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Red Cherry Shrimp (RCS) Mysterious Deaths


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Had RCS in a 10 gallon tank for 7 months with no causalities. It is a bare bottom tank with few batches of java fern. A few days ago, I noticed two (younger ones) that have died and chalked it up to a failed molt. However, I am noticing a lot more dying every day. Today there were about 7 that died. The ones that are dying have the "cream filling" in their abdomen. The ones that are struggling usually stop moving or have trouble swimming, and end up falling on their side or upside down. They occasionally move their legs around but they never upright themselves.

Any idea what it can be? I attached a picture that shows the "cream filling" next to another one that doesn't have it.

Edit: Maybe it is muscular necrosis, I did a 50% water change.

Final Edit: Muscular necrosis quickly spread to the other shrimp, I assume it is from eating the dead shrimp that was infected. After two weeks, almost 80% of the population have died. I am expecting all the infected to eventually die off.

This is what I suggest if you find yourself in my shoes. Immediately separate the ones that have the white abdomen from the main tank into a separate container. If too many are infected, move the healthy ones into another container. Place ones you are unsure about into another container and monitor them. If they end up okay, you can just place them with the healthy ones. You can do water changes on the tank but I believe the most important step is to separate the healthy from the infected.

I don't know what caused this, I can only suspect it was from a zucchini I didn't boil. I just used the microwave, and maybe there was still pesticide on it. I honestly have no idea what caused this and it is probably one of the most frustrating aspects of this hobby. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

  • pH - 7.6
  • Nitrates - 40PPM
  • Hardness - 12
  • Nitrite - 0
  • Ammonia - 0
  • KH/Buffer - 7
  • Water Temperature - 80.5F


Edited by NoliTheCat
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Gravel vacuum thoroughly.  The organic waste in substrate is where your bad bacteria thrive then multiply because of smaller less frequent water changes folks do for shrimp. My neos thrive and I gravel vac (carefully to allow shrimplettes to escape) and do daily 10-20% water changes quickly vac of exposed areas and large water changes of 40% weeklywith thorough vac.  I can’t do extremely large tanks any longer due to disability have all extremely high waste producers and I’m overstocked. But everything shrimp included thrives and reproduces doing this.  Im not saying you should im saying the shrimp dont die the way the internet will lead folks to believe. Good luck

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