cleaning tank with shrimp fry - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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cleaning tank with shrimp fry

Hi folks,


One of my red cherry shrimp had babies and they're all over my planted tank. I took all the plants out except for the java moss. Most of them went to the moss for cover but some are just wandering around the bottom of the tank. It's been a freaking bear trying to vacuum the tank with these little guys running around. I've sucked up and then saved at least five of them and god knows how many I didn't see and they passed into the power vac.



So what's the best way to deal with shrimp fry? Should I get one of those shrimp fry breeder boxes on eBay and fill it with java moss, then put whatever ones I can see into it? I foolishly bought one that was too big and will need to buy the smaller one. Would I need to feed them anything more than the java moss until they are grown? Would it do more harm than good trying to net them and put them into the breeder box? What about using a cup to catch and them put them in?


How do the pros raise shrimp without this time consuming task of tank cleaning and trying to avoid sucking the fry up? Bare bottom tank? Then what happens to the plants? Shrimp need plants because it helps with the water quality.


Okay back to it now. Just finished the power vac. Now to do the regular water removal and refill the tank. Thanks for the info!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 06:40 PM
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For cherries, most of the videos I've seen on YouTube (of Flip Aquatics, Shrimp King etc.) seem to show bare bottom tanks with sponge filters and clumps of moss/subwassertang/so forth. Even the Caridina tanks are often bare bottom but with pots of buffering substrate put in. In short, I don't think most professional breeders have to deal with vacuuming substrate. In my own tanks, I simply don't use the python and siphon into a 5 gallon bucket on tanks with fry. After this, I let the water settle and use it to water the garden if I don't see any or fish out any I can if I do.

I've tried putting cheesecloth or a fine net over the gravel vac, but it kept too many solids from getting out of the tank and was too easy to tear. You can also crimp the hose and watch it closely, though if you have a lot of water to change might get tedious. I do find that the shrimp tend to swim/climb downward out of the gravel vac if flow is weak. And if you stick the vac end over a plant stem, they will cling onto it almost every time. Hope that is of some help, I don't think there's a perfect method!

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Blue Ridge Reef,

I'm still cleaning the tank now. It's a 3 hour job and the tank is only 20 gallon. It's a bit overkill what I do but I use tap water so I want to make sure I get as much solids out as I can. So I remove all the plants except for the moss. Then I clean the filter. Then clean the inside of the tank with a sponge. Then do a "power vac" which consists of a pond pump. water intake is attached to a gravel vac. Outflow from the pump goes into 3 layers of pantyhose.

I have to watch carefully b/c even though I have enough light I've also got the substrate stirred up and I have eaten calcium tabs (generic tums), alder cones and seachem equilbrium (gh booster) clouding up the tank. It's like scuba diving at the bottom of the ocean.

Then I do the regular gravel vac into a 5 gallon bucket. I take out 1.5 buckets worth. I used to check the buckets afterwards and invariably find a few fry that got through. I've got to use a headlamp and slowly dump the water out with a plastic cup. Check each individual scoop for fry.

Bare bottom tank is really looking tempting. Might help a little bit with cleanup but I'd still have to deal with the gh booster floating around and other solids. Plus some of the fry are so small and transparent, all I can see is a black speck where their organs are starting to grow. So annoying sometimes I think I want to raise livebearing fish, like guppies or something.

I want to sell enough red cherry shrimp so I can get some blue velvet shrimp. At least those are a bit more expensive to sell but I can't have both in the tank. I hear if the RCS and the blue velvet mate I'll get normal mutant brown shrimp. I was also thinking maybe the crystal red shrimp b/c I hear they are a different breed and won't mate with the RCS. But I also heard they are more sensitive to water quality and I don't want to to the whole RO thing. I'm just taking water from the tap. Now that I got my phosphates straightened out (it was too high and I was getting algae outbreaks), I think my shrimp are going to do well. At least I hope so. Thanks for your input!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asquirrel View Post
Thanks Blue Ridge Reef,

I'm still cleaning the tank now. It's a 3 hour job and the tank is only 20 gallon. It's a bit overkill what I do but I use tap water so I want to make sure I get as much solids out as I can. So I remove all the plants except for the moss. Then I clean the filter. Then clean the inside of the tank with a sponge. Then do a "power vac" which consists of a pond pump. water intake is attached to a gravel vac. Outflow from the pump goes into 3 layers of pantyhose.

I have to watch carefully b/c even though I have enough light I've also got the substrate stirred up and I have eaten calcium tabs (generic tums), alder cones and seachem equilbrium (gh booster) clouding up the tank. It's like scuba diving at the bottom of the ocean.

Then I do the regular gravel vac into a 5 gallon bucket. I take out 1.5 buckets worth. I used to check the buckets afterwards and invariably find a few fry that got through. I've got to use a headlamp and slowly dump the water out with a plastic cup. Check each individual scoop for fry.

Bare bottom tank is really looking tempting. Might help a little bit with cleanup but I'd still have to deal with the gh booster floating around and other solids. Plus some of the fry are so small and transparent, all I can see is a black speck where their organs are starting to grow. So annoying sometimes I think I want to raise livebearing fish, like guppies or something.

I want to sell enough red cherry shrimp so I can get some blue velvet shrimp. At least those are a bit more expensive to sell but I can't have both in the tank. I hear if the RCS and the blue velvet mate I'll get normal mutant brown shrimp. I was also thinking maybe the crystal red shrimp b/c I hear they are a different breed and won't mate with the RCS. But I also heard they are more sensitive to water quality and I don't want to to the whole RO thing. I'm just taking water from the tap. Now that I got my phosphates straightened out (it was too high and I was getting algae outbreaks), I think my shrimp are going to do well. At least I hope so. Thanks for your input!
That sounds excessive lol. But hey, if it works for you...


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 07:50 PM
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What I do is just stir up the substrate with my filter running (which I do by using a credit card to 'fan' water towards the substrate, in an effort to just disturb the top layer of gunk). Let the filter get out the gunk, and then clean the filter. With a good sponge prefilter none of your baby shrimp will get sucked up.

A more targeted (and more labor intensive) method of attaching a turkey baster to a siphon tube can be used to locally stir up detritus right as you're siphoning out the water for a water change. Use a small siphon tube. You'll have to pay attention in case any baby shrimp get disturbed, but it'll make it a lot easier to avoid them.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:40 PM
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Some may despise this but I just don't clean mine

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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@jayo. interesting. I have a hang on back filter with a fine sponge over the intake b/c my shrimp seem interested destined to kill themselves on the intake if there is no sponge on it. I think as soon as I remove that sponge they will commit suicide. Still, it's not a bad idea maybe putting a big sponge on there and seeing how much detritus it will pick up by swirling the water around. My concern is that if I don't do a really thorough cleaning the TDS will get to high and the shrimp will die.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 12:37 AM
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Im running a Fluval 305 on my 40 breeder, Ill pull an easy dozen shrimp out of my canister every filter change. Youd be surprised how hardy they are, even when they battle the filter.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 01:38 AM
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Well I would just vac a certain spot each water change. No reason to pull everything out to do a water change IMHO. Make or buy (pretty cheap) one of those hang in the tank breeder bins (forgot what they are called) and as you see the babies use a turkey baster or similar to put them in the bin. Once they get big enough let them go into the main space. Throw some of the moss in there as well.

Or just change the water and let the detrius be, if you just have shrimp it shouldnt be too bad anyways.

Bump: Well I would just vac a certain spot each water change. No reason to pull everything out to do a water change IMHO. Make or buy (pretty cheap) one of those hang in the tank breeder bins (forgot what they are called) and as you see the babies use a turkey baster or similar to put them in the bin. Once they get big enough let them go into the main space. Throw some of the moss in there as well.

Or just change the water and let the detrius be, if you just have shrimp it shouldnt be too bad anyways.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 03:01 AM
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Good god man that's way too much work for 1 20g tank...
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayo View Post
What I do is just stir up the substrate with my filter running (which I do by using a credit card to 'fan' water towards the substrate, in an effort to just disturb the top layer of gunk). Let the filter get out the gunk, and then clean the filter. With a good sponge prefilter none of your baby shrimp will get sucked up.

A more targeted (and more labor intensive) method of attaching a turkey baster to a siphon tube can be used to locally stir up detritus right as you're siphoning out the water for a water change. Use a small siphon tube. You'll have to pay attention in case any baby shrimp get disturbed, but it'll make it a lot easier to avoid them.

Youtube video of baster/siphon technique
That's a genius idea! I was trying to figure out how to clean the tank without digging up my pants but still clean the gravel.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 01:32 PM
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You're cleaning too much. Simple as that. The pros don't gravel vac. If you have the right bacteria in the tank, or use the right bacteria, there really is no reason to vacuum a tank. Something like Mosura BT-9 or SEMO (made with Mosura BT-9) or a similar product that helps to break down waste. That's all you really need.

I don't gravel vac, nor remove plants for cleaning. I just do water changes and the odd cleaning of the glass.... anywhere from 1-3 sides of the glass.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 06:25 PM
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Clean the front glass (so you can see in), leave the reast of the glass for shrimps to snack on, use a syphon (airline for smallest tank, work your way up in size for bigger) if you want on any corners with obvious build up e.g. if you have a dead spot. Syphon or jug the rest of the water you need to remove for a change. Clean sponges/pre-filter out in bucket of tank water. Refill. Examine bucket for any strays. You are done. You're going way OTT

Only plants I might remove is floating ones, just out the way whilst cleaning. Float them in a bucket with new water and the whole lot (and stray shrimps included) can go back in at the end.
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