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Duff's hopeful climb from the bottom


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First off I am in no way making this journal to try and deter people from having shrimp tanks. They are awesome!!! I have just been battling keeping TBs and trying to get my shrimp to breed for quite awhile now and if any of what I've done can save someone from my mistakes then I'll be happy :)

I was doing really well with breeding about a year ago and after I went to cull, everything just coasted downhill. Shrimp stopped breeding for the most part then I was getting a ton of deaths. My parameters swung like crazy and I had no idea why. I did few water changes and I am sure that played a big part of it, but my tank was a overgrown jungle and I never really had waste. After awhile my shrimp started to have babies again. However they wouldn't live long. I was told my GH might have been too high and regardless of what I would do the GH would always creep back up. Shrimp were dying a ton again so i eventually just redid my tank out of frustration.

I use RODI and remin with salty shrimp GH+. I sadly can't remember what I had my TDS before but it is currently sitting at about 150. I think I went a little crazy with the new Bacter AE I have, but I plan on getting TDS back down to 120ish with a water change in the next couple days.

I recently redid my two tanks, a 22g long and a 12g long. I may have a death every week or so now, but it is significantly lower than what I was dealing with. My shrimp are still young and not ready to breed and I'm just being impatient but I haven given up hope in terms of TB shrimp keeping. I am taking this as a lesson in keeping and as much as it has sucked I am definitely learning something the hard way.

I am still having a bit of problems with my 12g long however and it seems like nothing I do fixes it. I think I am going to redo my 12g long again and just make it a neo tank. I will move my pandas and mischlings from the 12g into my 22g with my blue bolts. The 22 seems more stable so far.

I'll update this as I try new things and redo my tanks. If anyone has any advice for me I wiuld appreciate it. I haven't given up yet and I really don't want to (I have a newly started saltwater that keeps me buy) but I am getting close.

Some important things I've learned:

- Regardless of what your waste Params read and how planted your tank is, always do your weekly/biweekly water changes

-When things are going well make sure to test every single parameter you can, write it down, save it, remember it.


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Oh yea, make sure the tank is glass if using permanent.  I have no experience with permanent and acrylic. ;)


Oh that would be fun getting off acrylic. At the store I work at we use paint pens for prices (on glass of course) and use a razor blade if we need to change anything. Don't use the glitter pens though...

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Ouch. Hope you have better luck this time around.

I've often wondered about the 12 long. I have suspicions that its narrow profile makes good circulation difficult.

Thanks, I have my hopes up :) learning a lot more to better my understanding of what to do.

When my 12g was at its best I had a super mini "canister" filter on it and it had good flow. I put right in the middle of the tank. I took it out because it was clunky and hard to get out to clean, but I didn't have problems till later.

Now, like Soothing mentioned, I have a sponge on each end and a eheim mini filter pushing the front. For what I have it looks like good flow all around. Although my 10g rated air pump isn't enough to really run two sponges, I'll be getting a bigger one soon before I put in shrimp.

This is my 12g now.


Edit: one thing I have noticed tho. Before I redid my 12 I only had one sponge on the right side and the eheim on the left still. The shrimp were almost always on the side with the sponge.


That's why I added the second sponge on the left. Figured more gentle circulation and oxygenation wouldn't hurt. Also after looking at the two tank shots I realize I love my new led light haha


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Update on tank Params coming soon. My neo tank is super low in ph, working on a way to fix it but I'm going to let it stew for a bit. TDS is fixed to 204 so I got that going for me.

I like the scape so that's good haha. I'll post pictures again when I have all my params together.


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Wow, that is definitely a lot of circulation for a little tank! I used to always run sponge plus HOB, but switched exclusively to HMF or sponge (not both) a few years ago. (I'm not a successful shrimp keeper so don't take that as advice!) I found that adding circulation pumps was almost always necessary if I wanted good flow everywhere.

Looking forward to pics!

By the way, only the most expensive permanent markers are alcohol proof (one of my workplaces stocks alcohol proof lab markers that are $8 a pen). So if you ever need to get Sharpie off of something, hit it with cheap rubbing alcohol and it should come right off.

I've been experimenting with online databases lately. I think it would be fun to set one up to record parameters, but I've never quite been energetic enough to do it.

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WOOOO UPDATES! Things are looking much better :)


I'll edit some pictures from my phone in a while, but most of this update will be numbers and such. Fun...


I am just going to copy/paste my post from another thread:

Dosed my 12g with the acid and alkaline buffer per seachems instructions and the results are interesting. I figured the alk/acid buffers wouldn't mess with GH so I could try to get a precise PH without compromising GH. I decided on using both alkaline and acid this time to try and get a target KH and PH, since they are supposed to work well together in getting a more precise solution. I might try experimenting with only alkaline buffer (or even baking soda as I've been suggested) in a bucket of RO and see if I can pinpoint what I need without adding acid.


Testing before:

PH: 6 or below



TDS: 204


The app told me to dose 1tsp alkaline and .5tsp acid for 12gallons to get 7ph and 2KH from my current KH parameters. I probably should have said 10g of water, but oh well. SCIENCE!!?!?!?


Testing 1hr after dose:

PH: 7~ (dim light so I will recheck tomorrow)

KH:4 (off my target by 2)

GH:9 (makes sense this wouldn't change)

TDS: 297 (increased by 93)


The TDS jumped almost 100, which is quite significant. KH is a little off my target, but for Neos shouldn't matter too much. If PH is at 7 then that was a bullseye. I just dumped the buffers directly into the tank so I will test it again tomorrow after the buffers have had all night to mix and see if any parameter has dropped.


Also an update on my TB tank :D


I did some experimenting with RODI and SSGH+. I eventually got a GH of 3 in the bucket after some dumping and refilling of RODI and I plan on doing this again of course to hopefully only have to dose and not dump/refill. 


The bucket was testing a TDS of 53~ and GH of 3 and my tank was about TDS 140 and GH of 6, not bad but not great for TBs. After the change my tank now reads at a TDS of 117 and a GH of 5. BETTER, but not quite there. I am aiming for a GH of 4, but I am definitely going to do this over the course of the next couple weeks to a month. I will probably aim mainly for a GH of 4 in the bucket. 


One awesome thing that I am super excited about is I noticed that one of my Tangerine Tigers in my TB tank is BERRIED! OMG I AM SO EXCITED! It has been like 6 months since I've had a berried shrimp!!! I hope she actually gives birth and the babies survive of course, but just having a shrimp berried means I am doing something right again :)


I will update this more following my parameters with water changes and how my Neo tank experiment is coming. I am definitely feeling a lot better about my tanks :) I am so grateful for this community!

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Tank looks fantastic! Congratulations on your berried Tigers! Seems like things are moving in the right direction once again for you.

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Got a couple decent shots of my other tank with my phone.

This is my 22g long TB tank.


Close up on the huge piece of spider wood


It has:

- Low grade BBs

- Black panda

- Possible blue pandas (that aren't very blue hehe)

- A couple large mischlings that have survived with me since I started my TB/mischlings project last year. Might be offspring of my originals.

- Tangerine Tigers

- The remainder of my snowball experiment that didn't go to well.

I liked the finnex stingray so much on my 12g I bought another for my 22g lol. This is what it looked like before (right after I started the tank, didn't have any more recents.


Also a couple pics of the pregnant tangerine. Phone shots so I apologize. Got too excited and that's all I had for photos haha.




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That is a massive piece of driftwood! What is your PH now, have you noticed the driftwood making any impact?

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That is a massive piece of driftwood! What is your PH now, have you noticed the driftwood making any impact?

That tank seems be be around 6 or below according to an api test. It has brightwell substrate and a small amount of ada underneath in a section. The driftwood might make an impact but I had soaked it for 2 months before setting it into the tank when I was waiting for the tank to be available.


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So some weird stuff is going on with my 12g long Neo tank. I've been adding buffers to see what happens.


Just so I don't sound like I'm torturing shrimp I still don't have any Neos in there yet because of my PH situation, so I've just been dosing stuff and seeing what happens.


So after I got my tank to

KH - 4 

PH - 7.2

TDS - 300 (jumped 100 after adding seachem alk/acid


I actually realized I was doing my conversions wrong and I need to add less. I was going for a PH of 7 and KH of 2. So the fun part comes in. 


After three days my tank tested:

KH - 0

PH - 6.4

TDS - 300


Something is in my tank that is dropping my KH/PH and I have no idea what. The only things I put in there that could do that would be some bog log, but I wouldn't think it would affect PH/KH that much with buffers added into it... I feel like there has to be some brightwell/ADA residue left in my filters/rocks/wood that I used from my previous tank. 


I dosed only alkaline buffer yesterday to try and remedy my situation. I dosed .4tspn to try to get a KH of 2 and a PH of 7 (according to the app). After an hour my tank read KH of 4 and a PH of about 7~ (I was half asleep so hard to tell).


I will give it a couple more days and see if it lowers again. I am putting off water changes for now until I can get my parameters stable. I am dosing BacterAE twice a week in the tank since I have nothing in there to produce waste or keep my bacteria alive. 


Also I think I am going to go with Carbon Rili shrimp and try to selectively breed a trait that I like. Maybe eyes or stripes. Haven't 100% decided, but I have a strong leaning right now. I have had them before and they didn't work out well in my acidic tank and I would love to try them again!

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Some days I love the challenge, but some days wouldn't it be nice if breeding shrimp consisted of dimming their lights, turning on some Barry White, and giving them privacy?

All you'd need is a darkened breeder box with hanging beads for an entrance, a lava lamp and a water bed. It'd be like 7th heaven. Instant clutch.

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