setting up new invert tank

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Aditya Bhoi

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hi friends i am going to setup a new invert tank . it is a 10 g tank with dimensions 18x9x12
I want to start an invert tank. I want 2 FW crabs, 20 red cherry shrimp, 2 apple snails and couple of clamps.
tell me if i am overstocking or doing something wrong. suggest me a setup of filter and other things i should require


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San Diego
5 to 10 years

What kind of crabs are you thinking of? I think most crabs will eat shrimp. If they're too small to eat the adult shrimp, they will probably eat the shrimplets. You might want to look into that - unkess you already did and found crabs that are safe.

I've read that clams are fairly complicated to take care of. Their food usually needs to be supplemented as the aquarium environment doesn't grow enough natural food for them. You might need to cultivate "green water" for them. Again something you might want to read up more - unless you already have.

Snails and shrimp will be fine. Maybe start with them. In no time, the shrimp will have overrun your tank anyways as they breed so quickly. Therefore, you might even want to start with fewer shrimp. As long as you get at least one male and a couple of females you're set. With ten, the odds are pretty high that you get a couple of each.

Although RCS are pretty hardy, they still prefer certain water parameters to thrive. What are your water parameters? Important parameters are KH and GH as they need a certain hardness of the water to molt without problems. If the water is too hard, their shells will be too thick. Too soft, and the shells can't be grown properly. The hardness is more important than pH, for instance. Get the API GH and KH tests.

To check the quality of your water, a TDS meter that measures total dissolved solids is a good help. You can get one for about 10 bucks at eBay. The breeder from which I got my shrimp keeps them at 350 because he found that they breed happily at this measure.

Also, once you're familiar with your water parameters, a quick check of the TDS will usually suffice to let you know that your hardness is OK. That's very useful - or I'd say a must - for water changes, if for instance you have to blend tap and RO or distilled water to get the desired hardness. A quick dip of the meter into the water tells you whether you have to add more tap or more RO water to the mix. It would be extremely impractical to do that test with th API tests.

Best thing would be to ask the person you're getting your shrimp from about their water parameters. The shrimp will do best in a similar environment into which they were born. That is, even if your own parameters are theoretically perfect, but your shrimp came from a very different environment, they might not thrive. Also, the more different their home water from your own, the longer you would want to acclimatize them initially.

The most important thing is keeping the water as stable as possible also when doing water changes. Therefore, more frequent smaller water changes are preferred to larger ones. 20% weekly is a good amount. Since there will always be some fluctuations with new water, you can use a drip line to add the new water to the tank over a few hours.

What kind of filter is not that important, but if it's a filter with an intake such as an HOB, you need to put a prefilter over the intake so that no shrimp and particularly the little shrimplets will not be sucked up. A lot of shrimp keepers use foam filters inside the tank.

Before you get shrimp, your tank should be fully cycled. Shrimp are rather sensitive to ammonia and nitrtite, so zero of those is a must. Nitrates should be kept below 5 ppm. That's why usually shrimp tanks are low tech tanks with lower light and plants that don't need any or only very little fertiliazation such as java fern and mosses. BTW, shrimp LOVE mosses. A big jungle of java moss in which they can hide and feel secure will be appreciated for their mating, hatching of shrimplets and for growing biofilm for them to graze on. Driftwood also offers a nice lare surface area for food to grown on.

be careful with the plants you add to your tank. The plants could have been treated against snails or insects. Snail poison more often than not contains copper which will kill your inverts. Plants imported from Asia are often treated heavily with insecticides which will kill your inverts and maybe also your fish. So it's best to prepare plants that are not directly out of a fellow fesh or shrimp keepers tank by soaking them a few weeks in water with daily water changes to get red of any poisons.

OK, that's all I can think if at the moment.


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Just started
Great advice!

I'd also like to mention that not all freshwater crabs are fully aquatic. Most stores sell types of Fiddler Crabs which need land to survive. So do your research on the type of crab prior to purchase.

If you are feeling artsy...a tank with a beach would be amazing. :p

Edit: Come to think of it...I don't know any fully aquatic freshwater crabs... I can only think of the Red Claw Crab which is brackish water and I think even they do better with access to land.
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