Cleaner Shrimp Died - No obvious reason


Active Member
I've had a Cleaner Shrimp in my 29 gallon tank for 2 months.
Yesterday, for no obvious reason, I found it dead, lying on the bottom of the tank in the back. No obvious physical damage or discolored areas and no behavioral changes.
Levels for the tank are as follows:
amm/NO2 = 0, NO3 = < 10, SG = 1.026, Alk = 3.0 mEq/L.
pH is measuring at 7.8, but I'm pretty sure this is a bad test kit, and its actually 8.1 - 8.2.
I did a 20% WC earlier in the day, after taking those readings.
I have a Fire Shrimp in the same tank who has shown no effects either, but it has only been in the tank 1 month. Multiple hermits and snails in the tank that are all fine as well.
Is there something I'm missing, or should I just chalk this one up to 'nature'?


I lost mine about a month ago also same thing the day before I am hand feeding him shrimp everything is well then I loose him I thought he was molting but he never came out again I have read that some people have a hard time keeping these I tend to believe it is hit or miss with them as to getting a healthy one or not .


Active Member
I was told by a guy not to mess withh them as they only live a few weeks in his tank and he never has had good luck withh them. I am going on 3 months with them they molt once or so a week or two weeks and have grown huge. I hope mine stayy healthy as they work great at cleaning up the fish. They stay in one area and the fish come thru like a drive thru getting the oil checked and a checkup :)


Active Member
Yeah, I'm starting to get the impression they weren't as hardy as I was first led to believe.
FYI, mine died the day after he molted. Hadn't thought about it before, but I looked over my notes and noted that both shrimp molted the day before I found the cleaner dead.


I bought 2 about a month ago. One molted in the bag and ended up getting sucked into the ph as soon as I put him in. I dont know if he was weak from molting or what but he barely tried to swim away from the flow. The other is doing great and is starting to get brave.
Next time I will be killing the power at least until they find a hiding spot. rookie move I guess.


My cleaner shrimp has been with me for over a year and he was doing great. I lost him the other day though but it was my fault. I did a crappy job of setting up my rocks then they shifted and one fell on him and crushed him
. It really sucked because he was such a fun shrimp and he was very happy in my tank. But he did live at least a year and would be here today if it wasn't for my stupidity.


I have had mine for almost 2 yrs...and he is doing great! He has gotten quite large!


if they are dying right after they are molting something may be attacking them before their shell has hardened up

ive only lost 1 shrimp, it was a fire that im sure a flame angel attacked


Active Member
Mine didn't die until at least 24 hours after the molt, and had come out and eaten in between.
I've heard of improper molts, but I always check the shrimp after they molt, and didn't see anything extraordinary this time.
People that have had success: How big is your tank? This shrimp was only in a 29 with 3 and then 2 fish, one of whom was not a big fan, so I'm not sure he was giving the care he needed. He did eat fish food, so he wasn't starving, but I'm wondering if a bigger tank is necessary.


I'm thinking of grabbing a cleaner shrimp this week.but when you guys say molt what exactly does that mean...I'm some what of a rookie at this hobby and i don't wanna mess around too much if these shrimp are gonna stress out or i have a blood shrimp in the tank he's hiding but doing very well


Active Member
Molting is when the shrimp or crab sheds its entire exoskeleton. If they do it right, you'll think you have a shrimp clone in the tank, as the molt will look just like a shrimp.
If you have a blood shrimp, I'm surpised you haven't seen one already. My shrimp were molting every 2 - 4 weeks.


New Member
Our 55 gal at home has had one for about a 6 months or so and has grown very well. We've never had problems with it.


New Member
I was told cleaner shrimp only live about a year. I had one for about a year that just died one day. I asked my lfs and they told me that the average lifespan was about a year. I bought another one because I use it to keep the fish clean of ich naturally. He does a pretty good job!


New Member
Originally Posted by Bang Guy
I have two that I purchased 7 years ago. I have no idea what the lifespan is.

I read 3-5 yrs so this blows that out of the water. Nice job
What are you feeding your shrimp? I really enjoyed my cleaner shrimp. But I do not want to purchase another one until I figure out how to keep it healthy.