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T0adman

New Shrimp Setup: am I on the right track?

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Hello, 

I’ve been keeping and breeding fish and numerous other animals all my life. But, have never bred freshwater shrimp before. I’m setting up a new shrimp tank and wanted to make sure I’m doing things right in advance so I don’t have to live with suboptimal setup or redo things in the future. I plan to keep a small 5.5 gal tank of shrimp that will hopefully breed to sustain itself and provide some extras for other tanks or to trade in at the lfs. 

Originally, I really liked how the red pintos look and was going to start with those, but it sounds like they are a bit touchy and i should start with a more ‘beginner shrimp’ even though I have years of experience with fresh and saltwater aquariums. So, I thought I’d start with some blue dreams. Sound like a good plan?

 

So, my proposed setup is:

I have a silly 5gal topfin retreat tank that I plan to use. I blocked off the powerhead with foam so that it is shrimp-proof. The foam should also provide a nice bed for the bacteria while I can use the inserts for mechanical filtration. (Is it ok to use carbon filters with shrimp? I never see it mentioned)

I plan to use black fluorite as the substrate and heavily plant that tank with anubia, cryptocoryne, java fern and java moss. I also have some driftwood and neutral rocks for decor. I am planning to get some chola wood as well, since I hear the shrimp love it. 

I currently use rodi water for my freshwater tanks remineralized with a mix of alkaline buffer and acid buffer for kh (while maintaining desired ph) and equilibrium or replenish for gh. I was planning to get a shrimp specific remineralizer (probably salty shrimp) for the shrimp tank. Which do people recommend? Also, what would people recommend as the ideal parameters (I was likely going to try to match the parameters of wherever I get the shrimp from, but will need to start somewhere for cycling)

I also planned to get some shrimp specific food, although I understand that they really don’t need much and I will feed sparingly. Again, which is considered best? 

I am using a heater since this nano tank will be on my bedside table and the temp can fluctuate quite a bit. I as planning to keep it around 76, but of course am flexible. 

 

I have read different opinions of snails. I have mts and rams horn snails in my other tanks and know they are nearly impossible to eradicate once they are there, so don’t want to add them unless I should. I was thinking of putting in ramshorns but not mts

 

Does this all sound like a good way to start? Am I forgetting anything? What pitfalls should I be prepared for that I’m not thinking of?

Thanks in advance!

 

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Hello! And welcome. I am not a veteran shrimp keeper but I can tell you my experience so far. I’ve kept fish as well but shrimp are very different, however not any more difficult. The only thing I might add is you definitely need some polyfilter. And make sure you get your shrimp from a breeder you know (I use Rachel O’Leary). And also start with a breed of neos that is a little “older” or more developed. This just diminishes the chance of interbreeding and likewise hypersensitivity to changing water parameters. It filters out all impurities and the color change even indicates what it’s filtering out.

I have had 10 golden rod neos since September. A few losses over the months but nothing out of the norm. They are in a 5 gallon with a hang on the back filter. There was already a fine mesh sponge over the filter intake. In the filter I have some ceramic filter media, the activated carbon filter that came with it, and a strip of PolyFilter which I replace once a month.

I have some Aquasoil (low ph) and rocks high in calcium and other shrimp safe minerals (high ph) in the tank as well as some spider wood. It’s heavily planted with a mixture of slow growing and fast growing plants, mosses, and floating plants. I also use it to start my plant cuttings.

I let the tank cycle for a month until the water parameters stabilized for at least 2 weeks. My water parameters have stayed stable since. My tank is placed on an inner wall on my desk to keep the tank at a stable temperature. The shrimp I got were breed by Rachel O’Leary in her outdoor tubs so I know that they are pretty sturdy for the most part. I use my tap water which is neutral and has a low TDS (my apartment building has a surprisingly good water filtration system).

So far 2 of my older females have had 3 clutches and all the shrimplets are doing very well! Hope this helps!

Here’s some helpful sites and you tubers I use:
https://www.aquariumcreation.com/blogs/news/neocaridina-shrimp-water-parameters

http:// https://www.theshrimpfarm.com/index.php

Rachel’s website: http:// https://msjinkzd.com

Youtubers:

Rachel O’Leary
Marks Shrimp tanks
Aquarium Co-op


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Along with the youtubers that @OhKay13 recommended, I highly recommend checking out Flip Aquatics. Flip Aquatics is a company that's dedicated to selling only shrimp and as far as I know are the only importers who use a 30 day quarantine system to try to get the shrimp as healthy as possible before sending them out. I have several years of shrimp keeping and have successfully kept and bred multiple types of both neos and caridina primarily from watching his videos and following his setup. They are my #1 source when I'm looking to buy shrimp and I've had some very successful colonies that have grown from shrimp I received from them. The cool thing about Flip Aquatics is that their owner, Rob, put out youtube videos documenting the ENTIRE process of starting the company into what it is today, showing us his successes and failures, and explaining to us what he thought led to his success or failures and why he thought that was the case. He also puts up videos specifically on shrimp care topics, such as what to feed and how often to feed shrimps, how to properly remineralize water for shrimp tanks, how to properly acclimate new shrimp, what soil has worked best for him, etc. I believe Rob is friends with both Rachel and Cory (Aquarium Co-op), and they occasionally mention Rob/Flip Aquatics. I usually watch several shrimp youtubers, including those mentioned previously, and try to find similarities in the way they keep shrimp since those methods were successful for multiple people. 

 

Love that you're doing so much research and planning before starting up a shrimp tank. Personally, I don't think they're too difficult to keep and breed if you know what they like, but it's easy to make mistakes early in shrimp keeping that discourages people from continuing in the hobby. Hope this helps and good luck!

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Also forgot to add that we have a pretty well-known member here on the forum that also makes youtube videos named Shrimp Life. She's also very knowledgeable and genuinely passionate about the hobby. I received shrimp from her as well and ever since I got them they've been breeding non-stop, and the tanks with the shrimp I received from her have shown the best reproduction rate among all the tanks of shrimp I have, so she knows how to produce very healthy and good-looking shrimp. 

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Thanks for all the advice. I’ll definitely check out the videos. It’s always fun to watch videos of shrimp. 

 

I was at my lfs yesterday and got some flu so stratum instead of fluorite. The owner was telling me h9w it is the perfect shrimp substrate. Hopefully he’s right. Also got a nervte snail to start cycling the tank. 

 

Ill send some pics once I get things set up tomorrow. 

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I’ve always been told to have patience. Especially since the shrimp are normally expensive it would suck to have an ammonia spike and loose all your stock. So I waited until the tank was fully stable for at least a week before adding them. Using an instant start would likely speed up the process though. Plus if your going to plant it, it gives your plants time to root before your shrimp start rummaging through them.


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Sounds like you have the right ideas and I completely agree with Ohkay13. IMO the hardest part of shrimp keeping (even for myself to this day) is patience, but if you can manage to take your time and do things right you'll have less deaths when introducing shrimp, healthier shrimp in the long run, and they may even breed sooner and produce more babies than if you were to rush and put them in before the tank's ready. I just watched a recent stream from Aquarium Co-op discussing shrimp keeping and I liked that Cory used the phrase "seasoned aquarium" rather than "cycled aquarium" with shrimp. A seasoned aquarium means that not only are the filters cycled, but the tank has lots of biofilm, algae, etc. that give the shrimp natural food to graze on, which seems to make a bigger difference than I initially thought when introducing shrimp to a tank. Personally, when I first set up a new shrimp tank I'll add snails and lots of plants, and dose with Fluval Bioenhancer for at least a week (but preferably as long as possible) prior to introducing shrimp. I'm not too familiar with Seachem Stability, but I'm sure the cycling/bacteria solutions are fairly similar between brands.

 

I've also heard that Fluorite soils are great for neocaridina shrimp. Adding fish prior to the shrimp should definitely help to speed the cycling process up, and if I had extra fish I'd probably do the same for each new shrimp tank. 

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Thanks for the tips. I’m surprised to hear that a week isn’t too soon. I did add plants, rocks and driftwood from established tanks, so hopefully I’ll get a jump start on the biofilm. My local lfs actually has some blue dreams, so maybe in a week or so (with dosing) I’ll get one as a test subject before getting a whole population. 

 

Attached is a pic of my setup. 

image.jpg

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Thanks for the tips. I’m surprised to hear that a week isn’t too soon. I did add plants, rocks and driftwood from established tanks, so hopefully I’ll get a jump start on the biofilm. My local lfs actually has some blue dreams, so maybe in a week or so (with dosing) I’ll get one as a test subject before getting a whole population. 

 

Attached is a pic of my setup. 

image.jpg

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Tbh, a week is probably pushing it but I'll check the water parameters daily for about a week leading up to introducing the shrimp just to make sure there aren't any spikes in ammonia, nitrate or nitrite. I think that the longer you cycle a tank the better your chances are of new shrimp surviving acclimation, and they'll most likely be healthier in the long run. I'd prefer, and recommend, to let a tank cycle for at least a couple of weeks, but patience can still be pretty difficult for me even after keeping shrimp for so long 😅 however, I do a lot of prep work when I'm setting up a shrimp tank, so that may be why I haven't had any issues (so far) with introducing shrimp after cycling for only a week. I also monitor the shrimp and water parameters pretty closely after introducing the shrimp, so it'd probably be less work and worry to let the tank cycle for longer, especially if you're just getting into shrimp.

 

Looks awesome! That's a good idea as well. It wouldn't hurt to just test the tank out with a few so that if anything happens it's not like you spent a lot of money on the shrimp and it'll allow you to assess the quality of the shrimp from your lfs. I've gone away from buying from shrimp from lfs because I've seen too many times where they end up showing signs of disease or parasites after I bought them due to the stress of going to a new tank, but whenever I try a new source I always like to start with a small order to assess their quality before committing to them as one of my go-to shrimp sources. Not saying your lfs is like that, but I tend to find that most lfs don't necessarily always know how to take care of shrimp and treat them like fish. Just something to keep in mind. Good luck!

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Thanks yeah, I’ll try to be a bit more patient. A week does seem pretty quick. Patience isn’t always must front suit, but I’m trying to take my time with this one. 

 

My lfs is pretty good and knowledgeable. He gets in a ton of specialized fish and inverts. He even has about a half dozen or more different kinds of shrimp. But, it’s still a store, so of course things can’t be as good of quality as a dedicated hobbyist. 

Of course living in Wi in January might limit my options for getting things shipped to me for awhile?

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