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Important to Watch Shrimp Activity During Acclimation Process

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KatieMacSC

My experience today with acclimating new shrimp shows me we need to watch them closely during the process. I received my shipment of Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) and immediately started slowly dripping a little of my stable and tested aquarium water into a glass bowl with the opened bag of shrimp and shipping water. They were all very active on arrival and the first half hour of periodic dripping, then they got very sluggish, lying in the bottom like they were dying. My aquarium nitrates and nitrites were close to 0, but I didn't check the water in the bag first. I used a test strip on the mixed water and found the nitrates had suddenly climbed to the 40-60 range.  I hadn't finished acclimating them yet, but with nothing to lose I scooped up the shrimp and put them immediately in my tank. They took a few minutes to recover, but soon they were happily swimming in my tank and seem to be fine. If anyone knows what could have happened between happy shrimp in the shipping bag to a fast nitrate climb while adding good water, I'd love to know....

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On 4/20/2018 at 3:44 AM, KatieMacSC said:

My experience today with acclimating new shrimp shows me we need to watch them closely during the process. I received my shipment of Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) and immediately started slowly dripping a little of my stable and tested aquarium water into a glass bowl with the opened bag of shrimp and shipping water. They were all very active on arrival and the first half hour of periodic dripping, then they got very sluggish, lying in the bottom like they were dying. My aquarium nitrates and nitrites were close to 0, but I didn't check the water in the bag first. I used a test strip on the mixed water and found the nitrates had suddenly climbed to the 40-60 range.  I hadn't finished acclimating them yet, but with nothing to lose I scooped up the shrimp and put them immediately in my tank. They took a few minutes to recover, but soon they were happily swimming in my tank and seem to be fine. If anyone knows what could have happened between happy shrimp in the shipping bag to a fast nitrate climb while adding good water, I'd love to know....

Hi Katie,

Seems like you really dodged a bullet here! Good thing you were watching your shrimp during the whole process, I'm guilt of just leaving them to drip by themselves for hours on end 😛 

Anyways, I have read that a reaction that occurs as soon as you open the shipping bag. When the shrimp are shipped, the low pH in the bag allows the Ammonia in the water to stay as its relatively harmless cousin Ammonium. However, once the bag is opened, the pH in the water increases rapidly and the Ammonium soon transits into the more toxic Ammonia resulting in Ammonia burns. I'm not sure if this translates directly to Nitrates as well though! Maybe someone with similar experience could help? 😄 

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