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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... I've heard many people say that you don't need to feed shrimp, that they will find enough food from the aquarium. I've never believed that, even though shrimp are tiny, they do eat and poop and grow and need a nice, balanced diet. There is, of course, lots of good yummies in the tank, decaying plant matter, algae and all kinds of small tasty things and the shrimp are tiny and don't need much food, but still, they need some food.

So, I recently set up my tanks again, the other one has now Aquasoil substrate the other one has sand and a layer of Aquasoil on top if it. Since there's a possibility of some ammonia leaching from the Aquasoil for a while, I decided to not feed my shrimp much, do partial water changes every two days and add a bit of Prime nearly every day. I've been doing that for uhm, maybe 2-3 weeks now in the sand+aquasoil tank with about 200 CRS and White Pearl shrimp (well, I'm not doing water changes that often anymore).

The shrimp are doing fine, eating some spot algae from the glass and cleaning the plants. Yesterday I was pruning some plants and realized that amazon frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) and anchored water hyacinth (Eichhornia azurea) weren't looking that good. Limnobium hasn't been doing well at all, the leaves just end up looking like someone has taken a big bite of them and the bite marks just keep growing until the whole leaf disappears, azurea's leaf tips get all ragged. But the both plants are doing just fine in the other tank with just 10 shrimp.

So, I sat down and decided to check what's going on. And I caught the shrimp red-handed, eating the plants. Those little rascals. :D

Well, it's my fault, I haven't been feeding them much. It looks so hilarious. :D

There's no ammonia or nitrite, so I think I'll start feeding the shrimp more from now on to prevent any more plant losses. I thought it would be good to share this with you people, feed your shrimp and keep them happy and away from the soft and delicate plants. ;)

CRS caught red-handed:


Poor E. azurea:
 

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OOO! I found one of my plants with a hole too. I've had deficiency holes before, but this looked like a perfectly healthy plants, with a random hole, leaving the veins intact. Just this plant as well, so I guess it was a shrimp LOL.

I never knew that. Thanks for providing us with knew knowledge :-D. Well at least me.
 

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That answers the question of which critters munch the plants in my shrimp tank. I wasn't sure whether it was the cherry shrimp or the ramshorns doing the damage to some of the leaves (though not enough to kill the plants). The odd thing is, I feed the critters twice a day. I guess the snails eat more than their share...
 

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I have a 2.5g with 5 amanos and it only has dwarf hairgrass planted. I dont feed them anything because they eat the hairgrass and keep it at 1.5" in height. I love them.
 

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I feed mine sparingly. I haven't noticed any eaten plants, yet, but I do feed veggies once in awhile, so at least they get their greens. I know I used to have some spots of hair algae growing on the wood, but haven't seen any at all. So I would have to assume that the shrimps feasted on them.
 

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Cherry shrimp does eat some type of plants.

One is egeria densa. Lucky enough that this plant can stand the attack by growing fast enough.

I do feed my tank well, and the shrimps are eating large amount.
Still my egeria is bald esp on the older spot with lots of cherries occacionaly nip at the area.
 

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So, I recently set up my tanks again, the other one has now Aquasoil substrate the other one has sand and a layer of Aquasoil on top if it. Since there's a possibility of some ammonia leaching from the Aquasoil for a while, I decided to not feed my shrimp much, do partial water changes every two days and add a bit of Prime nearly every day. I've been doing that for uhm, maybe 2-3 weeks now in the sand+aquasoil tank with about 200 CRS and White Pearl shrimp (well, I'm not doing water changes that often anymore).
Rain- Just remember, I think your case is more of an extreme... isn't this your 16g tank? You need to feed your shrimp if you have about 20 shrimp per gallon and it's NEWLY planted! In my mature 55g, I have about that many Cherries and a dozen or so (more soon:angel: ) CRS I could probably leave that tank for a few months if not a year and have everyone be fine!

So yeah, if starved shrimp will eat plants! So will your fish! Ever wonder why we can leave them unfed for soooooooooooooooooooo long when we go away and come back and they're fine maybe a little hungry? Well this is one reason:proud:

Either way those are great pictures and it's funny that you caught the little blokes in action!

-Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sandiegoryu: I hope people don't start blaming their shrimp for all the unexplained holes from now on. Innocent untill proven guilty is the best way. ;)

blueguppygirl: I think that's the right way to think, not stupid at all. Everyone eats first the easy food (fish food, soft decaying plant matter, dead and decaying fish/shrimp/snails) and if there's no easy food available, they will either change to the more harder to eat/get ones or die.

NeonShrimp: That is true. And well, it's always nice to eat home grown products. These shrimpies are enjoying food they have been fertilizing themselves. :D

Color Me Blue: It really is a funny shape and that's why it puzzled me first and I wasn't sure what was happening. :D *imagines a green, 10 cm long caterpillar taking a bite*v

toddnbecka: It might be that they just like the taste of the plants more than the food. But don't be mean to your critters, they might be innocent and the culprit is someone/something else. ;)

Ryzilla: Lawnmover shrimp, cool!

crazie.eddie: Mine seem to like algae too. There's some green spot algae on the side of the tank which I've left uncleaned so the small critters will have something to eas. Now there's been a bunch of shrimp cleaning the glass every time I've looked there. They aren't doing much progress, but the spot algae is tough. :)

medicineman: Oh, you have bad cherries. :)

Fish Newb: Well, I think you are missing my point. The point was, if you don't feed your shrimp, they will start eventually eating the plants. It wasn't that it would happen as fast or the same way in other peoples tanks, just that it's a possibility. People seem to think that the shrimp won't need any extra food and that makes me sad.

I also said: "There is, of course, lots of good yummies in the tank, decaying plant matter, algae and all kinds of small tasty things and the shrimp are tiny and don't need much food, but still, they need some food."

And: "But the both plants are doing just fine in the other tank with just 10 shrimp."

And I'm talking about a newly set up 14G with 2/3 of plants from two 14G tanks, lots of gunk in the filter, the Aquasoil top layed being from an already cycled tank and all the other things the same as my older setups (I normally do 90% water changes once a week and trim my plants once or twice a week and remove the old parts, I have also always used fine sand blasting sand as the substrate).
 

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Satu, I understand your point completely! An it's a great post with lovely pictures. But most people with a well cycled tank with few shrimp won't have a problem as fast as you did:sleep: lol. BUT You always should feed your shrimp stuff anyways!

Just threw in some of your food into the 55g the other day awesome stuff:proud:
-Andrew
 
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