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Cherry Shrimp FYI


New Member
Well its been an eventful day to say the least. I finally finished cycling my 20g tank for the A. trifas about 2 days ago and dropped in some cherry shrimps and 2 pearl gouramis (fodder since I live in thailand, they literally infest my backyard). They were happily living in the tank and the shrimps were having a blast (1 even had a batch of baby shrimps in there) and also doing a good job of keeping the tank and the plants clean.

Anyways, today I decided to do something insanely stupid and put on some mosquito repellant and decided right after that I wanted to move some stuff around. Needless to say, this did some weird [email protected]#t to the tank (mainly the shrimp). The mosquito repellant is called Soffel and the main ingredient is DEET.

What happened next can only be described as WTF. This fishes were fine (as in they act like nothing happen). Note that this is a minisque amount of mosquito repellant. However, the shrimps all kind of froze, like what would happen if you drop something into Formaline. I can see their tiny legs still moving, but they had absolutely no control over their body. They baby shrimps started dropping like flies into the plants below and everything was buffet (for the gouramis)

example of said shrimp

Anyways, Someone other than me decided that I really did went full retarded and decided to save as many shrimp as she can without ruining my tank. Thankfully, it wasn't a large dose, and alot of the shrimps she saved survived in a plastic bottle until the contaminants cleared up, which would likely be tmr (too lazy to change now)

Moral of the story is, if you live in SEAsia like I do, never put on Soffel and work on your Planted tank, you'll kill all your helpers!


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member

Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
DEET is a neurotoxin for arthopods, be they insects or crustaceans. Not good. Glad that some survived. I used 97% DEET insect repellant while in Peru. The bottle said not to use continuously or for extended periods of time. Well, I used it 24 hours a day for 4 weeks and haven't died - or grown a second head yet. I guess I'm too old and 'crusty'. I wonder how the Danish aquarists, with whom I left it, did with it???:D


New Member
Darrel: hopefully the couple that I have wouldn't eat them,, I kinda want to keep shrimps with them so they keep the tank clean.

Mike: of the 20 individuals, 1 survived, and I can imagine he's going to have Vietnam flashbacks for the rest of his life. I use this particular brand a lot and never knew it was lethal to arthropods(some brave mosquitoes still bit me despite it).

Just cleaned out most of the bodies, it's literally like a war zone.

PS: never knew assassin snails eat by liquefying and sucking out the insides of their victims... You guys can probably guess how I learned that.