skunk cleaner tentacles turning purple

ReefKeeperRob

New member
I just bought this shrimp a week or two ago. It seemed perfectly healthy when I bought it and did well in my tank until all of a sudden I notice that instead of it's tentacles looking semi-rigid and white they now look fatter, limp, and purple. The purple seems to be fuzzy purple stuff growing on top of the tentacles. I don't have any experience with these shrimp. When I feed my tank Mysis Shrimp it doesn't seem to be able to get any food at all so I target feed it about a 4mm x 4mm chunk of frozen shrimp which I bought from the grocery store.

Ever since I put it in the tank it's basically been inactive except when I feed the tank and then it gets pretty excited swimming around the tank. Is this normal?

I just tested all my parameters: Ammonia - 0; Nitrite - 0; Nitrate - 0; KH - 8dkh; PH - 8.4; Calcium - 340.

Snails, crabs, and fish seem perfectly healthy.

Has any one heard of this? I called the LFS I bought it from and they had never heard of anything like this.

Another note - I drip acclimated it for about an hour.
 

ReefKeeperRob

New member
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It had no interest when I fed the tank tonight and when I tried to target feed it it just backed away and looked more stressed out.

Probably not going to have a good ending. I would like to know what it is though and why it happened.
 

iwishtofish

New member
May not be good...are you having any swings in pH or alk? I think I pretty much did in my pair of coral banded shrimp when I started to dose alk too quickly. Before they finally expired, they lost interest in food and stopped grooming themselves; algae grew on their tentacles.

Hope your circumstances are different, and with a better outcome!
 

ReefKeeperRob

New member
So one of the strangest things I've seen since I've been in this hobby. About 30 minutes after I took the pictures the purple was gone, no where to be seen on any of it's tentacles. It was acting normal again. I don't see an exoskeleton anywhere.

I thought for sure it was going to be dead when I woke up in the morning.

I wish someone could tell me what the heck happened.
 

ReefKeeperRob

New member
The fuzz is back.

If someone could tell me what is wrong with this shrimp I would appreciate it. It seems pretty miserable so I'd like to help it if I can. It starts out as a little fuzz building up on it's tentacles and feet. I don't think it's due to lack of grooming because it's constantly trying to wipe it off. Then it just keeps accumulating day after day until it gets so thick. Then suddenly one day it will all be gone. Then the cycle continues. I've never seen an exoskeleton so I don't think it's molting. I would say only about 10% of the time the shrimp is fuzz free, the rest of the time the shrimp seems really stressed out from this fuzz.

It's possible the PH is swinging I guess. What's the best way to monitor it throughout the day? I don't dose anything and don't use a calcium reactor. Right now I'm FOWLR. I have a 55 display with 20 gallon sump, I-Tech skimmer, Chaeto, and Carbon in a reactor. No fish are picking on it.
 
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Toddrtrex

Premium Member
It is just algae (( not sure what kind )). IME, it doesn't cause any harm and will be gone after the next molt.
 

asl4me76

New member
Those are some whacky tentacles, that cleaner has going on.

I don't know what it is. However, it does look like some cyano. Is he moving around or on the same rock? Did he show interest in food when the stuff was off of his tentacles?
 

ReefKeeperRob

New member
I think it's algae as well. It does just disappear occasionally without a trace which would indicate a molt but I've never seen an exoskeleton and I've looked everywhere. The algae seems to come back pretty quick though leaving it constantly stressed. It feeds really well and acts normal when the algae is not there. The only other place I see an algae similar in color is on the outlet of my power heads. I'm going to take another picture today, it's much worse now than in the previous pictures.
 

ReefKeeperRob

New member
I don't understand why my shrimp is constantly getting this crazy purple algae and nobody else's ever does. It's not like my tank is infested with the purple fuzz, just a little on the power head. I'm going to soak the power head in vinegar tomorrow. Here's another picture, you can see it's even worse now than it was before.

4215535802_e3bf330da2.jpg
 

rcypert

New member
Yeah that is a problem. You need to raise your water quality so it doesn't grow so fast. What kind of skimmer are you using and is it getting good production?
 
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