Cannot keep a cleaner shrimp alive

fishouttawater

New member
25 gal tank, established 1.5 years. xenia, BTA, shrooms, hammer and torch, hermits, snails, clowns, royal gramma, firefish and canary wrasse. All seems to thrive, except I have now tried 3-4 cleaner shrimp and they just seem to find a corner of the tank and waste away for 2-3 days before turning over and dying...discouraged, I'd really like to keep one. Any ideas? I put these params because they are the ones I measure....I don't measure calcium or phosphates.

Salinity 1.025/26
temp 79
ph 8.2
nitrates < 20ppm
nitrites 0
ammonia 0
 

Calappidae

Harlequin Shrimp
I'd try getting them from a different supplier (unless you already tried multiple suppliers)

How often do you water change, chemicals added if any, etc.

I would say you got copper in there but you also have snails... puzzeling..
 

fishouttawater

New member
I do a 5gal change once every 2-3 weeks. During which I add half capful of Instant Ocean Reef Accelerator, Kent powdered Superbuffer dkH (about 1/2 teaspoon) and a couple drops of Kent Pro Buffer dKH (maybe this is where I'm messing something up). Could my alkalinity be off? Would that affect the shrimp alone?

As for the copper...about a year ago I set up a QT and treated all my fish with cupramine, I rinsed/washed all my tubing and airline after, but I guess the tubing I use to drip acclimate could be contaminated?
 

Calappidae

Harlequin Shrimp
I do a 5gal change once every 2-3 weeks. During which I add half capful of Instant Ocean Reef Accelerator, Kent powdered Superbuffer dkH (about 1/2 teaspoon) and a couple drops of Kent Pro Buffer dKH (maybe this is where I'm messing something up). Could my alkalinity be off? Would that affect the shrimp alone?

As for the copper...about a year ago I set up a QT and treated all my fish with cupramine, I rinsed/washed all my tubing and airline after, but I guess the tubing I use to drip acclimate could be contaminated?

Newly mixed saltwater should have perfected alk by default.. water changes "Should" be done weekly.

Buffers always messed things up.. I've been there.. Dosing is no good.

Weekly water changes will perfect everything and keep everything stable.. you dose for one thing.. and something else gets messed up.

As far as the cleaner shrimp's concern.. its possible with the drip contamination, but I'd blame the buffers more then anything because inverts are less hardy compared to fish.. and the hermits and snails can pretty much bulldoze through anything you throw at them... the buffers will cause swings in calicum, ph, alkalinity, magnessium, etc. One will imperfect the other and cause problems..
 

fishouttawater

New member
Ok thanks. They have all come from the same place....they seem healthy at the lfs, clean the guy's hand when he is catching them, moving around and all that. Once they go in my tank they go downhill. I'll stop using the second buffer and will get some new airline. I need to buffersome, though, my instant ocean mixed with RO puts the pH around 7.9/8. thanks for your help/input
 

Calappidae

Harlequin Shrimp
Ok thanks. They have all come from the same place....they seem healthy at the lfs, clean the guy's hand when he is catching them, moving around and all that. Once they go in my tank they go downhill. I'll stop using the second buffer and will get some new airline. I need to buffersome, though, my instant ocean mixed with RO puts the pH around 7.9/8. thanks for your help/input

-no buffers
-test everyday/everyweek
-weekly water change
-enjoy life.

The ph will raise when put in there.. I personally never test for ph and never do alot of other people.. DKH (alk) stabilizes ph.. if you keep up with the water changes it will stablizes eventually and stay a proper level.. 8.0/7.9 isn't even a big deal.. thats pretty decent.

Buffers are just a more expensive.. more problematic method of maintaining aquariums which always AND I MEAN ALWAYS fails and causes problems in the end. Throw them in the trash and do some WC.. you'll see the difference just like I have.
 

chain

New member
What are you using to check your salinity?

When I first got into the hobby I had issues losing shrimp. Everything else seemed to be fine but the shrimp just weren't making it. I had been using a hydrometer and then I switched over to a refractometer. I had been reading 1.025-1.026 with the hydrometer and the refractometer read 1.033 when I checked it. I couldn't believe how far off the hydrometer had been. Made the water right and threw away the hydrometer. Everything has been fine since.
 

MikeandNicole

New member
+1 on how are you testing your water- refractometer or hydrometer?

What are your phosphate levels? Have you ever tested for copper? How is your magnesium?

Any possibility of predation?
 

fishouttawater

New member
Sorry for lagging...
I used to test with hydrometer, got a refractometer about a month ago. Found that my hydrometer readings were pretty darn accurate, but yes now I use refractometer. Never have tested for phosphates, copper, or magnesium. I don't have any hair algae and my corals thrive so I figured phosphates were probably ok.
 

fishouttawater

New member
No predators. What is frustrating is I sit there and watch them slowly waste away. They slowly lose strength and eventually are just sort of blown over onto their sides by the current. Don't know about iodine, don't see why there'd be any in there. And don't get the idea that I've continued to drop shrimp in there lol, I've tried 3 in the 1 and a 1/2 years since setting up my tank.
 

StinkyBunny

New member
Find out where your LFS is getting them from, country of origin. I've had intermittent problems when I bring them in from Sri Lanka or The Philippines. I got 4 out of Indo and they're doing great.
 

MikeandNicole

New member
The reason I suggested testing for copper etc. is because your shrimp sound to me like something in their environment is harming them.

About 6 months ago, we fed a medicated food in our DT, and one of my fire shrimp exhibited symptoms like the ones you are describing. We saved him by moving him to our 12g tank, where we had not fed medicated food. The medicated food was Dr. G's.

In order for you to figure this out, you may have to go outside of what you normal test to find the answer.
 
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