Erratically swimming shrimp after adding to tank

katienewbettakeeper

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So, I had an empty cycled five gallon sitting around and thought I should get some shrimp for it. It’s been set up with a nerite snail for over six weeks so I figured it would be cool to try out shrimp for the first time. I’ve never had shrimp before, only bettas and snails, but always been interested in them. I went to PetSmart and got five neocardina shrimp, although I think they may have given me a couple baby amanos. All the shrimp are very small, the employee at PetSmart said they get new shipments in as babies. Anyway, I’m worried I didn’t acclimate them correctly as they are now erratically swimming around the tank and I’m afraid they will die :( no idea how to help them now. For acclimation I kept them in the bag given to me and used a large bottle cap to pour in a bit of tank water every couple minutes for about two hours, until the water was risen to about double of what it was before. Then I floated the bag for 15 minutes to temp acclimate them. That probably wasn’t enough and I regret not doing drip acclimation.

When I first put them in they seemed fine, I dropped in some algae wafers and they went wild over them happily munching for a few hours, pretty calm. Now they’re sort of constantly swimming around, bumping into things and even climbing out of the water a bit! I don’t know how to help them and wish I’d done it right… is there anything I can do now to help them?

My waters PH is around 7.2, the tap water is run through a water softener but I also added a gallon of spring water to the tank for minerals, hoping that would be enough, but now I think the water isn’t right for them. I don’t know the gh or kh or tds (stupid I know yeesh)

So, is there anything I can do to save them? I feel really terrible and don’t want to just watch them slowly die… I was really excited for them :(
 

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Sgooosh

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So, I had an empty cycled five gallon sitting around and thought I should get some shrimp for it. It’s been set up with a nerite snail for over six weeks so I figured it would be cool to try out shrimp for the first time. I’ve never had shrimp before, only bettas and snails, but always been interested in them. I went to PetSmart and got five neocardina shrimp, although I think they may have given me a couple baby amanos. All the shrimp are very small, the employee at PetSmart said they get new shipments in as babies. Anyway, I’m worried I didn’t acclimate them correctly as they are now erratically swimming around the tank and I’m afraid they will die :( no idea how to help them now. For acclimation I kept them in the bag given to me and used a large bottle cap to pour in a bit of tank water every couple minutes for about two hours, until the water was risen to about double of what it was before. Then I floated the bag for 15 minutes to temp acclimate them. That probably wasn’t enough and I regret not doing drip acclimation.

When I first put them in they seemed fine, I dropped in some algae wafers and they went wild over them happily munching for a few hours, pretty calm. Now they’re sort of constantly swimming around, bumping into things and even climbing out of the water a bit! I don’t know how to help them and wish I’d done it right… is there anything I can do now to help them?

My waters PH is around 7.2, the tap water is run through a water softener but I also added a gallon of spring water to the tank for minerals, hoping that would be enough, but now I think the water isn’t right for them. I don’t know the gh or kh or tds (stupid I know yeesh)

So, is there anything I can do to save them? I feel really terrible and don’t want to just watch them slowly die… I was really excited for them :(
some of them might be Ghost shrimp

did you add spring water after you added shrimp? that could stress them out a lot
 
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katienewbettakeeper

katienewbettakeeper

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some of them might be Ghost shrimp

did you add spring water after you added shrimp? that could stress them out a lot
No, I added the spring water to the tank while doing a large water change before acclimating them. I add spring water to all my tanks to keep the ph more stable since there’s assumably no minerals coming from the tap. I don’t think they’re ghost shrimp because of their body shape, and the ghost shrimp at the store were older and in a separate tank then these guys. As of now they’re all still alive but still swimming around a lot and in a weird way, mainly around the sponge filter and are getting pushed around by the current a bunch

Any chance this is normal for shrimp after being added to a new tank? Is the flow too high and could that cause them stress? Since I’ve never had shrimp before I don’t really know anything about their behavior
 

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Are all the shrimp swimming erratically or just the males? If it is just males it could be because a female has moulted and they are trying to find her first to mate.
Turn the filter down if it is blowing them around.

Otherwise it sounds like they're agitated by something in the water. It is hard to know what, ammonia, nitrite, contaminant or composition? Please post water test results.
You could do a big water change with the same water (softened plus bottled spring) in the same ratio as before; then smaller water changes every 4 hours or so with water that hasn't gone through the softener if you can. Softened water that replaces calcium and magnesium mineral salts with sodium salts and is unsuitable although lots of people use it. If you use an outside tap you will need to heat it. Tap water will need dechlorinating.

As the tank is not well established you will need to work hard to provide them appropriate nutrition and to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels at zero - you'll need your own test kit to monitor this daily.
 
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katienewbettakeeper

katienewbettakeeper

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Are all the shrimp swimming erratically or just the males? If it is just males it could be because a female has moulted and they are trying to find her first to mate.
Turn the filter down if it is blowing them around.

Otherwise it sounds like they're agitated by something in the water. It is hard to know what, ammonia, nitrite, contaminant or composition? Please post water test results.
You could do a big water change with the same water (softened plus bottled spring) in the same ratio as before; then smaller water changes every 4 hours or so with water that hasn't gone through the softener if you can. Softened water that replaces calcium and magnesium mineral salts with sodium salts and is unsuitable although lots of people use it. If you use an outside tap you will need to heat it. Tap water will need dechlorinating.

As the tank is not well established you will need to work hard to provide them appropriate nutrition and to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels at zero - you'll need your own test kit to monitor this daily.
It’s pretty much impossible for me to tell which ones are males/females because most of them are very young. Also I’ve never had shrimp before lol

My tank actually is well established, I cycled it fishless for 6 weeks and then had it running with a betta fish for a few months. I regularly add botanicals to my tanks as well, so there’s lots of biofilms and microorganisms like copepods and whatnot. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate really isn’t a concern since it’s cycled and I keep an eye on those things with a test kit. I’ve never used medication in that tank either. It must be the composition of the water, something to do with the softened water probably? I might try replacing some of the water with more spring water but I don’t want to stress them out more

Maybe I just acclimated them badly and the water is safe, just different from what they’re used to?

There all still alive today, their colors look okay, still swimming around a lot. Theyre eating a bit though, if I drop in some algae wafer they’ll come and snack at it for a bit. Then they go back to swimming around after a while. It seems less erratic today but maybe they’re just getting tired I’m not sure
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate really isn’t a concern since it’s cycled and I keep an eye on those things with a test kit.

These things can still be a concern even in a cycled tank, especially when you're adding food like algae wafers. I've experienced an ammonia spike from an uneaten algae wafer in a much, much larger tank - they do break down, and some are worse than others for releasing a lot of ammonia sooner than you'd imagine. Remember how tiny shrimp's stomachs must be! That they also get a lot of food by grazing in the tank, especially if you have a lot of botanicals. So I'd be very wary about adding algae wafer - if you must, only add a very small chunk, and remove any that's uneaten after half an hour or so. Five gallons isn't a lot of water to dilute, so while it's fine for a shrimp tank, just be aware when you're adding a source of ammonia like that.

I don't think you did anything wrong with the acclimation. Sure a lot of people prefer drip acclimation, and I usually drip acclimate, but neocaridina are tougher than you think! Caridina are much more sensitive, but neos can handle a wider range of parameters, and I've had my neos ride out a few crises that you'd think would wipe them out, but they're a tough little scavenger and tend to do better than you'd think!

I don't know about using a water softener and spring water though - if they're trying to climb out, that would usually mean a problem with the water that's stressing them, so I would be inclined to test and potentially do a water change. Can you share a photo of the whole tank please? Are there plenty of hiding spaces for them?

Shrimp do swim around, exploring and finding food, they don't stick to the bottom religiously, and as @Naughts noted, the males do sme frantic swimmming around when a female is ready to mate. You'lll get used to that as time goes on! Females tend to have deeper colour, but are also more round-bodied, so when there's a bunch of them swimming around, you soon get to tell if it's all males being active.
It sounds like they're settling down now, so I think since the water was likely different in the store, they were adjusting to that, and perhaps a bit stressed from that and the move to a new home, but if they're eating, none have died, and they're otherwise moving about normally and not trying to climb out of the tank, then you're probably okay!
 

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So, I had an empty cycled five gallon sitting around and thought I should get some shrimp for it. It’s been set up with a nerite snail for over six weeks so I figured it would be cool to try out shrimp for the first time.
My tank actually is well established, I cycled it fishless for 6 weeks and then had it running with a betta fish for a few months.
So which is it? We really can't help without correct information, which includes test results.
 
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katienewbettakeeper

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These things can still be a concern even in a cycled tank, especially when you're adding food like algae wafers. I've experienced an ammonia spike from an uneaten algae wafer in a much, much larger tank - they do break down, and some are worse than others for releasing a lot of ammonia sooner than you'd imagine. Remember how tiny shrimp's stomachs must be! That they also get a lot of food by grazing in the tank, especially if you have a lot of botanicals. So I'd be very wary about adding algae wafer - if you must, only add a very small chunk, and remove any that's uneaten after half an hour or so. Five gallons isn't a lot of water to dilute, so while it's fine for a shrimp tank, just be aware when you're adding a source of ammonia like that.

I don't think you did anything wrong with the acclimation. Sure a lot of people prefer drip acclimation, and I usually drip acclimate, but neocaridina are tougher than you think! Caridina are much more sensitive, but neos can handle a wider range of parameters, and I've had my neos ride out a few crises that you'd think would wipe them out, but they're a tough little scavenger and tend to do better than you'd think!

I don't know about using a water softener and spring water though - if they're trying to climb out, that would usually mean a problem with the water that's stressing them, so I would be inclined to test and potentially do a water change. Can you share a photo of the whole tank please? Are there plenty of hiding spaces for them?

Shrimp do swim around, exploring and finding food, they don't stick to the bottom religiously, and as @Naughts noted, the males do sme frantic swimmming around when a female is ready to mate. You'lll get used to that as time goes on! Females tend to have deeper colour, but are also more round-bodied, so when there's a bunch of them swimming around, you soon get to tell if it's all males being active.
It sounds like they're settling down now, so I think since the water was likely different in the store, they were adjusting to that, and perhaps a bit stressed from that and the move to a new home, but if they're eating, none have died, and they're otherwise moving about normally and not trying to climb out of the tank, then you're probably okay!
Weirdly enough they’re all acting super calm and normal now! Active but not frantic like earlier. One of the smallest ones that I was particularly worried about because it was going in circles is completely calm now so… I guess my water was just different enough from the water at the petstore to freak them out a bit? Ill suck up what was left over from the algae wafer so it won’t foul the water! Put a few alder cones in as well.

Also here’s a pic of the tank, not as many plants as I’d like but the driftwood offers enough hiding space I think?
These things can still be a concern even in a cycled tank, especially when you're adding food like algae wafers. I've experienced an ammonia spike from an uneaten algae wafer in a much, much larger tank - they do break down, and some are worse than others for releasing a lot of ammonia sooner than you'd imagine. Remember how tiny shrimp's stomachs must be! That they also get a lot of food by grazing in the tank, especially if you have a lot of botanicals. So I'd be very wary about adding algae wafer - if you must, only add a very small chunk, and remove any that's uneaten after half an hour or so. Five gallons isn't a lot of water to dilute, so while it's fine for a shrimp tank, just be aware when you're adding a source of ammonia like that.

I don't think you did anything wrong with the acclimation. Sure a lot of people prefer drip acclimation, and I usually drip acclimate, but neocaridina are tougher than you think! Caridina are much more sensitive, but neos can handle a wider range of parameters, and I've had my neos ride out a few crises that you'd think would wipe them out, but they're a tough little scavenger and tend to do better than you'd think!

I don't know about using a water softener and spring water though - if they're trying to climb out, that would usually mean a problem with the water that's stressing them, so I would be inclined to test and potentially do a water change. Can you share a photo of the whole tank please? Are there plenty of hiding spaces for them?

Shrimp do swim around, exploring and finding food, they don't stick to the bottom religiously, and as @Naughts noted, the males do sme frantic swimmming around when a female is ready to mate. You'lll get used to that as time goes on! Females tend to have deeper colour, but are also more round-bodied, so when there's a bunch of them swimming around, you soon get to tell if it's all males being active.
It sounds like they're settling down now, so I think since the water was likely different in the store, they were adjusting to that, and perhaps a bit stressed from that and the move to a new home, but if they're eating, none have died, and they're otherwise moving about normally and not trying to climb out of the tank, then you're probably okay!
 

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Sgooosh

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No, I added the spring water to the tank while doing a large water change before acclimating them. I add spring water to all my tanks to keep the ph more stable since there’s assumably no minerals coming from the tap. I don’t think they’re ghost shrimp because of their body shape, and the ghost shrimp at the store were older and in a separate tank then these guys. As of now they’re all still alive but still swimming around a lot and in a weird way, mainly around the sponge filter and are getting pushed around by the current a bunch

Any chance this is normal for shrimp after being added to a new tank? Is the flow too high and could that cause them stress? Since I’ve never had shrimp before I don’t really know anything about their behavior
i think those are developing blue or black neos rather than amanos
I've only owned bamboo shrimp, and they do walk around the tank for a few hours before finding a good feeding spot, and then hardly move.
they might just be getting used to their environment.

I had this little hitchiker fire red neo shrimp named fRed, and every time i put her in a new box inside of the same tank, she would run around for a while
I am not sure about having more than one Neo however
 

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In my experience things like this happen when a fish/shrimp is shocked by water. If the water isn’t dechlorinated they act ‘drunk’ and woozy. If the water is 5+ degrees off they often give the owner a freak. With shrimp I imagine they could be more sensitive with water temp. I have 5 Amano shrimp in one of my tanks, and they love to glass surf. To tell the difference between glass shrimp and Amano shrimp look for dots. If it has dots it’s an amano. Look on side.
 

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In my experience things like this happen when a fish/shrimp is shocked by water. If the water isn’t dechlorinated they act ‘drunk’ and woozy. If the water is 5+ degrees off they often give the owner a freak. With shrimp I imagine they could be more sensitive with water temp. I have 5 Amano shrimp in one of my tanks, and they love to glass surf. To tell the difference between glass shrimp and Amano shrimp look for dots. If it has dots it’s an amano. Look on side.
i think another thing is that glass shrimps have a large hump on their back
and some types of "glass" shrimp have bigger pincers
 
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katienewbettakeeper

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These things can still be a concern even in a cycled tank, especially when you're adding food like algae wafers. I've experienced an ammonia spike from an uneaten algae wafer in a much, much larger tank - they do break down, and some are worse than others for releasing a lot of ammonia sooner than you'd imagine. Remember how tiny shrimp's stomachs must be! That they also get a lot of food by grazing in the tank, especially if you have a lot of botanicals. So I'd be very wary about adding algae wafer - if you must, only add a very small chunk, and remove any that's uneaten after half an hour or so. Five gallons isn't a lot of water to dilute, so while it's fine for a shrimp tank, just be aware when you're adding a source of ammonia like that.

I don't think you did anything wrong with the acclimation. Sure a lot of people prefer drip acclimation, and I usually drip acclimate, but neocaridina are tougher than you think! Caridina are much more sensitive, but neos can handle a wider range of parameters, and I've had my neos ride out a few crises that you'd think would wipe them out, but they're a tough little scavenger and tend to do better than you'd think!

I don't know about using a water softener and spring water though - if they're trying to climb out, that would usually mean a problem with the water that's stressing them, so I would be inclined to test and potentially do a water change. Can you share a photo of the whole tank please? Are there plenty of hiding spaces for them?

Shrimp do swim around, exploring and finding food, they don't stick to the bottom religiously, and as @Naughts noted, the males do sme frantic swimmming around when a female is ready to mate. You'lll get used to that as time goes on! Females tend to have deeper colour, but are also more round-bodied, so when there's a bunch of them swimming around, you soon get to tell if it's all males being active.
It sounds like they're settling down now, so I think since the water was likely different in the store, they were adjusting to that, and perhaps a bit stressed from that and the move to a new home, but if they're eating, none have died, and they're otherwise moving about normally and not trying to climb out of the tank, then you're probably okay!
Get this. Found a molt this morning! So I think it’s entirely possible that the reason they were freaking out was because of a female molting like you said! Is that common? Lol. Anyway, they’re all doing great now. I added a picture of who I believe the culprit is and the molt, although I’m still learning how to tell the genders I believe this is the female.
 

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AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Get this. Found a molt this morning! So I think it’s entirely possible that the reason they were freaking out was because of a female molting like you said! Is that common? Lol. Anyway, they’re all doing great now. I added a picture of who I believe the culprit is and the molt, although I’m still learning how to tell the genders I believe this is the female.

Yep, that looks like a female! And great that you found a moult - not just because it helps show that it could well have been that causing the males to swim about frantically (and yes, that's common! You get used to it) but because every moult shows that they're growing and surviving in your tank. :)
 

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Since she's mostly clear, it'll be easy to spot if she winds up carrying eggs! Referred to in the shrimp keeping world as being "berried", since the eggs look like a cluster of berries, they're bright yellow, and the female carries them beneath her body where she constantly fans them until they hatch. Spotting your first berried female is always exciting!
Once you do have tiny shrimplets, will need to be very careful with water changes, and carefully check the bucket before throwing it out. They're almost transpararent when they first hatch, so it's easiest to let the bucket settle, then check for darting movements! You get better at spotting them as time goes on.
 

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whenever you add shrimp to a tank the shrimp have to adjust to the different water chemistry of your tank verses the water in which they were raised. Additionally if the shirmp were shipped to your they may be hungry. Same for a strip at a fish store. So the combination of a change in water chemistry and food can easily trigger molting and reproduction. It is very common in shrimp.
 

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