cabomba aquarium plant caused mass shrimp deaths red cherry shrimp

Warning when adding new plants with shrimp

Just recently I bought a load of new plants (Cabomba, my new favourite) for my main tank.

I got them off eBay, they came lush and looked very nice.

Within minuets of adding the plants, my Shrimp where literally dropping to the substrate on their backs, barely moving. Within minuets I had piles of dead Shrimp. Bearing in mind I had at least 50 Shrimp, some maybe 5 generations down. This was devastating.

The reason for this is obviously the new plants were grown using some sort of fertiliser or anti-pesticide or they were dipped in a chemical solution. Some chemical solutions are used to rid the plant of any snails or other pest before selling. Fish however are not effected.

I cannot blame the eBay seller as they did state: to thoroughly swill the plants before adding them with any sails or shrimp. I did do this however, but obviously not to enough extent. I didn’t know how bad this could actually be. Also I didn’t want to swill the plants too hard as they’d fall apart.

cabomba aquarium plant caused mass shrimp deaths red cherry shrimp

What I did was first put the plants from the bag, into my sink. Filled it with water and let them sit. Swilled them around, and then added to the tank. Despite this, the shrimp instantly started dropping to the substrate and wriggling around, most of them died straight away.

I did four large water changes, pretty much within the first 5 minuets of seeing what was happening as I realised straight away what had happened. I must of changed at least 100% of the existing water in a desperate attempt to try and rid the tank of any harmful chemicals. When I treated the water with Prime, I even upped the dosage to neutralise any metals in the water. Copper is very harmful to shrimp.

Until this actually happens, you wont realise how much of an impact a certain chemical can have in the tank. The plants must of had minimal traces of any harmful chemical as they were sat in clean water, and still it wiped out all my Shrimp, in minuets.

You have to be so careful. From now on, i’m going to have to quarantine my plants, or make sure first with the buyer that they don’t use any harmful chemicals to boost growth.

I managed to save about 5 shrimp and I added them to the Shrimp tank. I’m not going to buy any more Shrimp for a while now. I still have my Dennerle Shrimp tank so hopefully that takes off, and I end up with a load in there.