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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sooo I kinda.. splurged and took the dive into buying shrimp, 35 cherry/rili mix from what the seller said. Currently they are in my 10g with new plants that arrived the same day as them (plants will be going into 7g cube). The 10g is suppose to become a quarantine/hospital tank for for obvious reasons it can't be their perm home (was original home for other fish before transfer.. no meds ever used luckily). The other tanks fully up and running atm aren't good candidates though.. they have (or will have) fish that will eat the shrimp.

water params (in holding tank)
temp 75F (still trying to lower slowly to 72)
ph:7.5
ammonia & nitrite 0
nitrate 10-20 (api test chart used same color for both =,=)
gh 160
kh 70
tds unknown

I know gh/kh are freakin high, but from reading/asking around cherry seem to do ok with this range... hope that's true. Since I still need to get things to set up a shrimp tank, funds are limited, so I can't do ro/di etc etc water.

I'm considering setting up my 2x 2g picos (bubble bowl and cookie jar) for the shrimp, grab a sponge filter for each and stuff them full of plants/rock/wood....
I was thinking of trying moss madness for the 2g cookie jar with wood and grassy theme with rocks for the 2g bubble bowl (blyxa and micro sword). Rocks are "rosy quarts" collected locally which have not had an effect on gh/kh, but again no idea about tds yet.
2g jar and bowl would be unheated, from testing water temps in vase near where I would put them temp is roughly 65F (only minor temp fluxes depending on heater, ac, or open windows(not near tanks but in other parts of house).


Onto the questions:
~I hear tds meters are a must, is this true even for the more 'hardy' cherries? If so whats a reliable and reasonably priced one?

~I've read Seachem Prime raises tds, but no mention of how much. Is this an issue? If so what's a good chemical de-chlorinator alternative (i don't trust my city water to be safe after a day+ of airstone running)?

~If I stuff the sponge filters in a pre-cycled (in use) tanks, is there an average time needed for them to be properly seeded with BB to keep a tank cycled on its own (just sponge)?

~I've read that its best to let a tank cycle and 'age' for 4-6 months before adding shrimp but I've seen several threads of people doing dsm and putting shrimp in at flooding or just slapping everything in at once (shrimp too). Is there some extra step(s) to ensure the shrimp have enough food to live on while the tank ages without risking fouling the water? Just feed daily and remove food after __hours+ small water change?

~How the hell do you do water changes and not suck up/pour out shrimp by accident (i didn't realize how tiny they are until I got them)?? Is it best to add new water back to tank in a drip acclimation style (airline hose and valve set for a __ drips a second) rather than pouring in to reduce stress from possible param fluxes (from many months of periodic testing everything is stable from tap for me but tds is unknown)?

~I currently have Hikari algae wafers, some fish flake food, and fresh vegies (zuchini, spinach etc). Are there other shrimp foods I should look into getting for cherry/rili shrimp (not over priced fancy stuff, but something with good supplements they might need)?

~I want to dose some ferts in the tank these shrimp are in for the plants, and have read mixed info about doing so. I have Seachem:Excel, Flourish, Pottasium, and Phosphorous. I've seen several swear up and down that anything with copper (Flourish) will kill shrimp (but no "i added and they died" write up). I've also read owners saying they've dosed frequently (not over dosed) and have no issues. I'd like to hear first hand experiences with using Seachem Flourish (or other Seachem ferts) with shrimp, did yours die or live?


Just for fun here's some blurru photos of them (cell pics so sorry for quality, buggers do not want to hold still!!)


 

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I have a 10 gallon tank that was seeded with about 60 cherry shrimp (two separate shipments from different forum members). I've not been doing shrimp very long, but the cherry shrimp seem pretty hardy. I have used Flourish and Excel in the tank with no problem. I dose well below the guidelines on the bottle however.

There is no other fauna in the tank (save snails), so I've not really done many water changes in the couple of months the shrimp have been in the tank. When I'm suctioning the water out, I just have to look carefully to be sure I'm not sucking up any babies. The adults usually get spooked by the movement and scurry away. I use an HOB filter with a sponge on the intake. When I'm topping off the water, I pour it into the filter rather than the tank directly.

I also set up my tank using filter media from one of my cycled tanks. I let it run for a week or two before I added shrimp. Maybe I didn't wait long enough, but everyone seems happy. I suppose you may have to be a little more careful if you're dealing with more finicky shrimps. The cherry shrimp seem to deal well though.

As for food, check the classified section. I've bought sample packs of food from there to get a decent variety of stuff to feed. You don't have to drop a lot of money on something the shrimp may not like.
 

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I feed mine everything in the house fish food wise but also Asparagus and cut green beans in cans(great value) both I buy in the small cans.
I've been having high nitrates in both tanks so breeding is off. But in one tank which is newer than the other, they rush after food. In the older tank they just eventually will be there type of thing showing me they need to be fed more in the new tanks. Just put
small amounts of food and if that goes in half an hr you might put a bit more.
After a couple of days of that you can judge how much they eat.
The TDS meter is an E-bay item.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok thank you for the info! Sadly an HOB won't be an option for these picos, they are abnormally shaped and HOB generally need a flat glass surface. Its a shame because I'd love to use the tiny Azoo instead of a sponge filter (would rather minimize equipment in the tank).

Little confused from further reading.. I'd read that cherries can live in 60-80F, but several sites advise for min. temp of 72F... I've also read several no-tech shrimp tanks threads/sites that did not have heaters..

I'm currently trying to hunt down a decently priced source for Christmas moss (want more than a messily gulf ball potion). Ordered some mini sponge filters and a whisper 10 from amazon (have a 2 way splitter left over that I'll hook 'em up to). Going to try to cycle them in the 20 then move them and the shrimp to the 2g in a month+ after they arrive (hopefully will have bowls planted by then). Also got a 1-5 gallon mini siphon (Aqueon) hopefully will be able to see any shrimp getting sucked up it an cut the suction before they go down the tubing ^^
 

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I was keeping mine at around 74. It's starting to warm up though so it's unlikely that will continue. My tank is at 78 now and everyone seems happy. I tried X-mas moss for a while, but I think that my temps are a bit too high for it to be happy. It's living, but it isn't thriving. I do have flame moss that's going crazy even at 80 degrees.

What I would say is trust trial and error. I definitely do a lot of reading online to get guidance or ideas, but sometimes you don't know what works for your situation until you try it. Luckily, cherry shrimp are pretty inexpensive; so if you get some deaths, your wallet won't take a huge hit.
 

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You don't need special food. You might consider something with calcium if you have molt issues, tho.
You can also get the tds meter on amazon; here's a handy chart to decide which one you need http://www.tdsmeter.com/img/selectionguide.jpg

I imagine you've already heard that shrimps like clean water and stability. So you can do them in small volumes of water , but swings in parameters, including temp, can be problematic.
 

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How to do water changes? I use a cup, always wiped down with white vinegar to kill any bacteria then rinsed thoroughly. I dip the water out then add it back in with an airline and control valve. I found once I started doing that I had no issues with water changes causing stress or death. Fast swings are what can cause upsets like molts and death, so it's peace of mind to me to drip water back in. Even with the valve all the way open its still flowing slower than if I poured it in over my hand. Don't use a siphon unless you feel you need to. You don't vacuum substrate in shrimp tanks typically, it will often do more harm than good. I don't use heaters in any of my tanks. Low temp tanks the shrimp will grow slower, sometimes will even be smaller than shrimps grown in higher temp tanks. I've kept neos anywhere from 68 degrees to 80. the colder the temps, the smaller the shrimp, slower the growth, and slower breeding. But that's MY experience with MY shrimp, others will have different experiences which is why it becomes so confusing. There's no one right or wrong way, just the way you find that works best for your particular colony of shrimp and your tank. Shrimp DO need copper, just in minute amounts, the key with ferts is to start with low, low doses and let the shrimp build up to it. Though most will advise against it there are many folks doing shrimp in high tech tanks with CO2 and ferts. Again, different experiences:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How to do water changes? I use a cup, always wiped down with white vinegar to kill any bacteria then rinsed thoroughly. I dip the water out then add it back in with an airline and control valve. I found once I started doing that I had no issues with water changes causing stress or death. Fast swings are what can cause upsets like molts and death, so it's peace of mind to me to drip water back in. Even with the valve all the way open its still flowing slower than if I poured it in over my hand. Don't use a siphon unless you feel you need to. You don't vacuum substrate in shrimp tanks typically, it will often do more harm than good. I don't use heaters in any of my tanks. Low temp tanks the shrimp will grow slower, sometimes will even be smaller than shrimps grown in higher temp tanks. I've kept neos anywhere from 68 degrees to 80. the colder the temps, the smaller the shrimp, slower the growth, and slower breeding. But that's MY experience with MY shrimp, others will have different experiences which is why it becomes so confusing. There's no one right or wrong way, just the way you find that works best for your particular colony of shrimp and your tank. Shrimp DO need copper, just in minute amounts, the key with ferts is to start with low, low doses and let the shrimp build up to it. Though most will advise against it there are many folks doing shrimp in high tech tanks with CO2 and ferts. Again, different experiences:)
Thank you for the helpful info! Going to do a water change in the next day or two so will try that method ^^

I had another question: how the heck do you efficiently catch shrimp without stressing or crushing them? I plan to eventually move these guys to 2x 2g 'tanks'. I have a fine nylon fish net, but it looks like I'll have to remove all plants (inspect for stow-aways) then chase them around a bare tank. Is there some simple "make a box and put __ food in and just pull it out while they're eating" sort of method?
When I transferred them to the tank I just poured them and their drip water in after acclimation (I know its a no-no but I was worried about crushing them trying to net 'em out).
 

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A net and patience. I use the telescoping Fluval shrimp net. Just had to catch 300 last weekend, so I feel your pain. Neos have always been WAY easier to catch for me than other shrimp. Some shrimp are pros at avoiding the net. Take your time and you'll be fine. Just saw of your other questions too, the 'cycling a tank for 4 months' stuff is typically talking specifically about ADA Aquasoil substrate as it leeches ammonia for a long, long time. Mature tanks are certainly better but not a necessity, I've put shrimp in brand new tanks 48 hours after setting up. Prime raises TDS less then 5 ppm per gallon, completely negligable IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A net and patience. I use the telescoping Fluval shrimp net. Just had to catch 300 last weekend, so I feel your pain. Neos have always been WAY easier to catch for me than other shrimp. Some shrimp are pros at avoiding the net. Take your time and you'll be fine. Just saw of your other questions too, the 'cycling a tank for 4 months' stuff is typically talking specifically about ADA Aquasoil substrate as it leeches ammonia for a long, long time. Mature tanks are certainly better but not a necessity, I've put shrimp in brand new tanks 48 hours after setting up. Prime raises TDS less then 5 ppm per gallon, completely negligable IMO.
Thank you very much for the added info! Appreciate the help ^^
 

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A net and patience. I use the telescoping Fluval shrimp net. Just had to catch 300 last weekend, so I feel your pain. Neos have always been WAY easier to catch for me than other shrimp. Some shrimp are pros at avoiding the net. Take your time and you'll be fine. Just saw of your other questions too, the 'cycling a tank for 4 months' stuff is typically talking specifically about ADA Aquasoil substrate as it leeches ammonia for a long, long time. Mature tanks are certainly better but not a necessity, I've put shrimp in brand new tanks 48 hours after setting up. Prime raises TDS less then 5 ppm per gallon, completely negligable IMO.
I defiantly have set up shrimp, tanks overnight and not had problems. Ada soil is what causes ammonia and the longer cycle.

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll be using black diamond "sand" so innert just needs a very good rinsing first
but I may do soil capped with sand in my 'grassy' tank, will have to do a few days of water tests to see if that leeches any ammonia...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Went to do a water change today, found a beautiful red female.. Dead no color loss or visible signs of damage/disease. Did water removal.. And realized I had no way to raise the water bucket above the tank to get gravity to help drip in new water, damn! So had to cup it in, went slow, used Prime, temp was same but still got some of the often spoken of "twitchy shrimp", but only a few. It's been a few hours since the , no twitching, I still see several alive, but didn't spot any dead ones (although there are a lot of plants in the tank). Hope the twitchy ones pulled through. Next time will do an even smaller water change in hopes of reducing stress.
Aside from that I've not seen any sighs of infection/parasites/etc , no berried females yet but not expecting them to get it on so quick. On another note I am almost done buying plants for the shrimps future tanks, PayPal doesn't want to work for me ATM though grr >.<
 

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Use a smaller bucket and place it on the rim of the tank that's what I do. Usually only change 1g though,so mine are small

Should be alright though.

-Chris
 

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How to do water changes? I use a cup, always wiped down with white vinegar to kill any bacteria then rinsed thoroughly. I dip the water out then add it back in with an airline and control valve. I found once I started doing that I had no issues with water changes causing stress or death. Fast swings are what can cause upsets like molts and death, so it's peace of mind to me to drip water back in. Even with the valve all the way open its still flowing slower than if I poured it in over my hand. Don't use a siphon unless you feel you need to. You don't vacuum substrate in shrimp tanks typically, it will often do more harm than good. I don't use heaters in any of my tanks. Low temp tanks the shrimp will grow slower, sometimes will even be smaller than shrimps grown in higher temp tanks. I've kept neos anywhere from 68 degrees to 80. the colder the temps, the smaller the shrimp, slower the growth, and slower breeding. But that's MY experience with MY shrimp, others will have different experiences which is why it becomes so confusing. There's no one right or wrong way, just the way you find that works best for your particular colony of shrimp and your tank. Shrimp DO need copper, just in minute amounts, the key with ferts is to start with low, low doses and let the shrimp build up to it. Though most will advise against it there are many folks doing shrimp in high tech tanks with CO2 and ferts. Again, different experiences:)
Thank you for addressing this question. I have had a shrimp death for the least two weeks the day after the water change. I guess doing 30 percent water changes on a 3 gallon tank was a bad idea. I'm planning on doing 10 percent and a top off once a week using the drip method you described.

AquaAurora, I highly suggest you get a control valve. I'm using that and airline tubing to change the water for betta fry and it has worked great in terms of avoiding stress. Drip about a gallon every half hour to an hour
 

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I find I do get small particulates, which show up significantly on the black sand. So I do use a vac. I put some fine netting over the intake. Not perfect, but it's a trade off.

ravensgate, I see your point about stirring up substrate. But I'm also a little worried about using sand, as AquaAurora is doing, and getting anaerobic pockets. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Use a smaller bucket and place it on the rim of the tank that's what I do. Usually only change 1g though,so mine are small

Should be alright though.

-Chris
Thank you for the info will try that next time ^^


Thank you for addressing this question. I have had a shrimp death for the least two weeks the day after the water change. I guess doing 30 percent water changes on a 3 gallon tank was a bad idea. I'm planning on doing 10 percent and a top off once a week using the drip method you described.

AquaAurora, I highly suggest you get a control valve. I'm using that and airline tubing to change the water for betta fry and it has worked great in terms of avoiding stress. Drip about a gallon every half hour to an hour
I do have airline tubing and a valve to control drip. (used this for original acclimation) I just didn't have a small *clean* container I could place on top of the tank to drip water in yesterday. Will just have to ensure I have such a bowl/bucket etc avaiable for next time. I think the 10% water change is a good idea, I did a 30%.. too much I guess. Maybe if they're ok with 10% water changes I'll just do them the day after feedings (2-3x a week, or as needed) to get left over food out so it doesn't foul the water.

I find I do get small particulates, which show up significantly on the black sand. So I do use a vac. I put some fine netting over the intake. Not perfect, but it's a trade off.

ravensgate, I see your point about stirring up substrate. But I'm also a little worried about using sand, as AquaAurora is doing, and getting anaerobic pockets. Thoughts?
I might try a nylon stocking (possibly double layered)+ rubber-band over the intake of a siphon and see how that works.
Yeh the dreaded pockets of gas worry me about stirring substrate, especially for the 'grassy tank' where I plan to use MGOPM capped with sand.
I am currently trying to get a 'food culture' of mts going (for future dwarf puffers.. want to try a semi self sustaining tank with live food always available for the puffers to hunt). Once I have a decent colony I will be dropping left over ones into all sand-ed tanks to hopefully stir sand and prevent this issue. But their #s are still too small to be much good for now.


As an update: still see several of live shrimp, no obvious signs of corpses. I should have plants for their tanks and hopefully both sponge filters by the end of the week. Should be setting up the plants in the picos this weekend and then just let the sponge filters 'age' in my 20g for a few weeks before moving the shrimp *not looking forward to trying to catch them*
 

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I also just use an airline with a small sponge on it to keep them from getting,sucked in for a water,change. If your tank is cycled it is probably best not to do so many. Changes in a small tank even if only changing 10% alters the chemistry a lot. I have tanks I don't touch but once a month if that. I top off with ro as needed and the parameters never change.

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Since I'm not knowledgeable about how much or how often to add food I'm concerned about spikes from leftovers right now until I get the feeding details figured out.
 

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feed very little, feed a little at a time, and remove leftovers promptly
 
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