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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It looks like it has a toxin.
I have read that the juice is toxic to pets but there they talk more about cats and dogs. And it's more about the juices. I can't find it toxins get released by the roots and neither if its harmful to shrimps. However they do behave really weird and I just can't get it to stop. I have even restarted the tank thinking that maybe something is wrong with the dirt I used.

The only things I can think of is
  • the ficus
  • some snail poison on a plant I bought (but I have done multiple water changes since, including a complete water change when restarting)
  • shock of living in a colder tank than what they were used to (I didn't just dump them in though)

They live in the same tapwater as my shrimp in the other tank and those seem happy.
 

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I had wondered this myself. For what its worth, i have a ficus benjamina growing from my filter and i have 100’s of shrimp. I would let the cutting callous before adding, the sap is mildly toxic for people even. I have a dumb cane (diffenbachi) in the same tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No wait, correction, I do see some improvement! I now realize that the strange behavior almost disappeared after removing the plant and a 50% water change. And at some rare moments I caught one eating but they remained almost totally inactive which was discouraging me. But after another water change I see several of them eating! I also noticed this black line along their body, so I guess that even though they didn't move a lot they still ate. Perhaps I was giving up hope to soon. It is quite cold at the moment so that will make probably them more inactive as well.
They are still not looking like extremely happy shrimp, but maybe we are getting somewhere. I will continue to do some more water changes.to get some more improvement hopefully

I also realized later that I had done some trimming on the roots, so that could have caused leaking of toxins in the water
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It took a whole lot more of patience (and a few of drops of Esha when I saw too little improvement) but finally I'm starting to have the feeling that they are doing fine. Not sure what is was, but happy that it (almost) seems to be over...
 

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And at some rare moments I caught one eating but they remained almost totally inactive which was discouraging me. But after another water change I see several of them eating! I
When I saw my shrimp almost totally inactive it looked like my dad when he had a thyroid issue. The thyroid in animals needs iodine. So I added iodine to my RO water. it only took an hopur to for the shrimp to return to normal. A small amount of iodine exist in tap water. So a water change should have added enough to correct the issue. Although plants don't need iodine they sometimes take it in by mistake. So plants in theory can deplete the water of iodine. And it is also possible that the food you were giving the shrimp didn't have enough. A 0.02mg/l dose of potassium iodide should be enough to prevent the issue.
 
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