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-   -   Essential tools for the average shrimper (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=280442)

MABJ 03-19-2013 11:39 PM

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.

sayurasem 03-19-2013 11:41 PM

Thermometer and shrimp net :)

MABJ 03-19-2013 11:42 PM

Essential tools for the average shrimper
 
Thank you sir. I forgot thermometer, but shrimp net was something I actually was going to write but forgot lol. Let me add them in.

Kinection 03-19-2013 11:45 PM

Great and very informative! This should be stickied, but someone very "general", not just shrimp alone.

sayurasem 03-20-2013 12:00 AM

Drip acclimation kit and dip n' pour :)

MABJ 03-20-2013 12:28 AM

Essential tools for the average shrimper
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kinection (Post 2878562)
Great and very informative! This should be stickied, but someone very "general", not just shrimp alone.

Thanks! It's just a snippet of how I'll start plotting out my chapters to formulate helpful things.

I'll be adding it to my signature and invite others who wish to also do so. There's also a 'Sage advice for shrimp keepers' thread ill be adding to my sig.

MABJ 03-20-2013 12:29 AM

Essential tools for the average shrimper
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sayurasem (Post 2878778)
Drip acclimation kit and dip n' pour :)

Hmm. You can drip acclimate with a spoon, so I'd never recommend anybody go out and buy an acclimation kit. But I appreciate the input.

Zlookup 03-20-2013 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MABJ (Post 2879154)
Hmm. You can drip acclimate with a spoon, so I'd never recommend anybody go out and buy an acclimation kit. But I appreciate the input.

Can make one out of some extra tubing, a zip tie i use to keep and bend in the tube so that I can hang it off the side of the tank, and a valve of some sort, like the ones that come in the tubing kits for a few $. Most of this stuff I pretty much had, but even if you went out of your way, could be had for very cheap :)

ravensgate 03-20-2013 01:08 AM

Problem with shrimp dishes.....shrimp don't always leave the food in the dishes. Only shrimp I've ever had leave well enough alone were neos with a few CRS in with them. My CRS and tibee tanks now you can forget it. There's always a thief who will pull it out so shrimp dishes, though I DO recommend them just don't work in all tanks.

I'd like to add plant tweezers to the list (good for removing food, any dead bodies, etc)

ravensgate 03-20-2013 01:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MABJ (Post 2879154)
Hmm. You can drip acclimate with a spoon, so I'd never recommend anybody go out and buy an acclimation kit. But I appreciate the input.


You don't need a kit or a spoon, just airline tubing and a control valve. $2 worth of schtuff.

And I'd also like to add white vinegar. For disinefecting tools and nets. Rinse in dechlorinated water. I also use vinegar on my hands if I just don't feel the soap is off enough. Before I feed or do ANYTHING in my tanks.

MABJ 03-20-2013 02:55 AM

Essential tools for the average shrimper
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ravensgate (Post 2879626)
You don't need a kit or a spoon, just airline tubing and a control valve. $2 worth of schtuff.

And I'd also like to add white vinegar. For disinefecting tools and nets. Rinse in dechlorinated water. I also use vinegar on my hands if I just don't feel the soap is off enough. Before I feed or do ANYTHING in my tanks.

I've never personally used it, so why do you recommend it? Surely it can't be good in shrimp tanks?

Thanks for the input!

Tongs were already on the list.

Bananariot 03-20-2013 03:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MABJ (Post 2880674)
I've never personally used it, so why do you recommend it? Surely it can't be good in shrimp tanks?

Thanks for the input!

Tongs were already on the list.

I use air to dry my stuff lol.....disinfectant is really only needed to kill off bacteria...which I use a mix of paraguard and water to soak if it's really an issue.

Vinegar seems a bit......unnecessary

My amanos are big enough to drag food all over my tank.....my corydoras keep the nematodes under control though.

ravensgate 03-20-2013 03:15 AM

White vinegar is what I use to clean all my tools and my fishtanks when I do 100% changes. It's antibacterial, rinses clean and even if there IS a small residue it's not harmful to fish or invertebrates. It's a 'stripper' of sorts so say you wash your hands with soap in soft water...doesn't feel like the soap is off half the time....vinegar cuts right through it and gets it off...and again rinses easily. To each their own, but it's what I use to disinfect all my tools and nets, so just a suggestion:) I didn't say it needed to be added TO the shrimp tank;)

MABJ 03-20-2013 03:17 AM

Essential tools for the average shrimper
 
True lol. Hmm. Does it smell?

ravensgate 03-20-2013 03:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MABJ (Post 2880850)
True lol. Hmm. Does it smell?


Of course it smells;) when you pour it out of the jug...then just rinse it off, no smell. It's a common recommendation for disinfecting fish tanks and tools. I'm surprised folks are acting ummm..surprised:flick:


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