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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I’m relatively new to the shrimp-keeping hobby, so I’m definitely inexperienced. I have an 8.75 G planted tank with 9 Bloody Mary shrimp, 3 Mystery Snails, and a LOT of pest snails (which I don’t mind). I’ve had the tank for about 4 months and have had the shrimp for around 3, and I saw one berried shrimp one time. She never had babies, and I never saw her again (at least not berried, I obviously don’t know exactly which shrimp it was). There’s nothing in there that would eat the babies, and there’s PLENTY of plant coverage. All of the shrimp are active, I feed them a varied diet (algae wafers, vegetable sticks, Bacter AE, and veggies occasionally), and my tank parameters seem to be right around where they should be. Is anything wrong, or am I just impatient?
Thank you for any and all advice!!

pH: 8.2
Temp: 70.8°F
Ammonia: 0 ppm (maybe a bit more than 0 but definitely not 0.25 ppm, it’s hard to tell which color exactly)
Nitrate: 40 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
 

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If you've had them for at least 4 months that's plenty of time for them to have bred. One thing that stands out from reading your post is the lack of protein in list of food. Protein is essential for breeding. Shrimp aren't really algae eaters per say. They're scavengers and omnivores. If you're not feeding protein, I would start there. Plenty of shrimp food like Shrimp King and others have high protein content.
 

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I agree protein is necessary; check the ingredients on the algae wafers and see if they added any spirulina. That is mostly protein which would help. I use crab cuisine and micro worms for proteins as well as other foods.

Ammonia should be 0. Absolutely 0. Which leads to your nitrates of 40. I assume you have a decent bio load with your mystery snails and whatever plants you have aren’t consuming the nitrates and the biological bacteria isn’t able to keep up with the nitrification required. I would look at your water change schedule and increase possibly, possibly cut back on feeding, probably should add faster growing plants. My nutrient sponge of choice for shrimp tanks is pearl weed (it grows in almost any condition and devours nitrates). My shrimp tanks always have less than 5ppm nitrate, not that you necessarily need to get to there but it could help. There are plenty of people breeding Shrimp without any problems with high nitrates but if you can reduce as many possibly negative factors as possible that’s always a good thing.

GH and KH both should be in the area of seven or higher. Is that about where you are at? When doing the water change what percentage of water are you changing and how often? Are you using tapwater or RO reconstituted? If so are you reconstituting it before adding it to the tank and making sure the temperature matches?

The things I would look at would be;

Am I feeding too much (left over food)?
Am I doing proper water changes or at least keeping the water parameters stable and topped off?
Do I have enough plant mass in the tank to absorb the ammonia produced?
Am I feeding enough of the right foods ie protein at 20%-50% of diet?


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you've had them for at least 4 months that's plenty of time for them to have bred. One thing that stands out from reading your post is the lack of protein in list of food. Protein is essential for breeding. Shrimp aren't really algae eaters per say. They're scavengers and omnivores. If you're not feeding protein, I would start there. Plenty of shrimp food like Shrimp King and others have high protein content.
Thank you so much!! Shrimp King variety pack ordered :)

I agree protein is necessary; check the ingredients on the algae wafers and see if they added any spirulina. That is mostly protein which would help. I use crab cuisine and micro worms for proteins as well as other foods.

Ammonia should be 0. Absolutely 0. Which leads to your nitrates of 40. I assume you have a decent bio load with your mystery snails and whatever plants you have aren’t consuming the nitrates and the biological bacteria isn’t able to keep up with the nitrification required. I would look at your water change schedule and increase possibly, possibly cut back on feeding, probably should add faster growing plants. My nutrient sponge of choice for shrimp tanks is pearl weed (it grows in almost any condition and devours nitrates). My shrimp tanks always have less than 5ppm nitrate, not that you necessarily need to get to there but it could help. There are plenty of people breeding Shrimp without any problems with high nitrates but if you can reduce as many possibly negative factors as possible that’s always a good thing.

GH and KH both should be in the area of seven or higher. Is that about where you are at? When doing the water change what percentage of water are you changing and how often? Are you using tapwater or RO reconstituted? If so are you reconstituting it before adding it to the tank and making sure the temperature matches?

The things I would look at would be;

Am I feeding too much (left over food)?
Am I doing proper water changes or at least keeping the water parameters stable and topped off?
Do I have enough plant mass in the tank to absorb the ammonia produced?
Am I feeding enough of the right foods ie protein at 20%-50% of diet?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I’ll have to check GH and KH tomorrow!! I think last time I checked the KH was definitely more than 7, so I’ll probably have to do something to lower it. I have hydrocotyle tripartita (which has grown explosively and takes up almost half the tank), Java moss, floating plants, and I’m growing pothos out of it. My nitrates have always been on the higher side, so that makes sense. I’ll look into getting some pearl weed. I change about 15% of the water once a week, with tap water with SeaChem prime. So basically I have some room for improvement! Thank you SO so much for the help!!
 

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The algae wafers are probably really algae infused... with algae being the 5th to 9th ingredient.... so not seeing an issue with protein, per-say.


Do you have a way to measure your GH and KH using liquid test kits?


Do you have your tap water parameters?
 

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I’ll have to check GH and KH tomorrow!! I think last time I checked the KH was definitely more than 7, so I’ll probably have to do something to lower it. I have hydrocotyle tripartita (which has grown explosively and takes up almost half the tank), Java moss, floating plants, and I’m growing pothos out of it. My nitrates have always been on the higher side, so that makes sense. I’ll look into getting some pearl weed. I change about 15% of the water once a week, with tap water with SeaChem prime. So basically I have some room for improvement! Thank you SO so much for the help!!
You may not have to lower kh. As Zoidburg said let’s test the water first. I live in Arizona and have very hard tapwater, 500 TDS plus, and neocaridina didn’t do very well for me until I started reconstituting RO water to get that Tds down to around 300 with KH and GH both being around seven but you can go higher but maybe not 25kh+ like I was with tap water.

Assuming your plants are growing healthy it seems like you have plenty of plant mass so I would maybe look at your feeding. Are you feeding every day? Nine shrimp could probably not be fed at all and maybe as often as one or two small pieces of food every other day. Make the shrimp and the mystery snails eat as much biofilm as possible. Don’t consider pest snails in your feeding at all. I don’t actually know what mystery snails eat, they may be carnivores for all I know, and if that is the case consider that in your feedings.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The algae wafers are probably really algae infused... with algae being the 5th to 9th ingredient.... so not seeing an issue with protein, per-say.


Do you have a way to measure your GH and KH using liquid test kits?


Do you have your tap water parameters?
Yeah we have the GH and KH test kit! My tank kH was 9 and gH was 17. We just tested the tap and the pH is 7, 0 ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, kH was 16, and gH was 22. TDS for the tap was 280 ppm, and for the tank is 396 ppm

You may not have to lower kh. As Zoidburg said let’s test the water first. I live in Arizona and have very hard tapwater, 500 TDS plus, and neocaridina didn’t do very well for me until I started reconstituting RO water to get that Tds down to around 300 with KH and GH both being around seven but you can go higher but maybe not 25kh+ like I was with tap water.

Assuming your plants are growing healthy it seems like you have plenty of plant mass so I would maybe look at your feeding. Are you feeding every day? Nine shrimp could probably not be fed at all and maybe as often as one or two small pieces of food every other day. Make the shrimp and the mystery snails eat as much biofilm as possible. Don’t consider pest snails in your feeding at all. I don’t actually know what mystery snails eat, they may be carnivores for all I know, and if that is the case consider that in your feedings.


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Hi! My TDS was 396, kH was 9, and gH was 17. For the tap, the kH was 16 and gH was 22. The mystery snails seem mainly to munch on dead floating plants/anything I feed the shrimp (it’s funny, they just crawl on top and block the shrimp).
 

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22 GH equals about 400 TDS

17 GH would be closer to 300 TDS


So your TDS meter may be off... or maybe you got the numbers mixed up??? but that said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to either cut your water with RO, or just switch to remineralized RO water for your tank. I would recommend a GH of 7-10, although that shouldn't necessarily be a reason why you didn't have any offspring.
 

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Something that stands out to me is the tank temperature. I keep my shrimp tanks at room temperature which is usually around 68-80 F throughout the year. I get faster breeding with higher temps, and slower breeding with colder temps.
 

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I agree with above. Since separating the shrimp species, the Neocaridina has been breeding like crazy. The Neos came from a 70 degree water to 74/75ish degree water.

The caridinas are kept in its own tank at 70/71 temp tank.

The Neos are kept with loaches, rasboras and mystery snails but with plenty of plants and rocks to hide within.
 

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Not trying to rain on anybody's parade but some of you are definitely overthinking this. Almost never about protein levels in their diet - shrimp are detrivores and get enough protein from scavenging in their tank picking through micro crustaceans in surface film - even a tank that's just a few months old. It's almost never necessary to supplement protein in the average tank. That said... A tank that's just 4-months-old isn't what I would consider mature. Give them more time.

You don't need warmer temps for breeding. 70ish is what I'd consider ideal. I haven't had a shrimp tank warmer than 68-70 in a long time. For Neos or Caridina, anyway. Warmer temps speed up the life cycle for Neos, sure, but there's really no reason to hurry your critters along.

How old are the shrimp? If they were large adults when you got them, it's possible their reproduction cycles are slowing down.

Are you sure you have a good ratio of males and females?

Many berried shrimp will hide. In some of my shrimp tanks, I don't even know I have berried shrimp. Shrimplets just appear out of the blue.

Nitrates at 40 is something you should remedy.

What brand of test kit are you using? Are they new or closer to their expiration date? Are you absolutely certain those kH and gH levels are accurate? Color charts can be difficult to discern even for skilled shrimpers.

Could you post a full tank photo for us to see? That may provide some additional insight.
 
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