13g Blue Velvet Love (56k warning)
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
Kunsthure
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13g Blue Velvet Love (56k warning)


I tore down my 13g collectoritis community and RCS tank in early June to turn it into an OEBT tank. I sold off every piece of unused equipment I had and plants I didn't have a tank for so I could afford them. After about a hundred PMs with Speedie, I was no longer confident that I could keep the OEBTs happy and healthy; so after much deliberation, I decided to buy blue velvet neos instead. I know I can keep them happy and healthy because my RCS colony has been just that for over two years now.

Tank Info

Setup
- 13g
- AC 20 x 2 with outflow significantly dampened by layers of quilting batting
- air pump and airstone for a little extra water movement
- stock 15w T8 lighting
- initially Flourite Dark substrate but changed to Flourite Black on July 22 to see shrimp better
- straight up tap water with Prime
- occasional Pfertz micros

'Scape


Plants
- fissidens fontanus
- peacock moss
- flame moss
- mystery moss
- mini Xmas moss

Inhabitants
- initially 10 ivory mystery snails to keep the cycle alive while I waited about six weeks for biofilm to build up and mosses to grow in
- currently 22 blue velvet neos and 3 or 4 batiki nerites
- possibly 5 blue ramshorns if the USPS's major screw ups haven't killed them yet

-Lisa
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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Default The First Week

I removed the mysteries and replaced them with the batikis on July 18. I vacuumed the ever living crap out of the substrate because I can't stand mulm and the mysteries live to create it. I even refilled the tank so I could vacuum two more times. I regret not putting in a UGF, but since the tank is on my kitchen counter, I have no place for a canister.

The BVs arrived alive and well on July 19. I dripped them for about four hours because Speedie kept them in liquid rock (I lost count at 8 drops of the GH test). Once in the tank, they were all zooming around, landing on things for a brief moment then taking off again. Not at all what I'm used to with new shrimp. So I turned off their light and let them settle in.

They were still zooming in the morning so I tested my water and all was well. It then hit me that the filters and airstone might be causing too much water movement. The BVs are much more sensitive to strong currents than my RCS. As soon as I significantly dampened the outflow with quilting batting and turned off the airstone, everyone settled down and began foraging. I moved the airstone to the very top of the tank because I want more water movement than I was getting with my filters and the shrimp are tolerating that well.

I couldn't see the shrimp well on the Flourite Dark and even though I love the look of it, I changed to Flourite Black on Sunday. I can see the shrimp better and they look better now. Everyone seemed to take the change well as they all pigged out on corn that night. Even the nerites managed to find the feeding dish and got in on the act.

Unfortunately I woke up to find a dead male yesterday morning. I netted it out and dismissed it. But I also found some beautiful molts, which is a good sign. Later in the day another male tweaked out when I put my hand in to snatch up an unwelcomed MTS. He was doing that uncontrolled, flailing flipping that only sick shrimp do. I sucked him up with the turkey baster and put him in a cup, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he was just having trouble molting. No dice. He is also dead. So I checked my params and again all was well. I'm chalking the deaths up to stress from the substrate change.

The good news out of yesterday is that the saddled female totally stuffed with eggs is now so berried she can barely move. I'm hoping for the best, but we all know that first time moms often drop their eggs. I hoping she doesn't so I can snap a photo of eggs with eyes and one up Speedie.


Everyone looks good this morning so I'll feed them later and see if they like kale as much as they like spinach.

-Lisa
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:08 PM   #3
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Awesome!

Are the Blue Velvet a different name or your name for the Blue Pearls (I assume?)?
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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Lookin' good, gal! My blue velvets are some of my faves too- although my berried ones dropped their eggs due to being first timers.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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Awesome!

Are the Blue Velvet a different name or your name for the Blue Pearls (I assume?)?
Pssst- blue velvets are different from pearls. They are actually specially bred cherries.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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That's really awesome!
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #7
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Yeah, blue pearls can't even come close to these guys! I call them the poor (wo)man's OEBT.

-Lisa
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Subscribed .

Lovely little playground you got going on there for them BV's.

One thing I'd suggest you not do anymore is to stir up the substrate with a gravel vac. This only creates spikes in params which eventually kill shrimp. What you can do is gently wave the vac across the subtrate surface without actually touching it and suck up as much mulm as you can. Otherwise, just toss in lots of moss and floaters in there to suck up the nutrients and leave the mulm alone lol. I also think those mystery snails need to go (no offense because I know you love them dearly) but they excrete wayy too much poo for my liking. And they eat plants! haha

Sorry to hear about the deaths... stop messing with your substrate!

Nick

*edit* you already took out the mysteries! Great... what are batikis? lol Do they poo just as much?
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Pomacea diffusa isn't a species that typically eat plants but they obviously create a lot of waste. I keep them in nearly all of my planted tanks with no issues.

The substrate change could definitely be your issue but it could also be that the shrimp were recently shipped to you. No matter the species, shipping is stressful. Especially if they were recently imported. (This is why I don't like to buy shrimp that haven't been allowed to settle in for 3-4 weeks before they get shipped to me. Just a risk I don't like to take.)

And definitely don't vacuum your substrate in a shrimp tank. I wouldn't even try cleaning the surface of it unless it's to remove large chunks of uneaten food. And even then, I'd just use a piece of airline tubing and do it quickly without disturbing the substrate too much.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Pomacea diffusa isn't a species that typically eat plants but they obviously create a lot of waste. I keep them in nearly all of my planted tanks with no issues.

The substrate change could definitely be your issue but it could also be that the shrimp were recently shipped to you. No matter the species, shipping is stressful. Especially if they were recently imported. (This is why I don't like to buy shrimp that haven't been allowed to settle in for 3-4 weeks before they get shipped to me. Just a risk I don't like to take.)

And definitely don't vacuum your substrate in a shrimp tank. I wouldn't even try cleaning the surface of it unless it's to remove large chunks of uneaten food. And even then, I'd just use a piece of airline tubing and do it quickly without disturbing the substrate too much.
They certainly ate up my nice downoi when I was keeping them. Out they went and my plants bounced back nicely.

You're assumptions could be right regarding shipping but if shipped "correctly" shrimp suffer very little. It's the water param changes/differences from one person to another that kills the shrimp. I say this because my sources pack very well and the shrimp only take 1 night to get to me via air cargo, insulated boxes with coldpacks, and big bags with lots of O2. If you've bought from me I don't Micky Mouse when it comes to packaging because my packing dept is OCD about it.

Obviously it could be many factors involved when shrimp die but we shouldn't assume things that could vary from seller to seller/ breeder to breeder. That's all.

Best,

Nick
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #11
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I vacuumed the day before the shrimp arrived and did a 100% WC with Prime after I did. I don't normally vacuum any tank except the 37g, and that's just to get up the mess the cories make of the dead plant matter. I have no more plans to mess with the substrate, so don't worry.

Batiki nerites are small, like coronas and they have very interesting patterns. Take the stripes of a zebra nerite and scramble the lines a whole bunch in funky, wacky ways and you've got a batiki. I'll try to take some pics but they are all so so different that seeing one doesn't really give you an idea of all the possible patterns.

-Lisa
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Last edited by Kunsthure; 07-25-2012 at 06:41 PM.. Reason: Extra redundancy
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:02 PM   #12
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Wasn't trying to step on the toes of the shrimp source. Regardless of whether or not shrimp are shipped correctly, they can and do occasionally die from the stress. I have it happen all the time when ordering from experienced shrimpers. (I also occasionally receive foreign shipments that get tied up for up to 8 days and never lose a shrimp, so try that one on for size - almost doesn't seem fair)

I do find that I lose less shrimp when they've been allowed to 'rest' (for lack of a better term at the moment) for several weeks before getting shipped to me.

Cleaning the substrate the day before the shrimp arrived and testing things/doing a water change probably means things are safe. But you never really know. Just like it's tough to know if a shrimp died from stress during shipping.

On a similar note: I carried a package of PRL CRS with me to Flagstaff a few weeks ago and they were banged around like crazy during the trip. Opened them up and they were fully colored, happy, not bothered in the least. Last night I transferred a PRL CRS to my CBS tank for breeding (can't justify the expense of a high quality female CBS at the moment) and the second the CRS hit the transfer cup - even prior to drip acclimation - she faded like woah. Of course, she colored up within a couple minutes of moving into her new tank but it's indicative of how finicky shrimp can be.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:15 PM   #13
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Some shrimp are super finicky indeed, not all. You look at these finicky shrimp wrong and they flop over like those fainting goats lol. One minute they're ok and the next, they're dead. That's just part of keeping shrimp. Not all shrimp are created equal, even within the same variant.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:19 PM   #14
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Default Week 2

Everyone seems to be settling in. I have had no more deaths and my berried female is still berried, so I'm happy. I found some beautiful molts in the tank this morning and I have a few females that could end up berried because they are as stuffed as my berried female was. But as of this morning, no new mamas-to-be.

These guys aren't getting the concept of the feeding dish. I'm not getting the shrimp balls or sissy fights that I get with my RCS. But of course, the RCS are accustomed to gourmet catered meals already. I'll find maybe three or four shrimp in the dish at a time while the rest seem oblivious to it. And it looks to be the same individuals in the dish each time. I'd like to see more feeding from the dish because my RCS colony grew, with more saddled and berried females, and more molts once I started feeding them directly instead of allowing them to forage and steal what they could from the pygmy cories. The BVs are still small, so any little bit helps.

The flame moss is starting to develop some hair algae and BBA. I'm not sure what to do about it other than pick it out by hand and trim the moss. I've had bad experiences with Excel and nerites, so I'm not going to take the risk of harming them. My photoperiod is about 8 hours and the light is only a 15w T8. I'm going to go to Petco today to see if they have any Amanos to take care of the hair algae.

I bought what were supposed to be blue ramshorns from a member here. They all arrived alive despite major USPS screw ups. I had them in QT for a week because I'd rather have one die in a Tupperware bowl than under a rock in the tank and cause an ammonia spike. One of the smallest ones did die. I put the remaining nine in the tank this morning. They look white, not blue, but they were cheap, so I can't complain. I just hope I'm not unleashing certain doom upon the tank. I don't want a population explosion and I don't want them to push the shrimp out of the feeding dish like the mystery did.






-Lisa
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:41 PM   #15
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Cleaned up the pic a bit for a better look at the shrimp lol thought it only fair to share it.

You have some serious noise in your pics, if you can use manual mode on your camera turn down your ISO to maybe 100 with 300/sec shutter speed and F6. may get better results but keep playing about till you get it right

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