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Shrimp help


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Hello, 

I am very new to shrimp keeping and I need some help. I have 9-10 assorted blue shrimp (blue velvet I think and possibly some other color varieties) in a 5 gallon tank. The tank has been set up for 3-4 months, the shrimp have been in for about a month. 
I did a partial water change today, probably 50% to clean up uneaten food and waste, etc.  After refilling the water, I noticed one of higher quality/larger shrimp flailing and flopping, swimming erratically and almost rolling around. I also noticed a small brown spot on the end of its tail. One of their shrimp is also swimming erratically, although not as bad as this one. Any ideas as to what could be going on? Is it dying, could I have killed it doing the water change? I'm surprisingly attached to my shrimp and I would be gutted if I did something to hurt or kill one 😣 I do have a short video of the shrimp, i will add it if i can figure out how to do so. I do have a picture of the shrimp, kinda head first in the substrate, but you can't see the brown tail spot. Thank you

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Edited by Bailey
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I had trouble keeping Neocaridina shrimp in my water until I stopped doing major water changes and started housing them in my most stable tanks. My tap water is very soft and slightly acidic so not perfect for Neos. Instead of doing large water changes I’d use a piece of airline tube to gently siphon out excess detritus and then use the same tube to drip in the new water. 
Some folks literally  keep and breed Neos in a tub on the porch in the winter. Not everyone finds them that easy! 

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On 6/29/2021 at 3:32 PM, Patrick_G said:

I had trouble keeping Neocaridina shrimp in my water until I stopped doing major water changes and started housing them in my most stable tanks. My tap water is very soft and slightly acidic so not perfect for Neos. Instead of doing large water changes I’d use a piece of airline tube to gently siphon out excess detritus and then use the same tube to drip in the new water. 
Some folks literally  keep and breed Neos in a tub on the porch in the winter. Not everyone finds them that easy! 

I how were you able to drip the water in with the airline tubing? I have a lot of extra, I think it would probably help to make any water changes less stressful. I didn't MEAN to change so much water, but I was trying to siphon up all the (literal) crap and I realized I had emptied half the water out 🤦🏻‍♀️ And I'm having these gross little white things come out of the substrate and crawl all over the glass, so I assumed that it needed a good vacuuming (they're not planarian, but not sure what they are). I feel so bad, I haven't had any issues at all since getting them. My water is super hard, and Neutral out of the tap. The fluval stratum I use lowers the pH a lot so I have a bag of crushed coral in my filter to raise the pH, which is now between 7.2-7.4. I feel like my parameters are within a tolerable range for them, I hope. I'm definitely not going to do anymore major water changes. 

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The worms are probably detrius worms and won't harm anything. You can get a pretty good colony if you overfeed. If you only have shrimp in there, you don't need much food for them. Try a small piece of blanched spinach or zucchini or small bit of Repashy gel food. Those don't tend to muck up the water much.  I use bacter AE as well, to supplement the aufwuchs.

I found that a few guppy fry will make short work of detrius worm populations. Move them out when they start to get bigger or they might eat your shrimp fry.

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I think I'm not too far from @Patrick_G as the crow flies and I think we have similar water.  Limiting the number of water changes that you do is good advice.  Shrimp seem to be pretty efficient in their digestion,  so while they look like they produce a lot of waste, a tank with a healthy biome will break said waste down quickly and completely.

A couple of general comments:

* Shrimp can be incredibly resilient or incredibly fragile- this seems to vary from individual to individual and day to day.  A regular care routine is the best you can do, don't stress if you lose some shrimp.  If they decide to breed for you,  your bigger concern will be "where do I put all these #$@ little shrimp??!!".

* If you've ruled out Planaria,  your "gross little white things are likely either detritus worms or rhabdocoela flat worms.  Not super attractive looking,  but their presence means that you have an abundance of detritus and/or uneaten food in your tank.  Be Zen and embrace them (maybe not literally) if you can - these critters work for Mother Nature and seeing an abundance of them are her way of trying to naturally "compost" things and bring your tank into balance.  Once your detritus and uneaten food gets back in balance,  you should notice a huge decrease in these critters being visible.

* Like @Patrick_G,  my water is acidic...often struggling to stay at 7.0 on a good day.  I used to obsess over mineralization (using wondershells at every water change) and PH with my shrimp trying to get them to breed....which they never did...until I simply started giving them treated tap water without additives.  Not sure if that will work for you,  but sometimes less is more in the aquatic world.

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On 6/29/2021 at 4:36 PM, Patrick_G said:

I’m also guilty of over feeding my shrimp! At first I wanted every shrimp to have a Hikari pellet everyday, but I cut that back drastically after building up a ton of uneaten food that I had to siphon out. 

I try not too over feed but it's so tough, I don't want anyone to starve 😂 I only feed once every other day, and I use a small glass shrimp feeding dish so I can remove everything after a few hours. I only put a few pellets in there when I do feed, but it sounds like maybe I'm still overfeeding... I'll definitely try the airline tubing when I do have to top off the water or do a water change, thank you for the advice! 

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On 6/29/2021 at 4:43 PM, Griznatch said:

The worms are probably detrius worms and won't harm anything. You can get a pretty good colony if you overfeed. If you only have shrimp in there, you don't need much food for them. Try a small piece of blanched spinach or zucchini or small bit of Repashy gel food. Those don't tend to muck up the water much.  I use bacter AE as well, to supplement the aufwuchs.

I found that a few guppy fry will make short work of detrius worm populations. Move them out when they start to get bigger or they might eat your shrimp fry.

I think they're flat worms of some kind, pretty sure whatever was mentioned below. Maybe I'll have to find a friend to borrow some guppy fry from to see if they can help clean up a bit 😅 Thank you so much for the info! I have been planning to try some spinach for them. 

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On 6/29/2021 at 4:47 PM, NanoNano said:

I think I'm not too far from @Patrick_G as the crow flies and I think we have similar water.  Limiting the number of water changes that you do is good advice.  Shrimp seem to be pretty efficient in their digestion,  so while they look like they produce a lot of waste, a tank with a healthy biome will break said waste down quickly and completely.

A couple of general comments:

* Shrimp can be incredibly resilient or incredibly fragile- this seems to vary from individual to individual and day to day.  A regular care routine is the best you can do, don't stress if you lose some shrimp.  If they decide to breed for you,  your bigger concern will be "where do I put all these #$@ little shrimp??!!".

* If you've ruled out Planaria,  your "gross little white things are likely either detritus worms or rhabdocoela flat worms.  Not super attractive looking,  but their presence means that you have an abundance of detritus and/or uneaten food in your tank.  Be Zen and embrace them (maybe not literally) if you can - these critters work for Mother Nature and seeing an abundance of them are her way of trying to naturally "compost" things and bring your tank into balance.  Once your detritus and uneaten food gets back in balance,  you should notice a huge decrease in these critters being visible.

* Like @Patrick_G,  my water is acidic...often struggling to stay at 7.0 on a good day.  I used to obsess over mineralization (using wondershells at every water change) and PH with my shrimp trying to get them to breed....which they never did...until I simply started giving them treated tap water without additives.  Not sure if that will work for you,  but sometimes less is more in the aquatic world.

Wow, thank you so much for all the info, super helpful. I think they're definitely some kind of flat worm, but if they're not harmful then I guess I'll let them live their best lives 😂 

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I keep my water changes to 10% and or just do top offs and clean the filter media. I find that water parameter stability, clean filter media and a high level of oxygenation help them with stress. I’m not afraid of mulm as well. Particularly baby shrimps need a source of food in addition to algae and biofilm and there is abundant things to eat for them in mulm. I usually only clean the mulm that’s out in the open and leave the stuff around my plants to feed the plants. They need some light to get their best color and a darker substrate helps color. I also keep them with rams horns snails and I find they are very effective at getting the uneaten food and when they die the bioload is low enough it doesn’t put my tank in jeopardy and their shells and the dead snail is a good source of protein and calcium. Circle of life. 

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