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A number of years ago I had Cherry shrimp.  My tank was just a 10 gallon with gravel and a piece of driftwood.  I did very little for those guys expect toss some standard flake food everyday and a water change once every few weeks.  Those things reproduced like you couldn't believe.


Now I'm looking to get back into shrimp but plan on getting some of the much higher end ones compared to regular Cherries.  I'm kind of scared off by intensity of some of the experts tanks.  Special soil, special plants / moss, special foods, lighting.  It all seems excessive.  But if I do shrimp I'm going to do it right.  I'm looking to setup separate tanks for Bloody Mary, Yellow, Blue Dream, and Jades.


So here are my newb questions:


Substrate - Is it really necessary to use a soil for the types of shrimp I mentioned above?  If so why?  Can I use standard gravel?  (I just want it explained to me)


Plants - I kill plants.  I can breed many types of fish from guppies to stingrays, but I kill plants.  Are they required for a successful shrimp tank?  Which plants are easiest and best kept with shrimp?


Food - recommendations and why please


Lighting - Okay if plants are required I'm going to have to do something different for lighting then compared to the rest of my fishroom.  And if plants are required than I know what I need to do.  But if I don't have to have plants what are the lighting requirements for shrimp?  Right now my fishroom lights are on timers and minimal unless I'm in the room and turn on lights for the individual tanks.


Newb things - what newb things should I be on the look out for?


Thanks in advance for your help.


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Hey Jeff, glad to see you are back in the hobby.


For Neocaridina shrimp such as the ones you listed above you would be perfectly fine with gravel or sand. People purchase "special" or active substrates simply to buffer the water parameters to a more softer PH.


Plants in general are not a must, but I certainly think moss is. Moss is hardy, a breeding ground for micro-organisms, and a nice hiding place for shrimplets.


Food wise, there are a ton out there. Really it comes down to what you find most beneficial in food, alot of hobbyists like all natural/organic foods, some others like minimal ingredients, or how the food breaks down in the water. 


Lighting, great thing about moss as I mentioned above is they are hardy, not requiring a ton of light which is a bonus. 


"Newb Things"- Take your time cycling your aquarium, be patient, and continue asking questions.


Hope this little bit helps out.


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Second what DET said, but I'm going to add a bit. If you've never had moss in a tank, you can literally let it float or just tie it to a rock or piece of driftwood or something. It is very easy.

As for food, I started with Shrimp King products because more breeders in the Breeders & Keepers magazine used that than anything and I needed a starting place. I decided I preferred powdered food (their baby food) because it would spread in the tank allowing more to feed with less fights instead of one chunk that is supposed to feed 20 shrimp. I ended up grinding all of the foods in a blender and feed them powdered now ( first mixed in a bit of tank water so it sinks easily). So basically, start with something and you'll adjust to your preferences as you go.

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For neos no fancy substrate is needed. Its just recommend to get something to compliment the color of your shrimp. Get some moss, java/flame/xmas in my experience is death proof. Tie some to lava rock or cholla wood and it'll be fine. Shrimp will eat a bunch of blanched vegetables and algae wafers. I personally feed my shrimp csf omni pro cause it doesn't cloud the water and snowflake food cause you don't have to take it out if they don't eat it all. I've been using some cfl lights but I'm slowly replacing them with cheap ebay led fixtures. They just look cleaner. Always drip acclimate your shrimp, consider HMF style filter, and most of all be patient. Some people get shrimp berried out of the bag some others takes a few months before they see any berries.

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