How to set up a tank for dwarf shrimp - Reptile Forums

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:52 PM
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Default How to set up a tank for dwarf shrimp

This article is aimed at people who wish to set up their first shrimp only aquarium for dwarf shrimp (not filter shrimp r.

So where do we start? Well lets lay out the different options that need to be examined when planning a shrimp aquarium, remember that this aquarium is going to be about the shrimp, anything else kept, including plants, is secondary to this.



The Tank
At the end of the day this is always going to be the first piece of equipment to be considered, it's the tank that is going to influence your choices in the rest of the planning.

Now dwarf shrimp can be kept comfortably in anything from 24 litres and up, but as you are most probably going to want to breed your shrimp, I would suggest something a little larger of 50 litres and up. This gives you more room both for initial stock (larger groups are better as too small a group will limit the gene pool for your offspring, leading to more inbreeding and possibly problems in the future.) and for any offspring. Also the larger the volume of water the smaller the impact of any changes in water quality or temperature. Shrimp need stability, in quality and temperature. Some breeders even prefer 20 gallon tanks.



Filtration
As mentioned before, dwarf shrimp need stable conditions, they also need very high quality water, with absolutely NO ammonia or nitrites. A sniff of ammonia or nitrite can decimate your shrimp very quickly. As such the filtration used needs to be VERY mature, with no risk of ammonia or nitrite spikes. It also needs to have a good surface area for the filter bacteria to colonise, the bigger the surface area to volume ratio the better. However it also needs to be 'gentle' as to powerful a suck can lead to young shrimp been sucked in and possibly turned into shrimp paste. To these ends many shrimp keepers use either air driven sponge filters, or a 'hamburg mat' filter (a large flat piece of filter foam with a pump blowing water across it, from my understanding you mount the foam across a corner of the tank and put the pump in the corner with the flow across the sponge, this way shrimp babies are not sucked into the pump), however you can also use external canister filters (cover the inlet with a filter sponge, and turn the flow down a bit), hang on filters (again cover the inlet with sponge) and internal filters (reduce the flow using the foot out of a pair of tights/stockings). Whatever you chose you need to design it so that it doesn't suck baby shrimp in, and it also needs to be VERY mature!


Lighting
Bright lighting is not needed, or wanted, for keeping shrimp. As such low to medium lighting is preferred.


Heater
You can use any that is rated for your volume of tank, ones with electronic thermostats are however preferred as they are more accurate and less likely to cook your shrimp if anything goes wrong. You can also keep shrimp without heaters if their tank is kept in a heated room where the temperature is kept pretty constant, although if using smaller tanks I advise that a heater is still used as insurance against temperature swings.


Substrate
Any dark to medium coloured substrate that does not have a sharp surface and is calcium free can be used. Size wise .5-3mm grain sizes are good. Eco-complete and ADA Aquasoil Amazonia have also been used to good effect, the mineral content been benificial to the shrimp as well as plants. Be aware however that Amazonia leaches ammonia into the water column when first set up, so you need to stabilise this before adding any shrimp. Lighter substrates are a bad idea as they tend to make shrimp nervous and lose their colour.


Plants
Live aquarium plants are VERY important when keeping shrimp. They provide homes, hiding places and also a site where the shrimp can feed. However avoid planting difficult, demanding or high light requiring plants, and instead chose plants that can tolerate lower lighting and don't need lots of nutrients or CO2. As such mosses are absolutely fantastic for shrimp, they provide lots of lovely places to hide and act as a good place for tiny algaes and bacteria to grow on, providing food for both adult and baby shrimp. I also like to plant the front of my tanks with dwarf hairgrass, my shrimp just love to explore in it and feed on any algae growing on it.


Decor
Wood is very good for shrimp tanks, expecially bogwood that has been well soaked to reduce any impact on water quality. Again it provides places for shrimp to hide and for algae and bacteria to grow. It also looks really nice with mosses and java fern or anubias attached to it. You can also use stones that do not contain calcium in shrimp tanks, but try to at least put a bit of wood in with them.


Shrimp Species
Now you have your tank set up and matured, it's time to add your shrimp (mature your aquarium and filter for at least a couple of months, or you can use eco-complete for a ready matured substrate and use biological media from an already matured filter for instant cycling). So which ones do you chose? Well in the UK usually the most readily available, hardy, and easy to keep shrimp are the good old cherry shrimp, neocaridina heteropoda var 'red'. Alternative species that are easy to keep include malayan and green shrimp (caridina cf. babaulti), Sri Lanka Dwarf Shrimp (caridina simoni simoni), nectarin shrimp (neocaridina palmata) and Snowball/White Pearl shrimp (neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis var 'snowball/white pearl'), However none of theses are highly available in the UK.


Article taken with permission from UK Shrimp. Check their website for more info on shrimp.
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Old 21-08-2008, 06:13 PM
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great info
ind
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:05 PM
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Thanks for the care sheet it is great!!
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:20 AM
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Thanks for the really valuable Information.Can't write it better than this...!
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Old 13-02-2009, 04:27 PM
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I'm gonna be breeding shrimp in my sump once i get everything sorted out. I'd prefer not to have a light at all. Think that'd be alright?
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Old 13-02-2009, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoK3t View Post
I'm gonna be breeding shrimp in my sump once i get everything sorted out. I'd prefer not to have a light at all. Think that'd be alright?
should be fine.
just make sure there's enough algae.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Esfa View Post
should be fine.
just make sure there's enough algae.
very important! you gotta feed the little bugg3rs....
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Old 28-06-2009, 02:24 AM
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Old 14-02-2010, 08:35 PM
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Does anyone have any photos of shrimp setups?
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
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Does anyone have any photos of shrimp setups?
Yes that would be interesting
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