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beanbag

Low level bacterial infection?

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beanbag

Hello folks,

I have a Taiwan Bee tank that has been up and running with shrimp for almost a year now. Overall things are ok but once every several weeks or months 1-2 shrimp get taken out. I can't pin this down to anything, except maybe it was during a warm stretch and I ran the AC more often and the rest of the room was hotter. (The tank has a cooler, so the temps don't get above 70F) The symptoms are that their antennae become shortened or half-broken off, and they become lethargic. Sometimes they can stay in this state for a few weeks before finally keeling over. In the meantime, everybody else is doing just fine.
A while ago, I isolated one of the shrimp in a quarantine tank and treated it with Maracyn 2 (minocycline) for 4 days. It seemed to work, as afterwards that shrimp returned to activity. But unfortunately a few weeks later it became sick again, and another shrimp also got the same symptoms. (Antennae became shortened for a few days first, then became inactive)

So at this point I can either isolate both shrimp and treat them again, or just treat the whole tank.

I would rather not do the latter because everybody else is doing fine and I read conflicting reports on whether Maracyn 2 will nuke the filter bacteria.
Is there anything else I can add to the tank to be more anti-bacterial or preventative?
I already have low pH (6.0), low temps (68F), some Indian Almond leaves (not that much, tho), and I change 20% the water every 1-2 weeks.
Other things I can think of doing are: Dr. Tim's Eco Balance, Melafix, regular H2O2 treatments, some different kinds of food, etc?

Tank parameters: pH = 6, NH3 , NO2, NO2 = 0, GH=5, KH=0, temp=67-69F

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jayc
1 hour ago, beanbag said:

Other things I can think of doing are: regular H2O2 treatments

Can you get your hands on a Sochting Oxydator?

I would try this first. You can treat the whole tank. The increased oxygen will help the shrimps and fights bacteria. Increased oxygen has been shown to fight Gram Negative and Positive bacteria.

 

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beanbag

I think I can get one.  But I already use an airstone anyway...

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jayc
57 minutes ago, beanbag said:

But I already use an airstone anyway

Airstones don't increase the oxygen level as much as an oxydator. 

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beanbag

Update / summary on this situation:

Shrimp #1 gets broken antennae and becomes lethargic.

Treat in quarantine tank with minocycline and it seems to recover for two weeks.

Then gets slow again a few days before molting, then molts, still inactive 2 days later, goes into quarantine again but this time minocycline can't save it.

Shrimp #2 seems to be going along the exact same path.  It is now in quarantine again and being treated with a different antibiotic (kanamycin), but it doesn't seem to be working.

In between, I added the Oxydator and an alder cone to the tank.  I can't really tell if it is doing anything or not, but it did not prevent shrimp #2 from getting sick again.  It seems like either the minocycline treatment needs to be longer than 5 days, or a different treatment is needed.

 

Edited by beanbag
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sdlTBfanUK

Thanks for the update!

Are any new shrimp showing any symptoms?

How many shrimp are in the tank now, is everything else going well in the Taiwan Bee tank?

Simon

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beanbag

RIght now it's hard to tell.  These last few months, the tank has also been experiencing streaks of "good days" where everybody is active, and "bad days" where things are just kind of quiet.  One other shrimp, which otherwise seems to be doing well, has an antenna that is 3/4 body length, so shorter than usual, but maybe not short enough to cause alarm yet.  I am keeping an eye out. 

The tank right now has 4 of my original shrimp (11 months old now) , about 10 from the first batch of babies (8 months old now) and only 1 baby from a batch 2 months ago.  I think I got what I wanted and the shrimp don't seem to be breeding.   The original batch of shrimp only had babies once and then decided that was enough.  The second generation had young females that got berried, but ejected their eggs after a few days.  Now that I think about it, this second generation seems to be growing much slower than the first.  Hmmm...

The only changes to this otherwise successful tank these last few months that I can think of is:

warmer weather, so maybe new bacterial are falling in?

I am surrounded by fires on three sides and the air quality hasn't been very good, but that's just this last month.

The pH has been slowly creeping up - initially it was a little below 6 and now it is a little above.  Maybe the substrate is running out.  Time to add more alder cones?  Or I could just literally add new substrate.

Edited by beanbag
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sdlTBfanUK

Thanks for the update and as you say you don't need to worry about the tank getting over populated at the moment, which you were concerned about some time ago. Any environment can only support so many anyway! 

I have been following the news about the california wildfires. My brother used to live in Laguna beach so I love California, but he now lives in Florida. I really hope you will get through the fires without any problems, saw on news today over 4m acres destroyed so far, not good! You obviously have more to worry about at the moment than changing aquarium substrate????? I don't think just over 6 PH would be a problem anyway, though if you are using RO water and it is rising it may be that there is something in the tank causing that, I had rock that did that. I would just keep an eye on the PH for now and maybe remove anything you suspect to be increasing  the PH.

It does sound as though something isn't quite right though if they were breeding but aren't any more, it can't be the winter break obviously as it started in summer. I have read that the females may drop the eggs if they aren't fertised but I would have thought you should have some males with about 15 shrimps?

Simon

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beanbag

Thanks for the reply.  I am not too worried about the fires for myself, since I live in the flatlands away from the forests.  I am more sad about the people who had their homes destroyed or some of the state parks that got burned down.  The good news is that a lot of the old redwood trees are "used to fires" so they survived and it gives their seeds a chance to sprout.  Mainly the problem for me is the bad air that has lingered here for about a month now.

So regarding my tank, I haven't added or removed anything, so I still think the slight pH rise is due to substrate wearing out.  I'm not that worried about the actual pH, but wonder what has changed about this tank over the last few months.  I think the first half year or so everything was great.  But sometimes around the summer (may / june) it would start getting stretches of "bad days" where the shrimp would just quietly stand around.  Those periods seemed to come and go, but the problem is worse now.  I suspect, but can't prove, that it's something that is coming in thru the air, since the first time it happened my neighbor was having a BBQ and my room was smelling a little bit smoky.  The other times it happens I can't trace it to doing anything, except maybe the room was warm and I was running the air conditioner or fan. 

So since I can't find any cause, the only thing I can try doing is water changes.   I also turned off the air stone, but I do have a little device that lets one bubble per second into my water pump so there is always a small stream of bubbles.  I also added a Sotching oxydator, but it only seems to bubble with the lights on.

I had some other idea, which is that the biological balance of this tank became "off" somehow.  Like there is not enough or the right kind of biofilm.  Maybe the first batch of babies were very hungry and ate all of it away, or I might have nuked it with the H2O2 treatments.  I started dosing small amounts of fertilizer since some of the plants were getting holes in the leaves anyway.  Maybe I should also dose nitrifying bacteria, or some of that probiotic bacteria?  Oh, I had also reduced lighting at some point to prevent hair algae, so maybe time to add more again?

That one shrimp's antenna seem to be getting a tiny bit shorter every day, although still active and grazing around.  But it is probably doomed to the same fate as the others unless I find a better treatment.  Poor guy.

But in other tank news, my old and neglected Amano tank with the overgrown moss wad seems to be doing well.  I moved one of my juvies there in June as a test, and that shrimp is thriving.  It happily grazes the moss every day and grew up quickly to a large size.  The juvies in my tank with the problems seem to grow up much slower.  I'm trying to figure out what really are the differences between these two tanks, but that is a topic for another day.

Edited by beanbag
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sdlTBfanUK

I assume you are still using Bacter AE for the help with the biofilm etc?

I would try putting in a piece of some commercial food if you have any, big enough so that you can remove it easily enough, and see if the shrimps go to it, if there is enough biofilm they wil probaby ignore it but if they are hungry they should go to it?

My shrimp were definitely affected by the weather and being the UK that can change dramatically daily. They would be less active on a bright sunny day (even though they were no where near a window) and less would  be visable when sunny.

If the one you transferred to the other tank is doing really well maybe you shoud transfer a few more young ones to that tank, and when they grow bigger you can transfer them back?

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK

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beanbag

The tank still hasn't gotten out of the slump yet despite 2 15% water changes and good air quality this last week.  A few things I have noticed is that after a dose of Bacter AE, the shrimp become active for half a day or more, and similarly with a H2O2 dose.  I also took out the Oxydator since it didn't seem to make much difference.

One of my original shrimp died (11 months with me plus a few beforehand), although it was starting to look old and decrepit anyway.  Another one of the original shrimp seemed to have gotten sick for a week but then recovered?  So definitely "something" happened, but I have no idea except for the recent bad air.

It seems that one more Shadow Panda / BKK also got the short antenna symptoms, although still active.  The other one that already had it seems to have slowed down now.

Looking back at my notes, I think these SP / BKK never did well in this tank, so now I wonder if it is bacterial or even genetic.  When I first set up this tank, I got a pair of BKK from one breeder, and they did fine but one suddenly died after 6 weeks with the only symptom being somewhat curly but not short antenna.  Then about 4 months later, the other one died with the short antenna.  Neither of them grew up larger than a small size.  And now, starting about 2 months ago, my own BKK / SP, which were born in this tank and did fine for 7-8 months, have been going one by one.  Of these, only 1 or 2 grew up to be a large size.  (They are probably female).  From the same batch of babies, the blue bolts are doing fine and have long antennae that are 1.5x body length.

I reinstalled the pH meter, and it reads about a half point higher than when the tank was new.  (6.0 to 6.5 now) So lower pH is supposed to be more anti-bacterial, but I don't know at this point if only 0.5 makes that much of a difference.  I might just end up dosing the entire tank with minocycline if this bacteria is endemic.  Some people on another shrimp forum claim that it doesn't kill off the filter bacteria.

I've also been thinking of transferring another shrimp to the Amano tank.  It depends if I want to have shrimp babies in that tank, and if I would be willing to risk the health of those shrimp.  Don't want to mess up a good thing, ya know.

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