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Old 08-27-2013, 06:22 PM   #1
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Ghost shrimp

I know there have been many threads about berried ghost shrimp, but I didn't see the question or answer that I was looking for. I just got 6 ghost shrimp from my LFS, and noticed that 2 of them are berried. After reading all of the wonderful advice here, I am going to buy a small 2.5G tank tonight. My question is...many of the small tanks like this come in a kit with a under gravel filter. Since the shrimp get their food mostly from picking at the gravel, will an under gravel filter still work, or should I just make sure and buy a small sponge type filter instead? This is my first time having ghost shrimp, so don't know too much about them other than what I've read. I know the fry are hard to keep alive, but I feel that I must give it my all! Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #2
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I would skip the under gravel filter for sure. Get a sponge.. it will work better, provide a food source and not damage baby shrimp, if you are successful in getting babies.

You really need to let the tank cycle and mature before you get shrimp, or else they are unlikely to do very well. And the babies don't have a chance in a newly cycled tank, there just isn't enough biofilm or micro fauna in the water to sustain them.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:31 AM   #3
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Thanks! I appreciate the advice! My tank isn't newly cycled though...it's well established. Just restocked due to my 3 year old Koi dying and switched back over to tropicals. I did allow 3 weeks with no fish before restocking. The koi needed to be in a pond....

Anyway, I bought a 1.5G last night and used plant and decoration from established tank and water from my established tank to house the moms. I did skip the under gravel filter. However, one died before I even got her moved. I wish it wasn't so hard to keep these babies going!
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Do you mean the tank ran with the filter but no livestock at all ? If that is the case, that filter's bacteria would likely have died, and the filter may no longer be cycled. The bacteria need a constant supply of food, which is either fish waste or ammonia, to continue to live. They don't last very long at all without food.. a day or two maybe, but not three weeks.

If that's what happened, might want to double check and be sure the filter is actually cycled for the new fish. And unfortunately, tank water from established tanks does not contain biofilm or much of anything that shrimp eat. It's aged, is about all it is. It really won't do much, if anything, to help a filter become established. Used decor will have some biofilm on it, but not a whole lot, as would plants.

So the small tank with the shrimp, even though you put in used decor and tank water, won't have much of any biofilm until it has been running for months. Does it have a filter ? Sponge filters are small, and provide food resources when mature, which would take at least a few weeks running in an established tank.

Ghost shrimp are not really so terribly delicate. I'd even say they're pretty tough, but they are sold as feeders, rather than pets. Because of that they're rarely handled with much care while being shipped or held at stores, which is why some of them may die soon after you get them. But they also should be acclimated as for other shrimp, using drip acclimation is best and helps the most to prevent shock from different water conditions.

Most of those I get do survive and go on to have at least four or five clutches of eggs. They're in a 30G with other fish, snails and shrimp. Plenty of biofilm in there and I have a very large sponge prefilter on the filter intake, to stop anything being sucked up, which they can feed on. Nitrates around 20ppm, nitrites/ammonia zero. No heater, fans running most of the time to keep the temp down below 75.

I wish you luck with the shrimp but in a tank that's brand new, even if you had a cycled filter for it, they may not do very well. I hope you have good fortune. Keeping them as you might keep a Betta might possibly work, but I've never tried it. Don't think I would recommend it as a way to keep them for any length of time.

If you have some available, a piece of wood that's been in a tank for some time would provide biofilm, and you might also add some leaves, to provide natural food and perhaps help boost biofilm production.

You can use Indian Almond leaf, [ IAL], [ catappa tree leaf, an Asian tree], oak or beech leaves, even maple leaves, if they are gathered once they are brown & dry, from areas where no pesticides have been used. Sometimes you might find oak leaves still on the tree that are brown, those are great. Oaks hang onto their leaves much longer than most trees, some 'til the next spring.

You can boil them for an hour or so, or soak them for a day or two, if you have concerns about how clean they are. Then, place two or three leaves on the tank bottom and they'll soon produce bacterial colonies. They are not visible, and are entirely harmless but make very good eating for shrimp of most kinds.

When the leaves are merely skeletons, replace them.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:43 PM   #5
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Thanks again for your help. Just to clarify...the 1.5G is just for the babies to be born in. The other ghost shrimp are happily living among my other fish in my 29G. But it does sound from your reply that I will not have any luck, even trying like I did with using the tank water/decor that I added. The decor from my established tank that I added is wood, by the way.

The small (shrimp baby) tank does have a filter (sponge).

So, after what you've said, I'm now worried about my 29G. However, after having a very large Koi in the tank for years (that I know should never have been), there should have been enough fish poop in there to last forever, let alone 2 weeks for the bacteria. But aside from that, it sounds like I really shouldn't worry too much about these berried shrimp and instead just cycle the 1.5G for a couple of months before I try to have any shrimp babies live.?
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishfur View Post

I wish you luck with the shrimp but in a tank that's brand new, even if you had a cycled filter for it, they may not do very well. I hope you have good fortune. Keeping them as you might keep a Betta might possibly work, but I've never tried it. Don't think I would recommend it as a way to keep them for any length of time.
.
Again, I am not planning on keeping them in the small tank (like a Betta)....just read that the babies need to be kept separate until they can swim, then was planning on adding them back into my 29G tank. Everything else I've read recommended getting a 1-2.5G tank for them until babies are dropped.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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If you want to try shrimp you should try Red Cherry Shrimp. You can use the little tank for them they breed like crazy and they are cool...
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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I see now what you mean. You can try to raise the zoeys in the little tank. But they might need to be fed to succeed in living 'til they morph. I culture green water and fed my first broods about 100 cc, twice a day. You can buy discs of Japanese chlorella, which grows in either fresh or salt water, and culture that. It's not hard, you need bright light and an air stone, and fertilizer. You can split each mature culture to keep them going.

The zoeys usually morph within four to five days. Once they do, if at all possible, feed live microworms until they start moving around as the adults do, though they will likely spend most of their time at the bottom once they start swimming. At first they just hang below the surface in the light, sink down at night. All told, not more than two weeks before they are fending for themselves, and eating mainly biofilm, along with bits of food and off the sponge filter.

For the very best chance at raising them, I would wait with the new tank for at least a couple of months if you cannot provide greenwater and micro worms for them. The ones I had grow up in my 30 G did not have any of those things, but they did have a very mature tank, which provided what they needed. But many were eaten or did not make it for other reasons, in the 30G.

As for the former goldfish tank, I'd be testing that water to ensure you don't have an ammonia spike. No matter how much the koi pooped, the ammonia would have been used up pretty quickly by the filter. Once deprived of the koi's contributions, the filter bacteria will starve. They must have an almost continuous supply of ammonia,and fish waste is nearly all ammonia.

Hope there are no problems, clearly you are trying hard to do the right things, so I hope it all works out.
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