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Recently, I visited a seasoned hobbyist (Richard Mullinax Jr.) and marveled at his 40 gal invertebrate tank. Set up 2 years ago with potted plants, the tank is filled with snails, RCS, ostracods, etc. The spots on the glass are attached limpets. Blackworms were waving at me from the moss balls.

Richard describes the tank and shrimp feeding:

There are a few 1" Bristlenose Plecos in the tank, so it isn't 100% inverts, but these fish are bottow-dwellers and don't scare the shrimp. I think the shrimp shy away when they have fish overhead. The shrimp now swim much more freely. I give the tank food with calcium added and have a stack of a dozen oyster shells behind the driftwood. It has been a year since I dosed any liquid fertilizer. I did put in root tabs about six months ago and will do that again soon. It is a 40 gallon breeder. Too big for shrimp unless there are tons, then it will sustain itself. The tank has had two daphnia blooms.

I add dried Indian almond catapa leaves, mulberry leaves (both blanched fresh and dried), and dried plumeria leaves. The shrimp and snails really like the plumeria leaves. Makes a great trap to lift snails out when I take them to feed the Koi.

I add gH+ to the change water to bring the TDS from my well water from 100 to 250. My kH is almost zero and that contributes to pH swings. Not going to fix that as it doesn't seem broken. The well has Ca and Mg that is removed by our drinking water softening system. I use well water before the softener. It is 6.5 pH and in 24 hours adjusts to low 7's.


I'll add one thing that Richard and I agreed on enthusiastically. The shrimp we have (RCS and Blue Dream Shrimp) both love some Spirulina flake food (Spirulina20) that we got as samples from Zoo Med Labs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Richard has a few small Plecos in this tank, which would be expected to eat them. Tank doesn't have a soil substrate. Plants are all in pots or attached to the furniture. The blackworms were living in the moss balls.

So if I were setting up a shrimp only tank with a soil substrate, I don't know if I would purposely add black worms to it. Blackworms could become numerous in a tank with soil substrate and no fish.
However, it's really depends on what you want.
 
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