Essential tools for the average shrimper
I see lots of threads repeatedly asking for help, and lots of great replies. My goal here is to spread some knowledge to those who aren't in deep yet about where to invest so to speak.
There are a bunch of factors in shrimping which allow a keeper to see his flock grow. One essential thing is the choice of the tools you use.
There are worthless tools, fancy tools, basic tools and confusing ones, but if you invest in this list, you'll at least have an easier time keeping your aquarium up.
So here's a list with a brief reason as to why. They are in no particular order.
1.) Test kits. More specifically, Nitrate, Ammonia, GH, KH and PH. Keeping these on hand helps you diagnose an issue or prevent one from happening.
2.) Food dishes. This is a tool so paramount in a shrimp tank I can't express it enough. Although I recently started using mine, I see a decrease in critters like nematodes and I see no mess. My shrimp get all the food they can, and the snails mop up the rest. Nothing falls through the cracks.
3.) Backup equipment. If you could get a battery powered air pump, you'd be saving yourself strife next time your friendly neighborhood hurricane knocks out power in your home. If you have a backup filter, you can also quickly replace one if it breaks.
4.) Aquascaping tools. Specifically, tongs and scissors. These are SUPER important. Most shrimpers keep plants, most plants need trimming. Scissors are a quick way of trimming. Tongs are the most useful tool I've ever had. Whenever you can keep your hand out of the tank, the better off you are. I use my tongs at least once a day. (Not to mention my shrimp attack them lol)
5.) TDS Meter. Just do it. You know you want to. There are some cheap ones around, but these are the second most useful things I've ever used. TDS is a quick way of gauging tank status. Usually if something is off, the TDS will reflect it.
6.) A good sterile bucket. For nano keepers, a 1g black bucket costs $1 at the dollar tree, and for the people who keep bigger aquariums, home deopot has handy dandy 5g+ buckets. I use my bucket for everything. Water changes, water mixing, planting, acclimating, you name it.
7.) Tupperware. Just keep a few around, and you'll thank me someday. I buy it when I find a good deal. I got about 10 for a buck the other day. They're disposable things you can do good things with. Give a shrimp to a friend? Here take this for the road. Plants? This is an easy method. They're also great hospitalization tanks, as you can clearly see what is going on and access it.
8.) Some type of syringe like a turkey baster or a handy scooper. For when you need to do water changes or fills, this is an easy way that doesn't disturb your water.
9.) A sewing kit. Even one of those little tiny zip up kits. You never know when a little needle/thread might be useful. The tiny scissors help as well.
10.) Lots of paper towels. I don't use things I've washed in the laundry to clean my tools. I take out a paper towel every time and wipe down my tools after I'm done using them so they're dry.
11.) Shrimp/Small net. Fluval makes one, someone makes a copy of it. They're telescopic, so you can keep them short or long. SUPER useful in nanos, or larger aquariums too for shrimp wrangling.
12.) Need I say it? Thermometer. Most shrimp like it around or just below 70. Above and you'll need a fan. But make sure if you dip too far below to purchase a heater for use during cold months.
13.) Cooling fan. As I mentioned in the post above, if you don't have AC, a cooling fan will be important for you in the summer months.
And just a bit of advice, keep your tools tank-specific tools.
If anybody has something to add, I think this would be a helpful thing to cultivate.
Last edited by MABJ; 03-20-2013 at 01:34 PM.