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

We've been having troubles with the neon tetras in the 65 gallon tank. They are sick. at first it looked like a body fungus as the dorsal fins would get a white fuzz on them then the fish got sick and started behaving erratically, having troubles staying upright, as if they had a swim bladder problem, they would swim off on their own away from the group and hover as if sleeping, but much more twitchy than when they sleep, and soon after the sick fish always died.

We've been separating the sick ones to try to minimize the spread, and treating both the main tank and the quarantine bucket with Tetra/Jungle Lifeguard (it is sold under the Tetra brand in some places and Jungle brand in others) but it is not helping. At the time I'm writing this we've lost 6 of 10 tetras. We bought them in groups of 5 from 2 different shops. As cliche as it might sound I think now that our Neon Tetras are dying of Neon Tetra disease (a parasite) and that is why the medication is not working. We don't know which group was sick first, but if they were not both sick I think it had to be the first group that spread it to the second. I suppose if we had quarantined the 2 groups for the first 2 weeks we'd have a better idea and might have saved some of them. the last one to pass away had severe tail rot and 2 of the remaining 4 look like they may go the same way as their tails are shrinking.

...but enough with the sad news. as I was trying to catch those 2 this morning (which I was unable to do, they are still fairly strong swimmers despite having lost some of their tails, so they easily out-paced my net) I saw something pink floating around the rocks and thought oh dear, is that a piece of one of the dead fish? As I looked more closely I saw that pink thing had little black eyes... It's a young cherry shrimp!

I don't know how we got a cherry shrimp in this tank. No tools were used in common with any other tank, most of the plants were tissue culture plants (lab grown and guaranteed to be free of pests and disease, and therefore definitely free of animals like shrimp), with the exception of the one that we broke up and attached to the "tree" as foliage (which is an unlikely place for a shrimp to have hidden and survived) and 2 Anubias Nana Petite plants. everything else in the tank was either dry for a year before use or boiled. He had to have been a new born baby shrimp latched onto one of the Anubias plants, and just hid out until now. I will try to get his picture tonight and attach it to this blog post, but just as we were considering making this a shrimp only tank for a while while we starve out the parasites that seem to be killing off the fish. The Neon Tetra parasites (Pleistophora Hyphessobryconis) would not be able to make hosts of the shrimp. Shrimp and fish don't really get the same diseases other than bacterial infections.... anyway, just as we were on the verge of giving up on saving the fish and making it a shrimp tank for a while, out of no where, a cherry shrimp appears. resilient little guys. I suspect long after we are gone from this planet the cherry shrimp and the cockroaches will team up and rule the earth, splitting it between them by wet places for the shrimp and not wet places for the roaches. :)

I thought of where the shrimp could have come from. When we were initially filling the tank we used the waste water bucket that we use when cleaning the other tanks to fill this tank. He must have gotten sucked out of the Betta tank where our cherry shrimp live, stuck to the bucket and transferred to the new tank. Even still, he survived a high ammonia spike as a tiny baby in the first week when we were cycling the tank. That's a tough shrimp!


I swear he was smaller this morning. Could there be more than one in there?


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