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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Default Red Cherry Shrimp mesocosm?


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all,
    Not sure if this is a right place to ask but as part of a school practical, I have to set up three mesocosms (closed, self-sustaining ecosystems) for three weeks. I decided to go with an aquatic one - the first one without RCS, the second one with 1 RCS and the third one with 3 RCS.

    My three jars are 1.1L and I bought some bacopa monnieri to plant in the coarse sand substrate my teacher gave me. I also ordered some marimo moss balls and I will put one in each jar. The idea is that the shrimp will provide the CO2 for the plants and they will provide it with O2. The shrimp's food source will be algae (which will grow in any tank) and the plants will filter the ammonia and nitrates produced.

    Right now I've filled all jars with filtered tap water (it removes the impurities but still has minerals in it, so it's not distilled water) and placed them outside to sit for a day or two. Then I'm planning to plant the bacopa and placing the moss balls, adding a water conditioner called 'quick start' and let that sit for another day before attempting to add shrimp.

    I'm not sure if I need to find some sort of way to warm up the water to approx 25 degrees for the shrimp. I'm putting the jars under indirect sunlight so will that be enough?

    Is this setup enough for a self-sustaining system for three weeks? I read that I don't need a oxygen pump because it is a planted tank but I'm worried that something will happen to the shrimp.

    Because before the experiment, I bought 5 RCS and put them in a 3L fish tank with the bacopa (because my moss balls haven't arrived yet), but they literally died on the first day :(

    I asked the seller and we came up with several theories
    1. I used distilled water
    2. I didn't let the water warm up (the water was too cold)
    3. I didn't add water conditioner (my teacher told me distilled water will be fine grr)
    4. I didn't wash the bacopa and they may have had traces of fertilizer on them, which may have contained copper

    I'm trying to fix everything that happened before with my second trial. Is there anything I missed or can anyone give me some tips before I try again?

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the AC

    The distilled water hardness was much too different than the hardness of the water that the RCS were raised in, is my guess
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  3. #3

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    1 Not allowed!
    If you will be using filtered water, you need to start measuring the GH, KH, and TDS. It wouldn't hurt to get a Calcium and Magnesium test kit as well. You need to measure the water that they shrimp came in and compare it with the water in the ecosystem.

    I've known folks who keep RCS at 68F (20C) for certain months of the year with no problems.

  4. #4

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    I'm guessing the deaths of the first batch were due to not acclimating to the distilled and cold water. That can be a big shock on their systems if the parameters of their original water and your water were vastly different.

    I would add something to the jars to provide water movement. Without movement the system will become stagnant. Nutrients won't be delivered to the plants and oxygen won't be delivered to the shrimp.

    If you head over to Walmart you can go to their fish section and grab the smallest/cheapest air pump they have, some air line tubing, and two T-connectors so that you can run the air line to all three jars. The bubbling action from the tubing in each jar will provide the water movement needed.

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    And yes, Rocksor is correct. RCS do not require high temperatures to survive. They can be kept without issues even below 20*C. Stability is more important than hitting a specific target. I would personally avoid placing the jars in a location in which the temperature fluctuates wildly. Placing them in indirect sunlight may cause the water to warm up quite a bit during the day but then drop in the evening when the sun goes down. RCS are fairly hardy shrimp and can tolerate a wide range of parameters, but anything you can do to keep their environment stable will make them more comfortable.

    I'd love to see photos of your setup :)

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by BluewaterBoof View Post
    I'd love to see photos of your setup :)
    That would be cool, I'd love to see'em.

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