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Crabby & Frosty’s Mischling Tank


Crabby
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Hey folks!

This thread is intended as a documentation (and space to ask questions of course) of @Frosty and my venture into caridina shrimp. 
We’re starting off this weekend with 15-20 mischling shrimp (tibee x CBS), and maybe in a couple months if everything is going well we can add some TTS or KK or pandas or something. 

The tank is a 4ft, with inert gravel and rocks, lots of moss, Java fern (crested and regular) and assorted crypts, and a couple big pieces of driftwood. 

Current parameters are the following (please advise us if you think we should fix anything):

22°, 6.8 pH (we might try ageing our water change water with peat moss, so with a couple water changes we’ll bring this down to 6.4-6.6), 3GH, 2KH, and 0 nitrates, nitrites and ammonia. 

We’re thinking maybe to make it more interesting to the average onlooker, we might add a small school of chilli rasboras, but that’s hopefully going to be it for fish. 
The tank is in direct sunlight, so there’s a possibility we’ll need ottos at some stage.


I’ll update later with photos and our plans. Please let me know if you’ve got any advice!

Cheers!
 

Edited by Crabby
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It sounds like you are on top of it. The PH could be lower, as could the KH which is a bit more concerning, but I assume you are using tapwater and hopefully it will work but don't get too many shrimp until you are sure the shrimp will do ok in the water, esecially as they  won't be cheap shrimp? You may be wiser to buy whichever you want, that are the cheapest for the initial try/tester this weekend?

I have the chilli rasbora in my  old taiwan bee tank, now with wild red cherry shrimp, and a killie. As these shrimp are almost invisible most of the time, it is good to have something to see in the tank, and it adds another dimension.The water parameters are totally off for the neocaridina yet they survive - they were dumped in the tankwhen smallera food for the killie..............

I'm sure you are already aware though that even these small fish will eat new born shrimp so it will need to be quite densly planted, and you just have to accept this will happen, and that you will get less of the shrimp offspring survive?

You may also needsometype of water cooler if it is in sunlght in Australia?

Look forward to seeing photos and hearing how it goes!

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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On 5/21/2021 at 5:49 PM, sdlTBfanUK said:

The PH could be lower, as could the KH which is a bit more concerning


Yeah, we’re trying to sort out the pH and KH with this ‘ageing water w/ peat moss’ idea, so hopefully that’ll work. 
I also got a TDS pen this weekend, and I haven’t had time to measure that tank yet (just their QT tank, which is perfect for every parameter!), but I’ve been playing around with it and I was surprised to find that I only have 26ppm of total dissolved solids coming out of the tap! So when doing water changes, my tap water serves almost as RO water! I think this may be why my previous attempts with shrimp have not gone very well. I was doing 20% water changes with tap water, which must have been really messing with the tds. I think with this new tank, we’ll be doing very slight water changes and trying to match parameters as best we can. And with my shrimp tanks at home, I’ll be going back to taking water from my main tank for water changes (and again doing very slight WCs). 
To be honest, that could explain why the times that I had no losses were when I had long periods where I wouldn’t touch the tank. 
 

On 5/21/2021 at 5:49 PM, sdlTBfanUK said:

You may also need some type of water cooler if it is in sunlght in Australia?

We should be fine, it’s not constant, just little rays of direct sunlight that slip through the trees every once in a while. But it looks fabulous when that comes through.

On 5/21/2021 at 5:49 PM, sdlTBfanUK said:

I'm sure you are already aware though that even these small fish will eat new born shrimp so it will need to be quite densly planted, and you just have to accept this will happen, and that you will get less of the shrimp offspring survive?

Yeah well if we do decide to add them, it would be in a while once the colony has stabilised and started growing. And once the plants have grown in.


In terms of the shrimp, the guy failed to respond when I asked for his address multiple times (gumtree seller), so I guess we’ll see if we end up actually getting those mischlings. I’m hoping it was an accident, and I can pick them up next weekend.

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48 minutes ago, Crabby said:

I also got a TDS pen this weekend

I am surprised you did not have a TDS pen until now.

Looks like you will need to start looking into remineralising soon too. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, jayc said:

I am surprised you did not have a TDS pen until now.

I know, I’ve been meaning to get one for over a year. Glad I finally did. Unfortunately, I tested the tank today and it came out with a TDS of 40… which is great fun, because it means either the test kit is measuring GH and KH wrong, or the TDS pen I just bought doesn’t work (as 1 degree hardness is equivalent to 17.9ppm, and TDS should include measures of hardness like GH and KH). Yay. 

Edited by Crabby
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Has @Frosty got a TDS pen you can use as a comparison?

I would lean towards the GH/KH test kit being inaccurate.

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No, we don’t have any access to other TDS pens, but we have multiple test kits so we can try that. 
I’m currently thinking it’s the TDS pen, just because it’s got a temperature feature that’s a tad broken. But I’m not sure, cuz everything other tank seems right for tds. 
 

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Where did you get the TDS pen from,I'm sure there are many fakes on places like ebay etc?  Also check the 2 prongs are straight and parallel as if not that will give a different result.

Simon

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It’s from Amazon, but I’m pretty sure it should be fine. I’ll check the prongs. Cheers.

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I have just looked at my tds pen, there should also be a small hole on the back if it is a real one, I believe the fakes don't have the hole?

Simon

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  • 3 months later...

Well it’s been a while, but I’ve finally got the chance to pick up some shrimp! Due to lockdowns it’s been almost impossible, but I just saw someone (within my 5k limit) put up some cheap CRS on gumtree, so I’m gonna grab 22 (20, with 2 free). I’m thinking I might split them up between 2 tanks, to have the best chance of starting a colony. I’m going to put half in my fry tank and half in my CPD tank. I’m tempted to put them in with my blue dream shrimp and female betta, but I think it’s safer to ‘QT’ them, without other shrimp.

I’m going to be keeping them at a temp of around 20-23, pH around 6.6 in both tanks I think, TDS between 150-200 (I think??), and I’ll feed them every few days. No major water changes, but I think I’m going back to weekly or fortnightly small ones due to some algae and fin rot problems.

Any last minute reminders or advice for CRS? I’m so excited that I’m worried I might be forgetting something important.

I’ll get photos as soon as I can. 

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33 minutes ago, Crabby said:

Any last minute reminders or advice

Don't forget to ask for the current water parameters from the seller.

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43 minutes ago, jayc said:

Don't forget to ask for the current water parameters from the seller.

Whoops. Forgot to ask, but it’s probably easier to just test the water in the bag.

 

Also ahhh I really want to put them in with Tessa and my blue dream 😂

They look so good together!

7116DAF6-EB0E-4A9B-9D83-9D3B7CA3FABE.thumb.jpeg.928d045fd94bf9a14ef84c0c43093e18.jpeg

Edited by Crabby
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Thats a great photo, but can't help think she is viewing them as lunch, but if you have blue shrimps already in with her then it may work, though obviously the CRS are easier to see and shrimplets will probably get eaten if she sees/finds them unfortunately, but some may reach adulthood, you will only know by trial!

I should aim for the lower tds figure of 150, though you don't need to be exact but the tds usually rises with evaporation and time so if you aim for the lower figure you have more chance of staying in the right range!

Are you still splitting them between 2 tanks?

Doing a small water change of say 10% each week is very easy and probably safer anyway than a less frequent but larger one? I assume you will be drip acclimatising the shrimp?

I hope it all works out and look forward to hearing how it goes.

Simon

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So far so good! I love these little guys!

49 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I assume you will be drip acclimatising the shrimp?

Yep, took me a few hours for the whole process. Parameters were pretty close anyways, but I always drip acclimate everything just to be safe. Unfortunately broke another airstone at the end of the second acclimation, it’s infuriating how easily those things break. But I probably shouldn’t expect any better for a $1 product.

49 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Can't help think she is viewing them as lunch, but if you have blue shrimps already in with her then it may work, though obviously the CRS are easier to see and shrimplets will probably get eaten if she sees/finds them unfortunately, but some may reach adulthood, you will only know by trial!

She was definitely curious, but yeah, I was also worried she thought they were food. They’re much more visible than the blue dream, so could definitely be seen as food to her. I’m not willing to try until I have an established CRS colony. 

49 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

I should aim for the lower tds figure of 150, though you don't need to be exact but the tds usually rises with evaporation and time so if you aim for the lower figure you have more chance of staying in the right range!

Okay! Sounds like a good plan. One of the tanks keeps a low TDS very easily, but the other one keeps increasing slowly. I’ll do a small water change during the week to drop it down further. Very glad that my tap water has a TDS of 27, makes it much easier to play with parameters.

49 minutes ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Are you still splitting them between 2 tanks?

Yep! I’ve got 11 in my CPD tank (with a work-in-progress iwagumi scape) and 11 in the fry tank (barebottom with IAL and lots of Java moss. They seem to be enjoying both tanks a lot!! Take a look!50423902-4217-4FB9-A602-D900252CD099.jpeg.575bf9ea71ce9a11f6347a78b9d81232.jpeg67EF468F-1FB3-4964-9D64-ED428D7F2DB4.jpeg.68b4dd9805b6e211e1a2a3f5af75c9c8.jpegFD4A3822-F531-49BE-8F5B-0936A72959EC.jpeg.0f6f537d22d5b64e842d40c98abb93c3.jpegB1B716FA-06A8-4AF7-9B23-EBEE86A20FDB.jpeg.2194efc820d24bc2a144a3e7bb3b94c7.jpeg3E7A057F-C97B-4D2A-B7A0-ED4B5652E915.jpeg.cce16f28c8fe3b8a4db6ece88ff98eee.jpeg2FC8DFE4-888B-4A33-BB28-D185E0511B23.jpeg.664ea950bb7b9b5ecd6fb09dc91c73ed.jpeg

The pictures are kind of low quality due to file size restrictions, but I’ll get some good photos with the DSLR during the week and upload them to a gallery at full quality.

Edited by Crabby
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They are very pretty and they look happy enough!

The last photo shrimp in the centre, what is that brown patch on the head or is that on the glass?

Any newborn shrimplets in the fry tank wil be at risk as well, especially with a bare base, not a problem yet clearly, but if the water parameters of both tanks with these shrimp in are close in parameters maybe you could just move berried shrimp into the other tank until they hatch so the babies have a better chance when first born!

Just noticed the brown on the second from last photo as well, I would quarantine that shrimp for now? You don't want to risk the others?

Simon

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16 hours ago, Crabby said:

Whoops. Forgot to ask, but it’s probably easier to just test the water in the bag.

 

Also ahhh I really want to put them in with Tessa and my blue dream 😂

They look so good together!

7116DAF6-EB0E-4A9B-9D83-9D3B7CA3FABE.thumb.jpeg.928d045fd94bf9a14ef84c0c43093e18.jpeg

This photo is making me smile... The fish think "thank you master, my snack is coming, and look delicious"

While the shrimp one the left think "OMG I must runaway from this..."

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13 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

Any newborn shrimplets in the fry tank wil be at risk as well, especially with a bare base, not a problem yet clearly, but if the water parameters of both tanks with these shrimp in are close in parameters maybe you could just move berried shrimp into the other tank until they hatch so the babies have a better chance when first born!

Yeah they probably will be at a little bit of risk. Fortunately, I don’t have any fry currently in the tank, although I’ll have some in a couple weeks probably. We’ll see how it goes. There’s a heap of moss, and I’m sure it’ll grow loads, so by the time I have fry large enough to eat shrimplets, the moss should be dense and large enough that the fry can’t get to the little guys.

14 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

 

Just noticed the brown on the second from last photo as well, I would quarantine that shrimp for now? You don't want to risk the others?

Oh good spot Simon! I didn’t even notice that. I’ll see if I can find that shrimp today when I turn the lights on, and get a better look at whatever that is.

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Alright, so for the first update:

I’m really loving the shrimp. I’ve spent ages just sitting in front of the tank and watching them. I really surprised myself actually; I thought I’d enjoy them more in the tank with fish, as an addition to the stocking. But I’m REALLY loving them on their own! If all goes well for another couple weeks, I think I’ll move them all into the ‘fry’ tank. Luckily it sits next to a sink, which I normally use for water changes, so it’s extraordinarily easy to do small and often water changes. I’m going to do one once the water comes back on.

I’ve got a couple things to cover. Firstly, I still haven’t found the shrimp with the brown head. The shrimp in that tank are hiding a lot more than the ones in my shrimp-only tank. Conversely, the CPDs are much more active, so I guess the shrimp are acting as dithers?

In the shrimp-only tank, I’ve had a couple of mishaps. Firstly, my heater seems to not like me much anymore. After moving houses, it was out of use for 6 months. When I started using it again for the betta breeding project, the set temperature was different from the actual temperature, by about 3 or 4 degrees. By the time I started raising my first batch of CPD fry (which unfortunately didn’t go so well), I had it set at 27, and it was giving me 24°, which was what I wanted. But when I tried to drop it down by a couple degrees (placing it on 25° with the intention of getting it to give me 21 or 22), it just gave up. I woke up the next morning and checked on the tank, and I was shocked to see the temperature at 15°!!! A tiny freak-out ensued, and I set my heater back at 27°, because surely 24° is better than a frigid 15°. The water has slowly (painfully slowly) heated up over the last day to sit at about 22°, so I’m hoping it sticks there and I don’t have to mess around with this hellish heater any more. I’ll replace it next time I order something or go to my LFS. Thankfully it doesn’t seem like there was any problem that followed from that. All the shrimp in there are doing very well still. Except for one. I found him dried out on the counter, next to the tank, just this morning. I was shocked, and a little heart-broken. I’m not sure what could’ve happened… did he somehow climb onto the lid last night when I fed, and he fell off of it when I took it out of the tank, and I somehow didn’t notice? Did he climb out of his own accord, through the tiny hole in the corner where the airline comes in to the tank?? Did I somehow accidentally flick him out of the tank??? I’m flabbergasted, and rather upset.

Anyways, it seems that at least everything else is going okay. I’m looking forward to the opportunity of perhaps moving the other CRS over to the shrimp-only tank, and having another go with CPD fry as well. That’s all for now though. Photos definitely coming on the weekend, because I totally can’t wait to bring out the camera and get some nice shots of them.

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Great essay on your adventures. It felt as if I was there 😄.

Too bad about that one shrimp that was found outside the tank. Is your water level close to the rim of the tank? If it is, reduce the water level a bit to avoid shrimp climbing out.

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17 minutes ago, jayc said:

Great essay on your adventures. It felt as if I was there 😄.

Too bad about that one shrimp that was found outside the tank. Is your water level close to the rim of the tank? If it is, reduce the water level a bit to avoid shrimp climbing out.

Yeah it’s right up near the rim, I didn’t realise they could climb (I’ve had shrimp in this tank a few times before) and preferred the high water level look. I’ll drop it down a tad in that case. 

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Great to get an update with no horrific stories, look forward to seeing some photos in due course!

I had a shrimp try to make a dash for it when I first got in to shrimps, I saw it crawling across the carpet, I don't actually know how it got out but as JayC suggests, lowering the water level will make it harder, however they try to get out? They can jump out or even climb up power cables.

Really pleased your heater problem didn't cause you any big problems!

Simon

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      How is now the condition of pH?
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Summary from the old thread; I managed to destroy my wonderful Taiwan bee tank with a faulty heater that cooked them. I then set up the tank afresh May 2019 using shrimpking substrate, new plants and wood etc. The tank looked very drab from the start and several batches of new taiwan bee were added and died out instantly. Covid came along so I decided I would give up with the taiwan bee shrimp and get some fish instead about a year later (1 kilie and 12 mosquito rasbora). September 2020 I tried another batch of tawian bee but they fared no better and the tank was still very drab looking (and still is to this very day). I very much doubt it is the substrate but won't be using that again but have aquired a large bag of the old type of substrate I used before, but I really don't know what caused the problem, maybe there was some sort of bacterial infection or I accidently poisoned the shrimp, or there was something on the new plants/wood??? The parameters were always perfect and I have to just accept I will never know? At some later date I dumped some wild type red cherry culls into the tank as food for the killie but he didn't seem to eat them (they were clear/brown so maybe he didn't see them) and they seemed to settle into the tank and bred! Fast forward to a month ago and I decided that now the postal service is better than it had been early in the pandemic, I should maybe try some more taiwan bee as the cherry shrimp had been in there for a year or so and doing well, so I assume whatever the problem was had gone, although the tank is still not as healthy looking as the other tanks using the other substrate! I ordered 15 black shrimps 2 weeks ago and put those in the tank and they seemed to be surviving so earlier this week I order 20 red/blue shrimp and put those in the ttank yesterday. This morning I counted 18 shrimps (about half) so it looks as though it maybe going to work now, the tank is so densely planted that I would never expect to see ALL the live shrimp anyway! The killie fish died a few days ago so he isn't a threat anymore and I doubt the rasboras are either. I am now in the process of fishing out the wild type cherry shrimp as/when I see them! Here is the link to the full thread about the above but I decided to start a fresh thread from here on, https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/14523-here-we-go-again/ I will keep this thread updated and get some photos at some stage, though the new shrimp are a bit small at the moment.  Simon
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I think I should start a new thread on this now as this is getting a bit long and it seems to be working now, and to keep it tidier and easy to find/follow! I will attach a link below once done! Simon https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/15621-here-we-go-again-again/  
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Hopefully it will settle quite quickly now and it was just everything sorting itself out, and at least you caught it before it caused problems with the fish and shrimps. As you also say, it will take a bit of time for the neneficial bacteria to spread in the new sunstrate as well! The  packaging of the substrate should tell you if there is any routine you should carry out when first using it because of mineral build-up or ammonia, so if the packaging didn't say anything I think it is safe to assume it was not the substrate (Fluval stratum is volcanic soil), and other people may have just assumed it was the substrate without considering anything else if they had a similar episode to yours? Simon 
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