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Kingo

Amateur hour selective breeding...

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Kingo

So..

i have recently been self inducted to the shrimp world, after being lucky enough to purchase some quality crystal mischlings from a local legend, they are yet to breed. Still so much to learn. I am obsessed. I check them out first thing in the morning and when I get home, ensuring they are ok, have they got enough food etc, any berried females yet?!

I have two 10 L nano's set up for CRS, only one has shrimp. I have a larger 75L that is a multi species tank that I am nearly ready to tear down, rescape and set up for shrimp. Should I have the larger tank for culls with the other two for different selective breeding goals or keep the larger tank for the better looking shrimps or.... what do you guys think? 

 

 

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jayc

There is never enough tanks for selective breeding. LOL!

I would use the larger tank for better looking shrimp. the larger volume of water would be better for the shrimps, and you would be able to maintain a more stable water parameter.

The culls can go into the small tank. If you sell them off, or give them away, then they shouldn't be in the small tank for long anyway. 

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Zoidburg

Or the large tank could be used for mixing different shrimp species together that can hybridize and then see what type of offspring you get from them! ;)

If you start with "pure" shrimp (i.e. not mixes) then it'll be at least 3-4 generations before you'll start to see interesting colored offspring. From there, you could then choose the ones you like the best and put them in their own tanks for selective breeding.

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Kingo

Thanks @jayc! I would have several racks set up by now if I was on my own! All must be negotiated with the li'l General...

3-4 gens? 

Wow, I got some time in front of me, cheers @Zoidburg!

 

 

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Kingo

Thanks for the advice gents. I have decided to convert the larger tank to shrimp city, after a holiday in the next 3 weeks. Gonna get the portable RO unit from FSA, Fluval stratum and a few other bits and pieces. It helped me make a decision when meeting a local planted tank head to buy some plants, I was told his whole CRS colony did not survive a Brisbane Summer. 

Hoping I don't need to buy a chiller, anyone else keep Crystals/TB's in Brisbane without? Worried as the current two tanks are 10 litre nano's so I would expect the temps will fluctuate easily....

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ineke

Small tanks are very hard to keep stable -people suggest using ice packs on hot days but that makes the temp rise and fall constantly -if you can't afford a chiller then get yourself some fans -either purchase the correct fans or if you are handy with wiring etc then computer fans together with a thermostat work quite well -much more stable than ice -I think it's better to be safe and organise cooling before summer unless you have good airconditioning in the house ofcourse  . I kept a 210 litre tank with TB  with only 4 fans for 3 years before buying a chiller but that's a large amount of water and much easier to keep constant. If you decide to get serious with your shrimp breeding - and they are very captivating  you NEVER have enough tanks- then plan ahead see how the fans work out or setup  a sump system where you only need 1 chiller. 

Just another little side -although Fluval stratum is quite a good substrate inititially it doesn't last as long as some of the other brands -the buffering effect gets depleted much quicker and it doesn't hold the shape as long as some of the other substrates -I found it useful for Neos but once I went to Caridina found Benibachi and ADA much better value -although expensive to start out it works out cheaper in the long run . Also make sure the tanks are fully cycled as the buffering soils release more ammonia during cycling than gravel and shrim pdon't like ammonia. Don't be tempted to rush things -do it right the first time . Good luck

 

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jc12

1 x 75L tank and 1 x 10L tank would probably take up the same floor area as a 3 foot rack of e.g. 6 x 60L tanks. Just saying... haha.

If you are keen, send me a PM when you returned from your holiday and I can show you my fish, shrimps and plants racks for inspiration. I have a shrimp rack journal here somewhere but cannot be bothered updating the photos since Photobucket changes kicked in recently.

Being in Brisbane myself, I have tried ice bottles for my first 40L CRS tank. While it is doable, it quickly became an annoying chore having to swap ice bottles twice a day in the middle of summer. While it helps alleviate heat issues, it still will not accurately and effectively 'set' a desired temperature for the tank and the tank will still experience temperature fluctuations albeit less severe. I then installed a fan which wasn't very effective even though my house is fully insulated. Eventually, I upgraded to a 60L tank and installed a chiller. BEST DECISION EVER!!!

On the subject of substrate, as per everything what @ineke said above. Only thing I'll add is I find Cal Aqua Labs Black Earth Premium to be a great substrate too.

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Kingo

Gentlemen,

Thanks @ineke and @jc12. That's the exact kind of feedback I need. I mentioned the substrate because I was sure there would be a few experienced opinions on it - fluval off the list added with the shrimp sand I used from my first set up. 

I like that ADA actually state a PH range for their product on their site, although they suggest it is used with power sand - is that necessary or just a capping layer? What's the norm? JC - do you prefer Cal Aqua labs over ADA? Would love to take you up on eyeballing the setup - it's a good point on the footprint it takes up too. 

I recall seeing a post about insulating backs, bases and sides of the rack tanks to maintain a consistent temp - is that adequate for non chilled tanks? Not sure a fan would be appropriate for my 75L aquaone AR510 - has a plastic sealed hood. 

Definitely  want to get in front of it all before Summer! 

Now to start googling racks and chillers.....

 

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jc12

Personally I have never used ADA myself. I decided on CAL BEP because at that time there were a lot of feedback about ADA releasing a lot of ammonia whereas CAL BEP is clean, releases minimal ammonia and does not break down as easily as ADA. Do a search on Aquarium Life forum on ADA vs CAL BEP and you will see the feedback.

Again, this was based on my research at that time i.e. around Oct-Dec 2014. So far CAL BEP has worked for me for years so I don't see a need to change to a different substrate. I had CAL BEP in one of my tanks since Dec 2014 and it is still holding up very well. I'll show you when you come around for a visit.

I believe ADA has since released a 'light' version which apparently releases less ammonia. You would probably have to ask Mr Google or people who is currently using it.

I wrote an article about chiller selection a while ago which I hope may be helpful.

 

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revolutionhope

On the subject of substrate I also was a huge fan of BEP and the bags i purchased in 2015 worked great for me. A more recent batch I purchased at the end of last year released a lot of ammonia and I mean a LOT. As a result of an exchange I had with them and the Australian distributor I believe their blurb no longer states that it does not release ammonia.

Using 1/4 - 1/3 of the prescribed volume of substrate my pH still persisted at around 5.1. I was told by knowledgeable breeders that bees can do well at this low pH and so I tested it out with Crystal shrimps and bluebolts. The Crystal shrimp survived and bred but not well. The bluebolts refused to mate in that environment for me so I'm now looking at alternatives.. it is a shame as I had great success with BEP for my first ever softwater shrimps and I loved that it did not leach any measurablr ammonia into tanks with just a simple pre-seeded air-driven sponge filter popped in there.


will

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Kingo

Thanks @revolutionhope good to hear more cases, both for and against products. One of the reasons I like CRS is the learning curve - there seems to be a limited supply of info out there with a lot conflicting. There is even a more limited volume of experienced opinion that you must sift through to find! 

 

Only problem with forums is armchair experts feel inclined to give advice (as opposed to your own actual real life experience) on items they have no idea about! 

Thanks again gents. RO unit has been purchased, still a little more research to do on substrate before I pull the trigger in the next few days..... 

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jayc

I have been following revolutionhopes issues with BEP. We don't know what might have changed with that substrate,  so be careful and test it before using it in the tank.  We don't know if this is an isolated incident or not. 

Apart from this blip, BEP from Cal Labs has been my go to substrate.

 

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revolutionhope

Here is some the key information that I received via email directly from cal aqua lab -

Hi Will,

Sorry for the late reply.  We just got back from company retreat.

BEP is made from natural fertile soil, as a result, there can be variations in certain properties depending on the batch of raw materials.   Some batches are more fertile (ie more organic content and rich with nitrogen and minerals such as calcium and magnesium than the others). The batch you have is one such batch.   The TDS increase you see are likely due to higher dissolved calcium and magnesium in the soil, and the presence of higher ammonia reflects the higher organic nutrients.  Plants seem to love the more fertile batches. However, we have not tested the effect on shrimp

And further -

Hi Will,

In that case please do not use those bags for shrimps.  We get these high-fertility batches once in a while. This variation is one of the reasons we only recommend our substrates for aquatic plants.  

Their product description at that time is in the attached image. I was not impressed with my experience to say the least and threatened to report them to The ACA over this false advertising. The distributor should have since made sure that all Aus suppliers have removed that description.

Nb I had purchased my substrate at the end of last year so perhaps there has been a good batch imported since I don't know how you'll find this out. My experience was with the normal granule size.a2dc285b61348a26a7567532d4c3a1db.jpg


will

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jc12

At that time I was new to aquasoil so I was skeptical about CAL BEP not releasing too much ammonia. So all things being equal I simply assumed all aquasoil will release some ammonia.

The biggest factor that won me over was the consistent feedback from other users that CAL BEP does not turn to mush easily as compared to ADA. Similarly, replanting/rescaping and stirring up the substrate didn't cause too much cloudiness in the water and settles back down quickly.

My biggest nightmare is changing over new substrate for an established tank so the longer a substrate holds its shape and does not turn to mush is always a big win!!!

I reckon as with all substrate regardless CAL BEP, benibachi, ADA, etc. it is prudent to ensure your water parameters are within safe range before introducing livestock.

Unless you are changing over substrate in an establish tank which already has livestock, then it would be the best opportunity to justify to yourself AND your other half about starting another tank... and then another... and then another... ?

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revolutionhope

Lol yes if in doubt setup more tanks. Good rule !


will

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Kingo

Gentlemen,

Great input. Thanks. Lots to consider before I move on the sub of choice. And @jc12 there are constant negotiations with the little general! I think we need to buy a bigger property just so I can fit more tanks into our little 2brm apartment! 

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jayc
5 hours ago, Kingo said:

Lots to consider before I move on the sub of choice

Find out what substrate your LFS stock, and come back to us with your options. We can advise what is good and what to avoid.

Or if you are shopping online, do the same. Let us know what choices are, and we can give you advise based on what is available. 

 

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jc12



And @jc12: there are constant negotiations with the little general! I think we need to buy a bigger property just so I can fit more tanks into our little 2brm apartment! 


Make sure the property has a shed. It'll either serve as the shrimp room or the dog house.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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Kingo

Thanks for the input all. I went ahead with the Cal Aqua Labs BEP last night, online purchase - $60.45 with delivery via Aquaristic Online.  @jayc my LFS are not particularly well stocked for any shrimp related items apart from one, which is around a 1.5-2 hour round trip. They do stock several big name brand substrates, but not all are in stock! I live in the quiet 'city' of Brisbane mate. There is definitely a higher than average ratio of top blokes named JC/JayC here...

Amazonia had just a few more negative reviews than BEP of which I was more concerned about longevity of the product - this tank will be allowed to cycle so initial NH3 spikes and cloudy water is not so much of a deal, although I will be occasionally shuffling plants I expect. 

@revolutionhope your experience with BEP is definitely going to keep my water param checks a little more regularly, certainly in the first few months. Did the NH3 leach for long? 

I may be able to have this set up and cycling while I am away for a few weeks, providing everything arrives next week. Getting excited! I will leave you with thanks and a pic of my humble mischling via batch 2.0. Cheers! 

IMG_9495.JPG

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revolutionhope

It took 8 weeks approximately till I had zero readings. Also note the pH was 5.1 with only 1/4 - 1/3 of the recommended product so you won't need much if it (IF you score a bag from the same batch as I have).

 

will

 

 

Also the TDS shot up hundreds of ppm multiple times. Hopefully aquariatic has bought in a new lot since I got mine from there at the end of last year too. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you it would be great if BEP has returned to its old standards !

 

will

 

 

 

 

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jayc
3 hours ago, Kingo said:

my LFS are not particularly well stocked for any shrimp related items apart from one, which is around a 1.5-2 hour round trip. They do stock several big name brand substrates, but not all are in stock!

Not many are well stocked with shrimp specific gear. But substrate is not just for shrimp, thankfully.

Same with my LFS, they stock many brands of substrate, but it's no guarantee that they have them on the day of purchase.

That's why I mention checking first, and letting us know what stock is available at the time of purchase.

But that's moot now, since you have sourced BEP.

Keep us updated with the water parameters with this batch from Aquaristic. Especially TDS.

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inkevnito

Woah, start a journal ASAP @Kingo. Keen to see your progression. 
Soon you'll have more than 5 2ft tanks with all sorts of shrimps.

I agree with whats said above, BEP is my go to substrate for all planted and shrimp tanks now.
Second would be benibachi Black Soil. I used ada and me no likey. Causes a mess each time i replant ?
Fluval stratum im still using in one of my tanks from 2015 and still not mushy, but has lost a bit of buffering abilities.

One bag of 9L BEP filled 3 of my 2fts easily. Didnt have much thickness though, as i wont be planting stem plants. 

 

On 8/3/2017 at 10:01 AM, jc12 said:

another tank... and then another... and then another... 1f61c.png

This reminds me of DJ Khaled lmao
 

 

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jc12

I have bought all my CAL BEP from @The Tech Den since 2014.

I like to support forum sponsors and being in QLD, I would suggest you check them out. With the 10% discount, they have always come out cheaper including delivery.

Their service is top notch too.

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Kingo

Hey @jc12

I was not aware of the discount, and I do like to support local also. This is the supplier I was talking about that was my best local supplier, although had none in stock. I emailed them on Wednesday and they have still not heard from them so purchased elsewhere. 

Even with the 10% discount applied, they work out around 10% over what I have paid. 

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jc12
1 minute ago, Kingo said:

Even with the 10% discount applied, they work out around 10% over what I have paid. 

Did you order the 'FINE' version? Sorry I have only been using the 'NORMAL' ones so I am not sure about the availability or price for the 'FINE' ones.

All good. Just thought I mention about the discount.

Post up pics or start a journal to show your progress!!! ?

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