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Currently own two 60 gallon freshwater tanks and a nano saltwater reef, now want to try a nano/micro shrimp tank! I got a 3 gallon cube and sponge filter with an LED light etc. Everything except shrimp, plants and substrate. So I have a few questions.


I want a planted tank with some amazon sword or hair grass with plenty of java moss and maybe an anubias attached to a small log in the center. But what substrate is best for Neocardina shrimp? I want to keep blue velvets or blue dreams and know I would need darker substrate for better color on the shrimp. But whats best for the plants? Will all active substrates used for "growing aquarium plants" change the water chemistry or are there brands that don't? Should I just go with black sand? I bought some root tabs for the substrate when it comes time for planting. Im using RO water and plan on just remineralizing it to the correct levels for the shrimp.


That leads to my next question. Are there any good liquid mineral supplements you guys use for Neocardina? I feel that liquid supplements would be much easier to get the water to the correct levels for water changes and such. I watched a video Flip Aquatics did and mentioned using Fluval shrimp mineral supplement but looks like you cant get that anymore, and from what I've research Neocardina will do fine in water with KH levels at 0? So if I used RO water and remineralized the GH to the correct level would the water be good to start cycling and good for shrimp?


Really interested in shrimp and would love to make a micro ecosystem they can thrive and breed in! would love to hear your guys feed back on anything to help give me more knowledge on the hobby, thanks! 🦐


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello! I’m really surprised no one has replied to you. Welcome to shrimping! 


For your first question: what substrate is best for shrimp? Mostly anything! There is one snag I ran into with PH-buffering substrate that some have that didn’t mix well with my remineralizer powder. (Remineralizer raised PH; substrate did its thing and buffered it down) which caused a PH swing everytime I changed the water which stressed them out and I experienced a lot of deaths which left me puzzled. (This community helped me with that answer) So just be careful about “active buffering” substrate vs remineralizer powder and you’re fine. I’ve been told that blue shrimp are brighter on dark substrate as well, but my blue velvet colony would beg to differ. I keep them in a white sand bottom tank and they’re the truest of blues I’ve ever seen! (I will attach a pic)


I’m not sure about liquid mineralizer; at least I’ve never come across that. I use Salty Shrimp KH/GH+ for Neocaridina which is about $30 USD a bottle and lasts a very long time and I find it to work perfect! I still add a drop or two of Seachem Prime just in case after mixing the RODI water. I drop an air stone in there and it’s shrimp-ready pretty quick. 


Ive dove headfirst into the hobby and love it! I only have neo’s for now but 6 tanks is plenty for me. Lol If you have any other questions, ask away! Others should chime in as well. It’s all a learning experience. YouTube helped me a lot. There are many great shrimp keeping channels out there.


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