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JSak last won the day on September 10

JSak had the most liked content!

About JSak

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    Advanced Member

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    Columbus, OH
  • Inverts You Keep
    Neos, Caridinas, Sulawesi Cardinals, Rabbit Snails, Ramshorn Snails, MTS, and Dwarf Mexican Lobsters

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  1. Hi Roborep! I'll try to throw out some ideas, but it sounds like you're doing everything right and that you're knowledgeable about shrimp keeping. Is there anything you can think of that you changed in the tank from when you had success with breeding when you first started keeping shrimp until you noticed that they weren't breeding and slowly starting to die off? Also, I'm not familiar or experienced with using that kind of substrate for my shrimp, but is it an active substrate that buffers the water? If the water isn't being buffered that may be the cause of the lack of breeding as there may be fluctuations throughout the day in pH. The fact that your shrimp are surviving and living for quite a while without breeding makes me think that there's something in your tank that's slightly off that's causing stress to the shrimp. Not enough stress that it's causing significant die off, but enough stress to be preventing your shrimp from breeding. The parameters look good to me so I'm not sure if there's anything there that might be causing the problems.
  2. I agree with JT_Redmist, it ultimately depends on what your goal is for your shrimp and aquarium. If your goal is to breed as many shrimp as possible I wouldn’t recommend putting any kind of fish in the tank. The rule of thumb is that if a baby shrimp could fit into the fish’s mouth there’s a risk that they’ll eat babies, and shrimplets are very tiny so I’m not sure that there’s any type of fish that won’t go for them except maybe the micro rasboras. You can definitely keep and even breed shrimp with fish, but you most likely will have less babies as the fish will most likely pick off a few with each batch. Having hiding spaces is definitely important for the shrimp to feel safe and secure, especially when they’re most vulnerable after molting. If you’re concerned about your fish attacking your shrimp I’d recommend sitting and watching your tank for 5-10 min to see how they interact once they become used to your presence, or you can watch from a distance to see if the fish show any kind of aggressive behavior towards the shrimp. If you haven’t noticed the fish attacking the shrimp in the past I’d say it most likely isn’t happening too often. The fact your shrimp haven’t been breeding and slowly dying off could also mean that there is something that might be off with your water parameters or tank conditions. Have you tested the water recently for things like ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite?
  3. Awesome! Good thing you left the shrimp in the tank. My thinking is that when shrimps go through shipment/acclimation (or any stressful event) and are about to go through their molt they're more likely to have issues at that time. In my experience shrimps are most sensitive and likely to die with molting issues if everything else such as water parameters and feeding are stable. The high stress may have caused the shrimp to have difficulties molting but fortunately that one seemed to have enough strength to get through its molt. I'm thinking since you got them from a local breeder and since they had a short distance from the breeder to your tank, they didn't go through nearly as much stress as they would if they were in shipment for 1 or 2 days. Your patience definitely paid off! 👍
  4. That’s awesome! I got my BS degree in Zoology and I’m currently in veterinary school, so genetics, evolution and population dynamics have always been interesting to me, which explains why I’ve always been so into trying to breed the fish and shrimp that I’ve kept lol. If I knew you had a background in genetics I would’ve had an easier time explaining my thoughts 😂 currently, I don’t exactly know everything about shrimp genetics so I just take what I learn about other animals and relate it to shrimp as much as possible. The breeding can be highly variable, but I wouldn’t expect breeding behavior until a week or 2 at the earliest. They’ll need to adjust to your tank first and feel comfortable before they start breeding, but once one starts more usually follow and they’ll breed constantly and consistently. If they adapt quickly they can start breeding even earlier, but I noticed that the earliest my shrimp started breeding was 2 or 3 weeks after getting them.
  5. No problem! I put crushed egg shells in my tanks too! Mostly to provide additional calcium to reduce the chance of death during molting. Neos are generally fairly hardy and if you got them from a reliable local breeder, they should be set up for success since they didn’t have to experience the long transit and stress of shipping. I thought that was interesting as well. There’s a lot we don’t know about genetics but it’d be interesting to see how all this selective breeding we’ve done have altered the shrimps. That’s definitely true, but I’d think that’d be more of an issue with Caridina shrimp that have undergone much more selective breeding than neos. Mixing genetics always helps to increase the health of the animal by diversifying its genetics, but that’ll only help to make the offspring stronger. Through selective breeding we take the best looking offspring and breed them together or breed them to their parents to create even nicer looking shrimp, which makes the genetics less diverse and makes them more susceptible to disease. The best way to relate that to humans is if you encouraged brother and sister to have a baby to preserve the family genetics, but that baby has a greater chance of having genetic deformities as a result. Hopefully your shrimp will breed very soon and you’ll have lots of babies that will be born in your water, which has a huge impact to their ability to survive in your tank because they developed as an egg until hatching in your water (hope that makes sense). Breeding activity and berried females definitely shows that the shrimps are happy. Animals typically won’t breed unless the environment is optimal because it takes a lot of energy and is considered a “luxury function”, meaning they’ll stop breeding if they need more energy for survival.
  6. Another thing to add, I’ve heard that yellow neos in particular can be a bit more difficult and sensitive compared to other neos. My theory is that it possibly has something to do to the genes for the yellow color. I had a fairly large die off of my yellows when I moved them from a 10 gallon to a 20 gallon, but once I identified the problem I did small water changes every other day for a week and now the tank is loaded with babies and most of the females are berried. My rule of thumb is that the first week after receiving shrimp is the critical period when most shrimp would die, but once you make it through the first month the shrimp should be adjusted by then and any deaths after that are more likely indicative of issues with tank parameters, parasites, etc.
  7. Hi! It is definitely not uncommon to have one or two shrimp die off right after adding them to a new tank due to stress, like you said. That particular shrimp may have just been weak and not showed any signs because it was living in the same conditions its whole life and experienced very little stress/change, but once it got added to your tank the stress of acclimation pushed it over the edge so to speak. That doesn’t mean that the quality of the shrimp is poor, some shrimp are born weaker than others, just like some people naturally have weaker immune systems than others and are thus more prone to getting sick. I generally try to buy at least 1 or 2 more shrimp than I want to account for any deaths that may occur. I experience deaths every once and a while even from my most reputable and trustworthy sources. Also, older, bigger shrimp are generally weaker than young shrimp because they’ve lived their whole life in the same tank and have thus adjusted to live in those parameters, compared to young shrimp that are more adaptable (I definitely prefer getting young shrimp and allowing them to grow and adjust in my tank). When did you add the shrimp? Another thing I noticed is that you’re using fluval shrimp stratum, which is a buffering substrate, meaning that it will keep your water soft. Neocaridina prefer hard water so it’s generally recommended to not use any kind of buffering substrate for them. That being said, I’m sure you could manage to keep them in with the soil, but they just may not do as well as if you used an inert substrate that doesn’t affect the water parameters. If you just got the shrimp a few days ago I wouldn’t be overly concerned, but I would monitor them closely. If you continue to see deaths then you may want to look into that further, but if that’s the only one it may have just been that particular shrimp. It can be difficult to determine if there is a problem without being able to test for GH, KH, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite as imbalances in those are common causes of issues with shrimp tanks, but for now I’d let the shrimp do their thing and not change anything for now, especially if you just added them, to allow them to adjust. If they continue to die you could always do a small water change in case the issue is with toxins in the water. One of the most important qualities to having success in this hobby is patience. I struggled with that initially, but once I figured it out I’ve had much more success and the hobby’s been much easier for me. It’s natural for us to want to change things once we see any signs of issues with our fish/shrimp, but making sudden changes may do more harm than good. It can definitely be frustrating to see shrimp die and hold yourself back from doing anything drastic, but in my experience shrimp deaths are more concerning when there’s more than 1 or 2 at a time and/or if there’s deaths that occur consistently every day or every other day.
  8. I have shadow pandas (although they were advertised as regular pandas so it was a huge bonus for me to see how much blue color they came with) that lost a lot of their blue color as they got bigger. The parameters in the tank are stable and should be ideal, I feed them a variety of foods from well-known brands and take any extra food out if there's a lot left over, and I typically only do water changes once a month, or until the waste levels start to rise, to keep parameters stable. Also, I have several shrimp that're berried, so I don't think my shrimp are stressed (hopefully), but they still lost their color. If yours are true shadow pandas that carry strong genes for the blue coloration you may be able to get some deep blue babies through just breeding what you have right now. Although a shrimp might not show the specific trait (blue coloration), it may still carry the genes for that color (genotype) even though it doesn't physically show the color (phenotype). That's pretty similar to how most new colors and patterns of shrimp arise through selective breeding. This is the long-term method of obtaining deep blue shadow pandas (or any other kind of shrimp for that matter). But like shrimp life said, you can speed up the process by getting high quality blue bolts (preferably extreme blue bolts) to increase the blue coloration. Your best chance would be to separate males and females so that you ensure that the blue bolts only breed with the pandas and vice versa (ex. separating the female shadow pandas with male extreme blue bolts) or else your pandas might end up just breeding with each other. Extreme blue bolts can be expensive, so this route is the shorter, but possibly more expensive route. However, I'd assume the first shadow pandas were created through a similar method of breeding so this should be a good method of getting the most blue pandas.
  9. I keep malaysian trumpet snails and ramshorn snails and they breed like crazy lol so I wouldn't recommend them. Nerites should be fine. In a larger and well-established tank like yours maybe the shrimp will breed so quickly that they'll populate fast enough to maintain the BB? However, I haven't heard of a tank crashing due to an issue like this so maybe it's not that common?
  10. Lol yea shrimp produce very little waste, which can be awesome because you can have a bunch of shrimp in a tank and not have to worry as much about overstocking compared to fish. I have heard of that happening, but never experienced it for myself. Personally, I keep snails in every one of my tanks for several reasons. 1) they produce more waste than the shrimps and can help to maintain the BB. 2) they help to remove any extra uneaten food, dead plants, and dead shrimp that I may not see to keep waste levels down. 3) the shrimp also seem to like to eat the snail's poop so they also serve as an additional source of food for the shrimps to graze on. Not too sure if someone else on this forum has had experience with this or has solutions to be able to maintain the BB with a smaller population of shrimps? The only other thing I can think of is to occasionally overfeed to produce more of those waste products, but I feel that can be a bit risky. Hope this helps in some way!
  11. That’s awesome! You definitely don’t need to be a vet to make a difference in animal welfare and education. It’s definitely unfortunate that there are still so many mistreated animals that are punished for doing things that come naturally to them, but I’ve noticed a lot of popularity with “Pettubers” and I always see posts on Facebook about a dog or cat doing something funny, crazy or cute, so it seems that the US is definitely trending in the right direction with animal welfare. No problem! Cherries are pretty hardy so your method may work for them as well, but when I was in college the city I was in had extremely high levels of chlorine and I heard that the water treatment plants don’t need to inform the public of many of the chemicals they put in the water, so the parameters of the tap can vary. Fish seem to be less sensitive to chlorine but shrimp absolutely can’t stand it. I lost some shrimp at first until realizing about my tap water, so I’ve stuck with RO and remineralizer ever since. It can be expensive, especially for a large tank like yours, so I would say it’s not necessary, but will benefit you much more if you decide to go that route. I’m sure they’d love to take your shrimp, especially if they’re good quality. If anything you can ask for store credit or exchange for aquarium supplies as a way to support your hobby and save a little while helping your LFS 👍 definitely keep us updated! Hope all goes well!
  12. Awesome! Having an RO unit and remineralizing the water will give you the best results and keep water parameters consistent when doing water changes. Not sure if you found a remineralizer yet, but I’ve been using Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ for my Neocaridina. I definitely agree with your statement. I’m a vet student and the hardest thing for me about the profession is seeing people who don’t take good care of their pets and knowing there isn’t much I can do to change that. If you get them as juveniles (most hobbyist breeders sell juvies because they ship and adapt better than adults) I’ve noticed they can start breeding as early as 2 or 3 weeks after receiving them. They grow fairly quickly and if conditions are ideal they can breed pretty quickly, and once one gets berried, the others usually follow pretty quickly. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about overcrowding happening too quickly, but when I got my first shrimp (also cherry shrimp) I had them in one of those small, long ADA bookshelf tanks and they overran the tank within half a year if I remember correctly. I moved them to a 30 gallon and they exploded and filled the tank in a year or year and a half I think. If you start with a good source, you can probably sell extras to a pet store or to any friends if that ever becomes an issue. They’ll pretty much explore anywhere around the tank where they can hang on to, so the more surface area you provide the better. If you were to put a tree with moss and plants they’ll definitely spend some time there grazing. Glad to help!
  13. Hi and welcome to the forum! I’ll answer your questions based on my experience and from what I’ve learned through watching many shrimp youtubers and compiling things they all, or most, do similarly. 1. You don’t need to wait until the moss carpet is fully grown, but it would help to provide extra grazing area. My belief is that the more plants you provide, the more natural food sources and hiding places you’re providing for your shrimp. Less plants and driftwood means you may have to feed more or provide more light for algae and microorganism growth, but shrimps are natural scavengers and don’t need a lot of food to survive. The fact you’re planning on heavily planting the tank is much more than most shrimp breeders do from what I see and they’re still very successful. Your shrimp sound like they’ll do well based on the amount of plants you’ll be providing. 2. Just like fish, the longer you let the tank cycle, the better the chances of your shrimps surviving, thriving and reproducing faster. The easiest answer would be to get a freshwater test kit and check the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. As long as the levels are low indicating the BB are filtering the wastes in the water your tank should be good for shrimp. 3. Water temperature isn’t actually as important for shrimp as they are for fish, to a certain extent. It’s actually recommended (from what I’ve heard) to not have a heater in the tank if it’s not needed because of the risk of them malfunctioning. Shrimp are most sensitive to drastic changes, so a rapid shift in temp of several degrees is more harmful than a gradual shift. Higher temperatures will increase the shrimp’s metabolic rate, meaning they’ll eat more, grow faster, reproduce faster, and die faster. On the other hand, low temperatures generally will slow the shrimp’s metabolic rate, so they’ll eat less, grow and reproduce slower, but will live longer, and I’ve even heard (not confirmed) that they’ll grow larger in low temperatures because they’re not being “pushed” into sexual maturity so quickly. So maintaining a consistent temp is best. On a side note to that, water hardness is the most important water parameter in determining which shrimp you can keep. Are you using tap water? If so, I’d recommend getting a GH and KH test kit and testing it. Neocaridina like hard water (high GH and KH) but are pretty tolerant of a wide range of parameters, and Caridina like soft water (low GH and little to no KH), but there are some Caridina species that like hard water (most tiger shrimps), some that’re fairly tolerant of a wider range of parameters (tangerine tigers and crystal shrimp), and most that absolutely need soft water. If you have hard water, you can put in 1 type/color of Neocaridina (red cherry shrimp, yellows, oranges, etc.), a Caridina species like most tigers except tangerine tigers, and possibly one of the other genus of shrimps that I’m not as familiar with, and they won’t interbreed. I currently have red cherry shrimp with my orange eye royal blue tigers, and I have Sulawesi cardinal shrimp with green jade Neocaridina and they’re all breeding (Sulawesis are very finicky and can be difficult to keep so I wouldn’t recommend them). 4. Since you have a large tank, I’d recommend at least 15-20. Bigger tanks are always better because it keeps water parameters more stable and wastes don’t build up as fast, but the only issue with big tanks is that if you don’t have enough shrimp, the males can’t find the females and breed with them. When shrimps breed females molt and have a time window that they can be fertilized. They’ll release a hormone in the water that tells the male shrimps that there’s a female ready to breed so they go nuts looking for her. Problem is that she’ll actively hide and swim away from any male shrimp that tries to breed with her, so if the tank’s too big and you don’t have enough males the female may be able to hide and not get pregnant (shrimps can be weird sometimes lol). Rule of thumb I heard and agree with to an extent is you can comfortably keep 10 shrimp/1 gallon, so you could honestly add a lot of shrimp to your tank at once, especially because you have a lot of plants and a seeded canister filter (I use simple small sponge filters lol). Shrimp produce very little waste, and I’ve heard stories of shrimp tanks crashing because they don’t produce enough waste to sustain the BB in the filters, so I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that unless you’re thinking of adding several hundred shrimp at one time. 5. Shrimp actually prefer low flow. Their natural habitat is slow moving streams and rivers, and they’re not very strong creatures, so they may hide or cling to the plants in your tank if there’s too much flow. Hope that helps and isn’t too much for you to read 😅 again, this is just my opinion and what’s worked for me. Other people may do it differently and have the same or more success than me. If you have any questions or something that I didn’t explain well feel free to ask!
  14. There is a possibility that your oranges may throw reds, greens, or wild type shrimps that look more brown, but that depends more so on the quality of your source. If you get them from a poor source, the shrimp may not breed true, meaning you’ll get less oranges and more different colored babies. The problem with this is, someone may sell orange adults that look great, but they have poor genetics so they won’t produce as many full orange babies. This can make it difficult because shrimps that look identical may not be the same quality simply because of their genetics. Your thinking is what I would suggest as well. Try to find a reputable hobbyist first who has lots of reviews and shows pictures of their shrimp so you have more confidence that they have bred the shrimp enough so that the majority of the babies should look just like the parents (this takes a lot of time so the good breeders are those that have bred several generations). Not sure if @Shrimp Life is selling orange neos? If you are unable to find a hobbyist selling oranges that you can trust, I highly recommend Flip Aquatics. Not only do they do the 30 day quarantine that I mentioned, but he’s pretty popular on YouTube and now sponsored by some big companies. This means you can watch videos and see the actual shrimp you’d be ordering! Pictures can be a bit tricky and misleading in some cases, so seeing numerous videos of the shrimp made me feel pretty confident that what I’m seeing is what I’ll get (most of the time they’ve been nicer than how they look). Ordered many times from him and never had any DOAs. Glad to help and good luck!
  15. Long story short, based on your situation, if you want just orange neos and for them to produce mostly orange babies, I would suggest just buying orange neos from a reputable source and sticking with them. I say this because most Neocaridina are readily available and fairly cheap. Because they’re easy to breed you can generally find high quality neos online fairly easily. Most people here will suggest homebred shrimp above all else, which I agree to an extent, but there are also importers who have established good processes or have good sources through years of experience. My go-to online sources for shrimp are Flip Aquatics, Joe’s Aquatics, Blue Crown Aquatics, and BuyPetShrimp, all of which are importers that I have full confidence in. Flip Aquatics does a 30 day quarantine on all shrimp to screen for diseases and 100% guarantees live arrival. Not sure if you bought your shrimp from a LFS, but I’ve found the quality to be much better from online retailers, including hobbyists, and they’re also usually cheaper and healthier. That being said, since all neos are pretty common and readily available, I’d recommend looking for homebred shrimp (neos also tend to carry diseases much more frequently because of how they’re raised overseas and simply because their cheap cost usually means breeders won’t put as much money and effort into maintaining them). You can look on Aquabid for USA bred shrimp. They’re usually more expensive, but you usually get what you pay for if you find a seller with good reviews. Almost forgot to mention, but there are GREAT breeders here on Shrimp Spot that sell high-quality, homebred shrimp. They’re very passionate about the hobby, very knowledgeable, eager to help and provide info on what they do that made them so successful. I got shrimp from Shrimp Life and TGOE (the garden of Eder) and highly recommend them as well. Unless you’re super into the idea of experimenting and working to produce your own color/pattern (me lol), I’d recommend just getting the color you want. Usually experimenting and cross breeding requires more tank space and attentiveness to select for specific qualities. Also, because you’ll be producing a lot of undesirable shrimp in the process of creating those first one or two new ones, you’ll have to find something to do with them. Most people won’t buy a shrimp that looks like a wild type. Personally, I don’t like killing animals unless absolutely necessary (to end pain and suffering for example), so I’m planning to have a display tank with small fish for all my undesirable/cull shrimp so they can live their lives without affecting my “good” shrimp and they might breed and produce a cool shrimp every once and a while. Sorry for the long post, I’m a vet student, so animals are my passion and I’m super interested in evolution and behavior so I just started typing without really thinking lol
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