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2013...Year of the Shrimp


mosspearl

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2013 is the year I got back into fishtanks. It all started with moss balls. We saw some on Tumblr. I'd never seen anything like them before and had to have some. We found some on eBay and ordered them ... couldn't beat the price. 5 for $3 or something. Then I found out that no matter what I sent the seller, he sent them to our old address. I could only cross my fingers and hope they arrived at our new address without too much delay. (We'd been here almost a year.)

It wasn't long before they arrived. They were noted on the package as "decorative home sponges." LOL I popped them in a gallon jar with some large pebbles and my aquatic adventures had begun. Before long, I had some plants I'd won in an RAOK... some bacopa, frogbit, and water lettuce. I was filling up more gallon jars.

By Valentine's Day, I had a 2.5 gallon tank and a baby betta. Since the fish was so small, he went in one of the jars that had been set up for awhile so the tank could cycle. As the year has gone on, he moved from the jar to the 2.5 gallon, then to the Evolve4, then to an Evolve8. He's not spoiled or anything. ::wink wink:::

lJ4aWxW.jpgSherlock thinks he's a shark. He attacks the food when I feed him. As long as he's happy, we're happy. :D

It wasn't long before I got MTS (multiple tank syndrome). I freely admit I tend to obsess about things, and tanks were my new obsession. I'd discovered the shrimp board at TPT and fell in love with the little critters. I resolved to get some as soon as I was ready for them. I started reading everything I could and started making contacts in the (clears throat) shrimp world.

Having nano tanks, I went through several months of "is my tank cycled or not?" Finally, I was convinced they were, and I was ready. I ordered five blue velvet shrimp and five yellow shrimp from Soothing Shrimp. I tested my tanks again to make sure the parameters were right. The shrimp arrived in late August.

cK7kYZN.jpgYes, there's shrimp in there. Somewhere.

I drip acclimated them with one eye on a web page that showed how to do it with step by step photos. I was way out of my depth. All I'd ever done before was float fish in the tank.

12fvuYK.jpgBlue velvet shrimp!!

RXOth2O.jpg

The yellow shrimp tank, complete with a TARDIS. Yes, we're all rabid Whovians in this house, and proud of it. The shrimp seem to like it, too.

yAVZsoD.jpgYellow shrimp!!

The shrimp have thrived and I now obsess about shrimp. So much so that I'm contemplating giving up a lot of my aquatic plants to focus on mosses so I can have even more shrimp. I do still have some favorite fish... my favorites so far are my cory habrosus. They are adorable. I'd like to pair them up with some exclamation point fish, because what would be more perfect for a writer/editor than a fish that wears punctuation? But that will come at some point in the future when the white clouds and remaining guppy have gone to that big fish tank in the sky.

In early November, I received some rili shrimp from Soothing Shrimp... I adore them, too. So many different patterns and colors!

AwMoUcz.jpgIt's like a red-themed rainbow!

I'm already scheming where to put more tanks. It's a good thing my family enables me. But then, I do enable them to get their computers, video games, and anime characters. What can I get rid of to make room for more tanks?

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Not yet. My last batch from him had a saddled female... she promptly berried, then dropped them. I'm waiting for her to saddle again. I think it was too soon after her arrival... she needed more time to get used to the new parameters. My first batch was all boys! Gotta love the luck of the draw! :D

 

My blue velvets have had two batches of babies... but they're so hard to find. I've seen them for the first 2-4 weeks, but not afterwards, so I'm not sure if I'm losing them at some stage or if they're hiding in the big mass of moss in the tank. Since I'm a newbie, I could easily be losing them. :( Currently have two saddled females in there, so I'm crossing my fingers that I'm learning and getting better.

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My second batch of Yellows are too young to saddle/berry so I'll have to wait. My older female wont saddle or berry. She has no interest. When you get one berried, let me know. If that's okay.

 

The Blue Velvet babies. Have you seen any when you feed them? None on the glass? Like the adults, they are great at hiding.

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Sure... I'll be so excited about it, I'll probably be sharing it with anyone who will listen! :)

 

I've seen some from the second clutch... they were pink. But I haven't seen them for awhile now. Yesterday when I fed, not all the bigger shrimp came out, but there were a couple more juvies, so they must be from the first clutch. At least a couple survived. :) I'll take what I can get. The tank really needs to be cleaned (lots of hair algae taking over) but I'm afraid to do anything due to unseen babies. :P

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Know what you mean about the babies. I'm thinking of not adding floaters to the new tanks because of the babies. They wont move a lot of times. They are nuts! I'm afraid I'm throwing some away when I need to remove floaters.

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Eek! That's what I'm afraid of! When I do pull algae out, I examine it carefully. Luckily it seems to come out a thread at a time, so anything stuck to it has been visible so far (at least the newly hatched blue ramshorns have been). It's that giant moss/algae monster in the corner that needs taking down that is probably full of the little buggers. There's no way I'd find any of them in that mess. :(

 

I don't have many floaters... just some pennywort in there.

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I'm doing the pennywort and broad leaf water sprite as floaters in the new tank. Easier to control, I think. I like floaters, but they are a pain and a worry.

 

My 18g is mostly hair algae with a mix of moss. Looks bad, but shrimp love it. When I had to remove some, it was very hard to get the shrimp off of it. It tangles very easy,

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Ain't that the truth! Hair algae has become the bane of my existence! I know they love it, but I can't stand the stuff. It ruins the moss. :( I just threw out a bunch of trimmings full of it from a couple of my tanks.

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The lights are raised on the 2.5g tanks. I'm stuck with where the hood is on the 10g. I could reduce the hours. I'm a sucker for keeping them on so I can watch them. I turn my lights on around 2:30pm, but they're on until we go to bed, which is probably too long. We're up until at least midnight. :P

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Hi Mosspearl,

 

I enjoyed your blog post. I do not have shrimp yet but am still hoping too. I am considering using a 2.5 gallon tank I have, instead of the 20 long which was my only other option. From your experience so far, do you think that a 2.5 gallon with a sponge filter is fairly workable for shrimpkeeping? If so, I would prefer to go that option. Your 2.5 is so pretty! 

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Thanks! :) The 2.5 gallons work well, but the parameters can change very fast, unlike a larger tank. If I had it to do over again, I'd begin with something larger... at least a 10. I'm just now figuring out how I can fit in more tanks in the coming year. I do like working with the nano sizes, but my shrimp population has suffered... due to my inexperience and busy workload, I'm sure. Don't let that deter you, however! As long as you stay on top of your water parameters and your shrimp, you'll do fine! A lot of people keep them in small tanks like this, and they really don't put out a big bio load on their own.

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I really appreciate your input. I agree larger is better, but I don't really have time for the maintenance on the two big tanks I have, so I am trying to close down my 20. Is there a way you would recommend maintaining the parameters in a nano? Is quite a bit of testing required, or mainly frequent water changes, from your experience? 

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I can only judge from my own experience, which isn't a whole lot. I started back into aquariums a year ago, and have had shrimp since August. I like to think that once the tank has cycled and settled down (nanos can take a LONG time to do this... ) that after awhile, one can step back and let them do their thing. That's probably more true with larger tanks than nanos... which is probably why my shrimp populations have suffered. I don't do water changes regularly... my workload keeps me busy 7 days a week, so I sqeeze them in when I can. Most of the time I just top them off. When I do test my water params, however, they seem to be spot on, so I'm mystified as to why my population is dropping. If I had the time to do regular water changes, I might have a better answer and my baby shrimp might be surviving better. But at this point it's all conjecture. I'm scheming on a way to increase our family budget and lighten my workload so I can spend more time with the family and tending my tanks, so I guess I'll find out. :)  I did test a LOT at the beginning. It was probably more paranoia than anything, but I wanted to make sure my TDS, GH, and KH were okay. I was least familiar with these things, as they weren't as importand during cycling as the other things you test for. Once these things settled, I allowed myself to get a bit cocky about it... I don't think I'd do that again. I don't think that I lost shrimp because of that necessarily, just that it allowed me to get lax.

 

I don't know if I helped at all. Again, I can't recommend Soothing Shrimp's (Bryce) advice enough. He's been in the game a long time and knows his stuff. He keeps most of his in 10 gallons, but does keep some in smaller tanks.

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Thank you. That is indeed very helpful. I have learned a lot from your experience, because if I decide to do a nano, those are some of the issues I will have to be aware of too. I hope that it works out for you to lighten your work schedule; I imagine that must be hard. And yes, I too have found Soothing Shrimp very helpful!

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