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Strange parasites appear in my shrimp tank


Dimos
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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
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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

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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

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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!

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  • 2 years later...

It’s called scud! They are creepy looking to me, make me goosebumps every time I see it. They are extremely fast produce and produces a lot! They are very fast swimmer as well, not easy to catch them! Their population will grow at a rapid rate that will probably take over other tank mates 

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    • 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.
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