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Is a vase shrimp tank possible?

8948 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  shift
I have a large vase that I would like to set up as a low tech and with shrimp.
Can shrimp live with no filter?
I have done planted tanks with earthworm casting caped with sand before works great but would it work on a smaller scale?
Also how much light does nano setups need? Its about 2.5g and 12in tall.
the small scall is throughing me off if I could get a little nudge in the right direction that would be great...
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i would suggest rcs as they tend to be the hardiest. as far as lighting it all depends what kind of plants you want. moss/crypts/anubias can be achieved without much lighting.
Thanks for the input.
I will try out rcs.
It will be low tech. I have grown many plants with 1 watt of t5ho for every gallon.
Will this work for tanks under 10 gallons or does the rules change?
I will try a cfl bulb with a basic reading lamp.
I am going to start a journal. thanks
We have a 2 gallon cookie jar, with miracegrow organic soil and a cap of black diamond sand, it has mosses and plants and rcs shrimp, we use a 13 watt 6500k cfl for it, it does awesome with no filter we do an actual water change about once every 4 month, the rest of the time just top offs for evap
I am putting worm casting and capping with silica sand.
I was planning on using 13w better?
Yes they will be fine with out a filter if you do frequent water changes. Alternatively enough plants will act as a filter
I've had a single ghost shrimp in a jar I bought. It has plants and no lighting/filtration but I put it on the window sill. Without an agitator for the water the surface creates a film ontop but usually every other day I kind of stir the surface up and so far has prevented this. I think it's been 1-2 weeks and the shrimp has molted even and seems to do fine. I did have a problem when I let the film get too thick, and when I tried removing it... it basically sunk down to the bottom and covered the plants but appears to be going away. I also add a drop of excel every one in a while. I don't plan on doing any water changes but only topping the water off with new water when needed.
Look into the Hawaiian Red Shrimp, Opae Ula. They are hardy enough to thrive in that kind of an environment and are very active. You would have to add reef salt and feed only every 2 weeks.
second the vote on HRS

Look into the Hawaiian Red Shrimp, Opae Ula. They are hardy enough to thrive in that kind of an environment and are very active. You would have to add reef salt and feed only every 2 weeks.
Great shrimp. Brackish water. Few water changes. Love to eat the algae growth. Mine eat only that once established. Very active--little dolphins. Breeding tricky. Long-lived. Come in variety of colors from red to coral to opalescent. No filtration required. Most do not like the water flow. Suggest dark substrate to show off colors and some black rock for them to hide in. Willow moss attached to side of bowl with a thermometer suction another great place for them to hang on. Note: need to keep them in lowish brackish (1.005) for the moss. Mine currently love hanging on their 7.5 watt heater as their room gets quite cool in winter. Can not say enough good things about them. One bad: you may think them too small after freshwater shrimp. NEVER try to transition them to freshwater as some will tell you they are capable of. I did this very slowly with my first group and they died 3 days into the freshwater. Massacre of shrimp I had had for over two years and one for over four years.
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Small Planted Tanks for Pet Shrimp
by Diana Walstad
A friend made a bowl exactly like hers. The miraclegro has peat in it, and made the water acidic (about 6 I think). The shrimp never bred. I would not recommend miraclegro as a soil in a cherry shrimp bowl.
what about floating plants on top. will that allow oxygen pass through as compared to the thin layer of film you get when there is no agitation?
set up a 3gallon jar with worm casting and sand.
I stirred it from time to time with a chopstick.
I had some crypts and moss with no light, just filtered window light. grew great and small amounts of algea on glass.
I took it down because the snails died and the sparkling gourami as well. Was caused by the soft water system in my house...salt and additives.
Floating plant species will absorb nutrients from the water column. However, they also remove oxygen from the water column at the same time. A better idea would be some plants growing emergent out of the water like Myriophyllum sp. or Ludwigia palustris and some submerged plants like mosses and Crptyocoryne. The Emergent plants will oxygenate the substrate and not remove any additional CO2/Oxygen from the water column. That way the Co2/Oxygen in the water column is left available to the submerged plants. I've heard god things about wormcastings. Mineralized topsoil would be a better alternative to just MGOPS. But, MGOPS will still work. Try this set-up with ghost shrimp from the store before buying RCS only because they are a fraction of teh price of RCS. If these guys survive you should have no problem with RCS.
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Okay, I went off on a huge tangent. Short answer is yes, you can easily keep and breed shrimp in a vase. Cherry shrimp are preferred unless the vase is in a room that is temperature controlled to a range that supporst more sensitive species (unless you build a chiller).

Now on to the excessively long response I wrote on my iPhone, which took way to long to write to just delete:

I know this thread is initially almost a year old and the OP has probably either set this up or moved on with another idea, but I'll add my experience. I have done several planted vases that were all successful. Heck, I've even got a reef tank that has been running almost a year that is built in a 6" square vase (was a planted vase at one point). Granted, the vase is now drilled with an overflow and return lines and has a sump that bumps the volume up from 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon, but it ran successfully for a couple of months with no filtration, just cleaning everything off daily with a dropper.

I have done capped soil, just sand, and just Black Diamond. All three methods worked successfully. Tanks set up for 1-2.5 years. They usually had small fish that barely exceed 1/2" when fully grown. No more than three fish (Endlers or Heterandria Formosa) since the vases were a half gallon or so, and neocardinia (cherry, sunkist, or fire red). I did try a few CRS at one point, but they couldn't take the summer heat (187 year old house with no central cooling or A/C). The shrimp bred (other than the CRS) as did the fish, which necessitaed moving the adults and setting up another tank. Plants were all fairly low demand that were not prolific growers, I learned my lesson early on with water sprite.

If the tanks were inert soil, very careful dosing was managed (usually complete macro and trace like Flourish, no carbon source like excel though. Too easy to stress the animals and I found it wasn't necessary as there was sufficient gas exchange with the shallow volume) by mixing into a larger volume like a 1 gallon water jug and saving the remaining water for other vases if I had multiple ones running or for future water changes if only one was going. I went super weak on the dosing, mostly just enough to keep the plants healthy but not growing vigorously to prevent the vase from being overgrown every other day.

Water changes were usually 50-75% every week or two depending on how things were going. Surface film was cleared by placing a section of paper towel on the surface. There was never surface film when I had water sprite, but it usually grew too fast and completely filled the tank in a week or two. A section of rigid airline in the end of standard flexible aquarium airline was used as a siphon.

I never used lighting over the vase. They were either in a room with lots of large windows (shades typically drawn so no direct light, just a lot of filtered light) or in close vicinity to larger tanks (relatively speaking. 2.3-7.5 gallon), which provided sufficient light for moderate to slow growth. The depth on vases is usually fairly shallow and the dimensions are such that light penetration is not an issue unless prolific plants are selected. Even then, small lamps are sufficient.

Algae was never an issue as nutrients were kept low and were mostly supplied by feeding. A single nerite did a sufficient job at keeping the lite dusting off the glass, although they do wander occasionally and need to be placed back in the vase.

This is just how things worked for me. You can set one up pretty much how ever you want and can go for fast growth high demand plants, but that will require trimming every couple of days, which can be time consuming, but will also help to keep you involved with everything and playing with the tanks on an almost daily basis, which is great if you have the time.

Have fun and experiment, there are no set rules, just be cautious and aware of the life you put in there.
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