Hey Guys, I'm New I Need Help With A Shrimp Tank

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by Angel143, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Angel143New MemberMember

    So for a long time now I've been trying to have a shrimp tank. I love watching the shrimp and it helps with my anxiety. I have done so much research and I have made several attempts at it and I have failed every time and I can't figure out why, please bear with me guys, I know it is a lot but I am doing my best to learn.

    I have used my 10 gallon aquarium 3 different times with gravel substrate to try to keep shrimp and have failed each time so this time I decided to try a planted tank since it is supposed to be better.

    I decided to use fluval stratum soil. The light on the hood of the tank is the one that came with the tank which I believe is an led aqueon light. I am using a double sponge filter that is attached to an air hose/pump. I was using water from my tap that I treated with API products to remove the chlorine and heavy metals in the water, and I also added the Tetra Safe Start liquid for live bacteria and such. I used Stratum root tabs under the substrate as well as adding prime and liquid co2 to the tank. I bought low light plants that were anubias and some amazonian swords. I also had a long piece of driftwood in the tank.

    Within about two days of planting, the leaves on all of my plants began to turn brown and I read that it could be from too much lighting so I reduced the amount of time I left the light on. Within 2 weeks all of my plants were dead and I've been too scared to add shrimp ever since.

    My ph was normal and everything was measuring out just fine, I even took my water to be tested at Petsmart and was told it was good so I don't understand why they all died off.

    I started doing water changes and top offs with the aquarium water at petsmart that is already been treated and I have had my female crowntail betta as well as a male and female juvenile guppies in the tank for about two months now and they seem to be doing fine. I recently added 2 mystery snails about a week ago and they were active the first day but the next morning they are still alive but they always stay in their shell. I can't just keep buying aquarium water from the store so I need a long term solution. Everything I research leads to an RO system. Obviously as I've said between so many attempts, I have spent so much money on this stuff that I don't want to spend more than I absolutely have to. Someone please help.

    I read that mystery snails need extra calcium so I added a few calcium rocks I found on amazon and then my water became super cloudy even though I rinsed the rocks beforehand. I have done a 50% water change but it is still super cloudy and I am not sure what I should do now.
  2. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Before investing in an RODI system, I would get a test kit to check your GH and KH, and maybe a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter. This will give you a much better picture of what's in your water and if the system is necessary. You can get kits to test for other things if all none of that information shows any problems. Copper comes to mind, inverts are very sensitive to copper.

    I had trouble when I first started and it turned out that I have super soft tap water where I live. I have no KH, barley any GH, and my TDS under 30. All the plants people told me were super easy died within a week or two. It turns out a lot of them need way more calcium that my water was providing. I got some remineralizer to add to it and it's been much smoother sailing ever since. Most fish will adapt to different water harnesses, but inverts usually need a more specific range to thrive.

    You might need a stronger light or some fertilizers for the plants. Since they died so quickly I assume it's a water issue, though. Anubias and most swords take longer to show light and nutrient deficiencies. Did you get tissue cultured plants, or did you buy them out of of a flooded tank? Sometimes plants struggle when you first put them under water if they've been grown out of it, so that's something else to keep in mind.

    If your water is cloudy, it's usually one of three things: particles suspended in the water, bacterial bloom, or floating algae. I assume it's probably the first if it popped up after you added the new rocks. The best way to get rid of that would be to get a small hang on back filter and stuff it full of filter floss (poly-fil works great and is cheap, you can find it on craft stores and most walmarts. Just make sure it's 100% polyester and doesn't have any fire retardant chemicals added to it). It should settle back out of the water on it's own if you leave it but you might get a little cloudiness whenever you disturb it, so if it bothers you I'd go ahead and invest in the little HOB. You'll only really need it when things get cloudy, so you don't need to leave it running.
  3. Angel143New MemberMember

    Firstly, thank you for helping me.

    I do have a kh and gh testing kit. I am in the process of getting a TDS meeter from amazon.

    Straight from the tap my kh is about 179 ppm (10 drops).
    My gh is reading at 0 ppm. (on the first drop it is slightly shaded green).

    The anubias was a plant I had for like 6 months prior to putting in that tank that I had bought from petsmart, and the amazon swords I ordered off of amazon.

    I will most likely invest in an HOB filter because it is so cloudy I can barely see the fish. I had one that came with the tank but I got rid of it because it was defective.

    Again, thank you for helping me.
  4. BriggsWell Known MemberMember

    Good, it sounds like you have a pretty firm grasp on what you're doing. I would suggest checking your GH and KH again, though. I don't think you should be able to have a high Carbonate Hardness with no General Hardness, since I think Calcium is one of the minerals included in GH? I'm not an expert though, so I might have misunderstood something in my own research.

    Was the anubias in another tank with fluval stratum before? Stratum is designed to buffer hard water by pulling the calcium out of it so you can keep animals who prefer more acidic water comfortable, especially caridina shrimp like Bees and Crystals. It might have suddenly not had access to the same minerals in the buffered tank and suffered for it. If you're getting your test kit out again for your tap, you might check the tank water it's self, too. I'd expect your guppies would be showing signs of stress if the water got that acidic, though. Livebearers are notorious for needing hard water.

    How did you plant your tank? Both the species you mentioned have a part that shouldn't be buried under substrate, Anubis the long rhizome the leaves and roots grow from, and swords the crown at the base of the plant. I've killed more than one sword by accidentally burying to much of it moving things around while cleaning. My anubias get tied to decor or wedged into branchy driftwood so they've been spared from my overly enthusiastic vacuuming.

    You could also get a little internal filter if you like them better or can find them cheaper. Anything that pulls water through a media you can change out will work. Sponge filters are wonderful for biological filtration, but they're not as efficient at mechanical filtration. Of course I'm always a little amazed at how much gunk comes out of a pretty clean looking sponge when it comes time to clean them so maybe I underestimate them!
  5. Skullkong101Valued MemberMember

    10g? What shrimp are you attempting to house and how many? 10g is usually the minimum.
  6. ZindaginhaNew MemberMember

    I'm new to shrimp tanks myself, but these are the steps I did/things I've been told or learned from more experienced shrimp keepers. In particular, a guy from my LFS who does competitive aquascaping with shrimp has been really helpful. I have had these 23 shrimp in a 5 gallon for about one month (so maybe I should shut my mouth here?). My shrimp haven't bred yet, but none have died and they have definitely been growing, so I feel confident. This may be my downfall.

    Here are some things I've done:
    1. I use reverse osmosis water and a GH+ KH+ shrimp mineral supplement (1/4 teaspoon per gallon, mixed before adding to tank). As Briggs says, shrimp need harder water. As I understand it, shrimp-formulated mineral supplements should contain calcium as part of the GH.

    I didn't do this at first and noticed that my shrimp weren't very active. I then stated adding remineralized water at the rate of one gallon a day. By the end of the first day the shrimp were going crazy.

    2. I just find RO water easier to deal with than tap. No conditioning is required. Algae is not a problem. Testing is more straightforward (and I feel better about being less on top of it) because the parameters of RO are straightforward and unvarying. I pay 44 cents/gallon at Whole Foods (use my own glass jars), so don't find this system expensive or that much of a pain, for me personally.

    3. I was strongly encouraged to have duckweed for shrimp. It is a great nitrogen fixer so in a smaller tank it should help to keep the water parameters stable. It grows incredibly fast with the right light (and a little shrimp poo) so it is a quick way to have that nice planted tank look. The roots can be quite long so it provides excellent, partially secluded grazing spots for shrimp. It also helps to provide some shady areas of the tank, which I imagine is also beneficial in some way. But the best thing is that it gets its CO2 from the air, so it is not competing with the other plants in the tank this way.

    5. I was told NOT to bother with liquid CO2, it is not a replacement for supplemental gas CO2 at all and can be poisonous, plus alter ph. Instead, I make sure to leave my light on for 12 hours a day, have no algae, do 50% water changes over the course of the week and have had plants from the beginning of the cycle to encourage them to get established before I put the shrimp in. I have 23 shrimp and a bunch of snails and this seems to provide enough CO2 for all the plants.

    4. I was advised to provide both open spaces and plenty of hiding spots to make the shrimp feel comfortable. Happy shrimp are healthy shrimp. They are also more confident exploring the tank so are more fun to watch.

    6. I add a scoop of Glasgarten Bacter AE to the tank 2-3 times a week as additional food for the shrimps.

    7. I have an adjustable heater that was at 73F for the first week, then was raised to 76F once the shrimp had settled in.

    8. I used ADA aquatic soil amazonia as a substrate--this was highly recommended (though it was pricey). It also added at least a week to my cycle because it leaches nutrients like crazy when you first add the water and will burn any plants, so I also was told to do 50% water changes DAILY (with RO water) for the first five days. My shrimp and plants all look great, so this may have something to do with it, but the LFS I got most of my stuff from has all their shrimp tanks planted with this substrate and they swear by it for planted tanks.

    9. I was told planted tanks are ideal for shrimp. The shrimp provide essential CO2 and fertilizer for the plants and the plants provide ideal habitat and food (by encouraging bacteria growth) for the shrimp.
  7. Angel143New MemberMember

    I started with 8 shrimp
  8. JellibeenWell Known MemberMember

    Do you have any fish stores near you? I buy RO water from mine for fifty cents a gallon.