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FAQs on Freshwater Shrimp 2

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, & FAQs on: FW Shrimp Identification, FW Shrimp Behavior, FW Shrimp Compatibility, FW Shrimp Selection, 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,

 

Beavertail fairy shrimp       6/19/16
Hi Neale, saw a cool display tank at the LFS for vernal pool creatures and impulse bought some beaver tail fairy shrimp eggs. Apparently they can grow up to 2 inches.
<Thamnocephalus platyurus; neat cousins of the common brine shrimp.>
Was wondering if a 10L tank would be enough to keep them.
<Ample. This species is a little more sensitive to water quality than Artemia salina, so things like water changes and aeration become a bit more important. But if you've reared Artemia, "sea monkeys", you'll not have any major problems with Thamnocephalus platyurus. They eat the same thing, appreciate the same amount of warmth, etc.>
Thanks.
<Welcome. Neale.>

Re: Fish selection.... (algae eaters, why you don't need a FW clean-up crew)  11/28/09
How many cherry shrimp could I add to a 30 gallon tank with 10 zebra Danios and one rainbow shark?
<Start with six to ten; if they're happy, they'll breed quickly, and your tank will be full of them before too long. If your tank isn't suitable for these shrimps, then you won't have lost too much money. Cheers, Neale.> <<Neale... am concerned re the "Shark" here and the small shrimp... I do think the former will eat the latter. BobF>>
Re Fish selection.... (algae eaters, why you don't need a FW clean-up crew)
So you think the shark will eat the shrimp? Its not that aggressive towards the others, he just hangs out in his cave....
<... this is not the nature of this species. Read here:
Rehttp://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/rfsharkfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>
Re: Fish selection.... (algae eaters, why you don't need a FW clean-up crew)  11/28/09

So you think the shark will eat the shrimp? Its not that aggressive towards the others, he just hangs out in his cave....
<Rainbow Shark minnows feed on periphyton: the mixture of algae and microorganisms that encrust solid objects. They aren't particularly predatory, and wouldn't expect them harm adult Cherry Shrimps. At least
some Cherry Shrimp babies will survive in a tank with lots of plants, and I've never found it difficult to establish a self-maintaining population in any aquarium. Like all shrimps, they are killed very quickly by
copper-based medications, but apart from that, they're quite hardy. Cheers, Neale.>
<<Our experiences differ then. Though not as likely to "cross over" as their congener, the Red Tail, I have seen the Redfin become predaceous on fishes and invertebrates. BobF>>
Re: Fish selection.... (algae eaters, why you don't need a FW clean-up crew)  11/28/09

They breed very quickly? Won't this begin to over populate the tank before too long? What is the max that should be in the tank?
<They breed quite quickly, but they don't live all that long either, so you end up with a stable population. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Fish selection.... (algae eaters, why you don't need a FW clean-up crew), Redfin shark comp. 11/28/09
Indeed, this has not been my experience with Epalzeorhynchos spp. at all.
But I will make the observation that a hungry fish may try to eat almost anything, even if otherwise they are completely trustworthy. More-or-less herbivorous fish do seem particularly prone to becoming starved when owned by aquarists not fully conversant with their needs for the right foods, and plenty of it! Cheers, Neale.
<<Our experiences differ then. Though not as likely to "cross over" as their congener, the Red Tail, I have seen the Redfin become predaceous on fishes and invertebrates. BobF>>

Re: Fish selection.... (algae eaters, why you don't need a FW clean-up crew), Redfin shark comp.
So I should definitely start with 6 cherry shrimp or should I just get a few to start with and see how everything goes? Should I add anything else to the aquarium to help with the survival of the shrimp? Right now I have
a 30 gallon tank with 10 zebra danios, one rainbow shark, one small cave, one fake skinny plant, one fake bushy plant (almost like a fern), and one slate piece propped up on another rock which creates a tunnel like structure (kind of looks like a ramp).
<As Bob says, there's a risk your Sharkminnow could eat the shrimps. As I said, you could buy half a dozen, so if it's a failure, you've only lost a few quid. "Definitely" doesn't come into the equation because Shark minnows are, by their nature, unpredictable and bad choices for community tanks.
Either way, it's a gamble. Fake plants will offer a little protection, but nothing beats a big clump of floating Indian Fern!
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/ceratopteris.htm
My shrimps love this stuff, and they hide, breed, and feed quite happily there. It will also provide useful algae and soft plant material for the Sharkminnow to eat. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Fish selection.... (algae eaters, why you don't need a FW clean-up crew), Redfin shark comp.
Here is a picture of my setup...
<Yep, sure looks like a fish tank to me! Enjoy the weekend. Cheers, Neale.>

With backflash!

Triops, water quality, and cycling  9/21/08
What a wonderful website and resource.
<Thanks for saying so.>
After many years away from the hobby (like 40), I decided to get back in in a small way -- I got a Triassic Triops kit and started a batch of 20 eggs in a larger tank (3 liter) than the one supplied with the kit (1 liter). I used distilled water, and followed the instructions, adding the detritus "teabag" and watching the 3 Triops that hatched grow rapidly.
<Good.>
The teabag really was a very effective dried infusoria culture, as I was able to spot paramecium with a high powered magnifying glass within 24 hours of putting the bag in the tank.
<Not heard of this method before, but sounds great!>
I kept temps between 20 and 24 C without a desk light (as suggested in the instructions), but in a windowsill -- I liked the idea of a natural day/night cycle for light levels and temperature swings. Algae wouldn't be a problem as it's edible to Triops, and their stay in the hatching tank was only going to be a week.
<All agreed; these animals be definition are adapted to clear, shallow water where temperature varies rapidly and algae grows profusely.>
When they were about a cm long, I moved them to a 5 gallon aquarium I had set up a month before with quartz gravel, and a plant I got from a small pond I dug in my yard. The plant looked a lot like watercress (the pond is spring fed and volunteered water plantain and duck potato the first year, along with a great variety of other plants).
<OK.>
I had also added temporarily some Blacknose Dace from a stream on my property. They stayed in the newly set up aquarium for about a week before being returned to their collection point a little fatter than they started. At this time I knew nothing of cycling an aquarium, but accidentally had initiated it, I think. The aquarium had no filter and no heater.
<Do always take care returning pet fish to the wild; there are restrictions on doing so in many places because of the (very real) risk of carrying diseases and parasites into the wild. Much damage has already been done in equivalent ways through fish and freshwater invertebrates escaping/being released from fish farms and ponds. If in doubt, destroy captive fish rather than release them to the wild.>
After a month, algae had formed on the tank walls in a thin coat and partially died back, and had also formed on the plant, which wasn't looking as healthy for it. I checked the water pH and it was near 8, which surprised me as the tap water (from a natural spring) is 7 and soft. And I didn't think quartz gravel would alter the pH.
<It shouldn't.>
Although Triops are supposed to prefer some alkalinity, I decided to change out 70% of the water and bring it down to 7.5.
<With invertebrates it's almost always best to make small water chemistry changes where possible. If anything, I'd be recommending 10-20% water changes per week here, and leaving the Triops to adapt (as they should) to any minor variations in between.>
I didn't know about ammonia or nitrite testing at this time and only checked pH.
<Elevated pH can come from ammonia, so that's definitely an issue.>
I then acclimated the Triops to the new water over a few days by doing partial water changes in the hatching tank, adding the larger tank water. I didn't want to shock them going from near distilled water to normal tank water in one jump.
<OK; in general though these animals do seem to prefer soft, neutral to slightly acidic water similar to that in an ephemeral pond.>
Finally the Triops were added to the larger tank, and happily attacked the algae, detritus and some Cyclops seen swimming there. The Triops really took off and doubled their size in a couple of days, I started adding regular TetraMin flakes (maybe 4 or 5 at a time, crunched up) once a day. Then disaster struck. The largest Triops started swimming poorly and died within 24 hours. Then another died overnight. The smallest finally also died -- all within 48 hours. None had reached egg laying maturity, though the largest was about 2 cm and probably would have been shortly.
<What's filtering this tank? My guess is you're adding a lot of food, and without some means of filtration the ammonia itself could cause problems. An air-powered sponge filter is ideal.>
So, I started reading, and found this site. As a guess maybe the tank had cycled, but there was a bacteria bloom and die off since no fish had been maintained in the tank after the initial group. I think there was also partial algae die off, and the plants weren't looking as good. pH rose because of the several die backs?
<Maybe; all comes under the heading of "unstable, immature aquarium conditions".>
Also, because of no filtration, no aeration, and introduction of rapid waste making machines (Triops) eating everything and shedding every day, I think the system couldn't respond quickly enough -- maybe there was enough oxygen for the Triops, but not the ammonia and nitrite bacteria to act?
<Well, like anything else, Triops need a balanced tank.>
Also maybe the Triops needed iodine for shedding? And there were two occasions where tank water went to 18C overnight so temperature may also have played a part. I've also considered that the tank harbored toxic (inedible) algae, pathogens, or something else introduced from the wild plants and fish.
<Nope.>
Well anyway, I am trying again. Tank and gravel were bleached, and run under a continuous flow of spring water outside for 2 days in case of former introduced pathogens. Tank chlorine was then checked at zero.
<Do cycle the tank this time round using a filter.>
I've bought an under gravel filter with bubbler, pump, 50 watt heater. Also, Kent Iodine. I will add one drop to full tank when finished. This time I am also fishless cycling the 5 gallon tank with household, unscented, ammonia. I now also have the various N compound test kits for that.
<Great!>
Question: other sites have said to cycle with tank water at 3-4 ppm tested ammonia content. And on this site in cycling FAQs you suggest 1 ppm.
<Anything above even 0.5 ppm is redundant; if you think about what's going on, you'll understand. The ammonia you detect is the ammonia the bacteria aren't using. So provided you detect ammonia at all, that means the bacteria have taken all the ammonia they can use at that moment.>
What is confusing is that my test kit translates (with a chart) the ammonium ppm to free ammonia ppm using the pH value. So my question is, is the suggested 1 (or 3-4) ppm figure the total ammonium figure, or is it the free ammonia figure?
<Don't worry about it. Here's your goal: minimise the ammonia reading as far as practical, and don't consider the tank cycled until the ammonia returns to zero.>
At pH 7.5 I'd have to add a LOT more household ammonia to reach even 1 free ammonia ppm than I would for total ammonium. In fact, so much that I believe my test kit can't measure it on its limited scale.
<Don't do it this way. Just cycle the tank by adding either enough ammonia to maintain 0.5-1 ppm ammonia, or else add little pinches of flake food every couple of days. Every 2-3 days measure the ammonia. Provided it goes up and then back down to zero, you're fine.>
I've assumed you meant total ammonium, and brought that figure to 1 ppm -- figuring I can always raise it if you say that was wrong.
<Don't.>
I've also bought to Cryptocoryne species from the LFS in hopes they will work well with the Triops tank, and assist with bacterial inoculation. I haven't removed the mineral wool from the roots -- should I? If so should I leave it in the tank anyway for awhile?
<The plants will only marginally help mature the tank, but they will have other positive benefits over time.>
If this time I'm successful with a Triops Longicaudatus generation, I hope to try Triops australiensis, next.
<All good fun.>
Can you shed any light on the probably water quality requirements for this last type? If possible in terms of, GH, KH, pH, (maybe mg, too) and also temperature? I mean for the adults.
<The best site for Triops info is probably:
http://www.triops.at/
It's run by a scientist who sells them on the side of his work.>
The young, I know need high osmotic pressure, and high water purity, and 25 C temps, but I'm sure water quality changes in the sinkholes and clay pans they are found in as time progresses. Any info on any of this?
<Juveniles certainly won't hatch until they experience the equivalent of a shower of rain forming a puddle. But beyond that, not much is known about optimal conditions. It's trial and error, really. Numerous forums and Yahoo groups for these animals, so would recommend joining/communicating with other hobbyists.>
Thanks for putting up with this long letter, about what my LFS laughingly referred to as glorified sea monkeys -- just after I picked up the ammonia test kit. I suppose I should have owned a discus.
<Much more fun than Discus; have kept, reared these animals, though admittedly only got one to maturity. Because the eggs are cheap, half the fun is to keep trying different methods until you find a system that works for you!>
Best Regards,
Steve
<Cheers, Neale.>

Glass shrimp 05/20/08 Hi, I have some FW glass shrimp I would like to adapt to NSW. Can you give me some guidance about how rapidly this can be accomplished and how? Mike <Hi Mike. What does "NSW" mean? All I can think of is New South Wales! So get back to us with this, and we'll try and answer your question. Cheers, Neale.> <<Near Sea Water? As in saltiness is my guess. RMF>>
Re: glass shrimp 05/21/2008
Hi, I have some FW glass shrimp I would like to adapt to Normal Salt Water. Can you give me some guidance about how rapidly this can be accomplished and how? Mike <Mike, unless these are truly euryhaline shrimps, then acclimating them to saltwater conditions may not be possible. It all depends on the precise species. Here in the UK, the common "glass shrimp" sold as food for marine/freshwater fish is the euryhaline species Palaemon serratus, and while it doesn't last long in freshwater (a few days at best) in brackish or salt water it does equally well. Acclimating euryhaline invertebrates from estuaries to variations in salinity is generally very easy, and can be done via the drip method (or similar) across an hour or so. These animals come from areas where the salinity will vary very rapidly, so they don't need to be "pampered". But if the shrimps aren't truly euryhaline, then this isn't going to work. You (probably) can't acclimate a freshwater/salt-tolerant shrimp to marine conditions. Palaemonetes paludosus for example is one of the shrimps sold as the "glass shrimp" in the US, and to the best of my knowledge is not amenable to high-end brackish or saltwater conditions. Cheers, Neale.>

Birth of baby shrimps 05/06/08 Hi, My daughter is 7 years old and she is curious to know how are baby shrimps born. <Many different ways. Depends on the shrimps. Is this a school project or simply out of curiosity. If the former, that's not something we're here to help with. If the latter, the short answer is this: most shrimps produce eggs that float away in the plankton. After a while the eggs hatch and the "baby" shrimps pass through a series of larval stages until they become miniature shrimps that settle down onto the substrate. Although the details are different, the basic idea of a larval versus adult form is similar to the way larval butterflies (caterpillars) are different to the adults. Some shrimps, mostly freshwater ones, do not do this. The mother carries a few large eggs under her swimmerets and protects them. When they hatch, the newborn shrimps are perfect miniatures of the adults, and immediately walk about the bottom just like their parents. If you get some Cherry Shrimps from a pet store, they breed easily if kept well, and you can watch this at home.> Can you provide us the answer with pictures or video clip attached? <No.> Thanks, Esther <Cheers, Neale.>

Cherry shrimp with crystal red striping?    2/16/08 Hi guys! You've helped me in the past and was hoping you could help me now. I have a genetic variation that has popped up in my cherry shrimp breeding colony. I have had these shrimp for two years and have no crystal red shrimp. A few weeks ago I noticed a female that I thought had a white stripe due to molting. I got a good look at her last night. This is sure enough what she looks like. I am thinking of giving her her own 5 gallon and a few fellas and see if this mutation pops up more frequently. Any thoughts or comments? Take care, Mary. <Does looks like Neocaridina sp. "Red Crystal" as opposed to Neocaridina denticulata sinensis "Red", but since the latter is an artificial form, it's entirely possible that genetic throwbacks might turn up occasionally. In any case, if you like the shrimp, and are 100% sure that it isn't a specimen of Neocaridina sp. "Red Crystal" that got in somehow, by all means see if you can 'fix' the mutation through further captive breeding. Cheers, Neale.>

Nice. RMF

Internal Parasites... In ghost shrimp... possible???   2/6/08 Hello crew! I'm back with another question... sorry... So today I went to my LFS and picked up about 20 ghost shrimp with hopes of keeping them in a tank and possibly breeding for my GSP to munch on... Well I was looking in the bag before I dumped them in the net I noticed a long stringy thing... pure white... by long I mean about 4.5" and upon further inspection two of the shrimp themselves had these things INSIDE of them... what are they and should I be worried? The tank itself is fully cycled and running at tip top shape and I kept the 2 infected ones out in a separate 1 gallon tank for observation... Thanks! Jess <Hello Jessica. Without seeing the "long white things" it's difficult to say what they are, but they certainly sound like could be tapeworms or something similar. Shrimps are of course transparent, and they have a digestive tract (the "vein") running along the dorsal surface (the back) of the animal. Depending on what the shrimp has been eating, this can be a variety of colours. Obviously, this isn't harmful. Tapeworms are segmented and very flat, while nematodes, the other possibility, tend to be smooth, cylindrical, and with obviously tapered or pointed ends. In any case, I wouldn't use the infected shrimps to feed your puffers; at least, not raw. Boiling should kill the parasites (if that's what they are). Cheers, Neale.>

Ghost shrimp, horsehair worms.... -02/06/08 Heya Bobster (and Neale, and all), <Howzit Sab?> Regarding "Internal Parasites... In ghost shrimp... possible??? 2/6/08", the answer is most assuredly YES, it's possible. The animals Jessica saw, the "long white things", are almost certainly horsehair worms. These strange critters affect crustaceans and insects; to my limited understanding they do not often affect fish. Apparently larvae can bore into most any aquatic animal and encyst, but that's it. And you need both a male *and* female worm to make eggs.... I would only be slightly concerned for a fish that consumes a parasitized shrimp; in the following link are videos of the worms exiting animals that have consumed parasitized hosts of these worms (not for the faint of heart): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7085/suppinfo/440756a.html <Ahh!> I have seen more than a hearty handful of ghost shrimp with these bizarre parasites. Often you can see the worm moving about within the host.... Freaky, freaky, freaky. In my experience, about 50% of the shrimp with these worms died when the worms left the host, and thereafter, did not have a great survival rate. I *have* had shrimp survive after the worms exited, but not a great many. The worms can leave the water on their own - I've seen it happen - but I assume they die quickly if they do so. All the same, I wouldn't put a container or tank with parasitized shrimp next to or near tanks with healthy shrimp or even pet or feeder insects. Some nifty links: http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/gordian_worms.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematomorpha http://mrw.interscience.wiley.com/emrw/9780470015902/els/article/a0001594/current/abstract <Fab> Bob, by your leave, I'll log on, recreate a folder for myself.... I believe I have the capacity to answer one or two questions daily, though likely not much more than that right now. <Yay!> Best regards, -Sabrina C. Fullhart <Be seeing you, BobF>

Neocaridina heteropoda compatibility  11/28/2007 Hello, I would like to keep some cherry fire shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) in my 55 gallon planted tank and was wondering if they would be ok with my blue rams. I have also heard of people keeping a dwarf puffer (Tetraodon travancoricus) with red cherry shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis) successfully and was wondering if this was possible, and if so would they be safe with the cherry fire shrimp. thanks CJ <Greetings. The short answer is no and maybe. Rams require very soft, very acidic, and very warm water. Neocaridina heteropoda is a subtropical species that needs around neutral to slightly alkaline, moderately hard water to do well. In very acidic water these shrimps have problems developing their exoskeletons. So basically there's no overlap between what Mikrogeophagus ramirezi wants to survive any length of time (28-30 degrees C, below 5 degrees general hardness, pH 5.5-6.0) and what the shrimps need (18-20 C, ~10 degrees dH, pH 6-8). As for mixing shrimps with Dwarf Puffers. Some have managed it. Some have seen their shrimps turn into sushi. It's not like Puffers don't eat little red shrimps, and certainly any baby shrimps will be dinner. But if you want to give it a go, that's a gamble only you can decide on. I personally wouldn't. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: compatibility, FW shrimp  11/28/07 thank you, I don't plan on keeping puffers and shrimp anytime soon so no worries there. But are there any shrimp you would suggest to keep with tetras and rams for algae control (no ghost shrimp please, bad experience with them eating all of my fish). <Greetings. If Ghost Shrimp were eating fish then either [a] they weren't Ghost Shrimp; or [b] the fish were dead anyway. Ghost Shrimp -- if we're talking Palaemonetes spp. -- are opportunists. Mixed with tetras, Corydoras, and the like they are utterly harmless. But it is entirely possible you were sold Macrobrachium sp. instead. Juvenile Macrobrachium can be easily mistaken for other, more harmless shrimp species. While Macrobrachium are essentially scavengers that feed on carrion, algae, and organic detritus some species can and will eat small fish given the chance. This underlines a common problem in the hobby: retailers using common names instead of Latin names, and hobbyists not pressuring them do to otherwise. In any event, there really aren't any shrimps that will do well in the hot, soft, acidic water Mikrogeophagus ramirezi wants. If you visit a blackwater river or swamp you will immediately notice the lack of molluscs and crustaceans. Neither group do well in such environments because of the absence of calcium salts in the water that they need for skeleton construction. Instead you find insects and other animals less dependent on calcium for their growth. You could of course increase the pH to around 7 and maintain a moderate level of hardness and a middling temperature, but your Mikrogeophagus ramirezi probably won't do well, and will likely die from something like Hole-in-the-Head before too long. I'd strongly recommend you just enjoy them for what they are. If you *must* try a shrimp, then go with either the Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) or the Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis), both of which seem to be more adaptable than anything else on the market. I've kept Neocaridina denticulata sinensis in neutral, moderately soft water with Cardinal tetras and they've done quite well, breeding happily and growing quickly. But I doubt they would do well in strongly acidic water, and all shrimps do best in moderately hard, neutral to slightly basic conditions at temperatures similar to those experienced by that species in the wild. Cheers, Neale.>

Siamese Algae Eaters killing Shrimp? 10/14/07 Hi, Great Site! I recently purchased 2 Siamese Algae Eaters (as far as I can see the are the real ones, not just flying foxes etc) to add to my 70L tank. The tank had one overly curious Zebra Loach, some Neon Tetras and two large-ish Amano Shrimps. Before buying the SAE's I checked whether they would cause any problems with anything I had in there, just in case, and nothing came up. They're only small at the moment, about 2.5 cm. So I bought some. The next morning after putting them in the tank I noticed one of my Amano Shrimps laying dead in the entrance to a pipe that I've laid under the gravel for the loach to hide in, his lair if you will. And the other shrimp was hiding on the ground and struggling to move (later that evening I found him half eaten at the front of the tank). Is it possible that these two SAEs killed both my shrimp that were if anything a cm bigger than them? Failing that how about my Zebra Loach? He was always chasing after them, but mainly around feeding times when they were partial to nicking his pellets. But they had been fine for the year or so that I had them together for. Thanks in advance for your help in solving my mystery! Andy <Andy, SAEs, and indeed most small Crossocheilus/Epalzeorhynchos-type fish are relatively harmless towards shrimp. Many "Amano" style aquaria mix the two animals together. On the other hand, Loaches are dedicated invertebrate feeders, and many species are equipped with strong jaws expressly modified to crush shells. Shrimps are especially vulnerable at moulting times, and it may well be that your Loach had ignored them until one particular moulting event where "he had a bit of a nibble" and found the results were tasty! Cheers, Neale.>

Bamboo shrimp, green water   9/28/07 Hello - I am raising plants in a tank that gets 2.5+ hours of direct sunlight a day (it is a bit of an experiment on my part). Surprise, surprise, I've get a green water problem. While the plants seem to be slowly winning, I thought I would accelerate the process by introducing a bamboo shrimp. He appears to be happily eating. My question: is he eating the single-celled algae that are the green water, or is he *just* eating the daphnia that are the other animal I introduced to try to combat the greenness. Thanks! -- Greg <Hello Greg. The answer is a little from Column A, a little from Column B. Atyopsis spp. shrimps are opportunistic feeders, and will take both zooplankton and phytoplankton. They also eat decaying organic matter, which in terms of aquarium husbandry means they happily eat things like catfish pellets and algae wafers. If you're looking for a way to turn green water clear, Atyopsis almost certainly *won't* do that. They just don't strain the water efficiently enough at the size bracket of things like planktonic green algae. The true phytoplankton specialists in freshwater ecosystems are things like bivalves at the large scale and planktonic crustaceans (including Daphnia) at the small scale. Cheers, Neale>
Re: bamboo shrimp, green water -- 10/09/07
Thanks for the input. Interestingly, the water has gotten much less green since the shrimp's introduction, and he is producing poo pellets at a riotous rate. Perhaps phytoplankton species come in different sizes, and he is filtering out the larger varieties? If you are interested, I'll keep you apprised on how the experiment goes. -- Greg <Hi Greg, Thanks for the update! I imagine the water is getting less green for other reasons than the shrimp (typically, "green water" comes and goes in blooms). But if you're finding evidence to the contrary, so much the better. Useful to know, and share with others in similar situations. And yes, do let me know how things work out in the long term. Cheers, Neale>
Re: bamboo shrimp, green water -- 10/09/07
Thanks for the input. Interestingly, the water has gotten much less green since the shrimp's introduction, and he is producing poo pellets at a riotous rate. Perhaps phytoplankton species come in different sizes, and he is filtering out the larger varieties? If you are interested, I'll keep you apprised on how the experiment goes. -- Greg <Hi Greg, Thanks for the update! I imagine the water is getting less green for other reasons than the shrimp (typically, "green water" comes and goes in blooms). But if you're finding evidence to the contrary, so much the better. Useful to know, and share with others in similar situations. And yes, do let me know how things work out in the long term. Cheers, Neale>

Unidentified Shrimp... Perhaps a Ghost Shrimp   9/11/07  This is Paul again. <Hola Paul, Mich aqui> I just wanted to send you a picture of one of the shrimp in my tank. I have another just like it. I am currently living in Brazil (Curitiba) and this was a shrimp offered at the aquarium store (www.aquabetta.com.br) I thought you guys might like to look at it. <Always nice.> Maybe you haven't seen one like it before. If you have, can you tell me what its name is? <I could be wrong, but it looks like a pretty glass or ghost shrimp to me. Ghost shrimp are often used as feeders More here: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fishlore.com/Pictures/ Profiles/ghost_shrimp_2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fishlore.com/profile- ghostshrimp.htm&h=150&w=250&sz=6&hl=en&start=16&um=1&tbnid=mn4UJo7N5z_kqM:&tbnh=67&tbnw=111&prev=/images% 3Fq%3Dglass%2Bshrimp%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DG  > Thanks a lot. <De nada! Mich>

Re: Unidentified Shrimp... A Ghost Shrimp   9/12/07 Buenos Dias Paul, Mich here again.> I thought ghost shrimp were freshwater. <Can be fresh... can also be salt... I have collected myself from saltwater in the Belmar NJ inlet.> They have been living in my saltwater tank for 7 months now. <Yes, there are several species. Many can tolerate great ranges in salinity. RMF is in agreement with this ID.> Paul

What can I add? Betta...    8/30/07 Hello, I recently bought a 1.5 Gallon tank for my Betta fish. I have not yet placed my fish in this tank because i read on a website that you should put in the less aggressive fish first. What I was wondering was what type(s) of fish would be suitable for this environment? Some of the fish that I would be interested in putting in the tank are: Cherry Shrimp <Maybe> Mollies <Nah> African Dwarf Frog <Maybe> Flying Fox Tetras <Nah and nah> Julii Cory catfish <Need more room, stable env.> Will any of these fish work out with my Betta? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/betcompfaqs.htm
 the linked files above, and re the Compatibility, Systems of the life you list, are considering... on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: What can I add? Betta comp.  -- 08/31/07
thank you so much for your help i really am thankful! I think i might go with the cherry shrimp but i haven't decided yet! But thanks again <Welcome! BobF>
Re: What can I add? Shrimp w/ Betta 9/6/07
Hi again! I was wondering if any other kinds of shrimp can be put with my Betta fish such as: Amano Algae Eating Shrimp Tiger Algae Eating Shrimp Rudolph Red-Nosed Shrimp Bumble Bee Shrimp White Spotted Pearl Shrimp Blue Buddha Shrimp I don't know I might just stick with my first idea, the cherry shrimp, but I haven't decided yet <Mmm, do wish I knew more right off-hand and had my in-print references with me... am on the road... I would look for info. on the net re which of these species stays smaller, likes warm, semi-acidic water (like Bettas)... and eats readily the sorts of foods Siamese Fighters do. Bob Fenner>
Re: What can I add? With a Betta   9/7/07
thanks anyway I think ill just stick with the cherry shrimp <A good choice> I don't think my fish is aggressive because i put a picture of the cherry shrimp up to the tank and he flared up for like one sec then was perfectly fine with the picture. What do u think? <Interesting> Is that a good test to see if he is aggressive? <I do think you have something here. BobF>

RC Shrimp Article    7/30/07 Dear Bob & WWM Crew, I have written before and you have always been very helpful on my questions regarding my FOWLR tank. The reason I am writing now is because I had my first article published in TFH magazine (September issue) regarding Red Cherry Shrimp and their care. If Bob or anyone else gets a chance to read it, I would greatly appreciate your opinions as I respect your opinions greatly. Thank you very much. Paul <Hello Paul. My three copies of TFH arrived this morning, and even before I read my own article ("Mission Impossible") I read your article on cherry shrimp. I really enjoyed it. I bought a couple of these shrimps about a month ago for a tank with some cardinal tetras, and there are now at least four 10 mm-long juveniles scampering about the Java moss. So being able to read up on their biology and husbandry was very timely. Anyway, for what it's worth, I thought the article well written, insightful, and nicely illustrated. Freshwater invertebrates are somewhat overlooked in the hobby for reasons unclear to me. I hope you'll be writing some more articles for TFH and elsewhere! Cheers, Neale.>

Just a quick question, missing livebearers post holiday  7/14/07 Hi, I currently own a ten gallon tank with a few platies and a guppy inside it, along with a few platies that are small. I went on vacation and notice that a few are missing. <Sorry to hear that. Be sure and figure out *why* before adding anything new. Check water chemistry and quality, for example, and double check you're using the right food, i.e., something vegetable/algae based rather than generic flake food.> I think they might be dead, and I just want to know your suggestions on what might have happened... <No idea without more details. Water chemistry, water quality, number of each species, how long you were gone, what foods used, etc....> ...and what kind of crabs and shrimps are compatible with them. <None. Crabs are [a] amphibious so need somewhere to walk on land and [b] predatory. Shrimps can work with small fish but they are generally delicate and if you can't keep guppies alive then you're probably not at the stage in your hobby where buying shrimps would be worthwhile. That is, unless you don't mind the shrimps being dead in 4 weeks. Seriously, they need excellent water quality, the correct diet, and safe places for moulting where they can't be molested.> I usually leave fry in the tank instead of separating them and I want a few to live, are these good to add to the tank? <Don't understand this. Do you mean the crabs and shrimps are good to add to the tank? If so, no.> Or are they bad like Albino Aquatic Frogs? (I had bad experiences with them) <Not "bad" but just wrong for you and your aquarium. Crabs need their own vivarium a bit like something used for newts or frogs, with some water for bathing but also some dry land for social behaviour and feeding. Shrimps are really something for the semi-advanced hobbyist. Most of the ones sold end up dying within a few weeks when thrown into generic community tanks. Cheers, Neale>

FW shrimp molt gone awry   6/24/07 Hey Crew. I have a female wood shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) that molted about two days ago. Something went wrong with the molt, and the plate over her "shoulder" area (over the walking legs) didn't form properly, it is flared out from her body, exposing the flesh underneath. She seems to be alright for now, although she's climbed up onto some roseafolia, and isn't moving around much, or fanning the water for food. I assume the risk to her now is infection, with her flesh being exposed to the elements. I would hope that this problem can fix itself the next time she molts; is there anything I can do to help her through this for now? Thanks in advance for your help. <Greetings. "Faulty" moults are one of the risks of keeping any crustacean in captivity. The physiological process behind moulting is incredibly complex, and everything has to work 'just-so' or the whole thing messes up. The short answer as far as the aquarist is concerned is to [a] make sure water quality is excellent and appropriate to the species being kept (which typically means hard/alkaline); [b] the diet is correct and supplies all the essential nutrients, including trace elements (i.e., feed as varied a diet as possible); and [c] make sure the crustacean has somewhere to retire to during the moult so it cannot be damaged by other animals in the tank (i.e., some sort of cave). The problem with the family Atyidae (or fan shrimps) is they easily starve in aquaria. While not exclusively filter feeders, they aren't "scavengers" in any real sense, and do need regular supplies of nutritious food. So your shrimp should have been getting at least a couple of krill or a few bloodworms per day alongside whatever algae and detritus it was picking up in the tank. Failure on this count puts the shrimp at risk of starving, if not in overall terms of energy, then certainly with regard to specific minerals and trace elements it needs for moulting. (The parallel in humans might be anaemia -- it's easy to eat lots of food, and yet be anaemic, because the food you're eating contains too little iron.) In theory at least crustaceans can and do repair faulty moults "next time round" but as you say, there is a risk of secondary infections as well as damaged structures interfering with the functioning of essential systems like the gills. That your shrimp isn't eating is certainly grounds for concern. Medical treatment of crustaceans is basically non-existent as far as the hobbyist goes, so this really is a case of "wait and see". Provide the right diet and optimal water conditions and see what happens. Definitely keep her away from any animals that might attack her or otherwise express unhealthy interest -- other shrimps, territorial cichlids, nippy tetras, etc. Cheers, Neale>

Crawfish and Shrimp -- 06/14/07 Howdy. < Ave.> > I have 2 10 gallon tanks. One of them holds my 4"inch crawfish, Bojan and four (used to be 5) guppy "friends". He is happy and healthy and hilarious. < So, you have discovered that crayfish can and do eat small fish, given the chance.> > The other tank holds 3 Cory catfish, a couple of guppies and three TINY crawfish (one temporarily named "grain of rice") which I know will get bigger and will need to be either moved to separate tanks, or returned to the creek from whence they came. < Returning animals "to the wild" is at least the wrong thing to do, and at worst illegal. If in doubt, <<My value systems switch these. RMF>> consult with your local Fish & Wildlife Bureau. The problem is that those crayfish have no been exposed to pathogens and bacteria than native crayfish (and other aquatic organisms) may have no resistance to. American crayfish got loose in the UK, likely from farms, and carried a fungal disease that has basically wiped out our native crayfish. The American crayfish is somewhat resistant, and so takes over vacated territory. See here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/fish/freshwater/crayfish.htm . Moral of the story: never, ever release captive animals back into the wild.> > Here is my question. My friend has the cutest little ghost shrimp. I was thinking of getting some to put in with the Corys and baby crawfish. I am guessing that ghost shrimp and crawfish are not compatible, but thought I would ask you guys and gals to see what you thought. If these two are not compatible, are there any shrimp that would be compatible with baby crawfish or would I need to choose between having crawfish or having shrimp? (What a delicious question!) > Thanks! < Crayfish and small shrimp are indeed incompatible. Crayfish are omnivores, feeding primarily on plant material and detritus, but small animals are also on the menu. In the confines of an aquarium their clumsiness isn't a problem, and eventually they corner smaller tankmates, usually at night. Obviously baby crayfish smaller than the shrimps won't be much of a problem, but as the crayfish grow, expect them to become more predatory *and* more territorial towards one another. The only shrimps I would keep with crayfish would be large Macrobrachium spp, (Freshwater Tiger Prawns) because they are pretty nasty animals themselves. Given crayfish don't move about much, I personally think they look best kept in their own small aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>

Advice on new additions please!! Shrimp sys., much more...  6/10/07 Hi Crew! <Hello!> I've been trawling your site all morning and can't seem to find any info on my new tank mates I purchased yesterday! <Oh dear.><<Heeeeee! RMF>> Normally I wouldn't buy something without researching it first but these guys were irresistible! <Uh-oh.> My tank is 100lt, recently cycled (upgraded from a 60lt) Ph 6.4-6.5, GH between 6 and 7, KH 0, ammonia and nitrites 0 and nitrates about 15. The temp is usually 24C but its hot here at the moment so has creeped up to 26C! <Water conditions sound very good a nice variety of soft water tropical fish. Increasing the turbulence (i.e., bubbles or splashing) at the top of the tank can help add a little more oxygen to the water in warm weather, but 26C isn't too high for most species.> In the tank are 4 Leopard Danios, 5 Corys and 3 Japonica shrimp. I also have 4 Pearl and 4 Yellow Kerri Danios in QT. <All interesting and worthy inmates. Shrimp tend not to do universally well in soft/acid water, so try to make sure the pH doesn't drop below 6.5.> So, on to the new additions! Yesterday I bought 2 shrimp labeled 'Chameleon Shrimp' and have so far narrowed that down to either Macrobrachium eriocheirum or Macrobrachium lammeri but the only info I found was that they need harder, alkali water! :o( <Macrobrachium spp are among the WORST additions to aquaria. They vary in size from fairly small things not much bigger than your Amano shrimps through to giants around 30 cm long. Ever eating freshwater tiger prawns? Those are Macrobrachium. Very widely cultivated in fresh and brackish water pools across Asia and increasingly elsewhere. Now, the deal with Macrobrachium is that they are omnivores and HIGHLY territorial. The "omnivore" bit means that while they will happily eat catfish pellets and the like, they will also catch small fish. The "territorial" bit is a warning: once they take charge of a burrow or cave, they demand to be left alone. Males of the species fight with one another. I've seen the big ones coexist with robust Central American cichlids, and some folks have the smaller species in community tanks, but still, they are not really 100% safe aquarium denizens. So watch them carefully.> I have some crushed oyster shell, would this help? <Potentially. I'd suggest placing some in a filter media bag and then placing it in the filter. Adding crushed oyster shell to the substrate works fairly well for a while, but eventually gets covered in algae and bacteria and its buffering capacity drops off. Better to put the stuff in the filter where you can clean/replace every couple of months. This said, you're aiming for neutral pH and moderate hardness, otherwise your other fish won't be so happy, so don't go bananas. Add a small amount, wait a week, measure the pH and hardness, and then adjust up or down as required.> They have claws, are they a threat to my japonicas/Corys? <Potentially, yes. Macrobrachium will take smaller fish if the opportunity presents itself. The problem won't be so much while you're feeding normally, but when you go away for your vacation and the fish are left alone for a week or two, a hungry shrimp might turn its attention to any small fish...> The current inhabitants are all present so far! What do I need to feed the new guys? <Macrobrachium spp are all omnivores. So a mix of vegetable and animal foods. I'd be using algae (such as Plec pellets), Sushi Nori, bloodworms, shelled mussels, etc. Calcium-rich foods are important, for shell production. For that, you want to be using some shell-on foods periodically. Krill would be ideal for small specimens, or unshelled prawns for larger ones.> Managed to hand feed the one I could find a cichlid stick but that wouldn't be much of a balanced diet! <Cichlid pellets not a bad start. But variety is important. Like crayfish, Macrobrachium basically eat anything organic, and in the wild to some extent are sifting mud for general detritus. So they aren't fussy. This is why they are a popular fish-farming species: they can be reared on what is basically refuse (like tilapia, chicken, and pigs, really).> Plus I cant find the small one to feed it anyway! How do I sex them and will they fight each other? <Males will certainly fight. Males generally tolerate females, assuming they aren't fighting over space. But there's no guarantees here.> I also bought 2 fish called 'Chinese Butterfly Suckers', they've already cleaned the algae from the QT tank! <Oh dear... these are likely Beaufortia kweichowensis. Certainly a member of the Hillstream Loach family, Homalopteridae. Among the least reliable aquarium fish in the hobby. Few survive any length of time. They live in relatively cool, highly oxygenated, spotlessly clean mountain and forest streams. In the wild they eat almost nothing but "aufwuchs" -- the mix of green algae and tiny animals they scrape from rocks. In the aquaria, they need algae, whether "real" or supplied via things like Sushi Nori or algae wafers. Vegetarian flake food smeared onto rocks might be worth trying, too. Small animal foods such as bloodworms should also be provided. The problems most aquarists have with them are these: [a] water quality; [b] getting enough food into them; and [c] too-warm an aquarium. They're essentially subtropical, and ideally want to be maintained at the cooler end of the spectrum, around 20C being about right.> They are the cutest fish ever and look like tiny black Plecos with white spots all over you can see their little hearts beating, stuck onto the glass! <Yes, they are lovely. But specialist fish.> I think they might be river fish, but my filter kicks out a strong current so hopefully that will suit them... what else do I need to know about them? <Well, I think I've covered the basics. Just keep thinking about what these fish are -- they live in streams with shallow water, lots of green algae, very high oxygen levels, and tonnes of water movement.> Will they be okay in my tank? <I wouldn't be the house on it. Your water chemistry and quality are actually very good for these fishes. BUT, your problems will be keeping them cool enough (or at least bumping up the oxygen level to compensate) and ensuring there is thorough water flow throughout the aquarium, especially at the bottom where these fish "hang out". You also need to ensure they have enough to eat. So, you have your work cut out for you. That said, in a tank specially set up for them alongside species from similar conditions (such as danios and White Cloud Mountain minnows) they are not actually delicate fish and some people have had great success with them. But they aren't "easy fish".> What should I feed them when they have eaten all the algae? <More algae. Plus a certain amount of animal protein. I'd be going 60% algae, 40% bloodworms and the like.> Sorry for the huge email but I felt so bad about buying them without knowing how to care for them!! :o( Any help would be much appreciated! <To be fair, hillstream loaches aren't actually featured in that many aquarium books. But investing in something like Baensch's Aquarium Atlas (which does include a number of them) is one of wisest things any aquarist can do. Good aquarium atlases pay for themselves over and over again by letting you identify fishes when you're shopping, so you can decide there and then whether to buy what you've found.> Thanks! Ruth. <Good luck, Neale>

Apistos and Shrimp    5/21/07 Hello,  I was wondering if it would be ok to keep Apistogramma and Caridina serrata together. I have plenty of room for them and they would be going into a planted aquarium. I'm just worried that the Apistos would eat the shrimp. Thank you, CJ < Apistogramma cacatuoides have a pretty good sized mouth. If the shrimp will not fit in their mouths then they will probably leave them alone until the shrimp moult. When the shrimp moult their skin is very soft and leaves them vulnerable to be eaten by fish. If there are plenty of places for them to hide they will be fine.-Chuck>

FW, shrimp hlth... maint., Dracaena plants... non-aquatic   4/22/07 Dear crew, First I would like to thank you for all the information you provide. Thanks to you I have a flourishing tank full of shrimp and fish. Unfortunately I also have a flourishing problem. I currently have a 55 gallon freshwater tank that is cycling with 2 Cory catfish about an inch long, 2 glassfish, 3 ninja shrimp, and 1 bamboo shrimp that recently molted. <Mmm, a necessary/compelled comment: Not a good idea to cycle a system with such livestock present... the shrimp likely molted out of stress more than all else> I also recently added lucky bamboo <Hmm? The Dracaena? Not really aquatic...> and java moss. The problem started when one of the Hikari tropical sinking wafers that I feed my catfish fell into the java moss where my catfish could not eat it, before long it had white stalks growing out of it, <The catfish or the wafer?> the same thing happened to one of my ninja shrimps body after it died. <Mmm, yes... likely "mycetes"... mostly fungal decomposer colonies> I also noticed some white specks on the aquarium glass and when I tried to scrape them off they didn't come off. <Use a single-edged razorblade if this is a glass tank> Is this just a side affect of the tank cycling and if not should I be worried? <Mmm, maybe so...> All my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are where they are supposed to be. I apologize if  you have already answered this question but I could not find it on your website. Thanks,  Tuscan <Mmm... the usual water changes, monitoring should do it here... Bob Fenner>

Amano Shrimp... soon to be everywhere   4/16/07 Hi Bob, On 2/15/07 I had emailed you about a missing Amano shrimp in my 30 gallon octagon tank.  Well it was the baby so he/she always stays pretty hidden.  But three days ago I noticed that one of my amino shrimp is LOADED with eggs.  If it's not my sun corals giving me babies... or pupfish doing same... now it's my Amano shrimp.  I'm thrilled and well nervous, too.  The thought of ... how many eggs does a female shrimp carry at once? <Small shrimp species... hundreds> ... being hatched in my tank is somewhat alarming in terms of pollution. <Mmm, most likely to be eaten... if not reared elsewhere> Refresher, 6 Danio, 4 neon tetras, 1 kuhli loach and 3 Cory... but in quarantine for 3 weeks  now I have 4 cardinal tetras and 2 kuhli loach which I will be adding to this tank in the next couple days.  It's not like I have a large tank with a large fish load which can consume most of the small shrimp.  I also imagine with all the hiding places I set up for my kuhli loach, they also serve well for the shrimp and I may have an abundance of small shrimp in this tank... and the three I have now do leave quite a bit of detritus.  I know some may get sucked up in the filter.  Should I just move my fish from 5 gallon quarantine into the 30 gallon and try to catch the shrimp w/her eggs and move her into the 5 gallon quarantine tank? <If you'd like... My fave piece on their breeding/rearing: http://www.jayscustomcomputers.com/wilma/Articles/page1.html> I'm just not sure what to expect.  Also, how many days/weeks does it take for the eggs to hatch. <About a week> I don't think it's been more than a week since I've noticed her with the eggs.  Because they're so messy I decided not to get any more shrimp but have decided to get 1 or 2 SAEs... <Good choice> I guess my shrimp have other ideas.  Also, they are slowly devouring my sword plants.  What are my options to feed them... <The fish meal and Spirulina based wafers, pellets... and Spectrum brand...> they're doing a great job of keeping the algae off of everything in my tank. Thanks again, Debra P. <Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp Question, FW   3/28/07 Hi Crew,  I've written two or three times previously regarding my 150 gal planted tank.  It used to house 2 large pond fish, then I realized I just couldn't keep up with their messiness.  Last summer I gave away the pond fish and added tropical fish and plants.  The tank is stocked with a red-tailed shark, 7 gold barbs, 9 SAEs, 6 Otocinclus and 11 kuhli loaches.  About a month ago I added 3 algae eating shrimp, one pretty good sized and 2 smaller.  Since they immediately went into hiding I almost forgot they were in there.  Till about a week ago.  I've tried hard not to overfeed the fish so once a day I give them Hikari Micropellets and I toss in one sinking wafer.  Once or twice a week I supplement their diet with frozen brine shrimp or blood worms.  Anyway, last week after I tossed in the wafer,  the larger of the shrimp scurried out of hiding and snatched it away. <Heee. Typical> He/she scurried back into hiding leaving the loaches searching for the wafer.  I thought it was pretty funny and threw in another wafer for the loaches.  The same thing has happened every feeding since.  As soon as I throw in the wafer the shrimp appears and makes off with it.  However,  I started wondering if that was defeating the whole purpose of having algae-eating shrimp.  Would it be better to stop feeding wafers and just feed more Micropellets, or just let the shrimp have the wafers? <Mmm, I would keep proffering the wafers... these shrimp are not really "cleaner uppers" in captive systems> I used to break up the wafers but then the barbs would grab the pieces and the loaches were left searching for the wafer.   I know this is kind of a silly problem, but I'd like to make the best decision possible.  Thanks a lot,  Kerry <Perhaps a wafer placed at both ends of the system at the same time... will grant all a bit? "Just one thin little wafer..." This last for Graham and his Monty Python fix! Bob Fenner>

Wood Shrimp - Atyopsis moluccensis - Mysterious Molting Deaths - 03/17/2007 I just lost my poor little wood shrimp this morning, this is the second one that has died in more or less the same way. They molt, and then they just keel over dead. <Good observation - and a common occurrence, unfortunately.> I haven't gotten either of my deceased shrimp past the first molt. Water conditions are as near perfect as can be, and the fish in the tank are 3 platies, 5 zebra danios and 2 Cory catfish (15 gal tank.) The shrimp had good hidey holes etc, and was an enthusiastic eater- until he died! What happened to my poor shrimp?   <There are perhaps at least a few possibilities, but the likeliest are that they died from a toxin in the water (heavy metals, especially copper, that may be in tapwater are quite dangerous) or simple lack of iodine and/or calcium.  The realistic solutions to these problems are to use as "good" a source of water as possible, and to supplement with iodine - Kent or Seachem or other marine preparations will be fine, but do NOT use the marine dose - just a drop or two per ten gallons on a weekly basis is fine.> -Jen <I am sorry for your losses, and hope that your future shrimp will fare very well for you.  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Killer Ghost shrimp?!?!  -- 03/09/07 Hi there! <<Hello!.>> I don't have a question, I just wanted to share what I thought was kind of surprising.  I turned the light on in my 10 gal tank this morning, just in time to watch my ghost shrimp "pounce" on a neon tetra.  Before I went to bed the neon looked perfectly healthy, and seemed to be pretty strong after the attack this morning...at least initially.  I would have intervened but I was far too shocked and amazed by what I was seeing.  The neon struggled to get away, "dragging" the shrimp with him, but the whole time the shrimp had a hold of him he shredded his tail and fins.  Eventually the neon stopped struggling and the shrimp was able to settle on a piece of driftwood and eat the neon at his leisure.  He held the fish tightly and moved it up and down his legs ripping and tearing with tiny little pincher claws that I never noticed before.  I just could not believe what I was seeing!  I have two particularly large crayfish in my 30 gal, and I have neons there, as well as some Glowlight tetras, and in the past 6 months have not lost a single fish to the crayfish.  I have had the shrimp since January, and he has already caused a loss... NOT what I expected! <<Thank You for sharing.  I have not experienced this, but I have heard similar cases.>> Many Thanks for all the time and money this site has saved me with free education.  My tank losses have never been lower since I started my research here 2 years ago! <<Happy to hear it!  Keep up the good work.  Glad to help. Lisa.>> Doug

Wood Shrimp / Atyopsis Losses - 03/07/2007 I just lost my poor little wood shrimp this morning, this is the second one that has died in more or less the same way. They molt, and then they just keel over dead. <Perfect observation - some very important clues, here.> I haven't gotten either of my deceased shrimp past the first molt. Water conditions are as near perfect as can be, and the fish in the tank are 3 platies, 5 zebra danios and 2 Cory catfish (15 gal tank.) The shrimp had good hidey holes etc, and was an enthusiastic eater- until he died! What happened to my poor shrimp?   <There are a number of things that may have contributed to this - have you ever used copper medications in the aquarium?  Any other medications?  Use water out of the tap, and have copper pipes?  The primary thing, though, is likely an iodine deficiency and/or a calcium deficiency.  If your water is relatively "hard", I'd wager money that it'll help immensely to supplement your water with iodine.  Kent iodine or Seachem iodide, or other iodine solutions for marine/reef use would be beneficial to you, here - but DON'T use the marine dose, instead just a drop or two per ten gallons every week will suffice.  After starting this in my tanks, I no longer lost shrimp mysteriously.  I hope the same will happen for you!> -Jen <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Freshwater Amano Shrimp - Hiding or? 2/15/07 <Oh man! I wish Sabrina were here... She is absolutely passionate re FW shrimp...> I have a 30 gallon octagon freshwater tank with 5 neon tetra, 6 zebra Danio, 1 gold Danio, 2 Julie Cory, 1 peppered Cory and one striped Kuhli loach. When I asked the LFS what I should add to help with the algae problem he recommended Amano shrimp. <Neat choice> I asked for 3 (a baby got scooped up in there with them) so I ended up with 4.  Purchased Friday 2/9.  I acclimated them slowly just like I would for saltwater shrimp <Good> and then put them in the tank.  The baby I found dead the next day, and two are MIA.  The first day they were all out on the driftwood picking off the algae.  The 2nd day is when I found the small shrimp dead and it turned a reddish color.  Since Saturday I've been searching for the shrimp. <This species and most all other FW shrimp are reclusive, retiring> At fish feed time one shrimp comes out and then poof he's gone.  At night I've only seen one shrimp (using a flashlight to look for those glowing eyes).  Tuesday morning afraid that I might have some dead shrimp rotting I went in and removed the rocks and all but one piece of driftwood.  Again I only saw one shrimp. no bodies, no shells, nothing in the filter.  Tank is covered and nothing on the floor.  I'm at a loss.  Can they hide that well? <Mmm, yes> Any of the above animals possible culprits? <Of the fishes you list, doubtful> The shrimp are not small. about the same size as my largest danios. about an inch and a quarter.  In the beginning I did see one of the danios kind of nip at that one shrimp in passing, it scooted off and the Danio went about its business.  I read that iodine should be added, but I've been using Amquel in tap water for water changes and I know my Salifert test kit will not give a reading because of the Amquel and I'm afraid to add iodine without testing. <Mmm... an occasional (let's say with the interval of water changes) dosing at a low level (a few drops of a stock solution period)... is a good idea... this material is very transient... won't overdose... much the same as iodated salts for human consumption> Which water conditioner/dechlorinator should I use instead of Amquel so that I can test for iodine? <I would likely not actually test...>   Tank parameters as follows (testing done Wednesday night): 0 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Phosphate 7.2 pH As this is a tall tank I have two thermometers one on the substrate and one near the top.  The heater is placed closer to the bottom.  Bottom temp is usually around 76°, top temp usually around 79°. <Interesting... this is a surprisingly large difference. Do me a favor and "switch" thermometers and see if they register this difference still> I have Amazon swords and java ferns all of which I constantly have to wipe algae off the leaves, two pieces of driftwood, 3 large rocks.  So there are plenty of hiding places. Again, thank you so much for your advice/comments. Regards,   Debra P. <I would not be overly concerned re the consequences or possible loss of the Amanos... And I do encourage you to consider adding SAE's here for algal control. Please do take a read re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saes.htm Bob Fenner>

FW Shrimp <beh.> questions!... and cycling comments.   2/4/07 Hello to whomever will inherit this email! <Audrey> Six days ago, we put two Amano and four Cherry shrimp in our 10 gal. aquarium. They were all over the place for about a day, then apparently they found very good hiding places. We haven't seen three of the Cherry since. The fourth made its home with the Amano. I'll remove the rocks tomorrow when I clean the tank and see if I can find the three missing Cherry :-) <... Cleaning? Removing the rocks? I would not thoroughly clean such a system, nor remove the rocks> In any case, that's not my question. The two Amano had been hiding for a few days. But two days ago they moved out of their hiding place to the back of the aquarium. We thought it was a little weird, since that corner is more open than their usual hiding spot. Then, this morning, I found a molt (I was thinking their colour had been off, I guess this is likely the explanation). Then, an hour later, a second molt! Do shrimp usually molt the same day? <Can> I know from reading WWM that triggers can be water changes or adding iodine, but I didn't do any of those. Do you think that the fact that I started giving them sinking wafers (36 hours before the molt) might have been a trigger? <Could have, yes> (Hikari small sinking wafers, almost the same ingredients than the flakes we give the fish). Or did the move into the aquarium trigger this? <Much more likely, yes> I'm just curious... The two of them were, at least this morning, much more colourful and active since the molt. They've started moving about the tank again. I haven't been home so I haven't checked on them since. Now the colour is off on the one visible Cherry, and I'm wondering if it's not getting ready to molt too. I will get iodine next time I go to the very neat saltwater fish place in town (I love looking at their tanks, especially the inverts...). They don't carry it at freshwater fish stores. One more shrimp question. I saw in some FAQ that Sabrina was saying something about C. Japonica not breeding in full fresh water but other species of shrimp doing so. But she never said which species, and there's not a whole lot of freshwater shrimp info on WWM (I think I read all of it, and didn't find an answer to this question, even using the search box). So, which species of shrimp breed well in FW, besides Ghost shrimp? <Most all the commonly available species...> Ah, and one comment, for those who still doubt the usefulness of cycling BEFORE you put in fish. We had set up and planted our 10 g. aquarium on the very last days of December - no fish, some Pigmy Chain Swords, a bunch of Bacopa, two small Anubias Nana. rocks, branch, gravel and bio-balls in the filter. After a week, there was about .5 ammonia already, but I felt thing weren't moving along fast enough, so I plopped half a frozen shrimp in there, and watched it turn into hairy stuff, then gooey stuff... (can't get Bio-Spira in Canada). A week and a half later, after the expected ammonia and nitrite spikes, everything leveled off. It cycled in less than three weeks total. I'm amazed. I really couldn't believe it. Maybe some useful bacteria came along on the plants (???). <Undoubtedly, yes> And, with the live plants in there, even nitrates were 0. So, we put in some fish, two Mollies, as well as six small shrimps. Two days later, still nothing detectable - and those fish are pooping machines. It works! (I expect nitrates to go up in short order though, I don't have nearly enough plants to keep up with the amount of waste the fish will produce). While, in our 5g. unfiltered quarantine (but with a bubble wand - we had to get a new heater and will eventually get a filter for it, but we can't afford to buy everything at the same time, and the heater was more pressing), which holds two Mollies that we got at a less reputable place and were waiting before introducing into the 10g, we have to do a 60% water change every day to keep the ammonia below 0.5... (I have no idea how people can keep goldfish in gallon bowls for months given the levels of ammonia we get on a 5 gal. with 2 Mollies.) <Yes...> I'm now fully convinced: bacteria are a good thing, and waiting for the cycle to complete before adding fish is DEFINITELY worth it. <Agreed> And almost all this knowledge came from you guys. I do have some books, but I just keep re-reading the same info in the books, and it's not nearly as detailed as what I read here. And there are no "useful tips" in the books, just general rules. You're great :-) Thanks, Audrey <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Ghost shrimp, Acanthocephalans, worms in general...   1/15/07 I just bought a few ghost shrimp and everything appeared to be going fine until today, when I noticed one of the shrimp had a worm in it.   <You have good sight> After a mild freak-out I managed to do some research on the internet and found out that it was most likely a horsehair worm. <Yes, possibly an acanthocephalan...> Unfortunately, I haven't found much useful information regarding my situation beyond the initial identification.  The infected ghost shrimp was in a tank that contained some guppies as well as other ghost shrimp.  Could the worm have possibly laid eggs in my tank? <Could...> Would I be able to see them? <No, too small> Should I worry about the larva (assuming there are eggs and that the eggs will hatch) infecting my fish and other ghost shrimp?   <Mmm... possibly the shrimp... not likely the fish... May well be that the life cycle of this parasite is "complex" and that your tank is missing an/the intermediate host... likely guppies are not definitive here> I know that the young are parasitic, yet I am not completely sure if they use fish as hosts.  The ghost shrimp was in my tank for less than 24 hours.  Are they dangerous to my fish? <Again, not likely> Should I assume that my whole tank has been infested?  Is there anything I can do to stop the infection, assuming there is one, without harming my fish?   <... I would do nothing... but there are some useful Anthelminthics... Praziquantel, Levamisole... you can search re these on the Net, WWM...> Currently, all of the other inhabitants of my tank seem fine, and there is no evidence of other horsehair worms infecting my tank.  I hope I am overreacting to this tiny worm. <Mmm...>   Please set my mind at ease. Should I be freaking out about the possibility of infestation of my other fish and ghost shrimps? Thanks, Lauren <How to put this... there are actually several... as in many, species of worms... living in your system... in your own personal world... This one is likely only detrimental to the shrimp that are hosting large individuals... in non-propitious circumstances. I would not panic here. Bob Fenner>

Keeping Ghost Shrimp  7/24/06 Hello!   <Hi Cathrine, Pufferpunk here> I am hoping you can help me understand why my ghost shrimp keep dying hours after being added to my 5 gallon aquarium.  In this tank I have 1 male Betta and 1 Otocinclus.  Originally the shrimp was to be the cleaner but since I am not having any luck with them I got the Otocinclus.  I would like to add at least 1 ghost shrimp because in the short time they have been alive I find them fascinating.  I suspect something with my water is not compatible with the shrimp because they are fine until they have been added to the tank.  This tank is heated and stays around 77 degrees (unfortunately it can not be adjusted).  I have a hang on the back filter rated for 2-5 gal and an under gravel filter.  The tank has been running for 2 months.  Nitrate is at 20ppm, Nitrite is 0, Hardness was at 0 but since the shrimp seemed to do well in the spring water they were in before being added to the tank, I added some to the tank and it is now at 75ppm.  Alkalinity is 300ppm.  pH is 8.4 (Both of these are high and I am wondering if one or both might be the problem.) Ammonia is 0.  I have been using treated tap water only, which is softened with potassium chloride. (Possibly another cause?)  The beta and Otocinclus are doing fine so I am not sure where the problem might be.  The first time I added 1 shrimp (had only treated tap water in the tank so hardness was at 0), he died within an hour and half.   A few weeks later I added two more thinking maybe the first one was just a "bad" shrimp.  They both died within 2 hours.  After that I started adding the spring water, topping off my tank so my hardness had increased to 75ppm.  Two more weeks later I added four shrimp trying to increase my chances of one surviving but they only lived up to 5 hours.  They seem fine then all the sudden fall on their side and finally end up dead on their backs.  Neither the beta or Otocinclus are bothering them.  So not knowing where the problem lies I am beginning to wonder if I should drain the tank and refill it with all spring water.  Sorry for such a long email but I wanted to give you as much information as possible.  Thanks so much for your time!          <Here is an excellent article in keeping & breeding ghost shrimp: http://www.thepufferforum.com/articles/other/ghostshrimp.html HTH, ~PP> Cathrine Daily

African Dwarf Frogs and fish medications    7/13/06 Hello, my name is Robin. I have a 45 gallon tank that houses one African Dwarf Frog, 4 Ghost Shrimp, and 12 Bronze Cory Catfish.   Yesterday I noticed that some of the baby (I say baby, my original three bred successfully in my aquarium about four months ago) Corys have fuzzy fungus   growth. I have Applus+  Anti-Fungus Fungus and Fin Rot Treatment, whose  main ingredients are Malachite Green and Hydrochloride. <Toxic to your Frogs and Shrimp> I wanted to check before I add anything to the tank, because I'm concerned about the frog and the shrimp. Will I have to move them to a different tank while treating the catfish? <Yes... and do check your water quality... The Corydoras would not "get" a fungal/bacterial infection if all was well here> Is there a more "frog friendly" treatment for the catfish? I know that the Anti-Fungus treatment is potentially harmful to scaleless fish, and frogs absorb things through theirs, so I don't want to  poison the frog.   Thank you very much. Robin <You need to separate the non-fish. Bob Fenner>

FW catfishes and shrimp comp. help  6/25/06 - Hello, I am looking at buying some shrimp and was wondering if i would have to remove my 2 bumble bee cats (Microglanis sp) and my Synodontis cat so the poor little guys(3/4 of an inch.) wouldn't be eaten upon arrival. If I did would I be able to put them back. Thank you CJ <It is highly likely that these cats would ingest the shrimp at some point (likely during molts or just when hungry). This is an "either/or" situation. Choose. Bob Fenner>

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>

Stem Plants, Roots, Shrimp, Iodine, and Fertilizers - 06/01/2006 Dear Crew, <Hi, Shawn!> I have a couple of questions, but I first want to thank you for the great resource you have created for all of us amateur hobbyists.   <Your kind words are greatly appreciated.> I've spent more hours reading articles and FAQs on your website than I can count.   <Heh, me too!> With that said, there is one thing I can't figure out.   <.... lots of things I can't figure out....> I've got a relatively new 55 gallon tank that is heavily planted.  It's been going for about a month now, and is doing great as far as I can tell.  The tank as a Fluorite base, 4 full-spectrum fluorescent light tubes.  I use supplemented/buffered R/O water to do my water changes, and my water levels all seem good.  I also inject CO2, with consistent levels of about 26ppm.  On to my question....  Many of my stem plants (actually all of them) have grown long white roots from every part of the stem, nearly to the top of the plant.   <This is normal for some plants, like Egeria, Elodea/Anacharis, Limnophilia, Cabomba....> Many of these white roots are easily 10 inches long and they are quickly taking over my tank.   <Today, the tank....  tomorrow, the world!!  If they're terribly annoying, I'd trim them back; otherwise, let 'em have their fun.> Is this normal?   <For some stem plants, yes.  What species are you keeping that are taking over?> I was hoping that they would just go away as the main roots settled better in the substrate.   <Some stem plants will settle down and do as you state, some will just keep up with those shiny white roots.> Okay, two other simple questions.   <No more!  Oh, okay, just kidding.> I am using "Flourish - Comprehensive Plant Supplement" to supplement my R/O water (along with Baking Soda to raise the kH) on a weekly basis.  Is that sufficient?   <As long as your KH, GH, and pH are steady, this is fine.> I am also planning on adding various shrimp to the tank (red cherry & Amano to start with) <Excellent!  May I suggest "zebra" or "tiger" shrimp?  The alpha male of a colony will be a STUNNING blue with brown-black stripes and red tail and rostrum.  http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=156 > and read that they need iodine to thrive.   <Yes.> My Flourish supplement contains 0.0001% iodine in it, but that doesn't seem like enough.  Do you think I should get a separate iodine additive? <I would.  I'm still using Kent marine iodine at a rate of ONE DROP per ten gallons weekly (NOT the marine dose), but most any marine iodine supplement could be used in similarly small quantities.> Thanks for everything you've done. <And thank you, again, for your kind words and encouragement.> Shawn <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Betta Compatibility, Cherry Shrimp - 05/20/2006 Hey WWM crew, you guys have a pretty awesome FAQ going here. <Thanks for the kind words!> I went through the Betta compatibility FAQ and searched online but I did not really find an answer to my question so I was hoping you guys could help me out.  I currently have an eclipse 12 (12 gallon, 150 gph, bio-wheel) that has a relatively dense group of plastic plants around the back and sides with a cave and 2 ornamental decorations with some holes in it. The tank is cycled and currently houses 6 harlequin Rasboras and a Betta. They get along fine and for the most part seem to ignore each other. The Betta seems to enjoy going around the tank and occupies all levels of the tank. My Rasboras tend to stick to the middle to upper levels so I was thinking of getting something to occupy the bottom of the tank.   <Sounds great.> I know Cory cats tend to get along well with Bettas. However, I think a group of 3 Cory cats might be pushing my tank to the limits <Mm, you'd probably be okay with a few of one of the smaller species.> so I was thinking of maybe housing some cherry shrimp instead with the Betta and Rasboras. <Cherry shrimp are great.> I know cherry shrimp live about 2 years long but I'm worried that my Betta might try to eat them for food. <It's possible.  I have a particularly aggressive female Betta that has killed shrimp much larger than cherries.  I think most Bettas would be fine with them, though.> However, they are about an inch long <Surprising.  They rarely get this large.  It might be a different species that you're looking at; maybe C./N. sp. "zeylanica", which can look similar but gets larger.> so I was hoping that the Betta would leave them alone after a while.   <You could try getting just one or two shrimp at first and see how the Betta responds.> What do you think, should I add a group of 3 Cory cats to the tank or add like 6 or 7 cherry shrimp to the tank?   <I, personally, would try the shrimp.  I think this would be better for the tank in terms of bioload, also the shrimp will eat algae, also shrimp are a lot of fun to watch.  Start with just a couple to see how the Betta reacts to them, and if there are no problems, get the rest.> Thanks for all your help.  -Xiaosong <Glad to be of service.  -Sabrina>
Re: Betta Compatibility, Cherry Shrimp - 05/21/2006
Hey Sabrina, <Hi, Xiaosong!  Incidentally, you have a beautiful name.> Thanks for your help! <And thank you for giving me the opportunity to help!> You were right about the size of the shrimp; they are more like 3/4th of an inch. So I had a quick follow up question. Once I get the shrimp, do you think it would be better to pull the Betta out of the tank for a day or two to let the shrimp get acclimated to the tank or should I just put the shrimp in with the Betta right away? <I'd get just a couple to start with, and go ahead and put them in.  That'll give you the best idea of how the Betta is going to respond to them, I think.> When I first introduced the Betta to the tank with the Rasboras, I put the Betta in the tank in a breeding net on the side for a day but I didn't think it made a difference in the end with the Rasboras. <Sounds like a plan, then!> Thanks! <Any time.> Xiaosong <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

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 japonica 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>

Platy fry and ghost shrimp fry    4/9/06 I really need help. My ghost shrimp had babies about a month ago and now my "Minnie" platy is going to. I need to know if i can put all the fry in the same breeder net. As of right now I can afford to get another tank. I also need to know if i really need to get another tank do to overcrowding. At this point I have 1 frog, 1 Betta, 2 kuhli loach, 3 Cory cats, 2 platies and 2 adult shrimp plus i don't know how many baby shrimp. I know I am pushing over crowding and really don't want that... Please tell me what to do. Can the fry go into one net and how long before I really have to get a bigger tank? Thank you Leeann <Mmm, the shrimp and platy fry can go and stay in the net as long as both are fed (small amounts a few times daily). The Betta and others will consume both if they are small enough to ingest... You will eventually need another tank if these animals keep reproducing. Bob Fenner>

Bettas and Ghost Shrimp comp., incomp.   4/1/06 Hi. <Hello> Do you know why my fighting fish ate my ghost shrimp? <Are you sure he did?> My fighting fish was a male <And still is, I'm thinking> and he ate 2 ghost shrimp. I bought 6 but he ate 2. I have 4 left. <Your math is correct. :)> E-mail me back when you get this. <We always do> Thank you very much! <First, Danielle, I don't have any way of knowing, one way or the other, if your Betta actually ate your Ghost Shrimp. I'm a bit skeptical about this for a few reasons. First, Ghost Shrimp are pretty fast when they need to be and Bettas aren't known for their speed (this makes them quite compatible together). Additionally, at warm temperatures such as your Betta requires, Ghost Shrimp are known to be far more active and aggressive than they would at cooler temperatures making it more likely that it would be they who would take a swipe at your Betta rather than the reverse. Finally, Ghost Shrimp regularly shed their outer shells (exoskeletons) and then hide until new exoskeletons form. This, all too frequently, leads folks to assume that their shrimp have fallen prey to a hungry tankmate when, in fact, no such thing has happened. I'd keep an eye on your tank and see if your "missing-in-action" shrimp don't magically reappear. Tom>

New bamboo shrimp  02-05-06 Hello, <Hi there> I just got a bamboo shrimp tonight and am super excited that there is a shrimp out there that can live with my goldfish and snails! <Can> I have been trying to read up on what I should feed this new guy and understand now that he or she will eat A LOT. I keep running across, "see on the net re: cannot live on pellets alone," but cannot seem to find it, so if these questions are redundant I truly apologize. <... try to use the Google search tool as described here: http://wetwebmedia.com/faqstips.htm Putting in the terms "Bamboo Shrimp Feeding": http://www.google.com/custom?q=Bamboo+Shrimp+Feeding&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Look at the cached versions...> I feed the snails sinking algae pellets that break down, and flakes to the goldfish. Does "cannot live on pellets alone" mean algae pellets, fish food pellets or something else entirely? Do I need to buy special food for this shrimp? By the way, he seems to be enjoying himself so far, running around the tank and checking out the intake tube.

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