Starting With Shrimp - Looking for the errors before I make them.

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Fish Herder
Jan 26, 2021
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Nanaimo, BC
I have been using an 20 gallon tank as a plant nursery and I am thinking of using it to keep a small number of Neocaridinas. I have read a number of articles online about them and also the post by @TylorFerretLord and think I am OK but thought I would pass my ideas past all of you. I have been also reading the issues other people have been having and want to avoid those issues. The tank would be focused on the well being of the shrimp.

20 gallon long, not heated now but could be, filtration is with a foam filter and air pump, never had copper based treatments, Tank has a full glass cover.

Tap - 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 0 nitrate, pH 7.2 (this has been a bit variable lately), 0 dKH, 2 dGH
Tank - 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 0 Nitrate (now), pH 7.0, (haven't recently looked at the KH or GH), (some liquid ferts have been used but none with copper)

Plants are not an issue I have a number of plants in the tank already though I have recently added some floaters, Salvinia. Would like to get some red root or frogbit.

Substrate is silica sand, quite rounded, light colored but not like pool filter sand (light tan color)

Wood and shrimp shelters can be added if helpful, though the plant cover should be good. Could add dried oak leaves for protozoans but concern what wood or leaves would do to the GH which is already low.

I have recently added some calcareous rocks to up the KH and GH a bit.

I would like to have a small colony of shrimp in this tank but have very little experience with shrimp other than some pretty small fish can still eat them. This tank will not have any fish, maybe some ramshorn snails at most.
  • My biggest concern is the GH. I am willing to adjust the water on an ongoing basis if that is required simply because I will only be adjusting 10 gallons weekly for the water changes but was hoping that using calcareous rocks in the tank might raise the available GH and KH to acceptable levels. I have read that the shrimp are very sensitive to changes in water chemistry so the calcareous rocks might not work with a weekly 50% water change cycle. If I have to adjust the water hardness manually I would likely use something like SeaChem Stability, but I am not fixed on that product and open to recommendations.
  • I am concerned about the substrate, I believe it should work but if there is a real benefit I could swap it out with a shrimp specific type of substrate.
  • Using sponge filter now, mostly for some water movement but that could be changed though I believe this would be appropriate for the shrimp
  • There are a multitude of different Neocaridinas available here, now, are there ones that are more robust than others, or ones that are particularly delicate, I would prefer more robust ones. All equal I am partial to the yellow and red variants though I wonder how well they would stand out against the tan sand. The yellow and reds should stand out from the plants well.
  • If all else is good how many shrimp should I start with.
I am hoping for some feedback on the plan in particular the points below. Thanks.
You don't need a heater. I would start with 20. Depends how patient you are. Color doesn't really matter. Drip acclimatize them. If you can find someone local who breeds shrimp in water similar to yours, that's icing on the cake. Sponge filter is perfect for shrimp.

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