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  • ineke

    So you got some shrimp now what?

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    So you went to the Local Fish Store and were seduced by a lovely Cherry Shrimp.

    The shop assistant said sure you can keep them with your fish - WRONG

    The shop assistant said just throw them in the water after a 4 or 5 minute float and adding a bit of tank water to the bag- WRONG

    Okay Cherries or Neocaridina Davidi are very easy to look after and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and are infact very forgiving of our first attempts at shrimp keeping but lets try and do it simply but properly.

    First there are very few fish that you can keep with shrimp- some people have luck with various fish but generally if it fits in their mouth fish will eat it with very few exceptions except maybe the Otto.

    So step

    1. you need a shrimp specific tank planted preferably with moss.
    2. If you are going to only keep Cherries then any inert gravel will do.
    3. You need a very good water conditioner to treat the Chlorine and heavy metals so something like Prime
    4. When you get your shrimp home you will need to take your time acclimatizing them to your water conditions so it is preferable that you drip acclimatize the shrimp over an hour or 2 or if you are unable to drip them then pop 10-20ml of tank water into the bag every 5 minutes or so to get the water equal in the tank and bag.
    5. Release your shrimp and watch them explore –prepare to be mesmerized and want more.

    So it can be that simple and if you have a male and female they may and probably will breed but let's face it we really want to become proper shrimp keepers don't we? We want to learn all this new lingo like TDS, GH, KH etc. What foods to feed, what water parameters etc etc etc.

    Luckily the forum has all the answers and if you can't find the info just ask there are a lot of friendly people here willing to share their knowledge with you.

    This is a very simplified care sheet with much more involved information available but it can get you started.

    Water parameters for a Cherry Shrimp

    A fully cycled tank is paramount

    pH 6.4 - 7.6

    Ammonia 0

    Nitrites 0

    Nitrates under 20 but preferably under 5

    KH 0 - 10

    GH 4 - 14

    TDS 80 - 200

    Temp 18 - 24

    So a good water test kit is a very necessary item.

    A TDS pen (total dissolved solids) is important.

    Simple care needs

    Shrimp need stability in their water parameters, sudden changes are not good for them especially later if you change over to the harder to keep species.

    Weekly water changes of between 5 - 20% depending on the population density of your tank are necessary with the new water nicely aged and as near to the tank conditions as possible.

    Good quality and variety of food comes next.

    A mixture of commercially prepared and fresh fruit and veg (blanched spinach, broccoli, kale, fresh bananas, rock melon ) plus dried or blanched leaves like mulberry leaves, IAL (Indian Almond leaves) but all fed sparingly as shrimp graze on the bio film in your tank and don't need a lot of supplementation plus feeding large amounts can lead to planaria and ammonia spikes. It's a good idea to take out any left over food after a few hours except the IAL that can stay in the tank until just veins are left.

    There are several good threads about food and nutrition, Water parameters and also a glossary for those pesky abbreviations so look them up.

    Good luck with your new found hobby and don't be afraid to ask questions, it's the only way to learn!

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