Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
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jessiepbg
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Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by jessiepbg » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:46 pm

1. Water parameters
a) Temperature range. 78 F
b) pH. 8.1-8.2
c) GH.
d) KH
e)Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, levels. 0ppm for Ammonia and Nitrite, 5ppm for Nitrate
f) Water change frequency: 15% weekly
(Most LFS's will check your water and give a list of readings).

2. Tank set up
a) Size. 10 gallon
b) Substrate. Floramax planting substrate
c) Filtration. Aqueon Whisper 10 gallon
d) Furnishings. Fake rock cave, 3 live leafy plants
e) Other tank mates. 1 Betta, 3 cories total, 2 ghost shrimp (lost 1 cory and 1 ghost shrimp in one night last night)
f) How long has it been set-up? Started early December

3. Symptoms / Problem description
Found one of three C. paleatus dead this morning. I saw him go up for air very quickly last night and thought it looked a little suspicious, but he went back to foraging like nothing was wrong afterwards. I woke up a few hours later and he was completely stiff and dead. I found one of my ghost shrimp's heads last night and figured he had died of one thing or another and the rest of the corpse had been taken care of between the cories and the other shrimp. I removed what was left of it and didn't really think much of it. I'd had the shrimp for 4 months and I don't think they were young when I got them. This cory I bought in January and had shown no signs of anything being wrong until that last dart for air and him being completely dead this morning. I'm a little worried now because my biggest(and newest, got him about 2 weeks after the one that died) cory cat is leaving his mouth open when he rests. I can't tell if my older one is doing it too, because his mouth is a little smaller and harder to see. I don't know if they've always done that and I'm just seeing it now because I'm paranoid or if it's a sign of something being up. They are not darting for air and seem to be about as active as usual. My other ghost shrimp doesn't seem affected and my Betta shows no symptoms. I can't imagine it was a Betta attack, because he's never shown any signs of aggression towards anything, I can't even get him to flare at other Bettas. If the pH changed at all, it was only from 8.2 to 8.1, so I don't think that was it. My last water change was 2 days ago, and they took it as well as they always do. They've started being really reactive all of a sudden as I was writing this, so I don't know if me pulling the water samples out worried them or if it's a symptom of something.

Any guesses what happened? Is it something I should be worried about or was it just a coincidence that I lost a fish and a shrimp in the same night?

4. Action taken (if any) 20% water change, checked water parameters and found nothing.

5. Medications used (if any) none
Last edited by jessiepbg on Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by corywink » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:18 am

recheck your nitrate levels, it shouldn't be zero.

jessiepbg
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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by jessiepbg » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:34 am

Oh, it looks like I didn't shake the bottle well enough on the nitrate test, this time it came up at 5 ppm.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by MatsP » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:41 am

C. paleatus is originally from northern Argentina, which means that they prefer slightly cooler temperatures. This may be difficult when combining with the betta.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by jessiepbg » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:00 pm

I can drop my tank temp down to 76, would that help them? My Betta will be fine at that temp. What's their optimum temperature? They're going to be moved into my new 30 gallon with a sand substrate in the next few weeks whenever it's cycled and I wanted to base the tank around conditions that are best for them and add other fish that do well under the same conditions.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by MatsP » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:48 pm

Have you had a look at Corydoras paleatus? But beside that, I'd suggest they need a bit cooler temperatures for a period of a few weeks, preferrably during their winter (northern hemisphere summer months, June-July).

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by jessiepbg » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:19 am

Thanks for the link. The cat-e-log has been acting up for me, every time I search something, it was coming up with an error message. I still can't get to any pictures or use the "show species within this temperature range" option. As far as temp, it looks like 76 F will be within the proper range then without stressing the Betta too much, so I'm going to stick with that until I can move them over. I don't really have room, but I might be able to find a place to put a quarantine tank for the Betta if you think cooler temperatures are necessary to keep them healthy. Should I stick with 74 in the new tank? When the new tank is cycled, I might just put the two in there alone for a few days for them and the tank to adjust, then add 3 more and move the ghost shrimp over for a total of 5 paleatus and 1 shrimp in the 30 gallon until they all settle in and I feel comfortable adding tank mates.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by MatsP » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:40 am

Yeah, the Cat-eLog is a bit broken - Jools is working on it. We are rejigging some of underlaying framework to make things better in the future - and a bit like when you re-install a new heating system in a house, things get a bit messy before the new bits are all in place - right now we've got the floors ripped up, and pipes going everywhere... ;)

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by jessiepbg » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:02 pm

Shoot, my big Cory just did the exact same thing the little one did before he died. He went up really quick for a gulp of air and then sat back down at the bottom, but looked like he was having trouble staying at the bottom. My last ghost shrimp was furiously scratching at the front of the aquarium, looking like he was trying to escape. I did a 30% water change this morning. The water was cold, but only brought my total tank temp down to 73F. I checked all my parameters and they're all just about perfect: 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, 5ppm nitrate. The cory settled down after the water change, but the shrimp is still moving around at high speeds. Any suggestions?

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by apistomaster » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:03 pm

When shrimp swim aimlessly or appear to be trying to get out of the water that is an indication there is a water problem.
Especially if you see Ghost shrimp behaving this way as I don't know of a hardier more adaptable shrimp.
I would clean the filters and do a large water change. I don't know any other way to get the conditions back to the animals' comfort zone.
I have bred and raised several hundreds of Ghost Shrimp(the common SE USA species).
They are supposed to be difficult to breed but I find if I place several, usually 4 females, berried females in a large mesh net hanging in an established tank, feed Spirulina sticks and brine shrimp nauplii(bbs) I get a large number of new shrimp. I remove each female after her eggs have hatched and I use a net which is about 8 X 10 inches to separate the adults from the shrimp larvae. They breed well in fresh water so no salt needs to be used.
It takes a few weeks before the small shrimp are large enough to see easily. The apparently empty tank must be fed daily feedings of bbs because they are invisible at first and you must have faith you have shrimp larvae present. I usually use a 10 gal tank with a substrate covered with dwarf or pygmy chain sword plants and some natant plant like Hornwort.
The filter should be a sponge filter or a sponge pre-filter to prevent losses to the filter.
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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by jessiepbg » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:10 am

One of my surviving Cories started showing the same behavior this morning as the one I lost. He shot up to the surface and gulped some air, then quickly swam back down to the substrate, but looked like he was having trouble staying on the bottom. I did a 30% water change this morning and this afternoon, he looked fine. I came back this evening and he's doing the same thing again, but now when he gets back to the bottom, he sits there and gasps for air. I'm doing another 30% change tonight, but I know all the parameters I can measure are good, I just checked them this morning.

I rinsed the filter cartridge with clean water, but that's all I know about how to clean a filter. I'm worried to go any more in-depth because I don't have the time or the energy to do another fish-in cycle.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by corywink » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:08 pm

When you clean your filter media, do you use tap water or tank water?

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by jessiepbg » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:04 am

I rinsed it lightly with dechlorinated tap water. Am I supposed to use old tank water? I've heard both.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by MatsP » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:06 am

jessiepbg wrote:I rinsed it lightly with dechlorinated tap water. Am I supposed to use old tank water? I've heard both.
Ideally, use old tank-water. In an absolute emergency, dechlorinated tap-water is much better than chlorinated tap-water.

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Re: Dead Cory and Ghost Shrimp, No Changes Made Recently

Post by RickE » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:11 pm

And if you have multiple filter media, don't clean them all at once.
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