop is an infection and possible constipation. Internal infections seem to be more difficult to cure. They have been there long before any signs of illness show.
Sorry to hear of your losses. Keep up the water changes, right now if it really is a change in the water company.... frequent small changes may be best..
Best of luck to you and your tank.
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thankyou ever so much everyone for you responses. In answer to your questions, my water company has not notified my of a source change but I have always used fresh start to condition my tap water before doing a wc to remove all the nasties. As far as the loaches are concerned, I don't think there was a problem, they were only babies and were smaller than the shrimp themselves.

I'm sorry to report that I haven't seen a single shrimp for over 24 hours. I had a good look in the tank this morning and found 3 dead ones; the bizarre thing is that they look like they have been cooked, they're all pink! In addition, the one's I have pulled out smell really foul and I'm concerned that my tank water smells a bit off. I'm going to have to pull it apart to find the others, I don't think there are any survivors and I'm worried about water quality.

Does anyone have any idea what could have caused this? I'm genuinely upset that I might have done something awful in adding the meds, maybe my lfs were misinformed and something in it cooked my shrimp? They were the first inhabitants to my tank and I'm upset to have lost them all. Any diagnosis or suggestions would be gratefully recieved.
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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They looked cooked because they are dead. The medication didn't turn them that color.

If your water smells bad, then change the water asap until it smells "normal". I'm guessing its the medication + poor water quality killed the Amanos.

-John N.
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Old 06-19-2006, 01:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i'm keeping up with the regular water changes, so far, all the fish look happy, i'll do another test today to see how things are progressing and hopefully things will work out.

sorry for my ignorance on shrimp, this is the first time i have kept them and there is so little info about them anywhere, thanks for all your help guys
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Old 06-19-2006, 03:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As far as i can tell there has been no change in my water - the water quality has consistently been fine throughout this whole episode - ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate less than 10 - all very normal. That leaves only the meds as cause, damn that lfs and their ill-informed advice
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