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esarkipato
27th Jan 2006, 04:12 AM
I know I'm a shrimp newbie, and I just might be asking for trouble. I just tried to post the long version but the forum crapped on me, I guess this will be the short version then.

Nice forum BTW, I've read the articles and many, many posts already :)

I basically added 8 cherry reds to an uncycled 10 gallon tank (based on some presumably bad advice). Hopefully this is not as embarrassing as adding them to my 29 community w/tetras, cories, a gobie, & guppies.

The filter is a 3" cube sponge, in a plastic housing. I did seed it with a *small* amount of filter floss from another tank.

Questions:
1) Am I in trouble with this cycling process? I was told that 8 cherries will have such a low bioload that the cycle would be slow enough to have no problems.

2) What should I feed? They ignored sinking veggie wafers and raw cucumber so far. See #4 for algae situation.

3) Should I vaccuum the sand? There are many, many black dots there now, presumably feces. I guess they are eating something.

4) Should I add 1 or more algae-infested plants? There is currently very little algae in this tank, but one of my 29 gallon tanks has lots of it!

Thanks for helping out a noob! :rolleyes: :rolleyes4

PS very nice smiley selection here!!!!

Also, what I gotta do to be able to post URLs?

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Robert
27th Jan 2006, 09:14 AM
Hi and welcome to ShrimpNow.com!

You didn't start your shrimp tank in the way it should be done but it should be no big problem. Eight cherry shrimps don't need much food and also produce only very little waste. So the water parameters won't change much because of them or their food. To protect them from any harmful nitrite peaks, change the water regularly, about 20-30% every 5th day or so. Please be careful and add the new water only very slowly at first.

Your filter is useless at the moment. The bacteria need time to grow and it takes weeks, whatever you do. So you have to observe the shrimps carefully and do regular water changes. Cherry shrimps are very hardy and can tolerate such conditions. Observe their coloration. They should be bloody red but as long as they are still red, everything is OK. If they turn into a pink or even colorless color (I mean the females), you can be sure that something is wrong. In the best case they are just afraid because of the bright tank without or with too few places to hide. In the worst case they die because of poisonous nitrite, ammonia, phosphate or other toxic stuffs in your tank.

Add some plants to the tank. Plants of another tank would be best because there are some useful bacteria already on them. Plants can help you a lot to cycle the tank. (But don't forget the water changes!) Fast growing plants would be best. The algae-covered ones are also OK, as long as they are healthy enough to grow. Don't add plants which start to rot easily, you don't need more biological waste.

The "many, many black dots" are mulm (dead organical material with lots of bacteria, Protoctista etc.). It is normal and you don't need to worry. Of course you can siphon it but don't disturb the shrimps. They use this mulm as food and it should have granular consistency in a shrimp tank. BTW, don't feed your shrimps too often. A few flakes or so two times a week are enough. Eight little shrimps need very few food, especially if there are also algae and mulm.

Regarding the url. We have some special rules here to prevent spam and such things, so that we can concentrate more on the questions of our members and the website itself. There are a few restrictions for a new member. If your post count rises to 20, you can also post PMs, urls etc. . Please be patient and participate in the meantime here in the forum e.g. if you update us about your tank.

best regards
Robert

esarkipato
27th Jan 2006, 07:35 PM
Thank you Robert for a thorough response. I appreciate your 20 post rule, I just hadn't read about that yet.

The plants I have in the tank are watersprite and Limnophila sessiflora.

I will make sure to keep up w/ water changes. I currently do 50% a week, but can do more often.

I am concerned with the coloration or lack thereof. None of the shrimp have much of any red. My sand is very bright, so this probably has an impact on the color, but nevertheless I am concerned. I will test nitrate/ite/ammonia.

retardo
29th Jan 2006, 02:19 AM
Welcome to the forum...

Having plants in your tank should provide a sufficient food source to your shrimp. There are tons of micro-algae that grow on the leaves that the shrimp will pick and eat. Further, the plants will help cycle the tank; plants use the nitrogen byproducts (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite) as part of their lifecycle. The impact of any spikes during normal cycling is minimized. Your fish will produce a much higher bioload than your shrimp.

As Robert mentioned, you don't have to feed your shrimp that often. If you do want to try feeding them other things, you simply have to give them time to recognize that what you're putting in the tank is food. They make take to some things more than others.

Water changes of 50% are excessive, IMHO. I have a tank with Crystal Red shrimp and I only top off from normal evaporation. I do a water change of about 25% once a month and have suffered no ill effects. Mulm is good for the plants.

Re: the lack of coloration in your cherries, this is normal. The females will always color up better than the males, who tend to be less colorful. Females also get brighter as they mature, sometimes reaching a very bright red... unfortunately, before they die.

esarkipato
30th Jan 2006, 07:04 AM
thanks retardo for the info. testing shows:

0 nitrites
0 total ammonia

using tetratest laborett kit.

I keep finding these white/opaque corpses around, i've found like 4 or 5. ARe these dead shrimp, or exoskeletons from molting?

I have one or two that show white areas around their "shoulders". Are these ovaries, therefore females?

Lastly, I can now see tons of tiny little critters on the glass, that move like freshly hatched brine shrimp. are these babies, or some kind of daphnia or something?

Thanks for the helps. . .

retardo
30th Jan 2006, 07:54 AM
I keep finding these white/opaque corpses around, i've found like 4 or 5. ARe these dead shrimp, or exoskeletons from molting?
Most likely molts.


I have one or two that show white areas around their "shoulders". Are these ovaries, therefore females?

I'm not sure what these white areas are... Cherry eggs are yellow when it is in development inside the females ovaries.


Lastly, I can now see tons of tiny little critters on the glass, that move like freshly hatched brine shrimp. are these babies, or some kind of daphnia or something?

Daphnia or water fleas... these guys are harmless.

Beviking
31st Jan 2006, 12:29 AM
I keep finding these white/opaque corpses around, i've found like 4 or 5. ARe these dead shrimp, or exoskeletons from molting?

Yes, exoskeletons from molting.


I have one or two that show white areas around their "shoulders". Are these ovaries, therefore females?

Does it look something like a saddle? Then yes, these are females.

-Be

esarkipato
31st Jan 2006, 04:06 AM
Yea, beviking they do look like saddles :) Oh good, hopefully they will make sweet, sweet, reproductive activities. :D

Beviking
31st Jan 2006, 07:01 AM
I believe you are on your way to having your own shrimp factory :D

-Be

esarkipato
2nd Feb 2006, 04:24 AM
Thanks, beviking I really hope so!

But now I've got another problem :(

My heater just broke, and the tank sits in a very drafty part of the house (in michigan). So I came home to a tank at 69 degrees!!!!!!!

I'm getting a new heater, 50 watts okay? Also, how fast can I raise the temps back up?

No deaths as of yet . . . I think.

Beviking
2nd Feb 2006, 05:29 AM
Don't worry about it. They would be fine at your house temperature. They wouldn't reproduce and produce offspring as often, but they would be o.k.
10 degrees over 24 hours should be no problem for them. Try a "click" on the heater every 2 to 3 hours.
Don't worry, they'll be fine :cool:

-Be

esarkipato
2nd Feb 2006, 07:23 PM
Okay, thanks 4 the reassurance B.

I went and picked up a new heater . . . . and got some ghost shrimp. I added about 5 to my cherry tank . . . . these won't interbreed, will they?

Beviking
2nd Feb 2006, 08:21 PM
I've never kept ghost shrimp. I have heard that they can be predatory. I hope for your Cherry Shrimps sake the predation isn't aimed at them :shocked: !

-Be

acbaldwin
2nd Feb 2006, 11:56 PM
The ghosts and the cherries shouldn't interbreed, and as long as the shrimp are fed well, there shouldn't be any predation. At high temps (78+) the ghosts tend to get more aggressive than usual, but lowering the temp back down remedies that problem.

esarkipato
13th Feb 2006, 10:15 PM
Great updates:

Cherries and Ghosts are getting along fine. No real aggression noted, the cherries seem to avoid most/any contact with the ghosts.

Several of the cherries are REALLY starting to color up. They are getting *uber* red, which is a real nice sign.

Last but not least, I've got eggs! One of the females is carrying eggs, no doubt about it. I only regret I didn't see them in the making ;)

Hopefully I don't see a hybrid ghost/cherry litter of shrimps!

Beviking
14th Feb 2006, 02:03 AM
Great to hear all is well esarkipato. The ghosts and cherries can't interbreed. Not sure if you saw this thread...
http://www.shrimpnow.com/forums/showthread.php?t=640&page=1&pp=10

...there's a couple comments about shrimp eating shrimp you might be interested in. Makes me think of that guy that was living with the kodiak bears... :undecided

-Be

esarkipato
27th Feb 2006, 10:23 PM
Well that cherry moma is still carrying eggs!!!! She is huge, I'd expect them to pop out any time now . . . .

-is that a normal gestation period for a female cherry?
-can I expect some problems from the ghost/glass shrimp eating the baby cherries?
-Also, several of the cherries are still not 'red', they are still quite pale. Shouldn't they be coloring up by now?
-Last, when I feed flakes/sinking pellets/peas/soy beans the ghost shrimp bolt for it, but the cherries don't seem to care. They must be getting enough food . . . but should they be accepting the food I put in there?

thanks for all the help thus far, the shrimp tank is turning out to be one of my favorites in the house :)

acbaldwin
28th Feb 2006, 12:33 AM
Well that cherry moma is still carrying eggs!!!! She is huge, I'd expect them to pop out any time now . . . .

-is that a normal gestation period for a female cherry?
-can I expect some problems from the ghost/glass shrimp eating the baby cherries?
-Also, several of the cherries are still not 'red', they are still quite pale. Shouldn't they be coloring up by now?
-Last, when I feed flakes/sinking pellets/peas/soy beans the ghost shrimp bolt for it, but the cherries don't seem to care. They must be getting enough food . . . but should they be accepting the food I put in there?

thanks for all the help thus far, the shrimp tank is turning out to be one of my favorites in the house :)
-I believe cherries hold their eggs for around 20-30 days :huh: .
-Ghost shrimp should not munch on your baby cherries. Even if they did, you wouldn't notice much of a loss, there will be "several" babies. "several" as in a whole freaking lot.
-SOme of your cherries may stay pale. Factors for this are diet, age (older=redder), genetics, and stress. If all of your shrimp seem pretty pale, then the tank is probably pretty tough on them. On the other hand, if they are bloodred, they are probably pretty happy. This rule generally applies to fish as well (not the bloodred part :D).
-Whenever I feed my big tank, the ghosts always swim up and take some food before it hits the ground. My cherries have NEVER actively gone after a piece of food. I think ghosts are a bit more aggressive in their nomal feeding habits, while cherries graze 24/7, like little red cows. That is why fine-leaved plants like java moss are beneficial to most shrimp (they capture small food particles for the shrimp to graze on).
I've seen pictures of people's shrimp breeding tanks where the shrimp are swarming over the food, but my cherries have yet to do anything like that. :rolleyes:

esarkipato
28th Feb 2006, 01:54 AM
Wow, thanks acbaldwin for the quick and thorough response! I'll be waiting for those eggs to drop any time now then.

So I am now concerned that my tank does not make the cherries very happy! I would suspect this is the cause of the pale color, just to be on the safe side. parameters:

pH ~7.8
kH 4
GH 15
temp 75
nitrates <10 (i think, I'll need to test that one)


Anything look out of order?

oh, I do have white sand, so I realize that will make them look less red. But even against dark wood they are pale!

acbaldwin
28th Feb 2006, 02:30 AM
pH- Most people prefer to have a lower pH (6.2-6.8?) in their shrimp tanks. I do not alter my pH in my big tank, which is around 7.4-7.8. I just started adding CO2, which lowers the pH by about a point in my case. Shrimp are still good.
kH- I haven't checked my kH or gH lately in my big tank, but I imagine it is around 6-7.
gH- Don't have exact readings, but from what I remember it was quite hard (according to the test kit's standards)
temp- Most shrimp keepers prefer lower tropical temps (69-73). I do not heat or chill any of my tanks, they are usually 70-78 throughout the year, averaging about 73-74. No complaints from me or the critters.
Nitrates- According to one kit my NO3 is at 120ppm, and according to another I'm right around 20-30ppm. A little higher than I would like, but my tank does not seem stressed and everything is working well.
I'm assuming NO2/Ammonia are at 0.

Your pH could probably be a little lower, kH/gH I'm not really sure about.
What percentage of your shrimp would you consider pale? How long has the tank been established?
Feeding is a big factor on color. Regular flakes I wouldn't expect too much out of.
HBH crab & lobster bites and TetraMin Tropical Crisps are both great foods. The tropical crisps are devoured by my fish/shrimp, are not messy, and sink at the perfect rate. They bring out the reds/oranges in my livestock quite well. I feed twice a day on all of my tanks. The crab bites are good for the shrimp, and sink straight to the bottom. They do not cloud the water, and my ghosts love them. I sprinkle a little (it goes a long way with cherries) about once or twice a week to supplement the crisps.
Do you have fish in your shrimp tank?

esarkipato
28th Feb 2006, 03:11 AM
Hmm interesting info on the parameters, sounds like they can thrive in most any conditions!

My tank has been set up for six weeks. There are NO fish in there, yet. Still debating on that one, maybe an oto or two. I'd estimate 80% shrimp are pale, but I only received 10 of them in the mail. One or several have the stripe running down their back, so I guess these are males.

Honestly, I don't feed them very often. I usually put enough food in there untill the ghosts are occupied, and the cherries just graze any algae I put in there. I kind of wonder if they would ever get ANY flake food I put in there, the ghosts are such hogs!

acbaldwin
28th Feb 2006, 04:16 AM
How big is the tank? A lot of plants?
The females are usually pretty easy to determine. I don't know about the stripe, but if you look on your female with eggs, you'll see that the shell areound her eggs/back legs curves down a little, in order to protect any eggs. That's how I tell.
If you go with otos, plan on a small school. Also plan on feedng them supplemental foods after the algae runs out. I only saw mine eat diatoms (brown algae), I don't know about anything else.
IME shrimp that feed only on algae don't get much color. Thos that are supplemented with the crisps and other similar foods have quite a bit more color.

retardo
28th Feb 2006, 01:43 PM
Hmm interesting info on the parameters, sounds like they can thrive in most any conditions!

This is true. If your provide stable conditions that the shrimp like they will thrive.


One or several have the stripe running down their back, so I guess these are males.

Females may exhibit the stripe also, so this is not a good way to distinguish them. The females do have a tendency to exhibit brighter colors than the male. The females can also be distinguished by the yellow saddle right around the "neck".

Beviking
7th Mar 2006, 03:10 AM
I started out feeding my cherries only flakes/granules (Tetramin brand) primarily with occassional veggies and they were always redder than red. Given your other thread about the Ghost snacking on the dead Cherry, I'd up your feed. It may help with the Cherry's color, although the light gravel doesn't help.
Best of luck!

-Be

esarkipato
11th Mar 2006, 10:34 AM
Well I guess I must be doing something right, cause there are most definitely cherry babies in there! I really just noticed them today . . . and another of hte mommas is preggo. So let that be a lesson: any noob can/should try keeping and breeding these shrimp!

So I feed spirulina flakes, and I figure of all flake food they should really love this stuff. But it seems to just sit there at the bottom of the tank on the sand, I just see them swim right over it. Oh well, they probably eat it eventually, and like I said, I must be doing something right (or at least not everything wrong ;) ).