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Old 05-06-2020, 10:48 PM   #1
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Shrimp Incoming! (Newb Needs Advice)

My very first 10 Pumpkin Orange shrimp (Neocaradina) are currently en route! Excited as I am, and with all the research I've done, I still have some questions.

The first question I have is about feeding. It's my understanding that the shrimp will eat biofilm, algae, and detritus. Does that sound about right? I have a quite mature and well-cycled tank, plus mid-water feeding fish, so there should be plenty of noms in there already! I also have Hikari Shrimp Cuisine and Algae Wafers, and of course there will be blanched vegetable treats. Autumnsky recommended in another thread to feed some BacterAe, which I've already ordered. Does that sound like a good shrimp diet to you guys? Anything in particular that your shrimp love/hate?

Next, questions regarding water parameters. Right now I'm sitting at 0/0/15, GH 6, KH 3, PH 7.2. I don't know my tank TDS, that's the one reading I lack. I know that out of the tap here it's in the 115-120 range. So I guess my first question is: how critical is the TDS for shrimp? The second question is whether or not my GH/KH will be okay for the new tankbabies. The site I bought them from has their water parameters posted, which I thought was pretty cool. Their GH is 7-8, KH 3-4. Do I need to worry about raising the GH/KH? And if so, what's the best way to raise it? Would some mineral rocks be the fix I'm looking for? Third question regarding water quality: I've read that shrimp are quite sensitive to water parameter changes, but just how sensitive is that? I put in some new live plants about three days ago, and while they seem to be doing well so far I'm sure there's still the potential for die off. If one of my plants goes slimy and gives me a little ammonia spike, will that off my new tank babies? (Yeah, probably should have spaced that out better but too late now.)

How critical are hides for shrimp? My tank is planted and there are lots of medium-sized rocks that should provide some hiding places. The shrimp will be in with my trio of Ember tetras, who are scared of their own shadows and I imagine wouldn't hurt a fly. Will a shrimp cave/tubes be mandatory?

Last area of insecurity is regarding fertilizers. My tank has been running since summer of 2017, and while I used Seachem Flourite substrate, it's entirely exhausted now and shows in my plants. I've been using Seachem Flourish root tabs to keep my plants healthy. I know copper is dangerous for inverts but my Nerites and the pond snail horde have zero issues, and I also found this excellent article that indicates copper toxicity happens at a much higher level than what the ferts I've used put into the water.

Does anyone else use this (or the liquid version) with their shrimp? Any problems or horror stories?

If anyone has questions about my setup, full specs are in the profile!

I'd really appreciate any advice or tips some of the more experienced shrimp keepers can give me! I just want to do the best I can for my new tank babies! I will of course update this thread when they arrive!
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:51 AM   #2
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If this were my tank, I would use plants which require very little fertilizing, my preference in a breeding tank. Others use high tech and lots of ferts and things seem to go fine.

To me as well the parameters are very close and I would take a bit of time for the acclimation to new water. You have a pH from what they are kept in? You can always check the water they come in so you can keep them in similar pH.

pH difference over 1 number example 6.5 vs 7.5 is too much for a quick acclimation. My recent shrimp delivery water was not the same as what they said their shrimp were raised in. I went towards meeting the number in the bag, pH was very different.

And as a side note, my shrimp didn't care much for the Shrimp Cuisine and enjoyed the Crab Cuisine 2x as much. It costs near 2x as much as well.

Also for big box store purchases they will price match items from whoever they specify, from online stores. It is usually the big ones like Petco, Petsmart, Chewy, LiveAquaria. Each website gives you their rundown.

You can save near half on foods save some on DW, media filter pads, filters, liquid chemicals. But even a few dollars or a dollar here and there allows for smart hobby money usage! Sometimes it is just their own online store has a better deal. Also buy online pick up in store can save 10%.

Obviously local purchasing is ideal to help them stay in business, but not everyone has a store they can get to.

As for plants always run them through a cleanse especially if for a shrimp tank. Importers are required to make sure they don't bring in unwanted things on the plants, they can use a copper dips, Potassium Permanganate, and pesticides.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply!

The plants are supposed to be beginner/low tech: Cabomba and Bacopa, and there are some already existing Anubias. I didn't need to use ferts at all the first two years the tank was up, but now I'm running into the issue that the substrate is depleted and the tap water doesn't have enough of the trace minerals. At least that's my conclusion based on how the plants started to look. I think my only option at this point is to fertilize or replace the substrate entirely. And they came from California, I put them in a clean water quarantine for about 8 hrs before planting. I wasn't even aware they made shrimp safe cleanses for aquarium plants!!

I was just about to write that it's looking like it may be a moot point and my shrimp would sit overnight at the post office unless I could get through the telephone nightmare that is the USPS right now to get an office pickup. BUT the USPS website just updated to indicate my new tankbabies are out for delivery and should be here in the next hour or two!!

The breeder's PH is 7.0 - 7.2. At last night's check my PH is in the 7.2-7.4 range, so hopefully that will be close enough that it won't be a huge shock for them. The Bacter AE is due to arrive today as well, so they still have something to eat even if they turn up their noses (antennae?) at the Hikari. Good idea to check their arrival water for PH before I start acclimating, I will definitely do that!!

They've been three days in shipping, I just have my fingers crossed that a majority of them arrive alive!
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Old 05-08-2020, 04:02 PM   #4
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Are they supposed to arrive today, is there tracking on them?

It is exciting - hoping they are all well. The pH difference is easy acclimation. I would still check the bag pH and add a couple drops of Prime water conditioner if that is what you use, when you get them into the acclimation container!!!
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:31 PM   #5
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Ah, the worry was not needed, they were delivered at about 1:30 in the afternoon! I work from home now so I waited until they arrived to take my lunch break. I didn't have time to take pics during the unboxing because of the time constraints lol. It's disappointing because I would have liked to get pics of my bonus babies!

I ordered 10 and they packed 11 adults, of course to help compensate for any losses during shipping. In addition to the 11 adults there was one juvenile and three borderline microscopic babies, which was an absolutely adorable bonus! All were alive and swimming when I got them. One poor shrimp actually molted during shipping and lived through it! He did lose 2 legs, but seems to be doing okay without them. (I just assume the one missing legs is the one who molted.) A few seem to have lost the ends of their antennae, too. Other than that, no losses! Hooray!!

I don't have the equipment to drip acclimate, so what I did instead was empty the baggie they came in into the small container I use to hold the fish if I do a deep clean/redecorate. (There wasn't enough water to do a full set of tests so I just checked the PH (7.2) GH (7) and KH (3). Comfortably close to my tank chemistry!) Then I added 1/2 tsp of water every 5 minutes or so until the small tank was almost full. (Took about 2 hours.) Then I very carefully drained the water about halfway and floated the container in my tank while I went through the 1/2 tsp process again. When the small container started to sink, I decided it was time. Turned it on its side to let the shrimp walk out and Geronimo out of it into the tank proper.

What happened next is absolutely the most adorable thing I have ever seen happen in an aquarium. The shrimp are literally the same size and color as my Embers and... guys... they started schooling with the shrimp. If they see a shrimp swim by they will follow it around for a little bit! So cuuuute!!

But, nothing can ever go 100% smoothly for me. The Bacter AE I ordered was delivered too... but it wasn't Bacter AE. Amazon sent me peppermint oil instead. (-_-) I got a refund but I can't find the Bacter AE anywhere else. Amazon says it won't be in stock until Sunday at least, and every site I've found it for sale on lists it as out of stock. I'm guessing there are production and/or shipping delays because of the pandemic, so I'll just have to wait until it's available again and order it then. Meanwhile, their breeder actually makes and sells food, and it's reasonably priced, so I went ahead and ordered a bag. They seem to be finding plenty to graze on at the moment and are ignoring the few Hikari pellets I put in, but maybe that's just because they're still exploring and getting used to their new home. They've only been in there for about two and a half hours.

I tried to get some pictures of them but was mostly unsuccessful. They're starting to settle down and graze more, I will probably be able to get some better pics tomorrow!


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Old 05-08-2020, 09:38 PM   #6
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Aw - Cute!!!

So very happy to hear all went well. Great news parameters were so close and the shrimp were excited as well, to explore their new home!
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