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CurleyJones321

New Shrimp Keeper

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CurleyJones321

Hi Guys

Im new to this forum and ive been keeping Red Cherry shrimp since around November when i got my first 10 shrimp who live quite peacefully with 3 adult platys. I moved house at the beginning of February and my tap water became a bit harder and at the beginning of this month i lost 2 shrimp to what i determined to be mineral deficiency for the fact that they had a white band where the saddle usually is. I've also only ever seen 1 berried shrimp about 4 weeks ago but haven't seen her since and haven't seen any baby's. i then got MiroNekuton mineral stones and 10 new shrimp to speed up the establishment of my colony but 2 died withing a day of each other from what i think was struggling to acclimate. Either way I'm pretty sure i have at least 15 shrimp left with 3 Adult Platys which are breeding.

I've got a JBL test kit that tells me PH, dKH, NH4, N02 & N03 but ive just got kits to tell me dGH and a TDS pen to see if i could do anything to better my results. i also measure P04 for the plants but i only like to know there is something in there. i also have readers in the tank that give continuous readings of PH & NH4

My tank is an 18 Liter (although i am intending on increasing this in the next few months) heavily planted with Java Moss, Java Fern, Mioso Moss Balls, Dwarf Sagittaria (I think), Duckweed, And Amazonian Frogbit. my substrate is 2 inches of a mix of black aquarium Gravel and Aquarium Soil. i have an integral filter that wouldnt allow the shrimp (baby or Adult) to get inside. I usually do a 10 - 15% water change once a week but i had a Nitrite spike after i culled some duckweed and so i changed to daily for the last few days. i use Tap water with tap water conditioner and add bio boost once a week.
My current readings are as follows:-
PH - 7.5 (although Im skeptical of the readings as the reader in the tank says 6.8)
dKH - 6
dGH - 12
TDS - 443ppm
Temp - 24C
NH4 - 0.0ppm
N02 - 0.05ppm
N03 - 0.0PPM
P04 - 0.5PPM

i feed them flake food (more for the fish) and a combination of 1 stick of Shrimp King Complete and 2 small sticks of Love shrimp snail and shrimp pellets. once a week i feed the tank 1 frozen blood worm cube and every so often i feed them a couple of leaves of boiled spinach.

is this suitable or should i be changing anything?

Thanks in Advance

Curley Jones

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ShrimpNewb

Those numbers seem quite high for shrimp.  Gh 12 - most ranges for Gh I've seen for neocaridina shrimp are in the 4-8 range.  Kh 6 - most seem to run <4, with most around 2.  TDS 443 - you're going to hear that's about double the desired TDS.  That's some hard tap water.  

I, too, am new to this hobby.  Several experienced people here will chime in to help.  In all likelihood, you probably need to find a source for RO water and buy some sort of re-mineralizer for it.  Everyone here will recommend Salty Shrimp - in hindsight, I probably should have gone down that road, but I am both stubborn and somewhat loyal to my LFS, who I would like to see stay in business, so I went with Seachem Equilibrium (more for plants, too much potassium for shrimp tanks) and have now settled on Sera Shrimp Mineral (what my LFS could order).

I hope this was helpful.  Neos are supposed to be hardy, but I don't know how hardy in the conditions you've got them in at the moment.

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sdlTBfanUK

Welcome fellow UK shrimp keeper!

I agree with shrimpnewb above, those parameters seem way off though cherry shrimp are quite robust. I have cherry shrimps in with a lot of nano fish and it is densely planted.

1) Have you tested the water from the TAP, the water in the tank may be building up GH/KH/TDS if you are topping up with that for evaporation?

2) I haven't ever had a problem exactly the same  as my cherries do well with tap water but we have fairly soft water here I think. You may want to read this and go this route (ie RO water remineralised) and if you do you can just start doing it in replacement of what you do now (ie use the new water for water changes, and use pure RO water for topping up) so it will be gradual enough to not upset any livestock, albeit it will be slowly changing so you may still loose some in transition, but that would probably be the way I would do it. I think it covers most things but if you have any questions just let us know. It is so easy with the zerowater jug which I use and would recommend for the small tank you have (www.zerowater.co.uk).

https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/14025-tap-water-taiwan-bee-uk-zerowater/

3) When you do water changes you should slowly add the new water, most people use some sort of dripper, I use one of these but some people create their own.

http://www.onlinereptileshop.co.uk/reptile-products/Drippers-and-Sprayers/Zoo-Med-Big-Dripper-Bd-1-3811.html#sthash.8tel5oAX.Txucpw12.dpbs

4) It is easy to over feed shrimps so do that sparingly, ie half what the packages say at most, they are in it for profit remember!

I can't think of anything else off the top of my head, the setup sounds ok and 10-15% water change per week sounds fine, Ph same as mine etc. As I say, just ask if you have any specifics you want to ask.

Simon

Ps if you want anything I use these people.

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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CurleyJones321

Hiya, yeah Pro shrimp is where i got my second batch of shrimp, the first batch i got from Real Aquatics. i think Real Aquatics shrimp are hardier because i didn't loose any of their shrimp in acclamation. unfortunately i looked in the tank this morning and theirs another dead RCS in there 😞 again this has a white ban on its back which tells me it was failure to molt so i assume my waters too hard and i have to do RO water and remineralise which i didnt really want to do.

my Tap conditions are as follows:-

PH - 7.5

dKH - 7
dGH - 13
TDS - 330
NH4 - 0.0PPM
N02 - 0.0PPM
N03 - 1PPM
P04 - 2PPM

strangely i asked pro shrimp what to do about this and they said leave them to die off the ones that are hardy will survive and establish a colony.

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Zoidburg

You said that the new water is harder than the old water. Do you have any idea what the parameters are from your last home?


Cherry shrimp can live in water that is 20+ in GH, so your water is not too hard.... however, the addition of extra minerals plus so much protein in their diet could be resulting in the deaths... not even considering the change in water parameters from the old place.

I would recommend cutting back on feeding them and try to feed more vegetable/algae based diets than protein ones. I would recommend starting there before doing anything drastic with your water parameters.

 

Is the aquarium soil a buffering substrate by any chance?

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CurleyJones321

unfortunatley i can only tell you dKH of the old water which was roughly 6 as i didnt have a TDS pen or a dGH test kit before this month.

ok fair point on the feeding ill start that from tomorrow as i have fed them today, the only thing i would ask is for the fish i give them the flake which has protein in it, the fish are Platys so they will eat anything. what can you recommend i give them?

the soil says on the package that it reduces PH & KH so i assume yes it is buffering?

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sdlTBfanUK

I would still try the slow adjustment by using RO and remineralising. I get what ProShrimp were saying in that what else can you do????? If you take the shrimps out and start again with vastly different water, chances are they will all die anyway due to the huge difference but any that are hardy enough to survive in the water and breed will have babies born in that water and therefore more likely to survive. As I say, I would use the zerowater jug and some remineraliser GH/KH+ if I were in your place and then all the parameters will reduce slowly with the weekly water changes. As zoidberg states cherry shrimps are very adaptable but probably the difference in the parameters from the supplier and you is almost certainly too different to not have some deaths. I understand the reluctance to start RO + minerals, especially for cherry shrimps but it isn't that much extra work or money really - the filter and minerals will both last A LONG TIME (Over a year I would expect) with your small tank.

If you don't overfeed (something very common in the hobby, I have a friend whose fish are so fat it is obvious to EVERYONE 'other than him' that he feeds too much) the fish you should be ok using what you're using but if you overfeed, it will end up sinking and the shrimps will then be eating it.

You may find this no nonsense video interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pO6iJPbmdk

Good luck and feel free to ask as many questions as you want.

Simon

Here our water is TDS 185, PH 7.5, GH 4-5, KH 3-4 so you can see how it varies?

 

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CurleyJones321

yeah i looked at that water filter jug you recommended and its a lot less work than installing a RO filter to my water supply. unfortunately Payday is Thursday so it will have to wait until then when im thinking of getting their £60 starter kit. ShrimpNewb recommended a few brands of remineraliser but I'm a bit skeptical that what he has available wont be available in the UK. what would you recommend?

With regards to the Video, I'll watch it but im pretty sure ive seen all the videos on Neocaridina Davidi shrimp there is on Yourtube :).

i intend to keep this thread going with updates of my water conditions and shrimp... i usually test perimeters twice a week because its such a small tank im scared of spikes... ill re-post every time i do and ill let you know when the filter arrives. but i am disapearing to Thailand next month for 2 weeks and 2 days in the air so there will be a drop in communication during that point.

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ShrimpNewb
18 minutes ago, CurleyJones321 said:

ShrimpNewb recommended a few brands of remineraliser but I'm a bit skeptical that what he has available wont be available in the UK. what would you recommend?

FYI, all the companies that make shrimp focused mineralizers are apparently in Germany, so I'm pretty sure that they're all available in the UK.

Sera = German

Salty Shrimp = German

Salty Bee = German

Dennerle = German

I bet all four are available.  The second one is the one everyone seems to recommend.  Mark, of Mark's Shrimp, is a British Youtube-r who lives in Norway, and has recommended Salty Bee, which is apparently made by the same guy who originally designed the Salty Shrimp products.  Again, the only reason I went the Sera route is that the company has a relationship with my LFS.  Otherwise, I'd have gone the on-line route and be using one of those "salty" products.  Good luck.

Edited by ShrimpNewb

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sdlTBfanUK

If you go the zerowater/RO water and remineralise to TDS 200 for a 2L water change each week, I have done a spreadsheet to show how the figures will alter (based on 15L of water, allowing for tank not being filled to brim and other stuff in the tank) which may be helpful. The same will happen to GH and KH but proportionately. Hopefully it is attached.

This is the mineralisers that would be used for cherry shrimps, they do sell larger if you want to get a bigger one.

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/salty-shrimp/98-salty-shrimp-shrimp-mineral-ghkh-85g-4260290710478.html

or

https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/shrimp-king/688-shrimp-king-shrimp-mineral-ghkh-200g-4001615061345.html

Usually with 1 item, proshrimp send postage free unless a bulky item.

I don't know what else you would need that may be in the 'starter kit' you mention.

Simon

 

TDS Calculator.xlsx

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Zoidburg

You'll need to see what foods are available around you. I've had the best luck with food from OMGAquatics which is in the USA, but they aren't selling the food on their site the last time I checked. They actually recommended to me to feed my tanks a vegetable/algae based food twice a week then a protein food once a week.


Since you have fish, you might try just sticking with the flakes but introducing other foods that don't contain animal protein in them for the rest of the diet. Add in leaves and fresh/steamed vegetables occasionally and that may help as well.

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CurleyJones321

Zerowater do a starter kit for £59.99 that includes their 2.8 Liter jug their portable drinking bottle (that ill probably give to my mum) a TDS pen and a spare filter. this should last me a couple of years.  I'll probaley go with Salty Shrimp because ive heard such good things not just from u guys but on video's I've watched.

Also i just did my last daily water change i set myself to get rid of my nitrite spike. just to show how hard my water is the kettle i bought just after we moved in on February 11th has limescale build up. i measured the TDS i put in and it was 396PPM now my tanks reading 412, but that will only go up when i add the bio boost.

Next water condition check will be around Wednesday potentially Thursday depending on my workload. I'll update you with what they are and how many more shrimp I've lost 😞 or maybe even might see a berried one or the baby's from the berryed one i saw  at the end of last month.

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CurleyJones321

sorry one last thing, will i need to now add fertilizer for the plants to the water or should i just assume the soil i have will provide everything?

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ShrimpNewb
12 minutes ago, CurleyJones321 said:

sorry one last thing, will i need to now add fertilizer for the plants to the water or should i just assume the soil i have will provide everything?

I'm facing the exact same question, as I switched from a planted aquarium remineralizer (Seachem Equilibrium) to one focused on shrimp.  What I am doing is playing "wait and see."  That said, I am running my tank without fertilizers, because when I started this whole project, the shrimp sellers I bought from informed me that shrimp don't do well in fertilized tanks.  It is an experiment.

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sdlTBfanUK

I don't use (never have) any fertilizers for the plants and they thrive and grow like crazy! It may not be very scientific but my belief was that you give plants manure etc and the shrimps/fish/snails produce that already. As I say, probably not very scientific and a bit basic, but my fish/cherry tank has not had the soil changed ever (nearly 10 years) and the moss and weed grows like crazy and I am forever throwing some away. All I can add is it works for me........

I believe SOME of the plant fertilisers may contain things detrimental to shrimps as well.

Simon

I have just looked on the zerowater website, if your TDS is very high you may only get 30L(ish) before the filter needs changing if the Tap water is TDS400. Thats about 3-4 months each filter. I would still do it though as it is by far the easiest most convenient way of getting RO water

https://zerowater.co.uk/pages/how-long-will-my-filter-last

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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sdlTBfanUK

Whilst suffering insomnia last night I came up with a variation on the previous plan which would be cheaper and easier! It would still require the zerowater jug or other RO water but the filter would last twice as long and not require the GH/KH+.

Doing weekly water changes of 2L, I would mix 1L tapwater with 1L zerowater and that should give you TDS 165, GH 6-7, KH 3-4, ie as ShrimpNewb said, half the parameter figures. I wouldn't try this with bee shrimp but I am sure it would work with cherry shrimp. Each filter would last about 6-8 months probably, and you don't need to buy/mix the minerals. The affect numerically would be almost the same as the previous plan in slowly reducing the figures until they would be in the normal acceptable range after several months. 

As previously noted, you may well loose the occasional shrimp in this process (though that may happen anyway if you don't do anything) of adjustment but the long term prospects would be better and worth the extra work/expense I am sure. 

You will still have the big unknown of what makes up the TDS/GH figures which you don't get when using specific shrimp products but weighing it all up that would be the route I would go I think as cherry shrimp are fairly robust and you will be doing the adjustments so slowly they should be able to cope well enough. Don't forget to DRIP the new water into the tank.

Hope you have a great trip and look forward to hearing how you get on with whatever you decide to do with the shrimp tank. Any other questions just ask?

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK

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CurleyJones321

Thanks for the Info but i bought both the starter pack stated before and shrimp king minerals 200g's last night from pro shrimp (saulty shrimp was out of stock). Convincing my girlfriend however that i needed to spend £85 for the shrimp was a challenge as she described how she intended to cook them to put them out of their misery but i managed to convince her in the end. I've got them on a next day delivery so i should have it tomorrow.

i was thinking because im going away on the 9th of April and i wont be back until the 25th and im leaving my mum in charge of my tank but all she will do is top off the water with pre-treated water i have to do and feed them, would it be better to do water changes twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday) to speed up the process or would this be too much?

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sdlTBfanUK

I think you are well on your way then.

I would stick with 2L water change once a week, so you could do the first 2 before you go away. You should leave your mum PURE zerowater (no shrimp king/minerals added) in some bottles to do the topping up (water that evaporates leaves the TDS in the tank therefore is pure water) and make sure she knows how much to feed as almost everyone overfeeds.

I am sure this will work out fine. As you say, the initial outlay seems high but the stuff lasts a long time, especially with a small tank. You will want to keep the zerowater just for the shrimps with your hard water though, if you use it for drinking or anything else you will use a lot of filters???

Simon

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CurleyJones321

yes mate that's what i'm intending on doing with it.

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Zoidburg

The aquarium soil is good for plants and if you have low end plants you may not need ferts at all... that said, the soil isn't good to be used with tap water since it changes the parameters. That in itself can also cause enough stress in shrimp to cause deaths.

 

*IF* you wanted to use ferts, you could always do 1/4 to 1/2 the recommended dose. You'll want something that provides trace and micro elements. Done right, many shrimp can thrive in a planted tank with ferts. It's doing a high tech tank with ferts and CO2 where it gets complicated and easier to kill off the shrimp.

Maybe best to hold off ferts for now and see how the shrimp do.

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ShrimpNewb
6 hours ago, CurleyJones321 said:

i was thinking because im going away on the 9th of April and i wont be back until the 25th and im leaving my mum in charge of my tank but all she will do is top off the water with pre-treated water i have to do and feed them, would it be better to do water changes twice a week (Wednesday and Sunday) to speed up the process or would this be too much?

I just noticed.  Top offs should be done with RO water, not mineralized water.  If you top off with mineralized water, you'll be increasing Gh and Kh.  Water changes, yes, top offs, no.

Whoops.  Didn't see Simon gave you the exact same advice above.  Duh.  Silly me.

Edited by ShrimpNewb
Idiocy
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sdlTBfanUK
2 hours ago, ShrimpNewb said:

I just noticed.  Top offs should be done with RO water, not mineralized water.  If you top off with mineralized water, you'll be increasing Gh and Kh.  Water changes, yes, top offs, no.

Whoops.  Didn't see Simon gave you the exact same advice above.  Duh.  Silly me.

Yes that is right, top up pure RO water (or zerowater in this case). Using any other water will increase TDS and GH etc as only water evaporates leaving everything else (tds/gh/kh) still in the tank. In theory, if you collect the condensation on the cover of the tank and test that it should be pure water, no TDS/GH etc - I haven't tested that though?

It took me quite a long time to get my head around that one I don't mind admitting, and I was an accountant!!!!!!!

Simon

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jayc

If you are going away for 2 weeks, you won't need to top up the water. Any loss to evaporation can certainly wait until you return to be topped off.

Leave some takeaway plastic containers with the exact amount of food you want to feed near the tank.

Label each container with the feeding date printed on the cover. So the person feeding your shrimp just needs to open the container and pour in the contents.

Feeding once every 3 days should be enough.

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sdlTBfanUK
9 hours ago, jayc said:

If you are going away for 2 weeks, you won't need to top up the water. Any loss to evaporation can certainly wait until you return to be topped off.

Leave some takeaway plastic containers with the exact amount of food you want to feed near the tank.

Label each container with the feeding date printed on the cover. So the person feeding your shrimp just needs to open the container and pour in the contents.

Feeding once every 3 days should be enough.

IF you are using a heater in this small tank you will probably need some top up water this time of year, but I can't see any mention of a heater so if you aren't using a heater you may not need top up as JayC says (he has way more experience/knowledge than I. I would leave a 1L bottle of zerowater next to the tank for all eventualities anyway even if you don't normally need to do topping up.

I had a 15L before with the shrimps and in winter it needed daily topping up with the heater versus the cold house battle raging, mainly as there isn't enough 'space' for the water to drop much in these nano tanks without the equipment being affected, ie heater not being completely submerged, pump etc etc?

Simon

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CurleyJones321

i have a 50 watt heater in the tank set at 23C but the tank maintains at 24C. the heater is clever, if there isn't water around it it automatically powers off.
shrimp minerals should be here today but the Zero-water Jug hasn't even reached the courier yet... still I'm hoping it will be here by Friday.

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    • DEL 707
      Again, thanks for all the help. I ordered the Shrimp GH+KH minerals and they arrived today and did a 20l water change. I plan to do 20l on Saturday and 20l on Tuesday when I'm off, so that'll be over 100% water change. If my tank stats come back o.k, I might finally look into getting some shrimp next week.
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      It is definitely more of a balancing act when trying to keep everything happy in a tank with Shrimps and plants, but don't be put off I think you will be fine. When putting the shrimps in the tank you should take hours of dripping to acclimate them and you may lose a few with the low Ph but I am sure it will work out in the end as cherry shrimps are fairly tough. If you use all RO water and GH/KH+ then the PH will always be lower even after the buffering of the soil stops, but this is the easiest route to go! If you go the mixed water 1:3 with GH+ the same applies but the PH will be slightly higher and will be cheaper (less GH+ and RO water needed), so overall this is the way I would go, and it isn't all that complicated once you get it up and running! As with JayC I doubt you really will need any ferts but if you must then use a lot less than the packaging recommends!  The best thing to do is just decide which route you prefer to go from the start as it gets so much more difficult to change it later? I don't have any issue with keeping shrimps/fish/plants happy and I don't use CO2 or any fertilizers so it is definitely possible and not that difficult if I can do it? I think that a lot of the plant fertilizers etc are really intended for plant aquascapes without any inhabitants but with fish and/or shrimps there will be natural fertilizer and the soil should have enough to start everything off? If you still aren't too sure I would just try running the tank without the CO2 or ferts (with the exception of as JayC recommends above) for a few weeks and just see how the plants get on, as you can start using either/both again at any point if they don't look like they are ok, but I expect it will work out fine. This will also give you time to mull it over at leisure? Simon
    • jayc
      You only need Flourish Potassium, as needed, in an aquarium. Potassium will be the limiting factor to growth in most aquariums. But with shrimp in the tank, I would dose it at 1/4 strength once every 2 weeks or more. Seachem Flourish for micro nutrients at half recommended dose every other 2 weeks in between the Potassium.   But !!  I don't believe you will need too much ferts in your tank. The type of plants and the amount of plants do not warrant much ferts at all. The waste from the fish and shrimps will be enough ferts, and if they are getting enough light a day, the plants will be fine without any additional ferts, except maybe a little potassium once every few weeks.
    • DEL 707
      O.k rethink. If I use that Salty Shrimp GH/KH stuff. Can you recommend any good fertilisers I could use for the plants? I'm not dosing anything at the moment.
    • DEL 707
      Not going to lie, this is giving me a headache. Just want a nice planted tank with fish and shrimp. 🤨 At the moment it looks like it have to either pick 1 or the other. Would this be a solution. Use Seachems Equilibrium and KH products to bring my GH and KH up to 4, then use that Shrimp King Mineral Fluid Double, to bring the GH up to 6. That would make sure that there are at least some minerals for the shrimp.
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