Calling all shrimp bowl owners - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 07-21-2020, 11:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Calling all shrimp bowl owners

In the future, and once I get more room for one, I would like to attempt a shrimp bowl especially after seeing so many beautiful pictures of them lately. The smallest tank I've ever had was a 2.5g and for some reason, I found that to be a lot more work than my 20g. It would only contain a few shrimp and some snails, and of course, plants.

I have some questions from people who currently have shrimp bowls or have had them in the past. I know that everyone will have varied experiences with this which is why I want to hear about what worked or didn't work for others so I can gather as much information as I can about them before I attempt one so here we go!

Bowls

Where do/did you get the bowl for one? Is it anything specific or was it just from a store like Homesense or even the dollar store?

Substrate

How thick did you make the soil and gravel layers? All of the ones I've seen look like it has more gravel and not much soil.
What type of soil did you use?

Lighting

I plan on using a desk lamp since I don't want to put it too close to a window where it can get drafty in the winter. I know most people use 6500K but has anyone used anything else like a warm light(2700K) instead?
How many watts do/did you use?

Plants

I was thinking of going with foreground plants because they don't get very tall so the top won't get blocked off by the ever growing plants. Floating plants would be used initially and possibly after it matures since they are easier to trim.

I'm aiming for low to moderate light plants. What would you recommend that are also commonly found in LFS?
Do you think that only using foreground plants is a good idea or should I add one or two larger plants to the bowl?

Food

This is the one I'm a bit confused about. In my 20g, I feed my fish twice a day and I make sure there is enough for them and extra that the shrimp and snails eat up for the plants within a couple of hours.

What type of foods do you add for a shrimp bowl? Do you just use regular fish food or food specifically for shrimp?

Water Changes

I do around a 10-15% water change on my 20g once or twice a year. How often, if ever, do you change the water for a shrimp bowl?

This is all I can think of right now but if I remember anything else, I'll add it here.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Rose View Post
In the future, and once I get more room for one, I would like to attempt a shrimp bowl especially after seeing so many beautiful pictures of them lately. The smallest tank I've ever had was a 2.5g and for some reason, I found that to be a lot more work than my 20g. It would only contain a few shrimp and some snails, and of course, plants.

I have some questions from people who currently have shrimp bowls or have had them in the past. I know that everyone will have varied experiences with this which is why I want to hear about what worked or didn't work for others so I can gather as much information as I can about them before I attempt one so here we go!

Bowls

Where do/did you get the bowl for one? Is it anything specific or was it just from a store like Homesense or even the dollar store?

Substrate

How thick did you make the soil and gravel layers? All of the ones I've seen look like it has more gravel and not much soil.
What type of soil did you use?

Lighting

I plan on using a desk lamp since I don't want to put it too close to a window where it can get drafty in the winter. I know most people use 6500K but has anyone used anything else like a warm light(2700K) instead?
How many watts do/did you use?

Plants

I was thinking of going with foreground plants because they don't get very tall so the top won't get blocked off by the ever growing plants. Floating plants would be used initially and possibly after it matures since they are easier to trim.

I'm aiming for low to moderate light plants. What would you recommend that are also commonly found in LFS?
Do you think that only using foreground plants is a good idea or should I add one or two larger plants to the bowl?

Food

This is the one I'm a bit confused about. In my 20g, I feed my fish twice a day and I make sure there is enough for them and extra that the shrimp and snails eat up for the plants within a couple of hours.

What type of foods do you add for a shrimp bowl? Do you just use regular fish food or food specifically for shrimp?

Water Changes

I do around a 10-15% water change on my 20g once or twice a year. How often, if ever, do you change the water for a shrimp bowl?

This is all I can think of right now but if I remember anything else, I'll add it here.
In case you haven't seen it, Diana Walstad wrote an article about setting up a shrimp bowl:

https://dianawalstad.files.wordpress...imprcs2017.pdf

I think it will answer most of your questions. I've thought about setting one up, too, at some point. And I thought if I ended up with too many shrimp in it, I'd just put them in my 17 gallon tank.

Also, somebody had a thread here showing their shrimp bowls. I'll look for it for you.

Edit: Here's a thread Ms. Walstad started to show an update on her shrimp bowl experiments: https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...visited-2.html

Last edited by Karen in San Jose; 07-24-2020 at 12:19 PM.. Reason: add link
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

Latest bowl update: I'm actually having better luck with the shrimp in my guppy tanks than in the 1 gal bowls that I set up in Aug 2019. Over time and around March 2020, my RCS stopped reproducing. Meanwhile, the ones in the guppy tanks were doing fine.

At the same time, I added newly purchased Blue Dream Shrimp to a matching planted bowl. They died out completely over the course of a few months. I thought it was low temperature, sporadic feeding, lack of algae, blue shrimp fragility (?) but nothing rang a clear bell. For example, these Neocaridina apparently can survive 50F and my bowls were always above 65F.

Fortunately, I put half my newly purchased blue shrimp into a guppy tank. They are doing great. Reproduced like crazy when I started feeding them Spirulina flakes. My ones in a 20 gal with male guppies and a little diatom algae are doing fine and get no extra food.

I think the bowl problem was due to allelopathy from the densely packed plant growth in a small space. And I will bet that the problem was plant specific. (Different plant species release different allelochemicals.) It may be that the shrimp were very sensitive to allelochemicals released by one or more of the plant species in the bowl.

I have two words of advice: Never put all your eggs in one basket! And yes, you can have too many plants!
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwalstad View Post
Latest bowl update: I'm actually having better luck with the shrimp in my guppy tanks than in the 1 gal bowls that I set up in Aug 2019. Over time and around March 2020, my RCS stopped reproducing. Meanwhile, the ones in the guppy tanks were doing fine.

At the same time, I added newly purchased Blue Dream Shrimp to a matching planted bowl. They died out completely over the course of a few months. I thought it was low temperature, sporadic feeding, lack of algae, blue shrimp fragility (?) but nothing rang a clear bell. For example, these Neocaridina apparently can survive 50F and my bowls were always above 65F.

Fortunately, I put half my newly purchased blue shrimp into a guppy tank. They are doing great. Reproduced like crazy when I started feeding them Spirulina flakes. My ones in a 20 gal with male guppies and a little diatom algae are doing fine and get no extra food.

I think the bowl problem was due to allelopathy from the densely packed plant growth in a small space. And I will bet that the problem was plant specific. (Different plant species release different allelochemicals.) It may be that the shrimp were very sensitive to allelochemicals released by one or more of the plant species in the bowl.

I have two words of advice: Never put all your eggs in one basket! And yes, you can have too many plants!
This is so interesting! I especially found the chapter in your book on allelopathy really enthralling - like a great detective story - okay, nobody is leaving this room (tank) until the one who killed the Amazon sword fesses up!

What I'm wondering is whether or not any of the plants in your bowl showed any signs of distress or disappeared?
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

Bowls

This bowl is 3 gallons, but they offer more sizes.
https://www.amazon.com/CYS-EXCEL-Bub...57&sr=8-1&th=1

Substrate

Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil with a base of about 2"
Play sand on the top of the soil at about 1"

Lighting

Desk lamp with a "Daylight" bulb (6500k)

Plants

Eleocharis acicularis
Cryptocoryne spp.
Hornwort
Since I don't want to disturb the substrate once it's setup, I planned for long-term plant growth that doesn't require pulling up plants.

Food

I feed once every 2 days. I recently bought a frozen food variety pack, but I also feed flakes and sliced zucchini.

Water Changes

50% once a month.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen in San Jose View Post
What I'm wondering is whether or not any of the plants in your bowl showed any signs of distress or disappeared?
Plants are just fine.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwalstad View Post
Latest bowl update: I'm actually having better luck with the shrimp in my guppy tanks than in the 1 gal bowls that I set up in Aug 2019. Over time and around March 2020, my RCS stopped reproducing. Meanwhile, the ones in the guppy tanks were doing fine.



At the same time, I added newly purchased Blue Dream Shrimp to a matching planted bowl. They died out completely over the course of a few months. I thought it was low temperature, sporadic feeding, lack of algae, blue shrimp fragility (?) but nothing rang a clear bell. For example, these Neocaridina apparently can survive 50F and my bowls were always above 65F.



Fortunately, I put half my newly purchased blue shrimp into a guppy tank. They are doing great. Reproduced like crazy when I started feeding them Spirulina flakes. My ones in a 20 gal with male guppies and a little diatom algae are doing fine and get no extra food.



I think the bowl problem was due to allelopathy from the densely packed plant growth in a small space. And I will bet that the problem was plant specific. (Different plant species release different allelochemicals.) It may be that the shrimp were very sensitive to allelochemicals released by one or more of the plant species in the bowl.



I have two words of advice: Never put all your eggs in one basket! And yes, you can have too many plants!
It's really curious, I have the same problem. In two bowls I keep healthy shrimp, healthy plants, no algae.. But the shrimp just won't breed. At first I thought it might be the temperature, but we now are in summer and I still don't see any berried females.

Allellopathy is an interesting possibility, I wonder as well if they might breed less in more confined spaces.

Enviado desde mi CLT-L29 mediante Tapatalk
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

My RCS shrimp were breeding fine all during Fall months, but dropped off until I noticed problem in March. Couldn't figure it out.

Meanwhile, plant growth had increased tremendously in the bowls. Also, I think I had stopped cleaning the bowls/changing water every week. That would have increased any allelopathic effect.

Still not sure, but this is my best guess.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

Would doing a large water change test the hypothesis that it was caused by allelopathy? If it takes a while for the chemicals to build up (I don't know that it does, just assuming) then maybe it would remove enough that shrimp return to normal breeding patterns?
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Old 08-09-2020, 02:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calling all shrimp bowl owners

I probably won't test it, but I agree with you. When I was diligently changing water in shrimp bowls, I removed over 90% every week, replacing it with water from my guppy tanks.
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