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Invert Warrior
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often find myself thinking about my fish tanks, even when I should be working.

Today at work, this thought occurred to me..

I see some consensus forming in shrimp keeping circles:

1. Keepers prefer a nice looking substrate, it keeps things looking good.

2. Shrimp would typically prefer a clean tank with a bare bottom.

3. Shrimp love moss.

4. Moss makes all shrimp look great.

So those are my premises. Please let me know if you agree!

Now my conclusion:

Why not attempt a 'substrate' which is purely a moss carpet on SS/Plastic mesh weighed down.

I feel mini pellia would look AMAZING as a substrate. Many mosses would. But what would you suggest?

You could still aquascape/do what you need to do, but if you had an exact cut of mesh, an exact cut of plastic underneath, I don't think any shrimp would get underneath, nor fit underneath it.

I also think it would fill the 'carpet desire' of hobbyists.

One other thought.. We put diftwood in, but what if we cut a thin piece of wood exactly, and did the no substrate method with the moss attached to it?

Sorry if these are ramblings. I probably should be working, so I'm not all that dialed in to my typing. I just am excited about the thought!

Please let me know if you think this is a good idea or just not possible!
 

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I do agree that shrimp love moss, but mainly the only shrimps I have in my moss are the babies & the mothers, other than that they are everywhere digging through the sand & what not. I've also toyed with the Idea of doing a straight moss bottom But the problem that would arise for me is that moss really likes to catch debris & is hard to keep clean
 

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Invert Warrior
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe, maybe not.

Even normal pellia would be nice looking. Normal pellia grows pretty quick.

Dwarf riccia tied down would look even better. Even if it took a long time, might be worth it if it was a preemptive tank planning.
 

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Most shrimpers use fancy substrates not just for aesthetics but for buffering ability. That's gone if there's no substrate.

I think shrimp prefer anything that they can play around on, explore and pick through. Plants, moss, substrate, chunks of wood, sponge, et al.

All that said - there's no reason you couldn't do that. Just have to monitor your water parameters if you've got sensitive shrimp.
 

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I'm curious where the thought comes from shrimp would prefer a bare bottom tank. I've never heard that and can't imagine that would be would be 'preferred' by anything other than the keeper. My shrimp spend more time picking through substrate than they do moss. So curious about observations for this.
 

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Invert Warrior
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm curious where the thought comes from shrimp would prefer a bare bottom tank. I've never heard that and can't imagine that would be would be 'preferred' by anything other than the keeper. My shrimp spend more time picking through substrate than they do moss. So curious about observations for this.
Oh a lot of people have said that. More notably, Nick (Speedie) recommends it if you can keep your parameters stationary.

GeTo also says that.

The thought for me is you don't have gunk building up underneath, so no nitrate/ammonia spikes cause there is nothing for it to get under.

I've noticed it would be a lot neater for feeding too.
 

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But what's the proof the shrimp would prefer it? Notable breeding differences with same species in tanks with substrate vs without? More activity? What? I get why a keeper would want bare bottom, I just find it hard to believe a shrimp would prefer it, since that would never be their natural habitat.
 

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Invert Warrior
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Perhaps I should rephrase. It is better overall to have as little mulm in the tank, and the way to achieve that is through removal of substrate or vacuuming the substrate thoroughly.

So it is better overall for their health.

You'd still have the moss/ glass/ filter to feed off of for bio film.
 

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And just to clarify, wanting to do a moss substrate is zero close to a bare bottom tank right? I guarantee it is to the shrimp;) If one is just looking for ways to get out of doing substrate, I don't see what the issue would be with doing a moss carpet scenario if parameters can be kept in check.
 

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Perhaps I should rephrase. It is better overall to have as little mulm in the tank, and the way to achieve that is through removal of substrate or vacuuming the substrate thoroughly.

So it is better overall for their health.

You'd still have the moss/ glass/ filter to feed off of for bio film.
If that's the thinking I think moss would be FAR worse at trapping mulm, poop, and debris. Hubby made me a siphon with a water bottle, air tubing and a tiny acrylic rod. If I really wanted to I could hover it above the substrate to clean the mulm and leave the substrate undisturbed. I would not be able to do this with moss (I know from experience). Perhaps you could with of course, a different siphon. I have a cray in a bare bottom tank right now and half the mulm is in the moss...no way to vacuum that crap out. Depending on leaf size certain mosses may certainly be easier to deal with than others.

I think if one wants to do it for looks then sure, go for it. But cleanliness I would tend to think it would be more problematic.
 

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I think a moss carpet would be a good idea in the sense that there would be more food and comfort for the shrimps, but dark-colored shrimps (OEBT, BKK, etc.) and especially babies would be pretty hard to find--this would make it extremely hard to know if something's wrong with the tank. And of course we all know that moss takes a ridiculous amount of time to grow significantly, so that would be an issue as well.
 

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Biofilm grows on glass well, so even though it's bare bottom, I can see 5 shrimp right now picking at the bottom of what looks like clear glass to me. lol. As Liam said, snails in the tank leave infussia behind them everywhere they go, and that contains lots of goodies as well.

My tank is also about 60% bare bottom, 40% substrate and a huge sponge wall gives them an area, as does the moss, chola wood, sponge filter, and lava rock pile I have. As speedie said, if they got something to eat bio-goodies from, it doesn't matter what it is.

For me, I find the bare bottom part awesome for feeding. There is zero food left at the end. On substrate, as soon as they start eating, food starts falling into the substrate. Even with a feeding dish, the food is going to get flung out, carried away, sloshed around as they pick it. With the bare bottom portion, they stay and eat until the glass is clean.

I admit, I stole my idea from Ebiken's rack.





As for, bare bottom isn't that way in nature. Nothing we do with our "pets" is even close to nature because they are all closed loop systems. No matter how big of a tank you have, it pales in comparison to even the smallest stream. No matter how much food and stuff we add in, it in no way mimics the millions of micro-critters that live in real lakes. No matter if it's a 200gal tank, a snake or turtle that is used to hundreds of square miles to roam, it's not natural, so I don't buy the not natural thing because we can't even come close to recreating our pets "natural" areas.
 

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Invert Warrior
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I really like the responses posted. Thank you everybody who posted!!!

Liam, I'd have to ask, how is it dark shrimp would be hard to find?

Raven, I don't know about the mulm. I think it is an experiment that needs to be done. I am not sure how much mulm is produced on average, but in a small scale tank, I think it would be minimal.

Jake, thanks for the encouragement.

GeToChKn, thanks for your comments, and the reminder of the small systems we keep.
 

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my Amano Shrimp like scraping the bottom mostly the males are not picky where they sit. The females are more prone to scraping anywhere they don't perch though they pick all the time they are on a forging run. My ghost shrimp are the same, but the female likes to perch on veg or a rock. Big Ben the Bamboo shrimp stays hidden, but comes out and perches on the driftwood and filter feeds when he's hungry.
 

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this is a great thread!!


If my tank wasnt mostly for the look of a beautiful planted tank then yes i would probably do smaller tanks with MF and little blocked off section of substrate with moss and cholla wood. the rest would be empty.
 

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this is a great thread!!


If my tank wasnt mostly for the look of a beautiful planted tank then yes i would probably do smaller tanks with MF and little blocked off section of substrate with moss and cholla wood. the rest would be empty.
That's why I have other tanks for plants and fish :)
 

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As for, bare bottom isn't that way in nature. Nothing we do with our "pets" is even close to nature because they are all closed loop systems. No matter how big of a tank you have, it pales in comparison to even the smallest stream. No matter how much food and stuff we add in, it in no way mimics the millions of micro-critters that live in real lakes. No matter if it's a 200gal tank, a snake or turtle that is used to hundreds of square miles to roam, it's not natural, so I don't buy the not natural thing because we can't even come close to recreating our pets "natural" areas.

I realize that. I'm talking their ability to move about a slick bare bottom surface without things to climb, grip to, etc. And yes I know they can grip to walls. You went far beyond what I was thinking about. LOL!
 

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Invert Warrior
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've just noticed a lot of substrate threads lately. I despise the idea of substrate I need to replace every year. My Fluval Shrimp Stratum doesn't buffer much, so I probably won't replace it.

I like the idea of moss you can take off in one peel if need be.

I'm definitely testing this out small scale.
 
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