At some point in the near future, I'll be getting a small colony of red chery shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda var. red). I'd really like to get them to breed, and while I hear that they tend to breed like rabbits as is, it'd be nice to give them as much of a chance as possible. My male betta should be out of quarantine soon and the current idea is to set the colony up in that 2.5 gallon (after a thorough cleaning, of course), unfiltered with twice weekly partial water changes, and heated to approx 78*F. The tank would be moderately to heavily planted with clippings from my other tanks, including java moss, water wisteria, and java ferns with a substrate of sand. My water is rather hard, pH is 7.8 with a very high KH and GH. I will not be commingling them with the ghost shrimp that I currently have as they may interbreed.
Does anyone here happen to have any experience with these little guys and would be willing to offer advice/critique this setup?
In my shrimp only RCS and the yellow color morph-I use soil based heavy planted tanks. Since mine are NPT's I don't make water changes but a 3-4 times a year-I don't have nitrate due to the plants, however, high nitrate can sometimes be deadly to shrimp and this need to be watched and kept under 20ppm.
Your high pH and hard water is perfect for shrimp-they need that added mineral content for the exoskeleton development.
You don't need to worry about them cross breeding with ghost shrimp, but you don't want to mix the color mophs of the same species. With that said, you don't want to mix ghost shrimp with the Neocaridina because the ghost shrimp can kill them-ghost shrimp will eat their own offspring-especially in smaller tanks.
If you do use a filter-you want to use a sponge filter-the HOB can sometimes suck them up, however, in my tank that I use HOB that are seeded with RCS from my shrimp tanks have survived the trip through the impeller and so I always dump the filter water in a container and check for life before I dump it in a house plant....lol....
Depending on how well the plants are growing-you may not need a filter.
RCS can reproduce really fast and are a neat little creature to keep that need little care.
You will probably want to decrease the heat to about 76 for the cherries. 78 is still in the range, but it's near the higher side. That's not a problem necessarily, but it's a consideration.
I'm guessing you'll have the RCS alone in the 2.5? If so, they're very very fun to watch ... they will spend very little time hiding.
They would LOVE a sponge filter instead of unfiltered - shrimp are sensitive to water condition, and they (especially the babies) will use the sponge filter as a food source.
They will love some IAL or oak leaves also. In a 2.5, they might actually work to lower your pH a little - that's not necessarily a problem. The shrimp will do ok with a 7.8 pH, but they won't have a problem in lower either (at least, not this species). They'll definitely provide another food source.
The babies don't need any special feeding really, because they can "break off" food from larger sources, but they'll really benefit from a sponge and/or leaves - both of these will harbor perfect food sources for them. I feed my RCS all kinds of fruits and veggies (you can see some photos in my tank thread in the Planted Betta Tank section).
Very cool article, OFL! lol I'm a bit scared to try a soil-based tank at this point - I have to take down and move my tanks several times a year for school breaks, and I'd worry that doing so would be harmful to the system's balance. I'm a bit of a paranoid personality
Tekk, the shrimp will hopefully be alone in the 2.5, although some snails may accompany the plant clippings. I'm a bit on the fence on whether or not that'd be a good thing or a bad thing since the MTS would stir the sand a bit, but they also add to the bioload and shrimp like their water quality. If/when the shrimp start multiplying, I'd like to get some of the offspring into some of my other tanks, save for the tanks with bettas who would like to make a snack of the shrimp (granted, that may change as well if the shrimp start multiplying a little too well).
Would a tank that small be able to hold a reliable cycle if it was filtered? I'll try to keep an eye out for a sponge filter - it makes sense that the shrimp would look for food on it.
And a bit of a random question - would it be beneficial to bring in new shrimp from a different source on occasion to bring in new genetics and minimize the effects of inbreeding?
With a lot of active growing plants that are thriving-you will have a cycle with or without a filter...The plants will provide oxygen for beneficial bacteria that are naturally on the plants themselves.
Yes, you will hold a cycle with or without a filter as OFL said. I wouldn't even consider a planted tank without any snails - though you need to be careful with the population. You might have to do a lettuce "trap" every once in a while to get some of them out of it. If you are heavily planted and if you add the sponge, the bioload of even a bunch of pond snails won't hurt too badly - your plants will be healthier. You just don't want them to overrun you. I regularly "clean out" the largest pond snails. Same concept for MTS, etc.
There are people with successful unfiltered shrimp bowls on the PlantedTank forums that have been up and running for years - all unfiltered. Of course, a sponge filter can't hurt like I said. You will have better breeding if you have a sponge.
The color morphs of the shrimp are created by inbreeding, but they are so well established now that it wouldn't hurt to add shrimp from multiple places for diversity. Just be careful not to mix red cherry shrimp with any other neocaridinas, or they will revert to brown wild type shrimp.
That's really cool that a small tank will cycle - guess I'm just used to the more traditional cycle as opposed to a silent one.
On the snails, my populations in the other tanks have stayed more or less stable since they've been in the tank, so I'm not overly concerned that they'll get out of hand. Glad to hear that it won't hurt to have them in the tank - I've grown rather fond of the little buggers, both for their utilitarian value and the fact that I'm wierd and find them rather entertaining!
lol The inbreeding is one of those things that I've gotten kinda paranoid about since starting to study genetics for school - there're some crazy things that can happen
Welp, I picked up my shrimp today, and it's my luck that all of the shrimp I got turned out to be female. Hoping that I sexed one of them wrong or that at least one of them is already pregnant but early enough along that it's not showing. I ended up drip acclimating them for a few hours last night since the water perameters between the two locations are rather different, and while I know that it's likely overkill I'd rather be safe than sorry. They're otherwise settling in well and are already starting to color back up after the three hour drive from the store near my hometown to my dorm. I'll try to post some pictures later after I get out of lecture
It's really hard for me to tell at this point, honestly. I think there may be one or two that might be berried, but there aren't any of the bright green eggs that I'm used to seeing on occasion with my ghosties. One of them has a really obvious saddle - I could even see it last night while acclimating them (don't know if that says anything other than that the shrimp's female, though). lol My fingers are crossed that there's one that's berried and that I'll get some babies!