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Considering dropping shrimp for discus.

Crackhead Johny

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My 55 had 25 bloody marys in it.

I know I have seen at least 10 dead (snails eat them withing 6-8 hours) the most I have seen these days is 3 at once, 2/3 are very small an look to be babies.

The 7 gal Fluval whatever is running ~90 degrees with a spray bar so I can't shrimp in that. Irritating after aging it in.

The fluval heater in the 15gal bed room tank blew out ~2 months after we got it, and now heats the tank to 85 no matter what the setting (test flag fish think this is A-OK).


Maybe I'm just having a frustrating run lately.


I look at my wife's discus and think of how I could put them in my shrimp 55.. still planning on building the shrimp bar (acrylic) in my basement to replace the current bar.


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Hang in there Johny I too have been having issues with shrimp dying.  Thank goodness we have the collective knowledge of everyone here willing to give that the info. we need gratis.  I'm going to have to start over with a dedicated tank to shrimp as I have had mine in with CPO's or Demi's.  I figured a mature tank with good parameters would be fine.  I was wrong.


I needed a TDS meter as everything else was good.  Now I plan on setting up a dedicated 20g for shrimp only.  RO water with reminerilizer as well.  It will have to be after the growing season and all crops are in as these invert's need extra attention.  Then I will get some good stock from those doing it right on this forum.  And Thank You to everyone here who has helped me already.


Still have my Cray's and Guppy's to watch and unwind at the end of the day.  (and a beer)

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  • 1 month later...

Discus are beautiful... but don't give up on Shrimp. Alot of times the imported shrimp die off, perhaps that is your issue. When I first started in the hobby that is what happened to me, I thought it was something I was doing - BUT it wasn't my fault at all. Why not try some homebred shrimp... 


Ofcourse if you have homebred shrimp already-  it could be something radically wrong with your params but if you have the expertise to keep discus happy then your more then capable to keep neocaridina shrimp. 


Don't give up just yet! :)



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  • 4 weeks later...

Keeping discus happy.

1. never do water changes. Well OK we did a ~15% one like 6 months ago.

2. feed them. Mostly tetra color and occasionally earthworms.

3. Over crowd them while you set up a 2nd tank.


The discus are now breeding (they seem a little small for that). Unfortunately it is a red melon to a red turquoise and not melon/melon or turquoise/turquoise. I was hoping is was 2 females but nope, there were live babies wiggling there on the wall after a while. 

Today I seen no babies but with 13 discus in a 60 this is not a shock. The male (?) who has turned amazing colors and convinced all the other red turquoise to be come pale may be quite aggressive but you know those babies will end up as food.


Wife has built most of the new space for the 55 into the wall of the bar and is doing the trim work. Once the 55 is broken in we will separate the orange from the red turquoise and hope they pair off again.


More and more shrimp are showing up in the 55 shrimp tank. Wife says 2 are currently berried so that means more on the way..

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Would have have to disagree if on water changes. If and only if you want Discus the size of paper plates and yes I do have them. You absolutely have to care for them dearly. I'm talking food a few times a day, not just fish food. Something high quality and usually have to make it yourself.

2: Buy a group of 8-10 they function better that way. Bare bottom Tank for a year+ as you grow them out.

3: Water change, water change, water change. I did 100% a day for Juvies.

Keeping and growing out high quality discus is not easy nor should it be something to jump right into. Sure you can't keep common Asian discus that might get a decent size but nothing spectacular. They can and will also get infections, flukes, discus plague, etc. I kept around 300 discus at one time, wasn't fun after awhile. Definitely isn't profitable to pay for itself either. That's why they are expensive to get anyways.

Shrimp are easy! Not saying you shouldn't but do your homework! Round fish are king of the aquarium and still my favorite fish ever!

Taylor's Aquatics - Rare Plants & Inverts

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Oh snap just seen you have discus already lol. Then you probably know how much fun they are!

Taylor's Aquatics - Rare Plants & Inverts

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  • 2 months later...

I love the looks of Discus.  I come from a loooong history with very high end Fancy Goldfish.  Every time I think of converting one of my tanks to try Discus, I have to remind myself of all the work the Goldfish required.  It seems Discus are at least as demanding, if not more so demanding, then high end Goldfish.  Some of the things I like about shrimp, is that they are relatively easy to take care of and just plain old fun for small setups.  No 30% water changes twice a week, no feeding 4-5 times a day, no huge waste removal (Goldfish are very dirty and nasty).  I am always afraid of getting stuck in that heavy maintenance cycle with Discus.  I also enjoy all the plants and setups I can do with shrimp.  I will say for larger tanks, you would need a lot of shrimp to get the same enjoyment out of them, but multiple smaller tanks (28 at this time) are a blast.  One other fun thing I have been doing latley in my bigger tanks is large number of smaller schooling fish.  In my 60g cube, I have 70 fancy tail guppies (all male) with a ton of plants and I am rally enjoying that look as well

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I do not do water changes (maybe 1 per year?). I just run a HOB filter with prefilter sponge. White sand bottom. Feed and forget. some granular food and some live earth worms from our indoor compost bin.

Search craigslist for cheap discus young and try an experimental 55+ if this scares you. I missed out on a pail of 50-60 1+" discus young for 25$ total because I had no tank for them :(.


Lots of our hobby is voodoo.  Plenty of old wives' tales going around (I do 3 100% water changes every day and you have to also!!!!). So from time to time I test some of them (like the 60 gal full of male and female bettas or my shrimp just seem to like clean dry leaves, any work, there are no magical ones, last ones were avocado from dead avocado plant/tree).

I do not go in blind and the stuff I do will most likely work, also I like to have a parachute before trying something "crazy"(I'm not in it to torture pets).


As for the bloody marys I though were gone.. more show up every day... So apparently some just hid real well. If it keeps going at this rate I will have a mighty herd in 6mo-1 year.


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A name from when the internet was young and new. It was a combination of a horrible song by The Wedding Present called "Hippy Johnny" and the media sensationalization/hype/lies surrounding a drug called crack. I posted to The Dysfunctional Family Circus using that handle and a few others (the DFS has been defunct for a very long time but you can still google it.. NOT FROM WORK!!!).

Eventually I figured as the internet grew I should stick to one name so people could find me. So all the other handles went away. At decades of use it would be hard to give this one up.

On the plus side not much chance of running into someone else using the same name.


Besides if I chose the name like Shrimp God here it would be very difficult to be wrong about things, as well as silly as I know nothing about shrimp. With Crackhead Johnny it is real easy to be wrong about things and as I like messing with things, I'm often wrong.

Like the idea I could make an instant no age tank.. I had been using ecocomplete for long enough when I picked playground sand for that one I didn't wash it. Many ghost shrimp and a beautiful 3'+ amazon sword as well as a big java moss rock lost their lives that day.

If I was going to do it again I'd fully wash the sand and then squeeze all my prefilters into the sand before filling the tank. So that was a failure.

On the other hand the "leaves are not magic" test I did showed my shrimp do not seem to car about leaves as long as there are clean dry ones. I went so far as to try avocado which I've never seen anyone even mention.

Mass Betta tank worked fine showing you can have many males in the tank with no mortality if you know the trick. Sadly some betta disease cleared all but one betta out of that recently. Found one survivor days later with a was of slime on it as big as it was. that fish is now fine. Plecos were fine. ottos were fine. ghost shrimp may have brought in the disease but were fine.

"Just add water" shrimp bowl works fine. No feeding, no cleaning, just keep the water level up and ghost shrimp are fine until they die of old age. The ghosts will decide the proper number.. in the way ghosts do. Currently the bowl has 2. I will move to culls when I have tehm as teh color will be nicer.

I was working on making new shrimp but the 500$ upfront made me think about that a bit. Now that my neos are breeding happily as well as my discus I may have to consider spending the money and bringing the geneticist over. coax the eggs off the female on the first day she is berried, reprog the genes, then put them in a incubator. easy peazy.


If I make a mistake and it fails I can always say "Well that was a Crackheaded thing to do.".

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