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Ghost Shrimp


devilduck

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I've been investigating ghost shrimp and can't find much on their space requirements. One site says 1 inch per shrimp, one says tank size 5 gallons but doesn't say how many shrimp can go in this space. I have two 5 gallon tanks, one for my minnows and one spare. I want to know if I can set up a small ghost shrimp tank in one of them. One is wide and low and the other is tall and high. If I had lots of high plants in the narrow tall one would it be ok for shrimp or do they like lots of ground to run on? I would like maybe three or four (assuming I can find any in my LFSs!).

The other thing is salt requirements? Some say 1% salt, some say 'brackish' whatever that means and most say salt is not required for the baby stage - implying it is for the adult stage? Can someone clear this up for me?

I will not be looking until after Christmas at the EARLIEST, possibly not even until I go back to uni next September. The tank will be cycled and this brings me to another question - how much current/filtration do they need/like? I tend to run my filters on high with having goldfish and the minnows don't mind, but what are shrimps like with current? With enough plants/pots/etc to deaden it would it not matter?

Temp requirements - they seem to be fine in the room temp of my tanks anyway, but how big a temp fluctuation can they take? My tanks are usually pretty stable but they're cold so how necessary would a small heater be?

Water changes! - How much and how often?!

Sorry to bombard with questions but I really don't want to get my heart set on them and then find that I really don't have the resources/money to set them up properly. I'm looking at getting a bigger tank for my goldies so I would potentially have a spare 24 gallon, but I don't have space for two big tank setups so the 5 gallon is about as big as I can go right now. I also don't want to do the same thing I did with goldies and get some and lose them because I didn't do enough research into their requirements.

Thanking y'all in advance!

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Hi Sarah,

The first thing to note is shrimps do not poop a lot as most invertebrates such as snails would so a 5g will fit about 10-15 ghost shrimps and more actually with just a sponge filter operated alone although a heavily planted tank will still manage to put the water conditions under control. Smaller shrimps can go with 10 shrimps per gallon guideline.

Secondly, there are several species of shrimps labeled as "ghost shrimp". I hope you already realize this one because many false ghost shrimps are predatory by nature and may attack even each other if given the opportunity. True ghost shrimps are totally harmless but a lot can attack small fish and even snails especially those with long thin claws.

As far as adults are concerned, they should be fine with total freshwater. Breeding though and the larval stages may require saline water but you do not have to worry about the adults. Amano shrimps also breed in brackish water but the adults are fine in freshwater.

These are relatively undemanding creatures. Temperature can be 74-84 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Oooo 10-15 shrimpys! Critter heaven YAY! :D I don't think I'd need 10 per gallon, 10 per tank is fine, the tank's not that big!!!

I will print many pics of ghost shrimp from the most reliable websites I can find and take them with me before I go to find my shrimps so I can examine them in their shop tank! rofl3.gif I hadn't really thought about it but it happens all the time with goldfish and most of them are pretty obviously not what they're labelled, must be harder with shrimp, I know I was reading something a while ago on here where someone got 'glass shrimp' and one turned out to be a bamboo and another something else, they both got to over 3 inches each.

I'm not intending to keep them with other fish so as long as I can get some that aren't aggressive to each other they should be fine :)

I would like some bigger shrimp, cherry reds or something (I'm going to go and investigate what an amano is in a minute fbottom.gif ) but thought I'd start 'simple', what's the spacing for the bigger shrimp like? Could I have 2-3 cherry reds if I can find them in a 5 gallon instead?

I wonder if I could persuade work to let me have my shrimp tank on my desk...I'm running out of space at home, I must expand!!!

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You can start with cherry reds or amanos. Cherry reds are smaller and easier to breed. Crystal reds on the other hand are very sensitive so I would not suggest starting with them and they require much softer water than cherry reds that do fine with hard alkaline water. Start with 6-8 cherries and they'll breed quickly in no time.:) Don't overfeed! Overfeeding is often the top cause of shrimp deaths.

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Squeee I'm all excited about shrimp now, I can get them easy on ebay with next day courier delivery with heat pad and polystyrene box, I could have them by the weekend! But my bank account hates me already for spending so much on my fish, I'd need to buy another heater too and I think my mum would actually kill me if I got another tank to take home. I'm taking the spare 5 gallon just incase I see a take-me-home-now fish in Guildford, but I want a big one so maybe 5 gallons won't be big enough and I can get my shrimpeys... At this rate I will be going home with 3 fish tanks, (one 20 gallon storage box and two 5 gallon tanks, potentially a 10 gallon storage box QT tank) and three hamster cages (one 15 gallon storage box the dwarfs live in and Diggers has a cage and a storage box stuck together), I don't know WHERE everything is going to go in my house...maybe the two 5 gallons can go in my bedroom and the 20 can go in the conservatory, the hamsters can go on a table in the corner of the dining room...

I WANT SHRIMPS NOW PLEASE! :D :D :Drofl3.gif

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Commonly available shrimps like ghost shrimps, cherry shrimps and amano shrimps actually come from temperate regions and don't require heaters in their tank. In fact, crystal red shrimp actually die if they are kept in warm water. As long as your shrimp tank water stays more or less room temperature, it should be fine.

This, of course, does not apply to the rarer tropical shrimps such as those exotic new species that come from Sumatra or the giant bamboo shrimp Atyopsis moluccensis. But I don't think you'll come across those anyway.

Edited by Man Yu
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:o This means I can get them and not have to buy a heater??? Yay love! :bighug Do they need real plants? I'm awful at keeping them alive...would I be ok with a sand/small gravel substrate, some plastic/silk plants and some moss balls? (I can do moss balls!!!)
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Given that the shrimp species you plan to keep are general omnivores, plants are not required. They'll prefer fish food anyway (although you must never, ever overfeed as Ammonia is the number 1 killer of any shrimp species)

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My tapwater has 0.25ppm ammonia in it...if I leave it out for 24 hours will the ammonia break down? I'm sure I read somewhere that is does... My goldie tank cycle is only just sorting itself out to the stage it can deal with the tap water so once the ich has gone from there I can seed a filter from there, but there'd be an initial ammonia level every time I changed the tap water. I have ammo-lock but it's no good with a filter, if I added it 24 hours before adding the water to the tank would the ammo lock have gone so the filter only has to deal with the shrimp ammonia and the ammo-lock doesn't steal it?

Alternatively, could I get bottled water from springs and get some Buff-it-up or whatever it is people use with RO water?

Thanks guys, if I'm gonna do this I want to do it RIGHT first time rather than spending a fortune and many shrimpy lives trying to sort it out as I go.

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Another question occurs to me to pester with - calcium for shells, I have read that some people add calcium to their shrimp tanks but when I looked at getting some for my snail it was pretty expensive so I got a cuttlebone for him instead, would it be possible for me to cut my current cuttlebone in half and the shrimp can have that? Would that be enough or does it need to be in the water?

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I've never supplied my shrimps calcium.lol But my water is hard and alkaline to begin with anyway.:P The only babies I supplied with calcium to keep their cute shells glossy are the snails via Caltrate and plaster of Paris pucks.:D

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Unlike snails which do require a source of calcium carbonate in the water or in their food, Shrimp don't use calcium carbonate for the growth of their exoskeleton... it's made entirely of chitin, a carbohydrate polymer (think of it as a sort of "natural plastic"). They could obtain the necessary ingredients entirely from their food, as well as from eating their exoskeletons after molting.

So, thus, shrimp are able to thrive in naturally soft water unlike snails.

As for your question about ammonia breaking down after 24 hours, I think you're actually thinking of chlorine, not ammonia. However, as many water companies dose their water supply with chloramine instead (which is a compound of ammonia and chlorine which does not evaporate as easily as pure chlorine), adding dechlorinator simply releases free ammonia, which would then have to be fixed with a neutralizer.

You're from the UK, right? Is there no way for you to collect rainwater? Or as an alternative, you could use bottled distilled water/mineral water which you could mix with your tapwater in a 7:3 ratio. But then again, please check that your water does not pass through any copper piping or receptacle as this will render your tapwater instantly lethal to any crustacean or mollusk. If that is the case, you could get by with using pure bottled water. Shrimps don't produce an awful lot of metabolic waste anyway, so you could get by with extremely small water changes as long as you feed sparingly.

Edited by Man Yu
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At the moment rainwater is not an option as it's decided in the one area of the country I'm in to hardly rain at all...January when I'm thinking of setting this up will probably be another story. I'd be worried about bits of dead leaf/twigs and bugs getting in it though. I'd prefer to maybe look into getting bottled water, would I need to add something to it? I think I read somewhere that bottled water is not suitable for fish because sometimes some of the minerals have been removed, does this just mean I need to make sure it says mineral water on the bottle? I'm not sure about the copper piping, my snail has been fine, does he count as a mollusk? If I use bottled water it shouldn't be a factor anyway.

Food: same as the goldies? pellets, algae wafers, veg, can they have bloodworms? You say they're omnivores, can they get their meaty protein from the pellets or do I need to give them dried bloodworm/daphnia/other? I've seen photos of shrimp eating goldie pellets and veg, but I've also seen goldies in a bowl so that doesn't necessarily mean much...

Thanks for the help and patience Man Yu and Lupin :)

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While it may not be lethal to your snail (as yet), smaller trace amounts of copper kill shrimps much more quickly. Make certain so as to avoid any regrets later, especially if you decide to splurge on other, more expensive types of shrimp.

And yes, shrimp can subsist entirely on goldfish pellets. Bloodworms or other dried live food contaminate the water more quickly as the shrimps will not find them as palatable as pellets. They crave carbohydrates, not protein (on a side note, clawed species of shrimp like Macrobrachium are highly predatory, and thus require more meaty fare).

If, as you stated, you only plan to keep a max. of four ghost shrimp in your 5 gallon, they could get by on 3-4 pieces of algae disks (such as those made by Hikari or Omega for bottom-feeding plecos) if you grind the disk down into small pepper-sized particles and feed them only a half-pinch a day, you're good and set for one whole month (thus saving your money on food and avoiding ammonia buildup as well!). And you'll only be needing to change only as little as 1 liter of their water for that month (make it a practice to make weekly changes of 1/4 liter, shrimps appreciate not having the pH of their water yo-yoing too much due to water changes... and due to the mineral-free nature of most brands of bottled water, you can reasonably expect that they'll have little pH buffering capacity... but shrimp still appreciate "old water" more than "new water" anyway).

Edited by Man Yu
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Here is an analysis of one of the mineral waters available in the UK, it's apparently completely untreated and bottled at source. I would add dechlorinator for the chlorides.

Calcium - 55mg/l

Magnesium - 19mg/l

Potassium - 1mg/l

Sodium - 24mg/l

Bicarbonate - 248mg/l

Chloride - 37mg/l

Sulphate - 13mg/l

Nitrate - <0.1mg/l

pH at source 7.4 I am intending to test the bottle I have to see what it is after being bottled, and then test again when the bottle has been open a few days.

Are any of these minerals (other than chloride) at levels dangerous to shrimp or would this water be ok for them?

I think I will have to start a pets blog and steal all your information for a shrimp care page :P I haven't found anything as useful as you two online! :D Where do you get all your information from???

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"True" Ghost shrimp are Palaemonetes paludosus. However in Asia Macrobrachium lanchesteri are often sold as Ghost shrimp. Both these shrimp produce larvae and they do not need salt.

Cherry shrimp are good beginner shrimp. It's Cherry shrimp or Red Cherry. Not Cherry red. The reason this is important is because people often abbreviate which causes confusion with Crystal red shrimp.

RCS= Red cherry shrimp

CRS= Crysal red shrimp (there's also a Crystal black, Crystal white, Crystal golden)

My shrimp tanks have barely enough gravel to cover the bottom and only a couple plastic plant with a stone base and sponge filter. I feed Omega One goldfish pellets. I just throw in one or two pellets. Be careful not to over feed. My tap water also reads 0.25ppm ammonia but it didn't seem to hurt the shrimp. The water conditioner that most shrimp keepers prefer is prime.

Although copper is toxic to shrimp having copper pipes won't make your water toxic. You should run your tap on cold and never use the hot water tap. The hot water has increased levels of copper, lead and possibly other heavy metals toxic to shrimp. Due to certain chemicals added to the hot water, the copper pipes corrode more easily and release copper directly into the water. Other chemicals are also added to the boiler which, helped by the temperature of the water, release heavy metals into the water.

I have bad water so I bought a Kold Ster-IL water filter. With this filter I can temp match my water and don't need to add a water conditioner. Cold water, water changes will kill your shrimp so you need to let the water warm up before adding it to your tank. I lost a tank of shrimp by dumping in cold water.

The best and most accurate information on shrimp can be found at www.petshrimp.com

If you decide to post there be sure to read the rules and do your research. The rules are strictly enforced.

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First off, sorry to bring up an old thread, but I have more questions :)

I don't think I have the time or the space to run another tank just for shrimp, but I am upgrading my minnows to a 10 gallon hopefully this weekend if I get the OK from an ebay seller about a tank. If I plant the tank pretty well with moss and java ferns would it be possible to keep some cherry red shrimp with my minnows? I have four white cloud mountain minnows and an apple snail. I've seen apple snails and shrimp kept together but I'm not so sure about the minnows? I read up on that petshrimp.com website and general consensus seems to be 'no fish', the only reference I could find to minnows or tetras was regarding the bigger filter shrimp like bamboo. I don't know how much of a threat minnows are...mine seem pretty mellow and very rarely go near the bottom of the tank.

My theory is a planted enough tank will give the shrimp cover and will make it harder for the minnows to eat any babies but I'm not sure whether the minnows would bother the shrimp at all? They completely ignore my snail. I don't want stressed shrimp...

I'm upgrading the filter with the tank so there'll be some current and I will not be adding anything to the tank until I know the tank is completely cycled and can deal with the ammonia from the tap water. Water changes will be just hoovering up George the snails poop, he's so messy! That should take out probably 10% of the water, is this enough for my fish while being small enough for any shrimp?

Assuming shrimp would be ok, I'm looking at doing a sand floor, is this ok with shrimp? Would it be alright with my snail?

Thank you all for your patience :)

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Sarah, I don't think your minnows would be a problem for the shrimp. I'm including a pic where you see Fern my common with his bamboo shrimp and right above is one of the two amano shrimp kept in his tank. They have all been together for the last three years. And Fern never bothers the shrimp. Oh yeah and I have two rosy danios and we all know how irritating danios can be to just about everything in a tank but they never bother the shrimp. The only thing to remember with shrimp is no ammo and very low nitrates. :)

Here is the pic: (I love my shrimp :heart The bamboo is called Gollum amd the amano is Moustique[Mosquito])

DSCF4536.jpg

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