Jump to content

Ohaple's Beginner Shrimp Tanks


ohaple

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I have recently started working towards keeping shrimp. We keep other terrestrial invertebrates (isopods, mantises, and cockroaches) and thought that shrimp would pose an interesting new challenge.

With our mantises, we have focused on bioactive vivariums that include a cleanup crew, microfauna, and plants. That isn't the norm for mantises, but it is almost a necessity in the shrimp-keeping hobby from what I have seen. We intend to take the same approach, including heavily planted tanks, shrimp, snails, and possibly some mosquito rasboras if we are able to establish our shrimp well.

I have some experience with aquariums through helping my dad, who has had several freshwater and saltwater aquariums. That said, shrimp are completely new to us.

My goal is to establish two shrimp tanks, a 7 gallon and a 1 gallon. I understand that smaller is harder.

7-Gallon Tank

  1. Started with the Imagitarium 6.8g rimless tank from Petco.
  2. Modified the filter system to include more biomedia and a more powerful water pump.
  3. Using Eco-Complete for substrate since it is widely recommended for planted tanks and shrimp look better on dark substrate from what I read.
  4. Using Mopani wood as our primary hardscape. We soaked it for several days prior to adding to the tank, but it continues to leech some tannins.
  5. We are trying to stay fairly focused on plants, especially in the beginning. No CO2, but we are dosing ferts and Excel. Our plants include:
    1. Bacopa as a background plant.
    2. S. repens as a mid-ground sort of plant. I plan on letting it create bushes more than creating a carpet.
    3. Micro-sword for a foreground carpeting plant.
    4. Anubias nana for mid-ground/background.
    5. I would like to add a little dwarf water lettuce but haven't yet found a source.
    6. Our plants are notably lacking moss, which I read is preferred for shrimp. We may end up adding a little java moss but I am hoping the micro-sword will give them enough surface area to be happy.
  6. Once cycled, we will be adding shrimp. We are likely going to get blue velvets, starting with 10-15. Once the shrimp are added, the fish will be moving out.

To start out, we are working on cycling the tank. We used some stuff from an established aquarium and added Safestart+ to kickstart the bacteria. Keeping the tank at about 78F with a few Zebra Danios and two mystery snails to keep ammonia going while the bacteria gets established. We are dosing Prime and doing daily water changes to keep the temporary inhabitants happy. It was started about a week and a half ago, and while we aren't seeing ammonia dissipate like we want, it is steadily working. We don't plan to add shrimp until we have 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrite.

Here are some photos of the process and where we are now:

First setup, keeping plants in as we get the hardscape ready

KkAU2Nkl.jpg

After setting up wood and the rest of the plants

uMweGAvl.jpg

1-Gallon Tank

  1. Started with a one gallon vivarium style container from Michael's
  2. Originally planned on it being a no-tech tank, but decided I would be happier with some water movement and filtration. I designed a custom water pump sponge filter.
  3. Used Eco-Complete for Substrate
  4. Using Malasian driftwood for hardscape.
  5. Sticking to fewer plants for this build to stay more organized.
    1. Monte carlo planted in substrate for carpet, and a monte carlo mat to cover up the filter.
    2. A little bush of s. repens.
    3. A small bit of anubias nana.
    4. Would like to add a floating plant, but havent been able to source any.
  6. Once cycled, I will be adding shrimp. Planning on 5 RCS or orange rili to start.

Cycling this tank has been much harder so far. We added some Safestart+, but have not seen any real progress yet. I am keeping two small nerite snails in here to create the ammonia, feeding them since algae hasn't established. This tank will be much more of a custom project for us. I designed and built a 1"x2"x3" large water pump sponge filter to help the water stay a little more clear and give the bacteria some flow to process the ammonia. For the lid, we are also going completely custom, designing an acrylic and wood lid with built in lighting and containment for floating plants. We have a laser cutter and CNC so it is fun to have the lid be a separate design project. My goal with the lights is to have too much light available, and the ability to dim. That way we can grow the plants but turn down to reduce algae problems as needed. This tank will eventually go on my desk at work. Since it is a pretty professional environment, it is important that this tank isn't noisy or technical looking, and is attractive for client meetings in my office. There is a rather small available footprint which is why we went with the 1-gallon, even though it will be more challenging. So far, it looks like we are getting a little nitrite, but its slow going. Doing daily water changes and dosing Prime so we don't kill off the snails.

Here is the custom filter. The sponge media goes in the acrylic cage, and water is pushed out the grated hole. It fits neatly behind the driftwood and is not visible except from directly in the back. The top is covered in a monte carlo mat to hide it better.

guPAAKJl.jpg

Q22WAT7l.jpg

Here it is set-up and slowly cycling. We are temporarily using a CFL hood for the light to keep the plants going well. It also raises the water temperature to about 75F, not very high for establishing bacteria.

Gjv8XaDl.jpg

t3PwKNVl.jpg

 

I already received some good advice from @jayc regarding how the temperature needed for Zebra Danios is lower than the recommended temperature to get bacteria growing quickly. I am hopeful that with some patience and careful monitoring, the danios will stay healthy and the bacteria will get going. I have read many articles about fish/fishless cycling and do not plan to change to fishless for this build.

Any comments or advice appreciated. We are taking it slow, but are getting excited for cycling to complete so we can start adding shrimp.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Join Our Community!

    Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Posts

    • sdlTBfanUK
      We just had another 3-4 hot (for UK) days where the tank seems to have gone up to 26 and I think no shrimp died this time, though last time it got a bit higher the smaller shrimp died off so I guess they are more sensitive to the heat. I took the cover off the tank so that any heat can rise. I have just tested the parameters and they seem to be great, Ph 6.5, Gh 5-6, Kh 0-1, TDS 134 so aim to stop using unmineralised RO water from here onwards. If the remaing shrimp seem ok for another 2 weeks (as they have for the past 2 weeks) then I will likely get one more delivery of about 20 shrimps, 10 red wine, 5 panda and 5 blue bolts???? The shrimp that have survived so far are the blue bolts, all the pandas died off but they were the first added when the parameters were further off, and about half the blue bolts also died but they were very small  ones mainly and as mentioned, I think the heat did them in. So, it is looking quite hopeful at this point but I will make that final decision at the end of the month. If it is still going well and there are no more deaths I will order some more shrimps and look into getting some sort of fan cooling setup for future hot periods!  How is it all going your end beanbag? I think my Betta won't last very much longer, he is just sitting at the bottom and won't eat, lt can't be the water getting too hot as the shrimps are fine and the water likely only topped out at 28 degrees max. as with the other shrimp tank, as they are next to each other? There isn't anything visibly wrong with him other than not eating or swimming around as he used too. 
    • beanbag
      have a fan blow across the top of the tank, or get one of those U-shaped air conditioners that allow you to keep the window mostly closed
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I just watched the video again. With that tank I would take 1 of the sponges and put it in the left compartment (where he put the heater in the vid) and the heater can go in the middle section with the other sponge, so that would work well and be very simple and no extra costs or modification involved. The water level in the back drops either because the pump is set too fast (if it is adjustable) or mostlly just because the sponge directly behind the inlet slots is getting blocked. Somtimes just pressing the sponge insitu at the top will blow some of the gunk back into the tank, but you will probably need to take the sponge out weekly to clean it, though I imagine you would probably do weekly water change/maintenance anyway. The tank in the video is also quite good because the back is covered so that will help with reducing evaporation from the back working part, mine was open/uncovered at the back so evaporation was more of a problem. I freaked out when I saw the level drop in the back the first time, especially as I had a glass type heater in the back! If you only very rarely need a heater then you could just put that in the main part of the tank on those rare occasions to be safer? As you say, you have time to see if you even need a heater but I suspect you won't as indoors will be warmer than the outside temperature overnite, and I have seen vids on youtuube where some Australians keep Neocaridina shrimp outside all year with no heaters in huge tanks or even ponds, and I doubt there is anywhere in the world where the temperatures don't fluctuate between night and day so all creatures must be ok with that (within limits of coarse).  My problem last week was the same only opposite, overnite it dropped to about 13 degrees outside but inside overnite it rose to 28 because the sun had heated the roof etc all day, so I did lose a few shrimps then (but they are Caridina so not as adaptable or tough as cherry shrimp), only babys though strangely? Of coarse, it's your winter now, whereas it is our summer. Do you have A/C in the house for the summer, even Neocaridina won't survive much over 30? I only have a portable room one which requires a tube out of the window hense I couldn't leave it running overnight as it is a ground floor room!
    • DemonCat
      Thanks for the response and interest! I'm planning on ignoring everything about the filter media provided and will do my own thing. But yes, a simple idea to save shrimp is put the filter right next to the intake bit.. I hadn't thought about that and was already thinking about adding mesh... your idea is much better and straightforward.  In regards to heater, where we are in Australia it gets 40 degrees in summer, but we had -7 last week at night.. this morning was a much warmer -3! The heating in the office is a bit whack too... it seems to be boiling hot or freezing cold, so the heater is something i'll just play 'wait and see' with. I don't propose to stock for a while anyway so will have substantial time to monitor the temperature and see if/how/when a heater is needed.  I saw a short youtube video on the water level at the back.. I'm glad I watched it / you told me because if I went in without knowing I'd be freaking out the first time I noticed it. 
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I had a very similar tank to the petworx one and they are very clean to look at and easy to maintain, but obviously you are losing some volume/floor area for the shrimps to inhabit. You will probably need to work something out so the shrimp don't get through to the back area, especially babies (sponge behind the slots etc) - you may be able to just move part of the sponge to that compartment looking at this video:  I would only get a 25w heater, I learned my lesson when my 50w stuck on and cooked the shrimps in my 35L tank. 25w should be adequate as you have a much warmer climate, in fact do you really even need a heater? One drawback with this type of setup is that the level of water in the back can drop drastically when the sponge starts to get clogged, though this is mainly only a problem with the heater which may break in insuficient water, or the pump in really severe circumstances. You will need to clean the sponges at least weekly.  The level drop in the back can look quite alarming when you first see it happening.  The other makes may also have the same issues? I would have thought nearer $250 as it already has a light and pump, and if you don't need a heater? I tried the 'let the idea fade away', but it keeps returning???
×
×
  • Create New...