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Lethargic, much less active Amano shrimp


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Hi, I've had four amano shrimp for the past 6 months, raised from juvenile to full size in my tank. 2 male, 2 female, based on dot pattern.

Parameters, pretty steady since I got them, tested with API liquid drops:

Ph: 7.2 to 7.6

Gh: 9-11 deg

Kh: 3 deg

Ammonia, nitrite: 0

Nitrate: less than 20

Temp : 78 F

The past three weeks they have been extremely inactive, mostly piling together, sometimes on top of each other, doing nothing more than fanning swimmerettes. 

Typical behavior in the past has been constantly scouring the tank for food and algae, rarely interacting with each other, just in passing. Now hair algae is left untouched, and they only seem to eat the occasional shrimp pellet if I drop it right in front of them. And even that is nowhere near the ravenous frantic eating I'm used to seeing from them.

They have always molted fine and appear to be continuing to do so, but going back to the lethargic behavior after.

Nothing is harassing them, they aren't hiding most of the time, no new tank mates, nothing breeding in the tank.

There are also neritie snails in the tank that seem to be their normal selves with normal behavior.

I tried a dose of General cure and 5 days of maracyn both per the boxes; their behavior has remained much the same as described.

No visible signs of anything unusual on their bodies.

Video that shows their typical behavior of the past three weeks:


Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am having the same problem with my Amano shrimp. I never see them anymore. They all group together in some drift wood and aren't touching any of my algae. 

My water  parameters are almost identical to yours. Wish I could help but we are both in the same boat. 

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I havent had Amano shrimp, but I dk have experience with cherry shrimp and bamboo shrimp. I was also going to ask if you are dosing either Flourish Excel or Fluorish (the liquid fert?) If so, I strongly recommend against it. When I started dosing Fluorish, I saw similar lethargic behavior in my bamboo shrimp, and ultimately I believe it killed them before I realized what was going on. If you are seeing more molting than usual or if they are all molting at the same time, that can be a sign of stress.

What, if any, water treatments do you use? (Fluorish, dechlorinator brand, Prime, etc?) 

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Hi all,

Thanks for the input. I'm just doing Easy Green, and have been since the shrimp have been in there, for months. watching the nitrates to keep them 20-40 ppm 

Solution! My KH strips were faulty, reporting ~3 dKh. API liquid test showed KH below 1, e.g. the first drop stayed yellow. So KH could have been zero.

I dripped in sodium bicarbonate dissolved in some aquarium water over a day until the KH was between 3 and 4.

success! As soon as KH was 2 or so, Amanos started behaving more normal. Within 20 min of getting back above 3, they were chowing down on the algae that has been building up. 

PH went from 7.0 to about 7.6 during the drip too, I'm fine if it holds steady there.

Have some of Cory's crushed coral in the tank now,will watch KH to keep it in the 3-4 range.

Hope this helps someone else!


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