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Multiple Shrimp Tank Set Up Advise

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Im wanting to set up my first shrimp specific tanks and need some advise and recommendations

I only want to keep cherry shrimp but a fair few different colour varieties so want either a large divided tank or multiple nano tanks and ideally id like to run sponge filters all off one air pump

So here are my questions:

1. Is individual nano tanks or large divided tank better? 

2. If large divided- is glass or mesh better for actual dividers?

3. Whats the best options for heating for both nano and circulation of heat in a divided tank?

4. Do i need shrimp specific substrate for cherry shrimp? My tap PH is 7.8 and RCS seem fine with that in my community tank

5. Will separate sponge filters for each divided section/tank be enough filtration and oxygen or will i need something better?

6. What sort of air pump capacity will i need if im using gang valves to split? Do i go by total litres of all volume or even more than that?

7. Whats the smallest tank size i can go for a small colony- not looking to mass bread and dont have much space.

8. What are the better plants (specifically moss & small ferns etc) for low light?

Id really appreciate some advice and specific product ideas if you have anything you recommend because i want to do this right and im going to take the time for due diligence- ive attached photos of some ideas i like so far

 aquael shrimpsetsmart.jpg



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Each way has its own positive points, individual tanks are good to help contain issues like diseases or other issues like that. But larger bodies of water are more stable and things happen slower than in smaller bodies of water so having mesh to allow water to pass though can be a great thing. It’s really going to come down to what suits you and your space better?


Heating, I have no idea I didn’t heat my tanks until I got my chiller/ heater and is run though the sump so that’s no help to you.


Cherries will be fine with an inert substrate.


Filtration depends of stocking capacity but sponges should be fine.


The size pump depends on how many sponges or stone it will need to run. So work that out and go from there.


Tank size depending on if you go with Nano style tanks or one bigger tank divided but I’ve had success with tanks as small as 35L


All moss do well in low light, bucephalanra, anubias, crypts can also do well in low light tanks


At the end of the day it comes down to you, your budget and available space.   

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Buck has pretty much summed it up, but here are some of my thoughts...


There are Pros and Cons of each method- one large tank divided or individual nano tanks.

It really is up to your preference and future plans, and budget.

I like individual tanks personally since I keep Cherries and CRS/CBS, which have different water parameter requirements. That way one tank can be tailored to cherries, and another tank can be tailored to CRS, and yet another tank can be tailored specifically to tigers. I also like the idea that any outbreak in disease is contained to the one tank only.

But there doesn't seem to be a right way or wrong way, nor even one that might be significantly better than the other. Both methods can work, as proven by many people.

As for filtration - if you choose the 'one large tank divided into sections' route, then add a canister filter. Overfiltration is never a bad thing, especially in small nano tanks where you don't have as much volume of water.

Heating is not too critical in Sydney. If you have one tank divided, then one heater will be sufficient near the outlet of that canister mentioned above. The heated water will be pushed to the other sections. Any brand of heater will be sufficient, as long as you trust the brand. 

As mentioned heating is not too critical, however it is the heat of summer that is the bigger issue. My cherries in my garage survives our Sydney winter. You will need to look into chilling eventually. One chiller to chill one tank is already expensive. Let alone 2, 3, 4 or 5 tanks. This is the point where it becomes the deciding factor for many shrimp keepers. Buy one chiller to chill a larger tank divided into several sections is going to cost less than buying several chillers to chill many tanks. Considering chillers can cost $400+ each, it becomes a no brainer.

Lastly my thoughts on substrate. As mentioned by Buck, inert substrate is fine for cherries. But at pH7.8 water, it doesn't hurt to use a little plant substrate to reduce that to a more neutral pH7.0. You probably only need a very thin layer to reduce the pH from 7.8.

The best substrates (that we can easily get in Aus) to use would be Cal Labs Black Earth Premium, Benibachi soil, or ADA Amazonia. Proper cycling of the new tank with these substrates need to be observed.


Edited by jayc
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