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Little Shrimp Rack


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Hey shrimp spot!  I'm a total newbie only about 1 month into shrimp keeping so I figured now is as good a time as ever to start a journal. 


I had a 20 gallon Long tank running for about 6 years with cherry barbs.   After they all died off I decided to try my hand at caridina shrimp because I already had an ro unit installed in my home and a bag of tropica soil I had bought in the past.  So I figured hey why not?  On Aug 25 I swapped out the substrate and put the Tropica Aquarium Soil in. It took a little under a month to stop leeching ammonia.  On Sept 22 my tanks was ready.  I originally planned for crystal red shrimp but he was sold out so I bought 13 taiwan bees from SKA Shrimp on the 22nd of Sept. They were great for the first couple weeks.  No deaths.  I couldn't believe it!  It seemed too good to be true. This past week though a few have died but with the help from members of this community I think I may now know the cause and am in the midst of correcting it (gh possibly too low and nitrates possibly too high).   I was using test strips which were not very accurate so I have ordered some liquid test kits.


Anyways, I've got the shrimp fever big time.   Over the past month I snagged a shelving unit to use as an aquarium rack, two more 20 longs and a bag of amazonia light and a bag of stratum and I'm constantly scheming in my head how I can get my wife to be cool with more lol.  The amazonia light is cycling in my basement and I am contemplating to use the stratum or not in the remaining tank.    It currently has sand and I see folks here are not too fond of the stratum.


That is all for now.  I'll share some pictures shortly.  Thank you for looking.


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Congrats on your new found love for these amazing little creatures. Looks like a nice little home you have set up for them and are on the right track. I would advise you save the Fluval Stratum for tiger shrimps or neos once it exhausts it buffering capabilities. I am one of those that had to find out the hard way when trying to breed caridinas in that substrate. I never could get babies to survive past 3 weeks for some odd reason despite ideal parameters. The substrate had no problem maintaining a steady 5.8 pH with my remineralized RO water and the tanks were not only cycled but matured. Nitrates were under control even though babies were fed powder foods and Bacter AE. I had two tanks setup with this substrate, one with BKK/RKK and the other was housing galaxy pintos. Neither tank would produce babies that ever made it to adulthood.


A fellow hobbyists did a comparison of fluval stratum, ADA Amazonia and SL-Aqua one of the FB groups I'm in (some of you may have even seen it). He dedicated a total of 6 tanks for the experiment where one tank would get the substrate spread on the floor and the other one housed stockings full of the substrate (same volume in each tank). He did this for each of the following brands I mentioned. Results were similar to what I experienced... babies would die off around the 2-3 week mark in Fluval Stratum and the other tanks with ADA/SL-Aqua produced as expected and colonies grew. Now I'm not so sure how much of this experiment was "controlled" but it was enough to make me think about it, especially aftert having felt like a failure at getting caridinas to breed. I had read about other people having trouble getting CRS to breed in this substrate too while I was raising mine. I saw them happily grazing and getting berried, so I just assumed they had something else going on with their parameters. Nope. Just a poor substrate for caridina shrimp which I confirmed after tank #2 showed the same results. RIP little babies. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi madcrafted. Thanks for the response and info on the stratum.    I'm considering putting it in a large rubbermaid tote and doing frequent water changes with my tapwater to try and exhaust it.  Will this work or is it more of a time based thing?




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I'm glad to say that I haven't had any more deaths.  My gh was definitely too low and has now been corrected and confirmed with the arrival of my test kit. I'm now at 148 ppm and 5gh with the nutrafin test kit.  Nitrates may have also been too high and should have been corrected through a series of small water changes. Would it be a bad regimen to continue doing 2 liter water change every day in a 20 long?  That's what I been doing.


One of my mamas has also given birth and I've seen up to 10 baby shrimps out and about at once so I'm hoping there were even more that are hidden.







I swapped out the sand in a cycling tank for black flourite which I'd like to put orange pumpkin neos in. It doesn't seem to affect water parameters yet but I need to do further testing.  My tap water seems ok for neos.   7.2ph and 5-10 gh and kh.  ~180 ppm off the top of my head.   Since I have RO already is it always recommended to remineralize it myself or should I just go with tap?






Also I'm not sure what I want to do with these 5.5 gallon tanks.  I'm thinking I should save them for cull tanks for if/when I can ever get some decent colonies going.






Thanks for watching.


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Lots of updates in the past week. Baby shrimps seem to be doing good.  I've spotted 1 black shrimp.   I didn't know this was possible to have black and red in the same clutch?  Or else it's a very dark red and my eyes are playing tricks.   Possibly a mischling? Can anyone explain how the genetics work or link me to a read about that?


bad news is,  I lost 2 more shrimp this week and I'm down to 4 adults. It's very discouraging.  One looked like it was having trouble molting.  I watched it die over the course of about a half hour.  It was trying to flex it's shell at the top middle of the back where it usually splits.   Then she laid on the substrate and did a twitchy jump every few minutes looking like it was trying to hulk out of it's shell.  I'm still a total noob though so I don't really know.  Does this sound like molting problem?


Also I spotted a few planaria  and woke up to a dead shrimp yesterday.  Could the planaria be the cause of the deaths? I ordered Planaria Zero medication but it could take up to a month to arrive.  Other than that I'm not really sure what's happening because my GH is now ideal.


Thanks for reading.

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  • 3 months later...

Again lots of updates.  It's been a while since I posted.  My caridina shrimps stopped dying.  woohoo!  2 of my original shrimps are still alive and the only baby that has survived to adulthood is now berried. *fingers crossed*  Lets hope this can re-establish a colony. 


I also set up some proper shelves in my basement, transferred the 20 longs to the shelves and swapped out the amazonia light for more flourite black because I don't have the confidence to set up another caridina tank just yet.  I cycled the neo tank with malaysian trumpet snails and it seemed to work like a charm. Those things are bullet proof.   A couple weeks ago I bought 10 yellow neos from a lfs. They were infected with scutariella japonica which I didn't notice until I got home   so I quickly did some research and I been salt dipping them as I spot any and checking for molts several times a day.  I think I have eradicated it but I'll be keeping a close eye.  Also added 8 orange neos and 4 mini rabbit snails which will be separated at a later date(once the other 20 cycles).  I'm considering setting up of the spare empty tanks and heat it for the mini rabbits.  They are super cool!!! I've been really taking a liking to snails lately.  



Things are coming along slowly but surely.










I got a little portion of this cool floating moss from the lfs.   I never seen it before and have no clue the name.





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So after falling in love with these mini rabbit snails and reading up about them I think I want to turn that empty 10 gallon tank into a sulawesi tank.  I have a few varieties of sulawesi available to me through SKA shrimps. I don't know they seem easier than taiwan bees?


I see lots of folks use inert substrates but what about something like seachem onyx which is said to raise kh or a cichlid substrate which keeps pH high? are those overkill?  Will they alter gh and kh too much?


My neo tank is pH 7.6 up from 7.1 with flourite black substrate.  I know they claim it doesn't alter params but it certainly does.  I'll have to do some testing to determine whether it alters gh or kh.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I ended up rehomed the rabbits temporarily to their own heated tank.



and my taiwan bees had babies!   They are 9 days old now and I counted 19 this morning while the lights are off.  yay!

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Glad to say that the babies are 16 days old now and at least 20 have survived. Most I've counted was 22.    I've been feeding about a half a pinky nail size amount of dry powder food every 2nd day and I've been doing non stop drip water changes of about 5-10% per day(1-2 gallons) by dripping water from an airline hose.   It may be overkill but it's working a lot better than last round of babies which only 1 survived by this point.

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I went through a hell of a learning curve over the last year. Went from not knowing anything and learning as I went, taking advice and realizing that just because it works for someone else  doesn't mean it will work for me and my tanks. Now I have berried females all over the place, and babies growing to adult size and starting to reproduce another generation. I keep a journal of what works for me and what doesn't. 

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  • 1 month later...

Big update. I'm starting to get the hang of this shrimpin thang.  Things are going great!   All babies from the last taiwan bee batch survived and mama is ready to drop some more eggs in the next day or two.  I'm still doing non stop drip water changes, haven't missed a day.


The first neocaridina tank I set up with oranges and yellows is poppin with life.   I've got about 100 babies in there of various sizes/ages/colors, couple more berried shrimps, bunch of mts and different kinds of algae growing.    And in the past month or so I picked up some fire reds and blue carbon rilis to add to the collection.  Eventually I'll get them all separated into their own tanks.


The rack overall is coming together.  I just need 1 more 10 gallon tank and some lids and I'm ready to be shrimpin and pimpin with 6x 10's and 2x 20's.  I've got all other equipment that I need just have to get the lids and get them set up and cycling.





















I made up a little spreadsheet to keep track of my water parameters.  I was doing on a notepad before and the data was very unorganized lol.






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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I'm getting some golden bees out of my recent batch of taiwan bee babies.  About 4-5 of them have no red/white striping, just a uniform coloration over the whole body.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Most of my Blue Carbon Rilis have died on me, failing to molt but other than that everything is going fantastic. I know this because I seen one being eaten alive with the molt half stuck on it.  Luckily they had some babies and the babies are doing just great.  The few remaining BCR are also berried.    The Taiwan Bees are steady cranking out babies.   Just had another batch hatch a couple days ago which feels good.     And other than that all neo populations are exploding. 


Just yesterday I finished cutting my HMF's to size and cutting holes in them for the jetlifter.   I'm hoping to have those filled up with water and start cycling by the weekend.  And then I will get them all separated into their own tanks.  Oddballs and mixes and lowgrades will be separated and kept together in a cull tank or tub.











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If you feel like starting anymore Caridina tanks. I would suggest using GlasGarten Environmental soil. I have been using it for two years now and have had no Need to replace the Substrate yet. My Ph started out at 5.5~5.7. Now after two years it is sitting 6.2~6.5. I just replaced Amazon light soil a few months ago on my Show tank with the Environmental soil. Had now issues with placing shrimp back into Aquarium the same day. However, it could have been because of the Bacteria I had in my canister filter. I hope this Information finds you well.


Kind regards.

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