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FAQs on Freshwater Shrimp Selection

Related Articles: Freshwater CrustaceansInvertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford

Related FAQs:  FW Shrimp 1, FW Shrimp 2, & FAQs on: FW Shrimp Identification, FW Shrimp Behavior, FW Shrimp Compatibility, FW Shrimp Systems, FW Shrimp Feeding, FW Shrimp Disease, FW Shrimp Reproduction, & Shrimp by Family, Genus, Species: Atyids: Genera Caridina & Neocaridina (Japanese Marsh, Yamato Numa Ebi, or Amano Shrimp, Bumble/Bee, Crystal), Genus Atyopsis (Bamboo, Wood Shrimps), Genera Attya, Atya, Atyoida (Mountain, Rock Shrimps), Freshwater/Brackish/Marine Palaemonidae Rafinesque, 1815 & FAQs on: Palaemonetes (Ghost/Grass/Glass Shrimp), Macrobrachium (Blue "Lobsters), & FW Crustaceans 1FW Crustaceans 2, FW Crustaceans 3, FW Crustaceans 4, & & FAQs on: FW Crustacean Identification, FW Crustacean Behavior, FW Crustacean Compatibility, FW Crustacean Selection, FW Crustacean Systems, FW Crustacean Feeding, FW Crustacean Disease, FW Crustacean Reproduction & Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Hermit ID, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health, & Crayfish FAQs, Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Disease, Crayfish Reproduction,

Caridina serrata species at the 08 Interzoo.

Shrimp.... NO use of WWM        4/5/15
What species of shrimp, if any, can you put together in a tank. How many can you house in a 2.5, 5, and 10gallon tank?
<Freshwater, brackish or marine? Makes a big difference when it comes to choosing species! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Shrimp       4/5/15

<Well that narrows things down a bit. Pretty much all the "algae shrimps" will do well in tanks from 5 gallons upwards. Choose whichever you like, but avoid mixing very differently sized species. Cherry Shrimps (the red variety of Neocaridina davidi) is an excellent default, hardy and easy to keep, and of course beautifully coloured. Females get to about 2.5 cm or
so, while males are smaller. You can keep a fair number in a well-maintained tank, and since they breed quickly, you'll soon end up with many more. But a 5-gallon tank stocked with, say, 10 specimens wouldn't be excessive. Since the various colour forms of Neocaridina davidi will all very likely interbreed, it's best to choose just one Neocaridina davidi and stick with it, but you may opt for green, orange, blue or even black forms if you wish. Then there are the smaller Bee Shrimps such as Caridina cantonensis. These are more expensive and more difficult to keep than Neocaridina algae shrimps, but are even better choices for nano tanks, being barely 2 cm long when fully grown. Websites such as Petshrimp.com will reveal many, MANY more species out there. Care doesn't vary that much, with the exception of a few brackish water species and of course the predatory and territorial long-arm shrimps (Macrobrachium spp.). Cheers, Neale.>

Red Cherry Shrimp       12/16/14
Hello All, Hopes things are going well for you. I have a question about red cherry shrimp please. I am considering putting them the aquarium I am setting up and would like to know first of all if there is a particular number I should buy for them to be out in the open more.
<Like schooling fish, get at least six. The more the merrier really, and since they're pretty cheap, getting a dozen isn't unreasonable.>
Also, what kinds of freshwater fish should I avoid keeping that would pose a danger to these shrimp?
<Pretty much all of them. But very small, very inoffensive fish can work. I keep mine with Heterandria formosa, and have had success keeping Cherry Shrimps with Oryzias spp too. By "success" I mean the shrimps not only survived they bred, with enough youngsters surviving for their numbers to increase over time.>
Thank you. James
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Guppy behavior/water smell (actually about plants taken from the wild, plus shrimp selection) 10/26/10
Hello again, a new thing has come up. I happened to be able to get free fanwort from a lake, the lake was man-made and the water is still fairly pure. It has green algae on it, would it be ok to put it with guppies? Also, unfortunately the cost of cherry shrimp isn`t feasible for me at this time, would ghost shrimp be at least as good?
<Ghost shrimp are fine companions for Guppies, but they don't breed under aquarium conditions and aren't as pretty. They're also a bit larger. As for adding plants from the wild, sure, you can do this, but a plant adapted to the oncoming winter season won't be happy being stuck in a tropical tank. So if you're going to collect temperate zone plants, even species you know tolerate tropical conditions, do so towards the end of spring when they're gearing up to the growing season. Another issue is that plants taken from the wild can carry both predators (e.g., damselfly larvae) and, more crucially, potential pests including snails and (if the pond/lake contains fish) parasites. Dipping plants for up to 10 minutes in a very dilute (10 mg/l) KMnO4 solution should shift most potential pests. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Guppy behavior/water smell   10/26/10

Ok thanks! Maybe I`ll just try to get some plants from the pet store. :)
<Usually the best plan. Or find a friend with a fish tank. I'm regularly donating clumps of unwanted plants! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: frog and fish compatibility, now Shrimp Sel.    7/11/09
Neale, are there any types that you would recommend that are easy to feed and maintain?
<Cherry Shrimps (Neocaridina heteropoda) are outstanding, being colourful, active and willing to breed under aquarium conditions. They're especially easy to sex, and starter colony of, say, four of the big red females and two of the semi-transparent and rather smaller males will quickly multiply in numbers. While some baby shrimps will be eaten, with luck, you'll soon have dozens, and you can either unwanted ones or give them away to other aquarists. Other Neocaridina are available in all sorts of colours: orange, yellow, blue, green and more! The smaller shrimps such as Bumblebee and Crystal Red Shrimps tend to be too small to do well with community fish except the very smallest types (such as Neons) while the bigger shrimps like long-arm shrimps (Macrobrachium spp.) can be (often are) predatory and territorial. Amano and other algae shrimps (Caridina spp.) are good community residents, but they don't breed in captivity because they produce planktonic larvae that need to develop in brackish or salt water. Crayfish generally aren't a good idea, but the small Orange Dwarf Crayfish from Mexico, Cambarellus patzcuarensis, is a very good species that works well with non-aggressive tankmates. Like shrimps, it's vulnerable during the moulting phase, but unlike shrimps, is very sensitive to Iodine deficiency, so use a (marine aquarium) Iodine supplement at about half dose for best results. Gets to about 5 cm in length, so more like a robust shrimp than a traditional crayfish. German aquarium manufacturer Sera produce a very readable booklet on feeding and keeping crustaceans; download it here:
Might give you some ideas! I have a windowsill tank devoted entirely to shrimps and snails, and although a bit different to what people usually think about, a "freshwater reef tank" of this sort can be a lovely
challenge for the bored aquarist. In this case, there's just some plants, a heater and a small filter; lighting is plain sunlight, and the plants and algae grow wonderfully! Cheers, Neale.>

Ghost shrimp, sel.   12/5/08 Hi, I was wondering if ghost shrimp would be a good fit for my 2 year old aquarium. I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank that has 1 red tailed shark (which is very passive ), <Lucky you! Lovely fish, but often rather mean spirited!> 1 gold Gourami, 5 tiger barbs, 3 cherry barbs, 2 catfish...I'm not sure of the type. They are a grayish blue color with a darker shade of polk-a-dots. <Pimelodus pictus by any chance? A nice, schooling catfish; gets to 15 cm, predatory towards small fish, but otherwise well behaved.> See, my husband bought me 3 rubber lip Plecos the other day.....but they are way to shy and are not cleaning the algae. <They won't. These catfish are aufwuchs feeders, meaning they consume green algae alongside small invertebrates such as crustaceans and insect larvae. They're basically more like Corydoras in terms of care. The best algae-eaters, without question, are Nerite snails. They won't breed in fish tanks, and only live a couple of years, but they are hugely effective. Do always remember algae is best combated by adding lots of fast-growing plants, and this sometimes means increasing the amount of light. That's counterintuitive I know, but more light = less algae, if you have the right plants.> I'm thinking of returning them and I'm considering ghost shrimp to help maintain the algae in my tank. Any suggestions???? Can you recommend another algae eater that will be more active, not so shy?...that is ...if shrimp are not good for the bunch. I know as far as any fish medicated treatments....I would need to remove the shrimp. <Cherry shrimps and Amano shrimps, basically any Neocaridina or Caridina species, are the best algae eaters. Being small, predators such as Pimelodus will eat them. But otherwise hardy and easy to keep. You already understand copper kills them, which is good.> Also, I use the black carbon in my filter cartridges as well as ammonia reducer ( the white small bits ), but there seems to be a lot of free flowing very small bubbles swimming around in my tank, which makes it appear to be hazy, or not so clear. <Wouldn't worry too much unless the bubbles are sticking to the fish or their fins. If the air is getting into the outflowing water via the filter, adjust the air intake or the position of the outflow spout.> Thank you so much for your time and knowledge. I really appreciate it. <You're welcome, Neale.>

More FW crustacean stocking  - 04/20/2006 Hello WWM Crew!! <Hello, Don!!> I've been reading (and enjoying) the copious information on your website and I'm very grateful that there are people such as yourselves that take the time to further (and better) the aquarium keeping hobby.   <Thank you very, very much for these kind words.> Now that I've gotten the accolades out of the way, on to the questions.  First off, Hi!  I'm Don!   <Hi!  I'm Sabrina!> My partner, Richard and I, are in the process of losing our freshwater, planted aquarium-keeping virginity.   <Oooooh, exciting!> So.... we have a 37 gallon, bow-front, acrylic tank that currently houses: 6 fancy guppies 6 Rasbora tetras 6 Penguin tetras 10 Neon Tetras 6 freshwater clams (I suppose they're there, I've never seen them!) <These actually fare very, very poorly in aquariums....  They need copious amounts of free-floating algae and other micro foods to stay alive....  if they're not gone now, they will be soon, I'm afraid.  I heartily advise against getting these again.> 2 Flower Shrimp (one passed) <Sorry to hear this!  Shrimp are my fave....> 3 (I think, but I've only seen 2 as of late) Cherry Shrimp <The third's probably in there somewhere.> 3 Japonica shrimp 6 Otocinclus catfish (they've been miracle workers when it comes to clearing out all algae growth in our tank!!) and various snails (I believe there are 3 Ramshorns, 3 black mystery and 6 zebra) we have 2 medium sized pieces of natural driftwood, adorned with java moss (that has yet to take root but has been tied/anchored with peat moss) and many many live plants. <So far, so good, aside from that shrimp....> Our water has a pH of 7.6 out of the tap, and in the last few days we have had a measurable ammonia concentration of approx. .25 ppm.    <Disconcerting, but not "deadly" as yet....  do please try to bring this to zero.> Nitrates and Nitrites remain at 0. <Yikes!  Still cycling??> Herein lies the issue.  I've learned from reading on this site about the cycling process that   one should endure when setting up a new system.  We have not followed those guidelines, unfortunately, and are now likely experiencing the fallout from such rash behavior.   <Yup.  But you're learning....  and I'm very happy for that.> Needless to say, we have overstocked our tank (a sign of our eagerness to house and grow live   aquaria) <Mm, I wouldn't say you're overstocked, but stocked too much too quickly.> and after becoming attached to our inhabitants, are doing our best to ensure their ongoing well-being.  So here's where I need a little guidance in the process.  Since the damage is pretty much done and we've overstocked our new, un-cycled tank, what measures are required to keep the aquaria we're currently   housing, relatively healthy and un-dead, for lack of better terminology.  From what I've read on this wonderful site, water changes are pretty much par for the course and we're doing those (approx. 5 gallons a day, sometimes twice a day depending on the ammonia concentration) to keep our inhabitants as happy and healthy (not to mention un-dead) as possible. <Perfect.> We have also used Marineland Bio-Spira (last weekend) and are currently using Fritz-zyme Turbo 700 to hasten the cycling process and as a stop gag measure to stave off any further loss of life. <Perfect again.> We had a blue crawfish (Procambarus sp.) <Yeeeeeee-ikes!  Not with the shrimp, please, nor with any slow-moving or bottom-dwelling fish - they'll all become snacks.> and one of our japnionca shrimp recently pass on (not sure if this was due to the un-cycled-ness of our tank or the trauma suffered during shipping). <I hate to say it, but be glad for the lack of the Cray.  Crays are GREAT, but really ought to be with critters that they can't or won't hurt.  The shrimp and otos are not in this category.> So I suppose my formal question is:  Should we be doing as many/as frequent water changes as we are doing, in lieu of the cycling process not being completed, even though we've used the previously   mentioned products (Bio-Spira/Fritz-Zyme Turbo Start)? <I would, yes.> I guess I could/should make that a little clearer...  Are we doing more harm than good by changing the water so often, or should we allow the ammonia to build to a level, just shy of tolerable for our   tank inhabitants in order to promote bacterial growth, or should we continue with the water changes to keep the ammonia concentration at a less-than-lethal level for our overly stocked tank?   <Though it will prolong the cycling process, keep up with the water changes....  The cycle will establish, it'll just take a little longer.> Other issues we're grappling with are whether or not the 3" fluorite substrate has a negative affect on our invertebrate aquaria (after-all we did lose 2, I've read about copper being adverse to their livelihood and I'm not sure if fluorite is detrimental to their well-being) <If it helps any, I've used fluorite in plenty of shrimp-containing tanks with no apparent negative results.  I would not be concerned here.  In all honesty, freshwater shrimp are not always cared for properly at stores and wholesalers; these animals may have been doomed prior to purchase.  When you buy shrimps and crays, you should look for a certain quality of "clarity"....  Hard to describe, but once you've seen/recognized what I mean, you'll understand.  "Cloudy" shrimp should be avoided.  This "clear" vs. "cloudy" can be seen even in totally colored shrimp, like wood/fan/Singapore shrimp.... again, it's tough to explain.> and does iodine (added as a supplement to aide our invertebrates) have any affect on the fish we're keeping?   <Nope, not a problem at all - and of vital importance to the inverts.> We do plan on getting another blue crayfish (Procambarus sp.) to replace our recently deceased <I recommend strongly against this.> and we'd like to add a few more fish (probably compatible tetras or another species you'd recommend that's compatible with the above mentioned, currently housed aquaria and more shrimp (they're too cute to resist)).   <I bet you'd really delight in the antics of a handful of small Corydoras cats, or if you fear outbreaks of undesirable snails, a few Botia striata....> Thanks in advance for your informative response <Glad to be of service!> and sincere thanks for providing a forum for all of the unlearned yet eager novices (such as myself) new to the 'trade'. <And again, thank you VERY much for these kind words.> Don Anderson <All the best to you, Richard, and your new tank!  -Sabrina Fullhart>

Algae Control With Shrimp - 06/15/2006 I have a 20 gallon tank and a 5 gallon tank. I need something to help keep the algae level down (I clean regularly and put in algae fix on rare occasions because I hate putting in chemicals into the tank). For  the five gallon I'm thinking about just getting an algae eater like a Chinese or Siamese one, <These animals get too big for a five gallon tank - go with smaller Caridina or Neocaridina species shrimp, or Otocinclus in this small system.> but for the 20 gallon I want some shrimp maybe.  The only problem is that I have gotten some ghost shrimp before and they all disappeared. I believe my Golden Wonder Killies have eaten them  (I did see the killie attack at least one shrimp but the shrimp escaped). <Healthy shrimp provided with enough cover should be, for the most part, safe with killies....  I wouldn't suggest tiny shrimp like "bee" shrimp or "cherry" shrimp in your case, though; perhaps Caridina japonica, "the" algae-eating ("Amano") shrimp would be a good choice, as these grow to be nearly two inches in length.> I thought the shrimp were too big for the killies to eat, but is there possibly a larger type of shrimp that killies will not attack that will still eat algae? <I wish there were a perfect answer, here; if your killies are adept at shrimp-hunting, small C. japonica may yet be food....  try to find large-ish individuals, if you can.> I've looked online a bit, but can find nothing saying that the shrimp will or will not be attacked by larger fish. <Will be....  if the fish are large enough and carnivorous enough to consume them.> Thanks  -Amy <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Little Eaters of Algae Hi! <Hello!> I have an Eclipse 6 aquarium.  I have had it for 6 weeks....it is finally done cycling....no ammonia an no more nitrites.   <Wonderful.> I have 4 platies and 1 Cory catfish.  Is it okay to purchase an algae eater....can you recommend something small?   <I can, indeed.  But you'll find I'm extremely biased, here - getting into my favorite subject, an' all....  Your best bet all the way around is to look for freshwater algae eating shrimps.  These pleasant little creatures come in pint-sized packages packing a punch to pulverize your putrid algae problem - uh, sorry 'bout that....  Do try to find cherry shrimp or bumblebee shrimp, as these seem to stay the smallest and are avid attackers of algae.  You could easily keep half a dozen of either of these kind in your tank.  If you can't find those, next in line are 'the' algae shrimp, or Amano shrimp, the well-known Caridina japonica.  These get significantly larger, so you'd probably only want two or three in your tank.  If you're lucky, you might find 'rainbow' shrimp in as contaminants with the Amanos.  These have a slightly more prominent 'hump' in their back, though not much, and they have a few stripes running perpendicular to the stripe down their back (the Amanos lack these stripes, and the stripe running down their back is much narrower).  They also become neat colors as they age, blue-green or red-brown, and they stay smaller than the Amanos, too, though not as small as cherry shrimp or bumblebee shrimp.  And, failing shrimps altogether, you'd probably be safe to get a single Otocinclus catfish.  These tiny little guys do a number on algae, but aren't nearly as fun as shrimp (uh, in my obsessed mind, that is).> I don't have much algae yet.   <Good!!  Though you might have to feed your new algae-eating-critter on other veggie matter, too.> I don't want to purchase a larger algae eater because of the size of the tank.  And the algae eater has to get along with catfish and platies.  Is the catfish good enough???   <Corys don't eat algae much to speak of (they also like to be in groups of three or more, but in a small 6g tank, that's virtually impossible).  Whether you choose an Otocinclus or any of the abovementioned shrimps, you'll be absolutely fine, in terms of compatibility.> Also, with a tank this  size.....should I do a water change about every 3 weeks....like a 25% water change?   <Well, I'd do water changes closer to every week, but only on the order of 10-15%.  Less water, more often is usually the best bet. Thanks! <Any time!  -Sabrina, the shrimp-obsessed> Diatoms, and the shrimp that eat them Hello! <Hi, Lemia!  Sabrina here, today, fighting the algae war with all you algae-hatin' folks> I've been reading the many FAQ's and other info on your site concerning Diatoms.  Most of them seem to address this issue with regard to marine/saltwater aquaria (unless I am misunderstanding some of the abbreviations).   <Nope, no misunderstanding, you're right.> I have a freshwater aquarium that is almost 4 months old.  Some of the specs are as follows:  46 gallon, Emperor 400 Bio-Wheel filter.  No live plants or rocks.  Water levels as follows:  Ph-7.0, Ammonia <.5 ppm, Nitrite=0, Nitrate=60 ppm (I will be doing a water change tomorrow). KH=5 dKH and GH=9 dGH.   <Fish, yet?  Get that ammonia to zero.  And YIKES! at that nitrate reading!!  There's the cause of your problem (or at least part of it)!> My problem is that over the past 2 months I 've been developing diatoms that just keep getting worse not better.  Before I confirmed they were diatoms I tried increasing the lighting, <Increasing lighting will only help the algae grow....> an algae eater (neither helped at all or made things worse) <Depending on what fish you mean by this, it might not even recognize diatoms as food.> and a chemical algaecide (only helped a little).   <Yuck.  This should be kept as an absolute last resort.  Could be quite harmful to plants, should you ever choose to keep them.> I have since confirmed through my local fish store that I definitely have diatoms. <Kind of a brown, mucky, dust-looking stuff?> They believe (as do I) that it is due to excess silicates in the tank.   <Although silicates are likely a contributor to the problem, the extremely high nitrates are very much to blame, too.  Also high phosphates are definitely suspect.> They recommended use of the Phosguard product by Seachem.  I began using the product a week ago with no noticeable improvement.   <Cool stuff, really.  I've not had need of it in my freshwater aquaria, but it is helpful in my nano-reef when necessary.> I purchased a silicate test kit and determined that the tank has 1.5 ppm of silicate.  My understanding is that for freshwater aquaria that level should be at .02 ppm.  I have tested my tap water, which is what I use for water changes and evaporation top offs and determined that it has over 2 ppm of silicates.   <Yeah, probably a contributing factor, but you've got a lot going against you what with the super-duper high nitrates.  I'd like to know your phosphate levels, too, I bet they're high.> As a result, I believe that continued use of the Phosguard will not remedy my diatom problem.   <Correct.  You need to get to the source of it, cut off its nutrients.  Phosguard will help, though, in starting to control the problem.> I have been reading up on diatom filters but from what I read, I'm just not sure if they are the correct solution.  I also saw on your website notes on Reverse Osmosis water?? Where would I be able to get that?? I also saw info on Deionization units/water??   <Please start reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rofaqs.htm  , then if you're still uncertain, read some of the gobs and gobs of related FAQs :)  I think you'll have more than you ever wanted to know.> I am hoping you can expand on what some of these items are, what they'll do, how will they effect other factors in my aquarium, etc.  Also, if you can give me your feedback on what the best solution would be to remove the diatoms and manage the tank to prevent future breakouts I would be most appreciative. <Ahh....  Now I start in....  First off, please do consider planting the aquarium.  Anacharis/elodea will help with sucking up some of the nutrients, as well as feed some fish.  You might want to plop some water lettuce in the top of the tank, to provide shade as well as to soak up nitrates.  Water sprite, Vallisneria, Amazon swords....  the list goes on and on.  But even more fun....  Bamboo shrimp.  Also called wood shrimp or Singapore shrimp, Atyopsis moluccensis are EXTREMELY adept at consuming diatomic algae.  When first starting out my 72g planted aquarium, I had major diatom issues while the tank was still extremely sparsely planted.  I grabbed some Amano shrimp (Caridina japonica) to try to help, but they weren't too adept at nailing the diatoms (though they did a number and a half on some green algae that was forming).  Just for kicks, I dropped in a wood shrimp.  The thing was a diatom lawnmower!  He truly left an obvious path behind him where he'd been grazing.  You could track him by the path in the stuff.  Just one single wood shrimp in a 72 gallon aquarium cleared up the diatoms in less than a week.  However, I will caution you - there is a drawback to this shrimp - once the diatoms are gone, you'll have to drop in food for him regularly, or he will starve.  These are filter feeding animals by nature, and will simply hold their 'fan-hands' open in the current in the wild to catch bits of food suspended in the water.  But our tanks are just too clean for that to happen; they really must have food that will break into particulate matter (I use Hikari sinking wafers/pellets) for them to 'shovel' into their mouths.  If ever your shrimp is 'fanning' in the current for long periods of time, this is likely indicative that he is starving to death.  From my experience, when well fed, they will only filter-feed when they are at rest.  One more drawback is that you can never, ever use copper in a tank containing invertebrates.  If interested in shrimp, you may also want to dose your tank with iodine weekly at a rate of one drop of Kent's iodine supplement (made for reef tanks) per ten gallons of water.  After I started doing this in my tanks, there was an extremely noticeable increase in health, activity, growth, and color in all of my shrimp species.  Wonderful animals, they are.> Thank you in advance for your assistance and for your patience in reading my lengthy note. <And thank you for my patience in my lengthy reply!  (I'm shrimp obsessed ;D ) Lemia M.

Lookin' for Atyopsis - 09/10/2004 I saw three rather large shrimps (larger than the typical ghost shrimps) while browsing in a pet shop.  <There are indeed quite a number of freshwater shrimp that grow larger than ghosties.... Even one carnivorous monster that'll reach nearly 20 inches....> Unfortunately I did not purchase them. Now I would love to have three or four of those guys in my aquarium. The pet shop does not know when they will get another shipment. Know of someone who sell the type of shrimps mentioned on your website? <I do, indeed. Frank Greco, of http://www.franksaquarium.com/freshwatershrimpfarm.htm , sells a number of freshwater inverts. You might send him an email regarding the particular species you're interested in and see about availability. Also, Toyin at Rehoboth Aquatics http://www.rehobothaquatics.com/index2.html carries a couple species of Atya (including my all-time favorite, Atya gabonensis). I got my own five A. gabonensis from him, about a year ago, and all are doing quite well today. Also, do be sure to check out your local stores - I've seen some very nice Atyopsis moluccensis at Petcos, and they're also carrying M. rosenbergii, the "blue prawn" (largest, most aggressive freshwater shrimp - and tasty, too!). Do beware of this blue prawn, as they WILL grow up and eat all their tankmates. Mom'n'pop fish stores are almost always willing to order what you want, as long as it's available - definitely check with any local stores around you to see what's available to them.> Betty <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Caridina japonica and freshwater shrimp Hi Robert, I have some beard algae troubles in my tank and I want to ask you if there is any difference in purchasing C. japonica or any old freshwater shrimp? <Yes... very different animals. A bit on both on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/shrimpfw.htm Bob Fenner> Keith

Fish, Shrimp, and Thanks Our fish would like to say thank you to the WetWebMedia crew. (tank you, tanks, tanka) <To you and your fish - you're very welcome!  Please forgive the delay in response; I've been having computer issues, but it looks to be all sorted out now.> We have had a lot of fun with our new freshwater tank and several learning experiences. Our first fish was a "Betta in a bowl"  purchased by my two eldest, they saved their allowance to do this and we ended up with two new family members, Blootie a Betta, and Pickles, an African frog. A few months later we knew we wanted an actual aquarium so we soon had Blootie and Pickles housed in a ten gallon with five neon tetras, several plants, free snails which appeared out of nowhere and every thing was fine; we do a 20% water change weekly and add some aquarium salt and dechlorinator. <Sounds like great fun!  Please remember, when you add salt, only add enough to compensate for water you *remove*, not water that has evaporated, as salt does not evaporate.> Our tank is held at 78F and we have several plants which we prune every two weeks, we run a Whisper filter with activated carbon, every other week we switch the carbon for Ammocarb, though I am not sure it does anything, <Only the carbon is needed; test your water regularly for ammonia, with your water change/maintenance scheme, I doubt you see a trace of it.> we have a shallow smooth gravel substrate. We feed a mixture of flakes, bloodworms, brine shrimp and a pea every night about an hour before lights out. <Mmmmm, yummy!> Our first problems started when we obtained two new fishes, Odie and Sink (Otocinclus).  The primary pea consumer was Blootie but after Sink and Odie arrived things changed. Sink metamorphosed into a new fish we called Stink. He chased everybody, the tetras, the frog, the Betta and especially Odie, Odie lived in perpetual fear, Stink would charge the full length of the aquarium to get him. <WOW.  That does *not* sound like normal Oto behaviour!  Please check out the following links, perhaps you have something different....  First, on Otos: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/otocinclusart.htm  on SAEs (and non-SAEs): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saes.htm > Stink actually latched on to Blootie a couple of times leaving a white mark which has now cleared up. <Yikes....> Stink may have been starving when he arrived but that passed, he turned into a very messy fish and was getting visibly fatter and  meaner. <He's sounding an awful lot like a "Flying Fox" or "Chinese Algae Eater" at this point....  notoriously mean buggars.> Pretty soon everybody started hanging out somewhere safe from the seriously deranged Stink and this caused problems, nobody was eating the pea, our water started to get cloudy and green algae started to grow on our floating plant. The tetras which previously tested every floating speck to see if it might be food, stopped doing that and spent their time up high, avoiding Sink. Blootie stayed at the top of the tank, ready to run, Stink couldn't eat all the food but he was determined to try. We finally decided Stink had to go and things are back to normal. Our water is clear again, nobody is chasing anyone and everyone seems happy. (We gave Stink to an unsuspecting local fish store, not telling them he was an insane fish.)   <*Laugh!*> I have been reading the freshwater links (I have actually been reading everything I can on your site as time allows) and my question has to do with adding a crustacean of some sort. We really do not want a repeat of the Stink trials and we really would like to add a shrimp or something. Given our current happy tank is there anything we could add that would probably be happy. <Stick with shrimps of the genera Caridina and/or Neocaridina; these primarily algae-eating lovelies include "the" algae-eating (aka "Amano") shrimp (Caridina japonica), cherry shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata), bumblebee shrimp (Neocaridina sp.), red-fronted or "Rudolph" shrimp (er, I think a Neocaridina species....), red-tailed tiger shrimp (another Neocaridina), to name a few that are occasionally available in the US.  Ghost shrimp would be a safe addition, as well (and cheap, to boot - and commonly available).  Filter feeding shrimp, such as Singapore/bamboo/flower shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) are commonly available, and also perfectly safe to add to your tank; this last would probably be the most "fun", as they are large, diurnal, and uber-cool.  Stay away from "big-arm" shrimp of the genus Macrobrachium; these are nearly all carnivores that will prey upon your fish.  Same goes for crabs, they'll eat anything that holds still long enough - and some things that don't.> I have read about the shrimps in the freshwater shrimp section <Currently and unfortunately very lacking in information - I intend to rectify that with an article or two as soon as I dig up some time, I promise!> but I am still not satisfied that I won't get it wrong. <One important point - please dose the tank with iodine if you get shrimp.  This is easy and cheap.  Get a bottle of Kent Marine Iodine from your fish store (geared for saltwater tanks).  Ignore the directions on the bottle completely, as your freshwater shrimp have nowhere *near* the iodine needs of a saltwater tank - add only one drop of the iodine once every week (use a pipette or a medicine dropper from the pharmacy).  Doesn't sound like much, but it makes all the difference in the world.> In addition to adding a shrimp to our ten gallon, we intend to get another ten gallon aquarium and move the frog (Pickles) in with two fire newts, for which my oldest boy is saving his pennies, is this going to work ? <Oh, wow, I have absolutely no idea....  I'll pass this along to Gage for his input; hopefully he'll be able to help you on that one better than I can.> Thank You <You bet!  Wishing you and your critters well,  -Sabrina>

Lookin' To Talk About Shrimp - 04/19/2005 Dear Bob, <Actually, Sabrina here, at your request> My name John from Indonesia. <Nice to hear from you, John, thanks for writing in!> I am really interested in fresh water shrimp. <Me, too - obsessed, nearly!> Algae eater. <Referring to Caridina japonica, "the" algae-eating or "Amano" shrimp?> I need to talk to Sabrina (maybe). And I would like to join the discussion with Sabrina. Can I know how to start. <Well, here I am! You can also find me on the WetWebMedia forum, at http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk - my username is "Vintage_Fish" if you wish to correspond in that manner. I'm also including the other question you sent with this one....> I would like to get some importers of algae eater freshwater shrimps. Can you help to recommend me few names of good importers in USA or Japan? <.... I know one fellah that brings in some VERY interesting African imports, including the most wonderful and impressive Atya gabonensis (a large, filter-feeding blue/black or grayish shrimp, with orange colored juveniles).... You can find his information and stock list at http://www.rehobothaquatics.com. I imagine, since you're looking specifically for algae-eating Caridina japonica, you might want to try to find a contact in Japan, as that's where the species comes from. Unfortunately, I do not personally know of anyone for you to contact. Perhaps Bob or someone else might chime in here with some ideas for you. Please also be aware that C. japonica is NOT the ONLY species of freshwater shrimp that eats algae; there are actually quite a number of very different and beautiful species that are algae eaters. You might enjoy browsing through this website: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html#Garnelen.  The website is all in German, but you can at least click on the different species names and see what they look like. Many/most of the Caridina and Neocaridina species are algae eaters.> Thanks, John W. <Wishing you well in your shrimp hunt, -Sabrina> 

More Shrimp Talk - II - 04/20/2005 Dear Sabrina, <Hi, John! Good to hear from you again.> I attached the 2 pictures of shrimps and please confirm the names. I think no. 1 is Caridina <Likely a Caridina or Neocaridina, other possibilities as well....> and the 2 is Atya. <Either an Atya or an Atyopsis, I would *guess*, but it would help to see the animal from the side, in the water. I assume this IS a filter feeder, yes? More likely an Atyopsis species, in your area.... but it doesn't quite resemble A. moluccensis; I'm very interested in seeing more photos of this shrimp - Atya and Atyopsis are my to favorite genera.> Is that right? <An excellent starting point, at the least! I urge you to email the folks at the link that I gave you yesterday, and see if they can give you definitive species ID for both of these.> We wild caught them. Do you know where is the biggest market for those shrimps? <Seems to me the best market for any freshwater shrimp is in Europe. Also, if you try to market them in the US, please let me know - I am very interested in taking a look at that Atyopsis (?) firsthand.> I will send you more shrimp pictures. <Please do! But a word of caution - our crew inbox is somewhat limited in size, so please don't send too many at once. Just a couple at a time, and wait for my reply before you send more. These two are great photos, I'm eager to see more!> They are amazing, we get the size even what I call mono because they are seems weird small. <I very much look forward to further correspondence.> Thanks, John <And thank you as well! -Sabrina> 

More Shrimp Talk - III - 04/20/2005 Hi, John! I just wanted to clarify, since I sent you two links yesterday, the German website is the one to email for better identification. Here's the link again, just in case: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html#Garnelen. Though the website is all in German, I believe there is at least one fellah that, if you email them in English, should be able to help with identification. -Sabrina 

Japanese Swamp Shrimp (Caridina japonica) Compatibility - II Hi Bob, Many thanks for your advice. After dong some internet research, I very much like Opaline Gouramis. I've called several tropical fish stores in the Pasadena/greater LA area. None seem to have either Opaline Gouramis or Amano shrimp. Considering I'm in the second biggest city in the US, there have to be some good LFSs. Do you have any recommendations in this area?  Thanks, Catherine <Mmm, I'd let my "fingers do the walking"... Try your search tools: with the string: tropical fish stores in Los Angeles, and call the folks nearer you re. Bob Fenner>

Ten Gallon Shrimp Hello there! This is Molly here, avid fish enthusiast. I currently have a 10 gallon aquarium housing 5 White Cloud Mountain fish and 3 Zebra Danios. As you can probably guess, there is a fair amount of algae in this tank. I have tried to keep a small Pleco in the tank but sadly he died approximately a week and a half after I purchased him. I wonder if I could keep at least one African Dwarf frog in the tank, I have done a good amount of research on them and have figured out that they can (and will, given the chance) escape from tanks.  I have a hooded light fixture on my tank so I am considering purchasing one....or more, depending. I have also read that they don't get too large so they will not eat my small ornamental fish. Do you think this would work? I was also considering ordering a ghost (glass) shrimp. They don't get much bigger than 1-1.5 inches so I thought they would also do well cleaning up the tank.  I have had snails in the past, but they don't do too much to combat the algae problem unless I buy several...which I don't really want to do. What do you suggest? Would some Cory cats survive in an unheated tank? I did not have luck with Corys with goldfish.. but I think that is because of the large ammonia output of such fish. Any advice you could give would help me greatly. Thanks, or should I say, Tanks!-Molly <I'd go with shrimp over fish. Eight fish of this size are about all you want in a ten. The frog would work, but he will not eat algae. And I always warn, he may eat a fish. Any frog will eat any fish it can catch and fit in it's mouth. But the Dwarfs usually don't. And he would like it warmer, as would a Cory. The fish you have are OK unheated. And you are 100% correct in your reasoning about goldfish in small tanks. Shrimp add little ammonia to the water. You could handle about a half dozen. Make sure you feed them after the algae is gone. Any baby shrimp produced will make excellent food for the fish. Don> 

Shrimp Tonight ... adding to FW  1/22/06 I am going to setup a 29 gallon freshwater aquarium. I was thinking about putting in 7 Zebra Danios, 9 Harlequin Rasboras, 4 Dwarf Gouramis, and about 10 Ghost Shrimp. I have a 50 gallon AquaClear Power filter and a 30 gallon undergravel that I will be using with air to circulate the undergravel.  Would the Ghost Shrimp be ok with these other species? Would I be able to put in more fish or is this the max I should go? Any suggestions on other fish if possible? < The problem with adding shrimp is the fact that every once in awhile they need to shed their exoskeleton as they grow. When they do this their skin is soft and they have no protection and become mobile banquet blocks. Go with this set up at first and see how it goes for awhile. Meanwhile check out some other fish and check the nitrates periodically. If you can continue to keep the nitrates under 25 ppm between water changes then i think you can add a few more fish depending on the species. If the nitrates exceed 25 ppm then you need to increase the frequency of the water changes or increase the amount of water changed.-Chuck>

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