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Amano shrimp
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Zelgadis
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Joined: 19 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2010.12.19(Sun)20:27    Post subject: Amano shrimp Reply with quote

I was thinking about adding some to my tank(14 gallon) but I wanted to know if they would be a good addition and how long I should wait before adding any.

The tank is in it's second week. I'm new. I've made mistakes; lost fish. Through a string of bad choices and bad luck, I've found myself with a fish population of 1 adult male platy and over a dozen baby platys(around two or three days old now). Obviously, I'm going to have to wait until the frys either grow up or die before I add anymore fish. Their fate is rather uncertain being that the tank is a bit unstable right now and I apparently suck at this. The adult platy hasn't been eating much(he's been acting sick since I got him but outlived three more lively and healthy acting fish) and I haven't noticed any of the frys going missing. However, the water is probably the biggest threat. The water has a pH between 7.4 and 7.6(tap water that I'm very slowly replacing with bottled spring water). The temperature is around 75F but fluctuates because it's a little too close to the door. I also salted the water for the platys. I'm trying to keep the ammonia safe with regular doses of Prime. The frys have some java moss to hide in that has been tied to some wood. My other plants are a bunch of what is supposed to be foxtail, a bunch of common water weed and a java fern. I plan to add some water sprite to the tank as soon as I find some.

As far as future fish, I'll probably add three upside-down catfish once the fate of the frys has been determined and the water is finally stable.

So, knowing all this, would adding amano shrimp to help on clean up be a good or bad idea? Also, would it be better to wait until the frys grow up to get the shrimp or is it safe to get them now? I'm still not sure the shrimp would even survive in my tank water.

Also, any general advice on preventing more fish from dying would be nice. I realize I added fish too soon and that I need more plants. I can't undo what has been done but I am interested in preventing more mistakes.

My overall aim is to have the tank be as self-sufficient and green (from plants, not algae) as possible. The idea is to have plenty of plants and have the amano and the catfish on clean up duty. I'm also debating adding an oto catfish but 7 fish(3 platys, 3 upside-down catfish, 1oto) + 3 shrimp is probably too many for 14 gallons. I also considered adding snails but they tend to reproduce so much that I'm not sure I want to deal with that. I'm mostly having a hard time deciding who will be on my cleanup crew. I find myself wishing I had a bigger tank.

Thanks ahead of time for any advice. Smile
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2010.12.20(Mon)2:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't keep upside down catfish in a 14 gallon tank. They grow to over 4" total length and one of mine tops 5" and is of the smallest species.

Forget changing the pH it is fine for platies.

What you need to be doing are lots of water changes as the nitrites will be present and these are more toxic than ammonia. They affect the blood's capacity to carry oxygen and gasping or rapid gill movements are signs.

Don't bother with bottled water but change a bucket a day adding just enough Prime for the bucket to the new water before adding to the tank.

What salt did you add and how much?

Salt is added to help fish through the effects of nitrite poisoning but too much has an adverse effect.

Liquid test kits for ammonia, nitrite & nitrate would be a good investment.
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Zelgadis
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Joined: 19 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2010.12.20(Mon)16:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added aquarium salt(I know, it's just normal sea salt) and followed the directions. I only added it right before I added the platys.

I have a full set of liquid test kits and the nitrite and nitrate levels have been zero, so far. The only thing that spiked was the ammonia and I'm iffy about whether that really spiked because Prime can give false positives. I still did water changes anyways.

No answers on whether the amano shrimp would be OK for the tank?

If my tank is too small for upside-down catfish, how many of which fish should be on my cleanup crew? Would having a single oto be alright?

Thanks for the advice.

I forgot to mention, the reason I've been using bottled water has more to do with the fact I just don't trust the tap water. We have a smaller 2 gallon tank that we used bottled water in from the beginning and none of the fish in that tank have died yet and the tank has been running a day longer than the 14 gallon. I only filled the 14 gallon with tap water because I was being cheap and didn't think it would kill the fish.
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2010.12.20(Mon)22:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you didn't cycle the tank, then the ammonia did spike as the beginning part of the cycle. Until both ammonia and nitrites are at zero, you should be doing daily water changes.

Why don't you trust your tap water? Your tap water probably isn't killing the fish, the ammonia levels are.

What kinds of fish do you have in the 2 gallon tank? Not very many fish are happy in such a tiny tank, and it is very likely that you have it overstocked, which will lead to problems later on.

Do some reading on the nitrogen cycle before you worry too much about which fish you're going to add from here. It'll be several weeks before your cycle is complete, and its best if you don't add any fish until it is done.

Amano shrimp will probably be fine, but they need a cycled tank.
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Zelgadis
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Joined: 19 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2010.12.21(Tue)2:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ammonia level only spiked once as far as I can tell. I know that the day the catfish died the ammonia read 1.0ppm. I did daily water changes after that to get it back down to 0.5ppm and it seems to be stable. It hasn't gone up or down since then. I'm continuing with the water changes which have been around 2-2.5 gallons each time. Nitrites and Nitrates have been steady zero since day one.

Well, the tap water comes from a community water service that doesn't have a very good reputation and they apparently have problems keeping the water clean. I've seen more than a few don't drink the water warnings in the few years I've lived here. I figure if it isn't something I would drink then it's probably not so good for fish either.

There's a betta and two guppies in the 2 gallon. The common water weed bunch that was in it is nearly dead so I swapped it with my java fern(I'm hoping the java fern will handle the poor light in the tank). I've lost plenty of fish in my 14 gallon but I haven't lost any plants, so far. It's hard to keep plants alive in the 2 gallon because I can't keep the light on for too long or the water gets hot. Temperature control and lighting are proving to be a problem for the 2 gallon. So far, the fish seem fine though.

I did research the nitrogen cycle. It's why I've been using Prime and keep trying to get more plants for the 14g tank. Unfortunately, some of my research came too late. I'm kind of at a loss for where my tank is in the cycle because the nitrites and nitrates have been absolute zero the entire time.

Yeah, I'll try to wait until the water is safe but I'm not really sure how long that will be. I'm also still unsure of what to add to the tank to help the shrimp with cleanup duty. I'm still considering the oto catfish but I read they prefer being in groups and that one would be more than enough for my tank. I considered the Malaysian Trumpet Snail but I'm not sure I want to deal with how fast they breed. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. My general plan is 3 fish(currently platys) and then a bunch of plants and a cleanup crew in the tank. I like how the shrimp will clean up most algae and even dead plants. I'm just not sure what, if anything, would go well with them.

I already have all the plants I intend to get. I added three bunches of water sprite earlier today. I've also got some Flourish Excel that I'm going to use in 1ml doses every other day to give the plants a boost.

Thanks for answering my question about the shrimp.

Oh, one last thing, the day I made this thread I read the article on silent cycling. I couldn't help thinking how that article would have really helped, if I had read it when I first got the tank.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2010.12.21(Tue)3:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

You already have a Betta & guppies to move across the the 14 gallon. 2 gallons would be OK for some shrimp.
The nitrite spike is about to occur. When you test shake the kits three times as long as you have been doing.

Tropical tanks don't need a "clean up crew" but nerite snails are about the best algae eaters for small tanks.
Shrimp would be OK once the tank is stable ( but FYI Synodontis catfish eat crustaceans.) but you need to remove dying plant matter rather than leaving it to the shrimp.
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2010.12.21(Tue)11:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with diademhill, the 2 gallon is too small for the fish you have in it. Even a betta needs a 5 gallon tank at minimum, 10 gallons is better. 2 gallon tanks work best for shrimp. Are you checking the levels of that tank, too?

Java fern handles poor lighting pretty well. Smile

As for how long it'll be before the cycle is finished; its hard to say. I do fishless cycles, and my shortest one was 4 weeks, the last one I did took about 6.5 weeks. That was with zero water changes. It'll probably take much longer for your tank with the fish, because doing daily water changes is their best shot at living through it, and the water changes add time onto the cycle.

Adding plants could help, but if you know somebody with an established tank (or see if your local pet store will give you some), adding some filter media or some filter media squeezings from them will help immensely, and cut down on the cycle period by quite a bit.

For cleanup duty - don't expect your fish/shrimp to do it all alone. You'll still need to do weekly water changes and trimming the plants of dead and overgrown stuff. I wipe algae off the tank walls during every water change, even though my plecos get most of it.

And yes -- if your tap water isn't something you would drink, you shouldn't put your fish in it either. Smile
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Zelgadis
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Joined: 19 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2010.12.21(Tue)18:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think the Betta and guppies would survive in the 14g tank the way it is?

I wasn't planning to stop testing the water or the water changes but I probably have to go out of town this weekend(holidays) and I'm worried about trusting the tank to just having the light timer and a time release food pyramid. Obviously, I won't be able to monitor the water or do any changes while I'm gone.

I didn't realize the catfish would eat the shrimp. I had read up on both but saw nothing mentioning that. Thanks for letting me know before I tried to mix them.

I'm not planning to leave all the work up to the inhabitants. I just wanted to have animals in there that can help out. I'd prefer the tank to be as low maintenance as possible but I'm still going to clean up whatever the animals don't.

If I take the fish that are currently in the 2g and put them in the 14g, I might just stop using the 2g or use it as a place to put fish before putting them into the 14g.

I'm not the one responsible for the 2g tank but I have been somewhat monitoring it anyways because my sister is rather irresponsible when it comes to pets. I don't want her fish to suffer for her mistakes.

My main concern with the java fern is that it showed signs of being over exposed to light when I bought it. The larger leaves looked somewhat burned and dead but it still has some healthy looking small leaves.

The 2g is not salted and has a neutral pH. I'm worried that transferring the fish over might kill them. I also worry that they'd eat the baby fish. I would like to keep at least a couple of the babies after they grow up, if they make it. Their fins are starting to show a little black in them now and they've got a bit more orange too.

I don't know anyone with an established tank but I did notice what looks like something growing on the top of the filter pad. Also, the tank is rather full with plants now but a lot of the plants where in poor shape when I got them. I want to do what I can to improve their chances but I also don't want to overdose anything by getting carried away. I'm not too keen on what I need to do for pruning, which is why I bought plants that are supposed to be very easy to grow.

I don't have to have shrimp in my cleanup crew, I just thought they would be interesting to have. I would like to have some cleanup crew though. The nerite snails sound good because of how they don't like to breed in fresh water.

Thanks for all of the advice. Smile
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Zelgadis
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Joined: 19 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2010.12.22(Wed)7:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one adult platy that's still left in my 14g is kind of freaking me out. He's been really energetic the past couple of days and today as well. I'm hoping he's this way because he finally feels happy in the tank. I haven't noticed any dead fry but I also haven't been able to count more than half a dozen since the adult stopped hiding next to the heater. I don't know if it's because they're in hiding or if the adult ate half of them(they are in hiding though). For now, I'm going to take it as a sign that the fish are doing OK and hope I'm not screwing things up too badly.

The 2g tank isn't doing as well though. I found one of the guppies fertilizing one of the plants with its body. Sad

Speaking of my sister being irresponsible, I'm pretty sure it died because no one remembered to turn the light on last night. We've been controlling the temperature by leaving the light on at night and off at day.

I'm not confident that the guppy and betta will last much longer. In fact, I have no idea how they're going to survive in that tank while we leave for the weekend since our only choice is to leave the light on 24/7 or off 24/7 during that whole weekend. I'm pretty sure either of those choices will result in dead fish and possibly dead plants. I can't really use a timer for the light because the filter is connected to the same power cord.

Anyone have suggestions on how to save the fish in the 2g? I'm pretty sure that they'll both be dead by New Year's day, if I leave it up to my sister.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2010.12.22(Wed)8:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Putting the fish from the two gallon in the larger tank will give them the best chance.

It is irresponsible of everyone concerned to buy animals without appropriate housing.
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