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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Basics of keeping shrimp: Your experiences

We have heard a lot of advice and read some article(many of them opinions) on how to successfully start a tank for shrimp and keep them. I want to read your experiences starting your first shrimp tank:

1. what things you try out and worked and which did not?
2. what was your first shrimp? Why did you choose that one?
3. what advice would you give new comers to the shrimp keeping hobby?

Lets discuss these things and other related to basic shrimp keeping.
Hope to see lots of participation.
 

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1. Moss wall - my shrimps like it a lot.
2. Grade A CRS. I chose them because they look nice. I know most people start with cherry first because they are easier to take care of, but I don't want to go through the trouble of removing them later.
3. Be patient! Read everything that you can find. Wait for your tank to be completely cycled before adding shrimps. Also pay attention to your water parameters. Unlike fish, shrimps are quite picky when it comes to water condition.
 

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a.) I've always tried to keep a lot plants and moss's to keep my shrimp happy, which seems work out in many ways. They're happier with the security of the plants and abundance of food that plants supply. Also I try to keep a lot of floaters which really work to reduce any nitrates.

Some foods that I've tried; like some algae wafers shrimp seem not to like or touch, but I think that ranges from shrimp to shrimp. My CRS and RCS really love alternating foods of Shirakura and High quality flakes in moderation.

b.) I started with Ghost shrimp just because of the price and hardiness. They did quite well for a while breeding and multiplying. I then moved onto rainbow shrimp and red cherries. Which breed quite readily and look great. I've always had amano shrimp but haven't tried breeding any of them due to the required salinities. I now have B grade crystal shrimp in a tank of their own. They are very happy and just found my first babies today :heh:. I made sure of keeping zero levels across the board, with lots of plants and great food.

c.) Be patient; like modster said. Read, read and read some more. They're a load of resources out there. Watch your water parameters like hawk. Feed sparingly. Floaters are great nitrate sponges. Make sure your tank has fully cycled before adding any shrimps. Watch them everyday. Try to have a shrimp only tank. Try to keep temperature and parameters consistent, watch your fertilizers and excel.
Don't start with the most expensive, really sensitive, highest grade shrimps work your way up.
And enjoy! hope this helps

Some links to check out!
http://www.fishpondinfo.com/shrimp2.htm
http://www.petshrimp.com/
http://www.planetinverts.com
http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/Shrimp/
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am sure there is a lot more people around that keeps shrimp. Lets share your experiences, so the newbie can learn.
 

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I'm still a newbie so feel awkward adding this but here goes: I grow algae rocks for my shrimps. Started doing it because I'd read the baby shrimps need lots of micro-organisms, then noticed the adults love it too. I liked this because when I was starting out, I was scared of over-feeding with commercial food. Now the shrimps like the algae rocks so much I can't grow it fast enough for them (have a dedicated tank that gets afternoon sun).
 

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I'm still a newbie so feel awkward adding this but here goes: I grow algae rocks for my shrimps. Started doing it because I'd read the baby shrimps need lots of micro-organisms, then noticed the adults love it too. I liked this because when I was starting out, I was scared of over-feeding with commercial food. Now the shrimps like the algae rocks so much I can't grow it fast enough for them (have a dedicated tank that gets afternoon sun).
that is a most interesting idea...
 

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I'm keeping cherry shrimp and I started with them because they are colorful and easy. I've had a healthy population for about a year now.

I put them in a completely cycled, moderately planted 10 gallon NPT. The tank's original inhabitants were guppies that were moved to a different tank since they were rapidly overpopulating the 10. I do minimal maintenance; mostly just topping off the water, and a small water change every 2 months or so at which time I also clean the sponge filter. I have mostly slower growing plants and use hornwort to help keep the water quality good. The shrimp really like searching the hornwort for anything edible and I can also put their food pellets on it so they can easily reach the pellets but the resident snails can't.

About 3 months ago I added 6 threadfin rainbows and that has fortunately worked out well since the rainbows can't eat anything big. The fish were at first afraid of the full-grown shrimp, but now they all ignore each other. Since I added the fish I've started feeding fish food (big surprise, right?) and I've had to make certain that anything I put in is shrimp-safe. The shrimp seem to enjoy the variety of things I offer to the fish (freeze-dried and frozen daphnia, pulverized flakes, and frozen brine shrimp) in addition to their own pellets.

Mostly, I just try to keep the tank parameters stable and avoid meddling with something that's working.
 

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My first shrimp was the snowball shrimp. I read it carried a lot of eggs, so I thought it would do well. They have lots of eggs, which allows for at least a few to live to adulthood to continue on the colony. They are hardy and I like them a lot. The colony has started to get bigger now since they can hide easier.
If you want to get into shrimp keeping, read about the shrimp you want to keep. I read almost all the articles at planetinverts.com. Also, don't be afraid to get shrimp. They are easier to keep than they appear. Just make sure your tank is well cycled or well planted. Give them places to hide where fish can't go. My snowballs hide in my micro sword grass from the angels. Have confidence that you can keep shrimp, and everything should be ok. Also as cs gardener said, don't mess with things that are already working.
 

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I just tried shrimp for the first time and so far everything is great. I bought the last four shrimp in a tank labeled "algae eating shrimp $2.99" and "Flower shrimp $5.99". All four are the same, I paid twelve bucks, but I have no idea what they are. They can sense a piece of algae wafer hitting the water from two feet away. They molt about every five days. They are in with featherfin rainbows, honey gouramis, pygmy and dwarf cories (habaras & hastas... something like that.) The biggest one sometimes has little feeler-fights with the dominant male honey gourami, but no harm is done. They are the same size; the rest of the fish are much smaller than the shrimp, I think that is why it works. They are very entertaining!
 

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Re: Basics of keeping shrimp: Your experiences

1. what things you try out and worked and which did not?
2. what was your first shrimp? Why did you choose that one?
3. what advice would you give new comers to the shrimp keeping hobby?
1. No matter what I tried to cover the filter intakes with, I had trouble ranging from them stopping up (sponge and pantyhose) too quickly to the shrimp being able get through any spaces I may have missed (various types of screen). Then I tried a filter media bag with a media that was big enough to not get sucked up through the holes in the intake that seems to be working well in one tank. I take the tubing loose and rinse the bag/media and slip it back on. Sponge filters work great as well and the shrimp love to pick at them.

Some of the shrimp I have do better in shrimp only tanks. The babies/larvae are easy targets for even the smallest/slowest (our Betta's love to hunt them in the plants) fish or when my twig catfish move around they hit the shrimp with their tails knocking them around and larger snails just run over them :rolleyes:.

2. Tiger and amano. I was ordering some fish online and saw "algea eating" and "Zebra" shrimp on the list as well. I needed a few more dollars to be able to order so I added the shrimp to my order. :rolleyes: The "zebra's" started a hunt for information so I could figure out which tank they would do the best in. ;) They turned out to be Tiger shrimp and in the search for information on them I got hooked on the little guys. I am now trying to keep bumblebees, tigers, sri lanka, white banded, cherries and have a tank with odd shrimp that have come in with the orders. They are not available locally, so I have purchased most online.

3. Be patient and put the shrimp in a tank that they won't have to hide from the other inhabitants or be able to get into the filters. You will see them more often that way. Watch your water parameters and be very careful when cleaning. The babies are so tiny they are easy to miss seeing and will end up siphoned out.

Thanks for starting this thread milalic, it is a really great idea. Shrimp keeping is very rewarding but can be heartbreaking when you are losing shrimp and just can't figure out why. To see how others dealt with issues that come up is really helpful for me.
 

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Re: Basics of keeping shrimp: Your experiences

We have heard a lot of advice and read some article(many of them opinions) on how to successfully start a tank for shrimp and keep them. I want to read your experiences starting your first shrimp tank:

1. what things you try out and worked and which did not?
2. what was your first shrimp? Why did you choose that one?
3. what advice would you give new comers to the shrimp keeping hobby?

Lets discuss these things and other related to basic shrimp keeping.
Hope to see lots of participation.
1) As previously mentioned, definitely use a sponge filter if you plant to breed them. If you don't want to breed them, any filter will do. Do not keep them with fish of any size if you want to breed them, the babies will get eaten sooner or later.

2) Cherries and Amanos were the first shrimp I kept because they were about all that was available 5 years ago :)

3) Make sure you tank is cycled (or full of plants to deal with the waste produced) and read up on the shrimp you would like to keep before you purchase them. Don't mix Neocaridina species or Caridina species (except for Amanos) as they will probably cross breed.

If you can, get your shrimp from hobbyists (as well as your plants and fish) because they are generally healthier. Buy them small since they only live for about 3 years. Buying smaller shrimp will allow you to enjoy them longer.

Shrimp only tanks can have pests that are detrimental to your baby shrimp population. Hydra and Planaria are especially deadly to baby shrimp. Since ridding my tanks of these two pests I have had a much greater quantity of baby shrimp. If you need to eliminate either of these pests from your shrimp tanks, you can read up on how I used fenbendazole to get rid of these pests here.
 

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I put mine into a tank that had only been set up for two weeks, and three weeks later they are doing fine. It is moderately planted, and it is the only new tank that I have ever had that never had the nitrites spike. I have no idea what kind of shrimp they are, but they seem pretty tough.
 

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Has anyone had success putting shrimp in a new tank? Just curious.
I have had success putting shrimp in a new tank. I set up every new tank just like this one

I do a water change on some other tanks (or clean out some filters) and siphon as much mulm as I can into a 5g bucket. For a sponge filter or any other sponge type media (prefilters, etc), squeeze the sponge(s) in the mulm water several times to get it loaded with mulm and bacteria. Put the sponge in the tank and fill with dechlorinated water.

If you are using a HOB filter, put any non sponge media in the bucket before you start siphoning the mulm into the bucket and let it collect some mulm. Then put it in your filter. When I used to use HOB filters on my shrimp tanks, I would add some of this mulm water to the new tank and let the filter media filter it out of the tank. It can be pretty cloudy depending on how much mulm you add but it should clear out overnight. In doing this, the filter media gets a nice coating of mulm and bacteria and gets off to a nice start. It's worked with every new tank, fish or shrimp, that I have set up.

If you can, try to keep extra sponges or media ready for new tank set ups. It helps if you use the same type of filters/media on all of your tanks. This way, you always have a filter you can rob of some "cycled" media. Oh yeah, plants are a big help in keeping ammonia levels low, but of course since you are here, you probably already knew that ;)
 

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This has been very helpful to me! Thanks all.

I am planning on starting a 10 gallon tank with yellow shrimp.

Is there a fish i can put in the tank that will eat the hydra? Do otos eat them?
 

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Re: Basics of keeping shrimp: Your experiences

1)
Shrimp only tanks can have pests that are detrimental to your baby shrimp population. Hydra and Planaria are especially deadly to baby shrimp. Since ridding my tanks of these two pests I have had a much greater quantity of baby shrimp. If you need to eliminate either of these pests from your shrimp tanks, you can read up on how I used fenbendazole to get rid of these pests here.
Oh no! I have planaria and was hoping they were harmless since I have so many shrimp spawning in my tank. I will just suck them out with my turkey baster as I find them. I can't suck the gravel during water changes b/c I have Schultz Aqua soil and it's so light it would get sucked out.

EEK!
 

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Re: Basics of keeping shrimp: Your experiences

Oh no! I have planaria and was hoping they were harmless since I have so many shrimp spawning in my tank. I will just suck them out with my turkey baster as I find them. I can't suck the gravel during water changes b/c I have Schultz Aqua soil and it's so light it would get sucked out.

EEK!
I tried the manual removal technique with airline tubing for several months without success. I even went to so far as to do complete gravel vacs of each tank in the hopes of ridding my tanks of this pest. Finally, I came across this article and decided to medicate my tanks with flubendazole after reading the next to last paragraph. Unfortunately, flubendazole is very difficult to find and the search led me to fenbendazole. That article seemed to sum up, at least for me, why I was having plenty of berried females and very low amounts of baby shrimp.
 

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does anyone have clear pictures of Hydra and Planaria? I don't think i have ever had them before. I just want to make sure i can identify them when they come :(.
 

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Shurik,

The flubendazole is about impossible to find now. Try looking for fenbendazole instead. That is what I used and it works very well. It is commonly sold as "Dog Dewormer" and should be available at any store that sells dog products. The smallest package I could find was a 4 gram package with four 1gm packets in it. A dosage of 0.1gm per 10 gallons is sufficient to kill both Hydra and Planaria and didn't harm any shrimp (babies or adults) in my tanks ;)
 
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