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I got 15 neocaridina shrimp almost a month ago and have my first berried female, but I’m still not confident about keeping them. I'm not sure if I should be worrying more, or if I should just chill out and see how things go and only try to make adjustments if there are problems (i.e. shrimp start dying).

Some of the care guides I’m reading are quite dire about doing tiny, infrequent water changes with water that’s been aged for a week (on top of a water conditioner!), but I feel like I see planted tanks with large shrimp colonies where it seems like they get no special consideration. I’m not sure what to make of the disparity. I am pretty fastidious about maintenance, so my concern is generally about doing too much. Before adding the shrimp I did 50% WC all the time - it's a 5 gallon tank, so took no time and my plants liked it. The water parameters that I measure (ph 7.2-7.4, dGH ~7, dKH ~2, temp 69-71F) don’t waiver even with big WC, but I don’t have a TDS meter and I am not sure how critical that is.

I also am worried about feeding a bit. The tank was mature before they were added, but there’s not too much algae though I always have some indian almond leaf matter for them, plus they are very into the micropellets my rasbora miss, but they don’t seem interested in the blanched vegetables I have tried to give them. I’m not sure if I should look into other ways of feeding them, or if they are doing fine.

I know there are very experienced shrimp keepers here and I could use some seasoned wisdom.
 

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Shrimp don't produce a lot of bioload, so if there's no fish, or anything causing large amounts of nitrates, large water changes are not necessary. If there's fish creating more bioload, then you kind of need to do larger water changes. As long as the shrimp are fine, don't worry about it!

Colonies can vary. Some people have success doing small water changes with drip acclimation (otherwise, shrimp die), others have no problem doing 50% water changes with water straight from tap.

I can't use straight tap.... shrimp die in it! Not immediately, just over time.... unless it's offspring! Those die pretty quickly! 0 ammonia/nitrites/nitrates, no detectable copper... and they still die! The issue is is that my water is too soft. Simply saying that "tap water is okay for shrimp" killed the ones that I was introduced to.



With so few shrimp, you don't really need to feed much... but if you did, I would recommend going after a vegetable/algae based diet - but you MUST read the ingredients! Many "algae" foods don't even have algae on the list until the 5th to 9th ingredient! If they're also getting food missed from the rasboras, then you don't need to worry about protein - just try to get a good vegetable/algae food as their primary source.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, @Zoidburg! I appreciate your chiming in. I feel like I'm not too far off where I should be, but I'll definitely look into a veggie-based food supplement.

I've been thinking about water changes more and I think I need to just track it more carefully and get an understanding of exactly how much nitrates my fish are making and then do the math to figure out the minimum water I need to replace to keep that in check. Obviously that might fluctuate a bit, but getting that baseline will be helpful I think. I only have 4 chili rasboras and a nerite, so it's not like I've got a crazy amount of bioload to contend with. I probably will get a TDS meter too - they aren't a very big investment and I'm kind of curious.
 

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If your neocaridina shrimp females are berried within a month then I'm sure they'll be absolutely fine. In terms of feeding they mostly eat biofilm, and are uninterested in the blanched veggies because they have plenty of food already. When their population goes up (it will) they'll be much more interested in the treats. I keep mine with endlers so feeding them is not the easiest task, but usually they have enough time to grab a piece of food and scurry away with it.

They seem to like a more mature tank with plenty of wood, rocks and leaf litter. The females appreciate lots of little crevices to hide away in. The only thing they don't seem to like is other shrimp species, I introduced amanos, and they were not happy. I've read that they're very peaceful when It comes to other shrimp, but not everything you read online will apply to your aquarium.

With the water, I do weekly 50% changes using normal tap water & conditioner with no problems at all. My water is acidic, so I add a small amount of crushed oyster shell for them. You might want to slowly increase the amount of water you change over time just to be sure. When I first got them I was so worried thinking they'd die, but I've found them to be hardier than most fish species I've kept. Starting with a few about three years ago, I now have around 30-40. Not all the little babies make it because of the endlers, but provide a decent amount of hiding space and enough will make it to maintain a stable population.

So really, try not to worry so much about them!
 

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The more I neglect and forget to feed my neo's, the better they do and the more more babies they have! Don't be scared to go a day, even 2 or 3, without adding any food to the tank. If you are feeding the fish daily, there is probably more than enough left over for the shrimp to mop up, and if not, there is all that yummy fish poo to munch on! Similarly any snails in the tank will be constantly produced shrimp food.

In all but a brand new sterile tank, there is probably more than enough for a small colony of shrimp to feast on. Many times my shrimp ignore the little food I add (even after starving them for days) as they are too busy foraging in the soil, on the moss or hanging upside down from the salvinia. If you have plants (particularly mosses with their huge surface area) in a reasonably mature tank, then they will not starve.

The instructions on most shrimp food (especially Bacter AE!) seem to be way way way too much! Even in doubt, I would suggest feeding much less than you instinctively think is the right amount.
 
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