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Chels

What freshwater fish can I use to kill copepods?

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Chels

Update: I went with 4 chili rasboras, and could not be happier. They started eating the copepods literally seconds after I put them in the tank, and they even slurp up the detritus worms like spaghetti. They came from a tank with lots of juvenile shrimp, and haven't bothered my shrimp at all even when shoaling. If you want a shrimp-safe fish that will eat your copepods or detritus worms, get some chili rasboras!! 

Original Post: Accidentally posted this in the new members forum like a true n00b, so im re-posting here where it belongs. 

Hello all! I've only been keeping shrimp for a few weeks now, but I am already an overfeeding expert.

Apparently in my zeal to give my shrimp the best life, I have grown a giant colony of copepods which I am worried may harm my first ever newborn shrimplets (which could hatch at any time). I've read that copepods are opportunists who will eat weaker shrimplets if given the chance. And with the amount I have in my tank rn, I foresee my first newborn babies hatching & being instantly swarmed. I also have 3 or so saddled females, soon to be berried females so I want to protect their future babies also. 

I cannot for the life of me find any recommendations on freshwater fish who won't eat shrimplets. The recommendations are always with the caveat of "but I have total ground cover/top cover so most of my shrimplets survive." I have a ton of plants & hidey holes, but I also have some grazing areas where it's just a small patch of substrate since my shrimp love to be fed in those areas. I just started with 15 shrimp, so I don't have a huge colony and can't afford for any babies to be eaten rn. 

I do have an albino bristlenose pleco who is very tiny, but she is a lazy betch and hasn't impacted the copepod population. I should also note I am using a 2g nanotank at the moment. It's a mixed tank with cherries, yellows & blue rilli so I can get a lot of different offspring to separate out and form colonies from in bigger 30g tanks. 

Here are the fish I have heard work great, but may eat *some* shrimplets:

Endlers (males or fry)

Ruby tetras

Rasboras

Pygmy corys

Rocket killifish (clownfish)

Hatchetfish 

Otocinclus

Ember tetras

Neon green tetras

Gold ring danios

Lowlight danios

Edited by Chels
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Chels

Some photos of my tank for reference. And just bc photos make for better posts! 

IMG_20210117_065444_388.jpg

IMG_20210107_115320_795.jpg

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sdlTBfanUK

I don't think copepods (I don't think shrimps eat copepods) will harm the shrimps or shrimplets. Any fish that will eat the copepods will also eat shrimplets. You probably want something like a dwarf rasbora or neon/ember/neon green tetra, those are the only ones I have used safely with shrimp. I think you should expect to lose some shrimpets at this stage, whilst the fish are in occupation!

Mixing colours of cherry shrimp together will probably mean the offspring will revert to wild type quicker, though this happens even with single colour, just slower if  you cull the poor quality offspring? 

I have a killie which cleared my tank nicely of something like copepods, iwpressively quickly (1-2 days) but he would also eat shrimps.

If you have a large tank (cycled eady) then perhaps very carefully transfer the shrimp to that (making sure there are no copepods transferred) then get a fish or 2 to eat all the copepods in the small tank (with no shrimps in the tank you could try guppy, I wouldn't try though with shrimp). Pleco or Octocinclus won't eat shrimp but I doubt they would eat copepods either?

If you transfer the berried females to the bigger tank, or a breeder box/net then the shrimplets should be safe when they are hatched.

Great photos, the first is very pretty/interesting?

Simon

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Chels

Thank you for all the helpful info & speedy reply!! I will keep all my fingers and toes crossed that the copepods stay away from the shrimplets. 🤞🤞🤞🤞 I don't want to deprive them of their happiness just to remove copepods if it's only for vanity's sake. I wonder why some people say they may eat shrimplets? 

The original goal was to produce wild type offspring to feed my turtle, since there's no other way to feed live freshwater shrimp and I can't bear to feed him gorgeous colored neos. That'd be a travesty. If I do get any really pretty offspring though, I'll be separating them out into their own colonies. That first photo you mentioned is a male I believe is the father of these shrimplets about to hatch. I definitely would put them in their own tank if so to breed more of that variation. Maybe with some blue rilli. 

I don't have a second cycled tank at the moment, just an empty 30g one that I don't have a spot for yet. I'm trying to decide if I should use 10g tanks instead and save space. I foresee a whole rack of tanks in the future, I'm already obsessed. 

IMG_20210117_091351_244.jpg

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jayc

I've used Neon Tetras for such duties before.

They are good at clearing out copepods or seed shrimps. But I don't trust them in a tank long term with shrimp.

So I put the Neon Tetras in for short periods of time only and remove them back into their own tanks after a couple of days.

 

Copepods don't attack shrimps or shrimplets. They might take the opportunity to munch on dead shrimps, but they don't do the actually killing. Maybe that is what people are seeing.

Edited by jayc
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Chels

Thanks JayC!! Y'all are making me feel so much better.

I went back through my history and found the article/care guide that mentioned copepods could be a potential danger, just to share:

"On the other hand, the copepods often found in our tanks are often predatory (about 50% of the species found in the wild are as well).

This means that a large copepod could and will pose a threat to your baby shrimps, and while they usually stick to detritus and smaller versions of their own species, copepods have been known to eat small fish and shrimp fry."

https://petshrimpplanet.com/do-cherry-shrimp-eat-copepods/

I don't think even the biggest copepods in my tank will be as big as a newborn shrimplet. 

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sdlTBfanUK

It sounds as though the idea of the smaller 10g tanks would be a better proposition for what you are planning long term, so that you can separate different colour variants!

JayC above has reminded me, my infestation was actually seed shrimps not copepods. Also 11 dwarf rasbora went in the tank the same  time as the killie so I don't know actually which fish ate the seed shrimp but whichever it was they were soeedy and thorough?

Simon

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Chels

Thank you Simon!! I have read all of the posts from the past year or so (down the rabbit hole I go), so I did see your comments about the seed shrimp infestation. Nasty little cocroaches!! Everyone seems to be in agreement on the killies, dwarf rasboras & neon tetras. I think I will have to suck it up and grow some ground cover so I can add a single nanofish to keep the pest population down but still keep my shrimplets safe. I found 2 detritus worms floating yesterday, although I can't see any in the parts of the tank which are visible. Which I know means there are many more I can't see.

There is a back corner I can't really get my eyes on, I'm sure they're there. I just did 2 WCs this past week because overfeeding caused food particles to be everywhere, and suctioned the substrate in the front of my tank. Thankfully my berried female did not molt. In the back end of the tank are the hiding spots and an especially good hiding spot that is planted in the corner.

I think I have the feeding down now, every few days and very tiny amounts. They actually ate nearly all of the food this last feeding. I'm probably going to be dealing with the effects of my overfeeding thus far for weeks until my cleaners can get to it all. My trumpet snails will literally dive into the substrate to get to the food particles. Amazing little buggers. 

IMG_20210118_054844_133.jpg

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sdlTBfanUK

Probably (as JayC recommended) a neon tetra or 2 may be worth a try, tetras spend most of their time midway in the tanks depth of water. My oldest tank has 5 ember tetras, 5 neon tetras and ??? red cherry shrimps and I have never seen the fish go for the shrimp in the 5 years+ it has been running, though there is a lot of subwassertang (?) to hide in and most shrimps are now boring brown/clear so they are hard to see and maybe don't look tasty to the fish. Neon tetras are also cheap and readily available, here anyway?

The malasian trumpet snails will help clear the overfeed - by the way we have all made that overfeed mistake at the start - but they can be a problem in their own right as they breed so quickly?

I have occasionally spotted detritis worms but never had an infestation and probably every tank has them anyway. An infestation of those would indicate over feeding. Any fish will likely eat them. Don't worry about a few of those, they are harmless enough and I think every tank has them!

It  sounds though, that you have a lot competing for food, shrimps, worms, snails, copepods all in a small  tank.......

Simon  

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Chels

Thank you again for all of the excellent advice!!

Yes!! I didn't actually introduce the trumpet snails on purpose. Either the plants from my local independent pet store had hitchhikers or the plants from Petco had some. I rinsed them thoroughly didn't quarantine them so it's my fault. I will catch all but 1 and put them in my turtle tank. Never a short supply of algae in there even with 4 snails and a bn pleco. Neon tetras are super readily available here. 

I introduced a single snail and it hasn't reproduced yet. It's black and I can't remember the name. And with a bristlenose pleco there is still a lot of biofilm and small food particles to clean. I really did a number overfeeding because there's food all over even after sectioning the substrate + 2 WCs. I'm feeding a teeny tiny amount every few days on top of the biofilm. They take hours to eat it all. 

It's hard to tell how much to feed, I wish there was a care guide just on that part. I have omnivore shrimp pellets which are discs, I feel 1/4 of those and a tiny piece of a pleco pellet (disc) and a few tiny granules of herbivore invert pellets. That's every 3 days but I could probably go 4 or 5 with all the biofilm. I have a heater but never use it except for the biofilm. It's a favorite for grazing and it's now spotless. Had a gross crust a few days ago. 

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sdlTBfanUK

We get that a lot thaat snails are introduced with plants, they may have been eggs on the plant etc. Still, snails aren't a bad thing ad as long as you keep on top of the numbers they are another dimension to an aquarium. The majority of snails need a saltwater/brackish stage for reproduction so depending on what the black one is you may never get babies with that one, this means they never become a problem but you need to restock every now and again! I use assassin snails which are much slower at reproducing than the Malaysian Trumpet snails but occassionally I have to give some away to friends.

Overfeeding is such a common problem. Really, shrimp feeding is a top up and treat as the shrimp eat biofilm most of the day, though obviously there needs to be enough biofilm in the tank to sustain the shrimp and with 15 shrimps in a 2g tank they will need some extra food over the biofilm probably!

It sounds as though you are doing everything right! Keep it up!

When you get boring/wild type shrimps they will make a nice treat for your turtle?

Simon

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Chels

Thank you so much, Simon!! I think I just spotted the 5th and newly hatched teeny tiny Malaysian Trumpet Snail in my tank this week. They are a Godsend honestly, because they dive down into the substrate and get every little piece of food, and there is plenty for them even after suctioning the substrate. 

I had to start feeding every other day based on the frenzy, I think they have consumed most of the biofilm. My filter sponge was thick with algae and it looks nearly brand new. I have a ton of food and botanicals coming next week, til then it will have to be a tricky dance on the line of overfeeding. 

I believe any freshwater shrimp would be a good meal for Tortuga the turtle. I've been able to give him fresh plants (except duckweed, I'm just not going there as I read it's a plague), fresh fish, fresh mealworms, and shrimp are really the only fresh food missing. I'll wait until I have over 20 to add to his tank, so hopefully he won't eat them all and they can propagate. I have mollies and platys in their now, the guppies never last long enough to breed. And a bn pleco but it's just a baby so it won't be eaten. Those little suckers move fast when they're babies!!

I really shot myself in the foot though, since I now have a 10g and am looking at galaxy pintos. I am head over heels for shrimp!! It's super addictive. I will be asking a ton of questions the next couple months while that tank cycles. Sorry in advance. 😁

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sdlTBfanUK

I have duckweed in one tank and I have tried several times to get rid of it but it keeps re-appering so I would recommend you avoid that.

TheCaridina shrimp are a lot more difficult to keep so do lots of research before you start dwn that route, and be prepared for the fact it may not work even with the best attention and parameters/

Simon

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Chels

Absolutely. I'm researching how to keep the PH low enough to keep them happy rn. Even a buffering substrate + salty bee alone doesn't cut it, since they need a 5.5-6.7. I would need a lot of driftwood, very little plants (maybe just a tiny amount of floaters - salvina, not the dreaded duckweed), and a constant supply of botanicals for all of the tannins. Now I understand why all of the rare pinto breeders have such sparse tanks. I always wondered why they have so very little plants. 

I'm wondering if the PH regulators would help.. though I'm sure it would somehow kill super sensitive caridina. I know a lot of people experience losses even with the right parameters, and spending $500 at a time on shrimp just to have them die under the perfect conditions isn't a deal breaker for me. I went through much of the same keeping finches.

I had very rare color variations and I was always pretty much trying to keep them alive. Spending $1k at a time on breeding stock is a must. At one point I had a whole finch room with racks of cages, and larger aviaries in my living room. The only reason I stopped is when my brother died and everything kind of took a back seat to my grief. I prefer the challenge and keeping/breeding rare color variations is worth it. That's the best way imho to elevate any breeding hobby.

With Flip Aquatics, they have a 30 day holding period for their imported + rare caridina variations. That is huge since imported shrimp tend to die for no reason (or many reasons) during that time frame according to everything I've read/watched. That's a giant leg up. There is also a breeder I just found nearby - The Grove Aquatics - with the rarer variations. If they can provide the same 30 day buffer or if they have tank bred then I'm in business with 2 different lines to start with. 

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sdlTBfanUK

I do believe that there is greater reward with something that is more difficult.

I wouldn't consider keeping Caridina shrimp though without using RO water and shrimp mineraliser! If you don't want a normal RO water system you can use a Zerowater filter jug (produces RO equivalet water) as I had great success with that, and they are widely available, especially in the USA! I also wouldn't try the PH regulators. With the time and costs involved with these shrimp there is no point in trying to cut corners with something so fundamentaally important as water, RO water is pretty mch a must! The water I get from the zerowater jug is PH 5.5 - 6.0, where my tapwater is PH 7.5.

Simon

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Chels

Absolutely!! Thank you so much for the tip. We actually have a RO system, just haven't set it up yet. But with this RO bottled water being so costly it's definitely getting set up asap.

I also have been researching like crazy, and found the Vin system for setting up tanks for crystals. It's a whole nitrification system that takes about $100 for the full product line and 2 months to cycle. It's super intricate and I have pages and pages of notes from the tutorial, but I think it's by far the best way to go. He keeps the galaxies using this method so I know it's tried & true. He uses a 15 gallon for this video, which I think I'm going to upgrade to just to save myself from dilution calculations. Although I noticed his breeder tanks are 10 gallon. Most people recommend 15-30 gallons for the ease of controlling the water quality. That's reason enough. I saw one video a while ago on YouTube from a US breeder I think using this system, wish I could remember the name. I remember thinking this is ridiculously unnecessary, but I wasn't thinking about taking on any caridina back then. 😅

Here is the video tutorial on the Vin method:

 

Edited by Chels
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jayc

Are you able to purchase those products?

Got a link?

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Chels

Yes! I was able to find a retailer here in the US who sells it. Sorry I didn't include it!! I was researching galaxy breeders when I came across Vin in Taiwan. He has 15+ years of experience and a ton of high level awards from shows for his offspring. 

Link to product line sold at BuyPetShrimp.com:

https://buypetshrimp.com/complete-vin-line-to-cycle-and-maintain-your-shrimp-tank/

Link to Mr. Vin's website:

https://www.vinshrimp.com/

I know it can be ehhh buying products from a tutorial because the tutorial was made by someone who stands to financially gain from the purchase, but there are also veteran hobbyists out there in every facet of keeping domesticated animals with kickass products they created bc they couldn't find anything good enough to fill the gap. $100 sounds fairly reasonable and not too big of a risk to me. 

Edited by Chels
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sdlTBfanUK

I hope it works out for you and look forward to hearing how you get on?

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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jayc

Let us know how the Storm product goes with cycling your tank.

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Chels

So I did some more research on copepods, and there are care guides for shrimp which claim water quality/breeding/egg hatching are all diminished with too many in one tank. So I've resolved to feed hopefully most of them to a nano fish. 

I bought a micro sponge filter, oxydator, and dwarf hairgrass for ground cover. Plenty of hiding spaces under the moss, driftwood & stones. 

Anyone with rasboras able to confirm whether or not they eat copepods? I saw posts on this forum about hatchetfish and killifish specifically eating them, but I can't find the same for the rasboras. They are what I was planning to go with; 3 in my 2.5 gallon nanotank. 

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sdlTBfanUK

I have 1 killie and 11 mosquito rasbora in my reset shrimp tank which became infested with seed shrimp! They cleared the entir tank in a day, I assume the rasbora ate some, if not all of them, as if the killie ate them all he would have died from over eating? I never saw a fish eat a seed shrimp as when I go near the tank they all stop doing anything?

I would give the rasbora a go!

Simon

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Chels

Just wanted to give an update, I added 4 chili rasboras and they immediately went to town on the copepods seconds later. They have reduced their numbers drastically and don't bother the shrimp. Plenty of hiding places for babies and ground covering plants, so I am very happy with the addition. 

I also got a 60u UNS and am working on scaping it soon, then cycling with the Storm system. Another trip to Orange County for seiryu is in my near future. I'll post on a separate thread when I get that started. 😁

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sdlTBfanUK

Thats good to hear, maybe it was the rasbora that ate my seed shrimp infestation then! Sorry to hear that the fish have ich and I hope you get to sort that out, luckily ich shouldn't affect the shrimps so follow JayC advice and you should be ok?

Simon 

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Chels

Thanks Simon! I was amazed at how quickly they noticed the copepods and ate them. Literally seconds after I added them to the tank,  I saw them eat their first victims. I can't even describe how satisfying that was!!

They were kept at the store in a tank with juvenile shrimp, so they caught a few and gave them to me for free. I haven't seen the rasboras bug them even slightly. The only time the two interact is when a shrimp is soaring across the middle of the tank (about to molt) and bumps into a fish. Pretty hilarious to see, and that only happened the first day or two. The shrimp hops back, then proceeds. No big deal. 

Unfortunately, I think they got the ich from my tank. Specifically my albino bn pleco I got from Petco. S/he being pure white, I didn't notice the ich but now I see it. 🤦‍♀️

Big chain pet stores strike again. 

At least it's something that is easily treated! 

I got them just in time, too. My detritus worms population has exploded, and I see flatworms in my moss ledges. I've watched the rasboras suck worms up like spaghetti. So thrilled with them, and they're so darn cute!!

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