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Feb 19, 2018
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So, I've had a red cherry shrimp for a little over a month now. It molted after the first 3 days, and again 3.5 weeks later, after moving to itw new tank. Normally very active, and still somewhat active, but has started a behavior that it wasn't displaying previously. I'm not sure if it is male or female either.

Tank Background:
I added two Amano/Ghost shrimp, and an Orange Bee shrimp, about a week before this behavior started. The tank also houses 2 male guppies, who were in the original tank with Raphael (the red cherry in question), and they all seem to get along fine. I check levels daily with an API Master Test Kit, and perform water changes as necessary. I believe tank is still in cycling process, so I monitor it VERY closely, and haven't had any issues with loss or apparent stress of any kind. Temperature is always within 1° of, but normally right at 77°F, and PH is consistently between 7.6-8.0, obviously Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates are fluctuating as tank is cycling, but I never let Ammonia past 0.25ppm. All water changes and initial fill have been treated with API Stress Zyme and API Quick Start.

I have no clue what my shrimp is doing?! It is constantly flicking its Pleopods or Swimmerets. I can't see any berries? I am not sure what I'm looking for, although I have read and seen pictures, I've not witnessed berries myself in person. I don't see any white leech/worm creatures attached to the shrimp either, which I've read is a parasite? I am not sure if this is NORMAL behavior, and my shrimp just didn't exhibit it for a while maybe because of age, or tank layout or what? Or is my shrimp indeed acting strange somehow, and if so, what could be the prognosis?

I have attached a few videos and a few pictures below the videos, so maybe someone can point me in the right direction????????????? Thanks.





The first thing is that the shrimp is a she. And my shrimps do that all the time.

In the first video, what is the plant right next to the moss ball - it looks a bit like my windelov Java fern. If that's what it is, it should not be planted in the substrate as the rhizome will rot - that's the thing that looks like a thick root. Java fern of all varieties should be grown attached to decor.
If it's not that, please ignore the last sentence :)
The first thing is that the shrimp is a she. And my shrimps do that all the time.

In the first video, what is the plant right next to the moss ball - it looks a bit like my windelov Java fern. If that's what it is, it should not be planted in the substrate as the rhizome will rot - that's the thing that looks like a thick root. Java fern of all varieties should be grown attached to decor.
If it's not that, please ignore the last sentence :)

@essjay that is a windelov java fern. The store, and the package it came in, said to plant in substrate. I even told the lady I had gravel. I should have expected that PetSmart wouldn't know specific details. So, how do I attach it to decor? I'm not sure how, or what to attach it to? My only tank decor is Spongebobs house, Spongebob, Patrick, Gary, and 3 fake plants.

Also, I got another plant called Temple Compacta. I couldn't remember which is which? But if you recognize the leafy one as java fern, the other stick looking one must be temple Compacta?






And as for the shrimp, it's good to know it's a she, but it still weirds me out, that she used to just swim around, or sit, and now, she does this Swimmerets thing, nearly 24/7. Why did her demeanor/activity change? Is it because there is an Orange Bee shrimp now, which might be a male?

I feel so dumb. There is just so many little details, and so many personalities and care rules and all that. It's like having a child again...
I recognised the java fern because I have some. Is there any way it could be attached to one of the pieces of decor - give Bob a new hairstyle for example? Or add extra foliage to the top of the pineapple house? If you'd prefer not to use those ornaments, a small piece of wood is another option, though you might need to soak it till it sinks. I use sewing thread to tie the plants in place, and by the time the thread rots the plants has attached itself.
I've never had a temple plants and wouldn't know what they look like, I'm afraid.

The new tank could be the cause of the behaviour change - or maybe even the new shrimps. The orange bee may or may not be the same species - I wouldn't trust any shop when it comes to names, they often just make names up. In theory, orange bee shrimp are Caridina cantonesnsis sp "Orange Bee" but I wouldn't put it past some shops to use orange bee for orange cherry shrimps (Neocaridina heteropoda). Caridina and Neocaridina can't interbreed.
Now that I think about it, Raphael only started this when I put in the plants and moss balls. She mostly does it on the moss ball actually too, not much in the rest of the tank. She was acting a lot different before the moss balls, even when the other shrimp were introduced. In fact, I took a video earlier, of Pinecone(orange bee) and Raphael, on a moss ball, appear to be fighting, but I took the video, to show only Raphael was doing it. However, now Pinecone is doing the same thing on the top of moss ball, while Raphael does the bottom. Not sure why they chose one of the small ones, instead of the huge one.

As far as plants, I want to get a piece of driftwood, but am unsure if I need to boil, or soak for weeks in conditioned water, if it's purchased at pet store? I have read that driftwood helps lower the pH somehow, and I stress a little cuz mine is on the high end at 8.0. I believe it is because local tap water comes out at 8.0-8.2, and filled with chlorine...

The plants I took pictures of in the last post, the ones that look like a twig, with a leaf at the top, are those Temple Compacta ones I think. I put pics in, cuz I figured one was java fern and one wasn't, and was pretty sure I knew which you were talking about.

Anyways, here's the video of the two shrimps bickering or whatever they are doing?

Just so we know for sure, the plant next to the moss ball in the last video is the windelov java fern; the plants with leaves attached to stems are the temple plants.

The non-red shrimp looks very like a yellow cherry shrimp to me, though I could be mistaken as I've only kept red cherries and amanos. A quick google gives sites saying orange bees are Caridina but other sites, mainly sites selling shrimps, say they are Neocaridina. Cherries are Neocaridina.

They like the moss ball because of all the micro-organisms living on it :)

I leave wood soaking in a bucket of water till it is water logged enough to sink. Some wood does turn the water brown because this type leaches tannins. If your KH is high, it won't alter the water because KH buffers the water against changes.
I find that the wood that is all thin spikey branches doesn't release as many tannins as the solid chunks of wood. And with the spikey wood, there are lots of places to tie java fern on easily.
Yea, the wood they have at the LFS, my son LOVES, and calls them all "Ninja Turtle Hands" for some reason, Lol. We will probably go pick one out this weekend.

It's funny, we intended to get a couple glofish for his Valentine's Day surprise, but ended up with 2 guppies and a shrimp in a 3gal. Found out it was too small, and bad for them, and upgraded, then spent a couple hundred more on stuff for the tank. Now we are finding her and I, are as much, if not more into the tank as he is! We are hooked! And all 3 of us, didn't realize there were freshwater shrimp, but all of us, are loving the shrimp way, WAY more! If we didn't need to eventually get more guppies to keep the 2 boys from fighting, we would probably get dozens more shrimp.

Anyways, I tied those Java Fern off to the fake plants, I honestly think it looks kinda neat! Kind of makes a thick forest zone. I also stacked the moss balls in the corner, to make a safe haven for the shrimps, where the fish can't see them, even though none of them bother each other, I do notice the shrimp sometimes get skittish when they see the guppies. Don't worry, I know I need to rotate the moss balls so they don't die, and it won't be permanently this way, cuz I'll move it after I get wood prepped.

Anyways, let me know what you think?!

Anyways, let me know what you think?!

I like it, I am not a fan of the plastics stuff but hey it dont look too bad, once everything steeles down I would prob add 20 or 30 more Red Cherry Shrimp
Your little red shrimp is looking after her eggs. She is cleaning her swimmeretes where the eggs are located. You can see the eggs in the first clip, they are attached to the pleopods near her back legs. She doesn't have many but she has some. They fan the pleopods to get water and oxygen over the eggs and she will pick dirt and debris and dead eggs off to keep the others clean.
Thanks NickAu! I had gotten fake plants at first, cuz we had no light in our aquarium hood, so I didn't want to kill real plants. But now, it worked out well so we could attach the java fern to the fake plants!

And Colin_T, can you really see eggs on her?! I don't have experience in what specifically to look for, but I was wondering. Compared to the other yellow shrimp, or orange bee as the pet store called it, the red cherry acts a LOT different, and body shape and size is a LOT different as well! If that's the case, and she is pregnant, I'm excited, and scared, because I don't know if I have a big enough, or enough different hiding places? Plus, I'm not sure if any of the other shrimp, will eat her babies? Time to go into panic mode on Google!

The funny thing is, my tank STILL WONT CYCLE! I get 0-0.12 Ammonia, and have always gotten, and still do get 0/0 Nitrite/Nitrate! I have had tank going since Feb 27, and it's now Mar 15, and my spreadsheet reads 0 solid down both columns. I have never done more than 25% water changes, and only if I caught levels at 》0.25, always used dechlorinator, and followed all suggestions in forums and any other resources to a 'T' yet somehow I get no change in my water tests? I had considered Tetra SafeStart, but gathered that it's not a good idea, with invertebrates in the tank, as they are more sensitive?

But shouldn't I be seeing some change in levels?
Here is a couple more videos, and I still have to admit, I honestly can not tell that there are eggs. I even had an LED light on her. I believe you, I just wish I could see it LOL.

The first clip looks like she has some eggs but I can't see any eggs in the last 2 clips you just posted. She is definitely acting like she has eggs tho, fanning the pleopods is typical of berried shrimp. The other option is she has a parasite but shrimp don't normally get parasites. Or she had eggs and shed them the other day and is preparing for another mating.

The eggs are tiny round balls they attach to the pleopods. When there are lots of eggs its very easy to see because the pleopds can't fit up under the tail properly and are held away from the tail by the eggs. But you are looking for little round balls about 0.5 - 1mm in diameter that on the pleopds. They are usually a similar colour to the shrimp.

When you set up this tank, did you transfer water, gravel and filter materials from another tank? Or did you set it up with new equipment?
If you set the tank up with new equipment then the tank is still cycling and it will take a bit longer than 2 weeks for the filters to establish. However, if you transferred a filter, gravel, plants or even water across from an established tank to the new one, then it would have brought some bacteria with it and that could be the reason you don't have a nitrite reading.
Most tanks take 4-6 weeks to cycle.
I thought the Pleopods, was the same as Swimmerets? Or is the Pleopods the legs they walk on, middle legs? If so, then the parts that look like fibers, and are fanning, are the Swimmerets? And the front few legs/claws are the eating/fighting claws?

And yea, the fish store that sold me this tank, gave me a bag with gravel and dirty water. I have their gravel kind of by the ugf powerhead output, hoping it would spread. Also, added real plants as well, hoping it would give me some reading other than ammonia. I know it takes a while to fully cycle, but I thought I would see something besides ammonia, and not literally 0 for nitrites every day for weeks, unless it instantly cycled somehow, but I don't know how that would work?

Thank you for your help @Colin_T I appreciate it! Is there any additional quick tips to try and help Raphael carry her eggs full term and have a successful hatching/birth? I already moved the two moss balls in "her corner" to try and make it less accessible to the giant ghost/amano/whatever shrimp that seems to harass everyone in the tank, and give her space. She' out roaming around eating right now. I'm guessing she doesn' have many eggs cuz it's probably her first litter? She didn't used to be near this size, and used to be a LOT more timid and hid, constantly. Then was VERY active. Then added the orange shrimp, and a few days after, the moss balls, and when I added the moss balls, that's when she started the "fanning behavior" so I was concerned for her health, but maybe the orange guy knocked her up.
Oh, also @Colin_T I dunno if I mentioned, she is the ONLY rcs I have. Also have the 2 ghost ones, and an Orange Bee, but I believe it's just a varied color of the Neocardina species. The orange and 2 ghost were in just a few days before she started that fanning.

I don' think it' parasites, at least not the ones that apparently look like worms, because I've watched her for hours on end, and used magnifying glasses to see if I can see anything, and there is no apparent change, other than size, the fact that her Swimmerets used to tuck inside her, and now its like her shell spread out, and they don't tuck in neatly and hidden anymore. And her color is deeper red, but sometimes has the white stripe down her back now.

I do have to add though, that even though the original plan was guppies, I want to turn it into a shrimp tank, lol. They are nifty! And from what I gather, the shrimp population isn't as explosive and unmanageable as guppies. So our only choice for our two guppies, is 3 more male guppies as all male tank, cuz I have no room for additional tanks, and don' wanna let babies get eaten intentionally.

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