08-25-2008, 04:38 PM
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I have 4 amano shrimp that I purchased about a month and a half ago. All are doing well. If your parameters are good, and assuming it wasn't eaten by your fish, it may have just been natural.
As for gravel vacuuming, I always do it first and then drain any extra water that I need to. Just be sure you don't vacuum ALL of the gravel at one time. You'll suck up a lot of the good bacteria along with the bad stuff. I usually do somewhere between 10-20% of the gravel each water change.