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beanbag

Can shrimp live off of only biofilm, leaves, Bacter AE?

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beanbag

Hello folks,

It's me again.  I have a tank with Taiwan bees for a month now, etc etc.  Because it spent so much time cycling, there was a lot of biofilm built up.  This whole time, the shrimp have been living off of just the biofilm / algae and one IAL (barely eaten) and one square inch of boiled mulberry leaf (eaten after 1 week).   When I tried to give pellet shrimp food, they mostly ignored it, until last night when I left just two small chunks in and it finally got eaten after a few hours.

There are only 10 small shrimp in 6 gallons, so maybe the biofilm can grow faster than they can eat it?  The majority of time, I can see the shrimp grazing.  Of the three (different) pieces of driftwood, the pacific driftwood has been thoroughly picked clean, but the malaysian driftwood untouched.   They'll graze the substrate in the section with S. repens but not the same substrate with the DHG.  (Not sure why they don't like all of them equally?)

If I also add Bacter AE occasionally, will the shrimp need pellet shrimp food supplementation?

It would be nice to run a tank where I only occasionally drop something in and don't have to do the thing of preparing a feeding dish and removing it after a few hours to avoid water pollution.

If everything goes well, then in a few months I'll have more shrimp and maybe I'll have to ask this again.

shrimptank.thumb.jpg.358e4faa8ea9c623cd54a1eb93bf049e.jpg

 

 

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jayc

They might live on biofilm alone, but it's good to supplement their diet with variety.

 

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MJQMJQ

There are too little shrimps.Can get by without feeding actually.If they are hungry they will rush to the food and fight over it(natural).U have enough biofilm from the decaying wood and mulberry leaves.I believe biofilm contains many types of bacteria which should be enough especially for now.

Edited by MJQMJQ
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sdlTBfanUK

It sounds like we are at a similar place with our tanks, though I have had shrimps in longer. Until recently the shrimps weren't interested in anything I put in the tank but they do come out now when I add food or spinach leaves, though they don't mob it like my previous group, but there are much less shrimps. My tank has about 25L of water and 14-15 shrimps so the tank is about the same capacity but I have a FEW extra shrimps.

I also use the Bacter AE but it isn't a food for the shrimps as such but to help the bacteria/biofilm grow!

With the 10 shrimps in that size tank there probably is enough biofilm to keep them happy, and it sounds like you spend plenty of time watching/enjoying the tank which is great.

I do feed my shrimps and I don't use a dish as I smash the food up anyway (so very small pieces, almost dust) so I only give them (or the assassin snails in that tank) a small quantity and it spreads throughout the tank as I dip a small stick (toothpick) into a few MM of water then into the food then into the tank and swoosh it around and the food falls where ever it falls but not all in one place (controversial I suppose but it seems to work for me). I always use way less food than the manufacturers recommend but it gives the shrimps some variety should they want to eat it, otherwise I am sure the snails will find it?  I use lots of oak leaves and some Indian Almond leaves as well but not MAINLY as food but because biofilm grows on them and they release good stuff into the water?

As your colony grows you will need to start some sort of feeding. One day I use the 5 in one mix, the next day I use Chi Ebi (powder for babies) but as I say A LOT LESS than the manufacturers recommend. The shrimps will almost certainly spread out in the tank as the colony grows as well so I wouldn't worry if one area isn't as popular as another - with only 10 shrimps they probably like to be near other shrimps as they feel safe but when you have a tank full that will not be the same I expect and you should get a more even spread?

I like your shallow tank, perfect for shrimps as they don't need deep water. 

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MJQMJQ

Dont they eat biofilm?Biofilm=food?

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sdlTBfanUK

As far as I am aware the BacterAE helps the biofilm grow, which the shrimp then eat but I didn't think the shrimp eat the BacterAE direct, though I could be wrong, the shrimps do get excited when you add the BacterAE?

Simon

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MJQMJQ

Yep they dont eat it directly it dissolves into the water.Food for bacteria hence indirectly for shrimp.

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beanbag

Bacter AE does have actual bacteria in it, which the shrimp can eat.  It also has enzymes and other nutrients to help the bacteria and other biofilm grow.

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beanbag
10 hours ago, jayc said:

They might live on biofilm alone, but it's good to supplement their diet with variety.

 

Right, so what if their entire diet is biofilm + IAL + maybe some other leaf + bacter AE.  Is that a complete diet with enough variety?  Or is it missing something, e.g. minerals, protein?

To reply to some other points bought up:

As for "swarming" the food, they don't do that.  Maybe they are dumb or something, but it seems like they don't know to actually go inside the feeding dish for food.  Once I put in the dish, some shrimp ignore it, but some others slowly make their way over to the dish and then wander around outside it.  Maybe 15 minutes later, eventually one makes it inside and starts eating.  One hour later, maybe there are 5 shrimp inside.   (half of total)

As for powder food, I won't feed that any more.  In my last tank, I found out that uneaten bits will cause water pollution.

Edited by beanbag
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jayc
1 hour ago, beanbag said:

Right, so what if their entire diet is biofilm + IAL + maybe some other leaf + bacter AE.  Is that a complete diet with enough variety?

No!

 

1 hour ago, beanbag said:

Or is it missing something, e.g. minerals, protein?

Yes! Missing proteins for sure.

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Crabclaw

What’s an easy way to provide proteins then jayc?

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beanbag

I thought bacteria and other non-plant micro-organisms count as protein?

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Crabclaw

What’s an easy way to provide proteins then jayc?

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jayc
3 hours ago, beanbag said:

thought bacteria and other non-plant micro-organisms count as protein?

Not bacteria. But it depends on what non plant organism you mean.

 

3 hours ago, Crabclaw said:

What’s an easy way to provide proteins then jayc?

Frozen blood worms. Or a little off cut of your Christmas prawn. But make sure there isn't any Thousand island sauce or oil on it!

Seafoods basically , that means no beef chicken or pork.

 

 

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sdlTBfanUK
12 hours ago, beanbag said:

Right, so what if their entire diet is biofilm + IAL + maybe some other leaf + bacter AE.  Is that a complete diet with enough variety?  Or is it missing something, e.g. minerals, protein?

To reply to some other points bought up:

As for "swarming" the food, they don't do that.  Maybe they are dumb or something, but it seems like they don't know to actually go inside the feeding dish for food.  Once I put in the dish, some shrimp ignore it, but some others slowly make their way over to the dish and then wander around outside it.  Maybe 15 minutes later, eventually one makes it inside and starts eating.  One hour later, maybe there are 5 shrimp inside.   (half of total)

As for powder food, I won't feed that any more.  In my last tank, I found out that uneaten bits will cause water pollution.

From the behaviour you describe here I would assume there is plenty of biofilm to keep their bellies full but as JayC says it probably may not have EVERYTHING  they need to keep them healthy? Mine are at the same stage as yours going by the behaviour but I also don't have many shrimp yet!

You are right about uneaten food polluting the water but that can be taken too far I think, a little (even uneaten) won't cause a disaster so I feed food as I stated before to give the shrimp some variety, but only in smaller doses than the manufacturers recommend. I am sure my snails probably get some of it?

Simon

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nicpapa

Shrimps prefer biofilm rather other  food.... 

But if population grown , biofilm cant grow that fast, that why we add food....

We feed them for one two houres and the 22 hours trying to found and eat biofilm.

I dont believe that shrimp need animal protein for food, they can live with plant protein.

 

 

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kms

I just purchased a Bacter AE, I have a question about the use of Bacter AE.

Is it necessary to use everyday as instructed with the labelling, for me I probably wont even use all of it before the expiry date, I only have a 1FT tank, about 16l of water and my Bacter AE expiry November 2021.

 

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sdlTBfanUK

I use it twice a week and dip a stick (tooth pick or shrimp lolly stick or a match even) in the tank to about 2-4 mm then into the powder quickly, tap off excess then swirl it in the tank. I do this twice in different areas of the tank! Don't use as much as they say even if you have a lot.

You have 2 years to worry about the expiry date!

Simon

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kms

I will start off with every 2 day with the amount you suggested, then once a week, I only have 16 shrimps, and waiting to purchase 4 black galaxy pinto making it 20 shrimps, If I get more shrimps I will increase the amount of Bacter AE.

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sdlTBfanUK

I think this is more for the bacteria and biofilm growth and not a direct food for the shrimps so use it cautiously and I don't think it will be necessary to adjust for a few extra shrimps. I would use it twice a week though, midweek and weekend is easy to remember?

Simon 

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kms

Thank, I'll consider it

Edited by kms
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beanbag

The instructions have you dose way too much.

BActer AE is both bacteria food for shrimp, and also some other nutrients to help more bacteria grow. 

So the point is to dose, let the shrimp eat some of it, and wait a while for more to grow later.

If you dose too much you will pollute the water.

I agree with Simon that you should use a tiny dab, and not their scoop size.

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kms

I haven't put any in yet, my tank is only 16 litres, using one spoon is way too much, and I don't think using it everyday as instructed is not recommended.

 

Thanks for the advice.

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