Help with shrimp tank set up

Adam510

Hey so I got the shrimp and plants in my 3.5 gallon tank.
I’m not a huge fan on how it looks but I was rushed and I’m not the richest so this is what we’re going with for now.
I got some subwassertang and spread it out over 3 places on some driftwood, and a pretty big Java fern, I’m not sure if I planted it correctly, I buried the roots under the gravel and just ran with it
I got 10 shrimp total, 5 cherry 5 blue neos because he said they’d be fine together and he didn’t have 10 of either in total.
Please let me know if I need to do anything else I’m stressing big right now.
I also have a very small Java fern left over I could put in.
What else should I do to the tank?
 

NahNah

Java fern shouldn’t be planted into the gravel it might be ok but I suggest you get a small rock or twig, and use fishing line to attach it, and it will eventually root itself into the gravel. As for your shrimp I think they will be fine but I’m not what your feeding them, but I suggest algae wafers, or preferably repashy soilent green, but it is a bit of a hassle to make.
 

Adam510

Java fern shouldn’t be planted into the gravel it might be ok but I suggest you get a small rock or twig, and use fishing line to attach it, and it will eventually root itself into the gravel. As for your shrimp I think they will be fine but I’m not what your feeding them, but I suggest algae wafers, or preferably repashy soilent green, but it is a bit of a hassle to make.
Okay well should I take it out? I have a twig left but idk how i could get it to sit at the bottom of the tank, my driftwood is being pushed down by my filter.
 

NahNah

You can try water logging the twig by boiling it or you can just throw the wood in the tank, and float the Java, and in a few days the wood will sink and you can tie it then.
 

Adam510

You can try water logging the twig by boiling it or you can just throw the wood in the tank, and float the Java, and in a few days the wood will sink and you can tie it then.
If I just leave it how it is now will it die? I also have root tabs I could put in the gravel if that could help Idk
 

AquaticQueen

Okay well should I take it out? I have a twig left but idk how i could get it to sit at the bottom of the tank, my driftwood is being pushed down by my filter.
You can keep the java fern in the gravel as long as the rhizome isn't buried. Java fern are water column plants basically meaning they get their nutrients from the water and not from the substrate. If you want, you can tie the java to a decoration with fishing line or elastics until it takes root. Cut the elastic/fishing line off once it takes root.
If you want the driftwood to be more secure, you could weigh it down with some gravel or something like that. Just make sure you don't use something that will alter the pH.
 

Adam510

You can keep the java fern in the gravel as long as the rhizome isn't buried. Java fern are water column plants basically meaning they get their nutrients from the water and not from the substrate. If you want, you can tie the java to a decoration with fishing line or elastics until it takes root. Cut the elastic/fishing line off once it takes root.
If you want the driftwood to be more secure, you could weigh it down with some gravel or something like that. Just make sure you don't use something that will alter the pH.
Oh okay so I could use a rubber band and attach it to my drift wood in the tank already? Cause if so I think I’ll do that
 

AquaticQueen

Oh okay so I could use a rubber band and attach it to my drift wood in the tank already? Cause if so I think I’ll do that
Absolutely. Just make sure you rinse the elastic band first. You don't want any bad chemicals going into the tank.
 

Adam510

Absolutely. Just make sure you rinse the elastic band first. You don't want any bad chemicals going into the tank.
Okay true I will definitely do this then, but I’m going to have a lot of open space left after that. Any plant reccomendations? Or anything else I should do to the tank
 

NahNah

If your tank is above the 8 inch mark you could try some sort of dwarf valisneria.
 

AquaticQueen

Okay true I will definitely do this then, but I’m going to have a lot of open space left after that. Any plant reccomendations? Or anything else I should do to the tank
You could try a couple anubias nana for the back of the tank. They are also water column plants and are pretty low maintenance. A couple smaller plants for the front of the tank would look nice too, though you might have trouble finding water column plants that only grow a few inches tall. If you'd be willing to switch out the gravel for a nutrient dense substrate, you'd have a lot more options. If you did switch the substrate, I'd recommend java moss for the front of the tank. Low maintenance and easy to care for.
 

Adam510

You could try a couple anubias nana for the back of the tank. They are also water column plants and are pretty low maintenance. A couple smaller plants for the front of the tank would look nice too, though you might have trouble finding water column plants that only grow a few inches tall. If you'd be willing to switch out the gravel for a nutrient dense substrate, you'd have a lot more options. If you did switch the substrate, I'd recommend java moss for the front of the tank. Low maintenance and easy to care for.
Hey so I couldn’t get it attached without taking everything out which is really hard with this tank cause of how the filter is so I left it floating? Will this eventually attach? And okay I will look into those plants but I can’t change the substrate I’m way too much of a beginner.
How can I put more plants and stuff in the tank with the shrimp still in there?
 

Adam510

I wake up and every single one is dead… :(
 

awilkinson871

Sorry to hear. Shrimp are very sensitive and need help from us. They need a cycled tank and it is generally recommended to be 3-6 months old so that bio film can grow on everything enough for their food. That is the main part of their diet. They should also be drip acclimated to the tank so that a change in water parameters don't shock them. Even small changes can cause death. Lastly, you should check your water's Gh and Kh to ensure they are suitable for the type of shrimp you are planning to keep. Shrimp need to have a certain amount of calcium and other nutrients in the water so they can molt properly, but not too much so the shell does not get too hard and thick that it cannot break open.
 

Adam510

Sorry to hear. Shrimp are very sensitive and need help from us. They need a cycled tank and it is generally recommended to be 3-6 months old so that bio film can grow on everything enough for their food. That is the main part of their diet. They should also be drip acclimated to the tank so that a change in water parameters don't shock them. Even small changes can cause death. Lastly, you should check your water's Gh and Kh to ensure they are suitable for the type of shrimp you are planning to keep. Shrimp need to have a certain amount of calcium and other nutrients in the water so they can molt properly, but not too much so the shell does not get too hard and thick that it cannot break open.
Okay, we’ll I guess I’ll try and cycle my tank for longer and check those. Really dissapointed I was so excited to get a shrimp tank after thinking I did enough research and was prepared. I fell asleep and they were fine wake up and there all dead. Will this affect my platy fry?
 

Marlene327

Okay, we’ll I guess I’ll try and cycle my tank for longer and check those. Really dissapointed I was so excited to get a shrimp tank after thinking I did enough research and was prepared. I fell asleep and they were fine wake up and there all dead. Will this affect my platy fry?
I'm sorry they died. I'm in the process of creating a new tank for the shrimp I have, and know I'll be impatient to move them over. I'll also have a sponge filter taken from another tank to have the bacteria to cycle it right away.

Is this your first tank or do you have another with other fish? Your platies would also prefer a cycled tank. If you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, there's a lot of help on this forum for it.
 

Adam510

I'm sorry they died. I'm in the process of creating a new tank for the shrimp I have, and know I'll be impatient to move them over. I'll also have a sponge filter taken from another tank to have the bacteria to cycle it right away.

Is this your first tank or do you have another with other fish? Your platies would also prefer a cycled tank. If you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, there's a lot of help on this forum for it.
I do have a community tank but they would die it in there too small, and the tank has been up and running for 3 weeks I guess the fry weren’t enough to cycle it.
Should I get a sponge filter in this tank to help speed up cycling it? I’m going to try and get shrimp again once I do some research and make sure my tank is cycled properly
 

Marlene327

I do have a community tank but they would die it in there too small, and the tank has been up and running for 3 weeks I guess the fry weren’t enough to cycle it.
Should I get a sponge filter in this tank to help speed up cycling it? I’m going to try and get shrimp again once I do some research and make sure my tank is cycled properly
If I missed it, sorry... but what filter is in the small tank now? I'd use a small sponge filter, and I buy them on amazon. Right now on there, a set of 3 is on sale for 9.99.

When planning a new tank, it's helpful to put a sponge filter into an existing tank for a month or 2 in advance, then using it in the new one... instant cycle from the beneficial bacteria. I just added a new one today in preparation.

We are all in a hurry for our new tanks, but set up takes time to do right, then we have less losses. We all have losses for different reasons, but hurrying is one we can fix.

With your platy fry, change out 20-30% of their water at least once a week. Get an API test kit with the drops and keep watch of your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. The need a filter for sure, both for filtration and air.

Smarter people than me can help you more with the platies.

Keep in mind large platies will eat small shrimp.
 

Adam510

If I missed it, sorry... but what filter is in the small tank now? I'd use a small sponge filter, and I buy them on amazon. Right now on there, a set of 3 is on sale for 9.99.

When planning a new tank, it's helpful to put a sponge filter into an existing tank for a month or 2 in advance, then using it in the new one... instant cycle from the beneficial bacteria. I just added a new one today in preparation.

We are all in a hurry for our new tanks, but set up takes time to do right, then we have less losses. We all have losses for different reasons, but hurrying is one we can fix.

With your platy fry, change out 20-30% of their water at least once a week. Get an API test kit with the drops and keep watch of your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. The need a filter for sure, both for filtration and air.

Smarter people than me can help you more with the platies.

Keep in mind large platies will eat small shrimp.
I’m not sure what the filter is, it’s just the one the tank came with and it’s a top fin. It has 2 cartridges in it. I can find out later most likely just at work right now. I already have a spare sponge filter I can start using instead.
And ya I now realize I rushed it, I did some research and I saw people say a couple weeks would be enough and I waited 3 with adding in beneficial bacteria supplements.
okay I will do those water changes. And I have that test kit already I will make sure everything is right.
Should I buy more live plants and try to get the tank to look exactly how I’d want it and wait a few weeks before I get new shrimp?
And the platies are only 3 weeks old they are very small so I’m not worried about eating the shrimp anytime soon.
thanks for the help
 

StarGirl

I’m not sure what the filter is, it’s just the one the tank came with and it’s a top fin. It has 2 cartridges in it. I can find out later most likely just at work right now. I already have a spare sponge filter I can start using instead.
And ya I now realize I rushed it, I did some research and I saw people say a couple weeks would be enough and I waited 3 with adding in beneficial bacteria supplements.
okay I will do those water changes. And I have that test kit already I will make sure everything is right.
Should I buy more live plants and try to get the tank to look exactly how I’d want it and wait a few weeks before I get new shrimp?
And the platies are only 3 weeks old they are very small so I’m not worried about eating the shrimp anytime soon.
thanks for the help
1- You have to get the tank cycled before getting anymore shrimp. They are fragile they will not survive a cycle.
2- A well established tank is essential. I agree with awilkinson871 that it should be at least 3 plus months to add shrimp.
3- Cherry shrimp you have to drip acclimate way slower than regular fish. They are sensitive to large parameter changes. You cannot just plop and drop them. You also do smaller weekly water changes with them.

If you dont do these things chances are you will just be buying new shrimps every week until those things happen. Shrimps are awesome but they need more than any other fish you go buy and add to the tank. :)
 

Adam510

1- You have to get the tank cycled before getting anymore shrimp. They are fragile they will not survive a cycle.
2- A well established tank is essential. I agree with awilkinson871 that it should be at least 3 plus months to add shrimp.
3- Cherry shrimp you have to drip acclimate way slower than regular fish. They are sensitive to large parameter changes. You cannot just plop and drop them. You also do smaller weekly water changes with them.

If you dont do these things chances are you will just be buying new shrimps every week until those things happen. Shrimps are awesome but they need more than any other fish you go buy and add to the tank. :)
Okay ya don’t worry I won’t be buying anymore shrimp for a long time I’ve learned my lesson on shrimp after this. I’m going to just take some time find some plants I like try and get the tank looking exactly the way I want and set it up and wait until it is cycled. I also have a water testing kit I can check the water next time before I put anything in and make sure all the water levels are good.
And okay I’m going to have to figure out how you do that but I will definitely do that next time. Thank you
 

StarGirl

Okay ya don’t worry I won’t be buying anymore shrimp for a long time I’ve learned my lesson on shrimp after this. I’m going to just take some time find some plants I like try and get the tank looking exactly the way I want and set it up and wait until it is cycled. I also have a water testing kit I can check the water next time before I put anything in and make sure all the water levels are good.
And okay I’m going to have to figure out how you do that but I will definitely do that next time. Thank you
Yeah shrimp are a pain in the but that way. They are pretty awesome to watch, I really like them too.
 

Adam510

Yeah shrimp are a pain in the but that way. They are pretty awesome to watch, I really like them too.
Ya lol I have some amanos in my community tank and there so cool to watch and just different. Is there any way to know my tank is cycled? Or do I just have to hope after a certain amount of time
 

StarGirl

Ya lol I have some amanos in my community tank and there so cool to watch and just different. Is there any way to know my tank is cycled? Or do I just have to hope after a certain amount of time
The thing that makes yours hard is you have fry in there. Do you have a test kit?
 

Adam510

The thing that makes yours hard is you have fry in there. Do you have a test kit?
Yes I have an API master test kit
I’m just not sure what I’m looking for to know if the tank is cycled
 

StarGirl

Yes I have an API master test kit
I’m just not sure what I’m looking for to know if the tank is cycled
How long has it been running?

A cycled tank should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and a nitrate reading. If you just set it up it may be all zeroes right now.

Like I said the bad thing is the fact that you have only fry in there. You need to change water more for them as they grow. Most likely every other day. They may not cycle the tank very fast for you.
 

Adam510

How long has it been running?

A cycled tank should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and a nitrate reading. If you just set it up it may be all zeroes right now.

Like I said the bad thing is the fact that you have only fry in there. You need to change water more for them as they grow. Most likely every other day. They may not cycle the tank very fast for you.
It’s been running 3 weeks and ya there not producing much of anything. And okay I’ll start doing frequent water changes.
is there anything I can do to speed up the cycling process? More fish? Plants? Supplements?
 

StarGirl

More fish.... no its only 3g. Maybe a Nerite snail? They poop a bunch in my tanks and thats about all you could do in that small of a tank. You could add a bottle bacteria, it may help.

In a few months when you could get the shrimps I would add the a few at a time or else the bioload that is established will not be able to handle that many at one time. it needs to build more to take care of more.
 

Adam510

More fish.... no its only 3g. Maybe a Nerite snail? They poop a bunch in my tanks and thats about all you could do in that small of a tank. You could add a bottle bacteria, it may help.

In a few months when you could get the shrimps I would add the a few at a time or else the bioload that is established will not be able to handle that many at one time. it needs to build more to take care of more.
Okay I have some bottle bacteria I was already adding and I’ll keep doing that, and I’ll look to see if those snails are sold where I live.
And okay ya I’ll buy less next time for sure, only bought 10 because everybody told me they did better in big groups and to start off with 10 and they’ll reproduce into more. Really wish I didn’t lose 80 dollars on those shrimp lol
Okay I have some bottle bacteria I was already adding and I’ll keep doing that, and I’ll look to see if those snails are sold where I live.
And okay ya I’ll buy less next time for sure, only bought 10 because everybody told me they did better in big groups and to start off with 10 and they’ll reproduce into more. Really wish I didn’t lose 80 dollars on those shrimp lol
I come home from work and the tank is now super cloudy… I am about to take the shrimp all out of the tank because I couldn’t in the morning because I didn’t have time. Should I be worried about my platies now?
 

Marlene327

Platies are tough but check your ammonia levels. It likely went up with dead shrimp in there all that time. If it's up, it needs a 50% water change right away and check it again in the morning.

And just saw that post was 4.5 hours ago...
 

Adam510

Platies are tough but check your ammonia levels. It likely went up with dead shrimp in there all that time. If it's up, it needs a 50% water change right away and check it again in the morning.

And just saw that post was 4.5 hours ago...
I did an ammonia test about 3 hours ago and it came back with nothing. I think the tank must’ve just not been cycled properly I really don’t know what else could’ve happened. They all died over night too in a span of 5 hours so idk what else would’ve caused it.
 

Marlene327

I'm sorry. Just work at cycling, that's the only way to a healthy aquarium.
 

Adam510

I'm sorry. Just work at cycling, that's the only way to a healthy aquarium.
I will, I’ve been doing research all day on it, I can’t make that mistake again
 

JavaMossMan

I tried cherry shrimp a long time ago and they all died. I wouldn't recommend for new tanks or if your a beginner. If you want something similar to shrimp try snails. You can get colored ramshorns snails if you want something that looks good. Malaysian trumpet snails (MTS) are also very useful as they dig into the substrate like earthworms and benefit rooted plants.

The upside to snails are that they are much tougher than shrimp and super low maintenance.
 

Adam510

I tried cherry shrimp a long time ago and they all died. I wouldn't recommend for new tanks or if your a beginner. If you want something similar to shrimp try snails. You can get colored ramshorns snails if you want something that looks good. Malaysian trumpet snails (MTS) are also very useful as they dig into the substrate like earthworms and benefit rooted plants.

The upside to snails are that they are much tougher than shrimp and super low maintenance.
Hmmm maybe I’ll look into it. I just really like the idea of having a shrimp colony and I find them very fun to watch and look at. So I might just wait a month or two make sure my tank is cycled then get a few more.
 

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