Originally Posted by Blue Fish
Oh neat! I had no idea that the aquarium floss and the fiberfill stuffing I've got giant BOXES of at the house were the same thing! This is fantastic information, thanks for sharing. :D
Yep, the 100% polyester fibers sold in that form are the same as the 100% polyester fiber sold as filter floss. I'm even seeing a lot of "water polishing pads" made for specific filters to go in as the last step on Amazon--every time I'm looking at any sort of filter product those pop up under the "other people who bought this product also bought:" section lol. And the pads are made from....get this--100% polyester lol. The specific brand I use is the Morning Glory in a green bag. When I initially picked it out, I chose it because it was just simple 100% polyester fibers and the cheapest, like $3.99 at most for a 20 oz bag (which will last like...forever). Later on, after googling and doing some reading, I found out this is actually one of the most used and recommended brands by hobbyists when discussing this subject lol. Apparently its denser and sticks together better than some, which prevents stray fibers from coming loose and getting somewhere they shouldn't. Personally I haven't had any kind of issue with stray pieces, but it does help if you wet it first and squeeze it pretty densely into the shape it needs to be for where you're putting it--this helps prevent any "holes" or gaps for the water to flow through and bypass the fibers, its forced to go through and really catches everything.
Xaltd1, sponge filters are perfect for shrimp, especially if you're trying to breed them. IMO they're also perfect for bettas, before I decided to take a break for a while (obvs I'm back now lol), they were literally the only types of filters I used in the betta tanks. I might have had one divided 10g that used a HOB(baffled obvs), but only because I'd needed to set a tank up asap and didn't have time to order or go to the nearest pet store that carries sponge filters to get one but happened to have the HOB laying around from an old FW tank.
I still swear by them, although I don't have one in use right now (which is likely to change in the very near future lol) since 3 of my tanks are 2.5g and 5g kits that have built-in filters. Obviously I could remove those, or at the very least just not use them, and put in appropriately sized sponge filters instead, but my main justification for buying each of the tanks at all was that they were on clearance for 50%, so it was hard to justify buying another filter for a tank that already had a working one. I've gotten so good at baffling though its almost an art form, so at least theres that ;).
Also, when I first read through your post, I thought you meant *crystal* red shrimp (CRS), not red cherry shrimp (RCS), and was pretty amazed lol. CRS are MUCH less hardy than cherry shrimp, can actually be extremely delicate and very sensitive to water parameters, requiring them to be within certain ranges. Definitely not saying there aren't plenty of people out there who keep them successfully, but I'm pretty sure they all test their water...often lol. I have 5 ghost shrimp (they're in my 5g hex with one of my DT males, and 2 cherry shrimp myself! The cherry shrimp are currently in the 2.5g heated, filtered, and cycled built-in pool that I made in my 75g hermit crab tank thats also planted, mostly moneywort and green hygro, but a few other things too, including java fern and java moss (tbh I really just wanted another excuse for a planted tank lol). I only got two of the cherry shrimp to start with since I didn't have any previous experience with them, and even knowing how hardy they're supposed to be, as well as having become familiar with their care needs/requirements, nothing can really beat actual hands-on experience. But I've had them for about 1 1/2 months now and as far as I'm able to judge, they're doing quite well, so I definitely would like to get more. Fortunately the LPS where I get my plants stocks them and the price is pretty reasonable. I agree that they're incredibly adorable, if betta tanks weren't at such a high premium in my house right now I'd be converting my new Evolve 4 into a planted nano cherry shrimp tank.
Personally I would not add otos, cherry shrimp DO eat algae, along with tons of other things lol--plant matter, fish pellets and flakes, frozen and/or freeze dried brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex worms, mysis shrimp, etc. and thats only the beginning, heh. How many do you have and what kind of tank setup are they in (size, decor, plants, lighting, etc.)? If the algae is really becoming an issue there are a variety of ways to remedy that which don't involve adding new livestock.