Understanding Dwarf Shrimp Diseases and Parasites  

Dwarf Shrimp Diseases and Parasites

No shrimp owner wants to see their shrimps develop unexplained and sometimes brutal diseases. However, they are extremely common, and in most cases curable. The first step to understanding and treating dwarf shrimp diseases and parasites is learning to recognize them. Are your shrimps suddenly dying? Are they changing in color or developing strange dots and spurs on their bodies? This article will give you a better understanding of how to recognize the diseases and parasites your shrimps may be suffering from.


Dwarf shrimp and VorticellaVorticella is one of the most common parasites in shrimp tanks. It looks like white mold growth on the body of the shrimp. Areas of fluffy white growth may also be observed on the shrimp’s head and at the tip of the nose.

Because of its appearance, vorticella are often mistaken for a fungus when they are better described as protozoa. There are over 200 known species with at least 16 known types of Vorticella, which are classified as heterotrophic organisms, meaning that they feed on bacteria. Vorticella will settle on freshwater plants, algae, rocks, shells or crustacean animals, such as shrimp.

As protozoa, Vorticella reproduce by dividing themselves. The new protozoa, which is created by the division of the “parent” will float into the water until it finds something to leech onto.

For shrimp, Vorticella can be deadly. Left untreated, it could cause various health problems and eventually death.

Treatment possibility: Fortunately, Vorticella is curable. You can read more about it in my article “Shrimp Vorticella Parasite. Treatment”

Some medicine (links to check the price on Amazon):

Scutariella Japonica    

small Dwarf shrimp and Scutariella JaponicaScutariella Japonica is possibly the most common and most discussed shrimp parasite. A Scutariella Japonica is a type of flatworm or parasitic nematode. It is classified in the following categories and sub-categories: plathelmintae/tubarellia/temnocephalidae/scutarielloidea. This animal is classified as a “parasite” by shrimp keepers because it lives and thrives by damaging the gills or mantle of the shrimp and sometimes even lead to their death.

The first sign of infection of a shrimp by Scutariella japonica is the appearance of a small white stick-like growth of about 1 to 2 millimeters on top of a shrimp’s head. As I have just said, these parasites live not only on the heads of shrimp but also in their gills. However, they are very rarely found toward the legs of the shrimp or the lower part of their bodies.

Those parasites grow, thrive, and reproduce inside of the shrimp. This means that they also lay eggs inside the shrimp’s head or in the gills region (read more about shrimp anatomy). After the shrimp molts, the eggs are liberated, open up, and go on to colonize more shrimps. Although those eggs are small in diameter, there are often several of them forming a noticeable white formation around the shrimp’s head. This makes them easy to spot even without using a microscope.

It is also important to note that in small quantities, these parasites will cause no great harm to the shrimp and the only problem is on an aesthetic level, as it affects the appearance of the animals. However, if the parasites reproduce at a steady pace and colonize more hosts, they can cause serious health problems and really be considered a disease.

Treatment possibility: Scutariella Japonica can be cured. You can read more about it in my article “Shrimp Disease – Scutariella Japonica. Treatment”

Some medicine (links to check the price on Amazon):

Holtodrilus Truncates

Holtodrilus truncates (shrimp worms) are small, worm-like obligate epibionts (organisms living on other organisms, basically, parasites) of crustaceans, mainly crayfish and shrimp. These worms do not appear to prefer to anchor to the rostrum, instead of anchoring under the shrimp right between the pleopods.

These parasites are a new threat that came to use from Asian aquaculture ponds. Shrimp worms can affect shrimp wellbeing by causing distress which leads directly to shrimp weakness, loss of color, and even casualties.

Treatment possibility: Fortunately, Holtodrilus truncates worms are easy to remove. You can read more about it in my article “Holtodrilus Truncates – Parasites in Shrimp Keeping Hobby”

Some medicine (links to check the price on Amazon):

Bacterial infection    

Bacterial infections are subtle and act quickly. The outbreak of Bacterial infections can lead to massive mortalities of the shrimp. You may only notice that your shrimps have got sick with one when several of them start dying all of a sudden.

In shrimps that are transparent (like Amano shrimp or Ghost shrimp), the infection can sometimes be observed by a change in the appearance of their internal organs. For example, they might look inflamed or swollen, and even sometimes turn to black.

Unfortunately, for other types of shrimps, the infection may go entirely unnoticed until death. In fact, you may not even notice what caused death and blame water parameters (PH, GH, KH, TDS, Nitrate, etc), molting issuescopper, etc.

Because noticing a bacterial infection generally means that the shrimp has been infected for a long time, the shrimp only has a few days to live once it has been diagnosed with a bacterial infection. The problem is that I do not know any organization that can do such things for ordinary shrimp keepers.

Treatment possibility: In conclusion, we do not know much about Bacterial infection, we cannot diagnose it fast enough and there is often no treatment for our shrimp.

Chitinolytic Baсterial Disease

Dwarf shrimp and Chitinolytic Baсterial Disease (Rust disease)Chitinolytic bacteria affects the outer organs of the shrimp, differing from bacterial diseases, which only affect inner organs. Under the umbrella name, ‘chitinolytic’, many types of bacteria are grouped, among which Benekea spp, Pseudomanas spp, Vibrio spp, Flavobacterium spp, Spirillum spp, and Aeromonas spp.

The main criterion of diagnosis of this disease is spots, dips, and a general erosion of the outer membrane of the shrimp. The dotted appearance that it gives the animals has given this type of infection many names, among which “Brown spot disease”, “Burned spot disease”, “Black spot disease”, “Rust disease” and “Shell disease”.

Not only does this infection affect the structural integrity of the shrimps’ outer membrane, but it also makes them a lot more vulnerable to further infection.

Treatment: You can find on different sites some ways to treat it but to tell the truth, I know only one treatment that can be used against Rust disease – hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

You can read more about it in my article “Rust Disease in a Shrimp Tank. Treatment”.

Fungal Infections    

Dwarf shrimp Fungal Infections
photo by Michael Wolfinger (crustakrankheiten.de)

Although they are more common with fish than shrimps, fungal infections are a real possibility and sometimes a powerful killer of shrimp. To understand fungal infection, it is first important to understand the role of fungi in the lives of shrimp:

fungi are organisms that belong neither to the plant kingdom nor to the animal kingdom. On earth, we know fungi best in the form of mushrooms, but there are actually thousands of different species of fungi. Any kind of water zone in which living animals are present is sure to contain a good amount of fungi as well. Most of the time, that fungi is not dangerous or harmful.

However, in some cases, fungi can cause an infection known as ‘mycosis’ (‘mycosis’ is the same diagnosis given to people who struggle with conditions such as Athlete’s foot). In shrimps, mycosis can deteriorate internal organs, and even cause death.

Most shrimps are able to resist fungal infections well, granted that they have a solid immune system. When shrimps are injured, are recovering from another disease, or straight after they have molted, they are particularly sensitive and likely to develop a fungal infection.

Fungal infections and Diagnose

Fungal infections are particularly hard to diagnose when they affect the internal organs of the shrimp. In fact, they may only be noticeable with a microscope, which is not readily available to the standard amateur shrimp keeper.

However, fungal infections such as “Achlya” or “Saprolegnia” which affect the outer membrane of the shrimp can be visible to the naked eye in the form of white residue. Shrimps that have been attacked by those fungi will develop a cloud-like white growth on the outer part of their bodies.

Not only are superficial fungal infections easier to diagnose, but they are also easier to cure. In some cases, the shrimp will molt, and the fungal infection will disappear with the molted skin itself.

However, if the infection is still there are several medicines, which can help you.

API Pimafix (link to check the price on Amazon), according to API company, is completely safe with invertebrates such as snails and shrimps. It will not harm the biological filter – the bacteria in the biological filter are quite different from those that are found on the fish. It will not harm plants.

Proper usage:

  1. Add 5 ml per 10 gallons of aquarium water.
  2. Dose daily for 7 days.
  3. After 7 days, make a 25% water change.

jbl Fungol will also treat external mycoses (fungal infections). However, be very careful, according to the manufacturer, “Invertebrates in freshwater (shrimp, crustaceans, snails, etc.) may exhibit intolerances”. Therefore, if you decide to use it start with less then half a dose and increase cautiously.

Treatment possibility: potentially curable. 

Porcelain disease

crayfish Porcelain disease“Porcelain disease” is the result of infection by the single-celled protozoan Thelohania contejani (Microsporidia), and is only easily recognizable in the advanced stages, when the abdominal muscle, translucent in healthy individuals, becomes white and opaque.

This is a serious problem for several decapod crustaceans including shrimp, crabs, and freshwater crayfish.

The infectious stage is represented by the spore, which is highly resistant, persisting in the environment for long periods of time. Initially thought to be protozoans, new molecular biology data has suggested their affinity for fungi.

When the infection spreads, the parasite can be found in the gills, skeletal, cardiac, and intestinal muscles.

“Porcelain disease” usually only occurs with newly imported shrimp or with animals that have come into contact with these imported animals. It has not been proven so far that the disease also occurs spontaneously.
At first, the infected shrimp will lose some color. Then they turn milky white starting from the head. Next, infected muscles will not be able to move, and after some time shrimp die.

Note: The infection rate also seems to depend on the pH of the water. The lower the pH, the higher the risk of spreading “Porcelain disease” infection.

Important: Shrimp with such symptoms should be immediately removed from the tank.

Treatment possibility: Unfortunately, it is possible to treat this disease only in the early stages. According to the experiments, flake food soaked in the malachite green was effective against this parasite in several cases. However, no guarantee can be given.

In my article “Shrimp Vorticella Parasite. Treatment” you can find the list of medicines that contains malachite green

Medicine (links to check the price on Amazon):

“Milk shrimp disease” or “Cotton shrimp disease”

Dwarf shrimp - Milk shrimp disease2It is very easy to confuse “Milk shrimp disease” and “Porcelain disease”. The difference is that unlike “Porcelain disease”, “Milk” parasite infects almost all body of the shrimp at once.

This disease is caused by Myxosporea, which literally eats the shrimp from the inside.

Shrimp with these symptoms usually die within a short time.

Treatment possibility: Myxosporea are very resistant and effective treatment is currently not known for the shrimp.

Epibionts, Dinoflagellate, and Ellobiopsid Parasites 

Dwarf shrimp - Epibionts, Dinoflagellate and ellobiopsid parasidesMuch like fungi, there are hundreds of different sorts of epibionts, dinoflagellates and ellobiopsids living in the water. Not all of them are bad, and most are completely harmless. However, in some cases, epibionts, dinoflagellates, and ellobiopsids (sometimes also called ellobiopsidae which is more scientifically correct), act as particularly vicious parasites. They attack not only shrimps but also fish and a variety of other invertebrate animals.

Their method of attack is to settle into the shrimp’s digestive tract, muscles, blood, and even eggs, where they live using the shrimp’s inner resources. This causes the shrimp to weaken, become sick, and eventually die.

Although they are subtle, the presence of these parasites can be fairly obvious to the trained eye. These species reproduce by sending out spores which are then found on the outer membrane of the shrimp’s body. To be able to fight that kind of infection early, I strongly recommend that shrimp keepers familiarize themselves with the appearance of the spores of those dangerous parasites.

In order to notice the appearance of those parasites in a shrimp tank, you need to look out for cottony green or yellowish growth on the body of the shrimp. The texture will be very similar in appearance to a fungal infection, differing only in the color of the growth created. The most common place to notice the appearance of infection is in between a shrimp’s legs and around the swimmeretes.

Treatment possibility: Green fungus is extremely hard to treat. However, there is still a chance. You can read more about it in my article “Ellobiopsidae or Cladogonium ogishimae. Green Fungus in Shrimp Tank”

Some medicine (links to check the price):

Muscular Necrosis

Dwarf shrimp - Muscular NecrosisMuscular Necrosis is a common disease in shrimps. It is characterized by loss of color on the body of the shrimp, which goes together with the appearance of white or milky colored spots on the lower end of the shrimp’s body.

The word “Necrosis” comes from the Greek word “Necros” which signifies “Death”, and refers to a disease in which the cells of an animal die off. The white color on the shrimp that you see making an appearance is actually only a symptom of a larger problem, which is the death of cells in the muscles, hence the name “Muscular necrosis”.

Some shrimp keepers assume that Muscular necrosis can be caused by inappropriate water parameters, lack of nutrients, bacterial infection, etc. However, nobody knows for sure. Therefore, without understanding the cause it is not possible to find the cure.

Treatment possibility: not possible.


Parasites are not actually always considered to be a disease for shrimps. In some cases, a parasite will choose to live on a shrimp and cause it no harm whatsoever. In some circumstances, the relationship between the shrimp and its parasite can even be called “Symbiotic” because they both benefit from being in relation with one another.

However, in some cases, a parasite can be manifested as a disease. It will weaken the shrimp or damage its internal organs, and, depending on the species, can even lead to the death of the shrimp. Common parasites for freshwater shrimps include scutariella, flatworms, leeches, etc.


Dwarf shrimp and PlanariaThese worms are absolutely hated by most aquarists. However, if you are overfeeding your shrimp there is a very high chance that Planaria will visit your tank eventually.

Although, they cannot catch healthy shrimp they can be a problem for the shrimplets and molting shrimp. So they do actively prey on some things.

Do not try to squash or cut them. Thanks to their ability to regenerate, they will grow back the missing part. As a result, you will get 2,3,4, etc. Planaria in place of the one.

Treatment possibility: very good chances. You can read more about these worms in my article “Planaria and Shrimps. How to remove them”.

Some medicine (links to check the price on Amazon):

Dog Dewormer
Panacur C


Dwarf shrimpand hydraUnfortunately, Hydras are also common visitors in our tank. This tiny predator feeds on small aquatic invertebrates that are paralyzed by the stinging cells.

Of course, one or two stings will not harm adult shrimp. The problem is that if you saw one Hydra it means that there are many more unnoticed. That can become dangerous even for the adult shrimp.

Keep in mind that their numbers grow exponentially! Every 2 – 3 days Hydra makes its copy. Thus, only 1 Hydra can turn into 4 000 in just 3 months.

Treatment possibility: very good chances. You can read more about it in my article “Hydra in a Shrimp Tank. Treatment”.

Some medicine (links to check the price on Amazon):

Dragonfly Nymph and Damselfly Nymphs

Dwarf shrimp and Dragonfly Nymph and Damselfly NymphsA Dragonfly or Damselfly nymph is not so much a disease or a parasite as it is a dreaded predator for the freshwater shrimp. Dragonflies can live in close proximity to shrimps and prey on them, eating both the babies and the adult specimens of the species.

The main way to tell if a dragonfly nymph may be affecting your shrimps is if you notice a lot of sudden deaths (disappearances). You may also want to familiarize yourself with the appearance of these animals. Knowing how to spot them will make it easy to tell if the death of your shrimp is caused by a predator, or finds its cause in another disease.

Treatment possibility: besides manual removal, it is almost impossible to get rid of Dragonfly Nymph and Damselfly Nymphs in a shrimp tank.

You can read more about it in my article “Dragonfly and Damselfly Nymphs. Monsters in Shrimp Tanks. Treatment”.

73 thoughts on “Understanding Dwarf Shrimp Diseases and Parasites  

  1. Hello Michael,

    One of my shrimp has recently died from a disease where it’s head was orange coloured. The shrimp was purchased from a local LFS. We are unsure which disease it was, any ideas?


    1. Hi Ishay,
      Sorry to hear that.
      Do you have any pictures of that shrimp?
      I have also sent you a message, check your email, please.
      Best regards,

      1. Hi, I seem to have the same issue with my shrimps, 3 already died – all of them neocaridina blue dream to black variation – I find them with pink or orange head and the rest of the body is the blue color. Have you seen it before? I have a photo but I cannot enclose it here. Thank you

        1. Hi Petra,
          I’ve sent you a message.
          Check your email, please.
          Best regards,

  2. Hi Michael,

    I have had this issue with two of my blue dream shrimp now. Essentially the antennae become upturned and appear immobile. The first shrimp eventually died, likely from the stress of running into things all the time. I just noticed the second shrimp recently, and I haven’t found any information about this issue. What are your thoughts about this? I’d like to try and treat this issue, but I’m not really sure where to even start. Thanks.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Sorry to hear that but it is really difficult to figure out without any pictures.
      Do you have any?
      Best regards,

  3. Hello, I had the same issue where 2 of my shrimp died and they had an orange/pink spot on their head. I left them in the tank for the other shrimp but they did not touch it. The orange/pink colour eventually spread to the rest of their body. Do you know what caused this?

    1. Hi Michelle,
      It is really hard to say without pictures but orange/pink spots on their head – looks like Rust diseases to me.
      Best regards,

  4. Hi Michael,
    Thank you for this article. I could really use your help.
    I have always struggled to keep shrimp. No matter how many years and how much I research and how hard I try, I just can not maintain or sustain a colony.
    And their deaths continue to be a mystery to me. Currently I am down to three aqua velvets. One week ago, one of them started to turn white , internally . I have lost two or three in the past this way, I believe to muscular necrosis I think it is. But this time, my girl seems to be hanging in there. It’s been 8 days and she is still moving around, eating and molting.
    But she sure does not look right. Today I noticed a second one now does not look well. I assume he too has the same disease. But he has not started to turn white yet. However, and now to my question, they both seem to have some quick movement within their heads.
    Could this be a parasite? And can I still save them?
    Are you familiar with this at all?
    Thank you for any feedback you might have.
    And yes, I can send pictures

    1. Hi Kristen,
      I’ve sent you the message. Check your email.
      Best regards,

  5. Hey! My new shrimp that came from a healthy colony have this strange problem. 2 of them have this red outline with big indents. Like something is eating them. I’ve examined their molts under a microscope and given them a salt bath but nothing still. The shrimp did not have this when they left the distributor so maybe they picked something up due to the stress of shipping. It’s been a week since I noticed the spots and they haven’t gotten any worse and none of died. They are in isolation and the spots don’t go away with a molt. I would appreciate help deciding if I should cull them or put them back in my main tank. Thank you!

    1. Hi Taylor,
      Do you have pictures?
      I’ve sent you a message to your email, check it, please.
      Best regards,

  6. Hi Michelle!
    I noticed that a lot of people seem to be talking about finding shrimp that are pink and orange coloured. Believe it or not, all shrimp regardless of thier colour do that when they die. dead shrimp Usually look normal, then a cloudy, then pink. Just depends at which stage you find them and how many scavengers have eaten at them. Sorry you lost them.

  7. Hi, Michael! I’ve just found out that one of mine female lost her eggs. I’d blame the temperature but I’m not sure about it yet. The heater wasn’t working but even the shrimplets are fine. Then I found a light spot on her neck. Can it be a sign of some disease? It’s a dark blue neocaridina. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lulu,
      I need more information. Do you have a picture?
      Can you tell me more about the spot?
      What was wrong with the temperature?
      How old is the female?
      Do you know that it is possible to save the eggs?
      I’ve sent you the message to your female, please check it.
      Best regards,

  8. Hey Michael,
    I’ve recently been seeing some tiny worms in my tank, but I think they are rhabdocoela, not planaria. They are really small and I’m having trouble seeing the arrowhead shape on them to indicate that they are indeed planaria.

    This is in a fully cycled tank with nothing but a filter, bubbler, and some plants; overfeeding should not be a cause for concern with these worms. If they are indeed rhabdocoela, I have heard that they are completely harmless for (my future) shrimp, but I can never be too sure from their size. Would you have any recommendations for better identifying them?

    Many thanks,

  9. Hi I’ve just discovered drain fly larvae in my tanks,do you know if these are harmful to my shrimp please?
    I’m also trying to separate the sexes of my shrimp as they’re overbreeding lol but in doing so I’ve already discovered white fungus on 2 of my females,I’m currently acclimatising these females into a 10litre QT tank and will be treating with pimafix as advised,they both (and several other shrimp) have black innards,is this normal? I haven’t noticed many deaths,in fact I’ve lost around 5shrimp in the 4/5mths I’ve been keeping them,I’m still new to the hobby,I’ve kept fish years ago and currently have 6aquaiums,3 for fish and 3 for shrimp,so I’m trying to learn as much as I can about shrimp,so any tips are greatly appreciated,I could talk shrimp all day!
    Hopefully separating the sexes will stop the overbreeding and subsequent overstocking and all these issues that go alongside overstocking an aquarium.
    I plan to later selective breed in my QT tank if all goes well as I have some beautiful orange Sakura and orange jili shrimp 🦐

    1. Hi Ceta,
      Drain fly larvae should not be a problem for your shrimp. Even full-grown they are pretty small (up to 1 cm or 0.4 inches). They also mostly feed on biofilm and detritus.
      Shrimp overbreeding … it sounds wonderful. Congratulations! 🙂
      Do you have a picture of sick shrimp?
      I have sent you the message, so you can attach the photo.
      Best regards,

  10. Hey, I just bought a blue shrimp from by pet store and I’ve noticed that it has a big red spot on his head. It is like if something is attached to it. Do you have any ideas of what that is?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Pedro,
      Can you take photos from different angles and send them to me?
      Best regards,

    2. Hi, did you ever find out what this was on your shrimp? I’m experiencing the same thing. Thank you.

    3. Hi my shrimp has a long hair attached to its tail and I bought the little guy yesterday. I do have a picture if you could send me a message and help it would be greatly appreciated

      1. Hi Michael Gonzalez,
        Sure, check your eamil.
        Best regards,

  11. I have a blue shrimp that had some white stuff on her underside. I thought she was berried and took a photo. Upon further examination and no shrimplets, I decided she was not berried. I have the photo I can send to you and really need to know if it is a fungus so I can properly treat the tank. Thanks

    1. Hi Tasha,
      Send me these photos, please.
      Best regards,

  12. Hi Michael
    I don’t know if you’d have any advice without pictures, and i think I’m dealing with the white mold disease you mentioned is often confused with porcelain disease, but over 3 months every shrimp i add that my shark doesn’t eat for sure dies off within 3 days and turns white and fluffy when dead. I saw the last one this time struggling walking while on its back while still red. I had a successful cherry colony in this same tank until my shark laid eggs went crazy and ate them all, it’s planted, the nerite snail is fine and laying eggs, but over the last 3 months from around 70 ghost cherry and yellow shrimp I’ve added they all are dead within those 3 days. My ph is 6.5, temp 75.9, per tetra test strips 40 nitrate 0 nitrite 300 hardness (maybe it’s that?) 0 chlorine 80 alkaline and said 6.5ph. Thank you for any advice as i search water hardness

    1. Hi Sean,
      You are right, it is really hard to say about diseases without pictures. Although you water is very hard, I don’t think that this is the reason why they die within 3 days.
      Not to be Captain Obvious… but it lookds like there are some pathogens in your tank. I would not add there shrimp anymore. Sorry.
      Best regards,

  13. Hi Michael
    can i send you photos of my shrimp please?
    I have a problem with Blue Bolt
    Thank you

    1. Hi Patrik,
      Sorry, I could not answer earlier.
      Sure, send them to me. I’ll try to help if I can.
      Best regards,

  14. Hi Michael,

    I’m not sure how old this thread is but I noticed some potential killers of shrimp in my aquarium. I’ve noticed a rapid decline in population which has only grown over the past 2 years. One looks somewhat like Vorticella but unconfirmed. One looks like maybe mushroom-type fungus, orange in color. If I can email you, I have two videos currently affecting amano shrimp, although my cherry shrimp are of the main concern.

    1. Hi Greg,
      Sorry to hear that.
      Could you send me these videos and pictures?
      Check your email, please.
      Best regards,

  15. I’ve had my vampire shrimp for 2 weeks now and he was a dark blue when I first got him, but now he’s a reddish brown. Is this just him matching to his environment?

    1. Hi Nancee,
      Potentially, yes.
      Best regards,

  16. I can’t put pictures on here but I have noticed a white patch on the side of my African shrimp after he has molted.
    It’s his 1st molt.
    My previous shrimp lived for 4yrs a d I never saw anything like this white mark on him.

    Hopefully it’s not serious

    1. Hi Jennie Smart,
      Could you send me the pictures?
      Check your email, please.
      Best regards,

      1. Hi Michael, not sure if this is still an active thread but I have a lot of problems and questions and I’d very happy if you could email me and I’ll send you pictures and describe my issues. My email is hewing19@icloud.com thank you

        1. Hi Hayley,
          Yes, this is an active thread.
          I have sent you a message.
          Best regards,

  17. Hello! Thank you for this article! I believe I have a yellow neo tank that’s developing rust disease 🙁 I’ve started peroxide dosing, and it seems to be going ok so far. Any other recommendations? I have pix if that helps! Thanks in advance for the help!

    1. Hi Shelley P.,
      I have sent a message to your email.
      Peroxode is a good way to treat this disease. Just do not overdose.
      Best regards,

  18. Two of my shrimp died today one of which is pregnant the pregnant one seemed to have died in place and had a weird fungus on it. I do have planaria in the tank but they were adults so I’m not sure if that was the cause or not.

    1. Hi Alex,
      Could you show me the pictures of this fungus?
      When did you get the shrimp?
      Have you introduced anything in the tank recently?
      Best regards,

  19. My shrimp keep dying in the same spot over an over again. (About 3-6 a week)
    Some of them turn orange-ish, or the just straight up die. I see a lot of molts in that area, so that may have some effect on that? I saw one stand still not moving for a couple hours before it died. I haven’t seen any planaria or hydra, so I don’t know what’s up. I have seen flatworms in my tank, but they just look like detritus or something. Any ideas? I’ve asked around everywhere and no one has a clue!

    1. Hi Logan,
      Do you have pictures of the shrimp?
      Can you describe this place?
      How old is your tank? What else do you have there? What are your water parameters?
      Detritus worms will not harm your shrimp.
      Best regards,

  20. Hello Michael,

    One of my blue dream shrimp has a parasite (I think) that is trying to get into its head (that is what I think). I don’t know if it will be dangerous to my shrimp or not. I have filmed it so could you please email me and have a look at my video.

    Thank a lot

    1. Hi Tiffany Bui,
      Sure, I have sent you the message.
      Best regards,

  21. Hey, my shrimp has thick back and i dont think its eggs but im worried it might be an early stage of Cladogonium ogishimae does anyone know what should i do?

    1. Hi Lucia Vargová,
      Could you send me some pictures of this shrimp?
      Check your email, please.
      Best regards,

  22. Help! I found these spots on one of my blue bolt shrimps. I believe they are Chitinolytic Baсterial Disease. How do I send you a photo?

    1. Hi Jane,
      Check your email, please.
      Best regards,

    2. Hello Micheal,

      I wanted to update you on my shrimp. I did the peroxide treatment. I was cautious with the amount H2O2 I put in. It has been a few since. A couple of shrimp still have orange/red spots, however there are no depressions. Also, I thought the treatment might kill the bladder snails in the tank, but they survived. Should they have? I thought they were extremely sensitive to it. Maybe my treatment wasn’t strong enough?

      Also, I notice a couple of shrimp have pinkish stuff on the ends of the chela or pereiopods. It sounds silly but is looks like they have on pink mittens. Any idea of what this may be?

      1. Hi Jane,
        Thank you for the feedback.
        Bladder snails are highly resilient creatures. If your shrimp survive the treatment, then these snails are even more likely to thrive.
        Could you send me the photos of your shrimp?
        Best regards,

  23. Hi Michael,
    This is my first time keeping shrimp so I don’t really know much. I’ve been keeping 2 rili shrimp for around half a year now, just to see how it goes. However, yesterday, both suddenly died. There was nothing unusual and they were fine the day before. But one of the shrimps had a swollen black head when I found it dead, and the other’s tail was also black. So I was wondering if it was some sort of disease, parasite, or something else

    1. Hi Michelle,
      It is actually difficult to determine the cause based on such a brief description. However, based on my experience, infections don’t usually affect shrimp so quickly unless they had some preexisting symptoms or behavior changes.
      I would lean towards sudden changes in water parameters or an unsuccessful molting attempt where the shrimp intake water to crack their old exoskeleton as possible causes.
      Best regards,

  24. I’m trying to identify what’s going on with one of my recently purchased shrimp. It’s a parasite of some kind I think; I have a photo available if there’s a way to get it posted. Thank you!

    1. Hi Alex,
      Check your email, please.
      Best regards,

  25. Hello I have the same issue with my blue dream shrimp as others where it has the orange spot in the head. Can you tell me what this is and if it’s contagious.

    1. Hi Joye I.,
      Check your email, please.
      Best regards,

  26. Hello Michael,
    Does parasite disease looks like a scene from the Alien (Something moving around in its belly)? I have one female shrimp that is minding its own business and behaving normally. Its tummy is on the bigger side, as she is saddled (but I don’t think berried). It’s quite fascinating and scary to watch.
    Should I take her out of the tank?

    1. Hi Mom McLean,
      No, they do not, luckily 🙂
      I described the most popular forms, and the one you mentioned is not among them.
      It’s likely that your shrimp is doing great if it’s eating and behaving normally. It seems that it has had a good meal and is happy.
      But if you are still worried, you can send me photos of this shrimp.
      Best regards,

  27. Hi Michael,

    I don’t know whether this site is still active but I fear I am experiencing a bacterial infection in my juvenile Crystal Black shrimp which I received 10 days ago. They are the first shrimp I’ve ever owned so by the time I realized the coloration was not normal (even for culls) and something was wrong it may have been too late. I reached out to the breeder I purchased them from but have heard no response. The shrimp appear to develop reddish brown, almost undetectable splotches over their black stripes, and a slightly pinker tail section while any white on the head segment remains unchanged. I had one live for over a week like this, now 2 more are showing signs of infection. I have started treating 2 separate quarantine containers with small doses of H2O2, but if there is any further information you have uncovered since publishing this write up, please let me know.

    1. Hi Tay,
      Yes, I support this website and try to update the information.
      I’m sorry that happened to you. Could you take photos of your shrimp from different angles to make it clearer what you’re talking about? Has the behavior of the shrimp changed? How do they react to food?
      Best regards,

  28. Hi there
    As mentioned by another commenter, there is a space in the very front of my blue dream shrimps’ heads that is a dark orange/red color. I am concerned it’s a disease. Can you help me? I don’t see a place to upload a picture here.

    1. Hi Lexi,
      Unfortunately, it is not possible to attach images to messages here. However, if you would like to share images with me, you can send them to my email address. Check your email.
      Best regards,

  29. Hi Michael,
    I have a few shrimp in my tank that have an odd look to their exoskeleton that makes it a lighter color than their surrounding shell (so the areas on my cherry shrimp that have it appears light pink). I would guess it was some type of fungus, however it does not resemble any discussed in your article. Could I send you a picture if that would be ok? Appreciate all your info here, this is really helpful.

    1. Hi Ashlee,
      Sorry, I could not answer earlier.
      If the situation is still relevant, then of course, email me, and I’ll take a look. Also, please check your email.
      In any case, let me know what the situation is over there.
      Best regards,

  30. Hi Michael! I came across this while looking for help with my shrimp. I had a significant amount of planeria, but after a treatment of Planeria Zero they are all gone. Now I am noticing that some of my shrimp have a white fluffy coat on their faces. It’s just a few, and nowhere else but their face so far. Any ideas? The plan is to do a salt bath tonight, but I’m not sure what it actually is so I’m not sure that will work.

    I appreciate any help!


    1. Hi Evinn,
      I can’t provide precise answers without seeing what it is.
      Could you please send a photo of the shrimp with the white fuzz? Ideally, as large and clear as possible.
      When did you first notice them? Have you taken any action regarding this issue so far?
      Best regards,

  31. Hi Michael,
    I have a colony of yellow Neocaridina shrimp that is about 6 months old. I started with a dozen juvenile to young adult shrimp and I now have about 120 or so. I just noticed some brown markings on I think 2 of my larger shrimp. They look like a brown outline around a few pleopods. At this point, I don’t see any suspect behavior in those shrimp.

    Water parameters. I use RO water re-mineralized with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+. Monthly water test done 2 days ago. pH: 7.4; Temp: 70. Ammonia & Nitrates: 0; Nitrates:10ppm. GH: 9 degrees; KH: 5 degrees. Tested with API liquid test kits.

    I have a couple of pictures, of OK to poor quality that I can send you. What email address can I use to send the photos?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


    1. Hi Thomas H Saunders,
      Check youe email. please.
      Best regards,

  32. Hi, i have shrimps for 3 weeks, neocaridina , different colours, mixbreed, I got it from local girl who have few tanks with shrimps.
    So i got 20 shrimps , different size.
    And in last week i start losing few shrimps.
    So, first 4 i thinking it was just ” random death” , like “s**t happens” .
    I have also fish 10 small zebra-fish , they seems dont harm shrimps, and I got all tank planted/hiding spots
    Last three shrimps was red colored( if it have any sense) and start randomly failing on side/back and have spasms. First unfortunately didn’t make it, i saw it too late. But now i remove 2 shrimps ASAP as i see this symptoms. They alive already for 5+ hours in small reservoir( I add plant to keep O2 ) , and they somehow moving , but randomly, and often falling or bending ( have this spasms)
    I dont sure what cause it. Other shrimps doing fine, maybe someone die also, but I cant keep track due to planting . They have no surface indication of any disease.
    Help please

    1. Hi Mac,
      From what you’ve described, my first suspicion would be that the water parameters in which they were previously kept might differ from yours. Moreover, I would say that it is probably the most common reason why shrimp start to perish after purchase. If possible, I would try to inquire with the seller about their water parameters to compare with yours.
      What are your water parameters by the way?
      Best regards,

  33. I purchased red cherry shrimp and the length of their back is now a lighter color, not like a saddle but all the way down their tail. Is this colour change something normal? Are the just getting ready to molt maybe?

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Were there any changes? Can you send my pictures of this shrimp?
      Check your email, please.
      Best regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Content