Shrimps are an excellent accessory to any tank because of their gorgeous vibrant colors. Being invertebrates implies that they are protected by an exoskeleton used to safeguard themselves. As their bodies expand, they will require larger and larger exoskeletons. That is why they need to undergo the process of Molting.
Perhaps you’re thinking about whether my Shrimp are dying or molting? It depends on how they appear like. A dark-colored shell that appears to have exploded is most likely an adulteration process in the Shrimp, and a white body that changes to pink in a matter of days or two could be dead Shrimp.
If you find this to be a lot of confusion, don’t worry! We’ll show you how to distinguish between a dying and a molting one.
Why do shrimp molt?
As previously mentioned, Shrimps are invertebrates that utilize an exoskeleton to shield their soft body from environmental forces.
For shrimps, specifically, their exoskeletons come in the shape of a shell that acts as a cover. Although this is great, it’s not highly flexible in terms of development. Because of their hardness, the shells cannot expand to accommodate the larger bodies of the growing shrimps.
Molting is the time to come into. When molting, the Shrimp will emerge from its tightly-fitting shell and then build a larger and more spacious shell the following days. The new shell will eventually get harder so the Shrimp can emerge again at the next molting session.
If the conditions in your tank are in good shape, the Shrimp should molt at a time for 1-4 weeks based on the age of your Shrimp. Younger Shrimp typically molt once a week or biweekly, whereas adult shrimps need to molt each 3 to 4 weeks. The water conditions must remain constant during this period since shrimps are fragile and vulnerable during the period between their molt and the new shell.
A notable exception is female shrimps which need to molt before any breeding occurs. After she has shed her shell, the female Shrimp releases a pheromone that males will follow. This signals the beginning of their mating.
Are my Shrimp dying, or is it molting?
Many aquarists do not see the entire process of Molting. However, there are certain indicators that you can follow to determine if your Shrimp is getting ready to molt.
Shrimps will usually remain stationary for about an hour before they begin to molt. During this period, they aren’t moving in any way. Sometimes, they’ll not even consume food. The only indication of life you’ll notice is their moving antennas.
If, following this, you see an empty, clear body that appears as if it has just exploded, with no shrimp in the body, it is probably molting and is hiding. Shrimps remain hidden for a couple of days after molting until their shell is hardened.
However, a dead or dying Shrimp is likely to look very different. One example is that the shell of a dead shrimp is white and not transparent. If the shell appears to have a milky hue, It’s probably a dead shrimp. If you’re 100% sure it is, wait at least a couple of days, and see if it changes pink. If so, you know, without a doubt.
Can Shrimp die while molting?
Yes, Shrimp can die while molting.
There’s a phenomenon known as the “White Ring of Death,” widely known in shrimp-keeping circles. Check out the picture above for a visual reference. Are you able to see the white area that lies between the two sides of the shell of the Shrimp? It’s the white ring of the dead.
In the course of a normal molt, shrimps will break out from their shell by slicing them in the top. It will then split from this split into one piece.
However, if the circle appears, it will cause the whole process to be difficult for Shrimp. Both parts aren’t connected, so the Shrimp cannot “pop out” like it normally does during an ordinary molt. It’s so challenging that many Shrimp don’t make it through this, dying in one or two days because of the strain of trying.
This kind of thing is not unusual and is especially true when the water conditions in your tank aren’t great enough. Other factors include diet and maintenance. If you’re looking to avoid it, make sure you give your Shrimp a protein-rich diet, perform regular water changes, and ensure that the water parameters are in order.
How long does it take Shrimp to molt?
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment it takes for shrimps to molt. Most shrimps hide during this time because they’re afraid to be at risk without their hard shell.
In general, however, the process preparation can take much longer than Molting. Some aquarists who’ve seen their shrimp molt right in front of their eyes have reported that it happened in less than one second.
Should I put dead Shrimp in my tank?
Dead Shrimp should be removed from the tank, particularly when you aren’t sure how it passed away. This will prevent any future deaths of Shrimp if the cause turns out to be infectious.
You’re now able to distinguish from dying ones. Be sure to give your shrimps the appropriate care, and you’ll be free of issues.