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JSak last won the day on May 23

JSak had the most liked content!

About JSak

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Pullman, WA
  • Inverts You Keep
    RCS, Blue Dreams, Black Rose Neos, Green Jades, Orange Rilis, OE Royal Blue Tigers, Pintos, CRS, Golden Bees, Super Red Santas, OE BKK Pandas/Extremes, OE Wine Red Extremes, Blue Bolts, Tangerine Tigers, Stardusts, BKK/Black Pandas, RKK/Red Pandas, Red Fancy Tigers, Aura Blue Tigers

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  1. JSak

    Inactive shrimp tank

    Glad I could help! I really hope that's the issue as those are more or less easy to identify and fix. Hope everything works out and you have a good day as well!
  2. Sounds like an awesome feeding schedule! That's some dedication to be feeding them on such a regular and consistent schedule like that, but it's probably the best for the shrimps IMO (and it seems your shrimps love it as well). By feeding them so many times throughout the day in small portions you're not only ensuring that all the shrimps get food, but you're also providing them with a wide range of nutrients. I'm interested to hear if you start noticing more berried females and babies now that you changed up your feeding schedule since they're getting food constantly and consistently. The fact that they're eating all the food and not leaving any leftover means that you're doing a good job of providing the right amount for them each time. How do your shrimp like the Mineral Junkie Pearls? I was considering getting them when I was first getting into shrimp and figuring out my own feeding schedule, but decided to go with Shrimp King Mineral as I'm more familiar with the brand. Anyway, keep up the good work 👍 I'm sure this information will help those just starting out with shrimp keeping as there are so many different types and brands of shrimp food these days.
  3. JSak

    Inactive shrimp tank

    Hi @Catmccabe. First thing I always ask if people are having any issues with their shrimps are what are your water parameters in terms of hardness (gH, kH, TDS)? Neocaridina such as your red cherries prefer harder water with a higher gH, kH and TDS, whereas caridina such as your crystal reds prefer softer water. However, in my experience most neos are very hardy and adapt to most water conditions so I think they can survive and even thrive in softer water parameters. Caridina on the other hand seem much less tolerant of harder water conditions and they may require a long and carefully planned acclimation process to adapt to harder water. I have successfully kept crystal reds with blue dream neos with both breeding, however, I lost a significant amount of my crystals at first and they didn't start breeding until recently when I changed their water to suit caridinas. From what I've seen with my shrimp and the information I've gathered it seems that caridinas don't tolerate higher levels of kH very well. If your red cherries are active but your crystals aren't it may be because the water is too hard for them causing them to be stressed and inactive. They may survive but might not thrive and breed if that's the case. Another thought is that maybe there's copper in the water you're using. Are you using tap water? I tried shrimp years ago and they all died and I couldn't figure out why so I gave up completely. I decided to try again about 8 or 9 months ago and I still noticed my shrimp were slowly dying off. I scoured the internet and found a post about how some tap water may contain copper in it and that copper can be lethal to shrimps. I bought Prime and dosed it to my tap water and immediately I saw a difference in the activity, health and breeding of my shrimps. My guess is that the water in my particular town is very high in copper making it almost toxic to shrimp. A possibility is that your water, if you're using tap, contains small amounts of copper that may be stressing the shrimp out and causing them to lose activity. The amount may be small enough that it doesn't kill the shrimp immediately, but it may just be stressing them out. Have you lost any shrimp since you got them? If possible, I would suggest getting a TDS pen and/or a gH and kH test kit to test your water. I bought my TDS pen from Amazon for probably $10-$15 and I use it all the time. The gH/kH test kits may be a little harder to find and take a little while to figure out how it works, but it's definitely one of my most valuable shrimp keeping tools along with the TDS pen. Anytime I notice issues with one of my shrimp tanks the first thing I do is check the gH and kH, then if that seems normal I check the ammonia, nitrates, etc. Especially since you tested for ammonia, nitrates, etc., I think your issues may lie in what's in the water going into the tank. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions feel free to ask!
  4. Hi @cdaJiv. I focused my feeding schedule around alternating between powdered foods and pellet/solid foods throughout the week. This is my feeding schedule: - Sunday: Shrimp King Complete - Monday: Shrimp King Protein - Tuesday: Bacter AE - Wednesday: Shrimp King Mineral - Thursday: Shrimp Baby - Friday: Frozen Bloodworms - Saturday: Betaglucan I've only used these foods, so I can't give much of an opinion on the other foods you're planning to use, but so far this schedule has been working for me. I believe the most important nutrients for a shrimp feeding schedule are some sort of protein food, a mineral food and powdered food. Protein is needed for the females because they use up a lot of protein when they're making eggs. Minerals are needed to promote healthy molting (most of my shrimp deaths seem to be due to failed molts so I feel this is the most important IMO). Powdered foods are essential to ensure that babies are able to get the adequate nutrition needed for optimal growth since it may be harder for them to get to pellet foods that're swarmed by the adults. I chose the Shrimp King foods simply because Rob from Flip Aquatics recommends it and uses it for all of his shrimps. I learned about 90% of what I know about shrimp keeping/breeding from him through his Youtube channel and have been successful, so I followed his advice on foods as well. Bacter AE IMO is the best food you can feed your shrimps if you could only choose one food because it provides the shrimps with their natural food source and it spreads around the tank so even the babies can get some. I like the Shrimp Baby just to ensure that the babies are getting enough protein in their diet. As for the bloodworms, I've heard mixed opinions about using it, but decided to try it because I had a bunch left over from when I used to keep more fish. My shrimp LOVE it so I feed some to them once a week as a sort of treat, then follow it up with betaglucan to keep their immune systems as healthy and efficient as possible. I only feed once a day because I tend to overfeed and I don't want to pollute my tank too much, but I've heard that feeding multiple times in smaller quantities throughout the day is best. The fact that you have berried females must mean that you're doing something right with their feeding though! Again, this is all my opinion based on experience and what I've heard from other more experienced shrimp keepers. Hope this helps and good luck with your shrimp keeping!
  5. What are the water parameters? And did you get them as imports or USA bred? I notice a significant reduction in the survivability and health of shrimp that I've gotten as imports. Even some of the shrimp that I got several months ago still don't seem to be as active and healthy as some of the USA bred ones that I got more recently. Also, did any of the ones that died in the first week have these brown spots as well? If you haven't had consistent deaths since the first ones died off, I'd think that they'd be okay by now, but those spots do seem strange. How's their activity? My OERBTs are always active and searching for food when I see them. Sorry for all the questions. I tried to think of all the possible reasons that this may be happening. Hope it all works out.
  6. JSak

    RCS Culling/breeding advice?

    No problem! I tend to type a lot because I find it hard to explain what I'm trying to say most of the time 😅 That's a great idea! As both of the colonies breed you'll get a few lower quality ones from the high quality tank, but I'm sure you'll also get some high quality ones from the low quality tank as well. As I said before, the fun of the hobby is that everything's up to you. I hope to create my own patterns of shrimp by mixing them. Some may prefer to keep the lines pure, but the excitement of shrimp keeping for me is that there are numerous patterns and colors, and the hobby is still constantly growing. Good luck with the shrimp! Definitely keep us al posted 👍
  7. Same. I've actually heard of quite a few people who've managed to keep bettas with shrimp, but I guess it depends on the betta's personality. If your shrimp are molting and appear healthy I wouldn't worry too much. As the previous members said they're probably hiding from the threat of the kili. I tried keeping them with some shrimp a while ago and they wiped out all the shrimp in a day or 2. As long as the other fish aren't hunting the shrimp they should come out and become more active when they realize they're safe out in the open.
  8. JSak

    RCS Culling/breeding advice?

    Hi @shrimp1989. How many RCS did you get with this batch? If you ordered a lot you could start selecting for the shrimps with the patterns and colors that you like the most, however, if you're starting with a relatively small colony (less than 20) I would suggest you let them breed and start culling as your colony grows. If you don't mind waiting longer for your colony to grow you can select the best looking ones you have out of your group, but I'd recommend breeding up a large sized colony and then culling and selectively breeding when you know the colony is healthy and of a good size. If you only select the best of the group you'll start with fewer shrimps and it'll take longer for the colony to grow and there's higher risk of the colony being compromised if a single or couple shrimps die. If you got the shrimps from a reputable breeder/seller all the shrimps will carry the same genes. Shrimps tend to become duller and lose color if you don't cull them for multiple generations, so it'll take some time before your shrimp become less desirable. The shrimps you find online will almost always look better than the shrimps you order because sellers and breeders will tend to take pictures and display their nicest looking shrimps, so I wouldn't compare yours too much to what you see online. Personally, if I order a batch of shrimp that I've never had before I don't cull them at all until there's at least 50 shrimps, which usually takes 1-2 generations of babies depending on how many I started with. Honestly, those look like fairly high grade RCS to me. They have red coloration throughout the entire body and their legs even have very good coverage which is indicative of high grade RCS. The white on the back seems to develop in the higher grade painted fires as a result of the backline. Personally, I like the backline look in my RCS and I'm hoping to selectively breed for more prominent backlines as my colony gets larger. As for the 2nd picture, I'd guess it's a female because of the bright coloration and coverage. Females tend to be more colorful than males. The 3rd picture looks like a male and quite a high quality one at that, but it looks pretty small based on the picture so it's hard for me to tell. I started with about 30 or 40 RCS and didn't cull them until they reached into the hundreds and even when I culled them I didn't take out too many. As long as the stock you got them from is high quality the genes will carry on into the babies. May I ask where you got the shrimp from? From what I see they're all fairly high grade considering you ordered them online (sellers and breeders will rarely sell ones that look like the best ones you see online as they're usually part of the breeding stock that they use to produce the babies that're eventually sold). But the fun of the hobby is that it's totally up to you. If you don't mind being patient and waiting a little longer for your colony to grow you can start selectively breeding now. Personally, I try to get a new group of shrimp breeding ASAP to give me peace of mind in case something catastrophic happens that could kill the majority of my shrimp. I only start culling when I feel that the population is large, healthy and breeding well, unless I start with lower quality shrimps or if I'm mixing shrimps together. Hope this helps! They look awesome IMO!
  9. That sounds like a good idea! Start with the hardier shrimp and work your way up to the more sensitive caridina. If you can get them from a reputable seller/breeder, I'm sure you won't have to worry too much. There may be 1 or 2 that die while acclimating to the tank. In my experience I've rarely gotten in shrimp that didn't have at least 1 or 2 die right after adding them to my tanks. Even with my neos I experienced at least a couple deaths at the beginning, but they quickly adapted after a week or 2. Good luck! Hope it all works out.
  10. Hi @Scienceseuss! I currently have a tank with both CRS and Blue Dream Neos and they're breeding and doing very well. I keep them in caridina parameters and the Blue Dreams actually filled the entire tank with babies. However, I have to admit that the process took quite a bit of time and I lost a lot of my original CRS in the process. If you're still considering doing caridina and neos together, it's possible, but I'd sway more to caridina parameters as neos seem to be able to adapt over time. As for the cycling of the tank, tbh when I cycle shrimp tanks I cycle my tanks in about a couple of days to a week at most by using snails, Fluval Cycle and old filter media. I'd say your tank would be close to being ready for shrimp. Algae growth is good news for a cycling tank and it means that your shrimp will have plenty of natural food in your tank. The longer you go with cycling the better chances you'll have of the shrimp doing well. As for the soil, the amount of buffering depends on how hard the water is. If you're using pure R/O water and remineralizing to keep the kH low, I've heard that the soil can buffer for at least a year or 2, but if you're adding, for example, tap water that's high in gH and kH the soil will lose its buffering capacity at a much quicker rate, maybe in less than a year if you're doing frequent water changes. I find that indian almond leaves, alder cones, etc. don't tend to make too much of a difference in regards to lowering the hardness or pH of a tank unless you add a lot of them. With those parameters I think you can still go with neos. In my experience, neos are very hardy and adaptable except for the orange rilis. The one thing that I have found that kills shrimp the quickest is sudden changes, whether it be in terms of water parameters or temperature; they absolutely do not like change. As long as the soil isn't changing the water parameters drastically, I think you'll be fine with keeping neos. Usually buffering soil tends to buffer water slowly over time rather than overnight. I use Salty Shrimp products as well for my tanks; gH+ for my caridinas and gH+/kH+ for my neos and it's been working well so far. If you get your shrimp from a trusted source, I think you'll have success. The thing that I feel most people struggle with when they first get into shrimp (I was guilty of this too) is that they kill them by caring for them too much. For example, when I first started with shrimp I would immediately start changing things in the tank if I saw even a single dead shrimp. These changes would in turn cause more deaths in the tank and the cycle would repeat. Even now it's tough for me to not always be checking on them every 5 minutes, but the shrimp that I leave alone the most are the ones that seem to do the best. Shrimp are honestly quite easy to keep imo and you seem to be doing your homework, researching, and taking the time to make sure the tank is cycled and the parameters are correct. I don't mean to downplay shrimp keeping, but one of the things I love about it so much is how easy they can be once you get the hang of it. The difficulties seem to arise when people get shrimp from sellers who import them and send them out right after they get them in. Since the shrimp have been bouncing around from one tank to another so quickly, they tend to be sickly and weak by the time they get to the buyer. The buyer blames themselves for not being able to keep the shrimp alive when in reality it was most likely because they went from Taiwan to the importer and to the buyer in a matter of a week or 2. The hardiest shrimp you can get are USA bred neos. I don't want to make my post too long, but I thought I'd share my experiences and opinions. What you could do is get an amano shrimp or 2 since they're cheaper and more readily available and introduce them to the tank and see how they do. Amanos are EXTREMELY hardy and I've heard stories of them surviving over a week in shipping after the post office lost the package, so if they don't do well in your tank it might mean there's something you need to change. Hope this helps and good luck!
  11. JSak

    Bacter ae

    Personally, I think if there's only one food someone could afford or get I'd recommend bacter ae. It's basically ground up and dried biofilm, like the stuff that naturally grows in your tank that the shrimp are constantly picking at. It's a powder food so it can disperse throughout the entire tank. This allows both adults and babies to have the chance to feed, whereas with pellet foods the bigger adults might outcompete most of the others and the babies might not be able to get any at all. As for overdosing, I can see how that'd be a problem because the feeding instructions are very vague and it can raise your nitrates and ammonia if you overfeed. However, I think that with all types of foods overfeeding can cause these kinds of problems. It actually depends on the amount of shrimp you have in the tank IMO. I have a 30 gal RCS tank with hundreds of shrimps and I feed them 1 full scoop, which seems to be more than enough for them. For the tanks with less shrimp I usually feed around 1/10 scoop or more, but I tend to overfeed to ensure that the babies get enough food as well. If you get it I say you should experiment to see how much your shrimp like it. Start off with a lower dose than you think your shrimp might like and steadily work your way up to feeding more if they appear to be eating it quickly. Hope this helps!
  12. JSak

    Favorite vendors?

    I highly recommend Flip Aquatics. I always go to them first and then start looking at other sellers if Flip Aquatics doesn't have what I'm looking for. They always do a 30 day quarantine for imported shrimps in which they treat the shrimp for diseases and parasites. The owner, Rob, also has a Youtube channel and he's completely transparent about the importing process and how the shrimp are doing, so you can see the actual shrimp that he's selling. I'd say that about 80%-90% of the knowledge I've learned about shrimp keeping/breeding was from his videos. He started as a fellow hobbyist who wanted to spread the hobby by providing healthy shrimp. I've never been disappointed in all the times I ordered from him and he always includes extras. I got Green Jades from him and I got 2 extra adults and about 10 extra babies. He genuinely wants his customers to succeed in keeping and breeding the shrimp he sends so he's always willing to share advice. Since you're interested in neos, he ALWAYS provides extras and he said any babies he catches he just includes in the order. If I'm looking for something a little more rare, I then go to Joe's Aqua. He has a pretty large selection of shrimp and he does an almost monthly pre order where he brings in the more rare and expensive shrimp. I'd also say his shrimp are the cheapest out of the sellers I've seen, but it comes at a cost. He's also an importer but it seems like he holds them for maybe a week or so and then ships them out again. But since you're more interested in neos this probably won't be too much of a problem as he's always stocked on neos. If you're looking to buy a lot for a pretty cheap price, I'd suggest him. You can immediately get a colony going in one order, but you might have to keep a closer eye on them. Other sellers I recommend are Buypetshrimp.com (only seller in which I've not lost a single shrimp since receiving them) and tgoe.com (also a member here on the forum). I didn't order that many shrimp from them so I don't know about them as much, but they appear to be good sellers as well. Hope this helps!
  13. JSak


    No problem just thought I'd ask. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!
  14. JSak


    @chappy6107 if vol. 1 is still available for sale I'm interested in negotiating a price if @cdaJiv decides not to buy it.
  15. JSak

    Hello from new york

    @Pachu I think that'd be awesome! You'd get a mix of different patterns and colors and maybe you'll get an interesting one that you can breed out and get a steady genetic line. I think cross breeding and mixing shrimps, especially caridinas, are one of the things that make this hobby so fun and exciting. I usually keep it set to around 72-73 degrees but I believe shrimp can handle pretty high temperatures, although they'll eat more and produce more waste. I haven't heard too many suggestions about cooling down shrimp tanks other than the fan and frozen bottle method. If I think of anything I'll be sure to let you know!