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Well, my husband's evil Betta is getting elderly, and I have been considering turning my 5.5 gallon tank into a cherry shrimp tank for a while now and I have a few questions.
Let first tell you about the tank. It is a 5.5 gallon tank with plain black gravel as a substrate. I use 2 azoo galaxy (14 watts I think) as the lighting and it is an open top. I have a penguin mini for filtration ( without the biowheel ) and instead of the penguin cartridges, I use an aquaclear sponge and a bag of biomax in the filtration compartment. I like this setup much better because I am not constantly replacing the blue fiber on the cartridge. The filter also has a large prefilter sponge. I have a 25 watt stealth heater and I keep the temp at about 74 degrees. The tank is fully cycled and has been running for 2 years. There are also 5 gold cloud minnows which will be moved to my main tank if I venture into shrimp.
I have used Aquarisol about a year ago in this tank. I had an 24 hour power outage in the winter and the neons I had in the tank at the time developed ich and died, but the Betta survived. How long does copper from Aquarisol stay in the substrate? Forever? Should i just replace the substrate?
For flora I have lots of pellia, and it is filled with various mosses. I also have 7 large lucky bamboo, which have been in there since September and have grown quite well. The leaves on them have grown about a foot since I put them in. I do use supercharged DIY CO2 on the tank with premiere curvee yeast, because I think it helps the mosses, can I use DIY co2 safely with shrimp? I don't fertilize this tank alot, just 5 ml of flourish a week along with 5 mls daily of excel.
Anyways, here are my questions. Should I run a sponge filter for a while in the tank along with my power filter and then remove the power filter when I get the shrimp, or is what I have safe enough for baby shrimp? I really don't want my baby cherries to be turned into shrimp puree. How many shrimps should I start with? Is 10 too many or will it be o.k?
Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling and answer my questions.
 

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I will try to answer you questions. I have 8 planted aquaria with shrimp in 4 dedicated tanks and in 2 community tanks. Red Cherry shrimp.

To get rid of copper, rinse the gravel and change the water a couple of times. RCS are slightly tolerant of copper in the water. Get some good moss for the babies to grow in. You can have otos, skunk cats (small) baby fish in with your RCS. I have Lemon Tetras, Albino cories in a 38 gallon with RCS. I also have 7 Lemon Tetras, 2 otos, 4peppered cories, 1 peppermint pleco with about 100 RCS in a 29 gallon non co2 tank that is heavily planted.

74 Degrees is great. Cycled tanks is a plus (RCS don't like nitrates and ammonia but tolerate nitrates as fertilizer for plants.).

I've run both a sponge filter connected to a power head in my shrimp tanks and an Aquaclear with a sponge prefilter over the intake tube. When I clean the Aquaclear, I sometimes find RCS in the filter and return them to the tank.

Your lighting looks good.

I fertilize once a week by adding CSM +Boron as a dry chemical, KNO3, K2SO4 and MG less than once a week. I do no water changes on the non co2 tank.

20 shrimp to start is fine. Be prepared to add more planted tanks. I have 4 dedicated shrimp tanks from 10 to 30 gallons. Total of over 600 RCS. I started with a single order of 20+ 9 months ago. I bought my shrimp from T_OM and DiabloCanine. I have the original orders seperated and a tank setup with some of both (its good to cross breed these tiny rabbits.).

Keeping a power filter in your tank will not hurt anything as long as you keep a prefilter of the intake tube.

I am using Onyx Sand and Eco Complete as gravel. One tank is flourite.

Hope this helps.
 

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I personally have been breeding RCS since Sept. 06 so hopefully I can help you out.

Temp- I would do higher, 75-77 will help shrimp to have shorter times berried and more active shrimp in my experience.

Copper- Do a LARGE water change for a week every day or so, then add some carbon for a week or two to help to make sure there isn't any left. I would recommend washing the substrate if possible.

Tank mates- If you really want to breed CRS,RCS, Dwarf shrimp. You will only learn to trust ottos everything else will gobble up some fry, Dwarf corries aren't too bad though.

Number to start- 10 is fine since it's a small tank don't overdo it toooo much!

Hope This helped, more questions just ask
-Andrew
 
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