Blue Velvet Shrimp Care

  1. Fahn

    Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    The other day at work I purchased 2 small blue velvet shrimp. I didn't bother acclimating them other than floating their bag because I have heard it is better to drop inverts in rather than doing a lengthy drip process.

    They are doing great. I have them in a 5 gallon that, while bare bottom and dingy looking, has good water parameters of 0/0/5 (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate). The tank has plenty of algae and biofilm in it and a sponge filter. Plants are pothos, duckeed, and some floating cabomba.

    I am preparing to set up a 2.3 gallon nano and I would like the blue velvets to be the only inhabitants. In fact, I would like to buy 10 more at least. The tank will be low tech, though the substrate is an aquasoil called Controsoil. I have Bacter AE that I plan to put under the substrate as well as dose 4-5 times a week. Aside from letting the tank mature for a few weeks before adding the shrimp, what other steps are necessary for their care and well-being? I am hoping they will breed and I could dedicate my current 5 gallon to that.
     
  2. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    I'm not sure I see why you would put bacter ae under the substrate? It coats surfaces in the tank and grows biofilm there, but shrimp can't get under the substrate. Other than that, just keep you GH at at least 6.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Fahn

    Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    I believe Mark from Mark's Shrimp Tanks (perhaps it was another channel, can't remember) put Bacter AE under his substrate to help with beneficial bacteria that will live in the substrate. I can't prove it helps but made sense in my head.

    I put some crushed coral in the filter so tomorrow I will test the GH and KH. I also just ordered several small pots of Marsilea hirsuta and a bunch of java moss, so I should have the tank planted by next week.

    PS - my substrate buffers pH to 6.0, with crushed coral in the filter should I worry?
     


  4. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    No, but the substrate will wear out faster since it'll constantly be fighting the crushed coral. There are bacteria boosters for substrate for sure, but I'm not sure how much biofilm would help under there...
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Fahn

    Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    Is that necessarily a bad thing if it loses it's buffering capacity? 6 is really low and with the addition of driftwood, almond leaves, alder cones, etc, the pH would be dangerously low. I just don't want the water to be too acidic.

    If the bit I dosed for the substrate doesn't work then I'm out 2 scoops of Bacter AE, so no big deal I guess. I put media from an established tank in the filter so hopefully this tank cycles in no time.
     
  6. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    You're right, usually people worry because they keep low ph Cardina shrimp on buffered substrates. When it runs out though you might get a massive swing up, I think marks shrimp tanks mentioned this in one of his videos, no personal experience with this though.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Fahn

    Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    So would I simply be better off removing the crushed coral? My water already has a good KH and GH (both between 6-8) even though my pH is below 7. Would neocaridina be able to survive in water like that, and more importantly, would I be able to maintain a cycle?
     
  8. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    With that kind of KH, no I wouldn't add the crushed coral. Neos would do okay, and they have such a small bioload, a cycle would be pretty small/low in bacteria. Ammonia is non toxic at a lower ph anyways.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Fahn

    Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    So as long as I plant it heavily and have plenty of biofilm I should be ok? Plants should be here next week and I have Bacter AE, so how long would you say until the tank is shrimp safe? Cycled media is already in the filter.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Fahn

    Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    Oh, one more question: would I be able to keep crystal reds or blacks in the same conditions?
     
  11. -Mak-

    -Mak- Well Known Member Member

    If you have cycled media it's likely shrimp safe already as long as parameters are good, it'll take some time to become established, but the bacter ae will speed things along :)
    Since you have a buffered substrate I'm going to tentatively say yes, but KH will need to be lowered to 1-2 I believe (the substrate may do that on its own, I'm not sure) and temperatures will need to be low 70s at all times. In addition to that, if all other parameters are ideal for crystals (low TDS, lower GH), you can do it.
    Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS) - Do's and Dont's
    Alternatively you can do tiger shrimp, they like neocaridina conditions more than crystals.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Fahn

    Fahn Fishlore VIP Member

    Alright, tested the water 24 hours after setup (includes removing crushed coral and 90% water change).

    Ammonia = 0
    Nitrite = 0
    Nitrate = 5-10ppm
    pH = 6.5-6.7
    KH = 4
    GH = 6

    I'm assuming the nitrates are from the established media I added.