Why Are My Aquarium Shrimp Dying?

Why Are My Aquarium Shrimp Dying?


Congratulations on your brand-new tank setup after buying a bunch of freshwater shrimps! It’s an overwhelming joy seeing them in their brand-new home.

But, after a few days and weeks, these aquarium shrimp died one by one. Seriously, what did just happen??

You might play the blame game or have a pity party wondering what the heck went wrong. “Why are my aquarium shrimps dying?”

Shrimps are hardy, indeed. But these beautiful, colorful critters are more delicate compared to other aquatic pets. There are many reasons why shrimp die. Some of the reasons could be inevitable mistakes that you have just realized on your own. And some reasons are out of control that even expert shrimp keepers were not able to think of.

In this blog post, we will talk about the reasons why shrimp die and we’ll find out how to keep aquarium shrimp alive.

 dead shrimp


5 Reasons Why Shrimps Die

1. Tank Water Problems

Your tank water is not suitable for your freshwater shrimps. There are things to look out for before transferring your shrimps to their new home. First, the tanks that are not fully cycled may have high concentrations of nitrites and ammonia which will lead them to death.

Take control of the parameters of your aquarium water such as the hardness, temperature, and pH levels. Also, the stability of your tank water must be maintained.

Freshwater shrimps may die due to a drastic fluctuation in the water. They are too sensitive to tolerate a such spike in temperature in pH level.

Identify what’s in your tank water. Does it contain chemicals such as copper and chloramine? How about the plants? What fertilizers did you put in there? What medicine did you give to your sick shrimps which made them worst?

Your tank water is not just water but they produce anything that can keep your shrimps alive or can kill them too. Copper contamination may happen when your water pipes are made of copper. And when you put hot water into the tank to do a water change, it may produce copper as well.

Another possible source of copper and lead plants. It is important to take some preparations before adding a new plant to your aquarium.

Another source of copper is your pet’s medicine. It is good to treat the entire tank with some drugs but be cautious because some may have copper content that will lead to the shrimp’s death.

Fertilizers are beneficial to your aquarium plants. But be cautious because some fertilizers have harmful components like a high content of lead and copper.


2. Why Shrimp Die in Aquarium: Feeding Problems


If overfeeding causes the tank to contaminate, underfeeding causes the shrimps to have poor health and die. You can easily identify if the shrimps are underfed. They go rushing right after you give them food.

Also, there is a low survival rate for their baby shrimps. And one of the factors affecting them is a lack of algae. However, you may introduce powdered food for the baby shrimps to feed them properly. You may also want to give snowflake food to avoid polluting the water tank.


Feeding your shrimp with more than they need to eat will lead to leftovers. And leftover foods can cause an ammonia spike as they start to decay. This will further lead to an uncycled tank wherein nitrite and ammonia may arise caused by the leftover that stayed for hours to days.

You only need to give them enough food to consume within hours. When there is any food left uneaten, remove it to keep the tank clean and stabilized.

3. Pest Infestation

Another factor why aquarium shrimp die so fast is the infestation of pests like Dragonfly Nymphs, Hydra, Vorticella, and Planaria. These are pests that can kill both baby and adult shrimps.

Some pests come from unclean leftover foods such as Planaria, while some come from aquarium plants such as Dragonfly nymphs that hunt your shrimps.

You need to eradicate them before it’s too late. You may use a plastic straw or small siphon and agitate the water plants to shake off the pests and do the process of removing them. This is not a thing that you can ignore because they reproduce so fast that they can outnumber your shrimp.

4. New Plant

It may sound awful but no matter how healthy and beautiful your plant is, it can harm your shrimps especially when you have not done proper precautionary measures before transferring them to your fish water tank.

Aquatic plants have certain chemicals that can harm your shrimps quickly. It is advisable to quarantine your plants first and wash them thoroughly before placing them in your aquarium.

Shrimps are known sensitive aquatic creatures so they can extremely react to all sorts of pesticides that your plant may have. If you want to make sure that you use a good healthy plant, choose ones that are non-pesticide treated.

5. Old Age – Natural Death of a Shrimp

Reality speaking, shrimps don’t have a long-life span. Most freshwater shrimps have an approximate 1 to 2 year of life span same as the Ghost Shrimp. However, other varieties like fan shrimp, vampire, and Amano, have a 2 to 5 years life span.

Why shrimp died in aquariums can be caused by their old age. However, many shrimps die earlier than their expected life span even when they are healthy and live in a good aquatic environment.

But there is nothing to feel worried about why shrimp died in aquariums especially when the rest of the shrimp are healthy. Perhaps, it has aged and its life is limited.

When this happens, you can move one leaving dead shrimp in the tank. Shrimps and other aquatic pets can eat dead shrimps too.

But also bear in mind if the dead shrimp has stayed uneaten for hours, take it out right away to keep your tank water free from possible contamination.


Don't Give Up!

It’s not too late to start again. You can take a look at our awesome freshwater shrimps here and choose whatever color you like. Do not easily give up keeping these shrimps.

It’s normal to feel sad for your loss, but it’s a good thing you’ve gained some learnings (so you may become aware in the future.) These mistakes and learning can give you another hope to keep these cute, colorful, beautiful tiny crustaceans that are joyful to watch.

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