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beanbag

Was this bacterial infection, or something else?

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beanbag

Hello folks,

Sadly, I lost another shrimp today.  I'll try to make this not TLDR, but still provide info.

When I first got this guy, it was pretty active for the first 2-3 weeks and gradually tapered off in activity.  It died after 6 weeks.  Previously it had periods of inactivity, usually the day before and after a molt, and then would resume activity.  When it goes inactive, it will usually stay in one spot for a long time, but still occasionally scratch it's back, rub it's face, swing it's arms around, etc but wouldn't eat.  The last time I saw this guy eat was about 3-4 days ago.  I wasn't too worried about it's inactivity afterwards because I figured it was about to molt, or recently did, or whatever.  Even today it was moving around a little bit and looked physically fine (that's what I recall, but I can't be sure I looked super carefully).  By the time I noticed that it was a bit pink-looking under the white, it had really slowed down, ignored it's surroundings, and died within a few hours.  (less than one hour after putting in the quarantine container)  The picture I have here is while it was still alive, but extra inert.  There's also this little black spot on it's side, which I don't remember from before.

Parameters seem ok - Ammonia, nitrite 0, nitrate prob less than 5 ppm, temp 72F, KH 0-1, GH approx 6

pH had slowly crept up to 6.7-7.0, but then I added some new substrate a few days ago, and brought it back down to 6.6-6.8.

Maybe my tank got too grungy, but not sure.  I usually do a 15% water change every 2-3 days because otherwise GH starts to rise.  However, I had left for Thanksgiving break (only gone 4 days) but there were probably bits of leftover food and moldy leaf bits around.  Plus the floating plants and mosses were getting over-grown and  making the place dark and crowded.  About two days ago I did a round of plant trimming and gravel vac.  Maybe it "kicked up" stuff, I dunno.  Just trying to throw things out here.

The deceased CRS had a tank "brother" from the same store, same size, molts at almost the same time, etc.  He also got inert a few days ago, but seems to have at least partially recovered and sometimes walks around the tank and picks at things.  Other tank mates are two Amanos and two neos which alternate between camping and zooming around the tank.

Today when I realized there may be a problem I added some more Almond leaf, as well as some of the water from the boiling, which dropped the pH a little more to 6.6.  Also added a little H2O2, lowered the temp to 70F, but obviously these were too late.

Questions:  Does this sound like bacterial infection, or something else?

What preventative things can I do for the tank now, e.g. Melafix or some other procedures?

Should I be substrate vacuuming more?

In case the other CRS shrimp comes down with something , what medicine do you suggest?  I looked thru the other thread and saw suggestions like tetracycline, other antibiotics, oregano oil, etc.  It doesn't look pink yet.

Unfortunately, my diagnosis is complicated by the fact that my shrimp aren't always grazing all the time, so just because somebody "camps" for a while doesn't mean they're doomed.  And by the time I notice the "doom lethargy" it's too late.

IMG_20181208_013304.jpg

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sdlTBfanUK

So sorry to hear you are still having problems, I feel for you as I have been there. You must have a great camera to get pictures that blown up and detailed.

I really hope someone much more experienced than I can give you some useful advice, but will throw in my 2 cents in the hope that it may be helpful, but I am no expert.

The only comments from what I have read of your posts to date is that the shrimp came from a poor source as the water parameters were so far out I'm amazed they survived at all and to then adjust to your correct parameters would have been very stressful. Caridina shrimp are so much harder to keep than cherry shrimp and you may have been making it worse, in affect 'killing them with kindness' with all the water changes and adjusting various parameters as soon as there may be a problem - I am assuming that you have a very small tank (I see your cherrys are in a 1 gallon tank?), and these are notoriously difficult to keep everything stable enough, especially for the more sensitive caridina type? I had a 15 Litre before my current tank (which I ran for 6 months before upsizing) and with that I did 1 Litre water change per week (mainly to get water to clean the sponge in) and that all went well (so about 7% per week).  If you added some more substrate recently and it was the soil type and not 'used' then that may have caused a spike maybe??Guess?? Are you dripping the new water into the tank when you do your water changes???? I don't know anything about illness or disease so can't comment on that. Might you be overfeeding, if you only have 2 or 3 shrimps in a tank they may not 'need' extra feeding over what is already in the tank ??Guess??

As I say, really sorry to hear you're still having problems and I hope you get to the bottom of it soon.

Simon

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beanbag

Hi Simon,

Your questions are really helpful as they bring up a bunch of stuff that I didn't mention, but might be important.

The picture came from a Google Nexus 5x with one of those clip-on macro lenses.  But I think the best way to get good pictures is to have adequate lighting.

As for the source, yes it was terrible, but I figure that if the shrimp seem active and fine after a few days or a week, you can't really blame the source anymore.  Or are shrimp really just a time bomb with a long fuse?

yes, I have a very small 1.x gallon desktop tank.  BUT! I have a thermometer and heater which keeps the temperature stable to +/- 0.4F when the heater pulses on and off.  AND! I have a pH meter in the water, so I know that the day-to-night pH fluctuations are only about 0.2.  (I don't use CO2)  HOWEVER! If I don't do anything, the GH will rise about 1 point per week (a bit more than due to evaporation alone) and the TDS... well, it used to go up about 10-20 ppm per week, but recently it's been heading back downwards to match the water I put in.

Right, so the water I put in is Reverse Osmosis water + salty shrimp remineralizer + a little extra pure RO water to counteract the rising GH.  So it is not an exact match to the TDS and GH, but rather tries to prevent them from rising more.  I make sure the temperature of the incoming water matches, and then I add it (usually about 0.5L total) with a big syringe over the course of a few minutes.

Regarding adding more substrate, I think it was about 2-3 tablespoons of well-rinsed new substrate, and this one doesn't leech ammonia.  I checked the ammonia and nitrite levels anyway, and they were still zero.  But maybe.  About a month ago, I had a cherry shrimp also do the "get inert, stop eating, and die" thing after I added some substrate.

Regarding feeding, unfortunately I have no idea if I am over or under feeding.  (Probably over) I don't think I am growing a biofilm "right".  In my water pump tubing I easily grow a thick and gross layer of translucent white brown-ish film which as far as I can tell from reading the internet is "biofilm".  However, I don't see the same thing in the tank.  I have only in the last month or so starting growing a brown film on the glass and some other bits.  But if the tank were coated with biofilm, wouldn't the shrimp be busy picking at everything?  What usually perks them up is if I add Bacter AE, and then they start running around picking at things.  Or when I add certain shrimp foods and then they eventually converge on it to eat.  In a way, I could be making things worse when I try to "perk up" an inactive shrimp by adding food, so maybe I should try starving them instead?

I just had the idea that maybe it wasn't a bacterial infection since when shrimp die, they turn kind of orange anyway, and maybe this shrimp was already "half dead"?

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jayc

image.png.c59a9c9f0de79b811c83835cbb5e85c1.png

This shrimp is certainly not well. It's got an internal infection. See the orangey-pinkish flesh. That should be more translucent and should not be that colour above.

It's almost definitely bacterial in nature. 

There shouldn't be that big a gap in healthy shrimp. So this shrimp might be having difficulties moulting as well as an infection. The infection could be a cause of the moulting problem, or vice versa, the moulting could be taking too much out of the shrimp causing it's immune system to drop an it caught an infection. 

Take steps to separate this shrimp from the main tank.

If you already have H2O2, then 1ml H2O2 per 4Liters of water for 5 days.

If you can get Oregano oil, then try that in some food, and in the water. 

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sdlTBfanUK
10 hours ago, beanbag said:

Hi Simon,

Your questions are really helpful as they bring up a bunch of stuff that I didn't mention, but might be important.

The picture came from a Google Nexus 5x with one of those clip-on macro lenses.  But I think the best way to get good pictures is to have adequate lighting.

As for the source, yes it was terrible, but I figure that if the shrimp seem active and fine after a few days or a week, you can't really blame the source anymore.  Or are shrimp really just a time bomb with a long fuse?

yes, I have a very small 1.x gallon desktop tank.  BUT! I have a thermometer and heater which keeps the temperature stable to +/- 0.4F when the heater pulses on and off.  AND! I have a pH meter in the water, so I know that the day-to-night pH fluctuations are only about 0.2.  (I don't use CO2)  HOWEVER! If I don't do anything, the GH will rise about 1 point per week (a bit more than due to evaporation alone) and the TDS... well, it used to go up about 10-20 ppm per week, but recently it's been heading back downwards to match the water I put in.

Right, so the water I put in is Reverse Osmosis water + salty shrimp remineralizer + a little extra pure RO water to counteract the rising GH.  So it is not an exact match to the TDS and GH, but rather tries to prevent them from rising more.  I make sure the temperature of the incoming water matches, and then I add it (usually about 0.5L total) with a big syringe over the course of a few minutes.

Regarding adding more substrate, I think it was about 2-3 tablespoons of well-rinsed new substrate, and this one doesn't leech ammonia.  I checked the ammonia and nitrite levels anyway, and they were still zero.  But maybe.  About a month ago, I had a cherry shrimp also do the "get inert, stop eating, and die" thing after I added some substrate.

Regarding feeding, unfortunately I have no idea if I am over or under feeding.  (Probably over) I don't think I am growing a biofilm "right".  In my water pump tubing I easily grow a thick and gross layer of translucent white brown-ish film which as far as I can tell from reading the internet is "biofilm".  However, I don't see the same thing in the tank.  I have only in the last month or so starting growing a brown film on the glass and some other bits.  But if the tank were coated with biofilm, wouldn't the shrimp be busy picking at everything?  What usually perks them up is if I add Bacter AE, and then they start running around picking at things.  Or when I add certain shrimp foods and then they eventually converge on it to eat.  In a way, I could be making things worse when I try to "perk up" an inactive shrimp by adding food, so maybe I should try starving them instead?

I just had the idea that maybe it wasn't a bacterial infection since when shrimp die, they turn kind of orange anyway, and maybe this shrimp was already "half dead"?

I'm glad that JayC has replied about the infection question. Being as sensitive as they are I am still amazed they didn't all die in the first few days as the shops water was so vastly different and out of range, but they may still have suffered a lot of stress which may have caused the infection??Guess?? Also threy don't live all that long (about 1 year to 1.5 years I believe) so if you bought adults you won't know how old they are AND I believe adults don't settle in to new water conditions as well as juveniles.

The part about topping up? You do top up with ONLY RO water do you, and not added GH+ as that will cause the TDS/GH to increase. You should only use the GH+ when you do a water change I believe.If you are remineralising to top up this may explain your parameter fluctuations? When water evaporates it leaves the dissolved solids behind! 

It can be difficult to judge the amount of food and Bacter ae to use, especially when it is a small tank with only a few occupants. I used to use a pin which I dipped into the tank a mm or so and then quickly into the food/bacter ae, then put the pin in the tank (I also do this in the fish tank as I use baby fish food which is a powder). I use a lot less than is recommended as that seems to be recommended by most people. I also have some snails and they probably help with any excess anything?

It may be wise to create some form of dripper for the new water, you can use a polystyrene container and put a pin through it, so the new water goes in at a more constant rate and slower. You can buy a proper dripper or there may be something else you can use, my dripper is a US one so probably easy to get or an alternative as JayC mentions on this link.

https://skfaquatics.com/forum/topic/14032-dripper/?tab=comments#comment-134522

I don't know much about the different substrates but I wouldn't have thought it is a good idea to just add some new as you did??another guess?? I would probably have soaked it in dirty tank water for at least a couple of weeks first, though as I don't know much about the substrates I probably wouldn't add any to a running setup with occupants?

I don't see biofilm in my tank (apart from a little on the sides/back (which I don't clean)) so I am not surprised you don't see any but expect it is there all the same! If it is in the filter system then it must be growing in the tank as well I assume? Being such a small tank I expect the greedy shrimp get to it before you see it!

It has been many years since I have seen a dead shrimp (other than on my dinner plate, yum) but I think the flesh always goes like a pink/cooked colour once they die - obviously some of my shrimp must be dying but I think the snails eat them before I get to see any bodies and they probably hide somewhere when they don't feel well as well.

Hope some of this is of some help so you can get to the sorted stage and just enjoy them. Don't get too deflated as you may have been in for problems anyway with shrimp that came from such bad water to start with and may have been adult already!

Simon

 

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beanbag

Jayc:

That shrimp already died.  I don't have pictures of it shortly before that, except to say that I didn't notice any pink-ness up to several hours beforehand.  (not saying that I'm sure it wasn't pink, only that it didn't stick out)  By the time I noticed it, I gave the whole tank 1ml / 1.x gal of H2O2 (same as the dose recommended by Mark's shrimp tank).  An hour after that I put it into quarantine, but it had already gone un-responsive and died within a half hour.

The shrimp had molted successfully at least a few times in this tank.  It might have molted recently, but I am not sure because some other shrimp are the same size, so I can't tell from the shell.

At the moment, I am concerned about the other CRS shrimp and the rest of the tank.  The deceased shrimp's "brother" seems less active than what I expect.  It moves from one spot to another about once a minute, but then either stands there motionless, or waves it's arms around like it's grooming its face or front legs or something.  However, I haven't seen it pick at anything, i.e. eat.  It's not pink on the inside.

What I'd like to do is improve the anti-bad-bacteria properties of the tank.  Is the dosing recommendation for the H2O2 and oregano oil something I can do to the whole tank?  Or maybe Melafix, which is some other tree oil.

Simon:

Yeah, I may as well make a dripper system.

So the substrate I have (Seachem Aquasolum) doesn't leech ammonia, but does do the "active substrate" thing, which is lower KH and release some humic and fulvic acid.  I'm having a hard time thinking of how this could possibly be worse than when others dump leaves, cones, bark, etc into the tank and they release tannins.  But ok, maybe this soil releases stuff that is bad for shrimp.  I don't see too many other people use it with shrimp, so...

Edit: ok, in full disclosure this ws not technically "fresh" substrate that I added.  What I did was take some fresh substrate and put it in a glass with water and let it soak for a while to test whether it released ammonia, what it did to GH, KH, pH, etc.  Then I put it in a ziploc in the fridge for about a month.  (coz why throw it away?)  Then a few days ago I took it out, rinsed it again, and put it in the tank.  I just mention this in cause somebody is gonna go "Ah Ha! Well no wonder..."

Edited by beanbag

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jayc
10 hours ago, beanbag said:

That shrimp already died.

That was a picture of it already dead?

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beanbag

Approx 2-3 hrs before it died

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jayc
On 10 December 2018 at 2:22 AM, beanbag said:

Is the dosing recommendation for the H2O2 and oregano oil something I can do to the whole tank?

yes. it can be done to the whole tank. But save some old filter media before dosing the whole tank.

Then add the old media back into the filter after 2days. Keep the old media in some tank water during the 2 days (aerate if you have an air pump).

That is just a precaution, in case the treatment kills your beneficial bacteria.

 

 

On 10 December 2018 at 2:22 AM, beanbag said:

Or maybe Melafix, which is some other tree oil.

Melafix is only effective on a specific strain of bacteria. And we don't know what bacteria is in your tank, if any.

 

 

Before trying any of the treatments above, try an 80-90% water change and drip in the new water to acclimatise the shrimp to the new water. The new water should be pre-adjusted to CRS specific parameters. I'd like to rule out any mineral deficiencies in your water. 

If you have driftwood and IAL, put a whole lot into the tank now to raise tannins and humic levels. This will give the water a certain level of antibacterial properties. Dried walnut and oak leaves can also be used to raise the tannin levels. The darker the water, the better. 

Feed the shrimp fresh leaves and flowers (not dried leaves). Blanch leaves, like Mulberry, banana leaves for no more than 4 minutes. Flowers can be given fresh. Dandelions, Rose, whatever flowers you have in the garden. Again these have antibacterial properties, but as food for the shrimp.

If you have a cinnamon stick, drop one into the tank.

If you have green tea, drink or discard the 1st infusion and add the rest into the tank. An old stocking or sock can be used to hold the loose tea leaves. If you have tea bags, it's easier to just dangle the used green tea bag into the water. 

Those are a few thing to try right now to raise the antibacterial properties of your tank. It's only temporary and can be removed once you see improvement in the shrimp. So don't worry if the tannins make your water too dark.

Edited by jayc
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beanbag

Thanks for the detailed reply.

I had already done these things earlier:

approx 15% water change.  My main water is RO + salty shrimp, and as I mentioned earlier, I used to have a slowly rising TDS and GH problem, so I always add in slightly diluted water.  However, I think the rising TDS issue recently stopped, so in the last few days, I "accidentally" dropped my GH from 6-7 into 5-6, and my TDS from 150's into 130's.

1/5th dose of Melafix (being very conservative here)

added more IAL + most of the tannic boil water

added a dried but non-boiled mulberry leaf

I'll try to get some kind of dripper set up to do a bigger water change.

In the meantime, I'm concerned about my other CRS (singular), which became inactive at around the same time as the deceased one.  (So probably they got zapped by the same thing)  It's not totally inactive, but usually moves from one spot to another every minute or so.  It often waves its front claws around and seems to rub or groom something on it's face or front legs, but I haven't seen it pick at anything (i.e. eat) in the last few days.  Didn't respond the Bacter AE dosing, and didn't respond to food placed elsewhere in the tank.  Have you seen this kind of behavior before?

I attach a picture here.  It's hard to tell if it is pink or not on the inside due to the lighting.  Sometimes the insides look like clear-gray, but if there is strong light from above, I think it goes thru the red part of their shell and reddens the internals.  Anyway, I am fairly sure that earlier today I saw gray-clear parts on the inside.  Edit: just now looked at the shrimp from the underside and it doesn't seem pink, at least in the tail section.  Edit2: no, wait maybe it is a little pink after all.  Dang, hard to tell.  Edit 3: Here's another picture with different lighting, and now the insides look like that clear-grey color

Regarding the oregano oil, I looked at the gill discoloration thread, and didn't see any recommendation for water column dosing, only food dipping.  But I am not sure this guy is going to eat if I put him in quarantine.

Looking back at my shrimp keeping notebook, the only two things that could of "zapped' the two CRS are me adding a few tablespoons more substrate, or when I trimmed some plants and stirred things up a lot.

IMG_20181209_235507.jpg

IMG_20181210_041125.jpg

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      Thanks for the detailed reply. I had already done these things earlier: approx 15% water change.  My main water is RO + salty shrimp, and as I mentioned earlier, I used to have a slowly rising TDS and GH problem, so I always add in slightly diluted water.  However, I think the rising TDS issue recently stopped, so in the last few days, I "accidentally" dropped my GH from 6-7 into 5-6, and my TDS from 150's into 130's. 1/5th dose of Melafix (being very conservative here) added more IAL + most of the tannic boil water added a dried but non-boiled mulberry leaf I'll try to get some kind of dripper set up to do a bigger water change. In the meantime, I'm concerned about my other CRS (singular), which became inactive at around the same time as the deceased one.  (So probably they got zapped by the same thing)  It's not totally inactive, but usually moves from one spot to another every minute or so.  It often waves its front claws around and seems to rub or groom something on it's face or front legs, but I haven't seen it pick at anything (i.e. eat) in the last few days.  Didn't respond the Bacter AE dosing, and didn't respond to food placed elsewhere in the tank.  Have you seen this kind of behavior before? I attach a picture here.  It's hard to tell if it is pink or not on the inside due to the lighting.  Sometimes the insides look like clear-gray, but if there is strong light from above, I think it goes thru the red part of their shell and reddens the internals.  Anyway, I am fairly sure that earlier today I saw gray-clear parts on the inside.  Edit: just now looked at the shrimp from the underside and it doesn't seem pink, at least in the tail section.  Edit2: no, wait maybe it is a little pink after all.  Dang, hard to tell.  Edit 3: Here's another picture with different lighting, and now the insides look like that clear-grey color Regarding the oregano oil, I looked at the gill discoloration thread, and didn't see any recommendation for water column dosing, only food dipping.  But I am not sure this guy is going to eat if I put him in quarantine. Looking back at my shrimp keeping notebook, the only two things that could of "zapped' the two CRS are me adding a few tablespoons more substrate, or when I trimmed some plants and stirred things up a lot.
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    • jayc
      yes. it can be done to the whole tank. But save some old filter media before dosing the whole tank. Then add the old media back into the filter after 2days. Keep the old media in some tank water during the 2 days (aerate if you have an air pump). That is just a precaution, in case the treatment kills your beneficial bacteria.     Melafix is only effective on a specific strain of bacteria. And we don't know what bacteria is in your tank, if any.     Before trying any of the treatments above, try an 80-90% water change and drip in the new water to acclimatise the shrimp to the new water. The new water should be pre-adjusted to CRS specific parameters. I'd like to rule out any mineral deficiencies in your water.  If you have driftwood and IAL, put a whole lot into the tank now to raise tannins and humic levels. This will give the water a certain level of antibacterial properties. Dried walnut and oak leaves can also be used to raise the tannin levels. The darker the water, the better.  Feed the shrimp fresh leaves and flowers (not dried leaves). Blanch leaves, like Mulberry, banana leaves for no more than 4 minutes. Flowers can be given fresh. Dandelions, Rose, whatever flowers you have in the garden. Again these have antibacterial properties, but as food for the shrimp. If you have a cinnamon stick, drop one into the tank. If you have green tea, drink or discard the 1st infusion and add the rest into the tank. An old stocking or sock can be used to hold the loose tea leaves. If you have tea bags, it's easier to just dangle the used green tea bag into the water.  Those are a few thing to try right now to raise the antibacterial properties of your tank. It's only temporary and can be removed once you see improvement in the shrimp. So don't worry if the tannins make your water too dark.
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