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Converting shrimp tank from Cherries to Crystals?

aec34

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So... my 20l tank of cherries is doing really well, about 7 months old, and the shrimp are happily breeding. At some point in the next few months I’ll be setting up a 65l, and am probably planning on rehoming a load of the shrimp in there, and getting some tiny fish which I’m really excited about (CPDs probably top of the list, unless I go chillis).

If I do, and get all the cherries out, is it feasible to lower the TDS in the 20l so crystals are likely to be ok? Or is 20l realistically just too small to be sensible for a first timer - I’ve never kept them before? The substrate is dennerle deponitmix, and I think more or less inert, and then just wood and pretty heavily planted. I already use rain water.

Thoughts? I could try them in the new ‘big’ tank, but somehow that seems a lot scarier. And I really want some fish which I haven’t really ever had before, and those two new things at once seem like madness, if I’m trying to get both shrimp and fish parameters right - unless there is a good combination?

And before anyone says it, another tank is not the answer!
 

Wookii

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What are your in tank water parameters (GH, KH, TDS) currently? If you're already using rainwater in the tank, I would have thought they were pretty low already. For CRS you need softer water than Neo's (KH<4), but still need GH 4-6 so their is sufficient calcium in the water for exoskeleton development, so if using pure rain water I'd have thought you'd have to remin it.

The larger the tank, the easier it is to maintain stable water parameters and good water quality, but for shrimp only, 20 litres should be okay. Catching your existing cherries might be tricky, with a small bottle trap probably being the easiest method.
 

aec34

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Thanks @Wookii. I remin the bulk of the rain for changes with saltyshrimp. TDS sits around 280-330, and today the tank is at KH 7, GH 9 (ended up with a bit of tap in the last change since I ran out of rain in the house - my tap is moderately hard, GH 9/10).

Good that it doesn’t seem like a totally crazy idea... I just know how tricky people find keeping CRS. Weighing up options.
 

Aqua360

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I think crystals have become a lot more resilient in light of their popularity, especially if bred in water local to you. A lot of people I know keep them in tapwater up here between 100-200 TDS, often more, and they have breeding populations.

I wouldn't argue they do as well in these conditions as they would in softer water etc, but the point i'd make is try it, nothing ventured nothing gained.
 

Wookii

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Thanks - I guess I’m just anxious not to try something with a really small chance of success.
Amazing how different your water is to ours down here!

Youre using rainwater already, so that’s half the battle, all you need to do is use about half the Salty Shrimp, and you’re good to go. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.
 

shangman

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I keep crystals in rainwater with a small scoop of salty shrimp, so I think you'll be fine, it's exactly the same as you do now - just with a smaller spoon!
 

aec34

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Resurrecting this old thread since it is Time for a Change.

My 20 litre cube is now over a year old and looking a bit sad after I removed a lump of wood to make more space for the plants and let light in. It’s still running on re-mined rainwater, and the cherry shrimp are happy. I see a few Planaria on and off, and small assorted other bugs that come in with the rain. There’s some detritus in the tank water which doesn’t seem to want to clear (recently appeared) and some nice mulm. It looks like a forest floor in places. Most of the plants are epiphytes, but there are a fair number of crypts. The crypts are nothing fancy or unusual, but they are growing and I’m keen to not lose them since they take their time, and all my tanks are low tech and always will be. I’ve got no room to rehome them in other tanks, and then would have to move them again anyway eventually to The Big Tank. I’d like to use the 20 for caridina shrimp (there is a 60p waiting to be set up, but I’d really like to keep caridina at some point) so after getting as many of the cherries out as possible, here are my options:

  • rejig things as much as possible around the crypts, leaving the substrate relatively untouched, and then move to water parameters as in above discussion
  • strip out everything and start again, reusing same tank equipment, and crossing fingers with replanting crypts. If I did this, I wonder about going with just a sand substrate with root tabs, or potting the crypts in tiny pots of tropica soil and then burying them. Or I could go with something like Shrimp King active soil? I’m not very good with substrates. I know the tank would then take longer to mature enough for shrimp - but I’m in no rush.

I think there are benefits to each of these and at the end of the day it comes down to what I feel like doing, but I’d appreciate any thoughts from those with experience.
 
Last edited:

Aqua360

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Resurrecting this old thread since it is Time for a Change.

My 20 litre cube is now over a year old and looking a bit sad after I removed a lump of wood to make more space for the plants and let light in. It’s still running on re-mined rainwater, and the cherry shrimp are happy. I see a few Planaria on and off, and small assorted other bugs that come in with the rain. There’s some detritus in the tank water which doesn’t seem to want to clear (recently appeared) and some nice mulm. It looks like a forest floor in places. Most of the plants are epiphytes, but there are a fair number of crypts. The crypts are nothing fancy or unusual, but they are growing and I’m keen to not lose them since they take their time, and all my tanks are low tech and always will be. I’ve got no room to rehome them in other tanks, and then would have to move them again anyway eventually to The Big Tank. I’d like to use the 20 for caridina shrimp (there is a 60p waiting to be set up, but I’d really like to keep caridina at some point) so after getting as many of the cherries out as possible, here are my options:

  • rejig things as much as possible around the crypts, leaving the substrate relatively untouched, and then move to water parameters as in above discussion
  • strip out everything and start again, reusing same tank equipment, and crossing fingers with replanting crypts. If I did this, I wonder about going with just a sand substrate with root tabs, or potting the crypts in tiny pots of tropica soil and then burying them. Or I could go with something like Shrimp King active soil? I’m not very good with substrates. I know the tank would then take longer to mature enough for shrimp - but I’m in no rush.

I think there are benefits to each of these and at the end of the day it comes down to what I feel like doing, but I’d appreciate any thoughts from those with experience.

Your tank looks great, if you want to switch to crystals, you could just catch the cherries over a period of time until they're all gone, then simply amend the water conditions to suit crystals.

After recent experience with root tabs that decimated my shrimps, I would strongly advise against using them, or at least the tropica ones...
 

aec34

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Your tank looks great, if you want to switch to crystals, you could just catch the cherries over a period of time until they're all gone, then simply amend the water conditions to suit crystals.

After recent experience with root tabs that decimated my shrimps, I would strongly advise against using them, or at least the tropica ones...
Thanks @Aqua360, that’s really kind. I’m just really out of love with the tank and struggling to work out how to get any height at the back. I’ll start catching shrimp and probably try to move the bit of wood that’s left.
What happened with the root tabs?!?
 

Aqua360

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Thanks @Aqua360, that’s really kind. I’m just really out of love with the tank and struggling to work out how to get any height at the back. I’ll start catching shrimp and probably try to move the bit of wood that’s left.
What happened with the root tabs?!?

I suppose you could remove the cherries, add more soil and/or structure that way?

I added tropica root tabs to my shrimp tank, few days later they floated up, released an ammonia spike and killed all the babies plus some adults.

Have contacted tropica who haven't gotten back to me
 

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