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Newcomer needs HELP please.


Sandy

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Hi folks! I'm new to the forum and I'm hoping for info and advice to keep me from losing so many shrimp.  My love of dwarf shrimp began in May 2016 when my daughter made me an aquarium garden and added a few shrimp for fun.  In no time, the shrimp became my focus and the plants were just window dressing. After getting bad info and bad results for months from my pet shop I decided to do my own research online.  I've made some positive changes but have still lost more shrimp thàn seems normal.  What troubles me most is that so many of my losses are younger shrimp.  "Teenagers," my daughter calls them. I refuse to buy any more until I solve the mystery.  It just breaks my heart.

 

SPECS - I have a 30 gal planted tank. Mostly Neocards.  My pH stays at 7-7.25.  Water heater set at 72.  I have hard water, but no gH or kH reading.   I've cut back ferts to almost nothing, just in case. I don't think I have parasites.  I have a sponge filter. They mostly eat plant matter and algae.  I add pellets a few times a week, but that seems to interest the pond snails more than the shrimp.  I do see a few babies occasionally and lots of evidence of molting.

 

Any ideas?  I'm still learning and researching.  M.S. slows me down a little.  I'd appreciate any feedback or ideas anyone might have.

 

Thanks!

 

Sandy in Kentucky

 

 

 

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Welcome to the forum!

As I'm sure you're figuring out, shrimp can be finicky!
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell what's going on with your tank without more information.

It's a bit of an investment but I really recommend a combined test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrites,  and nitrates. Additionally, it's really helpful to get gH and kH test kits, in addition to a TDS meter.
Without information from those kits, it's basically impossible to tell what's going on in your tank.
Could be ammonia spikes from overfeeding, high nitrates from insufficient water changes and not enough plants, could be super hard water causing molting issues, could be an improperly cycled tank... you get the idea.

You said "mostly" neos? Does that mean you also have caridinas in there? They're typically much more fragile and --while some breeders keep them together with carefully monitored parameters-- most shrimp tanks are better off focusing on one or the other given their different preferred parameters.

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I totally agree with aotf about getting test kit for ph, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

You should start with that first if you are financially not able to spend any more for a gh and Kh test, imo. Because I am having great success without gh and kh test kits. BUT... for the best possible solution to find out the problem, getting both is the best thing to do!!!! :D

 

Then, watch how much you feed. Check out what you are feeding because some types of food are not good for shrimps. Foods with too much protein can kill shrimps. Copper is dangerous. 

Do you have any fishes picking on them?

The best thing was to at least search for other places to seek answers and advice! (glad you did that). Hopefully we can take a lot of factors out one by one and find out who the culprit is.

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8 hours ago, aotf said:

Hi aotf,

Thanks for the input!

It's a bit of an investment but I really recommend a combined test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrites,  and nitrates. Additionally, it's really helpful to get gH and kH test kits, in addition to a TDS meter.

 

These tests are definitely on my list.  Never heard of a TDS meter but I'll check it out.


Without information from those kits, it's basically impossible to tell what's going on in your tank.
Could be ammonia spikes from overfeeding, high nitrates from insufficient water changes and not enough plants, could be super hard water causing molting issues, could be an improperly cycled tank... you get the idea.

 

Got it.  Wow. I still have so much to learn! 

You said "mostly" neos? Does that mean you also have caridinas in there? They're typically much more fragile and --while some breeders keep them together with carefully monitored parameters-- most shrimp tanks are better off focusing on one or the other given their preferred parameters.

 

I feel certain I have a mix.  The pet shop says they only order Neos but I'm skeptical.  I think I am more shrimp savvy than they are at this point.The last batch my daughter brought me included two beautiful little blue rills.  Not sure of genus for rill but they died within 4-6 weeks.  Even the cherries from that last group had quite a few die young.  On the flip side, I have an amano female who has been thriving for over a year in my freshwater tank.  I also have a few nerites and way way too many pond snails. I think I may start a much smaller tank for neos only when I can afford it.  Play it safe until I'm more knowledgeable.  Meanwhile, I'll just do my best for these poor babies in my current tank who came along before I knew better.

 

Thanks again!

Sandy

 

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A TDS meter uses the solution's (i.e your tank water's) electrical conductivity to tell you how much Total Dissolved Solids you have in the tank. Shrimp can be sensitive to the amount of stuff in their water, even if everything else looks good. Add a TDS meter to your arsenal if you can but as bob pointed out, it's not as urgent as some other kits. Many are able to raise shrimp without one so I'd hold off for a bit.

Rilis and cherries are both neos. Amanos are caridina multidentata, which is different from what the community means when they say "cards" or "caridina" (usually that means "caridina cantonensis" but also sometimes encompasses "caridina serrata" and "caridina mariae", the three of which can interbreed). Amanos are going to get larger and are typically hardier, but will never breed in your tank as they require brackish water. Neos will happily breed once the conditions are right. Sorry if this is confusing, there are a lot of shrimp!

A quick primer:

- Caridina multidentata: amanos are hardier, bigger, and more... "rustic" looking. They will not breed.

- Neocaridina heteropoda/davidii: neos are smaller, more fragile than amanos, and come in a wide variety of color variations. Their patterning is relatively simple (rili or full body). They will breed.

- Caridina cantonensis/serrata/mariae: cards are visually similar to neos but come in even more color variations with complex and amazing patterning. Cantonensis/serrata/mariae are actually quite different and prefer different parameters but they will all interbreed (in part explaining color/patterning diversity). These are harder to keep than neos and amanos and will breed but rearing them takes a skilled hand (...and deep pockets). Understanding the terminology surrounding cards takes a while, I'll spare you here.

Also, it's worth pointing out that --because your shrimp come from a LFS-- they are very likely imported from overseas. As such, they've been shipped halfway across the world, kept in sub-par conditions at the LFS, transferred again, and are now trying to acclimate to new conditions. This is often too much for most shrimp. Even if you had "perfect" conditions, you might just see them slowly die off week after week. It's frustrating and sad but it happens. They were also probably purchased as adults, which is when they are least able to acclimate to new conditions.

 

I would suggest doing the best you can for these guys, learn as much as you can about keeping them happy, and --in the event that they don't make it-- buy american-bred shrimp from a hobbyist here, on TPT, or Aquabid. They tend to be much more resilient, the prices will probably be better, and you'll be breeding them in no time.

Best of luck!

 

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Hi Bob,

I really appreciate the support!  The feeding issues you mentioned do concern me.  Can you recommend any particular foods/brands?  At this point, the biggest population in my tank is pond snails. I feel like I'm feeding them and maybe an occasional shrimp who wanders in.  I need to feed less, feed right, and find a new home for my pond snail population.

 

aotf, thanks for all the guidance and encouragement.  You've been so generous. After trying two other sites, I think I'm in the right place!

 

Thank you both so much!! 😁 👏 💙

Sandy

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Hello!

 

What works well for you to not worry about polluting your water would be almond leaves! They release tannins and can make your tank water a bit brown, but it has beneficial factors to it. It supposedly helps with being antifungal, lowers ph, and other stuff. However, if you dont want it to do that, you can soak them in a small cup for a day and let it release the tannins in the cup, and then put it in ur tank. It will float for a day or two and sink to the bottom. After a week or two, the shrimp will eat it up! You can leave it in the tank as long as u want until its gone, well that is what I did. You can feed them peas, blanched spinach, kale, a slice of zuchini, I recently did sweet potatoes, and they really like to graze on moss! 

 

A lot of other people talked about feeding them dandelion leaves, cucumbers, carrots, slice of bananas, and there should be more! 

If you are looking for a product sold for feeding them at your convenience in a little package, then there are so many brands such as Glasgarten, benibachi, borneo wild, and JBL. 

Often times I worry about whether my shrimps have enough to eat, but they do completely fine without food for a week if you have enough biofilm! So, even half a pea is enough for 20 shrimps. I have 50 and they devour about 1 and a half with no problem. 

 

If you happen to purchase a powder type of food, I would suggest getting a turkey baster and a feeding dish! It helps keep things clean and be careful with the powdery types because a lot of people have nitrate spikes from that. :) 

 

I hope I didnt break any rules for suggesting a few brand names xD or something

 GLLL

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Great idea, chappy, thanks.  Problem is I'm a big wuss who can't bear to just let the little guys die. 😱 LOL I have nowhere to put them.  I need to find a local pond or lake, I guess.  When I do, though, I'll definitely try the lettuce trick!

 

Thanks again!

 

Sandy

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6 hours ago, bobthesushiguy said:

 

. You can feed them peas, blanched spinach, kale, a slice of zuchini, I recently did sweet potatoes, and they really like to graze on moss! 

 

Great!  We always have some kind of fresh organic veggies around here. Should I blanch other greens or veg other than spinach?

 

A lot of other people talked about feeding them dandelion leaves, cucumbers, carrots, slice of bananas, and there should be more!  Often times I worry about whether my shrimps have enough to eat, but they do completely fine without food for a week if you have enough biofilm!

 

OK, I've read a little about biofilm.  I have no idea what it is, but I'll do more research.

 

So, even half a pea is enough for 20 shrimps. I have 50 and they devour about 1 and a half with no problem. 

 

Is it true you should only feed what your shrimp can eat in an hour or two?  That wouldn't apply to the almond leaves, for example.  And my shrimp don't all rush to eat at the same time.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sandy said:

 

Ah, yes you should only feed that much particularly because any food thats left in the tank after 2 hours will begin to create ammonia/nitrates/nitrites. Yea, some of them wont go after it, but they can definitely smell the food in the water, which may mean that they aren't hungry and have enough biofilm :). 

Almond leaves are left for a even a month in my tank! the reason why dried leaves can be left is because it doesnt create any problems!

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On 10/31/2017 at 6:12 PM, aotf said:

 

Thanks Bob, makes sense. I wonder if the same principle applies to spinach leaves? Could you dry spinach leaves like almond leaves? Just curious. Great advice. 

 

 

Thanks again

Sandy

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I am not sure about that one, the dried almond leaves are completely brown and release tannins. The spinach, if it somehow naturally became dried on the plant, then maybe? I just have never seen a naturally dried spinach like almond leaves, oak leaves, or maple leaves. O.O If it works, that wud be awesome. If the principle remains the same, it seems most logical that it can be applied. However, get your veggies that are pesticide free. The veggies I buy are usually okay and even frozen peas. It says "triple washed and ready to eat" for my veggies on the box. I wish you luck! 

 

Also, to prepare any fresh green veggies or any other fresh veggie, you can blanch it in hot water for 30 seconds. Or, you can freeze it up and toss a piece into the tank. The blanch or freezing method will just depend on which your shrimps like xD

 

 

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I'm sure the tannins would be the biggest benefit of the almond leaves that you'd lose w the spinach, but there are lots of of other good things in there.  I may try drying some leaves in a low oven.  What I don't know is if nitrates & nitrites would become an issue w a whole leaf.  😕 So I'll ignore my curiousity, and let you do the same. 😊 I'd better stick to the basics for now and feed sparingly. 

 

Thanks, Bob!

 

Sandy

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if you plan on using a whole leaf, I have put my spinach in for about 3 days and didnt have too much of a problem. Using peas were a problem because a lot of it got mushy and particles flew everywhere. (the peas caused spikes in nitrates and ammonia) (and I overfed ...)

 

But after when u see ur veggies being a little rotten and uneaten, you should jus take it out~ but 1~3 days is fine!

 

Good luck :D no problem!

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OK, great!  I'll try it!  I have some baby green peppers in my garden that probably won't mature before the first frost. I may freeze them for my shrimpies!  😁 Do you know of any veggies to avoid?

 

Thanks!

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I think all green veggies are fine, but its best to not feed tooo much of one thing!

I heard of too much spinach possibly being not as beneficial due to oxalate from spinach and how it lowers calcium absorption. However, I fed my shrimps spinach for a good month and did not have any issues. If you feed too much sweet potato, you can have an issue with it (forgot why). its nothing dangerous, if you don't feed them only one source of food for a long time. xD I would just avoid the common questionable stuff like mint leaves, cilantro, and onions, just to be on the safe side xD

 

If you happen to have some free time, looking around forums will be a great way to know whats safe to feed shrimps :) my knowledge is still 2 limited~!

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1 hour ago, TheGlassBox said:

 

 

Please think twice about that.  You don't want to do it.  Keep in mind that these shrimp aren't native to your area at all.  They're from Asia...  Releasing them into your environment can threaten the native species already there.  That's not a good thing!  They could out compete the native fish and invertebrates in you're area and kill them off eventually.  I know you don't want to kill you're 'babies', because you're attached to them.  I get that...  :D    But think about all the damage you could do if you don't find another solution.  You could wind up killing the innocent babies of those animals who've fought mightily for a place in the world already...  And possible even wipe them out...   Maybe you could donate them to a pet shop nearby?

 

 

 

While I totally agree with you on the issue of disposal of unwanted live animals, it might be worth pointing out that Sandy is referring to pest snails in this post. I only mention this because it is relevant to the method of disposal, although I still agree that they should not be dumped into local streams or ponds for the reasons mentioned above (it might be worth checking whether they are already present in the area).

Perhaps an assassin snail or two could be in order? Or a tank with a puffer (not with shrimp....)? Or maybe get a little bit of butter, garlic, and some fresh herbs of your choice and have a little snack?

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Sorry,  I read it wrong.  I tried to delete the post.

 

:(

 

It's a soft spot.  The pond behind my house is overridden with apple snails and goldfish.  The native mussels are gone, and other fish are being pushed out because of these snails that are bigger than walnuts, and the goldfish.  The trout are gone.

 

Wish we could make escargot out of them!

 

:D

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24 minutes ago, TheGlassBox said:

Sorry,  I read it wrong.  I tried to delete the post.

 

:(

 

It's a soft spot.  The pond behind my house is overridden with apple snails and goldfish.  The native mussels are gone, and other fish are being pushed out because of these snails that are bigger than walnuts, and the goldfish.  The trout are gone.

 

Wish we could make escargot out of them!

 

:D

 

Didn't mean to cause you to delete it, I actually think it's a valid point to make.

Shame to hear about the pond, I also hate seeing goldfish out in the "wild".

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On 10/31/2017 at 3:12 PM, aotf said:

Welcome to the forum!

As I'm sure you're figuring out, shrimp can be finicky!
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell what's going on with your tank without more information.

It's a bit of an investment but I really recommend a combined test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrites,  and nitrates. Additionally, it's really helpful to get gH and kH test kits, in addition to a TDS meter.
Without information from those kits, it's basically impossible to tell what's going on in your tank.
Could be ammonia spikes from overfeeding, high nitrates from insufficient water changes and not enough plants, could be super hard water causing molting issues, could be an improperly cycled tank... you get the idea.

You said "mostly" neos? Does that mean you also have caridinas in there? They're typically much more fragile and --while some breeders keep them together with carefully monitored parameters-- most shrimp tanks are better off focusing on one or the other given their different preferred parameters.

She told you the PH and no Kh or GH but Gh does matter (calcium. Iodine, etc.) She also said she only feeds 3 time a week like me... Pics would be nice for I.D. 

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On 11/6/2017 at 3:18 PM, aotf said:

 

Didn't mean to cause you to delete it, I actually think it's a valid point to make.

Shame to hear about the pond, I also hate seeing goldfish out in the "wild".

I'll take some Apple snails!! I'm in Washington state

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