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Shy Shrimp

2484 Views 23 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  150EH
I have a little 2.5 gallon Shrimp tank in my kitchen and I put 2 large pieces of Cholla in the tank to hide the filter intake and keep the outlet from moving the substrate around, I also thought it would a good place to hide and breed. However I rarely see my shrimp, I was feeding once a week and the most I've ever seen feed was 7 out of 13, now I might see three or four, until today when I placed a new Pyrex dish in the tank and nobody has come out to feed. I did see what has to be a new fry this morning, the shrimp have been in the tank for 5 weeks and this guy was a tiny Tangerine Tiger, I think.

Any way do you think they are getting shy hiding in the Cholla all the time??

new fry close up

tank, the food has been in the bowl for 2 hours with no takers, last feeding was Sunday.

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BTW I got 8 Tangerine Tigers & 8 Taiwan Pianted Fire Reds on 6-6-12, that's 5.1 weeks. I had 3 deaths the first week but after that they were all fine, I use RO water with a gH of 5 and kH 1 or 2 at most and the pH should be about neutral but the tank has AS so it may be 6.8 or so. I do a 10% (1 quart) water change weekly and rinse the filter sponge and prefilter intake sponge on alternate weeks along with a half teaspoon of carbon, and a new white filter pad every week, they are scraps from a large piece and I have plenty but they get dirty quickly.

intake pre filter

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silly question but you don't rinse the filter in tap water right?
that would ad a small amount of toxins to the tank. But tahts all I got sorry
I do rinse stuff in tap water but we have well water with a whole house softener, so it's not perfect for keeping shrimp but it would do and we have no Chlorine or Chloramines to deal with, and like you said it's a minute amount.

But the shrimp aren't dead or dying they are just getting skittish, I noticed it last week when a TT was getting ready to eat so I put my elbows on the counter and squatted down to watch and he backed off and took cover, after he and a couple friends started chowing down they didn't mind me watching.

Today I remove the Pyrex dish and dumped all the food except one little piece I put back in the tank to see if they will come out.
If you're sure they're not dying and are just being skittish, I wonder if they'd feel more comfortable coming out if there were more plants in the tank? Maybe a ground cover or some moss? Something that will make them feel less exposed?
That would be almost the same if they were hiding in the carpet. An hour after I removed the Pyrex a single TT came out to eat and I've haven't seen the new fry since this morning.

That is another point, there is no way fry is hatching if the Adults are dying off, they are in the Cholla eating it and breeding, heck I would come out either I'd be like Kastanza on Seinfeld in bed with my girl and eating a sub.
That would be almost the same if they were hiding in the carpet.
Not necessarily. You can still see them in the carpet. It's not as if the carpet would be so lush (don't we wish) that it will completely cover the entire area.

You could do something like crypt lucens or crypt parva. Either one would give the shrimp a feeling of safety so they'd come out, but neither would hide the shrimp to the point you couldn't see them. I have crypt lucens in my 5g RCS tank, and I can see my shrimp great.

If you don't like the idea, that's fine. Just wanted to clarify that I'm not talking about a lush carpet that totally hides the shrimp.
We like exact params around here so we can get a feel for the tank. So can you please test GH, KH, pH and temp for us? Can you also test your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate please?

Is this a newly set-up tank? If so, how did you cycle it?

Have you actually accounted for everyone to be sure they're not dead? Pick up the cholla and take it out of the water, they should rain out if they're still alive but just hiding.

Since you're using RO, what are you using to remineralize it?

I'm a bit confused about your filter cleaning regimen. You clean the actual sponge filter one week and you clean the pre-filter the next? If so, you're killing your cycle. You're rinsing away half of your beneficial bacteria every week.

You could do something like crypt lucens or crypt parva.
+1. I only have RCS and they are very comfortable hanging out underneath my crpyts. Too comfortable probably because there are fish in there and they like to swim around sometimes.
The tank has been set up for 6 months or so, there is no nitrate, trites, or ammonia, I use a blend of Equilibrium and Barr's gH booster and Seachem alkalinity booster, I don't really clean the sponges but I squeeze them out lightly as the get dirty quickly and the Red Sea nano filter is not great when it comes to flow.

It's a small tank but there are only 13 shrimp plus what ever new shrimp from a brood, I think I need some more shrimp.

I think if anything is wrong it would be from low flow but my water parameters are good enough but I think the filter is the tanks weak point, maybe I should just pick up a 10 or 20 gallon so there is a larger volume of water.

I hate to pull out the cholla but maybe I will to see what comes out, I just don't want to squish the new fry.
Can you add an airstone? Shrimp in smaller groups will hide more than larger groups, but that's a fairly small tank. What's the temperature, its hot right now and small tanks change temperature fast.
Could it be chemicals used in the kitchen? I know stuff from nonstick pans will kill birds pretty quick. Cleaners, too.
Can you test the GH, KH, pH and temp?

I really think you should take out the cholla to make sure they're really alive. Of course you can put it right back.

The tank is room temp at 76 degrees, also it's covered so no cleaners, etc. and you really have to smoke a Teflon pan to kill a bird but that's a real strech for shrimp.

I did find a small problem today, no ammonia but the kH & gH are both 3, correct me if I'm wrong but I think I would like the gH at 5 and the kH at 1, what do the shrimp guru's say?
I just pulled the Cholla and they are in there and I didn't see any dead shrimp but I did do very quickly because I knew there are fry in the tank and to me that says the water is OK because they couldn't survive any bad parameters like ammonia. I still don't know my pH as my test kit is empty but the RO should be 7 and the AS should drop it to 6.8 or 6.6 at best.

I got these from Chad320 and he said he did not watch the parameters on the water at all and both species were pretty tough.
If TTs are like other tigers, they need lower temps, like 70-ish. As for GH and KH, I was told GH should 4-6 and KH 2-4 IIRC, but that was for OEBT, so I don't know if that applies to TT. I think it's the temp.

I don't have a heater in the tank but there's nothing I can do about the temp in cooling it, I did just make up some RO at a 17 gH with no kH so a 1 quart water change will bring up the gH 1 degree and not do much for the kH but I can work on that over time.
Most of us use fans blowing across the surface of the water to cool tanks. This is what I was using when I was planning on OEBTs. It sat on my light and blew directly down into the water. It dropped the temp 7 degrees in about 6 hours, which is impressive for such a small fan. With the addition of a heater, I was able to maintain a constant temp of 72. I would've made it 70 but the mysteries slowed down significantly at that temp. I was just experimenting at the time but it worked out beautifully.

Either my calculations were off or my volume but I did the one quart water change and the kH is still 3 and the gH is 6 so that's better and I hope it's not to drastic of a change for my shrimp. Now I can dump that RO mix and make up a gallon at 6 gh and 0 kH and get the kH down a little. I also cut a 1/2 off the top of my foam filter insert so the HOB makes better flow but the water is very clear looking and with no surface film even before I made the cut so......
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