Jump to content
EBC

Need help identifying problem. Bacterial infection?

Recommended Posts

EBC

Hi everyone, 

I have been having a slow die off of my CRS over the last few of months. I am fairly new to this so I am not sure how to deal with this. 

Tank: 28L

Substrate: Fluval shrimp stratum (buffered to ~6.5)

Current GH: 5

KH: 0

Temperature: 22 C

Ammonia, nitrates, nitrites: ~0 ppm

Bit of background:

I started with 12 juvenile shrimp that I bought off a breeder in February this year. I started off using tap water (treated) with no problems. I got my first two berried females at the beginning of May. To this point I had had no deaths. At the beginning of June I had a couple (2) of deaths that I am still not sure the cause of. GH was low (2) at this time as I hadn't been testing for it, so that may have been the cause. Following those deaths I got some shrimp specific gh booster (saltyshrimp mineral GH+) and things seemed to recover. Berried females' eggs hatched at the beginning of June. One female became berried again in July. 

Now the tank was a bit overgrown at this stage so it was hard to keep tabs on the shrimp. I didn't notice any more deaths until a recent move. Before moving the tank I removed a lot of the overgrown plants. Once getting it to the new place I only saw 6 shrimp (2 females, 4 male) so it seems there were a few lost between June and August. There was one small shrimp in there as well (seems the only baby who survived). 

Since the move there was one death shortly after getting the tank set up. I chalked this one up to stress from the move. I haven't seen the baby shrimp since the second or so day after the move so I suspect that it has died as well. More recently I had a female die (at least I think it asa  female). See the first picture below. I noticed one day that she was behaving strangely. My shrimp haven't gone up to ride the floating frogbit since the first month I had them but a few days ago I noticed one up there. I went and had a look and she was just standing there. I also noticed that she seemed to be missing her long antennae. I snapped the below photo and went to work. When I got home, she was still there in the exact same spot. A few hours later, she was on the ground lying on her side. I poked at her and it was clear she was almost dead. Once I was sure she was dead, I removed her immediately. I did a test of the water and all parameters were good except pH which was high (around 7.2). Seems my buffered substrate had run out of buffering capacity due to the use of high PH tap water. I added some fresh substrate and did a water change with RO water and the pH is back to 6.5. Water change was done over the course of the day 1 litre at a time to avoid rapid swings in parameters. 

My berried female was still doing well and her eggs hatched two days ago. She was active and seemed healthy the next day. Today I noticed her in the corner tipped over and not moving much. I snapped the below photo. I know the colour of the internal organs are meant to be a sign of bacterial infection, but I don't know what to really look for in a CRS. The colour in the second photo below looks odd to me. All limbs and antennae intact.

EDIT: Just checked and the shrimp is dead. Anything I can do to try to determine the cause before I dispose of it?

I am just at a loss at this stage. I feel like a bad shrimp keeper and I don't know what else to do. 

Does this look/sound like a bacterial infection to you? What can I do to fix this?

Thanks for your help and let me know if you need any more info!

shrimp1copy.jpg

shrimp2copy.jpg

Edited by EBC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EBC

Here are a couple of close ups now that I have pulled her out of the tank. Her organs seem very black and there is a black spot in her mouth area. Thoughts?

shrimp3copy.jpg

shrimp5copy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc

@EBC, sorry for the loss of the nice female CRS

Have you tested for ammonia / nitrites?

The move of tanks might have caused a spike in ammonia. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc

Any updates @EBC ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EBC

No real updates unfortunately. All water parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, KH, GH, pH) were perfect on the day she died. All I can think is that the lack of buffering capacity left in the soil resulted in pH swings that killed her. 

I added more soil and the water is back to being buffered at pH 6.4. I have switched to only using RO water now (bought 20L for now but have an RO unit on the way). Hopefully the substrate will buffer a bit longer now and this won't happen again.

Just a shame as there are only 3 adult male CRS left in the tank plus the shrimplets from the female that just died. Could be a while before the numbers get back up on their own so I may need to replenish them (also a bit of genetic diversity would be good).

How do people usually handle switching out substrate? Especially with baby shrimps around, that sounds like a real hassle and you are bound to lose some. Is there some special technique?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
revolutionhope

When you added soil can I ask what soil it was ? Did you pre-cycle it? Also it's worth noting that if that shrimp had been through some stress while exposed to high pH they will have weakened immune systems and so other little issues can tip them over the edge.

 

More than once I've discovered problems and corrected them as carefully as I could only to still watch the occasional shrimp die over the following days and weeks still despite conditions being ideal I believe.

 

will

 

 

PS Just as an aside - ¥others will have different opinions and prefer to do multiple smaller waterchanges but my modus operandi when I feel that a tank is "stuffed" is to do one or two huuuuuuge waterchanges - carefully allowing the new water to drip in slowly over 24-48 hours and then leave it be. The three times now that I've done this to get myself out of a bad spot I have found that although some already weak shrimp may continue to pass away over the following days even up to 2 or 3 weeks later but the healthier ones bounce back quickly and are breeding already within a few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EBC

It was Fluval Shrimp Stratum which I have learned tends to have a relatively short life span compared to other soils. Will probably just replace it all in about 6 months when I move again. Any recommendations for one that will last the longest? And one that I can actually buy in Australia?

But yes, I imagine that she was just weak from the pH swings from before. The three remaining males all seem perfectly healthy for now at least. I'll give it some time to make sure there are no more deaths and then maybe find a nice female to add.

I have seen varying opinions on this, but how often would you suggest doing water changes (standard, not emergency) on a small tank like mine (28L)? I was doing them pretty infrequently before (~monthly; 20%) as I was using tap water so I wanted to avoid too many. Now that I will have an RO system would ~10% weekly be better? Or something else?

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc

There are a few options for buffering substrate that you can try next.

Benibachi black soil, ADA Amazonia, ADA Amazonia lite, Cal Labs Black Earth Premium are some substrates that you can use which last a lot longer than Fluval shrimp stratum.

10% weekly water changes is a good water change routine. 

Like Will, I will occasionally (say every 6 months) do a huge water change of 80-90%. I will tear down the tank, gravel vac, trim all plants, and clean filter media at that 6 monthly massive clean-out. It's usually done at the change of seasons, from Summer-Winter. And I will usually also remove my aquarium chillers for cleaning. Or reinstall the chiller between Winter-Summer. 

Resetting the water parameters to remove built up minerals occasionally seems to do the shrimp good.

Edited by jayc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EBC

How do your shrimp fare when you do a big tear down like that? Do you generally expect to lose a couple? Or do you put them in another tank while you do it? I am currently renting one bedroom apartments so I only have the one small tank. With such a small tank I would be worried I would crush some shrimp in the process. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc

The shrimp seem to not mind it at all, in fact they seem to be thinking ... "Ooo, look! New foraging areas" whenever I disturb the substrate. But of course, I match the new water parameters to the old as much as I can except for TDS (generally the new water is lower in TDS). Every other parameter, like pH, GH, and temperature will be a very close match. So the shrimp don't notice it much.

I catch as many as visibly possible into a bucket temporarily while I clean the tank. And they are returned to the tank after acclimating them slowly.

I filter the water I drain into a net first to catch any baby shrimplets. 

If you want to add substrate without removing the old substrate, it can be done easily ... one scoop at a time. Use those plastic takeaway containers. The shrimp will scatter.  Don't be too worried, they are faster than you think when the need arises.

5 hours ago, EBC said:

Do you generally expect to lose a couple?

I aim to never loose any ? ?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
revolutionhope

Good solid advice@jayc :-)


will

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EBC

Thanks for the input guys! Really appreciate it.

Having a bit of a nitrate problem right now (~5ppm). Probably because I didn't cycle the soil first and once in the cycled tank all the ammonia ended up as nitrate. Didn't notice any ammonia from the soil last time, but I can't think what else it would be. Also just pulled out a bunch of plants which I am sure didn't help. Doing water changes to get it back down for now. Need my RO filter to get here though as I just ran out of my stock of RO water! Meant to be here tomorrow so hopefully that won't be too long.

One last question while I have got you. Since I am going to be moving again within six months, do you have any suggestions for how to best move a shrimp tank? Do you remove as many shrimp as you can for the move? Or do you just lower the water level and let them hang on for dear life during the move. 

The second option is what I went with in my most recent move and it seemed to work okay (apart from all the issues now, but I think the move isn't related to these issues) but keen to hear if you have any suggestions!

Oh and I suppose one more. Any suggestions for the best place to buy an adult female CRS? Breeders, LFS, etc? And if I decide to go for juveniles again, any suggestions for where to get maybe a dozen?

 

EDIT: So I just did a bit of a test to see whether the nitrates came from the Fluval Shrimp Stratum. Turns out that it leeches both ammonia and nitrate. I am sure it could be done more scientifically, but roughly 20 grains of the soil were put in 2.5mL of water and shaken for a bit and then left to sit for about an hour. Reading for ammonia was about 0.50ppm and nitrate was about 10-20ppm. Just thought that might be useful one day for someone googling Fluval Shrimp Stratum. Keep in mind that those are approximate numbers as the water was a bit cloudy from the stratum so it was a bit tougher to read the test.

Edited by EBC
Update on Fluval Shrimp Stratum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jayc
6 hours ago, EBC said:

Or do you just lower the water level and let them hang on

for a tank your size, go with this option.

Just remove any ornaments or driftwood that might roll around and crush shrimp.

Keep all the tank water you can however. And make sure you keep ALL filter media in water. 

So, if you drain some water out of the tank into a bucket, move your filter media into that bucket as well. Cause the beneficial bacteria also need oxygen to survive. Aerating that bucket with the filter is the best option. But if you can't, then a large volume of water will hold more oxygen than keeping the media inside the filter. Same goes for air driven sponge filters too.  This should minimise the risk of the bacteria dying out and causing more deaths due to ammonia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • Crabclaw
      By Crabclaw
      Hey guys, I’m really wanting to get freshwater crabs, and the only ones I’ve found are A. Lacustris and A. Laevis. I can only put them in a 110 L community tank for now, but may have another option in the future. The tank is stocked with a large school of ember tetras, some rocket killies, some endlers, some tangerine tiger shrimp, and a pair of apistogrammas. Rare aqua advised that A. Lacustris would likely be eaten by the apistos, so the obvious choice would be A. Laevis, because they’re larger... right? But I’m worried that they might predate upon my shrimp, so wanted to hear some advice and opinions from more people with experience keeping these crabs.
      Cheers!
    • Crabclaw
      By Crabclaw
      Hey guys, I’m really wanting to get freshwater crabs, and the only ones I’ve found are A. Lacustris and A. Laevis. I can only put them in a 110 L community tank for now, but may have another option in the future. The tank is stocked with a large school of ember tetras, some rocket killies, some endlers, some tangerine tiger shrimp, and a pair of apistogrammas. Rare aqua advised that A. Lacustris would likely be eaten by the apistos, so the obvious choice would be A. Laevis, because they’re larger... right? But I’m worried that they might predate upon my shrimp, so wanted to hear some advice and opinions from more people with experience keeping these crabs.
      Cheers!
    • bristlenose
      By bristlenose
      Hi, I've kept Red cherry shrimp for at least 3 years. I've never had a problem with them. I used to keep my shrimp in 500l tank but i got careless while buying plants and introduced planaria into my aquarium. I only noticed after the numbers got out of hand and i noticed the shrimp deaths adding up. I moved 200-300 shrimp into a standard 4ft tank planted aquarium and dosed with noplanaria along with melafix to ward off any bacterial infections. There were multiple dozens of shrimp shells all over after being moved. Initially i believed it may have been the planaria/bacterial/constant water changes/stress of new environment(i drip acclimated them for a 5 hours) that was killing them but i haven't changed the water in a 2 months but i still get the occasional death, 1 or 2 every few days. There are decent amounts of cuttlebone in the filter and also in the aquarium itself, and i also feed them the occasional powdered egg shells but i still get molting problems. Adults and also the month olds are dying, no discrimination. They're fed every other day shrimp snow, high protein discus granules and zucchini/pumpkin/spinach/dry seaweed every 3-4 days. I can see many berried females and small shrimp and also babies but i'm still losing shrimp constantly, easily 80+ in total. I don't want to buy a gh/kh test, they have never had any problems with molting in their last aquarium so can't quite understand why they're having problems now in the 150l. I've read so much online but i can't seem to find an answer, i'd sincerely appreciate any advice i can get. Thank you so much if you've managed to read all of this. Please feel free to ask any questions. The photo is from the current setup they're in.
      Previous tank parameters:
      Ammonia: 0 
      nitrite: 0 
      nitrates: 20ppm
      Ph: 8
      substrate: sand 
      Lighting: generic LED lights i got off ebay
      I don't know any other parameters.  cuttlebone in the tank and filter, no ferts, heavily infested with guppy grass. Large colony of bristlenose. 
      New tank parameters:
      ammonia: 0
      Nitrite: 0
      Nitrates:30-40ppm 
      co2: 3-4 bps 
      Ph: 6.5
      Lighting: generic LED lights i got off ebay
      substrate: ada aquasoil
      The new tank is heavily planted and dosed with root tabs and liquid ferts. Cuttlebone in the tank and filter. 6 large pieces of seiryu stone 17kg (i doubt they're authentic so they're some kind of limestone) Shrimp only tank
       

    • Seattleshrimp
      By Seattleshrimp
      Hi ! 
      I live in Seattle where the water is incredibly soft and I have a tap water pH of 6.7, GH of 0-1 and KH 2. My existing tank with plants already has buffered substrate. Would I have better chance of keeping CRS than RCS with my current water parameters ? Or would RCS do okay?    I do have an RO system already, and I could  remineralize my water with salty shrimp KH/GH+. Which would allow my GH and KH parameter to be okay for neocaridinas, but I already have a tank with active substrate. I’m 100% I don’t have space to set up another tank with inert substrate.    Would do you recommend ? What are pH you have successfully kept neocaridinas and have them thriving ?    Thanks ! I appreciate all the help as I am new to the hobby. 


  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

    Join Our Community!

  • Posts

    • Cesar
      IME, the healthiest and highest quality has always buying directly from hobbyist, usually a small setup in their garage or fish room. Next was specialty store/importer, last is the local TFS, both often having stock that has been imported, transported and kept in less than ideal conditions... Buying directly from hobbyist has always produced the best results for me...
    • Steensj2004
      Did boil a few times, the water wasn’t completely clear when I stopped cleaning it. So they should be getting some tannins. I was able to remove all but one rock, I have one more piece to put in in its plAce today.   Right on. I’m originally from Ohio, and I’ve been scoping out Flip’s videos and website for a few weeks now. Looks like I’ll be ordering from either Flip or AquaHuna after I get this tank works out completely.   TDS is already down slightly after removing the rock and doing a small water change. I also took the opportunity to remove some plants I wasn’t a fan of and replace them. Indian Almond Leaves came in today too, but my BacterAE is delayed. Thanks Amazon.🙄🙄
    • Goshio22
      Its about 1 cm its definitely of breeding age.. i would be happy if its male, but my eyes is untrained when it comes to fully colored males.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I would think that is a male IF it is old enough to be able to tell but I think it is maybe too young to tell? This video should give you some handy tips for seeing the differences! https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/14104-telling-male-from-female-shrimp/ Simon
    • Goshio22
      Im having a hard time trying to figure the gender of my shrimp.. so i know that virgin females is usually more skinnier than your usual large females..  My shrimp are mostly average grade fire reds, most of the males seems pale in coloration. Can anybody help me?
×