From bacterial infections to parasitic infestations, there are plenty of cherry shrimp diseases and illnesses—we’ve got you covered, come what may.
Like any living creature, cherry shrimps are susceptible to diseases that can quickly deteriorate their health.
As a shrimp owner, you should be able to identify and treat common diseases to keep your shrimp happy and healthy.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most common diseases that affect cherry shrimp, their symptoms, and how to treat them.
So, let’s dive in and learn how to keep your cherry shrimp alive and kicking in the aquarium.
Cherry shrimps are quite hardy creatures and can easily adapt to a bunch of environments. Still, there are a couple of things they won’t tolerate, which may cause some health issues. Let’s look at the most common.
Bacterial infections are caused by the presence of harmful bacteria in the tank. Symptoms may include loss of appetite, discoloration, and lethargy.
Common bacteria include Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium, Vibrio vulnificus, and Aeromonas. All of these are known for their disastrous effects on muscle destruction, and they cause a condition called muscular necrosis.
This condition breaks down the tissue of the shrimps and causes their health to deteriorate until they’re too weak to keep on living.
There are also Chitinolytic bacterial diseases, such as shell disease, brown spots, black spots, burned spots, and rust diseases.
The bacteria causing these diseases can be Flavobacterium spp, Aeromonas spp, Vibrio spp, Pseudomonas spp, and Spirillum spp.
They’re external infections that cause the outer shell of the shrimp to become melanized, pitted, or even eroded.
Bacterial infections happen due to poor water quality, stress, and overcrowding. You can fix it through antibiotics, but they aren’t always the best route as they can kill other beneficial bacteria in the tank.
Alternatively, you can use Indian almond leaves, which have a tremendous effect on boosting immunity.
Yet, the ideal route is to prevent bacterial infections from the get-go. You can do so by keeping the water clean and fresh. Also, minimize stress on your shrimps and don’t overcrowd the tank.
Fungal infections are caused by the presence of fungi in the tank. Symptoms include white patches on the shell, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
You need to address the root cause of the issue when it comes to fungal infections. In this case, you’ll have to provide better maintenance of the tank and put more effort into keeping the water clean and fresh.
You should opt for a high-quality filtration system as well as provide more regular water changes.
After that, you can tackle the issue with medicine like antifungal medication (methylene blue). You should keep a close eye on your shrimp when you’re giving it medication to notice signs of improvement or decline right away.
If your infected shrimp’s health keeps deteriorating and it ends up dead, make sure you remove it from the tank right away to prevent the spread of infection.
Parasitic infections are caused by the presence of parasites in the tank. Symptoms include loss of appetite, discoloration, and lethargy.
The most common parasitic infections in cherry shrimp are Velvet, Ich, and Anchor worms. Ich, which is also known as white spot disease, is caused by a protozoan parasite that attaches itself to the shrimp’s fins and body.
Velvet is caused by a similar parasite that forms a yellow-gold film on the shrimp’s shell. Finally, Anchor worms are visible parasites that attach to the shrimp’s tail, head, or body, causing irritation and open wounds.
The two other common parasitic infections are acute hepatopancreatic necrosis (AHPND) disease and Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP).
Other common parasites include Vorticella, Scutariella Japonica, and leeches.
To treat these parasites, you have to identify the kind of parasite you’re dealing with first. You can do this by observing the shrimp’s appearance and behavior.
Once you do that, you can opt for a remedial measure, which is typically adding aquarium salt, copper-based medications, or commercial shrimp medication designed to treat parasites.
Like bacterial and fungal infections, it’s best to prevent parasitic infections from happening in the first place by following preventive measures.
The most common telltale signs are loss of appetite, lethargy, and discoloration or turning white.
However, it’s worth mentioning that these symptoms could be caused by other factors, like poor water quality or tank conditions.
Before assuming your shrimp is sick, make sure that you’re providing it with the proper conditions for its well-being.
To prevent diseases, you should follow some preventive measures, which aren’t too hard to stick to.
The first thing is to make sure your tank isn’t overcrowded by having an aquarium that’s big enough. If you’re keeping 10 to 20 cherry shrimps, the tank should be a 5-gallon one.
Between 20 and 50 cherry shrimps need a 10-gallon tank, and so on.
Keeping the water clean is also a crucial step, and that’s why installing a solid filtration system is of the essence.
Furthermore, make sure that your cherry shrimps are comfortable in their environment. For example, if there’s a new tenant, monitor it to see through that none of the old shrimps are bullying it.
Moreover, don’t allow for drastic changes in their conditions, which can startle them and make them retreat with fear and stress.
Finally, keep a close eye on each shrimp to guarantee they’re doing well and don’t need medical attention on your end.
To provide your cherry shrimps with the ideal conditions for them to survive and thrive, make sure you tick the following checkboxes.
Cherry shrimps thrive in pH levels between 6.5 and 8.0 while the temperature should be around 60 to 85°F.
Apart from the appropriate temperature and pH levels, your cherry shrimps will need the environment to be consistent.
That’s to say that if they experience any sudden drastic changes in either the temperature or pH levels, they might start turning white in response.
Although copper is part of their inner design, and it’s how they process oxygen, cherry shrimps shouldn’t absorb too much copper.
Otherwise, they might fall ill to copper toxicity and other illnesses, leading to discoloration.
You should get a filter for your aquarium to make sure that the water is free of toxins like nitrites and ammonia, which have adverse effects on shrimps.
If you don’t provide regular maintenance to the aquarium, these toxins accumulate and make your shrimps fall ill.
There are plenty of approaches you can follow when your shrimp falls ill, and these include the following:
The first thing to do when you notice a shrimp falling ill is to separate it from the tank.
You must prevent the disease from spreading to other shrimps or creatures. Separating the sick shrimp also allows you to closely monitor its symptoms and provide it with the proper care it needs.
There are plenty of medication options out there, including ones for fungal infections, parasitic infections, and general antibiotics.
Make sure you’ve done your proper research regarding the medication you plan to use and stick to the instructions.
Some shrimp owners prefer using natural remedies to treat their sick shrimps. Natural remedies include garlic extracts and Indian almond leaves, which boost the shrimp’s immune system.
Make sure that you change the water in the tank regularly so that it’s always clean and fresh. Besides filtration, you can test the water regularly to ensure that temperature, pH levels, copper, ammonia, and nitrites are kept at appropriate levels.
With all the knowledge about cherry shrimp diseases and illnesses under your belt, you can spot symptoms immediately and take remedial measures as soon as possible.
While cherry shrimps can be susceptible to infections like bacterial, fungal, and parasitic ones, it’s not too hard to keep them away.
By keeping the water fresh, the tank spacious, and the shrimps stress-free, you can ensure that your cherry shrimps will stay in shape.
We wish you and your shrimps the best of health!
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.