Blue Velvet Cherries Not Breeding

Jeremy Pearce

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Hello, I started my 50 gallon tank with 5 blue velvet shrimp, about 25 neon tetras, kuhli loaches, and 6 cory catfish. Almost immediately, I saw two female shrimp get berried and then eventually the eggs hatched. Well as you can imagine a lot of the babies died because of my neons eating them but about 5 managed to survive, so I am up to about 10. This all happened in February. I’ve been waiting since then, but have not seen a single berried shrimp since then. They’re not just hiding because I’ve counted all of the shrimp and looked and none were berried. I am beginning to get worried, because they are a very expensive shrimp. Thanks
 

Rtessy

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What's your gH, kH and TDS? What are your nitrates at? Honestly, I've found that the blue dreams and velvets breed much slower than other cherries, and it's not too unusual to not see a berried one for three months or so. I mean it sucks, but it's not overly unusual. If you're getting desperate, you could try doing a small water change, 10-15%, and add the water back in two or so degrees colder to try and force the females to molt, as they mate right after molting.
Edit: do you have any sort of prefilter sponge?
 

leftswerve

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Besides all the technical stuff metioned by @Rtessy , your tank was cycled first right? Febuary to now puts the tank in just finishing cycle mode. Second, the shrimp that were berried, could have been berried when you got them. Breeders tend to try and not send males if they can help it.
Good luck
 
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Jeremy Pearce

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What's your gH, kH and TDS? What are your nitrates at? Honestly, I've found that the blue dreams and velvets breed much slower than other cherries, and it's not too unusual to not see a berried one for three months or so. I mean it sucks, but it's not overly unusual. If you're getting desperate, you could try doing a small water change, 10-15%, and add the water back in two or so degrees colder to try and force the females to molt, as they mate right after molting.
Edit: do you have any sort of prefilter sponge?
How do you test for gH, kH, and TDS? My nitrates are at around 5.0 ppm. I have always had a prefilter sponge on my intake. I see the shedded exoskeletons from shrimps every once in a while so they’re definitely molting, and I have saddled females, they just wont get berried. I also have several males as can be seen by the noticeably smaller size and lighter color. Thanks for your help.
 
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Mcasella

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Smaller size and lighter color mean nothing in the world of fancy shrimp, the abdomen does however, the females have a rounded abdomen that is normally solid colored and hides the eggs well while males will have a leaner looking shape.
Also if your tank is too large the males will have issues finding viable females after a molt.
 

Rtessy

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If they're molting, your TDS, kH and gH values are probably fine. TDS is measured with a TDS meter, and I measure kH and gH with API liquid test kits. Most people don't have to measure, but I just have super soft tap. Do you mind posting pictures of the ones you believe to be male? And females if you want.
 

Bithimala

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Do they have sufficient hiding places? Sounds like there is a lot of activity in the tank, so they may not feel comfortable. Also, what's the temp on the tank and what are you feeding?
 
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Jeremy Pearce

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If they're molting, your TDS, kH and gH values are probably fine. TDS is measured with a TDS meter, and I measure kH and gH with API liquid test kits. Most people don't have to measure, but I just have super soft tap. Do you mind posting pictures of the ones you believe to be male? And females if you want.
C02FF8AD-97A0-4267-95AC-8FF0BB9526D9.jpeg
C2F4B9F9-C334-44BF-9BE9-4F4A1C8844DB.jpeg
76939BEC-5811-43E8-81BA-265B116A0ACE.jpeg
45E0287B-47A0-40D0-979B-6BB162C19F20.jpeg

I believe the ones with the yellow hump on their backs to be saddled females. I believe the smaller, clearer looking shrimp to be males. They have mated before, so there are definitely males in the tank. Thanks for your help
 
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Jeremy Pearce

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Do they have sufficient hiding places? Sounds like there is a lot of activity in the tank, so they may not feel comfortable. Also, what's the temp on the tank and what are you feeding?
I have plenty of plants and frequently see them hiding out in some of my crypts. They usually come out at night to feed on leftover food, and I will feed all my bottom feeders (Kuhli Loches, Cory Catfish, and blue velvets) sinking pellets every 3 or 4 days or so. The tank temp is kept at 76-78°F year round.
 

Rtessy

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You're entirely correct, those are saddled females. It's good to know you have males, but I did want to let you know that with the different color varieties of RCS, lighter colors don't always mean male. Very nice shrimp though, good colors. Since you can see the saddle moving a bit downwards in the female you pictured, it should only be a week or two before she berries, if they are fertilized.
 

Bithimala

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You could try increasing the food a bit, that may help. If there's limited food, they're less likely to breed.
 
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Jeremy Pearce

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Lol, was checking them this morning, and what do you know, one of the females is berried. Thanks everyone for your help
 
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