Shrimp for very soft water

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! I am still thinking about setting up a blackwater tank. To add a constant food source for the occupants, I was hoping to have a refugium with a shrimp colony in it. The overflow would be covered with mesh that would be too fine for adult shrimp to slip through but large enough for young shrimp, which would subsequently be eaten by the fishy residents of the main tank.

My question is, are there any available shrimp or similar crustaceans in the hobby that would breed well in such a tank? The water would probably have a PH around 6, KH and GH close to 0, and TDS no higher than 30. The refugium would have a lot of leaves to provide biofilms for the shrimp, and I could feed them flakes as well. Thanks :)
 

lilirose

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Shrimp really need some hardness in the water, I'm afraid. No shrimp that I know of can moult and breed with a GH of zero. Crystal shrimp (Taiwan Bees) do best at a low pH with little to no KH but they really need a GH of 4-6. I was sitting here trying to think if there was a way to have more hardness in the refugium than in the tank but I don't think that's possible either.
 
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Joshaeus

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Bummer...I know blackwater shrimp exist in the wild (in fact they are the natural diet of such fishes as Betta Macrostoma and licorice gouramies), but I was hoping some of the domesticated shrimp would adapt to such conditions. Thanks anyway, though
 

lilirose

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The shrimp you want exist in the wild and might even be used in aquaculture- though I don't know enough about it to say for sure- but unfortunately they are not available to the aquarium trade. Seems that people tend to value looks over utility. I personally use my soft water tank as a cull tank for Cherry Shrimp, but I don't keep it at blackwater-soft levels.
 
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Joshaeus

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The shrimp you want exist in the wild and might even be used in aquaculture- though I don't know enough about it to say for sure- but unfortunately they are not available to the aquarium trade. Seems that people tend to value looks over utility. I personally use my soft water tank as a cull tank for Cherry Shrimp, but I don't keep it at blackwater-soft levels.
Pity...oh well. Thanks
 
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