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Shrimp Diseases and Diagnosis


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They do seem to be a bit pinkish...maybe you purchased from too many different people and added the shrimp to the same water (that is tanks that share the same water)?

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  • 4 months later...

Anti bacterial treatments

Here are some natural remedies for suspected bacterial infections.

These treatments have been know to work for some people, and is safe for use in your shrimp tank.

Antibacterial - Crack Willow bark
The bark of the Crack Willow tree was used as an antibacterial treatment. It's not so absurd, as tree bark is know to have antibacterial properties.
Either Fresh or Dried bark.
2-3 strips of bark 5cm x 2cm.
Change pieces of bark after 2 weeks. And discontinue treatment after 4 weeks.

However, shrimp that might already be infected will still die.

Barks of other trees could also be used, but ensure that it is as clean as possible, there is no sap, and isn't showing signs of rot (as that indicates the tree is weakened and lacking antibacterial properties itself).

Can be supplemented with an treatment that is eaten below to treat internally.

Antibacterial - Fennel greens
The green fresh leaves of the fennel bulb can be fed dried or blanched.
Works as an antibacterial treatment internally.
As with all fresh food sources, remember to wash well, and ensure it's free of pesticides.

Antifungal - Black or Green Tea

(Important: Do NOT use flavoured tea blends. Tea from organic or health food stores preferred)

Tea contains antibacterial and fungicidal tannins.
Green tea is especially preferred, as varieties like Bancha or Kukicha are low in caffeine and green tea on average contains more polyphenols than Chinese teas.

Pour tea as usual, and either drink or discard the first infusion. Only use the 2nd or 3rd infusion.
1ml of tea to 1L of aquarium water.
25% water change after 2 days. Add more tea to the water change adjusting the tea amount to the water changed. So if you change 1L of water add another 1ml of tea.

Alternatively you can use a green tea bag. Infuse tea bag for half a minute, and either drink or discard the first infusion.
Then hang the tea bag in the tank. Note: if the tea bag is made of paper, it might either dissolve or get eaten by shrimp. So check often to ensure the contents aren't going to spill into your tank.

Anti bacterial/Fungicidal - dried walnut leaves, dried oak leaves or dried banana leaves
Like Indian Almond leaves, these leaves offer the same antibacterial and fungicidal treatments by releasing tannins, essential oils and humic acids.

3 leaves to 100L of water.
Leaves can remain till it's eaten or dissolved.
Harvest leaves that are dried naturally during the change in seasons.

Edited by jayc
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Anti bacterial / Anti Fungal treatments part 2

Antibacterial + Antifungal - Edible flowers.

Read this post. Couldn't improve on it, even if I wrote it myself. :P

Antibacterial + Antifungal - Cinnamon sticks

Releases essential oils and tannins.
Dose 1 cinnamon stick bought from health food stores (not cinnamon sticks for decorations) of about 5-7cm per 20L of water volume. The sticks can remain in the tank after treatment. Or remove it if it does not match your decoration tastes.

Antibacterial + Antiparasitic - Salt bath
Already discussed earlier in this sticky.
Salt bath with aquarium salts. Be careful not to use table salt with Iodine. Pure Sea water rock salts are also ok.
Dosage: 1 teaspoon to 1 cup (250ml) of clean tank water (not tap water) prepared as an external bath (do not pour directly into your tank).
Duration: 30sec to 1 minute. You might need to repeat this a couple of times

Try not to dose your main tank directly, but instead, remove the problematic shrimp and treat outside the main tank.

Preventative fungal or bacterial infections and assisting in moulting

Dried Indian Almond Leaves, Oak Leaves and to a lesser extent Beech leaves contain humic substances that are slightly antibacterial and anti-fungal.
Only dried and brown leaves of deciduous trees should be used.
No ornamental trees or house plants should be used.
An added benefit these leaves serve is that they are another food source the shrimp can eat.

Alder cones contain fulvic acids (humic substances), buffer the pH at about 6 to 6.5, have a slightly anti-bacterial and fungicidal properties.
For those of you who might be lucky enough to be able to source alder cones in Australia, and you don't mind the tannins produced, you have a good source of natural fulvic acids.
As an added benefit, alder cones can be eaten by shrimp too.

Edited by jayc
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  • 6 months later...

Handbook of Shrimp Diseases


Older material (1995) for marine shrimp in aquaculture but the content is still relevant and might be useful for diagnosis.


I was interested in comparing milky tissue resulting from muscle necrosis (not transmittable to other shrimp) vs microsporidia (a parasite that infects muscle tissue and is transferable to other shrimp)..  I had a couple of milky shrimp that I was just letting live on... now culled to play it safe.

Edited by Grubs
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Anti bacterial / Anti Fungal treatments part 3


Antibacterial + Antifungal - The guava leaf.


The guava tree carries with it a little known fact. It has active ingredients in its leaves which fights against bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Clostridium, and more.

In the freshwater shrimp tank, guava leaves have been proven to prevent and eliminate the notorious gram-negative bacilli, facultative anaerobe bacteria, which are generally considered to be opportunistic pathogens-causing disease when shrimp are stressed.

Add it to the tank much like you would Indian Almond Leaves, dried or fresh.




Antibacterial + Antifungal - The banana leaf.


Similar to the above guava leaf, but from the banana tree dur:indifferent_:.  



Antibacterial, Antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic :

Oregano oil contains many phytochemicals that have been studied for their health benefits. The main one that we will look at is:

Carvacrol — a monoterpenoid phenol giving oregano its warm pungent odour.

Medicinal actions include: antimicrobial, antitumor, antimutagenic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties. In other words - good for preventing bacteria, tumors, cancer, pain, inflammation and parasites.

Carvacrol is considered one of the most active components of oregano oil.

This oil has it all, being able to treat a wide variety of ailments from Bacterial, fungal, Viral and Parasitic. 

How to use: Carvacrol can come in many varying strengths, from 70% to 100%. Dilute it at roughly 1 drop to 5ml of water, and Soak it in some food for the ingestion (internal bacteria) or drop some in the water for external infections. Be sure to treat this outside of the tank, as Carvacrol is very likely to also kill beneficial bacteria.

It is very important to dilute the oil, as it is very potent.

Edited by jayc
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Cheers Keego.


Doing what I can to keep this info relevant and updated.

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Ok, so I thought I'd contribute to this thread & share a pic & info from a friend of the forum Chris Lukhaup, should help people ID some problems with this excellent quality macro shot.

1. Vorticellidae

2. Fungus

3. Ramularia/Cephalosporium

4. Some kind of parasitic worm(not sure what family it belongs to)


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Excellent article jayc, great effort. Thanks to everyone who contributed. BTW I have been feeding Dandelion leaves (blanched and frozen) and the shrimp love them. Now I'll try some flowers too. 

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Unblanched flowers make an excellent holiday food too.

They last for many days before it either disappears from shrimp eating it, or it turns to mush.

Edited by jayc
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Is very good thread. I have lost a couple of berried girls and juveniles this week. Am paranoid cause I can't do a water change until Friday as I'm on night shifts.

Edited by OzShrimp
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  • 3 weeks later...

I think this RCS I found about an hour ago might have a bacterial infection, also possibly a fungal infection on her face, moulting issues due to low gh (3) kh0 & ph 6.4 Tds is 413 and thankfully ammonia, nitrite & nitrate 0, and has a possible leach, hole in her shell or something else on 1 side. I found lots of crud and gunk amongst and under the peacock moss (filled a 4litre icecream tub) when I removed it tonight and 2 recently deceased RCS with similar black spots on them. Some of our other RCS are developing darker patches on their caraprice as well.


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If you have UV sterilizer, turn in on immediately to limit fungal spores spreading. As most fungal treatment has copper trace elements, be careful what you use. I can't remember what's it's called but there's an organic solution to treat fish with fungal infections without copper. I'll check when I get home and let you know.

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Thank you Sprae :-)

I'm pretty sure I've got an outbreak of Chitinolytic bacterial disease, Shell disease, Brown spot disease, Black spot disease, Burned spot disease, Rust disease: in the tank and it's what's killing them though. A lot of the shrimo have developed browny/black patches on their caraprice. I just typed up a reply to my other post about it, but my routers crashed and it looks like I lost it. Basically I'll be doing a 30% water change and gravel vacc and topping it back up with RO water mixed with Salty Shrimp gh&kh+, adding some dandelion leaves and flowers, replacing the IAL and dosing the tank with Levamisole HCL (Big Al's pig and poultry wormer). I've decided to use the levamisole after reading this article, sorry can't copy the title so here's the link

http://www.sciencepub.net/researcher/research0303/13_4867research0303_82_85.pdfand I've decided it's worth trying in the hope it'll help.

Tds has been a problem in this tank since day dot and I didn't think the gh & kh would be so low as I top the tank up with 10+ litres of RO water mixed with Salty Shrimp gh&kh+ every 5-7 days

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      I would add that boiling discourages natural decomposition and would likely break down the antifungals present in the bark, letting the fungus actually grow.
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    • sdlTBfanUK
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