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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I've been home from college for break, I've found my old 1.5 gallon fish tank that (thankfully) I upgraded from a long time ago. Though I was thinking, I could convert it to a lovely, small shrimp tank. Are there any parts of our forums where we have info about small tanks or shrimp tanks?

Most importantly, do they need to be heated? I live in Minnesota and my apartment can be a little chilly, so I just want to make sure I don't kill them right away. I was thinking of getting a small "Azoo Mignon 60" filter or something like that, putting the sponge media into my 10g filter for a while (how long?) with my current sponge to pick up some good bacteria, and then start the shrimp tank.

Thoughts?

Suggestions?

Thanks for any and all ideas!
 

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My original shrimp tank was a 1.5 gallon cube. Heated. If you use other than a sponge filter, make sure it has a prefilter sponge to stop the filter from sucking up your shrimp. I did RCS and kept it heated to about 75. The 25 watt hydor Theo worked well in the small tank. I also had a coconut cave with moss roof that was a favorite hangout for the babies.
 

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Definitely get a pre-filter to put on the HOB intake (you can also just cut some sponge/foam media to slip over it like a thick sock so all slits in the intake are covered completely).

Keep new filter media in tank with old filter for 4 weeks to ensure good beneficial bacteria build up. You may get away with 2-3 weeks, but better safe than sorry!

I did not get a heater and had shrimp tanks going during that time of year when its too cool for ac and too hot for heater..they did not have a consistent temps because of this. I think that, along with my bad water change regime killed most of them... I started with a 2g and 3g tank of shrimp well planted, with sponge filters I aged for a month in a cycled and functioning community tank (my 20g long when Arist'oto' and his band of otos were in there). One tank (bubble bowl) was soil based and still leeching ammonia after I put the sponge filters in, so I dosed the other tank with pure ammonia and tested both until I was getting 0 ammonia and nitrite from the bowl and jar. Then massive water change and shrimp were drip acclimated in.

I did water changes once a week.. I should have done several small 10% changes but I was doing 30-50% and when adding the new water, the TDS (total dissolved) solids would be different from old to new water. Shrimp are sensitive to TDS and a swing in its #s will cause them to molt... Molt too son after the previous molt and they die. I went form 20some to 5.. then gave up and tossed them into my husband's dwarf puffer tank as food... stupid puffer didn't eat them and not they're colonizing in his 12g long lol figures...

Long story short.. its better to do 2 or 3 tiny water changes a week than 1 big one. Also invest in a good TDS meter, don't get the cheapest one on the market (under $20), they suck...
Also when you add in new water for a water change, if its possible set the new water's bucket somewhere above the tank and use an airline tube to rapid drip or slow pour it back into the tank, the slower flow in of new water this way vrs. a large cup dumped in will make any changes in water chemistry (like tds or temp-still try to get water at the same temp at tank water though) not as big f a stress on the shrimp.. it will be like a mini drip acclimation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A friend is getting out of the hobby, so I may actually end up with a 7.5g tank instead! Good to know about the length to soak the sponge though, I'll be taking a plant or two from my established tank as well so that should jump start the cycling process, right?

Thank you for such detailed information!
 

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Plants won't jump start a cycle. Plants, decor, and substrate will have neglidgable amounts of benificial bacteria. Best source for it is filter media specifically sponge/foam and ceramic/bio media. Carbon won't grow as much benifican bacteria as the other medias.
 

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To be successful with shrimp you need a TDS meter. They are inexpensive when found on eBay. I think mine was around $15.00.

The biggest causes of death in shrimp tanks (beyond being sucked up in the filter) is TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) being too high which makes the carapace too hard for the shrimp to molt. This is easily seen if shrimp (or Crays) jump backwards in jerky motions.

The other major cause of shrimp death is water changes that are too large. This causes too much of a swing in parameters; especially pH and TDS. Shrimp are so much more fragile/sensitive than fish. 10% every other week or so is plenty unless you are overfeeding. If the tank is mature enough when you add your shrimp you shouldn't have to feed them. I do, however, throw mine the occasional BorneoWild or Fluval shrimp pellet. They also come out when I feed live Micro Worms.

This is a very good site for parameters for shrimp:
www.shrimpkeeping.com/water-params/

So is this:
www.shrimpfever.com/shop/category/shrimp/livestock-shrimp/


A perfect tank, IMO, would be Fire Red or Sakura shrimp, Dario Dario and Dwarf Crays with lots of Java Moss and Subwassertang. :) You do have to feed the Dario (Scarlet Badis) live food like Micro Worms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's some really good information, thank you! At this point I figure I'll set up the tank, get it nice and planted, run the sponge in my current filter a few weeks, and once the tank is cycling well/cycled I'll decide and order my creatures.

Shrimp are so fun to watch, but if they're so fragile, maybe a small school of something like neon tetras would be a fun change of pace?
 

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A small school of Neon Tetras can be extremely nippy toward each other. To keep aggression down I would recommend at least a 10 gallon. I'm rehoming mine as the tank would be more peaceful without them. Interestingly, while they pick on the other fish and Dexter the Betta, they leave the Larry the Vampire Shrimp and the Dwarf Crays alone.

Shrimp are a lot of fun and I really enjoy mine. People run into trouble when they do too big a water change (more than 10%-25%) or don't pay attention to parameters.

Shrimp are so different in a non-Betta tank. Out and about 24/7, active, no hiding, etc. And their colors stay so dark.

Forgot to say: A lot of shrimpers run sponge filters. As with fish, heaters are needed only to keep the temperature from fluctuating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmm so you think even in a well-planted 8g, I couldn't do a school of 7 without too much aggression? (I'm guessing 7 would be the max, since they can get up to an inch or so, right?

My worry with shrimp is that after my tank is finally cycling and I have shrimp, I'll be moving again. I live in an apartment near my college campus and I'll be moving to a new apartment again this summer, and potentially moving again the next summer. Since they are so touchy to parameters I don't want to lose them all every time I move.
 

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I love my Dwarf Crays. They come in orange (Cambarellus patzcuarensis sp orange “cpo/dwarf orange crayfish”) and bluish (Cambarellus texanus- “Brazos dwarf crayfish"). I have both. The Brazos are a tad smaller.

They often posture and start toward each other with claws waving; then suddenly jump backwards and casually crawl away in the opposite direction. :)

? Orange dwarf crayfish / Cambarellus patzcuarensis sp. orange - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, okay! How many could you have in a 7g? Are they as sensitive as shrimp to parameters and cycling? I'm worried I wouldn't be able to find any by me though >_<

I'm assuming anything bigger than a dwarf variety would get too big for my tank.
 
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