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Self regulating shrimp tank

Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
46
Location
Norway
Is it ok to keep a shrimp tank self regulating? Or would that be borderline animal cruelty?

I mean, to not feed them any food. And just let the tank provide plant mater, alge, bacteria and other microorganisms for them so that the population self-regulates.

Asking for a friend……
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
@Maxplantinstitute I don't know if there is any such thing as a self regulating aquarium - to a certain extent perhaps, but for an extended period of time, I do not think so. The closest approach I can think of is the approach taken by D. Walstad. I would never rely on the off chance that I could reach some kind of mythical equilibrium where the only thing I essentially had to do for an extended period of time would be to top off evaporated water. Personally, it wouldn't sit well with me to have my livestock living in their own accumulated waste and toxins. Also, your friend would likely run into issues with depletion of certain minerals critical for the health of the shrimps such as Calcium, Iron, Manganese and other trace minerals (depending on the water source of course). If you have enough algae growth, of the kind the shrimps would eat, without it taking over the tank, then your friend might not have to feed the shrimps much depending on the population size etc., but I would still recommend regular maintenance. I do not have any algae to speak of in my tanks so in the tank where I keep shrimps I feed algae wafers every other day and supplement with catappa leafs (Indian almond leaves) and mineral sticks. Shrimps love it and they still munch on whatever algae they can find in the tank.
Cheers,
Michael
 
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aec34

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10 Oct 2020
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308
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Gloucestershire
There’s some recent discussion here which might be useful?
 

Maxplantinstitute

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Thread starter
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Norway
This is not a closed system. My "friend" does aprox. 70% waterchanges weekly. And the only inhabitants are a mix of different colour neocaridinas, trumpet snails and small ramshorn snails witch came with plants.
The shrimps have thrived for over a year without feeding, and spawn regularly in this planted, more or less e.i. dosed co2 injected tank
 

Aqua360

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15 Feb 2016
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paisley
A very basic answer would be, would your shrimp be likely to have better breeding rates/colouration etc with a varied, targeted diet? Yes.

If not, they'll likely still get what they need from the system, it just won't be "as good" compared to a targeted approach.

It doesn't sound like they're in mortal danger or suffering, so if ain't broke don't fix it 🤷‍♂️
 

MichaelJ

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Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
839
Location
Minnesota, USA
This is not a closed system. My "friend" does aprox. 70% waterchanges weekly. And the only inhabitants are a mix of different colour neocaridinas, trumpet snails and small ramshorn snails witch came with plants.
The shrimps have thrived for over a year without feeding, and spawn regularly in this planted, more or less e.i. dosed co2 injected tank
@Maxplantinstitute Got it - the way question was put made me think of a closed system... Anyway, sounds like the algae and plant mass are sustaining the shrimps - I suppose it works in this case if they are breeding etc.

@Aqua360 On your recommendation, I started with mineral sticks/pellets (Dennerle Shrimp King Mineral), the shrimps love them... how often do you feed them the sticks?.

Cheers,
Michael
 

Aqua360

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Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,761
Location
paisley
@Maxplantinstitute Got it - the way question was put made me think of a closed system... Anyway, sounds like the algae and plant mass are sustaining the shrimps - I suppose it works in this case if they are breeding etc.

@Aqua360 On your recommendation, I started with mineral sticks/pellets (Dennerle Shrimp King Mineral), the shrimps love them... how often do you feed them the sticks?.

Cheers,
Michael
I rotate foods everyday, or just whatever I feel like feeding that day; it's not an exact science on how much to feed them, but I try to give them enough that they can fully finish without wastage
 

MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
839
Location
Minnesota, USA
I rotate foods everyday, or just whatever I feel like feeding that day; it's not an exact science on how much to feed them, but I try to give them enough that they can fully finish without wastage
@Aqua360 Right on. Yes currently, I am feed them every other day with sticks and every other day with wafers. I am always feeding at the same spot that is easy to clean up during WC.
Cheers,
Michael
 
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