Can shrimp be happy with moss balls? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish and Invertebrates' started by zinnaerris, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    So my husband and i have been thinking about getting some ghost shrimp for a while now.
    We want to make sure theyre going to be happy. We have fake plants but planned on getting some moss balls for the tank as well. The tank has lots of hiding places as well.
    I have a honey gourami, 2 killifish and soon a school of I think we decided on neon green micro rasboras.
    We don't really want to do anything more than moss balls for live plants. So if the shrimp wont be happy then we will have to do without the cute little buggers.

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  2. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    The shrimp will be happy picking up the pieces of food that your fish neglect, but will be especially happy with marimo moss balls (a type of algae ball that looks really cool). Most moss balls sold at the LFS are a type of java moss wrapped around something; the shrimp would pick at these as well, but only the decaying matter. The ghost shrimp would still benefit from their own dedicated food source. There are lots of shrimp pellet food out there that work well and are not terribly expensive. The bag of pellets will also last a long time. I have about 25+ red cherry shrimp that get a single pellet a day and they are doing quite well. Sometimes gourami have a tendency to go after shrimp, ime, so having a place for the shrimp to safely hide as juveniles will be important. Mine does not hunt them, but likes to say "hello" once in awhile...

  3. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    Thank you so much! We are going to TheWetSpot today to pick up a few things. I will pay attention to what kind of moss ball it is.
    Also I feed the fish NLS sinking pellets. Would that have enough nutrients for the shrimp?

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  4. DolfanFishlore VIPMember

    Actually most "moss balls" sold at fish stores are marimo moss balls which are a type of algae similar to cladophora algae. They are not true plants and do little to improve water quality. That said, shrimp do like to graze on them as they provide refuge to micro fauna that shrimp eat.

    I have never seen a "moss ball" at a LFS that is actually java moss or any type of true moss. Occasionally I will see them online.

    Personally I don't like the marimo moss balls (algae) as they can introduce algae into your tank and don't do much for water quality. True plants like java moss or any moss really are so easy to care for and you don't need anything special for them to thrive, so I suggest going with some java moss. With real java moss the babies can hide much better since java moss is not as dense as Marimo moss balls, the babies can crawl inside and in between the "leaves".

    Ghost shrimp are super easy to care for, especially if you make it out of the first month when they can be tricky, due to poor keeping and transporting in the industry. You don't need any type of moss ball really to keep them. They happily eat detritus, left over fish food, and even fish poop. The pellets you have will be a good supplement. Remember they are small and don't need much food from you. So don't over feed or you can cause problems with water parameters, worms, planaria, etc.

    Also I forgot to add, babies won't be a problem with ghost shrimp as they are extremely hard to breed. Rather then type the entire explanation again, here is a link to another thread where I just explained the difficulty in breeding ghost shrimp...

    And here is a link to an article I wrote on getting started with freshwater shrimp like cherry and ghost shrimp....

    Hope this helps.
  5. bowen747xValued MemberMember

    how can I tell the difference? if it specifies marimo then its not java moss right? I would actually like some java moss but I don't think my LFS has any, maybe ill take another look at what they have tomorrow
  6. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Thread moved to freshwater invertebrates section. Thanks.
  7. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    I have had a slightly different experience with marimo balls. True marimo balls will have an almost green "furry" look and feel to them. They feel squishy, but don't fall apart. The "marimo balls" my LFS often tries to pass off are just balled up java moss. Java moss will grow out "frongs" or whatever you call them and will look and feel comparatively more rough. Petsmarts in my area often sell floating Java moss balls (at least they don't call them marimo balls). They float because the java moss is wrapped around a ping pong ball.

    I respectfully disagree that marimo introduces algae to a tank. Marimo (native to some lake in Japan) starts out very small and slowly grows over itself, about 5-10 mm a year, but that's the only way it spreads. Some have suggested that it even prevents other forms of algae, as it utalizes similar resources.

    edit: While I've enjoyed them in my tank (a few 50mm ones) I'm not entirely sure I buy what others have suggested, that it prevents other forms of algae. If it's only growing 5 mm a year... I doubt it uses enough resources to prevent much of anything.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
  8. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    So how fast does java moss grow? Does it have to be trimmed back often?
    Also my lfs doesnt have ghost shrimp... Are cherry red shrimp just as easy to care for?

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  9. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    Java moss is extremely undemanding. With litte light and low to no added ferts, it will grow very slowly. In a high tech tank, it would grow quickly. If you have to trim it, it probably won't be too often and is as easy as cutting away the long parts.

    Red Cherry Shrimp are extremely easy to care for, much like ghost shrimp. :)
  10. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    Fantastic thank you so much! Gonna head to the wet spot in a few and see what they have.

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  11. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    .... Not even 15 minutes after the shrimp get put into the tank after acclimated them and the female killifish ate one!!!!! Should i try to catch the other 2 left and put them in my other tank?

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  12. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    I guess that's the only thing to do as long as nothing in the other tank will eat them. Sorry that happened!
  13. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    Well i have a honey gourami in there that i had to seperate from the bigger tank because he was weak. We put 2 shrimp with that gourami and he just ignores the shrimp

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  14. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    Well the fish that ignores shrimp is a better bet than the fish that likes to munch on them. :)
  15. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    Absolutely! I put the shrimp into that tank so they should be safe. The gourami saw a shrimp and kinda went near it like it wanted to check it out and the shrimp zoomed off and the gourami just went about its business like it didnt care.
    So i think thats a good sign.

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  16. goldenguppyNew MemberMember

    Another good type of shrimp is the Bamboo Shrimp- they are a bit more expensive but they filter feed, meaning they have 'fans' that pick up food particles in the water. They only need a stick of bamboo (not required but advised) and a few faux plants near the filter.
    Good luck!

    Ask me some questions, I will do my best to answer them as well as I can!
  17. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    One caveat with the bamboo shrimp: Because they are filter feeders, they need access to a current in order to really thrive. Otherwise, you may only see them drearily hovering around a filter intake. Nice looking shrimp though and get relatively large compared to other dwarf species.
  18. zinnaerrisValued MemberMember

    My husband was just telling me last week he thought itd be kinda neat to add some if our bamboo plant to the tank. So I'd be game for that.
    Do bamboo shrimp still have small bio loads?
    And im assuming because they get a little bigger the killifish wont be able to eat it. However im sure if she terrorizes it that wouldnt be fair to the shrimp.
    I have some good water flow. My cascade 300 has the spray bar and it points straight down. The killifish love zooming around in it. Lol
    Also i have lots of fake plants in the tank and a fake tree next to the filter.

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  19. goldenguppyNew MemberMember

    They really don't add to the bio load at all. Just make sure you give them plenty of hiding places because at times they may seem vulnerable when they are molting or had just molted.

    i'd be happy to help as much as i can!
  20. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    In my petco, in the same tank there is moss balls and marimo moss balls. I can definitely see the difference: the normal moss balls have some flecks of brown and are not furry. What is the difference?

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