Help stocking 40 breeder (with fish AND shrimp) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Help stocking 40 breeder (with fish AND shrimp)

I've been spending (too many) hours researching and trying to decide how I want to stock my upcoming 40 breeder build. The tank will be heavily planted, and I'd like to keep shrimp. Probably neos, and possibly CRS as well. I want to build up to a large shrimp population, and I don't want the adults to be hiding all the time.

I know the rule: fish eat whatever will fit in their mouth. However, some types of fish will actively hunt down and eat shrimp, whereas others are more opportunistic (and some just can't fit an adult shrimp in their mouth).

Here's what I'm thinking:
  • 15 rummy-nose tetra (or some other medium-small fish; possibly guppies): It seems like they mostly eat baby shrimp by opportunity.
  • 5 Otocinclus: 100% shrimp safe.
  • 1 Siamese algae eater: I've heard mixed reports here, but I wonder if the bad experiences were with Siamese flying foxes, not SAEs.
  • 1-2 "centerpiece" fish. I'm actively considering:
    • A dwarf gourami: These are typically safe, but some have been known to go after adult shrimp. All will pick at babies.
    • A pair of German Blue Rams: These seem to be a mixed bag: some ignore shrimp, some devour them.
    • A pair of shell-dwellers: It's hard to find info here, but they don't seem particularly safe. My only hope is that they won't venture too far from their shell to find shrimp to eat.
    • A pair of scarlet badis: They hunt down babies, but don't bother adults.
    • One or two smaller rainbows, possibly threadfin or praecox: It looks like the smaller species don't pose much of a threat.
  • ~10 pygmy cories, or perhaps 3-5 panda cories: both relatively shrimp safe.
  • A bunch of shrimp, of course.

If I have to, I'll add the shrimp and wait several months for their population to build (and the plants to thicken) before I add any fish other than the otos.

What are your thoughts on my stocking plan? I'm both interested in your thoughts on the amount of fish and on the fish/shrimp compatibility (and really any other advice you have).

Last edited by GeorgeTheGuppy; 06-11-2019 at 01:05 AM. Reason: added scarlet badis
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:21 AM
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Ive had success with my 40B (knocks on wood)

Right now its got
5 Ember tetras
8 CPDs
6 adult False Juliies
3 OTOs
3 nerites

1 small julii baby
2-3 really small baby juliis

4-5 adult RCS
3 adult brown emeralds

about 15 or so babies of shrimp ranging from 1/2" to just over 1/4"

Have scene several very small recent litter of shrimp.

Anyhow thats what Ive got. I am fine with the CPDs being the "center piece fish" and to be honest thats kind of how they act. Well them and the juliis if you dont scare them coming up to the tank. I plan on growing some more shrimps so have a couple bushels of java moss mixed in with all the plants. This is also why the baby juliis are making it I think. I did recently bump up the CPDs numbers to 8 as mentioned so this will more then likely impact the populations of babies as they look like they are more "hunters" then ember tetras.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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That's really cool that your cories bred! I'd be thrilled to have that happen. How heavily is your tank planted, other than the java moss?

Your tank is stocked considerably lighter than I was thinking. Does it seem full?

Also, what are brown emeralds?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:38 AM
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Fish are like people, you have good ones and bad ones. You will have mix comments on which fish you could keep with shrimp. Only 1 every will agree on would be Otos. Best to let your colony of shrimp to grow first (4-6++ months) before adding any fish. The more shrimp the more comfortable they will be. And comfortable is just as important as stable parameters when keeping shrimp. In my experience the fish that actively hunted were my rams,mountain minnows (I think that's what they are called) guppies, even tiny endlers, and the end of my shrimp colony is when my son wanted a clown loach of course anything for my kids so I knew the shrimp apocalypse was coming. I ended up saving a few and put them in a 2.5 gal which they thrived in. I had school of 5 5"glass cats that didnt bother them.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't made a whole lot of progress figuring out fish stocking, but I think I'm going to go with blue velvet neos and crystal red shrimp.

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Originally Posted by KZB View Post
Fish are like people, you have good ones and bad ones. You will have mix comments on which fish you could keep with shrimp. Only 1 every will agree on would be Otos. Best to let your colony of shrimp to grow first (4-6++ months) before adding any fish. The more shrimp the more comfortable they will be. And comfortable is just as important as stable parameters when keeping shrimp. In my experience the fish that actively hunted were my rams,mountain minnows (I think that's what they are called) guppies, even tiny endlers, and the end of my shrimp colony is when my son wanted a clown loach of course anything for my kids so I knew the shrimp apocalypse was coming. I ended up saving a few and put them in a 2.5 gal which they thrived in. I had school of 5 5"glass cats that didnt bother them.
Thanks, I'll plan to do just shrimp until I have a decent colony going. When you had rams with shrimp, did the shrimp hide all the time to avoid the rams?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 10:37 PM
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When I introduced rummynose tetras to an established cherry shrimp tank they started eating them like popcorn, any size they could catch
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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When I introduced rummynose tetras to an established cherry shrimp tank they started eating them like popcorn, any size they could catch
Wow, that's not great. Maybe I'll go with Endler's...s (Endlers? Endlers'? Endlers's?) or CPDs instead.
@pweifan, how big were your tetras when you introduced them?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeTheGuppy View Post
Wow, that's not great. Maybe I'll go with Endler's...s (Endlers? Endlers'? Endlers's?) or CPDs instead.
@pweifan, how big were your tetras when you introduced them?
Sorry I missed this post until now. I don't remember exactly how big, but I'd say they were about 3/4 full size. What did you end up getting?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:13 PM
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I would stick with fish that stay under 1 inch. Micro-fish.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeTheGuppy View Post
I've been spending (too many) hours researching and trying to decide how I want to stock my upcoming 40 breeder build. The tank will be heavily planted, and I'd like to keep shrimp. Probably neos, and possibly CRS as well. I want to build up to a large shrimp population, and I don't want the adults to be hiding all the time.

I know the rule: fish eat whatever will fit in their mouth. However, some types of fish will actively hunt down and eat shrimp, whereas others are more opportunistic (and some just can't fit an adult shrimp in their mouth).

Here's what I'm thinking:
  • 15 rummy-nose tetra (or some other medium-small fish; possibly guppies): It seems like they mostly eat baby shrimp by opportunity.
  • 5 Otocinclus: 100% shrimp safe.
  • 1 Siamese algae eater: I've heard mixed reports here, but I wonder if the bad experiences were with Siamese flying foxes, not SAEs.
  • 1-2 "centerpiece" fish. I'm actively considering:
    • A dwarf gourami: These are typically safe, but some have been known to go after adult shrimp. All will pick at babies.
    • A pair of German Blue Rams: These seem to be a mixed bag: some ignore shrimp, some devour them.
    • A pair of shell-dwellers: It's hard to find info here, but they don't seem particularly safe. My only hope is that they won't venture too far from their shell to find shrimp to eat.
    • A pair of scarlet badis: They hunt down babies, but don't bother adults.
    • One or two smaller rainbows, possibly threadfin or praecox: It looks like the smaller species don't pose much of a threat.
  • ~10 pygmy cories, or perhaps 3-5 panda cories: both relatively shrimp safe.
  • A bunch of shrimp, of course.

If I have to, I'll add the shrimp and wait several months for their population to build (and the plants to thicken) before I add any fish other than the otos.

What are your thoughts on my stocking plan? I'm both interested in your thoughts on the amount of fish and on the fish/shrimp compatibility (and really any other advice you have).
Slow down their buddy. First of all SAEs get 6" long, so that is to big for a 40 gallon with lots of other fish. Second of all, GBRs are NOT temp compatible with any of they fish you just stated, and they will murder all your shrimp. Third of all, dwarf shell dwellers are little fish but they have a mean streak as wide as they lake they come from. The water also needs to be liquid rock and super akaline. Fourth of all, you need at least 8 panda corys. Dwarf gouramis need to be in groups of at least 6. You have a lot of research to do George.

75 gallon planted tank. About to stock.
10 gallon QT

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 10:45 PM
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Slow down their buddy.....You have a lot of research to do George.
A little harsh....everyone comes here to learn and share in the hobby. None of us were born knowing it all.


Discusluv provides solid recommendation. My own experience follows what others have noted. My Praecox rainbows didn't care much when they were babies, but the adults were bigger and could pick apart adult shrimp. They didn't bother the Amano Shrimp though. If shrimp can establish themselves and there's plenty of hiding places, and fish are introduced as babies, the shrimp have a better chance of survival. Otos are the only fish I keep in my shrimp tank now. I had baby White Clouds in there until they got big enough to eat juvie cherry shrimp then had to get moved out.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 10:48 PM
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Cherry shrimp breed like rabbits and are small enough to both hide well and be eaten if they are bad hiders.

75 gallon planted tank. About to stock.
10 gallon QT

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 06:22 AM
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No on the Siamese algae eater.

No on the "centerpiece fish".

Go with some sort of little micro fish instead of the rummy nose. Those and the shrimp will be your centerpiece for the tank.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 01:48 PM
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My rummies definitely thought my adult cherry shrimp were a buffet sent from heaven! I have kept GBR with rummies for years with no issues on the temperature front, but agree your cories wouldn't appreciate the warmer water the rams will want. I'd be surprised if the rams left shrimp alone too - of course YMMV between individuals but mine were always quite enthusiastic feeders.

RE shelldwellers - as far as I know these are an African species, so as mentioned they have very different water chemistry requirements than your other fish. It would be worth checking about the shrimp too, since they don't like the water quite as soft as the South American species you're considering. I've also heard it's difficult to keep cherries and CRS together and have both thrive since they don't come from quite the same conditions, but a more experienced shrimp keeper would have a better sense of that.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 03:11 PM
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Microfish are your best bet, but I have good success keeping 1.5 inch Green Fire Tetras with neocaridina shrimp. My 40 gallon has 17 Green Fires and I never see them go after any shrimp, but of course they may find babies from time to time.
I do have a very heavily plantged tank with lots of pearl weed and mosses.
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