Help: Bamboo Shrimp Picking Food Off Substrate!

Discussion in 'Bamboo Shrimp' started by devan221, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. devan221

    devan221Valued MemberMember

    5.5 Gallon tank. Fully cycled bf I put any fish in it. Now has 2 albino Cori cats, one male platy, and one 2.5 inch bamboo shrimp. Yesterday, had a big and sudden and inexplicable ammonia problem. Prior to yesterday, spike (bamboo shrimp) always ate without foraging food from the substrate, which i understand is normal. Yesterday, I had to vacuum gravel to remove old food that was trapped under a water feature bc that was the only thing I could see that caused the problem. Did 50% water change last night. 1.5 gallon water change this morning. 2 gallon water change tonight. Got ammonia down to .5. Did not put the bubbling volcano back into the tank. Now, spike is foraging in the flame moss and moss ball. AND foraging through the gravel substrate. I remember this being a sign of starvation. Other than putting crushed up algae wafer in for him, what do I do? He will never let me get close enough for a pipet, btw.


  2. Demeter

    DemeterFishlore VIPMember

    Firstly, it is very hard to keep a bamboo shrimp well fed in the household aquarium. They need microscopic foods, most of which can be found in well established planted tanks. Then there's the fact that the tank is too small for that species of shrimp. They need larger tanks with a high flow as they like to sit directly in the flow of water from the filter. You can crush some flakes into a fine powder and add it to the filter output but it would be better to target feed with a pipette. Try slowly approaching it when it's fans are out.

    When did you add all the fish/shrimp? How was the tank cycled before adding them? For now doing large water changes to keep the ammonia in check is key.

    The corydoras also need a larger tank as well as more friends. Ideally a 20gal long is minimum for them with 6+ in a school. The platy would also benefit from a larger tank along with more friends.
  3. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCalWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with Demeter. 5.5 gal is too small for a bamboo, as well as too crowded for your other fish.
    Bamboos need a bit of a "dirty" tank, with lots of plants. They need high flow somewhere so they can filter. I have an HOB filter, plus a small power head on the other side of the tank, a 20 gal long.
    They do pick substrate and plants as well as filter, so as long as most of the time he is filtering, don't worry about it.
    You can supplement feeding with Golden Pearls. You want the smallest size, like talcum powder. You can order it online.
    Don't use much, but your fish will certainly help clean up any extra. They love it! binoculars_2017-06-27_18-58-01.jpg
  4. OP

    devan221Valued MemberMember

    Actually, these guys are the survivors of a shrimp plague that attacked one of my bigger tanks. Although smaller than ideal, I figured a smaller tank was better than them dying in the other tank. The plague killed one bamboo shrimp and 10 dwarf shrimp. I was too afraid to put them (the survivors) in my 3rd tank bc although dwarf crayfish are tiny, I was afraid the sharp little pinchers of the dwarf crayfish in tank #3 would wreak havoc with Bamboo Shrimp and cories.

    As far as the male platy is concerned, he will get some buddies as soon as the male fry that he fathered are big enough not to get eaten. Until then, I can't risk him empregnating the females again. Female #3 is still waiting to give birth.

    Lastly, the cories cannot go with my other cories i have bc the male and female peppered cories are a bonded pair. If you separate them, they go beserk and refuse to eat. Although the male peppered cori accepts male fry, he wouldnt tolerate the male albino, who is tiny in comparison to the male peppered cori. Don't know why.

    So......bamboo Shrimp can go back to other tank once it is cycled and dirty enough for him. I started over on that one, so it will be a while. The cories and platy are stuck where they are. Given that all my cories breed like rabbits, it shouldn't take long for them to not be lonely.

    Karen.....thanks for the advice. As soon as I Google what a golden pearl is, I will order some!
  5. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCalWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry...I should have explained. It is a finely ground food especially formulated for filter feeders. Each tiny particle has an air bubble, so it stays in the water column longer, so gives the shrimp longer to filter before it falls on the substrate. I use the power head to help keep it circulating also. Once on the sand, the other fish gobble it up, especially my cories. I think it is 5-50 want the smallest.
  6. OP

    devan221Valued MemberMember

    Thanks, Karen! I've actually been really sick for about 18 months, so it's a wonder that my tanks have made it this far. Spike the bamboo shrimp will likely go to a 10 gallon tank before his permanent 20 galln tank is ready. I was about to buy it when ther shrimp plague hit. I will totally buy a power head for the 5.5 gallon tank if that will help him. I looked on Amazon, but I'm so darn tired that I can't make sense of how big of a power head I need. Obviously, not a big one. I will buy a bigger one later, so if you could tell me about how big of a power head won't overwhelm his current teeny tiny home, I'd appreciate it!
  7. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCalWell Known MemberMember

    I think maybe you could just add one of those little internal filters at the opposite end of the tank from your HOB. They have an adjustable bar to aim the flow, without causing a whirlpool! I get mine at Petsmart. Can't find the exact one at the moment, but mine are electric, little plastic box type that get submerged. Provides extra filtration plus movement.
    Then get a powerhead for the 20 gal when it's done.
  8. OP

    devan221Valued MemberMember

    Hi there Demeter and KarenSoCal!

    Thought you two would like to know that Spike the bamboo shrimp and I seem to have had a meeting of the minds! I (gently) shifted some folks around so that I could get him back into one of my 10 gallon tanks. It wasn't quite as dirty as I would like for him, but I put one of those tiny filters I had at the other end of the tank from the HOB filter. I think biggest thing, though, was that the main filter has a sponge over the intake bc I think I have baby shrimp. Now that I think about it, though, that teeny tiny filter is spongeless. No more baby shrimp. Anyway, Spike has spent most of the day on or near the intake with the sponge on it and appears to be eating some of the gunk and deer weed off of the sponge. He has also been fanning a great deal and picking through a moss ball.

    I know.....a 20 long would be so much better. But he molted and seems to be healthy enough that I can keep him here and not need to take him back to the aquarium store for fear I'd kill him.

    I also took a syringe (don't think pipet - this is a huge medical grade syringe I used for a medication infusion) and let some algae pellet dissolve in water. He wasn't doing well enough then to be out and about, so I just squirted too much of it towards where I knew he was hiding (really just dirty water, though, bc I threw out the pieces that didn't seem to dissolve into the water. I know dissolve is the wrong word.

    Since he looks a lot better, do you think I can stop that or should I continue?

    Also, what ph, kh and gh do you keep your shrimp tanks at?

    Karen, how many bamboo shrimp do you have in your 20 long?

    He is quite beautiful now - much darker than bf his molt. I'd take a pic of him for you, but he stops eating every time i stop and look at him. That's the last thing I want him to do!!!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  9. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCalWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry for the long response time...for some reason I didn't get a notification that you posted.
    Unfortunately, I recently lost my bamboos. I had 3 in the 20 long. One died a couple months ago, one a few weeks later, and one last week. I believe the first 2 were failed molts, and no idea why the last one died. Water quality may have factored in...both my husband and I have had health problems the last 9 months, and I have been unable to keep up my usual water changes. However, I have not lost any fish.
    My pH is high, at 8.0-8.2. GH runs around 15 drops, and kh around 6-7 drops.
    I miss my bamboos. When I am able to maintain a good schedule again, I hope to replace them.
    I added a bit of Golden Pearls about once or twice a week. I think I would continue to supplement Spike's food until you're sure he's doing well on his own.
  10. OP

    devan221Valued MemberMember

    Sorry you've been so sick, Karen, and that's terrible about your shrimp! I have been sick, too, but I'm theoretically on an upswing thanks to some new meds. How much of the golden pearls did you feed your bamboos?
  11. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCalWell Known MemberMember

    Just a very small amount, no more than a tiny bit on the end of a small spoon. I never had the problem, but it could cause an algae bloom. I've always thought a bit now, a bit later, rather than dump a bunch in at once. And I only added it maybe 2x/week, not daily. I'm hoping for great success for you!