Crystal Shrimp in sump? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Crystal Shrimp in sump?

I have an odd question for you guys. So, I have a 150 gallon axolotl tank with a matching sump (it was originally a reef tank, so it's got all the bells and whistles). I would like to breed crystal red and dream blue shrimp as food/also display animals in other areas. Obviously a breeding colony isn't possible IN the tank with the axolotls, but I was thinking about using the sump for the crystal reds? From what I understand, they like basically the same parameters as what the system already is (cool water, around 6.7 PH) and I though that way I could just scoop them out and put them up top when I needed more feeders. Has anyone done something like this? Do you think it would work? The sump is partially designed as a refugium, so the plants are down there, my only real concern is the water flow.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 08:03 AM
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Might work with Neos but I can't imagine it would work for crystals.

Do you know the GH and KH of the water? The TDS?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Might work with Neos but I can't imagine it would work for crystals.

Do you know the GH and KH of the water? The TDS?
Hmm, not currently. It's not as big of a concern for axolotls, so I haven't kept a close eye on those. I would hazard a guess it would be on the softer end, but can't say for sure. What specifically do you think would make it not work for crystal? The flow, or something else?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 07:34 PM
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Crystal red shrimp aren't known to breed well in tap water or water with any carbonate hardness at all. My own Caridina shrimp lived but never produced until I started using RO water and aquasoils. Once I made that switch, they began producing. Neos, such as cherries would be a much better option for your sump, though I'd try just a few and see how they do lest they wipe out. One thing about shrimp is that if conditions aren't to their liking, they aren't like fish where you see signs of physical stress and unnatural behavior to let you know that something is off. Oftentimes they simply all die at once. Tangerine tigers might be another consideration, they are very productive shrimp when the environment is to their liking. Not sure how messy your axolotls are, but nitrogen spikes aren't something well tolerated by any shrimp.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 07:39 PM
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Low pH does not necessarily mean soft water just as much as high pH doesn't necessarily mean hard water. There's a lot more that goes into what controls pH than water hardness. I mean, you can have hard water with low pH or soft water with high pH.

You may indeed have soft water, but without knowing your GH and KH, at minimum, you might have shrimp that wont thrive.

With shrimp, it's a little more important to know if your parameters are within range or not as compared to fish. With Neos, if the water is too soft or too hard, then the shrimp may fail to properly molt and perish. (especially true in young if the water is too soft) With some Caridina, if the pH is too high or water too hard, they may live but they wont breed. In some, breeding may occur but offspring wont survive to adult-hood. TDS usually isn't too important with Neos, but Caridina may be pickier.

Not even going into the whole diet thing...


Many people will say that Neos do "just fine" in tap water! They died in mine. They say that if you buy locally, you have a higher chance of survival rates. Still died. They say that if you can get offspring, then those offspring will be stronger than the parent generation and will adapt better to your water. Nope! Offspring died faster than the adults! Reason being? Water is too soft.... and I live in a desert!

There are many problems with using tap. It's great that many people can use it without issues for their shrimp, but if you want to cut out unknowns, you go with remineralized RO/distilled water... which may not be feasible for the tank you have. Issues with tap may include the city adding more chemicals without notifying the public, tap water changing based on the seasons, heck I've even heard of someone on well water living on a farm, and a farmer up the river used fertilizer on their farm, which contaminated the water table, and when the person did water changes on their tanks, everything died...


In short, I'd recommend doing some more research and see if this is actually something you'd like to delve into. Maybe it would be better to set up a shrimp specific tank for breeding purposes?

The one thing I will say is - DO NOT use tap water on a buffering substrate, nor use KH of any sort in a tank with a buffering substrate if you would like the substrate to last as long as possible.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I know! The reason I say I think it's soft is because it's a blackwater tank - sandstone, driftwood and leaves, etc. I haven't bothered checking exact KH and GH since the axolotls are content and not particularly picky towards those, but I would definitely do so before adding shrimp. That does make sense about RO vs tap, however. Our tap has always been consistent, but that doesn't mean it always will be! My concern was more about the water movement, since obviously a sump has quite a bit more flow than an average filter or airstone. The RO tip helps though, thanks! Looks like I'll probably set up a separate tank for the shrimp to be safe
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 09:06 PM
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I have Neos doing well in 0 KH and 5-6 GH tanks as I type this. I am not sure it's simply a matter of hardness. Honestly, @zoidberg I'd like to send you some from these parameters after the COVID-19 dies down and see if they fare better for you.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 12:53 AM
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Maybe a possibility is NEOs but wild type. I let chocolates and RCS breed together and they made some interesting wild types which arent necessarily the best looking shrimp but they seem to be hardy compared to some of there full blood counterparts if you will. If your feeding them anyways it doesnt really matter much.

I dont know if this is 100% true either so take with grain of salt. Either way NEOs would be your best bet IMHO for easy to breed salamander food (well besides raising earthworms).
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 05:16 AM
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I have Neos doing well in 0 KH and 5-6 GH tanks as I type this. I am not sure it's simply a matter of hardness. Honestly, @zoidberg I'd like to send you some from these parameters after the COVID-19 dies down and see if they fare better for you.
Last I've checked... I've got one Neo left.... dunno how there's even ONE left!!! From "beginner" colony... don't know what bloodline necessarily considering all the shrimp issues I've had... he lives in a specimen container.... fished him out to give him to someone and well...... he's stayed in there ever since...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 05:24 AM
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Last I've checked... I've got one Neo left.... dunno how there's even ONE left!!! From "beginner" colony... don't know what bloodline necessarily considering all the shrimp issues I've had... he lives in a specimen container.... fished him out to give him to someone and well...... he's stayed in there ever since...

Funny story but I finally cleaned my oase 350 on my 40B, when I went to dump out the canister there were several (probably 6-10) baby neos ranging up to about 1/4-3/8" roughly. Been about 2 months since setting up filter and only thing I can think of is the pre filter sponge was larger pore sponge so they got in as babies. Dont see any other way they got in unless they swam against the current. I netted most of them and put them in the 10g and they seemed to do alright.



Also finally took apart my AC50 on my 10g tank and found a missing false amano and 3 NEOs that were larger sized. No idea how long they had been in the bottom of the basket area, no idea how they managed to get in there since they had to climb into it and down thru/around the filter material into the bottom portion. They couldnt get thru the intake line. Dont think they were too happy going back into the tank.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 06:17 AM
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I have a sponge filter on the tank.... but have found shrimp in a HOB previously... thought there was only 1... there were 6... and they had to go against the current to get in!

To be fair though, my tap comes out at 3 KH and 3 GH, which is lower than what most people can successfully keep Neos at...
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