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Old 03-01-2007, 01:36 PM   #1
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Cleaner Shrimp lost his antennae

Is this normal? My cleaner shrimp - about a year old now, has always had very long antenna's, 4 or 5 inches long.

Recently, after a molt, they've been very short. I've never seen any fish picking on him, in fact they all seem to love him. He's been a little shy lately too. Is this part of the aging process? I understand these guys only live about a year... does this mean he's reaching the end?

FYI, all params are just right, including temp, SG, pH, Ca, Alk, and all the other typical readings.
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:05 PM   #2
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Very normal after a molt.

My CBS shrimp even lost both of it's main claws only to grow them back fully within 2-3 subsequent molts.

Not sure on the life span but most of my shrimp have been with me over a year and my the cleaner has been going for 1 1/2 so far.

All are fairly shy for the first couple of days after a molt.
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:09 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm used to him being shy - he molts monthly, almost like clockwork. This is the first time he's lost his antenna though, had me worried. I read somewhere it could be poor health, or needs iodine. I have supplemented iodine in the past, when I was using different salt, but not lately. Maybe I should try that, but I'm worried about dosing a chemical I can't test for.
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:21 PM   #4
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Molting itself can be quite strenuous for shrimp and they can loose an appendage or antennae during the process.

Excessive iodine is toxic. Shrimp handle this toxic iodine by depositing it in their exoskeletons and then molting to rid themselves of this toxic substance. Excessive iodine causes premature molting in shrimp and as long as it's in the normal range of NSW (0.06 ppm, iodate and iodide combined) then there is no need to dose.

Since iodine is present in virtually all of the food we feed our tanks, it is highly unlikely that it will be depleted under most circumstances.

Dr. Randy Holmes-Farley has written articles on both iodine and strontium which are good and a must read for shrimp owners who are always told to add both for "proper care".
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoot
I have supplemented iodine in the past, when I was using different salt, but not lately. Maybe I should try that, but I'm worried about dosing a chemical I can't test for.
IMO you should not suplement it. pwc`s will keep your iodine where it needs to be. Esp. dont add what you cant test for. What you experienced is not unusual.
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:43 PM   #6
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Maybe I should try that, but I'm worried about dosing a chemical I can't test for.
An even better idea, along w/ regular PWC's, would be to feed your shrimp a varied diet containing shrimp, crab, lobster or frozen foods that contain one or all of those things. All of those items contain and will provide plenty of iodine for the shrimps biological processes. Cholesterol is also important for molting and those food items contain that as well. FWIW evidence that shrimp require iodine for molting is only anecdotal. Some people say iodine additions are toxic and only force a premature molt. Providing a diet rich in things that contain iodine is a much better solution to dosing-especially w/ out a very good test kit for it.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:45 PM   #7
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I had a CBS shrimp for 3 years, 1 cleaner for 3 years and a blood (the one with the really red bodies and white spots) now for 4 years!! I dont know what the lifespan is either but when I tell LFS abou the 4 years and even 3 years, they are impressed!!
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
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The average life span for a shrimp, in an aquarium at least, is 2-3 years. You have happy shrimp lol.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:51 PM   #9
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Interesting advice, MT79.

They've grown back. I guess this was just a temporary thing.
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250 pounds LR
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Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
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