Beginner 5 Gallon Rcs Tank Help

  1. K

    Kobro New Member Member

    I'm going to be setting up a 5 gallon red cherry shrimp tank, I'm new-ish to fish keeping, very new to shrimp keeping and had some questions before I set things up...
    It's going to be 5 gal planted, I know some Java moss for sure, haven't nailed down exactly what other plants just yet.

    I get mixed results saying RCS are sensitive vs they're some of the hardiest shrimp, So:
    1. How long should I cycle my tank?
    2. How much should I worry about the various levels? (pH, gH, ect.)
    3. Should I get something to kick-start the cycle? (I don't have another tank to take water/plants from)
    4. What temp should I keep things at?
    5. How often should I feed? (I get very mixed answers to this question)

    And are there any fish that could be in the tank with them? Ive heard about otos but they require a larger tank.
    (I'm even newer to the forums, apologies if I'm posting in the wrong area, lmao)
     
  2. BottomDweller

    BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    Welcome to fishlore!

    1. You need to cycle the tank for any fish or invertebrate until the beneficial bacteria can process a certain amount of ammonia (usually 2ppm) in 24 hours or less. When the tank is cycled you will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and some nitrates. Cycling a tank usually takes around 6 weeks but can vary hugely.
    However for shrimp you want a mature tank, not just cycled. This means there is plenty of biofilm and algae for them to graze on and the tank is very stable. I would recommend waiting 3 months after the tank is fully cycled before adding cherry shrimp.

    2. Ph and water hardness are much more important to shrimp than most fish as it effects there "shell". Cherry shrimp do well in hard, slightly alkaline water.

    3. Adding bottled bacteria can speed up the cycle. I have used Tetra Safe Start with success.

    4. Cherry shrimp can survive 65-82f but around 70-74f is ideal for them.

    5. If it is shrimp only I recommend 2-3 times a week with vegetables, algae wafers or shrimp pellets

    6. Snails. You could add a nerite snail once you have decent algae growth or a mystery snail.
     
  3. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    1. Until the filter can process all the ammonia and nitrite in 24 hours
    2. Not too much, just mind that your GH is higher than 6.
    3. I think Tetra Safe start really helps.
    4. In the 70s
    5. This depends on how many shrimp you have and how much biofilm they have to graze on. In the beginning you'll likely have to feed more because it takes a while for a tank to grow a lot of biofilm. You can speed things along by adding botanicals like alder cones and indian almond leaves, or adding a biofilm supplement such as bacter ae. If you feed them once and they don't eat it all within a few hours, or ignore the food, they're probably finding enough on their own, and you can feed them a little bit less.

    You can add micro rasboras, but all fish will eat shrimplets.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    K

    Kobro New Member Member

    Thanks, hit the nail on the head with my questions.

    Also, For a just shrimp tank, roughly how many shrimp per gallon would be a comfortable amount?
     
  5. ShawnFish

    ShawnFish Valued Member Member

    10 for RCS and neocaridina, 7 for caridina, 2 for small filterfeeders, 1 per 5 gallons for vampire or large filterfeeders.

    All per gallon.