View Full Version : Shrimp Newbie

07-09-2017, 01:19 AM
Hey all!

So I am recently coming back to the aquarium scene... I had a 29g FW but had to move etc. and decided to put it away till I'm in a more permanent living situation. :D

However, I'm completely itching to at least have a small tank so I've settled on a 5 gallon tank from Marineland (https://www.amazon.com/Marineland-ML90609-Portrait-Aquarium-5-Gallon/dp/B00O8SZTKQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1499562468&sr=1-3&keywords=marineland)
I got a new lamp for live plants (got an assortment + moss), and a heater. Will also be cycling the tank as soon as it gets here. I also will be covering up the intake places with a mesh so they can't crawl in or get sucked in (any suggestions?)

Should I just use fish food to cycle or ammonia?

I am thinking about getting maybe 5-10 RCS to start off.. Does that sound good?

Anything I'm missing? Let me know of any tips!


07-09-2017, 03:32 AM
Welcome back to the hobby! That is a beautiful dog in your photo.

I'd cycle with ammonia over fish food. Have you an Ace Hardware store near you? Their brand of ammonia is known to be safe (no additives).

I'm not familiar with what your new tank intake is like. This is what I use on all my filter intakes, but I don't know if he has one that will fit your intake. http://www.hanaquatics.com/ss-filter-guard/

I'm looking forward to watching you get this tank ready for shrimp!

07-09-2017, 05:29 AM
I prefer Ammonia to cycle a tank it's much easier to control. I use the ace Ammonia, but I believe Dr Tim's and Dr Fosters and Smith both offer an additive free Ammonia also.

There's lots of ways to block an intake on a filter... I had to get inventive for mine, built in power filter on a fluval. If you have an intake tube you can cram filter floss in the end or use a prefilter to put on (similar to filter guards offered by Hahn aquatics but added benefit of more area for bb to colonize) if you don't mind the appearance.

If it works like a protein skimmer, kind of an overflow type intake... I found some sponge media (stumbled into it at my fave place way) that fit perfectly on top of my other media and blocked entry from even shrimplets. I can help you get it blocked if it's an overflow type intake it took me three different attempts to get it done :)

And you can definitely have more than 5-10 RCS to start. I'd go with at least 15 to start myself! But I'm a well researched shrimp newbie myself so I'm not sure how long 5 gallons is sufficient when they get to breeding for you! I have 13 adult RCS, ummmm a bunch of shrimplets, and 8-10 Amanos (there were more Amano (like 18-20)but as they grow large enough not to be fish food they've been moving into other tanks.

Welcome to shrimp! I've found myself very very much enjoying them since I finally caved and tried them.

07-10-2017, 02:47 AM
Thanks both of you!! I'm very excited to get this started up. I just wished the cycling didn't take so long, but I did it with my bigger tank and I know its totally worth it!

And I found some ammonia on amazon specifically for aquarium cycling oddly enough- probably too expensive but saves me a trip trying to find an Ace Hardware around my house. hehe

There's one part at the top is more of like a "blower" that circulates water so I really need to find someway to attach netting or something so little shrimp can't climb into it. Then theres a piece of the backing that has little spiral openings that wouldn't really allow a bigger shrimp to get in.. but could snatch up a tiny baby maybe? When I get the tank in I'll post a picture to describe what it looks like better, I couldn't find any pictures online.

And 10 sounds good, I didn't wanna get too many and then get overcrowded later on and not know what to do with them. haha I'm not sure what Amanos look like but I'll look them up!

07-13-2017, 06:51 PM
Is that your dog in the Avatar pic? How spoiled is he or she?

07-14-2017, 05:47 PM
Yes it is! his name is Levi, he is very spoiled but doesn't act like it. Haha

07-18-2017, 03:06 PM
Ok guys!! I finally got all my plants in. Unfortunately had to restart the cycling and I'm still waiting on Nitrites to show up.


And this is intake part of the filter(swirly looking holes). I tried to get a good picture but plants/driftwood are in the way. I'm thinking I need some sort of netting or something behind it so shrimplettes can't be sucked through..

07-18-2017, 03:14 PM
Looks good!

Yes, you will definitely need something over that filter intake

07-18-2017, 03:20 PM
Is there a sponge directly behind that, pressed up against those holes?

07-18-2017, 03:41 PM
Tough to tell online, but it looks like it so you don't need to cover that as its just for circulation-the shrimp cant really get in unless you pull the whole sponge out-they you would need to cover it.

The slits on top may be an entry point since it looks like they sit above the sponge. You can block that off by using tulle on plastic canvas-it would be like a screen you can add to the inside of the filter, just make it longer so you can slip it in front of the sponge filter.


Excuse my bad drawing, but I hope this works with my poor description to give you a cleared idea what I mean.


07-18-2017, 09:16 PM
I have a similar set up in my shrimp tank. I ended up cutting some sponge material that I made fit tightly over the sponge filter behind the overflow. So far I've had three hatches of shrimp and never lost one in the overflow.

07-24-2017, 04:24 AM
Looks like a very nice start. Keep us up updated :)

07-25-2017, 04:30 PM
Thanks for all the replies!! Especially the drawing and explanation Boundava :)
The tule idea is a good one since there is no sponge directly behind that intake.. Here's a picture that I should have provided before..
Front End- theres nothing at the bottom where the intake filter is

Back end

So the filter is at the top and theres a sponge on the back end of that piece. So what I'm thinking is maybe wrapping the tule around the bottom half, or attaching it directly behind the intake so that even if they tried they probably couldn't get past the tule.

I'm still waiting on the tank to cycle..I literally just want shrimp in there nowwww!!! I think I'm super close though, my nitrites are kinda lowering though? I tested Nitrates for the first time today and there could be some but I'm not sure, the color could of either been yellow or orange depending on the light. lol I'm not sure the exact parameters because I've never cycled a tank this small before.

07-25-2017, 04:33 PM
You want trItes to lower, then become 0, so that is good.

07-25-2017, 04:43 PM
Also here's a comedy break of my cat Lincoln trying to get into the tank (he can't really thankfully) and then being caught on camera.


07-25-2017, 04:55 PM
He's a big cat, I hope he can't push it over

07-25-2017, 08:27 PM
He's a big cat, I hope he can't push it over

No, it's a little too heavy for that. He just likes to swat the frogbit at the top around. He hates water otherwise. lol Thankfully the lid on top is heavy glass too so he can't get that either by himself, unless I'm doing something in the tank.

07-31-2017, 03:42 PM
Aright! So I went to the pet store.. picked up 6 ghost shrimp and 2 red cherries (they were sort of expensive and they didn't have very many) the ghost shrimp were 49 cents, and pretty large..
I also got a baby betta (don't hate I got it from Petco- I don't have a LFS other than chain stores around me) purpose was also to have a betta with a smaller mouth so no shrimps are eaten. So far so good and he doesn't even really bother them. The shrimp seemed more interested in following him around instead. He was the biggest of the bunch and the prettiest. :)
I read somewhere that in a smaller tank a lot of times the nitrate readings are very low or appear nonexistent due to plants? And since my aquarium is pretty heavily planted for its size I went ahead and assumed it was cycled. I didn't want to run the risk of the bacteria dying off so I went ahead and got a fish in there.
I woke up this morning with one ghost dead, but he was looking a little iffy last night and again.. only 49 cents lost... :/
Betta ate today and I think the shrimp are in good spirits. Not sure on the genders of the RCS they are pretty tiny but bright red. I'll try to get a better pic tonight.




07-31-2017, 03:47 PM
Congrats on the betta and shrimp.

Plants have nothing to do with whether or not a tank is cycled, you need to have a liquid test kit and test for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte.

07-31-2017, 03:57 PM
Congrats on the betta and shrimp.

Plants have nothing to do with whether or not a tank is cycled, you need to have a liquid test kit and test for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte.

Yes I know that, and I have a testing kit. Everything has ended up showing zero. I would add ammonia, would test and it would show up 1-2ppm right after I added. I kept it at 1-2ppm because it's a small tank. Would test next day and it would show up zero along with everything else. Had a spike in Nitrites initially but they have gone down since. I saw a tiny bit of Nitrates but it's hard to differentiate because yellow and orange are so close in hue. So I did a partial water change yesterday and added the fish/shrimp.

07-31-2017, 04:14 PM
Good...keep an eye on params for the next several days, just to be sure all is good with the new bioload

07-31-2017, 06:23 PM
Good...keep an eye on params for the next several days, just to be sure all is good with the new bioload
Will do! I'll check them when I get home tonight. Glad I didn't mess anything up. It was a little more confusing cycling this time around for some reason...:fish:

07-31-2017, 06:41 PM
Smaller tanks can actually be a little more challenging than large ones, with less water there's more room for error sometimes...you did well

I like Levi, too

07-31-2017, 07:17 PM
Smaller tanks can actually be a little more challenging than large ones, with less water there's more room for error sometimes...you did well

I like Levi, too

I'm glad it's gone smoothly, I was tired of just looking at plants. Haha
Yeah I'm starting to realize that! I do miss my bigger tank, but this one is nice and doesn't take up much room.
And thanks, he's a keeper :)

08-01-2017, 01:51 AM
So another ghost shrimp bit the dust.. I haven't really seen the beta be super aggressive, not to mention he's pretty small and those ghost shrimp are rather large. Also the two RCS in there are still alive and they are the smallest ones!
Checked my tank parameters.. Ammonia 0, nitrITES 0, NitrATEs looked maybe in between 1-5? Was a yellow-ish orange color (Using API FW kit)


08-03-2017, 10:29 PM
Congrats on your new fish and shrimp!

08-15-2017, 11:52 PM
Congrats on your new fish and shrimp!

Thank you!

Tank is still going very well, I ended up getting 8 more RCS. They hide pretty much all the time and one or two come out occassionally? My 3 ghost shrimp are always hanging out with my betta oddly enough. Lol

http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m570/kthrrs/Photo%20Aug%2015%205%2041%2018%20PM.jpg (http://s1132.photobucket.com/user/kthrrs/media/Photo%20Aug%2015%205%2041%2018%20PM.jpg.html)

http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m570/kthrrs/Photo%20Aug%2015%206%2043%2052%20PM.jpg (http://s1132.photobucket.com/user/kthrrs/media/Photo%20Aug%2015%206%2043%2052%20PM.jpg.html)
I tried to get a good picture of a RCS, but like I said.. they hide-mostly come out after lights are off.

http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m570/kthrrs/Photo%20Jul%2030%206%2030%2030%20PM%201.jpg (http://s1132.photobucket.com/user/kthrrs/media/Photo%20Jul%2030%206%2030%2030%20PM%201.jpg.html)