Has any one had any trouble keeping beneficial bacteria alive with shrimp tanks?

Discussion in 'Cherry Shrimp' started by sophi, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

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    My 8 gallon heavily planted nano has almost finished cycling, and it was supposed to be a cherry shrimp tank only, but now... I may have to reconsider. Here's the deal- my tap water has ammonia in it, and now that the tank has built up enough bacteria, it's able to filter it out with the help of Prime + plants. Here's the bad part...
    I'm worried about the bacteria dying out from two ways- first, I don't have any source of ammonia in the tank at the moment, The water was providing the ammonia, but now it's being filtered out, and my plants aren't rotting away anymore so should I start feeding the tank?
    And 2nd bad part. I'm only going to have about 20-25 shrimp going in the tank when it's set, and they're all pretty small so the bio-load isn't going to be that much... With the addition of plants, which already help take out ammonia, I'm worried of starving the bacteria and have it die off. If it dies off, it won't be able to cycle the ammonia out of the tap water, and my shrimp will die during every water change.

    I hope that makes sense... This tap water situation has been a nightmare and now that I'm dealing with shrimp, which are somewhat delicate, I'm very worried. This is also the first time I've done a fishless cycle, so I'm not sure of how to properly "feed" my tank and all that. And now I'm worried I won't have enough shrimp to produce the amount of waste I need them to.

    Would it be smart to move over or purchase a fish or two to help add onto the bio-load or will the shrimp be enough? Has anyone ever had a problem with the bacteria dying off? any help is needed since these little guys may be going into their new home this weekend!
     
  2. Ashdale

    AshdaleValued MemberMember

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    buy a betta and a snail!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

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    I was actually thinking of buying a betta and making it a betta cherry shrimp tank but... I don't know if it'd be worth the risk of potentially having the shrimp end up as an expensive meals. Plus, I want to observe them and with a betta, they may get stressed and hide.

    But I was considering it since betta's are beautiful fish and one would sure love the tank I have!
     
  4. JoshM

    JoshMWell Known MemberMember

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    As long as the shrimp have places to hide when the bettas around than you'll be okay
     
  5. OP
    OP
    sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

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    Okay, I think I may very well add a betta then! I've always wanted one in an actual planted tank where it'd be happiest. Such beautiful fish! I may drop by my LFS and see what they have in stock. Would it be smart to add the shrimp first or the betta? I'm thinking by Saturday or Sunday, the water parameters will be safe.
     
  6. sophieydg

    sophieydgWell Known MemberMember

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    Add the shrimp first, the betta will be less likely to see them as a snack if they're already there when he arrives.
     
  7. EricV

    EricVFishlore VIPMember

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    Adding a betta to a cherry shrimp tank is a bad idea for a few reasons...

    1. Baby shrimp in particular will get eaten. The adults may very well get eaten as well. You're just going to be providing your beta with expensive snacks.

    2. Your shrimp will hide. Constantly. What's the point in having cherry shrimp if you don't see them. The difference between having shrimp in a tank with fish and without is huge.

    Solutions:

    The only fish that is 100% shrimp safe are otos. This will help provide a little more bio load to the tank,
    Snails. Great for eating stuff the shrimp miss, also adds some bio load.
    Prime. If your plants are growing well then using prime on your tap water for water changes should be more than effective at keeping the ammonia in a non-toxic form long enough for the plants and your bio filter to absorb it or render it harmless.


    For the love of god though don't put a betta in there. It's an absolutely terrible idea.
     
  8. Jelly

    JellyWell Known MemberMember

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    I have to agree. I thought about adding shrimp to my betta tank, but he is definitely a predator. Even though he is well fed, he spends ALL his time foraging, forcing his way into tiny spots looking for food... I can't imagine many shrimp would escape him for long.

    A small snail like a nerite would be good though. They munch algae and won't multiply.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  9. EricV

    EricVFishlore VIPMember

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    The tank in my signature had my original colony of shrimp in it with a juvenile blue ram. The tank is extremely heavily planted and rams are far less predatory than bettas, and it still managed to eat more than 95% of the juvenile shrimp that were born into that tank before the ram was moved and all but the largest shrimp were in hiding at all times.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

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    See, that's why I was afraid of the idea of a betta. I would seriously love one, but I wanted a shrimp colony originally. My biggest fear was the small bio-load they produce. I mean, the lfs I go to keep endlers with their shrimp colony and they seem to be fine, but it still seems like a risk. That's the part I'm struggling with, whether it's smart to add a fish to contribute to the bio-load or potentially risk it with just shrimp.
    I mean, I could always slightly overfeed the tank with the shrimp in, but then I may run into a lot of problems down the road. I use Prime, and luckily it converts it into a non-toxic form, but that only applies for 48 hours. It'll be dangerous again unless the bacteria filters it out, which it's doing now but if the bacteria dies, then I'm out of luck.

    Do nerite snails produce a large-ish bio-load? I seem to have a few baby snails that made it's way into the tank (unfortunately they seem to be pond snails) so I'll be picking them out before they eat my plants.
     
  11. EricV

    EricVFishlore VIPMember

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    The BB isn't going to die out in a shrimp only tank. It's not going to be a huge population of BB but they'll be there processing what waste products there are.

    You could always age the water you will be using for changes in a bucket with some fast growing plants to remove the ammonia prior to use.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

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    I didn't realize aging water would actually remove ammonia. Now that you bring it up, my lfs actually sells filtered water for like, 50 cents per gallon, and I'll probably only need to do about a 10% water change a week anyways. I could do that... Or would it be wise to help 'feed' the bacteria through small, multiple water changes throughout the week instead of using water with no ammonia what soever?

    Sorry if I sound stupid, I'm just very paranoid and want the best for my shrimp. My fear is by adding not enough ammonia, BB will die. But then adding too much, it'll cause the nitrates to spike too high and kill my shrimp.

    The joys of this hobby
     
  13. EricV

    EricVFishlore VIPMember

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    Just aging it by itself wouldn't but the plants would remove a good amount of it. You'd need to be pretty vigilant on testing the water in holding though to be sure it was working properly. It's probably not the ideal solution.

    Depending on how the water from the LFS is being treated (reverse osmosis I'd assume) you may need to add minerals back to the water for the shrimp. Fortunately there are a lot of products that can do this and with such a small tank it wouldn't be cost prohibitive.
     
  14. EricV

    EricVFishlore VIPMember

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  15. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

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    I learned the hard way not to do this. Bettas are shrimp assassins, just like most gouramis. If you want shrimp to live, don't keep them with labyrinth fish lol! I'll be putting a guppy in one of my shrimp tanks later on... we'll see how that goes.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

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    Hmm interesting article, but I think you're right about it not being too ideal. I will be going back to the shop tomorrow and asking them about the water and if there are any missing minerals. They told me because our town has ammonia in the tap, they filter use the same water in their fish tanks at the store and they do fine.

    Thanks for the help everyone! I'm curious on one last thing, and this is more of an opinion...
    I currently have 3 platy fry (about 2-3 months old) and like, 5 newborn platys in the main tank. I'm re-homing the older frys probably in the next month, but I was curious if it would be smart to maybe move them, or the newborn platys (If I can catch them) over to the new tank for the time being. That could help the shrimp out a bit with the tank, plus it allows them a safe place to grow up in. I just wasn't sure if it was worth the stress of moving them though or risk them getting sick, but it could work until my colony grows a bit.
     
  17. EricV

    EricVFishlore VIPMember

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    I'm not sure how much experience you have with RCS but you should be aware that it doesn't take much of a fish to snap up a freshly hatched shrimp.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

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    That's true, and I actually have a berried cherry shrimp that I'm moving over from the main tank so she can safely have her babies. I'm new to shrimps so I'm still learning the small things.
    Okay, so no fish, period.
    I'll check out the water and hope things go according to plan. I tend to over think things, as you can see haha. Thanks for you help everyone! I really appreciate it!
     
  19. EricV

    EricVFishlore VIPMember

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    Otos are the only fish I'd fully trust with RCS.
     
  20. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

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    Ditto!
     
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