Shrimp feeding problems - any ideas???

Discussion in 'Inverts' started by Mr Bee, 19 Aug 2008.

  1. Mr Bee

    Mr Bee Member

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    Hi, a longish post, but please bear with me.....

    Tank is a 60L with 5 Neon & 6 Glowlight Tetras, and in the last couple of weeks have added 6 cherry shrimp. Wonderful little creatures, good to watch, but I also got them to partially help with the build up of algae on the tank decor/rocks etc.

    In just a couple of weeks, they've already done a fantastic cleaning job, and I can already see a real difference to the amount of algae on my decor. But I imagine this food supply may run out eventually.....

    So from advice from forums, and the shop I bought them from, I have a selection of frozen brine shrimp, hikari crab cuisine, and hikari algae wafers. The problem is, whenever I try and give them some of their specific shrimp food the tetras eat it all and there's none left for my shrimpies :(

    I even hid some inside a shipwreck decoration, and the tetras went inside - note, they have NEVER gone inside this ship before - can fish 'smell' food in the water, cos they seemed to go straight to it?
    Anyway, the tetras are proving a problem in trying to feed the shrimp the food I got for them; even distracting them with their own flake food didn't work - they just ate that and then ate the shrimp food too (brine shrimp, crab pellets, algae wafers; they eat all of them!).

    Is my best bet to continue trying to hide it somewhere where the tetras cant get to (a small place under a rock maybe?), or as I am planning on shortly creating a mossy area (moss covered slates) with spiky moss, could I hide food in the moss, and would the fish not find it?

    My main worry is that I know shrimps need a calcium source for good health and growth, which is what I got the brine shrimp, and crab cuisine pellets for, and if they're not getting them I'm concerned they will moult and not be able to replace a new shell.

    I've read somewhere about providing egg shells for calcium - does this work, do they eat it, is it safe, and what are opinions on here about that???


    Please help, I love my shrimp and want them to do well :!: :!:
     
  2. thebullit

    thebullit Member

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    hi mate,
    you dont need to worry about them not getting any of the food you put in there for them as they will find some. the stomaches (sp) arnt as you can all ready tell big. if the tank is astablished there should be enough food in there for them without you having to add any.
    i know a few people who keep shrimp and dont even feed them, and let them live of whats in the tank and what grows. moss will be great for them aswell and they love to graze off it. i have just added hair grass to one of my shrimp tanks and there all over it, in it and everything.
    calcium isnt really an issue were shrimp are concerend but it wont hurn and to add some to the tank. crushed egg shells are ok but a better and much easy managable calcium would be to add a cuttle fish/bone to the tank as there full of it. they will graze on it, and it will slowly dissolve in to the water.

    btw!!!¬ that shrimp are we talking about?

    anything i have missed just ask or some one else will raise it for you.
     
  3. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    I have red cherries in my main tank and I don't feed them anything in particular, what floats about from the flakes I feed the other fish I am sure they get their share and they are even breeding in the main tank.

    On my shrimp only tank I do feed them calcium rich pellets that are meant for crabs/crayfish and they love them ;)
     
  4. Mr Bee

    Mr Bee Member

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    the built - Yeah, its shrimps we're talking about. I'd not thought of cuttlefish, but then I don't know where I would get some anyway, and would want to be sure it was safe and disease/chemical free.

    I did manage to give them a bit of a crab cuisine pellet yesterday. I placed it right in front of a shrimp as he was walking along the gravel, and he started munching on it like there was no tomorrow. Then a second shrimp saw him, came along and they had a bit of a tussle over the pellet - at which point they dropped it into a gap in the gravel, and I guess they couldn't find it, or couldn't get to it as they both then just wandered off on their own.

    I tried to grab it back out the gravel, but as I disturbed gravel it just sank further in!

    So is calcium not as critical for shrimp as it is for crabs? I wanted to ask also, my KH reading (calcium hardness??) is about 180ppm - does that mean there's calcium in the water already that they can use for growth??

    Cheers
     
  5. thebullit

    thebullit Member

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    sorry i ment what shrimp are we talking about. cuttle fish you can get from most pet shops, more so from shops that sell birds.

    am not sure on the the kh as you use a different measurment to me, parts per million. i use the following and not to sure how to work the reading out from 1 to the other.

    a normal reading should be between 3-10 dh

    i wouldnt worry about the shrimp mate they will do just fine.
     
  6. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it to be honest MrBee, in tanks with fish present shrimp can usually get plenty to eat with out targeted feeding. The folks who usually advise crustacean targeted foods (myself included) do so for the way these can aid when it comes time to moult. However unless you are keeping your shrimp in water with a very low calcium content this is unlikely to become a problem. In a community tank all you want is for your shrimp to be ok and to reproduce enough to be self sustaining really, which reduces the need for targeted feeding quite a bit.

    Asides from all of this, the simple fact is that so long as your aquarium is mature there will always be food present that your shrimp can eat, even though you might not be able to see it. Half of the time shrimp appear to be eating absolutely nothing, just picking at apparantly bare surfaces. Fact is these surfaces are actually covered in tiny and microscopic life forms in a mature aquarium, most of which shrimp enjoy dining on.

    Just chuck a bit in once or twice a week for piece of mind, odds are they will get at least particles of it, even if they are too small for you to sea. Fish aren't that efficient when dining usually. ;)

    Ade
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    In the first few months mine never fed either. I used to drop an algae pellet in at night every so often as the fish were resting at that time ;)
     
  8. Mr Bee

    Mr Bee Member

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    Location:
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    Aah, I see - I have Red Cherry Shrimps

    (and I now see I got your name wrong too; 'thebullit', not 'thebuilt' LOL :lol: )


    Thanks for info guys, I thought there might be plenty of general food, as it is a well matured tank, lots of algae ( :oops: ) and I've also got a marimo ball in for them too! Will be adding some spiky moss later this week aswell :D

    I was mostly the calcium they might need when it comes time to moult, as they're in a comunity tank, and I know they're vulnerable during moulting as they have a soft outer for a while. It was this vulnerability that concerns me most with regards to them needing enough calcium to grow some new shell.

    The crab cuisine pellets are calcium fortified, so I think I'll try crumbling them and putting them in, hopefully the fish might not eat it all then; and I might do it at night when they're a bit sleepy too (if fish can be regarded as sleeping?).

    From comments already received, it sounds like its not such a critical issue though, so you've put my mind at rest a bit :D

    The shrimps are coming on now too, and have defiantely grown a fair bit from when I first put them in. Six juveniles (3 male & 3 female) and 3 tiny babies went in, and so for I've seen 3 grown up males and 2 females, and last night I saw a slightly larger baby shrimp. Though wether its one of the original babies or a new one I have no idea!
     
  9. zoologist101

    zoologist101 Newly Registered

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    One of the easiest ways to put your mind at rest is to add half a dozen well-soaked oak or beech leaves to the tank. Bacteria and micro organisms will develop on the leaves for the shrimp to browse upon. All my shrimp love them. One other thing you could try is blanched spinach leaves which shrimp enjoy, but many fish ignore.
     
  10. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

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    Steaming is better than blanching. When you dip something in boiling water, vitamins and beta caretanoids are destroyed, where if you steam stuff it still softens the cell was enough for shrimp etc to eat it but preserves the vitamins etc.

    Ade
     

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