How To Save A Dying Shrimp?

How To Save A Dying Shrimp

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

Many beginner shrimp keepers often wonder what to do if their shrimps are dying. I understand the curiosity and it is actually very important to know what you should do in such a scenario.

To save dying shrimps you need to first identify what is going wrong with the shrimp in your fish tank. You would most likely notice the threat when some shrimps are already dead in your fish tank.

In my research, I have seen that many shrimp keepers are clueless about why their shrimps are dying in the first place. So, before trying to save your shrimps, first you’ll have to figure out what’s killing them.

How to Identify If a Shrimp Is Dead?

Before thinking about ways to save a dying shrimp you need to be sure that your shrimp is dead and is not just molting. Your shrimp lives in a shell and while the shrimp can grow, the shell doesn’t. 

One of the ways you can identify if your shrimps are dying is when you see that the shrimps are turning pinkish. When you identify that shrimps in your tank are dying you should be alarmed immediately. 

What Should I Do To Save The Rest Of The Shrimps In My Tank?

Now that you know your shrimps are dying it is time for you to take action. I would talk about a list of actions that you should do to ensure the safety of your shrimps.

1. Check the Water Parameters

Many shrimps are extremely delicate and they can’t handle even slight change of water parameters. Cherry shrimp is a very common example of that.

You should be always checking the water parameters and if you detect any change in the water parameters you need to take some actions to bring the water parameters back to normal.

Some of the water parameters that you should check are Temperature, PH, GH, KH, and TDS. If the temperature is too high it is not good for your shrimps and it might be the reason for the death of your shrimps.

2. Check for the Presence of Copper, Lead, Chloramine and Other Harmful Chemicals in Your Tank

Copper and lead both are very deadly to your shrimps and if you see that suddenly your shrimps are dying, check for the copper and lead levels in the tank water. Even if they are present in a small amount they can cause trouble for your shrimps.

You can check the levels of copper and shrimp by various test kits that are available. If you find out that the levels of lead and copper are high you should take immediate steps to change the water. 

You can use activated carbons to remove copper from the tank water. 

Preventive Measures:

1) One of the most common ways by which your tank water is exposed to harmful chemicals is through medicines. These medicines though can cure fish illness, can also be harmful to the fish. Make sure that the medicine you are introducing to your fish tank is safe for the shrimps as well.

2) Make sure that you don’t introduce hot water to the tank as they contain high amounts of copper which are harmful to the shrimps.

3) Use a de-chlorinator to make sure that there is no presence of chloramine which is very harmful to the shrimps.

3. Check for Pests in The Water Tank

You shrimps can be dying because of pests like Hydra, Dragonfly Nymphs, and others. To save your shrimps use pesticides that are healthy for shrimp and the fish in your tank as well.

Pests can come to the tank from overfeeding or even from a new plant that you have brought from a store.

4. How To Change Tank Water Properly So The Shrimps Don’t Die?

Most of the measures for protecting your shrimp would need you to replace the existing tank water. It has to be done very carefully as most shrimps are excessively sensitive to water change. 

A complete water change in the tank is very risky for the shrimp but in some cases, it is necessary to save your shrimp from dying. You should be changing 25 percent of the water every two to four weeks to keep the fishes healthy.

You have to take the used old water in a bucket and place all the fish and shrimp from your tank to the bucket. Change 25 percent of the water and also use a siphon to suck out the impurities from the bottom of the fish tank. 

Some Tips to Take Better Care Of Your Shrimp So They Don’t Die

Other than genetic causes or the shrimp dying from old age, all the other causes that lead to the death of shrimps can be avoided. Some tips are listed below that I found in my research and also from personal experience:

  • Most shrimps die in the very beginning if you fail to acclimate the shrimps. Shrimps need time to get used to the water in your tank and you need to properly acclimate them in your tank.
  • Make sure that you are not overfeeding your shrimp. Overfeeding would result in leftover foods that can cause the quantity of ammonia to increase in your tank. You need to stop overfeeding the shrimp immediately if you are doing that.
  • Make sure that your tank is properly recycling the ammonia into nitrate. The cycle starts with ammonia produced from fish poop, excess foods that are turned to nitrite by beneficial bacteria. The same bacteria would turn the nitrite to nitrate that you would need to remove from the tank. This cycle should be maintained properly for the safekeeping of your shrimps.


In my experience prevention is better than cure. Once the shrimp starts dying in your tank it is not easy to detect the cause and take necessary steps to cure them. It is, however, easier to prevent it if you are careful from the very beginning about your shrimps.

About Muntaseer Rahman

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