View Full Version : Red Cherry Shrimp Issues

06-17-2016, 09:44 AM
I am attempting to setup a 5 gallon, cycled tank as a shrimp tank. I wanted to start with RCS as everything I have read said that they are easy way to get into shrimp. I order a batch of 10 from theshrimpfarm.com and received them 2 days later. One did not survive the trip, so I removed it, floated the bag for 15 min, then drip acclimated with 2-3 drips per second until I had doubled the bag water, removed half and repeated the process. I then floated again for 15 min, and carefully netted the shrimp and placed them in the tank. I ended up losing 1-2 per day until the last one died on the seventh day. I thought I may have not had good luck with this batch depending on how long they were exposed to the deceased shrimp during shipping.

I tested the water parameters before adding the shrimp and they were Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrate between 5-10 with the temperature at 80%.

I then talked to the LFS who suggested to try acclimating a different way. I did a 50% water change after the last shrimp death, waited a few days and then checked that the parameters were still good. I added 3 additional RCS and this time I opened the bag while floating in the tank, and every 30 min added a shot glass of tank water to it for the next four hours, then carefuly netted and added to the tank. I lost one after a day and the second after 3-4 days. I still have the one remaining shrimp who will have been in the tank a week tomorrow.

The tank is also planted with some java ferns, crypts, moss, and dwarf sags with some driftwood. The tank was previously used to house a beta before it was moved to a bigger tank after 5 months. The only inhabitant besides for the one shrimp remaining is a nerite snail. My PH out of the tap is 7.2. I do not not have any lead planter weights, etc in there.

Any ideas on what I should investigate next or what to do differently? I have not tested for copper or the water hardness but if need be I can go that route as well.

06-17-2016, 11:06 AM
I would check copper, but I do not really suspect it will show problem, given that you have a live shrimp and snail in the tank. IMO, 80 deg F is a little high for the shrimp, as mine seem to be happier a little cooler than that. One quick thing, are you sure that you have been pulling dead shrimp versus molts? A molt will look a lot like a shrimp, but be translucent instead of opaque. It sounds like you have a good number of places to hide in there. Once they molt, shrimp tend to hide for a bit until their new shells harden.

06-17-2016, 11:17 AM
From everything I've read, shrimp in the 1/2" size range survive shipping the best. What size are the ones you're getting in? I'd also try and get the shrimp locally. I've occurred similar losses on some Royal Blue Caridina's that I've had shipped to me.

Also, what temp is your tank? My RCS seem to do real well at 72F.

06-17-2016, 11:44 AM
When you say you cycled the tank "as a shrimp tank" are you cycling it using the Cherry shrimp?

Also I agree with what Tang Fan posted... we don't stock anything too small for cherry shrimp. They are being mass bred in very large numbers now so there is a lot of die off on the smaller ones. We stock close to full size on our cherry shrimp...

12+ @ $2.50ea
20+ @ $2.00ea

and we will replace anything you lose =)

06-17-2016, 03:01 PM
What's about KH and GH? I am reading an article (tfh magazine) about this as we speak and suggest that is could be a reason as well.

06-17-2016, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the responses so far.

For the heater, I am using a hydor set at 71 but the tank seems to stay at 78-80. Any suggestions an alternative heater.

Size of the shrimp in the first batch were tiny, around 1/4 in maybe. Second batch is at the 1/2 or slightly larger.

For the molting, I am sure they are dead. I just walked into the room now and my last remaining shrimp is next to a molt, and it is as you described.

The tank was already cycled and has had the nerite in it for a bit. I simply removed the beta, rescaped, and did a big water change, waited a few days, tested parameters and added the shrimp.

aXio, I will be sure to stop by as soon as I get an idea of what is going on with them

06-17-2016, 03:04 PM
Do you use a fertilizer or other water additive? Copper would be my first guess too. 80 is high for shrimp even for RCS. I would stay at 75 or below unless your house is that warm. I have kept RCS at room temps before and they had no problems with a wide range of temps all the way up to 80 in the summer. My other shrimp could not handle that but the RCS did fine.
When I acclimate shrimp I test the water for TDS and if it is close I just net them and toss them onto the tank. I use Salty Shrimp GH+ to bring the TDS in most of my shrimp tanks to 120 to 150. I do not use Equilibrium in shrimp tanks. I have heard shrimp do not do well with it.

06-17-2016, 04:09 PM
Have never tested GH / KH. I will look into that as well, thanks. I have not used any ferts in this take except for a few months back I used some equilibrum for a month.

So I have the following as items to investigate:
1. lower temp
2. test GH / KH / TDS / Copper
3. Check for 1/2 or larger when purchasing

Appreciate all of the feedback.

06-17-2016, 09:34 PM
To add to the above:
In case you don't want to buy a testing kit, almost all fish stores offer free water testing, even the big box store will do it.

06-17-2016, 10:23 PM
80F is way too high for regular shrimps (blue, orange, red cherry, red rilis etc). That is why in the summer, shrimps have a tendency to die more. Ideally, as others mentioned here, less than 75 is best. During winter, I do not heat my shrimps tanks and they do well at 68 - 72 and the population explodes then.

I put some culled blue shrimps in a "malawi tank water" (ph 8+, very hard water) 6 months ago and they are doing fine. Last year, I lost most of my shrimps on 4 different tanks for no apparent reason, until I realized it was the temperature, unless the Atlanta water changes in the summer as well.

06-18-2016, 03:52 PM
Thanks guys, purchased a new heater and hopefully I can get the temps down. Once that is down, I will go have my water tested and give it one more final try.

06-18-2016, 05:13 PM
RCS do not need a heater at all in GA.

07-01-2016, 01:51 PM
Got the temps down between 70 and 72 depending on the time of day. Had premier aquatics test the water and added two RCS today. Will report back how they do.

07-05-2016, 07:51 PM
Lost 1 of the 2 RCS I added. Was doing fine yesterday and this morning his color was faded and on its back. Confirmed it was not a molt. Water parameters are fine and the tank temp is still 70-72. The remaining shrimp is active and running around the tank.

07-12-2017, 02:24 PM
EDIT - didn't realize this was a 2016 thread. My bad...

(Just wondering how your remaining guy is doing. I'm having a similar problem, bought 6 RCS on July 1 and for sure lost one about a week ago and another yesterday. I've only seen two or three swimming around at a time so I'm not sure that I haven't lost more, but the ones that I do see look healthy... As for the dead ones..hey are definitely not molts. I can't figure out the problem, I put them in a well established tank with peacock gudgeon and ramshorns. I've seen the peacock gudgeon pick at the dead shrimp, but they definitely dont attack the live ones and arent really big enough to do any serious damage... My temp is also a bit high, so I'm going to try lowering that to see if that helps, but I was curious to see if you resolved your situation.)