Little Shrimp Jar - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Little Shrimp Jar

I tore down my 20H the other day and my amano shrimps are now living in unheated, filtered bowls.

Well, a one gallon bowl, and a large vase. Each with a tiny sponge filter. I like the bowl better, but wasn't sure if all 7 shrimps would be okay in that small of space, so I put four in the bowl, and three in the vase. Tested water parameters this morning, neither container has ammonia or nitrite, and if I don't feed much at all- leaving them to mostly eat algae and biofilm- perhaps the bio-load will be small enough to have them all in the one gallon? Or maybe I will find a larger bowl to combine it all. Anyhow, for now, the vase

has hornwort up top, a handful of gravel, several stones, a chunk of sponge (for extra bacteria transfer to avoid cycle), some subwassertang and two anubias.

The bowl has two large stones (pinkish one is sitting on extra sponge piece), bits of rotala stem,

a few elodea pieces,

subwassertang

and spirodela polyrhiza. I like the way the duckweed looks, but already I think the hornwort in the vase is better as a floater- duckweed carpets the top so thickly I wonder if it reduces gas exchange? and I will definitely have to thin it out often

The shrimps hid most of the day after being moved-

but now they are crawling around and it's fun to watch them.

Today I added an oak leaf

I thought the shrimps would crawl all over it- and they did approach after a while-

but really they prefer picking over the sponge filter and plants right now

I'm not expecting to have to feed them much- maybe once a week put in a tiny crumble of fish food, or a dandelion leaf or something- and I wonder if I could just top off this bowl, or if it will need biweekly water changes? I haven't kept a setup like this in a while, so will have to do water testing now and then to keep tabs on it for a while.

Last edited by JJ09; 05-18-2019 at 01:30 PM. Reason: changed thread title to match the container
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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replacement jar- I combined the vase and bowl into one

My shrimp bowl tested out well end of week- nitrates below ten. I had to invert the lid, because water drops kept running down over the edge outside the bowl.

Went to thrift shop and found this glass jar- it's a little larger than the gallon bowl

I like the straight sides better- filled (and rinsed clean) in my sink with measuring pitcher, it holds a gallon and a half with inch clear to the rim.

the hornwort bits did pretty well in the smaller vase, so I composted the duckweed and put hornwort as floaters in the new jar.

Had to add a few more handfuls of substrate (from the bucket out of the tenner), then replaced the rocks (pink one is on top of sponge pieces), the two anubias,

planted small rotala stems in the front, elodea in the back, and tucked subwasesrtang into corners

found a trumpet snail

overhead shot-

while all this was going on, the seven amano shrimps waited in a plastic box of tank water. Their intro, next post (more pictures)!
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Last edited by JJ09; 05-18-2019 at 01:39 PM. Reason: better description
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:05 PM
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Very cute little jars! Cool to know that they're cycled too, although I'm glad you're not the type to stock with anything but shrimp and snails

They remind me of a daphnia culture I had a few years back - I kept them in a vase with sand, elodia, and a bubbler and fed them little bits of leftover veg from cooking. All went really well until I ended up with damselfly larvae - make sure they can't get into your vase as they're a nightmare haha.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ooh, yeah that would not be good. Don't want mosquitoes using it as a hatching ground, either- occasionally we get one in the house (would shrimps catch and eat mosquito larvae?) Plus my cat will probably try to drink out of this- and he sheds a lot . . . I like the look of it open-top, but am probably going to fashion a lid of some kind- already there's a sprinkling of fine droplets on the table behind the vase- the filter bubbles gently it's not really splashing but it does cause some fine mist there. I don't want the table top to get damp. When the hornwort grows over the surface enough maybe it won't be a problem anymore.

I used to have the vase with just hornwort in it, that I brought in from an outdoor summer container, and I quarantined shrimp in it once. I really liked having that on the table, but eventually the hornwort thinned out it wasn't attractive anymore and I took it down. It didn't have a filter. I hope this jar works out better and lasts longer for the shrimps. Pics of the prior vase setup -it was just substrate, a few trumpet snails, and hornwort tethered on stones:


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 04:24 PM
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Oh dear, I hope your cat doesn't go fishing in it! My amanos are more than happy to grab frozen bloodworm as it floats past, so I'm sure they'd give catching live ones a go too. The only thing is making sure that you don't get inundated with the things.

That hornwort looks fantastic, but I think I prefer your current set ups

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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I doubt it. He's not interested in something so small as shrimps. He rarely even gives my paradise fishes or angelfish a glance. If it was a bird or rodent in easy reach, however . . .

Don't get me wrong, I really liked the hornwort vase too! But eventually it just wasn't great looking. It didn't have quite enough light so the stems got leggy and some died. When I moved it into more light, it got smothered in hair or thread algae. It might have worked if I'd kept a few shrimp in there to eat the algae, but at that time I wanted the shrimps in my 38gal tank.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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my shrimps and their sponge

So the other day while I set up the new combined shrimp jar, this plastic box of water was full of subwassertang, hornwort and other small items, with the shrimps in waiting. I plucked out the items one by one to add to the jar, leaving the sponge piece last. It was funny to see all the shrimps clinging and hiding under/around the sponge when it was the last thing in there.

I floated them on it in a plastic baggie to re-acclimate to their new home, and they kept clinging to it when I gently tipped them out into the water column.

I cleaned up all my tools, towels, put stuff away, dried up water drips- and then looked in the jar again. Shrimps were still on the sponge.


It took a while for the first one to drop off, down to explore-


I went and did other stuff around the house, came back half an hour later- most of the shrimps are still on the sponge

checked another hour later- same. It was getting ridiculous- I wanted to see them crawl around in the new home I made for them! but my eight-year-old thought it was really cute: they love the sponge! she said. She insisted I keep it in there for them. I squeezed the air out so it would partially sink, and wedged it over a rock

Eventually I want to try planting that rock with moss, but for now the sponge adds some height to the decor, and the shrimps do really seem to like hanging around under it, crawling over it, picking stuff off it.

I'm glad I kept the shrimps, instead of tossing them into the angelfish tank to a probable fate- my youngest is very entertained watching them pick through the subwassertang, or trying to find and count all seven. I fed them celery leaf this morning- one tiny leaf, blanched for two minutes and mince up fine (Laddie got some too) and it was really funny to watch the shrimps scramble over it, then creep into separate corners with their handfuls.

When I was done setting up the new jar my daughter exclaimed: "Hey, it looks like a real little tank now! Not like one of those fishbowls you see on TV with a goldfish in it-" that last said in a scornful tone- I guess I've made a proper example, ha, that such is my kid's opinion of a goldfish in a bowl!


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 04:32 PM
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When critters ( fish or otherwise) don't behave like I want them to, I call that animal control. My pets have me trained well. LOL Cute jar, by the way.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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I tied the sponge semicircle with a short piece of monofilament line to a suction cup, now it stays near the filter uplift. Before it kept drifting around, sometimes sinking, and I'd rather not see it much, plus this reduces splash out onto the tabletop

and now it's mostly hidden from front view by the hornwort floaters.

Some of the mermaid weed started decaying, other parts of the stem sent out roots from the nodes. I cut it in half, discarded the rotting parts, and tucked the healthy pieces back into corners. Temporarily shorter now.

Shrimps are thriving! I feed them once or twice a week- a bit of green (blanched lettuce, celery, smidge of pea) or powder swiped off the inside wall of the fish flake can. That's it. They've nearly picked apart the first two oak leaves I put in there. I'm very pleased this little bowl seems to do fine with all seven shrimps, it's remained cycled and has no issues so far.

I had to replant a few of the rotala stems- the shrimps tend to pull them up if they're really going for some food bit they smell that fell down there. They're as persistent as squirrels!


Bump: I tied the sponge semicircle with a short piece of monofilament line to a suction cup, now it stays near the filter uplift. Before it kept drifting around, sometimes sinking, and I'd rather not see it much, plus this reduces splash out onto the tabletop

and now it's mostly hidden from front view by the hornwort floaters.

Some of the mermaid weed started decaying, other parts of the stem sent out roots from the nodes. I cut it in half, discarded the rotting parts, and tucked the healthy pieces back into corners. Temporarily shorter now.

Shrimps are thriving! I feed them once or twice a week- a bit of green (blanched lettuce, celery, smidge of pea) or powder swiped off the inside wall of the fish flake can. That's it. They've nearly picked apart the first two oak leaves I put in there. I'm very pleased this little bowl seems to do fine with all seven shrimps, it's remained cycled and has no issues so far.

I had to replant a few of the rotala stems- the shrimps tend to pull them up if they're really going for some food bit they smell that fell down there. They're as persistent as squirrels!


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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My paradise fish didn't want his breakfast today (he's sick). It was a small pinch of micro pellets, only about seven or eight tiny pellets. I dropped them in the shrimp bowl. Now the shrimps are zinging around the bowl like crazy, scuttling for the one piece nobody's found yet, and trying to shove each other out of the way. It's kind of odd to sit here across the room, out of the corner of my eye the large tank is very still, and the small bowl full of activity.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Um, I just did something mean and fed a shrimp to my paradise fish.

I noticed the other day one of my shrimps was looking kinda orange, and not moving around much. This morning I saw it sitting motionless on a plant; when I dropped in a bit of crushed flake the other shrimps (normal in color) dashed around like mad, this one just moved its legs slowly. In my limited experience with shrimps, it was probably going to die soon. Rather than watch it go slow, getting torn apart by the other shrimps- which would distress my kid to see btw- I plucked it out with tweezers (way too easy- it didn't even try to run away) and dropped it in my paradise fish tank.

The end was very very quick.

The bowl has a different look. I added some buces, the mermaid weed is growing new foliage steadily, the hornwort melted away and I replaced it with greater duckweed (spirodela polyrhiza). I tied some flame moss onto the large pinkish rock in the middle- tightly with many small rubber bands going criss-cross. So far the shrimps- busy picking at it constantly- have not dislodged this like they did the fissidens off the mesh. So I'm eager to see if the flame moss grows out in here okay. Will post photos as soon as I find time to take and upload some.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 01:57 PM
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Maybe mean. Maybe mercy. No second guessing in these matters. Whatever path you chose is the right path.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 04:09 PM
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Think about how often this happens in tanks with shrimp and fish. Don't feel bad about assisting with that circle of life.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Managed to get a few photos. Growth on the mermaid weed:

shrimps all over the moss tied to a rock:

I've added a few buces from the betta's tank:

and there's now greater duckweed as floaters
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 11:13 AM
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Iím fascinated by this concept and will be following along. I might look to do something similar.

I have Bloody Mary (cherry) shrimp in my low tech tank and they breed prolifically but Iím unhappy with the quality of the fry. To lift the quality Iím keen to ruthlessly clean out the adults but donít want to put some of the better quality culls ďreservesĒ in the main aquarium where (while some survive) they would be at risk from the rainbow fish. This jar concept might be a good holding spot without needing to launch a full on third tank.


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