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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all - I'm new to planted (20 year reefer) trying to get my arms around water parameters for shrimp. I'd like to keep the most colorful and diverse group possible while not placing any animals into conditions in which they would not thrive. I'm trying to read everything I can find on freshwater Shrimp and think I have a very basic understand the varying needs of different Shrimp species but would really value the opinions of the Shrimping Pro's.

Here's the setup -

Assume you want to keep the most diverse group of Shrimp species possible (no interbreeding, matching desired parameters as best as possible) in a single hi-tech tank (12G long, pressurized CO2, Aquasoil ) using 0 TDS RO/DI water. Disregarding any cost concerns,

1) Which species of Shrimp would you keep?

2) To what levels would you buffer/re-mineralize the water? (KH, GH, pH...)

3) What products or methods would you recommend?

Please include any other comments or recommendation you may have. I'm still waiting on an ADA shipment, so I've got lots of planning time and it will be many weeks before the tank is ready for shrimp. My goal is to create the best environment possible within a minimalist, Iwagumi-like setting.

Thank you very much for your time and help!
 

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Since i dont feel like typing out an essay on my droid, ill just suggest doing a little reading in the invert forum (you posted in the right section!) Within about 10 minutes you can find everything you need.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
 

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in my option, you can't really keep more than two diversy group of shrimp...

the interbreed of same species will not look good.

if you want to keep alot of different speices, ur best bet is to setup multiple tanks.
 

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CO2 in shrimp tanks is controversial, although some Asian breeders use it in high end shrimp tanks with success. But plant growth generally isn't their goal. Most of them use CO2 to achieve a low PH (5-5.5) environment to control bacterial growth, and for that, a PH controller is almost a must. As a beginner myself, I wouldn't use it to complicate things.

Tank size is another controversial topic. Some hobbyists have good result with smaller tanks but in general, a bigger tank makes it easier to maintain stable water quality.

Species-wise, it really depends on personal goal and preferences. Colourful shrimps are not always more high end, you can have high end PFR that is as pretty as a WR, with less than 1/10 the cost, and to untrained eyes, some may think yellows prettier than BKK. Personal preferences, but difficulty and parameters are a world away.

If I'm setting up my shrimps tanks again from scratch (I have more than 10 tanks now with different setups), I would use 25G tanks, good active substrate (ADA for example as not all substrates are easily accessible), a capable canister hooked up with DIY PVC UGF, sponge filter(s), moss walls and moss on flat DW, floating plants, and a good enough light. Then keep it simple from there.

Keep it simple at the beginning as it almost always gets more complicated. The most important factor is patience and a positive attitude that's always willing to learn. And keep your hands out of the tank, that's harder than it seems.
 

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We each have a formula for what works. Will answer your questions and add what works for me:

1. Maybe you are inquiring which shrimp you would "start" with rather than keep since many of us keep several types across numerous tanks. http://www.planetinverts.com/ also lays out much of the ins and outs to things like acclimation, trapping, egg hatching, etc... pretty articles written there. shrimpnow is also another good resource for shrimpy information. Neocaridinas are the usual first shrimp for most people.

2. shrimpkeeping.com will provide a table of species and their water requirements for reference.

3. though i have numerous products on the shelf, the ones that i go to nowadays are:

Water Conditioners:
Shirakura CA+ - Remineralizer to raise kh
Calcium Montmorillonite clay - remineralizer (Montmorillonte benefits here (shell strengthener and helps to detox shrimp and tank)
Prime - water conditioner to neutralize chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals from tap

Supplements:
BorneoWild Vital - Vitamins
BorneoWild Shield - replenishes necessary minerals for shrimp

Foods (matter of preference really since shrimp are bottom feeders):
BorneoWild Bebi - feeds baby and adult shrimps
Calcium enriched veggie sticks - sold by jake search "somewhatshocked" or "om nom nom"
Hikari sinking veggie waffers
Shirakura Soft taste

i have a preference for waffer type foods as they are cleaner to handle and offer more surface area for shrimp to feed on. If you seen a ball of shrimp during feeding time, you'll know what i mean.

Tools:
you'll need shrimp specific nets because they will less likely break limbs or get injured when netting.
I have both a white and black colored net with various shapes. the most convenient is the circle followed by the rectangle. IMHO, triangle shaped nets offer no real benefit over the former two and are a gimmick. Try for yourself and see. Definitely get a net the 3/4 the size of your palm or smaller to make selective netting easier.

Accessories:
Filtration: sponge filter as a minimum. HOB or canister are both fine though you have to protect the intake from sucking in baby shrimp.
Lighting: low l-medium light.
Moss - any type is fine so long as its loose and not clumped together.
substrate - A big topic of discussion on the forum that wouldnt do it justice in a single post. I have had success keeping and breeding with Flourite, eco-complete, Fluval Shrimp stratum and building a tank with akadama in the near future. Encourage you to find what is available, attractive and works best for you.
containers - one of the most commonly overlooked accessory, critical to acclimating new shrimp, water changes or harvesting from shrimp tanks. i use chinese takeout quart containers but find the glad tupperware ones more convenient due to it being wider more shallow.

I Hope this gets you started on the right foot. Enjoy!
 

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I'd go low light, low tech on the tank. The goal is the shrimp, not the plants, right? Shrimp love, love, LOVE moss, especially babies, who NEED moss for food. You can't get more simple than moss. Shrimp don't care about red plants with names that are hard to remember and cost a lot. The fewer ferts you use, the better.

Why do RO? Is your tap water totally crazy or are you doing it because you're used to reefs? Check you tap ph, GH, KH and TDS (I'm assuming you have a monitor since you're a reefer) and let us know. We can help guide you to the right shrimp.

You'll have a hard time keeping the right pH combining CO2 with the ADA. It may drop too low then you'll have to start monkeying with buffering the soil, which will make it wear down sooner. You will eventually have to replace the ADA because it will lose its buffering ability after about a year. ADA is going to leech ammonia on your for several weeks; you can take advantage of that to cycle your tank. After your tank is cycled, wait about 1-2 months before adding the shrimp so biofilm can build up. Shrimp love biofilm too. I've got 10 mystery snails happily pooping to keep my cycle going while biofilm is building up.

I personally use two HOBs in my two smaller tanks. Extra filtration is always good and I have a backup if one dies. I was told here that UGF are pointless in anything but a 20g long. My soon-to-be shrimp tank is 13g so I just went with the HOBs. You MUST have some kind of prefilter, like a sponge or a fancy stainless steel one so shrimp don't get sucked up. I use the sponges from the AquaClear HOBs, which are also the kind of filters I use. Some people swear by sponge filters, but I think they're terribly unsightly.

I thoroughly second the recommendation for planetinverts.com. It's so comprehensive that it has shrimp I've never heard of.

But on to your question of mixing shrimp species. It's tough in several different ways. It's not easy to find different species of shrimp with parameters overlap well enough to keep both thriving and breeding. Some shrimp are, shall we say, more assertive than others and hog food. Prime example are RCS with CRS. The CRS are shyer and get outcompeted for food. Neocaridinas are easiest and hardiest, and we absolutely recommend them for new shrimp keepers. Double check this on planetinverts, but i think you can keep neos with caridina baubaultis and malawas. The baubaultis come in several different colors, most commonly green and black. Malawas have several shades of brown, from reddish brown to a plain brown, but are still translucent. You have a huge variety to choose from in neos. RCS, FRs, PFRs, yellows, blue pearl, snow ball, and rilis. Speedie here sells blue velvets and Alpha Pro Breeders, also here but an offshoot of planetinverts has what they're calling blue jellies that look to be the same as Speedie's velvets.

I'm definitely going for Speedie's OEBTs with the new tank. I may try his blue velvets because their params overlap juuuuuust enough that it might work out.

There are many shrimp sellers here. Check the Swap n Shop section and the Power Sellers and Sponsors sections for the shrimpers.

Um, that's all I can think of right now. But we'll all be happy to keep answering questions. We want to start people out right so we don't have to try to diagnose the "Why are my shrimp dying??" situations. :)

-Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
CO2 in shrimp tanks is controversial, although some Asian breeders use it in high end shrimp tanks with success. But plant growth generally isn't their goal. Most of them use CO2 to achieve a low PH (5-5.5) environment to control bacterial growth, and for that, a PH controller is almost a must. As a beginner myself, I wouldn't use it to complicate things....

...If I'm setting up my shrimps tanks again from scratch (I have more than 10 tanks now with different setups), I would use 25G tanks, good active substrate (ADA for example as not all substrates are easily accessible), a capable canister hooked up with DIY PVC UGF, sponge filter(s), moss walls and moss on flat DW, floating plants, and a good enough light. Then keep it simple from there...

Keep it simple at the beginning as it almost always gets more complicated. The most important factor is patience and a positive attitude that's always willing to learn. And keep your hands out of the tank, that's harder than it seems.
Thanks very much Randy, your post is very helpful.

I understand the potential conflict with CO2. I'm planning on starting with LEDS dimmed to ~40 PAR and using CO2 at lesser levels to promote plant growth and hopefully avoid algae. You do point out another potential concern - The plantings will be mostly HC. Very few taller, good-place-to-hide plants. I'm not planning any fish (at least early on) and there will be a moss tree, but might it be a bit barren to shrimp?

As for simplicity - I gave that up years ago :) I'll be leveraging my Apex controller that manages a couple reef tanks in the same room. This will allow precise management of CO2, lighting, auto-top off and temps.

The only thing I confident of is patience - That I've got covered :)

Thanks again for your time!

1. maybe you are inquiring which shrimp you would "start" with rather than keep since many of us keep several types across numerous tanks. http://www.planetinverts.com/ also lays out much of the ins and outs to things like acclimation, trapping, egg hatching, etc... pretty articles written there. shrimpnow is also another good resource for shrimpy information.

2. shrimpkeeping.com will provide a table of species and their water requirements for reference.

3. though i have numerous products on the shelf, the ones that i go to nowadays are:
Shirakura CA+ - Remineralizer to raise kh
Calcium Montmorillonite clay - remineralizer (Montmorillonte benefits here (shell strengthener and helps to detox shrimp and tank)
BorneoWild Vital - Vitamins
BorneoWild Shield - replenishes necessary minerals for shrimp
Foods:
BorneoWild Bebi - feeds baby and adult shrimps
Calcium enriched veggie sticks - sold by jake search "om om om"
Prime - water conditioner to neutralize chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals from tap
Hikari sinking veggie waffers
Shirakura Soft taste (i have a preference for waffer type foods. cleaner to handle, offers more surface area for shrimp to feed on)
Thanks acitydweeler :)

Your'e right - I meant start with - I contracted multiple tank syndrome years ago and will no doubt add more over time. :)

I've been using the reference table at shrimpkeeping.com and will check out planetinverts. It seems the key is to find the best range of paramaters that will support the widest variety. I was hoping that between my well water, RO-only water (for drinking and ice cubes) and zero TDS RO/DI (Reefs) I would have something close to what I needed for this tank. In looking at the results, I'm not so sure...

Water Parameters - API Liquid Tests

------Well----Sink RO----RO/DI (aged)
pH --7.6-----6----------6.4
Gh --< 1---< 1----------0
KH --20------2----------0
TDS 310-----21---------0

If I'm interpreting this correctly, it looks like my best option will be to buffer the RO/DI? I was hoping I'd have an out-of-the-tap option :(

I've been trying to come up with a shrimp plan, and after reviewing the individual species needs and pairing down what I like - Initially I thought I would target 7.2~7.4pH, 4~5KH, 6~8GH. It appears that would that will provide for the greatest options in shrimp species.

It seems CA+ is very popular. Is Prime still recommended with 0TDS RO/DI source water?

Thanks much for your help!
 

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As for Prime, I would think it depends on the type of RO system you are using? If it's one in your house and your filter doesn't remove chloramine and your water system uses chloramine, then you would still need prime. I'm not if things like chloramine would show up as a TDS and therefore a 0TDS water would mean it's been removed or not present. I'll leave that one for the scholars.

As for CO2, high end breeders use for a low pH but they run lots of airstones/sponge filters/water movement to off gas the CO2 and only keep the CO2 in the water long enough to basically react and lower the pH.

With that said, some people have decent tanks with CO2 and ferts and shrimp but breeding usually isn't optimal or at all. It becomes a trade off at some point to have a very high tech tank and a fully sustainable population of shrimp.
 

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I'd say mix your tap and your drinking water and you'll get the perfect params; just play around with ratios to get the right one. You'll need to get that GH up no matter which water option you choose. I think you'll be able to create the perfect KH and TDS mixing your tap and drinking water. I'm really surprised your well water has no GH. Well water is usually liquid rock. :)

You need Prime if you have chlorine and/or chloramine and/or heavy metals in your water (have you ever had your well tested for heavy metals?). It's also handy to have around in case of a mini-cycle because it detoxes ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Your target params are absolutely perfect for neos. So research them. There are some really beautiful ones out there. I'm in love with the color of Speedie's blue velvets. Much better blue than blue pearls. (You'll find Speedie in the Power Sellers section. This is the direct link to his FS thread http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s...92-fs-speedies-shrimp-current-stock-list.html. He gets new shipments every month.)

-Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd go low light, low tech on the tank. The goal is the shrimp, not the plants, right? Shrimp love, love, LOVE moss, especially babies, who NEED moss for food. You can't get more simple than moss. Shrimp don't care about red plants with names that are hard to remember and cost a lot. The fewer ferts you use, the better.

Why do RO? Is your tap water totally crazy or are you doing it because you're used to reefs? Check you tap ph, GH, KH and TDS (I'm assuming you have a monitor since you're a reefer) and let us know. We can help guide you to the right shrimp.

You'll have a hard time keeping the right pH combining CO2 with the ADA. It may drop too low then you'll have to start monkeying with buffering the soil, which will make it wear down sooner. You will eventually have to replace the ADA because it will lose its buffering ability after about a year. ADA is going to leech ammonia on your for several weeks; you can take advantage of that to cycle your tank. After your tank is cycled, wait about 1-2 months before adding the shrimp so biofilm can build up. Shrimp love biofilm too. I've got 10 mystery snails happily pooping to keep my cycle going while biofilm is building up.

I personally use two HOBs in my two smaller tanks. Extra filtration is always good and I have a backup if one dies. I was told here that UGF are pointless in anything but a 20g long. My soon-to-be shrimp tank is 13g so I just went with the HOBs. You MUST have some kind of prefilter, like a sponge or a fancy stainless steel one so shrimp don't get sucked up. I use the sponges from the AquaClear HOBs, which are also the kind of filters I use. Some people swear by sponge filters, but I think they're terribly unsightly.

I thoroughly second the recommendation for planetinverts.com. It's so comprehensive that it has shrimp I've never heard of.

But on to your question of mixing shrimp species. It's tough in several different ways. It's not easy to find different species of shrimp with parameters overlap well enough to keep both thriving and breeding. Some shrimp are, shall we say, more assertive than others and hog food. Prime example are RCS with CRS. The CRS are shyer and get outcompeted for food. Neocaridinas are easiest and hardiest, and we absolutely recommend them for new shrimp keepers. Double check this on planetinverts, but i think you can keep neos with caridina baubaultis and malawas. The baubaultis come in several different colors, most commonly green and black. Malawas have several shades of brown, from reddish brown to a plain brown, but are still translucent. You have a huge variety to choose from in neos. RCS, FRs, PFRs, yellows, blue pearl, snow ball, and rilis. Speedie here sells blue velvets and Alpha Pro Breeders, also here but an offshoot of planetinverts has what they're calling blue jellies that look to be the same as Speedie's velvets.

I'm definitely going for Speedie's OEBTs with the new tank. I may try his blue velvets because their params overlap juuuuuust enough that it might work out.

There are many shrimp sellers here. Check the Swap n Shop section and the Power Sellers and Sponsors sections for the shrimpers.

Um, that's all I can think of right now. But we'll all be happy to keep answering questions. We want to start people out right so we don't have to try to diagnose the "Why are my shrimp dying??" situations. :)

-Lisa
Thank you Lisa - That is wonderful information and exactly what I was hoping for. I knew this would be a series of compromises. My hardscape is somewhat set but it will include lots of moss. I chose ADA Aquasoil hoping it might help me avoid some of the newby planted problems - not realizing it would present another compromise for keeping shrimp. I'm hopeful constant pH monitoring and closely managed CO2 can minimize those fluctuations?

Filtration is an Eheim 2215 with frequent water changes (which seem a pleasure compared to reef.) I'm using ADA glassware and plan to place a SS screen on the intake.

In looking at the charts, it appears many of the "Bees" and "Neos" have overlapping needs, but the Tigers seem to need higher pH levels? I saw the "Blue Jellies" and was completely blown away. Once I get through the leaning curve a have a stable environment - those are definitively on the must-do list. :)

Thank you again for your time Lisa, it was very helpful :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow - Great information. Thank you all!

A few bits I failed to provide,

Source water is a deep (212') well with ~310 TDS. Lots of CO2, but no Chlorine or Chloramine. I've never had it tested for heavy metals though as all drinking water goes through RO, and the reefs are provided RO/DI w/0 TDS.

I have Prime on hand, and while it sounds like I might not need it - better safe than sorry?

Perhaps the next decision is mix or buffer/re-mineralize. Does the fact that all water goes through a water softener impact that decision? I'm more than willing to dose RO/DI (I make lots of it) if it would provide a better, more stable environment.

I like most all shrimp, but am specially amazed by the colors beyond red. I've got Skunk, Peppermint and Sexy Shrimp in my reefs but no other colors (not my pics)...

 

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Tom, im currently running my tanks out of tap but it all depends on your tap water parameters. my tap tds is 43-65 in NYC. 310 tds is probably too saturated with stuff and likely wont be suitable for shrimp as is.

I'm glad youre coming from reefs and no stranger to keeping stable water conditions. re-mineralizing your ro/di might be your best bet by the look of things. Many hobbyists do this and you likely wont get any closer to perfect that this.

good luck, and welcome.
 

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Many also just mix ro/tap to get a middle level.
+1. Keep it as simple as possible. You're lucky to already have an RO system so you don't have to drag 5g jugs home from Walmart. :)

Bees, which are your CRS, CBS and a few others aren't really beginner shrimp. They are very picky about water params. They need soft, acidic water, like pH 6.4-6.8, KH 0-1 and GH around 4. Neos tend to like a higher pH and harder water. Tigers are sort of right in the middle; pH 6.8-7.4, KH 1-2 and GH 4-6. It's hard to guess what your params are going to be with the CO2 and ADA, I'm sure it's going to be pretty low. If it is, you might want to consider a low grade CRS. They tend to be hardier than higher grades, and are maybe $5 each (I think).

You mentioned frequent water changes. I'd say most of us change like 10-15% of the water once a week, maybe every two weeks. Some people go by the TDS. WC often induce molting and shrimp can molt even if they're not ready because of a one. Basically, WC are stressful on them, so do them only when you need to.

I'm jealous, none of the FW shrimp are named "sexy shrimp".

-Lisa
 

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