Newly added shrimp hanging out at top of the tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Newly added shrimp hanging out at top of the tank

Hello guys!

New to the world of aquariums, my significant other got me a small tank for Christmas and I decided to turn it into a shrimp tank! Its a 5g MarineLand Portrait fish tank and since the dimensions are a bit wonky with more vertical than horizontal space I thought shrimp might be the best best along with some plants. Its been 10 days and I have finally added a few shrimps from my LFS as all the tests of the water parameters seem to indicate that my tank should be good to go. I have added API Quick Start to try to aid the process and after having taken the water to a few different stores a few times I've been told that the water seemed good to go and that the cycle has completed. Just to be safe I bought my own master kit and tested the water myself and the parameters seemed correct. 0 ammonia and nitrites and a safe level of nitrates.

To my current situation, today I added my shrimp and after a period of wandering around their new home they all settled up on the top of the aquarium. Is this normal behavior, perhaps a result of the stress of the move? I tried to acclimate them slowly by adding my tank water mixed with the water they came in over a period of a hour and a half. Does this mean that something else is off in the tank? I'm trying to think what else might be the issue, I read copper was very harmful to shrimp so might it be the substrate? I'm using about an inch of Fluval Stratum as the base with about a half inch of Seacham Flourite. I read that there is some copper in the Flourite but there seemed to be some reasonable dispute that the levels of copper found in the substrate could actually come close to being harmful for shrimp and others use that substrate in their shrimp tanks with no issues.

I appreciate any help or advice!

Edit: Here are a picture of my setup and of the behavior of the shrimp if that might help.
https://imgur.com/a/nqg3IH1
https://imgur.com/a/1n9hozw

Last edited by IKeepShrimp; 12-27-2019 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Added Pictures
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 10:49 PM
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Welcome to TPT. I wouldn't be worried about the amount of copper in Flourite, many of us keep shrimp on that. If anything is going to bite you, it's adding shrimp this early to a new tank. Are these cherry shrimp? My main advice from here out is just to barely feed them and stay on top of water parameters. Not sure if that Stratum is going to leech nitrogen or not, some buffering soils do for the first month or so. FYI, the pictures aren't showing.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the time to respond! Yes, they are cherry shrimp. I edited the previous post to just have the imgur url for the pictures so that people can see what I'm referring to. Adding them too soon is my fear as well, I appreciate any advice anyone can give regarding what I can do now for these poor little troopers now that they are in here.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 07:43 AM
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What about the GH and KH of the water?

What is your water source?

I can't imagine that the tank parameters may be very stable if the parameters might be changed by the Stratum... and shrimp prefer stability.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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So last night I added some water conditioner to the tank before I went to bed and I did observe them moving around before I went to sleep. This morning seemed to be a continuation of that, the shrimp were out and about but I did notice (which I hadn't before) that there were a good number of small white worms all over the glass which suggests to me that the water parameters were indeed the issue. I just did a 25% water change and I ran to the store to buy some Prime to try to aid in the process of keeping the water in the tank safe. The conditioner I had prior had a lot of extra stuff in it and it may not be too different from Prime, it was fairly cheap so I thought whatever might help. As of this recent water change the shrimp are acting completely normal and swimming around and eating.

To zoidburgs question, I tried testing the GH and KH but all I have are these strips and the information they give me is pretty useless seeing as how they don't really seem to change color from the default. I tried finding some other tester at the pet store but they unfortunately had nothing else. I get the water from tap, I live in south Florida if that makes any difference. As stated above I always make sure to condition the water before I add it to the tank.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 07:14 PM
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I'd be interested in seeing wht the small white worms look like. Probably harmless; planaria or medusa; but still.

My first reaction is that the tank hasn't had time to cycle and the shrimp are feeling some ammonia. As Blue Ridge Reef said, you want to keep feeding to a minimum and check frequently for ammonium levels. Change out a little water every day, more if you do detect ammonium -- a 50% change or more daily if ammonium is detected is not as hard on the shrimp as the buildup of ammonium would be.

I understand the temptation. I bought a 5-gallon tank last Christmas, kind of on the spur of the moment (got some unexpected Christmas money from my aged mother) as a quarantine tank and tried adding a dwarf gourami to help cycle it, on the theory that labyrinth fish are pretty hardy. The ammonium got away from me anyway, and the fish died. (Though, based on other indications, it might not have been the ammonium; it's possible it was dwarf gourami iridovirus.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-28-2019, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yea I made a real rookie mistake here, got the green light from some of the LFS around here and I pulled the trigger. Thankfully my caution stopped me from getting more than 2 shrimp. Though I only noticed after I brought them home that 2 tiny babies hitched a ride in the moss they came in so I got a bit more than I bargained for. Unfortunately during my water change I wiped the glass down with a paper towel to get rid of the worms and they haven't come back yet though I'm sure given some time they will show up again. I'll keep an eye on them and once they are visible again I'll post up a picture. My guess after googling for a good chunk of time are that these are detritus worms. They don't seem like planaria given that they lack the triangular head and other defining features. They are just little thin white worms that squirm along the glass surface. My understanding is that they are harmless themselves but are an indication that the water is not what it should be.

I do have a question that I tried searching an answer for but am still a bit unclear on. Can I add Prime (or other water conditioners whatever they might be) directly to the tank? Specifically, during the cycling process does it interrupt anything? I realize that this is a short term solution to try to make things more comfortable for the shrimp but am I disrupting the natural cycling process by doing this or is this a possible way to keep my shrimp safe while the parameters are fluctuating as they currently are?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2019, 06:59 AM
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The worms might have been rhabdocoela flatworms as well. They are pretty common in tanks, more so than planaria.

You shouldn't need to add any conditioners to a cycling tank, but you could try a product that could help cycle it... (i.e. bacteria) If there is an issue with ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, it's fine to add Prime to the tank, but it would probably be best to use after doing a water change to reduce those first... in which case, you would be adding it to the water going into the tank anyway. Just make sure not to over-dose it... shrimp don't like that either!

You shouldn't have shrimp in an uncycled tank.

Being that you live in Florida, your water might be too soft for the shrimp to live in long term and they might perish due to lack of minerals. It would be recommended to get a liquid GH and KH test kit along with a TDS meter (and calibration solution).
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thought I would update this thread in case anyone ever chances upon this thread later having had similar issues or concerns. The 2 poor shrimps have passed on to the big shrimp farm in the sky. They made it about a week but the parameter fluctuations were too much for them I suspect. I haven't seen the two babies so its possible they are still around but they are MIA so far as I can tell. On to the tank itself, things seemed to have stabilized somewhat. I have been monitoring the parameters consistently and they seem to be sitting at 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 5 nitrates. Finally got a tds meter and gh/kh to come in the mail so I have been able to test those parameters as well. TDS is 129 KH is 2 and GH is 4. PH has been sitting pretty consistently at around 6.4 and I assume this is the buffering effect of the fluval stratum that is causing the water to sit at slight acidity.

So with time has come a new set of problems. Namely, algae. The tank is dusted with diatoms all over the place. Which has been going on for about a week now and I have read is fairly normal for newer tanks. But in the past few days I've also noticed tiny little hair algaes spreading over the tank. This is also something that I've read is somewhat normal though I've also read some debate on this. Here are some pictures of what the tank looks like now with some closeups on the diatoms and the hair algae that I'm referring to.

https://imgur.com/a/WNp06x0
https://imgur.com/a/DbdSIw7
https://imgur.com/a/zhpswyM


And as you can see from the pictures, the nerite snails I had since pretty much day 1 with the tank are still snailing it up. They are hardy little fellas. I should note that I also changed out the light that came with the marineland 5g tank and am now using a planted+ clip on. I was pretty unhappy with light on the stock light and this seemed like a decent medium light option. This may be related to the algae growth but this is a fairly recent addition to the tank and I've been limiting the photoperiod to 8 hours a day. Appreciate the help that some of the users have been able to give and I'm gonna keep working on this tank to try to get it shrimp ready as I'm definitely itching for some neocaridinas.

As a takeaway for anyone new who might be reading this though let this be another further lesson to not necessarily trust what they tell your LFS and make sure to buy your own test kits as they are pretty vital to ensuring the health of your tank.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 12:09 AM
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You might also try upping water changes and setting your light on a timer so it comes on for 3-4 hours, off for 1-4 hours, and back on for 3-4 hours. Might help? I'm not sure that that's hair algae though... could be staghorn? Can't quite tell from the picture.

If you have trouble with shrimp surviving, then you may need to increase the GH to 7.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm yea I assumed it was hair algae because it was...hairy. But now that I'm looking at some pictures of staghorn it does look extremely similar to what I have going on. I'll give the water changes and reduced photoperiod a shot. Otherwise I'll search around and see what treatments people normally recommend for staghorn.

And this time around I don't plan on adding any shrimp until I have the parameters consistently where I want them to be at. I ordered some shrimp salts and I'll make sure to get the hardness to a safe level for a while before putting in the shrimp. If I might ask, do you have a range you recommend for KH and GH for neocaridina? I have seen some conflicting things online and after losing my first two I want to try to get some kind of consensus on what parameters I should be shooting for.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 05:43 AM
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Minimum recommended is usually 6-8 GH (I say 7) and 3-4 KH. They generally do best at those ranges or higher and less so at lower ranges.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2020, 03:48 PM
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I agree with @Zoidburg 's parameter ideals. My own Neo shrimp will live and breed at 0 KH and 6ish GH in Caridina tanks, but I'd never buy new ones and try to acclimate them over to that. In my tanks that contain both genera, the water is catered to the more demanding Caridina. I say that only to point out that softer than ideal water alone doesn't seem to have a big impact on them if everything else is in line. While I would slowly bump that GH up if it were my own aquarium, I still feel that the biggest issue here is adding shrimp before the tank was aged well enough.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks once again for the responses. I'm wondering if I can ask how you guys feel about copper. I just ran to the store today and bought a bottle of Aquavitro Shrimp GH to try to get the parameters in line with where I want them. I noticed that in spite of the product being specifically marketed for use with freshwater shrimp it lists among its ingredients copper gluconate. I've read conflicting things concerning copper. While all agree that it is certainly toxic at high levels some state that the fear of copper is completely overblown and difficult to achieve outside of reckless negligence others seem to be completely averse to adding anything with even a tiny trace amount of copper in it. The product seems to come from a reputable company (people seem to love Seachem products, which Aquavitro is a subsidiary of) so should I be alright? Would love your thoughts.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2020, 08:49 AM
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There are people who are feeding copper to their shrimp unknowingly... and the shrimp are generally fine... heck, I can't even say if all the food I have is copper free... some of it doesn't have ingredients list! (free samples and such)

So I wont say it's bad....



But copper meds on the other hand? Most definitely a good idea to stay clear from!
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