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Old 12/13/2011, 07:11 AM   #1
Dean Stell
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Shrimp molting - Good sign?

Hey all.... I'm always looking for proxies that I'm doing a good job with my tank. Is the fact that my shrimp are molting a good sign that I'm keeping my water in pretty good condition OR will shrimp molt even in mediocre water?


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Old 12/13/2011, 08:01 AM   #2
StephLionfish
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Molting is a good sign. It means they are growing. I would think they'd have a hard time molting in 'mediocre' water. Something could go wrong during the process.
I wouldn't rely on the animals to tell you what your water chemistry is. Just keep doing water tests, and soon you should begin to know when your tank needs a W/C. Or, you could just keep a schedule.


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Old 12/13/2011, 08:05 AM   #3
Dean Stell
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Thanks. I do my weekly water changes and test my water, but for a newbie...it's always nice to have secondary things that can alert you to problems. Guess it doesn't work that way though. Oh well...


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Old 12/13/2011, 08:06 AM   #4
daplatapus
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Molting is a very good sign. Mine molts maybe once a month. They do need iodine to help with the process and this is typically replenished when you do water changes. On the other hand, iodine is used by almost everything in your tank and skimming removes it as well. So keeping a good water change schedule and/or testing and dosing iodine is good practice. You'll hear this often though, it's also good practice not to dose what you can't test.


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Old 12/13/2011, 08:17 AM   #5
Rocdoc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Stell View Post
Thanks. I do my weekly water changes and test my water, but for a newbie...it's always nice to have secondary things that can alert you to problems. Guess it doesn't work that way though. Oh well...
No, I think it absolutely works that way. A good reefer observes his/her tank frequently with a critical eye. If something looks wrong, test for problems and fix anything that comes up. If your corals look unhappy, they probably are. If your shrimp is molting, your fish are mating, or your corals are expanding, things are probably going well.

As a newbie, I test frequently. However, the numbers are only numbers. My pH is a little lower than I want it (~7.9 right now), but my corals' polyps are extended and they look great. When I was a resident physician, I was taught to "diagnose from the door," meaning that one of the most important indicators of how a patient was doing was how they looked from across the room. The test results were important, but observation was just as important, if not more so.

I think the same applies to reef tanks. I'm not saying to use the appearance of your tank as an absolute indicator of the need to test. When you are just starting out, it is important to test frequently. I'm saying that you need to incorporate what you observe from your tank into what the test results are showing you.

Congratulations on your molting shrimp. It sounds like he is doing well.


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Old 12/13/2011, 09:17 AM   #6
Dean Stell
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Congratulations on your molting shrimp. It sounds like he is doing well.
Well....the funny thing is that the first time I found shrimp shells in the aquarium, I thought that one of my peppermints had died (since they kinda stay hidden). Then when I saw all my peppermints, I figured it was just some shell that had worked its way out of a crevice in the live rock. It was only this morning when I saw the molt from the cleaner shrimp sitting right next to the shrimp itself that I put 2 and 2 together (which is really sad considering that almost all of my undergrad classes with invertebrate related).


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Old 12/13/2011, 10:36 AM   #7
Randy Holmes-Farley
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FWIW, it is widely believed that shrimp can also molt when under stress, so if that is true I wouldn't assume it is necessarily a good sign, or a bad sign.


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Old 12/13/2011, 10:51 AM   #8
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If your parameters in in check and your shrimp is molting on a regular basis, I would be inclined to say things are going well. My shrimp molts and has been for the past year on a 3-4 week cycle.


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Old 12/13/2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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Shrimp will definately molt under stress! I've seen it time and time again in shipping bags. 2 for 1 deal!

With that said, what you want to look for is whether or not your shrimp are spawning. If they are old enough, you will notice a clutch of greenish mass in their swimmer fins under their tail.

When one spawns and lets those eggs loose, the other one will shed. Having shed, the 'shell' is soft for several days which allows the one that has not shed to impregnate the other one.

They take turns back and forth being the female.

Are you grossed out or entertained now?

Anyway, shedding is shedding. If you are unsure of your parameters, simply test them. Make sure you are adding calcium supplements for growing shells!

Some people tell you to add iodine. I never have.


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Old 12/13/2011, 02:51 PM   #10
Dean Stell
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Oh....all the water parameters are solid. No complaints there. I get all my water at the LFS and they claim to have added all the trace ingredients. I guess I should check, but I never do (other than testing the water in the tank).

Do you need to fish the old moltings out of the aquarium? I have removed them so far, but wondered if they eat them for nutrients (kinda like chickens will eat eggshells for calcium).


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Old 12/13/2011, 02:55 PM   #11
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I never bothered. I figured that something would munch it, or it would break back down into elements ... occasionally it filtered out into the overflow and I threw it away.

There is no good or bad to it - except that the shedding looks plain creepy.

Hermit crabs to this too. My daughter used to think her hermits were dying when they were, in fact, molting.


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Old 12/13/2011, 05:28 PM   #12
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I guess mine molt every 3-4 weeks or so, and to kinda touch base on what Randy mentioned as well as the comment on not dosing unless you test usually refers to people that add iodine, and too much iodine can cause them to molt excessively, and that can be harmful.


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