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Old 12-07-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
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white, opaque ghost shrimp

Greetings.

I have 4 ghost shrimp in my tank, and all are fairly large. One however is no longer clear, but opaque, and pale in color. Is this normal? What's happening to him? I found one that looked like that trapped in my filter a few days ago...are they sick?

water parameters are all okay except nitrites, those are always above 40 ppm.

thank you.

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Old 12-07-2004, 03:16 PM   #2
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I have not kept ghost shrimp, but it sounds like what happens when they are sick/dying. You may have problems if there aren't enough trace minerals or calcium in your water. Is your water really soft, or are you using RO water?

Now I'll sit back and see if someone who knows what they are talking about comes in to help
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Old 12-07-2004, 03:55 PM   #3
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Do you mean NitrAtes? Because if your nitrites are above 40ppm i'm guessing you have a tank of death running
I too had a ghost shrimp get stuck in my filter and it was there for 10 days or so feeding of the material that went into it. It was allot darker of colour after i put it back in the tank. I don't think it's anything bad, changing colour with shrimp, just cool to watch.
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:13 PM   #4
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Could the shrimp be molting?
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Old 12-07-2004, 05:37 PM   #5
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thats what i was thinking tank girl. i have a few ghost shrimp and one of mine is doing the exact thing. very white not clear like normal. ill let ya know what happens. my paramaters are near perfect. amo=0 nitrite=0 not sure on nitrate. and ph is around 7.0
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Old 12-07-2004, 05:41 PM   #6
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If it was molting, maybe it went into the filter looking for a place to hide during the molt.

I hope that's what it is!
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:28 PM   #7
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Oh, I never thought of that. I thought he was dead, I pulled the filter intake valve off and he kinda slipped off, since there was no suction.

Now, shrimp molt? Why do they molt? (I know nothing of these things except they are neat to watch and my red-tailed shark enjoys the smaller ones as lunch.)

BillsGate, I do mean the NitrAtes...I always type the wrong one.
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40 gal tank: 2 silver and black (now called fire and ice??) mickey mouse platies and 1 silver, black and gold mickey mouse platy. 1 known alive ghost shrimp, 1 silver hatchet, 5 rummeynose tetras, 3 serpea tetras, and 2 corydoras. One male betta(Samhain), 5 zebra danios, 1 glo-light danio.

5 gal: 2 dwarf puffer fish (Puffy and Amiyui!)
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:13 PM   #8
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they molt when they grow. they don't have an internal skeleton so their shell must "grow" with them.
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Old 12-08-2004, 12:12 AM   #9
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Ghost shrimp I've kept in my tanks have turned an opaque white for two reasons.

First reason is that they are about to expire. This has happened on several occasions, but most commonly when they are moved into my tank from the petstore. I think they were probably already ill because others survive and are doing rather well.

Second is that they are molting. Molting occurs every few weeks. I can offer no better explanation than the one previously given. A friend alerted me to their molting with respect to the phases of the moon. I haven't checked this out yet, but sounds interesting at least.

Wish I had some cherry red shrimp. Those are very cool.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:06 AM   #10
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Whenever the ghost shrimp turn white opaque and stay that way for a couple days- they are going to die. I've always kept at lest 15 ghost shrimp in my tank and this has always held true. When the shrimp are about to molt they will turn opaque but it won't be white, just like a clear opaque.

Turning white opaque -leading to death- maybe be a result of the shrimp trying to molt but not having enough or the right nutrients to successfully molt and the shrimp slowly dies.

And everyone must know ghost shrimp aren't true freshwater shrimp- they just live in freshwater then return to brackish to spawn. That's why you never see baby shrimp after the females get pregnant.

Water params aren't really that important as long as they are stable with no ammonia.
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:05 PM   #11
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thanks everyone! I will keep my eye on him...it was just startling...I've never had them live this long before.
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40 gal tank: 2 silver and black (now called fire and ice??) mickey mouse platies and 1 silver, black and gold mickey mouse platy. 1 known alive ghost shrimp, 1 silver hatchet, 5 rummeynose tetras, 3 serpea tetras, and 2 corydoras. One male betta(Samhain), 5 zebra danios, 1 glo-light danio.

5 gal: 2 dwarf puffer fish (Puffy and Amiyui!)
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:19 PM   #12
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FWIW -- I have three amanos -- the shrimp in my tank turn opaque a day or two before molting. After molting they are clear again and even a little green around the mouth/front area of their body. I have seen four molts in the last month, and two had legs and one appeared to have eyes! There are still three amanos though :) just FYI in case you see the same and, like me, get scared.

I have three cherry shrimp as well and their molts, unlike the larger amano's, get picked up by the filter. Occasionally I will see one that is a spotchy red, almost clear in spots, and I used to worry but after a day or so I'll see three very red shrimp again. I am a newbie and have not had ghost shrimp in my tank. HTH.
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:34 PM   #13
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apologies. I have had the shrimp for ~three weeks. I am borrowing a camera to update my gallery soon - would you like me to PM you pictures of an amano before and after molting? I don't know if that will be of help to you.
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
apologies. I have had the shrimp for ~three weeks. I am borrowing a camera to update my gallery soon - would you like me to PM you pictures of an amano before and after molting? I don't know if that will be of help to you.
I would greatly appriciate the images if you don't mind!
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40 gal tank: 2 silver and black (now called fire and ice??) mickey mouse platies and 1 silver, black and gold mickey mouse platy. 1 known alive ghost shrimp, 1 silver hatchet, 5 rummeynose tetras, 3 serpea tetras, and 2 corydoras. One male betta(Samhain), 5 zebra danios, 1 glo-light danio.

5 gal: 2 dwarf puffer fish (Puffy and Amiyui!)
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:48 PM   #15
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Shrimp require some iodine and calcium to be able to molt properly, so it may be a "molt gone wrong" kindof situation. Keep us posted.
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:28 AM   #16
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Well, the shrimp that turned white turned up half-eaten this morning. I'm not sure if he died and the shark got him, or if he was weak and the shark got him, but I'm down to three now.

Tankgirl, how do you add calcium and iodine to the water? Will that hurt any other critters in the tank (maybe some snails? )

Thanks again to everyone who replied!
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40 gal tank: 2 silver and black (now called fire and ice??) mickey mouse platies and 1 silver, black and gold mickey mouse platy. 1 known alive ghost shrimp, 1 silver hatchet, 5 rummeynose tetras, 3 serpea tetras, and 2 corydoras. One male betta(Samhain), 5 zebra danios, 1 glo-light danio.

5 gal: 2 dwarf puffer fish (Puffy and Amiyui!)
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Old 12-09-2004, 12:59 PM   #17
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Since my water is pretty hard I have not actually dosed calcium, but there are crab pellets (diet for crabs/crayfish, that is) that contain these things and they might be a good idea to feed if there was any way to know the shrimp were getting them.

Otherwise, marine iodine (or iodide) is good for shrimp, and will not harm your tank if you dose 1/2 teaspoon per 25 gallons once a month. Also some people feed their shrimp frozen chopped spinach as a healthy treat for them. That is full of minerals.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:15 PM   #18
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hmm...I may have to look for them. Thanks again everyone!
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40 gal tank: 2 silver and black (now called fire and ice??) mickey mouse platies and 1 silver, black and gold mickey mouse platy. 1 known alive ghost shrimp, 1 silver hatchet, 5 rummeynose tetras, 3 serpea tetras, and 2 corydoras. One male betta(Samhain), 5 zebra danios, 1 glo-light danio.

5 gal: 2 dwarf puffer fish (Puffy and Amiyui!)
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:21 AM   #19
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can you keep the molted shell in the tank will they eat it kind of like mice eat bones for calcium
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:11 AM   #20
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Montwo- They will usually eat their molted shell if the filter doesn't suck it up or something else doesn't get it.

Dragonchild85- You have further proved my point of the shrimp that turn opaque-white and stay that way die, because sharks basically wait until it's dead or incapacitated to eat it. And calcium is good for snails- helps them grow and make their shells hard, just like other inverts. And you'll always have to get more ghost shrimp since they can't reproduce in the tanks and last for a max of 1 year. Ask Tankgirl about her cherry shrimp since they can reproduce in the tank so you don't have to replace them and they eat algae.
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