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Forum Newbie needs breeding advice


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Nice to meet you experienced shrimp-keepers. I'm only a step-up from a novice. Hoping to gain some insight on how to encourage consistent breeding!

Tank specs:

7 gallon species-only tank with homemade water bottle sponge filter (ceramic ball media mixed with some nutrient-reducing pellets)

stock: 12-15 red cherry shrimp; mix of males and females

plants: 1 anubias, java fern, small java moss patch, 1 large moss ball

3 med size cholla wood pieces

substrate: black shrimp gravel (sold at Petco)

tank temp: 74 - 76 degrees

fertilizers: very sparingly. I moved a month ago and haven't dosed since. Irregular use of API CO2 booster beforehand.

Latest parameters: 0-5ppm ammonia, 0-5ppm nitrite, 0-5ppm nitrate as of Friday (4 days prior)

Feeding: very sparingly. They enjoy fish food pellets. I feed around 4 perhaps twice a week. I started on frozen brine shrimp 2 weeks ago 1x a week and they seem to enjoy those.


My question:

While I've had the most luck keeping cherry shrimp alive in this species-only tank, I've not gotten them to breed. The tank is about a year old. I set it up to move some cherry shrimp out of a 25 gallon tank after it sprung a leak. One of the shrimp became berried while waiting in a breeder net of all places, but dropped the eggs and later died, I think. I moved maybe 3 cherry shrimp to the 7 gallon and added more over time. I started out with a mass of plants from the 25 gal. a broken plant pot for security and the large moss ball. The plants eventually died (they were really meant for a larger tank with deeper substrate) so I added java plants, but still no berried shrimp. The only babies I've ever seen in this tank were born from a pregnant shrimp I bought from the store. I was up to ~25 shrimp at one point. Prior to buying the berried shrimp, I saw several dropped egg sacks in the tank. I even witnessed a female pull the eggs out of her, which is was fascinating. But, all of the "store-bought" babies lived to maturity; I figured the mother would have dropped the eggs if the tank environment were unsustainable, so I'm not sure it's the water, the size, etc.

Recently, I moved and resolved to add wood to the tank to see if that would help. I lost three shrimp before and during the move but I still have a good mix of males and females (prob. more males). I recently added the 3 cholla wood pieces. I know it will take time for the shrimp to get comfortable with the new surroundings, but what else should I be doing?

This isn't my first go around with cherry shrimp. I've not kept them as successfully in the past but at least one always became berried. I tried some in 10 gallon once upon a time but the one berried shrimp disappeared and was likely eaten by fish (I housed them with 3 pygmy sunfish). The other berried shrimp was the one from the 25 gal. that dropped the eggs in the breeder net. Both lived in less ideal conditions than my current 7 gal. I'm at a loss as to what to do next. Any advice is appreciated.

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Hey bro, just look around the forum...  There's more than enough info here that should lead you into the right direction.  Truthfully, some of the best in the biz has at some point & time left some knowledge here for new shrimp keepers.  By the way, good luck...  Oh, not giving advice but I'd take a minimalist approach & have a shrimp only tank.  Other than that, its all about parameters....😎

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