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revolutionhope

feeding amounts and frequency

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revolutionhope

Personally i have found that my cherry shrimps virtually swarm snow (or mulberry leaves, zucchini and most other processed foods too) when i put them in the tank.

As such i only put in enough food for them to finish within a few hours at the most with the exception of snow and barley straw which will last for a while longer but shrimp still demolish them within a day or so...

I recall someone (shrimpydaddy i think) saying that shrimp swarming food was a sign that the tank is over-grazed. I'd really love more input on this topic!

I've actually reduced my feeding quantity and frequency a long time ago due to the shrimp colour looking less.impressive when i fed more and more often like i used to.

It's worth noting that my snail populations have decreased.significantly in the tanks with more shrimp. I could be wrong but lately Im finding shrimplet survival rate is lower than expected and wonder if there is not enough food?

I'm beginning to think i am feeding too much processed foods and not enough leaves and other fresh foods... but I'm no expert and would love to know what others say. I find it peculiar that most processed food packets (especially powdered foods) say to feed.daily or even twice daily.

Keenly awaiting your feedback so please don't be shy or too lazy to respond LOL

love n peace

will

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ineke

When I have babies in the tank I mix powdered food with water in a syringe and squirt it into the moss so the babies get enough food. I have seen adults flick babies away from food .  If   your biofilm in the tank is depleted you will need to feed a bit more. An easy way to make extra is to put some moss in a jar by the window and leave it for a few days then pop it back into the tank - the shrimp will go straight to it. If your aquarium is well established and you don't clean the back and side glass plus leave the lights on for a reasonable time then you should have a good biofilm growth in the tank. I also always have an IAL in the tank as they take a long time to break down and the shrimp will graze on them . I have a large population of shrimp and feed alternate days with commercial or home made foods , I feed powdered food daily when shrimplets are growing and always have a leaf of some kind - besides the IAL - in the tank. I also offer veggies that have been blanched a couple of times a week and feed blood worms at least once a week. All my tanks have a good amount of moss for them to graze on. Some days when I put pellets etc in the tank the shrimp completely ignore them so I siphon them out the next morning. I leave snow in the tank between water changes but siphon it out water change day and put fresh snow back in . I have great shrimplet survival rates with this regime.

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revolutionhope

Ineke thankyou ever so much for your detailed response! I'm becoming more certain that I need to feed more vegies and leaves more often. The syringing idea definitely seems a good one. One reason I am surprised that they eat so much processed food is because my tanks 1) I keep huge amounts of moss in my tanks and 2) All my tanks have been receiving direct sunlight  in varying degrees and have 3 walls completely covered in algae - I can usually find a few younger shrimps grazing on the walls when they're not hiding in the moss.

The other thing I don't understand is how many experienced breeders feed so frequently and yet when I feed frequently my shrimps colour seems not to be as good! I am drawn back to the idea of needing to feed more fresh foods ie blanched vegetables and leaves too I think. I too have always kept a large IAL in each tank and in the last couple of weeks I have been adding mulberry leaf as well. I will be leaving in a leaf from either my peach or locquat tree shortly once I have harvested more that fall off and then boiled or soaked + microwaved them.

I'm interested to know how do you choose vegies that are safe? I do have chard growing in my backyard which I'm contemplating feeding as well as a bunch of other seedlings which are some time away from producing. Other than that I assume if I buy veg I should buy organic - I had bought organic zucchini a couple of times and boiled and fed it to them and they certainly loved it.Do people boil it then cut it into chunks and freeze them seperately somehow so that they don't stick together? I' will always spend as much time as necessary to encourage my 2yo daughter to eat well (getting her to eat often/well has been a big challenge) but I'm uaually too lazy to "cook" food for myself most of the time let alone my shrimp lol and I don't often eat organic vegies myself regardless ....

woo that was a nice rant :-)

love n peace

will

 

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ineke

food safety has been an issue with a few members losing a large number of shrimp from contaminated foods even though they thought the " washed" salad products would be safe. It's very easy to just grow your own lettuce, spinach, silver beet and kale. I have a large pot outside that I just throw different seeds into and cut fresh leaves as I want them that way I know I don't have fertiliser issues. I also have several small mulberry trees - these are so easy to propagate - just cut a few fine branches from your large source mulberry tree and cut them to short lengths and put into a pot with good potting mix. Keep well watered and you will then have your own little trees. They can take a few months to strike but most of them start growing leaves fairly quickly. 

Cucumbers are good the shrimp love them, I haven't heard anyone have problems with frozen veg either . I just pop them in a bit of water and microwave for a couple of minutes. I leave them in overnight and take out any left overs the next morning. A lot of melons are taken eagerly too and as you can cut the skin off they are safe. The other great love is bananas - they do need to be removed within 24 hours as they go slimey but the shrimp love them. 

Nasturtiums are another easily grown leaf that my shrimp love including the flower. 

So there are a lot of foods that you can grow and then have absolute surety of shrimp safe snacks. 

The fact that some of us feed daily especially when babies are in the tank does go against what is often told but you soon get to know how much to feed and good tank maintainance plays a big role in the success. Siphon out solid leftovers except leaves, keep an eye on how readily they accept new food - no interest probably means there is enough in the tank so have a food free day. At least 1 food free day a week is a good idea anyway. The longer you keep shrimp the more of an idea you get as to how much you need to feed. Keep an eye on your nitrates - if they build up then probably cut back on the food. When I first started my nitrates were constantly around 20 which though acceptable is still very high, now my tanks sit around 5 or less . I always do a 10-15 % water change weekly plus siphon old food daily and top up with a bit of RO water. This works for me and I have a very large shrimp population spread over 12 tanks.

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revolutionhope

awesome advice Thank you very very much!!! :-)

do you think there is any chance you could spare a mulberry cutting ineke?

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jayc

I find it peculiar that most processed food packets (especially powdered foods) say to feed.daily or even twice daily.

 

@revolutionhope feeding daily or twice a day is for fishes. 

Don't feed that often for shrimp.

I used to feed once every 2 days. Now I'm cutting back to once every 3 days if it's processed food.

I leave IAL and Mulberry leaves in the tank till it's gone. Then replace.

There always seems to be something in the tank for the shrimps to eat.

 

Ineke mentioned feeding flowers. I wrote an article about that in the Nutrition section. It's a must read.

Green leaves are great nutrition, but the flowers offer other benefits, including carotenoids which could be colour enhancing.

<edit> - here's the link 

Edited by jayc

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revolutionhope

mmm there is so many different ways of doing things to be sure. some people feed only once a weem. bluebolts told me he has a feeding fetish and feeds twice a day and keeps his tanks super sensely stocked at times..

to a degree i suppose it must be a matter for each individual to get a feel for what works for them. i don't know for sure yet but i feel I may have lost a lot of shrimplets recently due to not enough food. i was thinking of increasing the amount of leaf litter in the tank.

is leaf litter potentially an issue if there is too much? i do use purigen to keep nitratea down and i know it strips out tannins as well which is a negative in terms of shrimp health so perhaps i would be better off with more leaf litter than average then?

inekes above statement has been quite influential on me as well so I'm going to balance things for now and be sure to make gradual changes and not sudden ones that's for sure .

vacuuming substrate is another controversial topic i have heard mixed opinions about !!

love n peace

will

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ineke

I try not to disturb my substrate just siphon from slightly above. Keeping shrimp like any other animal is quite subjective - what works for one doesn't always work for another. I have gone from very heavy feeding to much lighter feeding but it works for me. However I have been on holidays for up to 2 months and only had someone come once a week to drop in a few leaves and a small amount of food. My shrimp thrived and multiplied during that period which shows an established tank should be able to support a reasonable size colony of shrimp without a lot of extra food. During that time no water changes were done just topups with straight RO water.

Recently I have used maternity tanks for my berried girls, taking them out as the babies were released and just leaving babies in the tank - I am astounded by the number of babies that have resulted from 12 shrimp. So far I have removed about 150 and still have at least that many in the tank. This has shown me that the babies thrive when there is a good amount of food available to them without adults chasing them off. It also was good for the females as they weren't harassed by the males . As my shrimp are mostly related I can put them in to one tank and not worry about individual parents - I only keep my pure lines together .

i can give you a couple of mulberry cuttings Will.

 

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Unagi42

Hey @ineke, sounds like a complete and thorough setup. So what do you do with your masses of shrimplets?

A quick question, I've heard about people using mulberry leaves. How long do you cure them before chucking them in the tank? Thanks in advance.

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ineke

You can dry them - I put them in a pillow case and hang them out in the sun so the air can also blow through them stopping mould. I also will Blanche and then freeze them . To give to the shrimp the dried leaves go straight into the tank, same with the frozen. You can put fresh leaves into the tank but they take a bit longer to break down.

with regards to the babies I sell and give them away , I did use to keep them all but I'm running out of room now. I didn't always have such high survival rates but after 3-4 years of shrimp keeping I have improved in my shrimp keeping abilities and am now having to keep only the patterns that interest me.

Mulberry leaves blanched and rolled ready to freeze

image.jpg

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Unagi42

You can dry them - I put them in a pillow case and hang them out in the sun so the air can also blow through them stopping mould. I also will Blanche and then freeze them . To give to the shrimp the dried leaves go straight into the tank, same with the frozen. You can put fresh leaves into the tank but they take a bit longer to break down.

with regards to the babies I sell and give them away , I did use to keep them all but I'm running out of room now. I didn't always have such high survival rates but after 3-4 years of shrimp keeping I have improved in my shrimp keeping abilities and am now having to keep only the patterns that interest me.

thanks for replying. Sounds like your system is working great and something for me to work towards. 

Sorry just to clarify, do you leave (no pun intended) them out to dry for a few days? I guess you'd then need to weigh down the leaves to prevent them from floating. 

I have tried my guys on zucchini but they didn't seem keen, so I removed it after an hour (paranoid about it affecting the water) I guess when there is regular algae wafers, fish food leavings and fish waste zucchini doesn't seem as yummy.

Edited by Unagi42

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fishmosy

I'm of a similar mindset to the posts already made. My tanks are generally lightly stocked so I feed commercial pellet type foods every second day, always keep leaves (prefer mulberry, but use IAL too) in the tank and feed occasionally with bloodworm when I want to see some more berried females (although I never feed high protein foods to my zebras as it seems to upset their tank).

The best survival of shrimplets that I get is in a 'cull tank' that is 90% filled with moss, but no substrate. I introduced ramshorns snails to this tank and they laid eggs, but the resulting juveniles were not able to outcompete the shrimp for food. I think the massive surface area that moss provides is crucial for the survival of shrimplets and I plan on increasing the amount of moss in most of my tanks.

As an aside, I don't think that plants like java fern and bolbitis are as effective as moss for providing grazing surfaces for shrimp - which I think comes down to their comparatively lower surface area. I have tanks with large clumps of java fern and bolbitis that don't seem to have the high survival rates of my cull tank.

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ineke

I have bolbitis and Java fern too and use a lot of subwassertang - because I have it and it grows really well. I believe having lots of plants/ moss is the best and first choice for providing food and hiding places for babies and freshly moulted girls. The clean look bare tanks are nice but breeding tanks need lots of moss/ plants in my opinion.

when drying the mulberry leaves it is best to leave them for about a week as any moisture left will cause mould to grow on the leaves. It does take a day or two for the dry leaves to sink in the tank but you can soak them first for a day or so if that worries you - they do sink eventually. 

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perplex

You can dry them - I put them in a pillow case and hang them out in the sun so the air can also blow through them stopping mould. I also will Blanche and then freeze them . To give to the shrimp the dried leaves go straight into the tank, same with the frozen. You can put fresh leaves into the tank but they take a bit longer to break down.

with regards to the babies I sell and give them away , I did use to keep them all but I'm running out of room now. I didn't always have such high survival rates but after 3-4 years of shrimp keeping I have improved in my shrimp keeping abilities and am now having to keep only the patterns that interest me.

Mulberry leaves blanched and rolled ready to freeze

image.jpg

where did you get these in SA? is it your own tree?

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revolutionhope

ineke how do you transfer your mothers to the maternity tank without upsetting them?

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ineke

I have access to a tree for the large leaves but I have small mulberry trees in pots for my daily use.

i transfer the berried girls early on within a few days of them getting berried but as my tanks all have similar water parameters  - the TDS  is slightly different- the change doesn't seem to worry them. I still acclimatise them over an hour or so unless the TDS is very close then I just slowly add some new tank water to their container and pop them into the tank. By the baby numbers I am experiencing it isn't an issue.

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salvanost

i used maximum feed 5 piece each day

and then tds raise so much LOL

down to 3 so far even 2 while using baby food powder

 

the problem is...

some food, don't like when u put so much 1 time

looks like the parameter change too much i got so much casualities within 1 week

 

if i feed 1 piece 5 times a day, it got less casualities, too much mystery i hate when find new cause of misterious death shrimp...

Edited by salvanost

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