My shrimp won't eat algae off the plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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My shrimp won't eat algae off the plants

Hello folks,

I have a Taiwan bee tank that spent the last 3 months cycling. It has some driftwood, UNS controsoil, and a few plants like S repens and Ludwigia [something]. During the cycling, the tank grew bits of algae, some of it obviously hair algae, but there's also green patches on the driftwood and a darker green coating on the leaves of the plants. I added shrimp a few days ago, and while they're happy zooming around and obviously eating something due to all the poop, I don't see them picking at the plants nor the green patches on the driftwood. (I know that shrimp don't like hair algae, but do like other types) The majority of time they either pick at the little substrate spheres, or pick at the relatively clean glass surface. Even though the glass is clean now, I know that if I leave it alone for a long time, it will grow this kind of combination short-hair algae / biofilm coating that easily comes off in sheets. So maybe there is a really light layer of that now.


Now given that things will rebalance over the next few weeks due to all the shrimp poop decomposing, what can I do to get the shrimp to eat the algae off the plants?
1) give up and just start H2O2 treatment?
2) add amano
3) try to grow more biofilm with Bacter AE. Maybe that will somehow combine with the algae and make the shrimp want to eat it?
4) ???

Edit: Oh, and another thing: None of the shrimp are picking at the HMF sponge. I though shrimp were supposed to love that?

Last edited by beanbag; 11-01-2019 at 10:44 AM. Reason: add hmf
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 02:49 PM
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In my experience they will eat what they like best first then pick at other stuff. The algae that is on your plants sounds like possibly GSA which is really hard to eat for most of them it seems. Maybe a pic of the algaes. Go ahead and clean the glass, they are just eating the biofilm. They will transition to some other part of the tank. My neos and amanos will hang out on the prefilter sponge a few at a time and pick at it. They rotate around in my big tank, some on the plants, some on floating plants, some on filter intake, some searching the sand substrate, and others just swimming around.

My false amanos forage but dont regularly eat algae depending on what it is. If other food is available they go for that first. Entire wafers will disappear if they have a chance.

Make sure your not feeding too much as they wont forage if they have too much junk food lol.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Looking closer, the algae coating the S repens does have a short fuzz, so maybe it is (partially) hair algae after all. I haven't added any food yet.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 05:55 PM
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Do you mean the shrimp that were suffering from ammonia burns/toxicity? If so, that's definitely going to impact them quite a bit.

That said... if shrimp aren't eating, they aren't hungry or are eating something else first.

But if you're dealing with algae issues, it'd be better to figure out what the imbalance is in order to adjust nutrients/lighting.

Don't dose anything - including Bacter AE - unless you know you need to. In this case, you don't need to.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-02-2019, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Do you mean the shrimp that were suffering from ammonia burns/toxicity?

First batch of shrimp got zapped by ammonia and low TDS water. 1 died, 2 were fine, and one is alive but still on the slow side. A few days later, I added another batch of shrimp, this time from mail order, and they have been fine.

I haven't added any food nor ferts at all yet. When will I know to add food?

My understanding of algae issues is that you need the plants to outcompete the algae. But their leaves are coated with algae, therefore they are already held back. I've read accounts that you don't need to change the way you run the tank, you just have to get the algae off first to give the plants a head start. Whether H2O2, Seachem Excel, CO2, something that actually eats the algae, etc.

Right now, I am running the lights "dim" and the hair algae is still slowly outgrowing the plants.

Last edited by beanbag; 11-02-2019 at 11:42 PM. Reason: added info
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2019, 12:54 AM
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You can break off a tiny piece now. Drop it into the tank and remove what's left in an hour or so. If they don't eat, they aren't hungry.

I feed at least a little bit to all of my tanks 2-3 times per week. But I've had populations large enough to require 2x daily feedings. After a while, you'll be able to easily gauge the amount you need to feed based on your population.

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When will I know to add food?


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2019, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. The first two days (after the second and larger batch of shrimp was added) everybody was very active and zooming around. Today they all seem to be camped on / near one of the driftwoods and slowly picking away at either it or the UNS pellets near by. I guess they are feeling content and settled in because there is so much biofilm food around?
I put some food in a dish and it was completely ignored.

Hopefully Quint is right and after they are "done" with this area, they will start roaming around the rest of the tank more and eating stuff off the leaves.

The thing I am slightly worried about is if this biofilm is complete nutrition?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2019, 04:31 AM
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Please share photos.

Style: Organic soil, sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, snails, shrimp, small fish
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Last edited by Streetwise; 11-03-2019 at 04:36 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2019, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Please share photos.

Of what?
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