How do you clean substrate when you have shrimp?! An odyssey

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Global Moderator
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
11,144
Reaction score
6,904
Location
Teesside, UK
I've never seen dropped eggs, but with the hornwort in the 50 litre they would have been hard to see, and the fish in the 180 litre would make short work of them.
 

Salty&Onion

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
3,162
Reaction score
2,102
Location
Bristol, UK
So, I'm doing a water change today, because my water is too cloudy (still is) from all the sand I have added to my tank (finally!), and I vacuum the waste and guess what? I sucked up my cherry shrimp up! It was like a roller coaster for the little guy! :S
 

Naughts

Fish Herder
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
1,278
Reaction score
804
Location
UK
I try and find rcs in the bucket, it's hard and time consuming. I feel your pain.
The other week I threw a bucket of old water onto the garden. There was a bit of sand in the bottom so I added some water with the garden hose, swirled it well and chucked it on the garden again.
I filled up the bucket with fresh dechlorinated water and poured it in the tank. I use a sieve to reduce disturbance.
I was amazed to see a shrimp in the sieve! It must have clung on for dear life but I don't know how!
 
OP
AdoraBelle Dearheart

AdoraBelle Dearheart

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
3,070
Reaction score
4,302
Location
UK
I try and find rcs in the bucket, it's hard and time consuming. I feel your pain.
The other week I threw a bucket of old water onto the garden. There was a bit of sand in the bottom so I added some water with the garden hose, swirled it well and chucked it on the garden again.
I filled up the bucket with fresh dechlorinated water and poured it in the tank. I use a sieve to reduce disturbance.
I was amazed to see a shrimp in the sieve! It must have clung on for dear life but I don't know how!
lmao, poor little dude! He must have been like "I'm not letting go until I see my mom". Aaaww! They're so tricky, I never considered stuff like cleaning the substrate when there are tiny shrimplets before I got them, but I still think they're worth it. Mostly. Even after a five hour nightmare with one tiny shrimplet today. I had so many other things on my to-do list for today that got pushed back, lol.
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
12,487
Reaction score
7,091
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
lmao, poor little dude! He must have been like "I'm not letting go until I see my mom". Aaaww! They're so tricky, I never considered stuff like cleaning the substrate when there are tiny shrimplets before I got them, but I still think they're worth it. Mostly. Even after a five hour nightmare with one tiny shrimplet today. I had so many other things on my to-do list for today that got pushed back, lol.
I have so much poop in the tank (due to my Pleco) the water I take out is so dirty, its really hard to see baby shrimp. My baby cherry shrimp usually don't roam in the open, because my Neon's sometime eat them. Mine hide in my Slavinia roots, Java Moss, and Anancharis. Do you have some sort of moss or dense leaves for them to hide in?
 
OP
AdoraBelle Dearheart

AdoraBelle Dearheart

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
3,070
Reaction score
4,302
Location
UK
I have so much poop in the tank (due to my Pleco) the water I take out is so dirty, its really hard to see baby shrimp. My baby cherry shrimp usually don't roam in the open, because my Neon's sometime eat them. Mine hide in my Slavinia roots, Java Moss, and Anancharis. Do you have some sort of moss or dense leaves for them to hide in?
Oh yes. I'd say they have plenty of hiding spaces! My substrate needs a lot of cleaning because of all the plant matter, and things like degrading Indian almond leaves.
DSCF0841.JPG


I think it's just unavoidable really.
 
OP
AdoraBelle Dearheart

AdoraBelle Dearheart

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
3,070
Reaction score
4,302
Location
UK
I've never seen dropped eggs, but with the hornwort in the 50 litre they would have been hard to see, and the fish in the 180 litre would make short work of them.
That makes sense. The tank only had otos and RCS in there, so nothing that would have eaten them, and the guppies probably would have if they were in there. Was planning to move the guppies back in there today, but the five hour ordeal hunting for one teeny shrimp pushed all that back! Will move them over ready for their next treatment in the morning.

I worried a bit when I saw the eggs, because I'm a worrier by nature, but googled it and saw lots of comments that it happens sometimes, usually with immature females, and doesn't mean there's something wrong. Since water tests are great and shrimp all look okay and haven't had any losses recently, and they certainly seem to producing a lot of babies and berried females, going to put it down to that for now. Even the new blue shrimp I added last week are settling in well and out and about with the reds, so fingers crossed all stays well and that they cope with the eSHa treatments okay :unsure:
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
12,487
Reaction score
7,091
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
Oh yes, defiantly a lot of hiding spots.

I would remove as many almond leaves as possible by hand for now, so no more degrade.

Hope you can get the sand in soon, so this is no longer an issue. :good:
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
12,487
Reaction score
7,091
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
That makes sense. The tank only had otos and RCS in there, so nothing that would have eaten them, and the guppies probably would have if they were in there. Was planning to move the guppies back in there today, but the five hour ordeal hunting for one teeny shrimp pushed all that back! Will move them over ready for their next treatment in the morning.

I worried a bit when I saw the eggs, because I'm a worrier by nature, but googled it and saw lots of comments that it happens sometimes, usually with immature females, and doesn't mean there's something wrong. Since water tests are great and shrimp all look okay and haven't had any losses recently, and they certainly seem to producing a lot of babies and berried females, going to put it down to that for now. Even the new blue shrimp I added last week are settling in well and out and about with the reds, so fingers crossed all stays well and that they cope with the eSHa treatments okay :unsure:
The guppies may have eaten them. After all, I have seen my neon tetras eat babies before, kinds gross and sad. :S
 

Lajos_Detari

Fish Herder
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
926
If you keep shrimps, you may want to have two different sizes of siphon.
One big siphon and one small siphon with adjustable flow rate to prevent the shrimps from being sucked into the siphon especially the shrimplets that are extremely small.

Use the big siphon when you just want to siphon out the water only from the top surface of the water.
This will be quicker for water change.


But when you want to siphon out the debris from the gravel, use a smaller siphon with adjustable flow rate.
You can adjust the flow rate to be slower and you can clean just a small area of the gravel.
I also avoid going too close to places where I can't see the shrimps clearly.
I only siphon mostly the front part of my tank where I can see them clearly and places without plants or the open area.


Some gravel cleaners with flow rate control:
Product data : Maintenance | Aquarium Fish | GEX Corporation

 
Last edited:

Lajos_Detari

Fish Herder
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
926
I would have been switching over this week -the sand arrived today, looks great and I'm itching to use it- but my guppies are showing symptoms of worms, so new set ups are on hold until treatment for all the tanks is complete :( Sucks, but better to do it now than cross contaminate my clean set ups. Treatment means a fair amount of water changes and a few weeks for repeat doses to be sure they're all clear, so lots of gravel vac-ing in the meantime. Then I can crack on with it.

Plus it's always good to pick up tips and tricks from other hobbyists, you never know when you or someone else might need a hand with the same problem. :)



Oh man, hornwort! I have it in my tank too, and it tends to get overgrown and dominate and need more maintenance than any of the other plants. I really don't like the look of it that much either, so if it were up to me, I'd take it out I think. Or at least most of it. but the shrimp seem to love it, they gather in there! So it stays. But it's not easy to clean around it and the other plants when they're packed full of shrimplets, so I get you. I've even been scared to trim it down because there were so many in there, didn't want to accidentally get one with the scissors.

I thought the guppies would eat the shrimp, and they might pick off the odd shrimplet that I don't see, but on the whole, they ignore them totally. Have even seen them eating the same algae wafer without a problem. But there are always guppy fry in there too so the tank is well fed. Maybe they'd eat more if they were hungrier or if they were gourami, lol.

I found a bunch of shrimp eggs stuck to the roots of a water lettuce when I cleaned today :( first time I've seen that, and I saw some males darting around the tank too, so I got worried about the water parameters, and rushed to do a 50% water change. Tested the water I'd pulled later on, and it was 0/0/5 still, five days after the last water change. I know males swim about when a female is ready to mate, but it seemed like a lot of 'em, then seeing the eggs worried me. Apparently first time shrimp moms sometimes drop eggs since they're inexperienced? Have you seen that happen? Left the eggs in the tank just in case. Shrimp have settled down now and otos seem fine, so I don't think it's the water.


I changed the gravel and sand for my shrimps tank last week.
I had to change the sand in my shrimps tank as it caused my water GH to increase to 9.

It took me one whole day to move them as my tap water GH is 5.
I put all my shrimps and some fish in a small tank and did a slow acclimatization of about 7 hours.

But now I realized that I should have switched to my bigger tank of 25 gallons instead of using back my 15 gallons tank.
Probably, I may move them again in the future.
 

redpanda

New Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
31
Reaction score
18
Location
Uk
Essay post ahead, fair warning! I find it impossible to be concise. It's a problem.



My shrimp tank is heavily planted, with a fairly deep gravel layer, so I really have to push the syphon quite far down into the gravel when gravel vac-ing, and get a fair amount of dead and dying leaves to remove. My shrimp have only started producing shrimplets (so many shrimplets!) in the last couple of months, so I'm still getting the hang of having them -I love them so much! I'm so delighted that they're breeding so well, but it has its downsides...

I was already sorta prepared since I've been letting my guppies breed, and no matter how careful you are, sometimes a tiny fry takes a trip through the syphon. I replaced my dark purple fish bucket with white ones, which made it much easier to see little eyes and spot movement. I thought I could do the same for shrimp. Not so! They're soooo much harder to spot than guppy fry, since they hide down in the mulm at the bottom of the bucket, and they're so transparent when tiny. Have tried covering the syphon with pantyhose or netting, but then I can't push it deeply into the gravel, and my tank produces a lot of mulm that just gets clogged against any netting I tried. Any net small enough to stop newborn shrimplets is also too small to really clean the tank, and I think it would be more likely to injure a shrimplet to be trapped against a piece of netting with the pressure of the syphon pushing all that muck against it. Better to just go through the tube and be fished out of the bucket.

But the hiding, and when the shrimp is too small to have any colour yet, and they're sitting still... omg. I put the bucket in a window as the natural light makes it easier to see, and let the muck settle. Check for movement and colour. Leave it a while longer, check for movement etc. Then pour half of that into another white bucket, settle, check for shrimp. It's a whole process, but I can't bring myself to throw out a bucket of water that might have a baby shrimp in it. I've saved quite a few using this method. I also try so hard to move any shrimp away from the syphon tube before placing it over the gravel and un-pausing the syphon (I start the syphon then hold my thumb over the bucket end of the tube to pause it from sucking until I'm ready for it to suck). But they're not terribly bothered about the syphon, and begrudgingly move away, lol. Plus it's hard to see if they've all moved away when you're working behind a plant or at the back of the tank.


This little dude nearly got thrown out today. View attachment 111706 I know you can't see him, I can barely see him myself with the naked eye. I did the usual; checked the bucket a few times, stirred and let it settle again and re-checked, no movement. So I used the water to rinse the sponge filter out. Lots of brown water and mulm in there after that! Left it in the window to let it settle again, just to double check since the shrimp love the sponge filter. No worries, it eventually mostly settles, I check, no movement. I work on refilling the tank and replacing the filter, leaving old water in the window. Then I have to leave for an appointment, so I check the tank is all back on and fine, head out for a couple of hours.

When I came back I was tidying up, went to pick up the bucket to go pour it on my plants outside, and see a tiny shrimp dart! I go grab my fine net, and of course by the time I got back I couldn't find him again. But I can't throw it out when I know there's a baby in there. I'm staring, can't see him, and there's so much muck in there. I stir it up, look for darting, wait for it to settle, flick the bucket to try to startle it, wait and watch again... so. many. times. Nothing. But I know he's there, so I'm stuck.

I get second bucket. Use a clear jug, remove some, check, pour into second bucket, check, throw out that jugful. Repeat several times, stirring the OG bucket to remove as much mulm as I can, but without making it impossible to see shrimp. Bucket is half empty by now, settles again, still nothing. I've spent more than an hour by that point staring and waiting and sifting, leaving and coming back; even using an aquarium planting stick to gently move over the mulm, to try to make the shrimp move without stirring the mulm too much. Nothing. I started to believe I must have missed him in the jug and thrown him out. But I still can't bring myself to throw it out when the baby might be in there. I leave the bucket while I'm doing housework, going to the window now and again to look, but still can't see him. Finally, after another hour or so, I spot him! I'd left the net handy this time so I didn't have to take my eyes off him, and tried to net him. Checked the net, but still couldn't see him. left the net balanced on the bucket, grabbed a fish bag, filled with water from the bucket and placed inside jug and folded the sides down. Put the net upside down into water and removed, then checked. He was in the bag! Little bugger made it almost impossible to save him, but I got him.

Since the bucket water had dropped temp a lot over the five or so hours since I took it from the tank, he's in the bag temp acclimating back to the tank now. Next I have to make sure he actually makes it out of the bag and back into the tank....

I love these little things, but they're giving me grey hairs. Here's the ones that did take the food bait and move to the clean corner of the tank so I could clean the rest. You can see one of the blue boys I got last week who seem to be settling in wonderfully. Thank you if you made it all the way to the end! I had to get it off my chest.
View attachment 111718
Love that there are other people out there who will go to that much trouble to find babies I ended up with multiple tubs of water dotted around my living room and the house house took on a decidedly fishy smell until I could be 100% sure all my lil dudes were safe haha. I'm pretty sure I got gray hairs during the process too
 

trending

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top