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Eliminating Copepods in Shrimp Tank


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I wanted to share this experience in the hopes it is helpful to others.  I have a 5 gal tank that I have had for a while...with Painted Fire RCS.  It was neglected (long story) and got down to one inhabitant.  I restocked from an online source only to find stowaway copepods that multiplied significantly.  When I notified the supplier they did indicate they have had some issues with copepods but were also dismissive to say "they are not harmful".  Well, that is true and it is not.  They may not pose a threat to the shrimp...but I do not maintain shrimp tanks to be infested with unwanted pests.  So I debated what to do including potentially starting up another tank...transferring shrimp and break down my main tank. Then I read that someone had some good luck with eliminating copepods with Chili Rasporas acting as assasins.  I was gonna go that route...but those are hard to come by and quite pricey...somewhere around $30 or so for a handful of fish.  So I decided to go a similar route with neon tetras and an albino cory.  The thinking was the cory would patrol the lower tank and the neons would take care of any copepods above.  I went to my LFS thinking I would get 3 neons....decided to up it to 5 cuz they like to school and the clerk inadvertantly got 7 in the bag and at $1.25 per or so I said sure just keep them.  I put the 7 neons and the sole albino cory into the shrimp tank after acclimating them all...and lets just say magic ensued.  Within hours I could barely see a copepod and previously they were everywhere.  Not wanting to risk the assasins eating shrimplets I transplanted 4 of the neons after about 12 hours and at 24 hours transplanted the remaining neons to leave the cory on duty.  Throughout this I did observe the neons going after copepods even some that were hiding in the substrate.  I plan to leave the cory in there for a while longer at which point I will decide whether to keep him there...but likely some point transplant him as well.  I will post updates on future developments...but the copepod infestation really bothered me and at the moment I am happy with the outcome. 

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Thanks for that information, very interesting. I had an infestation of seed shrimp (?) a few years ago, and the mosquito rasbora and killie I put in there did the same, but your fish would be safer with shrimps in the tank!

Simon

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Well....I spoke a bit too soon.  The cory is still in the shrimp tank and I have observed some copepods but far fewer than I had.  I have noticed they like to burrow in the substrate and have probably surfaced now that the neons are gone.  I will leave the cory in there for a while as he does seem to furrow into the substrate presumable searching for copepods.   If the cory can at least keep them in check I may leave him there and leave it at that.  But neons are on standby if things get out of hand again!  We shall see.

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      You may end up losing this batch entirely but then you can start completely fresh and get the aquarium set up right for the next batch of shrimp! If you do any large water changes then try and add the new water slowly, either dripper or some other way. You should get yourself a TDS meter (as JayC above), they are cheap and readily available. You should always use a GH tester kit as well with shrimps, if you do the 50% water change that should halve the GH so you should get a reading after that, or if you can get a local fish store to test it for you that will give you an idea of the GH. If your water supply is as hard as it appears it may be you will need to mull over how (or even IF) you want to keep shrimps as that may mean using RO or distilled/bottled water and buying a proper shrimp specific remineraliser? That will be quite expensive but you won't then have to mess about adding crushed coral/eggshells etc, but only you can decide whether you want to do/spend that much etc? If you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain, then you can use rain water? Also, as JayC states, you need to know what you are using/adding to the water and aquarium, ie fertilizers, rocks. Unless you have very exotic plants you shouldn't need any fertilizers. Just as a note, we have come across quite a few experienced fish keeprs that have this sort of start off issues with shrimp. Shrimp are more difficult than fish, and the aquarium and water etc need to be ready and within the required parameters before getting the shrimps. Usually people jump in, get the shrimps before everything is ready/sorted. Hopefully though you will keep at it, or if this lot die you will have another go and we can help you get it sorted?
    • jayc
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    • professionalshrimphugger
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    • sdlTBfanUK
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    • professionalshrimphugger
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