Jump to content

Strange parasites appear in my shrimp tank


Dimos
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I am having trouble with some parasites that appeared in my shrimp tank a while ago. They look something between a shrimp and a bug and they swim differently than shrimps. Please take a look at the attached photos and videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-T4sPKHgoY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CotyO-lg1b8

Have you ever seen anything like this? Do you know what they are and how to get rid of them? They multiply rapidly and they do not leave any food for the shrimp.

It looks like I posted the same question 2 years ago and they said they are gammarus...  I'm still having the same problem in my new tank also and I had to restart the entire tank.

Thanks for the help!

Dimos

 

IMG_0081.jpg

IMG_0084.jpg

Edited by Dimos
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those look like water louse to me, or gammarus as you suspected. They are harmless enough and a sign of good clean water!

I had them once, I used to take leaves from the pond and put them in the tank and they must have hitched a ride - I don't do that any more! I emptied the tank and set it up again and haven't seen any since (that was yers ago), though I probably caught it quite quickly/early. I have not seen them swim like yours though, only walk, but I only had a few? I wanted rid of them as I thought they were a bit creepy. I doubt there is any treatment you could use to kill them without killing the shrimp at the same time as they are so similar to shrimps in so many ways.

The chances are you didn't get rid of them all when you re-did the tank, may be they were on a plant etc that you re-used, or, if you have been getting things from a pond or steam you have re-introduced them, or they were hiding in the substrate if you didn't change that etc?

You will probably have to re-do the tank again and use as much new stuff (substrate especially) etc as you can and anything you do re-use keep in a container for a few days in tapwater so you can check it frequently and clean it well to see if there are any unwanted hitchhikers before putting it back in the tank. It looks like you have too many to catch them all!

Simon

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your response, it's really helpful!

Or it could be that some babies were into the water that I moved with the shrimp. It's impossible to separate them from the shrimp.

For now I took out some water filtering with a net into a bucket and carefully took out the shrimp and put into the bucket. I then threw away all the water from the tank (including the parasites), rinsed the plants and the substrate. I will now leave the substrate dry for 2 days and put the shrimp and water back in. Do you think it's safer to completely replace the substrate? Is there any chance these guys survive without water for 2 days?

Thanks again!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

btw the only thing I brought from outside was alder cones which I let them soak in hot water for a few days before introducing in the tank.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would play it safe and change the substrate if it were mine as you don't want to have to do it all again. Also wash everything, plants etc thoroughly (and inspect) to get any babies off that may be clinging on. They can live a while outside water, especially if the substrate is still damp! If you change the substrate, scrub the tank well once it is empty and dry it well with kitchen roll etc. I don't know what the breeding cycle is like, whether they have eggs etc?

Simon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I'm going to change everything! I haven't noticed any eggs, I suddenly see hundreds of them swimming around like crazy! A good way to catch some was to add a big piece of food and they would all stick on it devouring it. Then I would net the piece of food together with them and rinse.

I'm a bit worried about the plants as these suckers could simply live in between the plant leaves without me being able to see them. They are about 1mm when they are babies. I also don't want to let the plants dry as they will die.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would clean the plants as best you can and then put them in clear (if possible) containers (no substrate or anything) with some of the old water strained through a net. If you can do 1 plant per container that would be best, then leave them somewhere for a few days so you can keep checking on them, then as a last check, add a tiny bit of food to see if that attracts any hiding ones out of hiding! Any really dense plants I would do this for a longer duration (maybe 2 weeks), or dispose of them if your not sure!

Simon

A question for the wider community? - If the plants were kept in a container with plain tapwater (having chlorine) would that kill the water louse and/or would that harm the plants as well?

Dimos - you could catch a few bugs and put them in a cup with tap water and see how long they live?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Simon!

I keep rinsing the plants with tap water and let them sit in containers for a while. I can't see any bugs but there could be some eggs left, even though I'm not sure if these bugs lay eggs or not.

Good point, but I guess that plants wouldn't do well in chlorine/chloramine water. At that point though I mostly want to kill these bugs and I'm okay to buy new plants.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love these plants though, I got the Undulata and some other interesting plants that I don't remember their name. I love how they thrived with my Aqueon light and I feel bad to kill them.

 

IMG_0069 (1).jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chlorine and Chloramine in tap water wont kill plants. Disturbing the root system by pulling them out knocks them back a bit however. 

A quick 1 minute bath in Malachite Green should kill any bugs. You can try that.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paraguard uses an alternative to formalin. Not sure if the alternative is effective on "bugs". You just need a cheap Malachite green from a pet store.

Pimafix is more for fungus, so not going to be effective.

Sorry I should have been a bit clearer about it...

DO NOT pour it in the tank. When I said bath, I meant for the plants, and treat the plants in a small tub of Malachite green outside the tank. Do not  pour it into the tank. The bath is to get any that might be clinging to the plant when you transfer it to a new tank. 

The ones in the tank already will need to be removed manually.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The tank looks great!

I had a quick look on the net and as far as I can tell (as would be expected I guess) they are very similar to the shrimp and the female carries the eggs. They may drop the eggs I guess if they die or get stressed but there shouldn't be the problem of eggs being attached to plants.

I hope you manage to save the plants but it may be safer to get new ones anyway, depending on where you got them as the bugs may have come with the plants? If you do get new plants (especially if it is the same place) maybe quarantine them until you are sure they are clear of bugs!

I have some malachite green, it is VERY green and stains anything it comes into contact with (even skin) so go careful with it.........

Simon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, I'll go for Malachite green then.

Yes, I understood I should put the green in a separate containers with the plants, but I was wondering whether I have to rinse the plants very well after the bath (as any remaining of the green may harm the shrimp).

6 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

The tank looks great!

I had a quick look on the net and as far as I can tell (as would be expected I guess) they are very similar to the shrimp and the female carries the eggs. They may drop the eggs I guess if they die or get stressed but there shouldn't be the problem of eggs being attached to plants.

I hope you manage to save the plants but it may be safer to get new ones anyway, depending on where you got them as the bugs may have come with the plants? If you do get new plants (especially if it is the same place) maybe quarantine them until you are sure they are clear of bugs!

I have some malachite green, it is VERY green and stains anything it comes into contact with (even skin) so go careful with it.........

Simon

Oh, interesting!

Ok, so does it also stain plastic containers?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would expect it will stain plastic containers but with work it may come out in time. Once you have treated the plants then wash them several times (tap water will be fine for that, avoid doing this in  a white sink though to be sure it doesn't stain that) to get any of the malachite green off, even if small enough traces may not harm the shrimp it will dscolour the water! It is a very strong colour as you will find out when you get it?

Simon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh wow, okay I'll give it a try! I'll actually go to the local fish store and ask for it (or get new plants). Amazon delivery is very slow and it won't arrive until next week. Thank you so much for the help!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
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
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • sdlTBfanUK
      By sdlTBfanUK
      Moderators City: Inner West, Sydney AU Interests: Shrimp, cars, fish, Computers, Cycling/Bikin Posted September 27, 2013 (edited) With the wealth of knowledge from experienced keepers here in SKF, we should have a repository of Shrimp Diseases where people can come to diagnose and hopefully find a cure to their shrimp's ailment.

      Just like in the world of aquatic fish keeping where identification and diagnosis of diseases in fish and known cures are part and parcel of every aquatic forum, so should we have one for shrimp.

      Vorticella

      I'd like to start this database off with the not so uncommon Vorticella parasite which looks like White fungus or mould growth on the shell of the shrimp.
      Vorticella is actually a protozoa of 16 known species, not a fungus at all. Vorticella are aquatic organisms, most commonly found in freshwater habitats. They attach themselves to plant detritus, rocks, algae, or animals (particularly crustaceans).
      Vorticella are heterotrophic organsims. They prey on bacteria. Vorticella use their cilia to create a current of water (vortex) to direct food towards its mouth.
      Typically, Vorticella reproduce via binary fission. The new organism splits from the parent and swims until it can find something on which to anchor itself.

      If left untreated, vorticella have been known to cause the death of the shrimp it was attached to.

      Here are examples of what it looks like.
       

       

       


      Known cures: Salt bath with aquarium salts. Be careful not to use table salt with Iodine.
      Dosage: 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of clean tank water (not tap water).
      Duration: 30sec to 1 minute. You might need to repeat this a couple of times until the vorticella disappears, so keep the infected shrimp in a breeder or hospital tank (could be another cup of tank water).
      Possible causes: Poor water conditions. Increase water change frequency.

      Low doses of the salt bath have been know to be ineffective.
      Ick and fungus cure meds don't work on Vorticella.
      Seachem Paraguard could work as well at the full recommended dosage, since this is a parasitic med. But Seachem have admitted Paraguard isn't invertebrate safe. So only try paraguard as a last resort and drip it into the tank premixed from a bucket of tank water slowly .

      This treatment is in no way a replacement for good tank husbandry.
      So keep up with your water change routines, and removal debris and uneaten food.

      Please add if you know of more diseases, how you cured it, what you tried that worked and what didn't work.

      Cheers.
    • Dimos
      By Dimos
      Hello!
      I started having some weird parasites in my 10g shrimp tank. I first saw some long and flat worms (maybe detritus worms?)  https://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2007/03/trematodes-and-nematodes-in-fish.html.
      Now I see some weird creatures that look like small shrimps (about 5mm long) with shorter antennas and legs, please take a look at the video:
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/q7w9p60lzgr6hji/IMG_9513.MOV?dl=0
      Do you have an idea of what they could be, whether they are dangerous for my cherry shrimp, and how to get rid of them? Could it be Gammarus pulex?
      Many thanks in advance!
      Dimos
  • Join Our Community!

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

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Posts

    • Grubs
      Midges are cosmopolitan.  Bloodworms are commonly of the genus Chironomus.. and fun-fact the red colour is haemoglobin which binds oxygen (as it does in our blood) allowing midge larvae to live in low oxygen environments like the sludge in the bottom of a fish-food bucket. https://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/chironomus-plumosus
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Thats most interesting, I didn't think we had midges here in SE England, but maybe just get a small number. We certainly get mosquito here though as there are 2 lakes in the grounds, I have friends coming sunday and they will be sent to get some daphnia and mosquito larvae, they usually take a tub full home for their fish as well! I will pass on the tip about the jelly if they see any in their bucket! Simon
    • Grubs
      Bloodworms are larvae of midges (mosquito-like flies without the "pronger") The adults lay eggs in the water that look like little sacks of jelly.  You sometimes see them hanging from the water surface or stuck to the edges of the bucket.  You can wipe the "jelly" off and put it in your tank and when the larvae hatch they are great fry food.... but if you dont have enough fish to eat them they may live in the tank and emerge to fly around your house.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I think the fins will healquite quickly if they do get damaged, it just looks a bit worrying to the owners eye! Simon
    • Crabby
      See, that’s the kind of conciseness in a post that I completely lack 😂 Yeah I’ve also heard it can be. Luckily no damaged fins, besides a teeny tiny tear in one of Tessa’s fins. 
×
×
  • Create New...