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Old 01-09-2020, 11:18 AM   #1
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Shrimp eating plants...

Hello, I am a new aquarium enthusiast. I have set up a tall 20 gallon freshwater, planted aquarium about a month ago. I spent weeks monitoring water chemistry before eventually- slowly adding plants. Started with some Jungle Val, and moved onto Java Fern, Java Moss, and a tiny Anubia attached to a piece of driftwood.

About a week ago, I acquired a dozen cherry shrimp from a friend who has a freshwater aquarium. They have taken seemingly very nicely to the conditions of my tank. They have also completely decimated my Jungle Val, and I have noticed them chewing up my Anubia, as well. Why is this?

Should I be feeding them more shrimp food, during feeding?

Are they eating my plants because the biofilm and food aren't enough? The tank is still only 5-6 weeks old, so there hasn't been much, if any, algae build up.

Thanks for reading
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:10 PM   #2
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Welcome!

That’s... odd. I have kept cherries with all of those plants. They “nibble” at them all the time but they aren’t eating them. They’re eating biofilm off of them. I’ve never seen a report of cherries eating live plants. An already dying leaf, sure, but they don’t mess with healthy plants.

I would honestly be looking for another problem causing the vals to melt.

Are you dosing any ferts? Excel or “co2 booster” can reportedly cause Val to melt.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:30 PM   #3
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I second Liberty, shrimp will eat dieing plants but I've never had them eat well plants.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by libertybelle View Post

I would honestly be looking for another problem causing the vals to melt.

Are you dosing any ferts? Excel or “co2 booster” can reportedly cause Val to melt.
I have dosed with the recommended volume of flourish before I added the Val. Could that be affecting the Anubia, slightly, as well?

Haven't seen any issues with the java fern or moss...
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:36 AM   #5
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Regular flourish? It will either just say flourish or comprehensive.

That shouldn’t cause issues, as it’s just micronutrients (careful not to overdose as there are things in there the shrimp won’t like at higher concentrations.)

What can cause Val melting is labeled excel or co2 booster. If you dosed either of those it could definitely cause the die off. I’ve used excel with vals but they need a little babying to work up to the dosage; hitting it with it all at once or overdosing can make them grumpy.

Otherwise, did you do any kind of dip or rinse etc that might have upset the vals before planting. I did a hydrogen peroxide dip on mine once and they seemed fine at first the. a few days later melted down to roots! Whoops!
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