Sad News

One of the shrimp was found dead this evening. [Note: I wrote this on April 27, but didn't hit publish till morning] He was sitting on top of  a pile of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) on top of the substrate (aquarium soil, specifically Fluval Stratum) He was pale compared to the others but not clear like an empty molt.  I sat watching him for quite a while noting that he didn't seem to be moving at all. Not a leg moved, not a twitch of an antenna. I reached in after a while with a long pair of tweezers and disturbed the cyanobacteria covered substrate, and the shrimp didn't move. I watched him for a while longer and one of the others came over and nudged him, he fell over on his side, I watched a while longer and he didn't move. He was dead.
I tested the water and found that we had a pH of 7.2 (up from 6.8 a few days ago) and some ammonia (.25ppm) some nitrite (.1ppm), and some nitrate (1ppm)
1ppm nitrate is fine, but the ammonia and nitrite are higher than I was expecting.

I have done a 20% water change and added some bacteria supplement to try and reduce the ammonia and Nitrite. Water changes are challenging in a populated shrimp tank. I had to have Anna help by holding a net over the end of the hose so that no shrimp could accidentally get sucked up. I will have to switch to using just a small diameter air line hose with an intake sponge or pantyhose over the end, even though that will take longer, just for the peace of mind.

I also noticed some detritus worms on the glass. I think the problem (or part of it) was that I fed them some fish flakes in a bowl last night, but forgot to remove it before I went to bed. The rotting food I think pushed the water parameters to swing a little more than that shrimp could take.

I'm officially down 2 now, this shrimp and the one who died before going into the tank. I look at it as natural selection though. Of course, I want to keep them all alive, but the remaining shrimp ought to be the strongest, most resilient of the group. When those breed they will pass on the best genes of the lot. I see one who has developed a very prominent saddle and she is quite active. I anticipate that it won't be too long till she's pregnant and a little while after that there ought to be 20-30 little itty-bitty baby shrimp, so I am optimistic that we will soon enough have an increase in shrimp population to make up for these 2 early deaths.

[Edit: As LupDiesel (Rob) says in this video , you can expect some deaths in the first month. The worst thing to do is react by changing things, unless every shrimp is dieing off. It's to be expected that a few of the weaker shrimp won't make it through the adjustment to a new tank, and the frequent molting that happens at this stage. Believe me, I'm pretty familiar with that, every shrimp in the tank has had at least one molt already and they've only been in there a week. I am looking forward to when I can share stories about new baby shrimp though.]


Popular posts from this blog

The Fishy Lens

How Did We Get a Shrimp In The 65 Gallon Tank?

Christmas time, and everyone is getting into the spirit of the season