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wake49 08-19-2008 02:41 PM

Shrimp MIA
About two weeks ago, I bought a new Fire Shrimp. That same night I did a water change, replacing ten gallons of water in my 46 gallon tank. The next morning I found my Fire Shrimp lying on the tank floor, practically dead. He passed a few hours later. Later that night I saw what looked like an off-white version of my two peppermint shrimp lying on the tank floor. The next morning, they were gone! I assumed that these two shrimp had molted, and were since hiding.

It has been over two weeks since I last spotted either of my peppermints or my skunk cleaner shrimp. On the day of my water change, I tested the water and Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonias were all 0. PH was 8.3, and my temp was 78. SG is 1.022.

I started using a new food for my clowns, called OraGlo, I bought it the same day as my Fire Shrimp. I tested the water last Friday, and Nitrates spiked to 40 ppm. I finally put my skimmer on that night, and by Sunday the Nitrates had fallen back to 10 ppm.

Do you think my shrimp are goners, or that they are still just hiding?

Pasfur 08-19-2008 08:16 PM

I am certain your shrimp have passed, probably as a result of the Nitrate reading. I suspect your initial reading of zero was incorrect and that the level was gradually climbing all along.

The skimmer is now removing organic waste directly from the aquarium. The resulting buildup of Nitrates is extremely small. As a result, the denitrification which is occurring in your sand bed is removing Nitrates from the system. My guess is that your Nitrates will reach zero in another week or less.

Congratulations on your decision to add a skimmer.

wake49 08-20-2008 08:34 AM

I did a water change last night to hopefully get rid of some of the Nitrates...

So I shouldn't have to rip my tank apart looking for the carcasses of these fallen Shrimp? Should I let them just decay in the tank and let the nitrogen cycle take its natural course? The only reason I ask is because my Rose Bubble anemone only looks good when my params are near perfect. I don't want to compromise his health waiting for these shrimp t decay...

I will do another water test tonight when I get home and post the results.

wake49 08-20-2008 08:41 AM

Also, I forgot to ask a question. If I add some Macroalgae to the tank itself, will that help with de-nitrification? I am in the process of building my sump, but will not have it completed for a few more weeks. The only concern I have about adding the Macroalgae directly to the tank is my Hippo Tang devouring it by morning...

Pasfur 08-20-2008 10:58 AM

No need to hunt down the shrimp. By now they are gone anyhow.

I will let someone else address the macro question.

SKAustin 08-21-2008 06:43 AM


Originally Posted by wake49
If I add some Macroalgae to the tank itself, will that help with de-nitrification?

No, and Yes. Macroalgae will not aid in the denitrification process per se. It will however, aid in nutrient export. Macro algaes will consume Nitrates and Phosphates the same as the undesirable algaes do. Macroalgaes in the refugium also provide a good place for pod populations to colonize and thrive. These pods are both a beneficial food source for your aquarium inhabitants, and a good means of additional detritus consumption.

wake49 08-21-2008 07:16 AM

Thanks Steve and Pasfur.

Steve, will my Hippo Tang end up devouring all the macroalgae, or will he eat it at the rate it grows?

And what species of macroalgaes are best for marine systems? I would call mine a mixed community reef.

My readings last night: Nitrates - 20 ppm, Nitrites - 0, Ammonia - 0, Ph - 8.3, SG 1.022, and temp 79.

Pasfur 08-21-2008 04:18 PM


Originally Posted by wake49
My readings last night: Nitrates - 20 ppm, Nitrites - 0, Ammonia - 0, Ph - 8.3, SG 1.022, and temp 79.

Your Nitrates are all over the scale. I'm wondering about the quality of the test results you are getting. Nitrate movement should be slow. Were you really at 10ppm last test and 20ppm this time, or were you just somewhere in this general range but can not tell on the color chart?

Your specific gravity is lower than i would recommend. 1.024 to 1.025 would be more acceptable. I think Steve concurs...

wake49 08-22-2008 06:13 AM

I am thinking of doing another 5 gallon (of 46 gal) water change tonight with water that is 1.025 or 26 in order to increase the SG. I did a test last night for Nitrates only, and they were at 20 ppm. I think that 10 ppm test was off, or I didn't follow the procedure correctly. I have the API test kit, and usually the only test I question is the PH (I use a diferent test kit for PH, and get a better color match from that one).

I would say from last night's test that my Nitrates are at a steady 20ppm. What can I do to drop this number?

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