The best way to treat shrimp in a tank that contains shrimp or other invertibrates is to increase the tank temperature to 86°F, add a small amount of non-iodized salt, and use a UV sterilizer. This should quickly deal with the ich without having any negative effects on your shrimp.
Ich, also known as white spot disease, is a common ailment that affects aquarium fish, causing small white spots on their bodies and gills, and potentially leading to fatalities if not treated. Shrimp and snails are often kept in freshwater tanks with fish, and finding an ich treatment that is safe for these invertebrates is crucial, as some chemical treatments can be harmful to them.
A variety of treatments are available to address ich, but not all are compatible with shrimp and snails. Some methods, like increasing water temperature, may not be suitable for all fish species. Alternatively, certain medications claim to be safe for fish, shrimp, snails and plants, proving to be a more versatile option for combating ich without harming other tank inhabitants.
It’s important to research and select the right approach when treating ich in a tank containing shrimp and snails due to different species having different tolerances.
- Finding ich treatments that are safe for shrimp and snails is essential to maintaining a healthy aquarium
- Some treatments, like increasing water temperature, may not be suitable for all freshwater tank residents
- Researching and selecting the right treatment approach is crucial to prevent any harm to shrimp, snails, and fish during ich treatment
The Effect Of Chemical Ich Treatments On Shrimp
Treating ich in a fish tank containing shrimp can be challenging due to the sensitivity of shrimp to certain chemicals used in ich treatments. Copper is the most common ingredient in ich treatments that can easily kill shrimp so try to avoid any treatment that contains copper!
Many medications and chemicals used to treat ich in fish tanks can have detrimental effects on invertebrates such as shrimp. Some of these chemicals can disrupt their biological functions, weaken their exoskeletons, and even be lethal. It is crucial to consider the safety of the shrimp in the aquarium when selecting an ich treatment.
5 Shrimp-Safe Ich Treatments
Thankfully, there are a number of effective ways that you are able to treat ich in your tank without putting your shrimp at risk. Most people will find that combining two or more of these treatment options will be the best option as it helps to treat the ich as quickly as possible to get your fish back to full health before they have any serious problems.
Ich Heat Treatments
Heat treatment is an effective method for eradicating ich in aquariums without harming shrimp. By raising the temperature to around 86°F (30°C) for one-two weeks, the life cycle of ich parasites is disrupted, effectively killing them.
During this treatment, it is essential to maintain a high level of dissolved oxygen, as warmer water holds less oxygen. Adding an air stone or increasing water circulation can ensure sufficient oxygen supply for your shrimp and fish.
Unfortunately, this treatment can often put some popular shrimp species at risk due to their upper temperature tolerances. We have a list of popular shrimp and their recommended temperature ranges to help you gauge if this is suitable for your tank:-
- Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi): These are colorful and hardy shrimp that are perfect for beginners. They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, typically between 65-86°F.
- Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis): Known for their striking red and white coloration, these shrimp require a slightly cooler temperature, usually between 70-78°F.
- Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus): A type of freshwater shrimp that’s great for beginners, Ghost Shrimp do well in temperatures between 65-75°F.
- Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata): These shrimp are excellent algae eaters and can tolerate temperatures between 70-85°F.
- Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis): A fascinating filter-feeding shrimp, they do well in temperatures between 73-85°F.
- Blue Tiger Shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis): Known for their striking blue color, these shrimp prefer temperatures between 69-81°F.
- Snowball Shrimp (Neocaridina zhangjiajiensis): They have a unique white color and do well in temperatures between 64-78°F.
- Cardinal Shrimp (Caridina dennerli): These beautiful red and white shrimp prefer a little bit warmer temperature, typically between 78-88°F.
- Blue Velvet Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. Blue Velvet): A stunning blue variant of the Cherry Shrimp, they thrive in temperatures between 72-82°F.
Ich Salt Treatments
Another shrimp-safe ich treatment is non-iosized salt. Most people see great results when using 1 tablespoon of non-iodized salt per 3 gallon of water when treating ich in their tanks.
Gradually add the salt over two days and maintain the concentration for about a week. This salt treatment can be combined with the heat treatment for even better results.
Some shrimp can be sensative to salt in their tank so always check the specific type of shrimp you keep to ensure this is safe. Remember to monitor your shrimp’s behavior during the treatment to ensure they are adapting well to the salt concentration.
You should always use a non-iodized salt for this type of treatment too as it maximises the effect against ich while minimising the downside for your fish and shrimp.
Ultraviolet (UV) sterilizers can play an important role in treating ich and they are usually shrimp safe. These devices emit UV light, a type of light that’s highly effective at killing various types of microorganisms, including the ich parasites.
When water from the aquarium is circulated through the UV sterilizer, the ich parasites are exposed to the UV light. This destroys the DNA of the parasites, effectively killing them or rendering them unable to reproduce.
There are two main types of UV streilizer, the cheapest option are the standard submersible UV sterilizer lights that can work well in certian tanks. The more expensive option is the in line UV sterilizer that works far better but has a higher price and will not work with all tank setups.
Placing Your Shrimp In A Spare Tank During Treatment
To ensure the safety of your shrimp during ich treatment, you can transfer them to a separate tank. We know that this is not a suitable option for everyone but it is often the best way to quickly treat ich without harming your shrimp.
Our article on building a 1 gallon shrimp tank can help you create the perfect tank for your shrimp while you treat ich in your main tank.
Set up the spare tank with an appropriate environment for your shrimp, such as adequate filtration, aeration, and substrate. In the meantime, treat the main tank with medications like malachite green or API Super Ick Cure, which can be harmful to shrimp.
After the recommended treatment period, you can reintroduce the shrimp to the main tank once the ich has been successfully eradicated and the medication has been removed via water changes and activated carbon.
Copper-Free Ich Treatments
It’s crucial to avoid ich treatments that contain copper, as it is toxic to shrimp and other invertebrates. Some ich treatments are copper-free with some people using them in tanks that also contain shrimp.
We usually recommend against this due to other chemicals in these treatments potentially causing problems for your shrimp. That said, plenty of people share posts on social media showing how they have been able to treat ich in their tanks with a copper-free ich treatment without their shrimp having any problems.
By implementing these shrimp-safe ich treatments, you can successfully treat the ich infection in your aquarium without putting the health of your shrimp at risk. Keep a close watch on your shrimp’s behavior throughout this process and adjust treatments as needed to ensure their well-being.
Shrimp Safe Preventive Measures For Ich
One essential preventive measure is isolating and closely monitoring new specimens in a quarantine tank before introducing them to the main aquarium. This not only ensures they are free of diseases like ich, but it also helps prevent the spread among other tank inhabitants.
Regularly monitoring the inhabitants of your tank to check for signs of an ich breakout and then quarantining any symptomatic fish is also a good idea. This may allow you to remove an infected fish before the ich spreads and takes hold of your tank allowing you to treat the infected fish in the quarantine tank while your shrimp stay in your main tank.
Maintaining a stable, stress-free environment is vital in preventing ich outbreaks. Factors such as temperature, pH, and ammonia levels should be monitored regularly, as fluctuations in these parameters can increase stress on fish, making them more susceptible to diseases. Providing a varied diet of properly-stored food, including freeze-dried, frozen, and flaked options, further supports fish health.