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MisterMisch

'Sup from Wyoming!

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I've apparently caught the fever.

 

My experience has been primarily with freshwater fish in anything short of a pond. Lately I've been fascinated by live planted aquariums and aquascaping - both of which are entirely new to me. It's been made much more difficult and interesting by living in such a remote area like Wyoming, which has like a whopping three pet stores/suppliers in a 150 mile radius from me. Despite all this, though, I'm currently stuffed to the gills with tanks in my little townhouse. I've got:

 

A 125 gallon with two juvenile tiger oscars, Pumpkin and Silent Bob. No idea on sex yet, I put a stoneware plate down to see if they'd start fussing over it and all they did was pout on the bottom of the tank. They've been getting increasingly aggressive to one another so I will have to get an over-under dual 75 gallon setup to separate them. For now their tank is partitioned and slated for retrofitting into either a planted nano community or maybe a fancy goldfish tank. I'm really hoping to try to source some Riffle shrimp (australatya striolata) since I'm leaning toward the planted nano, but so far they've utterly eluded me.

 

I also have a 55 gallon with one very, very spoiled tiger oscar baby, Felix. He was a walmart rescue who was put on the sale block way under sized at around an inch. Despite the common wisdom of not buying walmart fish he came home and is now over double the size he was. Like the other oscars, he's being fed a homemade mix of whiting, shrimp, pineapple, spinach and peas in gelatin with the not-so occasional dried krill bits. He's gotten constant interaction from the family so he's quite outgoing, despite being in such a large tank by himself. I recently gave him a Brazilian Pennywort stem to give him something to do. My hope is that they'll have a lasting rivalry...or at least let the pennywort have a running start.

 

Felix shares a rack with a currently unpopulated, partitioned 55 gallon shrimp tank to-be. I've put a couple of leopard danios in there just to get the thing going along with some aged filter media and the 125 gallon's old canister filter. I'm just waiting on a few parts to get a PH-regulated CO2 system going for the plants I plan on putting in there. I've never fooled with CO2 systems, so it's my hope that I can get it on lock before I even order shrimp. It's currently set up with some dragonstone, small catappa leaves, cholla and a couple plants that arrived just today (corkscrew amazon swords and downoi). Still waiting to receive my christmas moss to graft on the stone and dwarf baby tears for the substrate. My hope is to spoil my up and coming invertibros in such a way that they're still viewable.

 

This is on top of my tank fostering arrangement with my "LPS" - a small mom and pop shop that are having me hold on to two of their 75 gallon african cichlid tanks until they finalize their move to some bigger, better digs within the next two months. I'm super excited for them, and even happier to help them when they need it like this. Bigger store = more aquarium stuff. Right? Right?? I can dream.

 

I also have three nano tanks - two 5's and a 10. The 5's are home to my guilty pleasure, the betta splendens. They're sporting barebottom tanks with some spiderwood with a couple marimo, some anubias nana petite and one honkin' anubias barteri each with some salvinia in a perpetual argument with some feeding rings I put in there. I have a blue crowntail named Inigo, who was named in part because of his indigo color but mostly because he had the tendency to flare as I walked by no matter what he was doing. I could only picture him screaming, "Hello!" like The Princess Bride, so it stuck. My other betta is a mustard gas double-tail named Lapis, who was admittedly in less than optimal conditions when I bought him. His finnage and stunning beetle-blue color have since returned, though I still suspect he might be guilty of tail biting, despite the lack of current, pristine water and my attempts to exercise him. From what I understand it's sadly common in the overly ornamental varieties like double-tails, rosetails and feathertails. For the fish's sake and the sake of the betta trade, I don't think I'll be getting another one.

 

But let's not forget the 10 gallon whose inhabitants - despite their recent arrival and small size - are causing quite the stir in my home. My shadow pandas arrived a week early, much to my chagrin. I've acquired everything else that I needed with the exception of my GH salts, which were supposed to arrive before the pandas. Unfortunately means that these guys are on a clock that I hope doesn't cost them too dearly. Lesson learned on that one. So far I've only lost one of the ten that I ordered from shipping and the others have been happily grazing all day on their sponge filter and mopani, which is encouraging. But as delicate as these guys are I don't know if they'll make it the four days before the salts are supposed to arrive with a difference of 3 degrees in their GH. Fingers crossed.

 

But watching these guys has been a real joy for me so far. They're such little busy bodies and their color in the ones that show the electric blue they're noted for is absolutely stunning. I suspect that I might have mistakenly received some BKK's along with them, as some of these guys are showing a very solid bone white instead of blue. All I can do is hope they color up or hopefully prove to be carriers for the "shadow" gene, if it even works that way for bees. Shrimp genetics are really hard to grasp for me, mostly because of the lack of a rigid nomenclature to research. It's my hope that by hanging out on here I can learn a thing or two about these fascinating little dudes - perhaps enough to start trying to concertedly breed my own line for giggles.

 

Anyway, that was a novella of an introduction. I'm seriously vibrating with excitement for the 55 to finish getting ready so I can get a couple varieties of shrimp to put in there. I was thinking of putting neos in there, in an attempt to get my feet wet with genetics and to try to support my LPS, who is always ALWAYS out of shrimp. Any suggestions on some handsome, relatively stable varieties to tinker with?

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I'm way less eloquent than you, so I'll just say Welcome to the Spot!!!  

As for Neo's, you can find some pretty decent lines that are fairly stable, but you won't find any that are completely stable.  You'll always need to cull and you'll always have the random outlier.  If you can find someone that has been culling and keeping a high-quality line of Neo's you may have better luck and fewer culls.  For me, Bloody Mary's seem to be the most consistent.  I got mine from @TheGlassBox.  

 

Hopefully your Panda's make it, just ensure you drip acclimate them slowly once you receive your salts and re-home them.  

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@wyzazz Thanks for the advice! 

 

I figure there's no way around culling if you're looking for any measure of consistency. I also figure the Oscars or the Betta won't mind the enrichment. XD

 

Is the consistency why BMs are pricier than Fire Reds? As far as I understand BMs are descended from the chocolate line, right? It was my thought that people enjoyed them for their genetics, as I've heard of numerous projects descending from or involving chocolates, which was an unstable line/trait that required repeated back-crosses to maintain with its parent strains. That, I guess, is what I mean by having a stable strain that doesn't require back crossing to maintain like some greens and yellows do (I think?). I've tried to research this as best I could but there's simply a LOT to understand.

 

So far I haven't seen any more dead pandas. They came out for a moonlight stroll on top of their volcanic rock when the lights went into evening mode. I suspect they'll be primarily nocturnal until they get some time to adjust and realize they're the only ones in the tank.

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Thank you Wyzazz!
 
☺️
 
Mister Misch - You're right, Bloody Marys came from chocolates but they aren't any more consistent than any other Neo.  There just aren't as many of them out there as there are cherry shrimp or PFRs because those have been around longer.  The same for Blue Dreams.  
 
Yeah, culling is important.  If you don't cull, you'll eventually loose whatever characteristic (i.e. bright vivid color) you're trying to keep.  If a 'lesser' specimen shrimp manages to escape culling and breed, then they'll contribute to the loss or dilution of that characteristic (color/pattern etc.) down the road.   The more you cull, the more consistent they'll be for you.  I adopted my Nephews pet goldfish, George and Gracie, when he went off to collage.  They get my culls and appreciate it very much!
 
And besides, if you don't cull you'll eventually have a billion shrimp...  And they won't be very pretty any more either...
 
I think the only really consistent shrimp out there are PRLs and PBLs in that they'll consistently produce red and white or black and white babies all the time.  And even those we cull for shell thickness and better patterns etc.  
 
And I feel for you - I live out in the sticks as well.  I'm in Maine and practically everything is illegal here (except pot LOL!).  I can keep my shrimp as long as I say they're "feeder shrimp".  (It's a gray area legally I guess).  Yes - that's right they're FEEDER SHRIMP people!  FEEDER SHRIMP!!  LOL!!    🤣  Oh well, guess I can't blame the state for being paranoid about invasive species these days...   The state's known for it's trout fishing and all...  But yeah, the selection on aquatics is pretty thin at Petsmart in Maine.
 
😳
 
Thank goodness for the internet!  Check out Aquabid - It's better than eBay for fish and aquarium stuff.  Price-wise at least.  There are some facebook pages where you can buy stuff as well.  But I mostly stick with Aquabid. 
 
And you'll love the CO2 system!  A pH controller is the way to go.  It keeps things stable and constant.  It'll even make moss grow fast!  

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I'll agree with everything @TheGlassBox said above.  But I've never really been a huge fan of Aquabid.  There is a very large Shrimp community on Facebook, I sell there as do many others.  And looking here is a great place to find some high-quality shrimp as well.  I prefer to purchase from other hobbyists as the prices are lower and the quality tends to be much higher!  

As mentioned, PRL are pretty consistent but they require lower pH and more acidic conditions.  And I do cull mine for shell thickness and patterns though.  

Most shrimp will hide until they are comfortable in their surroundings.  And typically shrimp don't like bright lights either, mine are all over the place when I have the lights out!  

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I agree that there seem to be more and more large sellers on Aquabid.  Their pricing is attractive of course, but I still prefer to purchase from the smaller hobbiests.  The quality is higher because it's their main focus.  And I'd rather pay an extra $10 or so to get something that was raised and culled well from someone who really knows what they're doing.  And I worry about diseases that may come in on imports.  Not all of them quarantine.  And the items are often not as pictured...  When I shop on Aquabid, I just stay away from the larger sellers.  For livestock at least...  

 

It seems a lot of people are shifting over to Facebook.  What pages do you like on FB?  I've been to the Shrimp Spot page over there, but I still like the format better over here...  Less scrolling to find what you're looking for I guess...  

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Shrimp Nation USA, Shrimp Nation USA Swap Page, USA Aquatic Plants Exchange, USA Freshwater Shrimp and Plants, USA Shrimp Keepers Shrimp and Plant Auctions, Shrimp and Plants Auction - USA, Aquarium Shrimp Keeping, Shrimp Haven, Shrimp Breeders of America, USA Shrimp Keepers.  

 

I never even knew there was a ShrimpSpot page!  I'm Danny Robert on FB, feel free to look me up!  

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@wyzazz@theglassbox Wow, thanks so much for all the info guys! I never really use Facebook because of their data policies, but I might just have to make an account. I'd been mostly perusing things like craigslist, reddit and the local tradeswap site for the area called KSL. Do you guys have any opinion on Joe's Aquarium? They're the cheapest I've found so far without going to hobbyists.

 

PBL/PRL requiring acid conditions and lower PH isn't really a bother. I have mcguyver'd in my bathroom-turned-sump-room a small RODI setup that allows me to keep 60 gallons of heated, aerated water on hand. It tends to come out acid until its aged a bit, and the TDS are so low (~5ppm, need to change the filters on it) that I can add Driftwood, Catappa or Blackwater extract to keep it down. For now though, I will prolly keep to neos and build my shrimp husbandry skills up. If the pandas weren't an impulse purchase from my fam I would have never started out on them, lol

 

My salts finally arrived today, but I'm curious if I should add it at this point? Pulled a GH with a result of 4°, up from 1°, which falls in the range of the seller's parameters of 4-6°. These guys were from Aquarium Creations, if anyone is curious. I have a few gripes about the way these were shipped, but at this point it's no harm no foul.

 

The shrimp appear to be doing well and I haven't seen any more dead guys. So well in fact that even with the lights on full I was able to count seven of the nine remaining, all doing their thing!

 

I finally was able to snap some pics of them. I realize now that my phone really isn't made for macro images. I might just have to get a Google pixel or something. Pardon the fuzzes - I wanted to make sure there was more than enough biofilm for them.24aa832f787546b3cb07834f8916218e.jpgb393287b948276ef5b4ffe31c5686821.jpgcbefa3fcb929ebe1fcd4af8f3b8e54f6.jpg15e366438fa47d267f600301ffbf8e8e.jpgefdfcae9658d8c7cca2b8ed9ec72ac04.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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Can't offer any feedback on Joe.  He's an importer and I don't buy imports.

 

Wow, what do you have for an RO/DI system?  I'm getting ready to install a new one myself.  What do you use for a storage tank that large?

 

I'd take the GH up a little bit more.  At least to the middle of the range.  I usually keep my caridinas at around 6 or 7.

 

 

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Here's my $.02 and it might be unpopular.  I'm not a fan of Joe (Joe's Aquarium/9th Dragon), I've never ordered from him but have lots of friends in the shrimp world that have not had great experiences with him.  I've ordered from Jose at Aquarium Creations and was dis-satisfied as well, mostly at the severe lack of communication.  This seems to have been a trend with them as of late unfortunately.  

I keep my Cards at 4-5gH and 0-1kH, that's everything from CRS to various Taiwan Bee's, Stardust, Super Princess Bee's & various others.  pH tends to vary a bit from tank to tank depending on which substrate I've utilized.  

 

As for adding the gH booster/remineralizer, I'd add it slowly with water changes.  I tend to do 10-15% a week on all of my tanks.  

@TheGlassBox - I use a Brute 44gal trash can with a float valve installed to store my RO.  I've also got a large airstone in there that feeds off of my air loop in the shrimp room.  

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@TheGlassBox

 

It's a DIY setup my fam and I came up with. It's a small 100gpd system loomed to connect to two 30gal BPA free containers with airstones, heaters and a pond circulation sump. The containers are connected via two sets of pvc bulkheads with ball valves. It's a lot of space, but we dont use this room anyway. Besides, the bathtub is great for overflow safety.

 

Here's a few pics so you can see what I mean. The large clear hose is hooked up to a 500 gph pond sump because we've had to fill the foster tanks past couple days. Otherwise the tube you see in the very bottom left is another hose that's connected to the 125gal via their FX6 canister for the oscar water changes. The rest of the tanks are bucket brigades with the fam until we get a python or something. All of our other aquarium sumps at this point are being used for K1 filters on each of the oscars. They're a bit underfilled until we get some valves to fine tune the flow, still drying the basement from the last oops. Definitely ordering more sumps though, they're cheap and so handy.

 

We're fixing to try to upgrade and clean up this functioning disaster of a setup soon with a larger capacity RODI system. Having to let this thing run 20 to 30 hours a week is havoc on the filtration. Our water here is super hard and very hard on these systems but pretty much a must even for basic tropic fish. Even the Oscars don't like the tap here, and they're basically tanks.

 

I think the last time I tested my tap it was a PH of 7.8, GH of 11, and a KH of 20+, I can't remember exactly. I wouldn't dare to keep "tap water" species in this water.d5a7862bf098acf40b68453de4f0caeb.jpgb5dcf2bac88fd9d646bde6d5cd0efbfb.jpg90664ca4f36bab3bae8fcebd3829bd5a.jpg1065c071fcd20564cae93960852e1efb.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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Wow!  That's a neat setup!  

 

I'm starting a fish room in the basement to try and consolidate all the tanks I have scattered around the house.  Hopefully I'll be plumbing in a sink and RO system down there next month.  I like the idea of a water storage system...

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