Shrimp Care Guide
DanQuatics BASIC SHRIMP CARE GUIDE FOR: Caridina Cantonensis
(this guide can also apply to Neocaridina but with their parameters in mind* i.e. non-buffering substrate and hard water.)
-Starting checklist, You will require:
- An accurate TDS meter, Master freshwater aquarium test kit (*Rubber gloves for handling caustic chemicals.) a 3D shrimp net.(It is good to separate equipment used in each tank to avoid cross contamination.)
- An aquarium with buffering substrate that buffers to around 5.5-6.5 pH we use ADA Amazonia and its "Light" counterpart (Used when you do not have many plants; does not leach as much nutrients into the water compared to regular ADA.).
- Air and Filtration, we use sponge filters which is a combination of both but lacks carbon.(Here is a video on that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tBDMugYCZ0)
- Leaf Litter and Wood are great for hiding places, biofilm, pH buffering, and also provide a constant food source over a long period, we use a combination of Indian Almond leaves, Alder cones, Cholla wood, and Mulberry leaves. CAUTION: NOT ALL WOOD OR LEAVES ARE SAFE FOR USE IN AQUARIUMS - READ HERE http://injaf.org/articles-guides/general-guides/guide-to-aquarium-wood/ also https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/what-kind-of-leaves-besides-almond-are-safe-to-use-in-fw-tanks.155732/ be sure that you are using all organic pesticide free material because shrimp are very sensitive to chemicals in the water column.
- Reverse Osmosis water with a TDS around 2-4 ppm and a pH of around 5-5.5.
- Remineralizer suited for your species. In this case we use Salty Shrimp Bee GH+ for Caridina.(http://www.theshrimptank.com/water-conditioners/salty-shrimp-bee-shrimp-gh/)
- Calcium Bentonite clay(Calcium Montmorillonite) "Cleans the water of fats and oils, provides an array of health benefits(Improved color, Healthier skin, scales and skeletal system, Improved immunity, including disease & parasite resistance,Increased egg production, Less deformities, Increased fry survival rate, Enhanced growth rates, Larger fish, Stronger and larger fins with improved resistance to splitting, Increased lifespan, also Improved digestion, nutrient absorption,Organs are protected from heavy metal damage, protection from Mycotoxin and other toxins, support of intestinal microflora, anti-bacterial activity in vivo, Larger fish when Montmorillonite Clay is supplemented, even when fed less food, A study by the Yobe State Aquaculture college concluded that Montmorillonite clay can completely replace a mineral/vitamin premix in catfish fingerling diets with no adverse effect on growth. The substitution also improved skin quality of the test subjects after only three weeks of feeding."(https://allnaturalpetcare.com/blog/2013/03/31/significant-benefits-of-montmorillonite-clay-for-pond-and-aquarium-fish/)
- Plants and Mosses generate Oxygen and consume the CO2 and Ammonia in your water column. They also look spectacular and are a great way to provide a comfortable environment for your shrimp to hide and to reproduce, they can be tied to sunken Cholla wood using clear fishing line to provide an anchor for the plants or mosses.
- Beneficial bacteria*- To supplement water after water changes or after completing a treatment cycle with antibiotics, we use a combination of Mosura BT9, and after Bacter AE to feed the bacteria.
- Adequate lighting - To promote a healthy ecosystem as well as support algae, biofilm, and bacteria which improve the health, longevity, and color of your shrimp.
- A varied diet - It is important to feed a mix of foods that vary in nutrient content to keep your shrimp healthy. One example is to regulate the amount of protein in the diet to prevent failed molts.
Aquarium setup- You will set up your aquarium by adding your chosen soil as the base, At this point you could do the "dry start" method shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHuyg0unl1c
or if not go ahead and scape your tank, add water slowly and begin the Nitrogen cycle. CAUTION: NOT ALL ROCKS ARE SAFE FOR USE IN AQUARIUMS. READ HERE: http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/wiki/Using_Stones_in_an_Aquarium
You will begin by setting up your aquarium and letting it cycle there are many videos available on Youtube on this subject such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rnnuy-f_r6E
After Cycling- Test your water and add your minerals to the needed parameters, give it time to diffuse to insure an accurate reading.
Acclimating- When parameters are correct its time to introduce your shrimp to their new tank. When introducing shrimp into a new environment it is good to acclimate them to these new water parameters at a slow, consistent rate to reduce the shock and stress of the move, this is achieved via drip acclimation(Heres a video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=26&v=FRwhTeUgRV0) or slowly adding water manually from the new environment to a separate container until the water parameters from which they came and from which they are going are the same or near the same.
Feeding-Surely your new shrimp are hungry after their journey, remember to only feed as much as you need or slightly less to avoid water quality problems that lead to many negative things such as Hair algae and Seed shrimp. It is good to keep an area of your tank designated as the "feeding" area where you can easily access and clean with a suction tool.
Water Changes- CAUTION: When changing water it is important not to"break" the Nitrogen cycle of your tank by removing too much water too frequently, this is bad and will cause a spike in ammonia and bacteria POSSIBLY KILLING SOME OF YOUR SHRIMP. Be sure to test your tank when needed to asses the changes over time that occur in your environment.
Lighting- Maintain a proper lighting (and water change) schedule to avoid problems such as hair algae or green water.
Water Flow: It is good to maintain the circulation of water around your tank especially when using sponge filters. Sponge filters tend to get clogged and require you to manually "squeeze" them out when they get clogged.
Temperature: I suggest keeping your colony at room temperature, as heaters can become faulty KILLING ALL YOUR SHRIMP AND POTENTIALLY YOU if not connected to a GFCI outlet.
Quarantine: Essential for preventing unknown disease and parasites from entering your colony.(Video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEtAbODT9Bo)