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Old 08-03-2013, 11:45 PM   #1
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I'm an avid betta lover and just got a new betta a few days ago. Unlike my other betta who scavenges between the rocks to get every single pellet, this new fish will let pellets sink to the bottom and sit there. Thus grew my desire to get him a little cleaner helper: ghost shrimp. My dilemma is that I've researched all over the web and have found very little and very inconsistent care guides about them. Could any ghost shrimp fans/breeders help me out?

Please let me know if any of the information I believe to be correct is actually incorrect.
1. I have learned they will eat pretty much any food that comes their way: pellets, flakes, zucchini... Some sites say they do eat algae and others say they don't... What's the truth? If they do eat algae should I drop them algae wafers every once and a while? How often should they be fed?

2. I have a 2.5g and a 10g tank, each house one betta. What is the smallest size tank ghost shrimp should live in and what is the recommended number of shrimp that should live together?

3. What kind of substrate? Gravel or sand? Any other suggestions?

4. I've read they like plants. Should it be heavily planted? What kind of plants would be compatible for both betta and ghost shrimp? Could I use silk plants instead of real ones? (I've always kept silk plants because I've never wanted to worry about keeping real plants alive... I don't have much of a green thumb.)

5. I don't have a great desire to breed them. I've read that they multiply frequently but the fry rarely survive because of lack of appropriate food, filter kills them, fish eat them, etc. I found in some article if I wanted to keep them alive and prevent them from being sucked into the filter I could put a pantyhose over the filter part that draws in the water??? I'm skeptical about that? Are y'all laughing about that theory from the other side of your computer screens??

6. I've learned they like hiding places. Does plastic fish hide-y toys count as hiding places? Or do they prefer drift wood? Other suggestions?

7. I guess I should ask if they are in fact good buddies for bettas huh?

Other things I've learned. please correct me if I'm wrong.
Tank should be cycled (ammonia/nitrite=0) for at least two weeks.
Metals from fish medicine (Especially copper) equals dead ghosties..... (What's the best way to remove copper from water?)
Filters are necessary.

Please let me know if there is any important information that I haven't thought to ask about. Thank you!!
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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So after doing a bunch more research I have come up with new info.
The pantyhose thing is legit and the only friends of shrimps are snails, otos, and plecos. So enter at your own risk with the Bettas.

I've found a thread that addressed shrimp in general that was pretty good. It only briefly mentioned ghost shrimp though. Are they much different than other shrimp? Can I use the same basic guidelines of care? I would love if someone with experience with ghost shrimp could give me some advice, thanks!
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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So after doing a bunch more research I have come up with new info.
The pantyhose thing is legit and the only friends of shrimps are snails, otos, and plecos. So enter at your own risk with the Bettas.

I've found a thread that addressed shrimp in general that was pretty good. It only briefly mentioned ghost shrimp though. Are they much different than other shrimp? Can I use the same basic guidelines of care? I would love if someone with experience with ghost shrimp could give me some advice, thanks!
They follow
The same care guide of cherry shrimp. They can live with Betta's, but the beta may hunt it. Good water quality and no copper meds are needed. I have had them, loved them, I had 3 with my beta but he's an avid hunter I found out -_.._-
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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They follow
The same care guide of cherry shrimp. They can live with Betta's, but the beta may hunt it. Good water quality and no copper meds are needed. I have had them, loved them, I had 3 with my beta but he's an avid hunter I found out -_.._-
Thanks so much! Did you put the 3 GS with the betta in the 2.5g? (you know, before you found out just how avid of a hunter he is...:-/ )
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:17 AM   #5
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Thanks so much! Did you put the 3 GS with the betta in the 2.5g? (you know, before you found out just how avid of a hunter he is...:-/ )
No prob, yep, I think they lasted 2 weeks. Now we know why his name is shark
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #6
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No prob, yep, I think they lasted 2 weeks. Now we know why his name is shark
Bahaha..... Isn't that very apropos? I was going to put them in my 10g. The substrate is that black pebble stuff (I don't know if you can see it well enough in my profile pic but that's what I'm talking about... In other words not tiny gravel.) I'd hate to have to break it down (I did that just last week) and put new substrate in it but I will if I need to. Would you y'all suggest that I change? Or is what I have now ok?



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Old 08-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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Should be fine, I would start with 5 an see how it goes then bump up the numbers, mine even fought over food an would steal algae wages haha
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for your help!! I'm super excited now
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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No prob, where here to awenser questions. I lived mine when I had them
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
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Oh yea, I forgot to ask... I use Coppersafe in my regular water treatments to prevent ich, velvet disease, etc. Obviously I'm going to have to stop using that when I get my ghost shrimp, but my question is, should I do a 100% water change (then ill have to wait for the tank to cycle again...) or is there a solution I could add to get rid of the copper? Or Maybe is there some kind of special media filter?
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:28 AM   #11
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It usually runs itself out in time, or in my case.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #12
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Carbon helps, it absorbs it
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:52 AM   #13
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I'll try using carbon and see about getting a copper testing kit before I add the shrimp. I've just read some stuff that says something along the lines of "once it's in the substrate you may never get the copper out" and that makes me nervous :$
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:55 AM   #14
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Carbon will not remove copper. Lots of big wcs will help as well as using a product with EDTA (which will chelate the copper out of solution).
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:01 PM   #15
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Carbon will not remove copper. Lots of big wcs will help as well as using a product with EDTA (which will chelate the copper out of solution).
My bad, I thought it did
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:12 PM   #16
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Carbon will not remove copper. Lots of big wcs will help as well as using a product with EDTA (which will chelate the copper out of solution).
hmmmm... Ok. Do you have any recommendations for products containing EDTA?
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:32 PM   #17
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Also, I use aquarium salts in my water changes. Would that hurt the ghost shrimp? The salt container doesn't mention that I should remove inverts first but Id thought I'd ask anyway.

And if anyone has any recommendations about products with EDTA that would be great. I went to petsmart and petco today (there aren't any LFS's in my area) and asked them about Products with EDTA, copper removal products, and even a copper testing kit. They just looked at me like I had three heads and said no. :/
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cadet328 View Post
I'm an avid betta lover and just got a new betta a few days ago. Unlike my other betta who scavenges between the rocks to get every single pellet, this new fish will let pellets sink to the bottom and sit there. Thus grew my desire to get him a little cleaner helper: ghost shrimp. My dilemma is that I've researched all over the web and have found very little and very inconsistent care guides about them. Could any ghost shrimp fans/breeders help me out?

Please let me know if any of the information I believe to be correct is actually incorrect.
1. I have learned they will eat pretty much any food that comes their way: pellets, flakes, zucchini... Some sites say they do eat algae and others say they don't... What's the truth? If they do eat algae should I drop them algae wafers every once and a while? How often should they be fed?

2. I have a 2.5g and a 10g tank, each house one betta. What is the smallest size tank ghost shrimp should live in and what is the recommended number of shrimp that should live together?

3. What kind of substrate? Gravel or sand? Any other suggestions?

4. I've read they like plants. Should it be heavily planted? What kind of plants would be compatible for both betta and ghost shrimp? Could I use silk plants instead of real ones? (I've always kept silk plants because I've never wanted to worry about keeping real plants alive... I don't have much of a green thumb.)

5. I don't have a great desire to breed them. I've read that they multiply frequently but the fry rarely survive because of lack of appropriate food, filter kills them, fish eat them, etc. I found in some article if I wanted to keep them alive and prevent them from being sucked into the filter I could put a pantyhose over the filter part that draws in the water??? I'm skeptical about that? Are y'all laughing about that theory from the other side of your computer screens??

6. I've learned they like hiding places. Does plastic fish hide-y toys count as hiding places? Or do they prefer drift wood? Other suggestions?

7. I guess I should ask if they are in fact good buddies for bettas huh?

Other things I've learned. please correct me if I'm wrong.
Tank should be cycled (ammonia/nitrite=0) for at least two weeks.
Metals from fish medicine (Especially copper) equals dead ghosties..... (What's the best way to remove copper from water?)
Filters are necessary.

Please let me know if there is any important information that I haven't thought to ask about. Thank you!!
Aqueon flakes have Copper, TetraMin is fine always read the ingredients. I've had the same 4 ghost shrimp for over a year w/ Oto & Guppies. Try an Amazon Sword plant & Leaf Zone fertilizer, very easy. It will cleanse your tabk of some NitrAtes! Your fish & shrimp will LOVE it!! Keep up on weekly PWC's & your plant will have all the nutrients it needs. What kind of lighting do you have?? Just make sure it's full-spectrum. I am NOT a green thumb AT ALL either but my tank plants do well! HA!! It's probably the watering part that I fail & in an aquarium, I can't go wrong!

The shrimp don't put a big dent in algae but I'm sure they eat it. They LOVE the flakes, they swim to the top to get the floating flakes & the tall plants help get them up there too! I recommend Oto Cats as well for algae (not sure how big of a tank they need) & they are ok w/ my female bettas but most importantly, they keep plants & the tank sides clean of algae.

My shrimp haven't reproduced. My daughter has thought they had eggs, but haven't seen any babies. IDK what to look for!! My LFS told me pink'ish eggs near the surface of the water?? IDK. Either way, they're healthy, no casualties. And they're awfully fun to watch. We're about to put Tahitian (black) moon sand in & I hope it really makes the shrimp show up/pop. We had natural-looking gravel but now it's bare-bottomed w/ the plants anchored w/ rocks. It's heaven to clean bare-bottomed. HA!

As for Bettas & ghost shrimp, I think Bettas *may* eat them... But if you planted it well, they may be able to stay outta sight plus Bettas focus more on stuff at the top of the tank. A good bottom scavenger for Bettas are Cory Cats like Julis or Pandas (make sure a dwarf species for a small tank) & they school so you need 4+). HTH!

Edit: I should also say... It depends greatly on the Betta! Some are very passive so Shrimp & Corys are if-y w/ Bettas but I've had fine experiences, you just have to monitor it & be prepared to separate the fish.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:59 PM   #19
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Aqueon flakes have Copper, TetraMin is fine always read the ingredients. I've had the same 4 ghost shrimp for over a year w/ Oto & Guppies. Try an Amazon Sword plant & Leaf Zone fertilizer, very easy. It will cleanse your tabk of some NitrAtes! Your fish & shrimp will LOVE it!! Keep up on weekly PWC's & your plant will have all the nutrients it needs. What kind of lighting do you have?? Just make sure it's full-spectrum. I am NOT a green thumb AT ALL either but my tank plants do well! HA!! It's probably the watering part that I fail & in an aquarium, I can't go wrong!

The shrimp don't put a big dent in algae but I'm sure they eat it. They LOVE the flakes, they swim to the top to get the floating flakes & the tall plants help get them up there too! I recommend Oto Cats as well for algae (not sure how big of a tank they need) & they are ok w/ my female bettas but most importantly, they keep plants & the tank sides clean of algae.

My shrimp haven't reproduced. My daughter has thought they had eggs, but haven't seen any babies. IDK what to look for!! My LFS told me pink'ish eggs near the surface of the water?? IDK. Either way, they're healthy, no casualties. And they're awfully fun to watch. We're about to put Tahitian (black) moon sand in & I hope it really makes the shrimp show up/pop. We had natural-looking gravel but now it's bare-bottomed w/ the plants anchored w/ rocks. It's heaven to clean bare-bottomed. HA!

As for Bettas & ghost shrimp, I think Bettas *may* eat them... But if you planted it well, they may be able to stay outta sight plus Bettas focus more on stuff at the top of the tank. A good bottom scavenger for Bettas are Cory Cats like Julis or Pandas (make sure a dwarf species for a small tank) & they school so you need 4+). HTH!

Edit: I should also say... It depends greatly on the Betta! Some are very passive so Shrimp & Corys are if-y w/ Bettas but I've had fine experiences, you just have to monitor it & be prepared to separate the fish.
Wow that was really helpful thanks!!! I've thought about Otos but I heard they're kind of difficult to keep alive and that they have to be constantly grazing on some algae. my tank really doesn't have an algae problem at all except the ones that grow on the toys. I just take those out once a week and rinse off with hot water. I was just curious if GS did eat algae

I DESPERATELY WANT SOME PYGMY CORYS!!!! I think they're adorable! But neither petco nor petsmart sell them in my area. I have yet to find a respectable seller of Pygmy Cory's online :/

That's a good tip about the aqueon flakes though.... I have received 2 free cases of flakes from purchasing other aqueon products and definitely would have fed them to the shrimp. I've heard of bettas eating shrimp. I picked ghost shrimps because 1) they're clear and have read they are harder to see 2) they're a little territorial as adults and can fend themselves a bit better... But yeah. I would certainly keep a close eye on their interaction to make sure my betta wouldn't turn the shrimp into his snacks.

I really appreciate your input though!!
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:07 PM   #20
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Wow that was really helpful thanks!!! I've thought about Otos but I heard they're kind of difficult to keep alive and that they have to be constantly grazing on some algae. my tank really doesn't have an algae problem at all except the ones that grow on the toys. I just take those out once a week and rinse off with hot water. I was just curious if GS did eat algae

I DESPERATELY WANT SOME PYGMY CORYS!!!! I think they're adorable! But neither petco nor petsmart sell them in my area. I have yet to find a respectable seller of Pygmy Cory's online :/

That's a good tip about the aqueon flakes though.... I have received 2 free cases of flakes from purchasing other aqueon products and definitely would have fed them to the shrimp. I've heard of bettas eating shrimp. I picked ghost shrimps because 1) they're clear and have read they are harder to see 2) they're a little territorial as adults and can fend themselves a bit better... But yeah. I would certainly keep a close eye on their interaction to make sure my betta wouldn't turn the shrimp into his snacks.

I really appreciate your input though!!
Talk to Petco, they may order the Corys for you!
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