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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Shrimping Struggles

So as to not take the other topic OT, just making a new thread...


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Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I'll never understand why some typically hardy things just never work for certain people who don't appear to be screwing anything up and can keep more fragile species. It mainly bugs me because I feel like there has to be a logical explanation as to why. But this is one of those cases where nothing makes sense. If something was limited (or in excess) one would think that would be resolved with remineralized RO. I'm scratching my head on this one.
I wish I understood it as well. I've had deaths for no apparent reason. Not failed molts, not bacterial infection (that could be seen), not too high of temps, too cold, etc. Deaths in adults and juveniles alike. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason why. Been through the whole song and dance and the only thing that could be pin pointed was diet. I thought it was quite hilarious when someone asked me "Did you try just straight tap water, nothing add?". The answer was basically "Yeah. They died. Offspring faster than the adults." Actually, that's why I got into shrimp keeping in the first place. My OH decided to get shrimp, read they do fine in tap water and when they didn't, it was up to me to figure out why... Tap comes out 3 GH, 3 KH and ~50-60 TDS. No wonder. I live in the desert. With soft tap.

So back to the food.... I had a tank of cherries and a tank with YKK's (raised in Caridina parameters, put into mixed tap tank with play sand... so actually similar to what they were raised in, but Neo parameters instead of Caridina - higher pH and KH) and some Bloody May. The YKK's were breeding like roaches! The way that everyone talks about how shrimp tanks just multiply! I was trying new foods for both tanks, so the Neos were also breeding better and had larger batches of eggs, too! The BM's? Not breeding at all... but eh, they were new-ish anyway... (newer than the YKK colony at least which I only had for about 2 months before they started breeding?). And that's when tragedy struck.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...asy-steps.html

I lost the YKK colony in the end. I've since purchased more from another supplier but these ones haven't been breeding as much as the first colony did. Not even close! And they were put into the same setup, only it was RO water and SS GH/KH by then, I think. Now SL-Aqua soil and GH minerals. A "normal" long fin pleco has also joined the tank along with some false amanos. (not-amanos came first!)


I haven't tried feeding them the successful way in a while now though, since the food hasn't been available to purchase and I worry that I wont be able to find an equivalent. I do know that other people have had success when they have followed this feeding regime when they were stuck in the same situation as I was/am in. So really, I just need to bite the bullet and do it. Get some more food from somewhere.


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Originally Posted by barrieo View Post
I've had Cherries (Fire Red, Yellow Golden backs) in a 13.5g community tank for half a year, they went from 10 to 100 in a span of a few months. Parameters are pH 7 to 7.5, temp is 28-30c (82f - 84f), KH 2, and TDS 220-250. I didn't keep crystals because they needed lower pH, Temps, and TDS.

I threw in cuttlefishbone, lots of Subwassertang, and Java Moss on one side of the tank. Then Java Ferns, Anubias Nana, and some Monte Carlo. They have tons of space to hide but rarely do, only the shrimplets hide.

The other tank mates are 6 Cardinal Tetras (down 1 from 7, since it jumped out a week ago), 4 Mosquito Rasboras, 4 Panda Corys, 2 Otos, 1 Starlight dwarf Pleco, 6 Thai micro crabs who hide alot, 1 dwarf Mexican crayfish.

Am sure you can try keeping the Cherries again, I've not had luck with crystals in a diff tank which I eventually decommissioned.

Low grade crystals might be able to survive in that setup... guaranteed that tigers could! (higher grades/qualities would require lower parameters, without a doubt!) I don't have crystals or, tigers, technically.... just Yellow King Kongs, which are believed to be some sort of Tangerine Tiger hybrids. The phenotype at least for YKK's show up in mixed Caridina tanks with TT genes, but what a true YKK is, no one ones.

As far as I see it though, if you do it right, Caridina can be easier to keep because you then get a better understanding of water parameters (no, low pH does not mean soft water, necessarily! And high pH doesn't necessarily mean hard water!) and really taking care of shrimp. Saying that tap water is fine for Neos ends up setting several people up for failure, like myself (or rather, my OH) simply because it doesn't teach them to do the necessary research required to figure out if their water is even "fine" for keeping shrimp.

Maybe you struggled with Crystals because you didn't understand how to set up a tank to suite their needs? If you do it right, a shrimp tank doesn't require a lot of maintenance, even if you are having to buy RO water or distilled for the tank. As I mentioned, I had the YKK's in a tank with sand, RO water and SS GH/KH. The tank basically had 0 ammonia, nitrites and nitrates with 8 GH, 4 KH and ~150-160 TDS and ~7.5 pH. I swapped out the sand for SL-Aqua and switched to Aqualex GH minerals in the water. I didn't acclimate the shrimp back in, just dumped them back in. Made sure the TDS was about 150, no idea on pH or other parameters. Several weeks later, I tested the pH and it was at 5.5 so it dropped by 2 whole levels. I only lost one YKK. The pleco is still fine. Still have the false amanos and a few BM's floating around. Have several baby YKK's, too and some juvies.

I'm not having random deaths in the YKK's like I've had with the Neos.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 11:18 PM
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[QUOTE=Zoidburg;11220133]So as to not take the other topic OT, just making a new thread...




I wish I understood it as well. I've had deaths for no apparent reason. Not failed molts, not bacterial infection (that could be seen), not too high of temps, too cold, etc. Deaths in adults and juveniles alike. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason why. Been through the whole song and dance and the only thing that could be pin pointed was diet. I thought it was quite hilarious when someone asked me "Did you try just straight tap water, nothing add?". The answer was basically "Yeah. They died. Offspring faster than the adults." Actually, that's why I got into shrimp keeping in the first place. My OH decided to get shrimp, read they do fine in tap water and when they didn't, it was up to me to figure out why... Tap comes out 3 GH, 3 KH and ~50-60 TDS. No wonder. I live in the desert. With soft tap.
So back to the food.... I had a tank of cherries and a tank with YKK's (raised in Caridina parameters, put into mixed tap tank with play sand... so actually similar to what they were raised in, but Neo parameters instead of Caridina - higher pH and KH) and some Bloody May. The YKK's were breeding like roaches! The way that everyone talks about how shrimp tanks just multiply! I was trying new foods for both tanks, so the Neos were also breeding better and had larger batches of eggs, too! The BM's? Not breeding at all... but eh, they were new-ish anyway... (newer than the YKK colony at least which I only had for about 2 months before they started breeding?). And that's when tragedy struck.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...asy-steps.html

I lost the YKK colony in the end. I've since purchased more from another supplier but these ones haven't been breeding as much as the first colony did. Not even close! And they were put into the same setup, only it was RO water and SS GH/KH by then, I think. Now SL-Aqua soil and GH minerals. A "normal" long fin pleco has also joined the tank along with some false amanos. (not-amanos came first!)


I haven't tried feeding them the successful way in a while now though, since the food hasn't been available to purchase and I worry that I wont be able to find an equivalent. I do know that other people have had success when they have followed this feeding regime when they were stuck in the same situation as I was/am in. So really, I just need to bite the bullet and do it. Get some more food from somewhere.





Low grade crystals might be able to survive in that setup... guaranteed that tigers could! (higher grades/qualities would require lower parameters, without a doubt!) I don't have crystals or, tigers, technically.... just Yellow King Kongs, which are believed to be some sort of Tangerine Tiger hybrids. The phenotype at least for YKK's show up in mixed Caridina tanks with TT genes, but what a true YKK is, no one ones.

As far as I see it though, if you do it right, Caridina can be easier to keep because you then get a better understanding of water parameters (no, low pH does not mean soft water, necessarily! And high pH doesn't necessarily mean hard water!) and really taking care of shrimp. Saying that tap water is fine for Neos ends up setting several people up for failure, like myself (or rather, my OH) simply because it doesn't teach them to do the necessary research required to figure out if their water is even "fine" for keeping shrimp.

Maybe you struggled with Crystals because you didn't understand how to set up a tank to suite their needs? If you do it right, a shrimp tank doesn't require a lot of maintenance, even if you are having to buy RO water or distilled for the tank. As I mentioned, I had the YKK's in a tank with sand, RO water and SS GH/KH. The tank basically had 0 ammonia, nitrites and nitrates with 8 GH, 4 KH and ~150-160 TDS and ~7.5 pH. I swapped out the sand for SL-Aqua and switched to Aqualex GH minerals in the water. I didn't acclimate the shrimp back in, just dumped them back in. Made sure the TDS was about 150, no idea on pH or other parameters. Several weeks later, I tested the pH and it was at 5.5 so it dropped by 2 whole levels. I only lost one YKK. The pleco is still fine. Still have the false amanos and a few BM's floating around. Have several baby YKK's, too and some juvies.


How frustrating!! Im sorry you have had to go through this. Ive been in a similar situation with trying to determine die-offs in fish. Its difficult because it has to be thought of both in its entirety and how its component parts interact with each other/the entirety.

It looks like you have done this to my untrained eye; but, maybe there is something that you are not seeing that someone can help you identify. I hope so...

Of course, as you know, I couldn't help you in the least. But, sending you lots of encouragement
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 10:28 AM
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I haven't tried feeding them the successful way in a while now though,

There was a successful way?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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There was a successful way?
Yes... algae/vegetable based foods twice a week and a protein food once a week.

A lot of the "algae" pellets out there aren't actually algae based at all, they are protein based. Algae usually doesn't even show up until the 5th-9th ingredients. Many of the shrimp diets out there also contain protein as a main ingredient.

I tried this method after the incidents, but they just didn't respond to much of anything. The food used came from someone who's not selling their food anymore and their website appears to be down now. I only had a small sample of the food, too...

Regardless, I have recommended this same method of feeding to others who have also struggled and they, too, have noticed an improvement with their shrimp.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 05:11 PM
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@somewhatshocked makes the food I'll feed mine for as long as he continues to sell it. All I purchased are 100% vegetable matter, IIRC. Shrimp eat so little that $10 worth is lasting me months. Might be worth a shot.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 02:23 PM
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At what % protein does something become protein food because sometimes I feed pure spirulina powder and that is around 57% protein.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wobblebonk View Post
At what % protein does something become protein food because sometimes I feed pure spirulina powder and that is around 57% protein.
I've actually wondered this myself... I mean, look at frozen bloodworms for instance! 3-6% protein...

Sera Spirulina Tabs? 48.2% protein


The only thing I've figured out for sure is that they do best on an algae/vegetable/biofilm diet. Diets high in animal protein cause failed molts. This includes feeding too many bloodworms.



So it may be more correct to say feeding them an algae/vegetable based diet twice a week and an animal based diet once a week. Now, animal based could be shrimp, fish or even bugs... and I don't know if it matters.


As such, I can't recommend the standard shrimp diets (algae pellets, algae tabs, food designed *for* shrimp) as a primary diet as many of these foods are not actually algae based, but some sort of animal protein based. If they are a part of the diet, then that's fine, but not the main food. Some people do have success using those diets as the primary diets for their colonies without issues. Others, like myself, just end up struggling.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 07:59 PM
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The reason frozen foods are so low in protein is the 90+ percent water content. And vegetable matter does have some protein content, percentage varies wildly though. For example soybeans compared to lettuce.

As shrimp in our aquariums go, they barely have to be fed until a tank is just crawling with them. And it's tempting to replace "barely" with "don't," but I won't assume every tank has the biofilm and algae needed.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 04:26 AM
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With my somewhat success over the last month or so I am starting to see similar results. I was gone last week. Came home to 2 adults and 2 mid juvies dead, found 3 more small guys. I can see one mid to almost adult that has the failed molt line although its still moving all its digits and eating so may make it but not counting on it ( I did have a adult that made it after getting the ring).

Everything else is doing great and still have a bunch of babies of all ages just never scene this many deaths before.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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I've taken the "not feeding" approach.... didn't work well in tank with very few shrimp... hence the "special" diet... lol
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 08:25 PM
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I think it can come down to genetics more than anything, that is, if you know you are keeping good water parameters and not overfeeding. It all starts with the right substrate and RO water. From there, it's just about keeping these parameters locked in. Don't get me wrong, I still get an occasional loss every now and then, 99% of the time it is in my PRL tank. The reason seems obvious to me, PRL is the most inbred line I own. Breeding for coloration and pattern for so long will have such consequences, IME. I just scoop out the dead body and don't take any sort of reactive measure. I just keep an eye on colony over next few days, which os almost always fine. It just happens randomly for no apparent reason as described by others.

As for other varieties that I own, they breed like cockroaches without much effort. All of my tanks have mirrored parameters, so it's easy for me to maintain them. I don't cater to specific lines/types because they're all linked to the original bee shrimp and come from very similar natural environments (low mineral levels, nearly pure rain water with lots of leaf litter). The only thing that varies in my tanks is the portion of food, which is based entirely on size of colony. I feed a 80% green based diet two or three times a week. I keep it mixed up but probably feed veggie sticks more than than anything else because they are cheap and I have a big jar of them. They break apart easily and creates dust that ends up in moss, which in turn feeds the baby shrimp. No real reason to feed powdered foods/bacteria when feeding these because they contain probiotic strains of bacteria themselves. If I'm not mistaken @Zoidburg use to recommend these veggie sticks to people. Ken's brand. I find it hard to overfeed these to a tank. They don't mess with parameters and I toss quite a few in a time (10-12 mini sticks) to feed a colony of 150+ shrimp in 6 gallons of water. Sounds like a lot of food but there's a lot of hungry shrimp. I don't worry over biofilm anymore. I even quit dosing these bacteria powders to my tank because all they did was gunk up the air chamber on my sponge filters, forcing me to have to reach into tank and remove them for cleaning every couple of weeks.

Protein foods are where the frenzy starts. The ones I feed are in pad form, so they don't break apart easily and pollute water. I try to target feed the larger females first but in the end, they pile on top of the food. This is seems to cause shrimp aggression (haha) but it's fed so infrequently, I don't worry over it.

To me, raising caridina shrimp is about as easy as any other shrimp, if not easier. I struggled more with my brief experience keeping neos. At that time I was using tap water only because ppl said they were hardy and easy to keep. People say a lot of things. Most are incorrect.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 09:33 PM
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I couldn't agree more about genetics being a huge factor. Do disagree with this though:
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Originally Posted by madcrafted View Post

To me, raising caridina shrimp is about as easy as any other shrimp, if not easier.
Just not the experience I've had; I could grow them up fine but they never bred until I moved over to buffering substrates. I won't try it, but feel sure they would do poorly if not die in my tap (I do use RO on Caridina). I'm a decade into keeping neos and have never used RO on them. Everyone's tap water is not alike.

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I struggled more with my brief experience keeping neos. At that time I was using tap water only because ppl said they were hardy and easy to keep. People say a lot of things. Most are incorrect.

They say it because they are hardy and easy to keep and will thrive in *most* people's tap. Others have tap water that varies seasonally as their municipalities use different sources. Some use chloramine, some houses have water softeners that add sodium, busted water mains and line flushes happen from time to time, there are all sorts of reasons it may not work for everyone. @Zoidburg couldn't get them to thrive in either. Different people will have different results keeping things. Neos are easier for most people including myself, Caridina are easier for you and Zoid. That doesn't make either of us "incorrect."
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 09:46 PM
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Bees wouldn't breed for me much without RO but malawa, babaultis, and tigers bred for me np without any buffering substrates and tap water. Caridina covers quite a huge variety of shrimp... like amanos are caridina...

My blue neos actually prefer almost bee like params, just because I think the 2 locals who were most responsible for making a billion of them and spreading them around the clubs kept them in softer water tanks for so many generations... I think that's also not uncommon for imported neos to be grown outdoors in really soft water.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
They say it because they are hardy and easy to keep and will thrive in *most* people's tap. Others have tap water that varies seasonally as their municipalities use different sources. Some use chloramine, some houses have water softeners that add sodium, busted water mains and line flushes happen from time to time, there are all sorts of reasons it may not work for everyone. @Zoidburg couldn't get them to thrive in either. Different people will have different results keeping things. Neos are easier for most people including myself, Caridina are easier for you and Zoid. That doesn't make either of us "incorrect."
I'm sure many neo keepers have had success with their tap source but far too often I have seen advice given to others that are just starting out to just use Prime with tap water, that they don't require any special parameters to thrive. I didn't find this to be true in my case. Maybe my statement was a bit generalized at the end but I was just trying to make a point. I apologize if I offended anyone. I'm in many shrimp groups and you very rarely, if ever see CRS/TB keepers recommend anything other than remineralized RO water and a quality buffering soil but you see the tap water recommendation advice given quite frequently still to this day when discussing neocaridinas.

I agree with you on seasonal changes and the way tap will vary across the globe. It's not safe everywhere for these shrimp. One must consider their particular source and be willing to sacrifice a few "canaries in the mine", so to speak.

With RO, you start from a nearly pure source and are able to remineralize to suit the needs of any species of shrimp. Hard to argue that this would be superior to even the "best" tap water for shrimp health and breeding. Too many unknowns with tap water. Just because it doesn't kill shrimp right away doesn't mean it's ideal...just that they may survive and adapt to it. I get that most people don't want to bother with installing an RO unit and I probably wouldn't either if I was breeding out nice colonies in my tap water. Unfortunately for me, my fry never survived long enough to adapt. It's funny because our tap water has been boasted as best in central Virginia but yet I could never get even cherry grade to do well for me. I cursed the internet forums for months. Needless to say, it didn't do any good.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 11:24 PM
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Assuming you can find them for cheap enough I feel like it can still be worth a try in tap like near DC in CCA or PVAS you can get 20+ cherries for 15$... my local fish store wants like 11$ each neo though, which is crazy.
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