When can I add amano shrimp and how many?

GreyFoxIndy

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Hey guys. I've got a newly set up nature scaped aquarium going on for about 2 weeks, ammonia is now gone, nitrite is showing at around 2.0ppm. I haven't tested nitrate yet as I figured you need to wait for nitrite to be 0ppm or so before it's relevant to test for nitrate.

I am using the master test kit from api, ammonia is yellow coloured, nitrite is deep pink if that helps.

Anyway. I have a 200L 100cm wide 45cm deep and 50cm tall tank, heavily planted with ada aqua soil and power sand base.

I'm starting to fight algae quite a bit now, and would love the help of amano shrimp and otocinclus right about now, is it safe?

How many should I add? I was thinking 15? And like 8 otocinclus.

Please advise... Thanks.

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kilnakorr

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According to Tropica plant guide amanos are added at day 5 (if I remember correct).
I'm not sure I would with nitrite at 2.0 ppm.
Do not at Otocinclus for at least a month or two. They need a mature tank.
 

GreyFoxIndy

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According to Tropica plant guide amanos are added at day 5 (if I remember correct).
I'm not sure I would with nitrite at 2.0 ppm.
Do not at Otocinclus for at least a month or two. They need a mature tank.
OK well I can definitely just start with the shrimp then if it's safe. I'll wait for one or two more confirmation responses and then bite.

In regards to amount? Does that seem right to you?

As for otos I can wait. That's no issue.
 
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Unless you’re getting a particularly good price for 15 I’d buy just 5 instead and see how they get on. If they’re all still ok after a week or so I’d buy another 10.
 

GreyFoxIndy

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Unless you’re getting a particularly good price for 15 I’d buy just 5 instead and see how they get on. If they’re all still ok after a week or so I’d buy another 10.
Good shout. Do you think this would be safe with my current water parameters? Also do you think 15 end goal amount is OK?
 

GreyFoxIndy

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Also depends on your frequency of water changes. If you let water sit there for a while, it will get toxic very quickly. I personally put in amanos after first week, while doing water changes every other day.
Being at home now, I've been doing changes every other day.
 
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Amanos seem pretty hardy so I’d give 5 a try. You could have quite a large number in a 200L tank but it depends ultimately how much other stock you intend to put in there. To be honest Amanos do a good job at clean up but they’re a bit boring. I only had a few in my tank before adding some cherries and they’re much more attractive in my opinion. They decided to breed in my little 37L Nano and I now have probably hundreds of juveniles and babies in there.
 

GreyFoxIndy

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I'm going to buy 8. And then eventually I'll get otos, then the rest of my fish can be added. Probably a goal of 5 species including the amano and otos. Wanna keep it simple.

I think ultimately ill have
  • Hyphessobrycon sweglesi
  • Paracheirodon simulans
  • Microgeophagus ramirezi
  • Caridina japonica
  • Otocinclus sp.
 

alto

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According to Tropica plant guide amanos are added at day 5 (if I remember correct).

BUT
Tropica Aquarium Soil doesn’t release anywhere near the level of ammonia of ADA aqua soil

@GreyFoxIndy are you following ADA water change and fertilizer protocols?
(this should help limit nitrogen buildup and also reduce algae)

You might consider adding some fast growing stems such as L sessiliflora (you can just leave these in the pots if you don’t want them in your scape) - George Farmer’s Tropica Interzoo 2020 videos showed how fast this plant can grow :wideyed:
 

GreyFoxIndy

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BUT
Tropica Aquarium Soil doesn’t release anywhere near the level of ammonia of ADA aqua soil

@GreyFoxIndy are you following ADA water change and fertilizer protocols?
(this should help limit nitrogen buildup and also reduce algae)

You might consider adding some fast growing stems such as L sessiliflora (you can just leave these in the pots if you don’t want them in your scape) - George Farmer’s Tropica Interzoo 2020 videos showed how fast this plant can grow :wideyed:
I am indeed following water change and fertz protocol.
 

alto

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I'm starting to fight algae quite a bit now
then I’d guess daily 80-90% water changes, so 2ppm nitrite would be unusual

This article may offer some guidelines


Determining safe levels of ammonia and nitrite for shrimp culture
Monday, 16 January 2017 Fabrício Martins Dutra, M.S. Dr. Eduardo Luis Cupertino Ballester

In a fish only system one can follow these sort of guidelines

Excerpt from

Chapter 20 - The Biology and Management of the Zebrafish
Michael Y. Esmail, Keith M. Astrofsky, ... Fabrizio C. Serluca

Nitrite levels should be monitored regularly and be kept under 0.1 mg/l to avoid possible toxicity. Treatment modalities includes addition of chloride ions, which may competitively inhibit nitrite uptake across gills (Bowser et al., 1983). Sodium chloride or calcium chloride can be added to tanks, but care should be taken in increasing salinity of water slowly. Using a 3-mg chloride to 1-mg nitrite ratio, channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) have been successfully treated for nitrite toxicity. Use of calcium chloride can be added at a concentration of less than 50 mg/l (Tomasso et al., 1979). The goal of treatment should be the establishment of a stable, healthy biofilter.
 
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GreyFoxIndy

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My amano shrimp will arrive on Thursday. My tank is now officially showing much less nitrites than reported above and is nearly fully clear. Hooray, I anticipate that by Thursday even more nitrite will have disappeared.

Anyway quick question, should one perform a water change before adding shrimp? Or wait a while?

Furthermore, When is it safe to do water changes once shrimp have been added?

I will drip acclimate them prior to adding them, but again, should this be done in freshly changed water or no?

Thanks.
 

alto

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I usually do a water change before adding new livestock, this way I know I don’t need to potentially stress them with scheduled water change - I try to add new fish/shrimp only once the tank is on a weekly water change schedule

Shrimp can be more/less sensitive depending on source, I always ask seller about current water conditions, food, water change schedule (sometimes I even get answers ;)) - strip test (or remove a sample of) the water shrimp arrive in, then add some diluted Prime etc soon after opening the bag

If seller conditions, bag conditions are similar to tank conditions, I worry much less about water changes - if water is quite different, I try to avoid large water changes and put any water change off as long as possible (without any loss in tank water quality)

Shrimp are generally most sensitive to GH and pH (though Amano are relatively hardy)
(TDS can be skewed by any salt (NaCl) that is in the shipping water - had shrimp arrive with TDS over 2000 despite seller assurances of 100-150 ppm GH, minimal KH, pH 7; some of the shrimp were in “black water” but TDS was still over 1500 - KH/GH tests were close to expected, hence the NaCl guess ... especially as the guppy bags all had similar TDS)

PFK has a good general article on Amano Shrimp
https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/features/amano-shrimp-spineless-heroes/

Also Michael at
https://aquariumbreeder.com/amano-shrimp-detailed-guide-care-diet-and-breeding/

In the last few years, the incidence of alternate species shipping as Amano shrimp has substantially increased
(some are more/less hardy and more/less aggressive)

If you see that most of your new Amano have moulted, wait 24-36h before doing a water change as shrimp are chemically and physically sensitive until the new exoskeleton “hardens”

I also tend not to feed the first couple days, as I don’t want to trigger a moult (usually this will only happen if excessive food is given)
Note shrimp may be triggered to moult after being introduced to hew tank parameters

I also usually drop water level a few cm’s below tank rim to discourage wandering by newly introduced shrimp, after a couple weeks of apparent shrimp “happiness”, I’ll slowly increase water level back to normal
 

GreyFoxIndy

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I've gone ahead and added 10 shrimp! They're happily grazing away within the first millisecond of adding them.

Super happy.

I'll see how they fair in a couple of days and add another 15 to total 25...

10 are just way too little amount for the size of tank I have.

Love them... My first tank inhabitants

Next I will add the additional 15, around 8-10 nerite snails.

Then in a couple of weeks I'll add my otocinclus. A bit unsure how many to add though. Any pointers?

Cheers.
 

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GreyFoxIndy

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Day 2, they're fine!

Quick question,

For Safety reasons, I've added a cap full of prime today just to help keep nitrite and nitrate down, this is because I don't believe my tank is fully cycled and now that I've added amano shrimp I don't want to harm them, its been exactly three weeks now since the tank has been running. I'd imagine it'd need a little more than three weeks to become fully cycled.

So, my question is, adding seachem prime isn't harming my cycle is it? It's not killing the beneficial bacteria that are needed to convert nitrite to nitrate is it? Etc

I guess I'm creating a false positive by using Prime, by making me think that the tank is safe during api master kit tests, when it actually isn't.

Any input here?
 

alto

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Looking at the photo, I’m what concerned - opaque looking shrimp is never a good sign
If they looked like this immediately after you added them, it’s shipping related (or seller related)
If they look like this after several hours to overnight (or 3-4 days) in your tank, it’s less easy to assess cause (seller related or your tank related)
That they are active and eating is a good sign, I’d also feed some shrimp food with higher protein content (eg 1-2 frozen bloodworms per shrimp ;) every couple days (if you don’t have any shrimp specific foods) ... otocinclus also enjoy a bloodworm treat now and again)

I’d definitely hold off on ordering any more shrimp from that source

It’s fine to add 5-10X Prime dose to your tank, just dilute it first so that livestock don’t swim into undiluted Prime - when you add Prime and other water conditioners (and various other aquarium products) you can observe a schlieren effect as the more viscous liquid falls into the water ... it’s good practice to avoid this by pre-diluting the additive

Seachem did studies (and they’re likely still buried in the site somewhere) showing amounts of Prime required to bind various levels of nitrite etc (binding affinity is ammonia>nitrite>nitrate) - I don’t recall the specifics any longer but I’d begin with 2-5X dose for nitrites
This needs to be added daily

You might find Seachem Stability more efficient/effective
(there’s more information on Seachem’s Discussion Board )

Neither Prime nor Stability will negatively impact the filter cycle

I’d add 5-7 otocinclus, obviously you could also add more but then you’ll also need to be more consistent in additional feeding
 

GreyFoxIndy

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In the three weeks I have had my tank setup I was following the setup steps set out by ada.

First week, 9th April, every day water change, added stability and prime each water change.

Second week 16th April, every other day, added stability and prime each change.

Third week 23rd april, every 2-3 days, added stability until bottle finished, adding prime with each water change. As I ran out of stability, I started using Seachem pristine with each water change.

Did a big water change on 29th April, dosed prime and pristine, Added shrimp on 30th April, dosed prime on same day, 1st May dosed prime.

I was thinking to do a smaller water change tomorrow, dose prime and pristine.

How's that sound?

Here is a small video of the shrimp from today, I can usually spot around 5-7 shrimp all busy grazing and seem generally happy

 
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alto

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As long as your tap and tank water are well matched, I’d not worry about 50% water changes ... of course, the more you change the tank water, the more likely it is really more like tap water (in the ways not easily measured by an available hobby kits)
So maybe consider 25% daily water changes - this is usually conservative enough not to disturb even sensitive livestock: leave filter running, lights either off (if good ambient lighting) or dim, add Prime to treat 2X tank volume at water change, then maybe another dose 12 hours later
It is important to siphon water from lower levels in the tank rather than just taking off the top (yes some physical chemist actually showed that nitrates levels are higher at tank bottom than top, and yes, there was water movement in the experimental setup ;))

Then after 5-7 days, do a 50% water change - I can still do this with my filter running
If all seems well, you might then consider switching from that daily 25% to 50% every third day, and so on until you’re down to 50% weekly water changes again

If there is significant nitrite present (and must admit I’d use Seachem’s MultiTest Nitrite/Nitrate kit for a more accurate idea of actual levels in tank), you need to consider which is more challenging to the shrimp - bigger water change or more nitrite

Seachem Pristine vs Stability
 

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