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Help! Ghost Shrimp sick with white/blue moldy head?


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Hey Guys, I'm hoping someone will be able to help me out. I am a first-time shrimp owner. Four days ago I came home to find that one of my poor ghost shrimp ladies has this weird blue/white moldy looking coloration on her head, primarily on her rostum. She is otherwise still moving around, eating normally, and not hiding. I've done some internet sleuthing (I was leaning towards possible vorticella or bacterial infection), but haven't yet found anything that fits the description and was hoping someone may have run into this before.

Link to pictures

- 5 gallon, long. Fully cycled, 2.5 months old
- Houses 4 ghost shrimp (all female), 1 betta, and approx 9 baby shrimp in a breeding net.
- Filter (sponge) + Heater.

Shrimp have been in the tank with no problem for about a month

Water Params (as of November 8, 2020)
- PH 8.2
- Amm: 0-0.25
- NI: 0
- NA: 5 ppm
- Temp: 78

Treatment so far:
Day 1: 50% WC, and dosed 6ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide (with filter removed).
Day 2: Did the same hydrogen treatment, with no change in the shrimp.
Day 3: Removed all of the plants from tank and dosed 4.5tbsp aquarium salt, with plans to do a PWC later in the week to slowly phase out the salt.
Day 4: 60 second salt dip (ratio of 1tbsp/cup) for all my shrimp and the above hydrogen peroxide treatment. I fear that whatever the white-ness is has spread to at least one other shrimp due to a noticeable color change in her legs and pleopods

Anyone have any idea what this is? I'm not sure if I should quarantine the sick shrimp or just treat the whole tank at this point, as I'm not sure if it's contagious.

Thank you in advance!

Edited by zeragee
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Sorry to hear you are having a problem. It isn't something I have seen before but it sounds like you have been doing the right treatments for the suspected problems! From the photo I'm not sure it is either of the suspected diseases.

I would probably just keep an eye on it for now if the shrimp is behaving normally. It may be nothing to worry about or just part of the shrimps usual cycle, getting ready to shed its shell etc, though I am clutching at straws here?

Sorry I can't be more help and I hope it just turns out to be nothing to worry about but let us know if there is any further developments.


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I don't think it's Muscular necrosis, which is an internal infection.

Zeragee's shrimp looks like it has an issue externally. 


Is the shrimp behaving actively? Eating, swimming, foraging actively?

Or is it lethargic and not moving much?


It could be a result of the high pH  -> which means high KH.


Edited by jayc
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Hey Guys! Thanks so much for your replies. It's now Day 6 and the shrimp have shown no change - neither good nor bad. They're still moving, eating, and acting normally.
The only hint that something may be off (minus that white/blue stuff!) is that their red bands have completely faded, and still haven't come back. They also sometimes look a bit wobbly when swimming or falling longer distances. I'll keep up the treatments for at least the next week and will try to find a way to slowly lower the PH in the tank - It's the only thing left that I can see that may be problematic (thanks @jayc)

Thank you to you all for your responses! Hopefully this journey will come out with a happy ending!

Edited by zeragee
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@zeragee have you noticed your shrimp moulting lately?

I wonder if that shrimp is trying to moult. I zoomed in on the picture you posted, and I don't think it is external. 

Lowering the pH with some RO or rainwater will help soften your water parameters and make moulting easier for the shrimp.

You can give that a try.

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On 11/14/2020 at 3:26 AM, jayc said:

@zeragee have you noticed your shrimp moulting lately?

I wonder if that shrimp is trying to moult. I zoomed in on the picture you posted, and I don't think it is external. 

Lowering the pH with some RO or rainwater will help soften your water parameters and make moulting easier for the shrimp.

You can give that a try.

I've only found 2 molts in the month that they've been in the tank. All but 1 of them laid eggs as well, not sure if that changes anything.

Two days ago I did a PCW and introduced the new, lower PH water via drip method. The PH is now hovering around 7.9, with another water change coming tomorrow that will hopefully put it closer to 7.6. I also gave the shrimp some blanched kale in hopes of helping build their exoskeleton in case it was external.
But overall, no change. Seems like more of the shrimp are showing symptoms, I may try to up the salt level and I'll keep treating with hydrogen peroxide and hope for the best.
Whatever it is, it's slow moving which may be the one highlight, but I had to see these poor little girls suffer.
Hopefully I'll round the corner at some point soon.

Thanks again for your help!

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