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Old 12-02-2019, 02:01 AM   #1
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They’re moving!

So my 29 gallon was originally supposed to be set up with fun things for my 15 month old to watch and it turns out tiny shrimp and Pygmy cories are way more enjoyable to me than him. So I decided something bigger and easier for little eyes to see was called for!

Glo tiger barbs are currently in quarantine in a 10 gallon with sand that will become my dedicated shrimp/pygmy Cory tank once I’m sure they’re healthy. Now obviously I want to get most of the shrimp out before the barbs go in and while they can go into a 5 gallon bucket for a bit, they probably can’t stay for as long as it would take me to hunt down a bunch of shrimp and a handful of cories. (small space; please don’t say another tank... I wish, I really do!)

So I ordered the ‘Finnex External Refugium Breeder Hang-On Box with Water Pump’ online and it should be here soon. It’s a small physical space (a little under a gallon) but because it will have flow it will share filtration and heat with the main tank. My thought was to set up the refugium stuff it with hornwort and gradually over a few days or so pop the shrimp into it until I get as many as I can. I am resigned to some of them getting missed but the 29 is pretty heavily planted. Maybe a few will evade the barbs!

By the time I’m done it will probably be cramped in there but still well filtered.
Then I can move them more or less all at once to their new home without them crossing paths with the semi aggressive always hungry tiger barbs!

What do you think? Will that work? any better ideas for moving a colony of RCS? Has anyone had luck with a particular design of cherry shrimp ‘trap’ etc?
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:19 PM   #2
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I kept something similar in my SW, a couple SW hermit crabs in a breeder net with macroalgae that was covered in fuzzy algae I didn't want in my DT. It worked pretty well and finally after a few months, I got the macroalgae cleaned off and decided the hitchhiking Hermits could stay.

In your case the little baby shrimp, if any, could escape. Sounds like a well thought out plan. Just lightly feed the ones in the refugium in case ammonia builds up since there might be less flow. And I might add the new pwc water through the shrimp space to keep it very clean.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:59 PM   #3
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Since it’s only for a few days I might just let them scavenge on the hornwort instead of feeding inside the refugium. Good point about the little ones. It has a grate over the outflow, I put a bit of sponge behind it so maybe that will help. Though I have a few berried girls. If the little ones hatch inside the refugium they will probably end up back in the tank.

Fortunately/ unfortunately breeding has really taken off so I know there are probably a lot of little ones I won’t see/catch before the barbs get moved. There is a fairly dense patch of hornwort and under both ornaments the space is filled with thick clumps of untamed moss ... so maybe a few will be able to evade the barbs. I’d love to keep a breeding group of cherries in the 29 even knowing the babies will be snacks but I’m pretty sure the adults would be goners too.

Unfortunately the part of this that was less thought out, (or actually was thought about but I couldn’t figure out how to avoid it) is that the refugium didn’t fit with my cover on the tank. I lowered the water level a bit and hoped my 2 remaining bamboo shrimp could keep from walk abouts for just a couple days, but I don’t see them in there this morning. Don’t see them on the floor either so maybe they’re just hiding but you know how bamboo shrimp are... if they did take a walk I don’t think I’ll get anymore. I love them but I just can’t keep them inside the tank!

I was planning on moving the RCS and Pygmy cories. Does anyone have experience with tiger barbs and amano shrimp? Are they big enough that the barbs will leave them alone? Maybe I should move them too into the 10 and get a group of ghost shrimp. They get bigger and are cheap enough that I won’t be as disappointed if they become snacks.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:58 AM   #4
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Not sure about the TB and Amanos. They are a bit aggressive so maybe caution.

As for the "Ghost" shrimp (not really the real Ghost shrimp as those need brackish) I got 3 (4 but one died right away) at Petco to make sure a tank I had was safe for shrimp and it was and since I didn't necessarily want them to die / be eaten, I put them in the Wine Glass tank and there are maybe 50 now!

So maybe the ones you get would be the same kind and breed for you also.

You can't see them very well in a heavily planted tank but they are funny looking when you sit there watching them and have big googly eyes and flutter all about.

When they eat, you can see them better as they aren't all clean then! lol

Mine are very social and do not bother the fish. It seems they could be some sort of variety like Indian Whisker Shrimp Macrobrachium, with long arms - the 2 sets of front claws are longer . Not too easy to see long arms when they are young but they grow about 2x the length as regular shrimp.

And as a side warning they are a bit larger then Amano shrimp one of mine, a momma is XXXL, but if they start getting larger than that it could be a Prawn -sometimes get mixed into the groups of feeder shrimp!
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:53 PM   #5
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I think perhaps I will move the amanos too then. I only have a few of them right now and I’d hate for them to be eaten. Perhaps I’ll see how the TB do with the ‘misc petco shrimp’ and if they aren’t hunting them maniacally I can move a few amanos back in. The amanos do such a great job with misc algae. I’m spoiled; with a ton of plants and mostly algae grazers in the tank I rarely have to do anything but prune.

I’ve always been pretty careful before in trying to get true ghost shrimp from the grab bag that is feeder shrimp; because I’ve always had pretty small fish and I didn’t want any monster shrimp that would eventually consider nano fish a snack. Now that I have the barbs going in there it would be great to get some shrimp that could hold their own against them! And it would be very cool to get some ghost-like shrimp that could breed in freshwater.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:28 AM   #6
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The breeding from my Ghost shrimp was a big surprise. I figured the feeder Ghost shrimp would disappear within a few months! Previously I was instructed that when the shrimp had a sharp angle on their back, they were the kind that required brackish water for the larval shrimp development. JK - they have lots of babies in FW!

Hope you find the ones which reproduce! There have been several people who stated they have had them breed as well.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:25 PM   #7
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Stressed out the whole tank grabbing the first bunch and one of the berried females seems to have been badly injured by netting. I’d be shocked if I don’t have a couple losses in the am due to the stress. I tried to be gentle but they’re so tiny some are bound to get injured I guess. I just have to remind myself that if I’d left them where they are they’d become dinner...

I’m going to try baiting a wine glass and see if I can’t pull some less traumatically that way. The problem is my otos keep hanging out in the trap and they’re nearly impossible to get out of the trap without injuring.
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Old 12-14-2019, 02:09 PM   #8
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Only lost the one and the rest that I could find are hanging in the refugium for a few days while the tanks get shuffled and the new glofish get quarantined. The flow is pretty strong for them. It’s adjustable but I’m more concerned about water quality so I just added a few plants and left the flow rate on max. I should probably add more hornwort for them to hang onto. You definitely need a sponge over the outflow and you have to put it in the inside lip. I’d put it on the outside originally and had to rescue a few adults that got caught.

FYI for anyone who has mini ramshorns and considers them a pest... tiger barbs definitely eat them. I didn’t mind mine too much because I think they helped keep algae down on fine leaved plants like hornwort. But to keep them from taking over too much I would take out all the hornwort from the tank every couple weeks (they love hanging in the hornwort) and let it sit dry for ~10-30 minutes. ( never timed it or tried shorter times to see if they’d work). Then I’d rinse in a bucket or sink and all the snails would let go of the plant and fall into the water. Worked great to take a chunk out of their population from time to time but there were still quite a few in the tank.

So I did that last night before adding the tiger barbs and this morning I cannot find a single mini ramshorn in the tank anywhere. Not one. Not on the plants; not in the gravel not on the glass... I’d be surprised if their wasn’t still a small population down in the gravel but wow... the barbs must be voracious.
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Old 12-15-2019, 01:32 PM   #9
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Mission accomplished. Lost one cherry and one Pygmy Cory in the process, unfortunately (pretty sure one of the tiger barbs got him before I did ). But now my son has a bright active glofish tank and I have a sedate cherry and Pygmy tank.

Thanks for all your help, Autumn!
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:07 AM   #10
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You are most welcome. Sorry to hear you lost a couple but it happens sometimes. Transitions can be stressful and then there are other perils. The longer you keep fish, the more things you find out can go wrong!

Glad to hear you got the switching done! It can get complicated!
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:16 AM   #11
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Well good thing I moved my shrimp.

I did an experiment with a bunch of ghost shrimp to see if it was well planted enough that ghosts would be able to keep out of the fishes way. I put them in into a piece of decor that fish couldn’t reach but ... yeah...

Lost one by straight up assault and a couple more overnight in attempts to flee the tank. Poor guys!

So.... no more shrimp with the glofish. Noted.

There’s still a bunch in there that did get the memo to hide amongst the plants and the amanos that are older are so big they just wave their little hands back at the fish like ‘I’m too old for this; don’t mess with me’ and the fish decide it’s too much trouble. Honestly the fish don’t seem that interested in ‘hunting’ the shrimp. They just have that chase instinct.
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:29 AM   #12
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True - food moves around...
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:08 AM   #13
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Yeah, my mom was horrified when I told her.

I felt bad but ... I knew it was a possibility. Shrimp are nature’s favorite fish food so...

I don’t think the fish are big enough to actually consume a shrimp before i would notice and like I said, from what I can tell they aren’t much interested in actually eating them. Which means I think I have a lot of shrimp living inside the fake wood decor now and only coming out at night.

Which... I suppose when you think about it, is very natural behavior for prey species. The bamboo shrimp who started out the shyest, are now the only shrimp I regularly see up at their post in front of the filter. They are too big for the fish to think of as food and the fish don’t even bother to chase them.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:25 PM   #14
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Correction. Just glanced into my tank and saw a tetra swimming around with part of a ghost shrimp in its mouth. I’ve been fishing out any that I see to move to the shrimp tank but yeah.... these fish are currently ... accidentally well fed.

I just hope they don’t go after the bamboo shrimp. The bamboo shrimp are bigger than the fish are and aside from them wisely hiding more during the day I haven’t noticed any issues with them. Fingers crossed because I’m afraid to move the 2 bamboo shrimp. The shrimp tank is only 10 gallons and I’m worried they won’t get enough to eat in there. That or the transition will stress them into walking from the tank. Seems like every time I’ve stressed them out by moving around decor or heavy planting they end up on the floor the next morning.

There is a lot of space inside the decor that I have that the fish cannot get to so that’s kind of become the shrimp safe zone. Some of them have figured it out, fortunately.

One thing is certain; until I move and can upgrade the tank size I’m definitely gunna let my plants overgrow as much as they want. I’ve never had such energetic and prone-to-bickering fish! I don’t know how people could possibly keep these guys in tanks without jungle sections!
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:15 PM   #15
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Well after posting this both bamboo shrimp vanished for four days. No evidence that they’d molted or fled the tank so I knew they were hiding inside their ‘shrimp fortress.’
When one finally emerged today it didn’t even try to filter just stuck to the gravel. Clearly the predators being in the tank is freaking them out.

I decided to move him since the shrimp tank is now getting powdered food more often anyway; I think they’ll do better in the 10 (at least until they get a little bigger). Hopefully the second bamboo will make an appearance soon so he can move too.

Within 5 minutes of being released he had found the highest flow spot from the AC20 and was back to happily filtering out in the open. I think I made the right call. (Though I did put Plastic wrap over as much of the gap in the back as I could; in case he gets any bright ideas of visiting his old digs tonight.)
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:25 AM   #16
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As long as the flow is good and food available and clean safe water they are better off then being stressed constantly. Though the tank size as you know in general isn't ideal. Better is better than bad. Looks like that one is happier.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:41 PM   #17
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Both are moved now and spend all day fanning in the current. I have to think thats better than hiding all day inside an ornament with no flow. Most of the foods I feed my shrimp break apart pretty easily and go everywhere so I bet there’s more food in the water column of that tank than the 29 which now only gets flakes. I haven’t seen them scraping the gravel once in the 10, they did it all the time in the 29 even though I tried to spot feed them powdered foods.

Probably by the time they get too much bigger I’ll have upgraded both tanks and given the 10 to a betta. I’d have done that already if I wasn’t in a temporary residence with no space and planning on moving within a few months!

All this has taught me that I really really love peaceful shrimp tanks. The glofish are bright and beautiful and interact with each other a lot. But they also hunt anything smaller; bicker amongst themselves and stress out their tank mates and me who is constantly worried about if they’re picking on something when my back is turned! (So much for my nebulous thoughts of a future cichlid tank...!)

I’m glad my son likes to watch them but ... I really love my shrimp tank!
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:30 AM   #18
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My Angels sparing, attacking and scaring all the smaller fish drove me to the brink, lol. My favorites are the (active but) peaceful tanks and the shrimp are also probably my favorite. Never was happier than when I could sit and watch all the shrimp activity in the evenings when I had some time.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:16 PM   #19
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I think she approves ...
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:26 PM   #20
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Well at least some of the “ghost shrimp” are moving back with the glofish or maybe into an unfiltered vase I have bamboo growing in. No filter but also no predators so they might have a better chance there.

I thought I might be having water quality issues or illness in my shrimp tank because I have lost the occasional cherry maybe one every few days and then the last few days 4 back to back (not all at once separated by a few hours. I kept taking it away from the ‘ghost’ and then finding another a couple hours later) As usual no ammonia/ nitrites. nitrates barely measurable between 0 and 5.

Obviously I always found the ghosts picking at the bodies but I presumed the shrimp was dead/dying and the ghosts went to town. Well I’m sitting in front of my tank the day before yesterday and I see my ghost shrimp grab a shrimplet that was swimming by out of the water and just start eating it. I have to admit I was pretty shocked! But it does explain why it seemed like I’ve been seeing less shrimplets even though I hadn’t seen any dead ones.

But I knew ghosts were a mixed bag species wise and shrimplets are tempting for anything big enough to grab one.

The next day I watched the same one (I could tell because this one had a little darker coloration developing!) attack and kill an adult cherry. A small adult, yes, but probably a solid .5 inches who seemed perfectly healthy. I’d lost 4-5 young adults in 24 hours and haven’t lost a single one since that particular ‘ghost’ moved back in with the glofish!

I’ll have to pay closer attention to these guys as they get bigger. There’s maybe 3-5 ‘Ghosts’ in there still. Some of them definitely look like Palaemonetes sp. ghost shrimp but some like the one I removed I think may be a macrobrachium species. It’s so hard to tell when they’re small. The one I moved looked like it may have had the longer claws and was developing a little darker coloration than the other ghosts. Interestingly it seemed to get way darker when I had it in a Tupperware trying to decide where to put him. Stress response perhaps.

Anyway; good luck with the glofish my little hunter, I wish you the best of luck but I can’t let you eat all my cherries!
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