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Discussion Starter #1
Having just returned from a 10 day holiday, I got home to find that two of my six red cherry shrimp seem to have vanished. I've fed them this evening and can only see four (two of which are carrying eggs).

The shrimp are new to the tank and were added about 3 weeks back. Is it normal to for shrimp to disappear? I'm not sure if they died, got accidental sucked up the filter/gravel vacuum, jumped out, or *someone* got hungry... The ones that have vanished seemed smaller than the other four and never coloured up (they turned clear).

On another note my Ambulia bunch had also vanished! It seems to have died off and all that was left was some measly stalks. Looks like the shrimp were having a field day eating away all the dying plant, so I didn't need to worry about them getting hungry!

I suppose it's possible the dying plant caused an ammonia spike and a couple of the shrimp died from that?
 

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is this a shrimp only tank? is the tank heavily or lightly planted?are the remaining four all the same color?male red cherry shrimp are quite a bit smaller and a lot lighter in color.the females have rounded abdomens and the males have straight abdomens.this applies to the low grade cherries and the sakura fire reds. when you get to the higher grade fire reds and painted cherries, the males are as red as the females.the body shapes stay the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The tank is what I'd call medium planted and also home to one male betta. The remaining four are all bright red and rounded so females. On a close look last night I think I spotted a fifth shrimp that was a male but I can't see him today.
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if they are getting ready to molt, they really hide well. this especially rings true if there is a predatory fish in the tank. their bodies are extremely soft right after they molt,and are quite vulnerable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks. Does molting also slow them down? I've noticed that two aren't really eating when I feed them. This has just happened in the last two days. I checked the water levels yesterday and all was OK. My last 25% water change was Saturday, I think I rushed putting the new water in a bit, could this have shocked them?
 

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if the temp was off by more than a few degrees,yes it could shock them. the rest of the shrimp should show signs too.when mine are getting ready to molt,their color changes and they look pale and brownish,stop eating and hide for a few days.there is an interesting article titled "moulting and behavior changes in freshwater prawns." especially note the section about changes in body chemistry.since we are dealing with rcs. the section about aggression will not ring true.the rest should be similar.sorry,for some reason i can not provide a link.you should be able to find the article pretty easily though.
 

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I quite often lose shrimp for a few days they always seem to turn up though, don't believe they would burrow they are just very good at hiding. I usually put an algae tab in and they reappear.
 
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