Shrimp As Algae Eaters - Can I Add Them To My Tank Safely?

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Offline Fishbeard

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Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« on: December 20, 2017, 09:32:30 PM »
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So, I'm starting to see some algae turning up in my tank - it's a dark greeny-brown colour and it clings to my decorations and the back well of the tank. I've got the light on a timer, for about 7 hours per day, based on other advice I'd read here about having it on for 6-8 hours. The tank's not in direct sunlight (not that we're seeing much right now) but I know the go-to algae munchers are shrimps or plecos. As my tank's only 30x60, I don't think it's big enough for even bristlenose plecos, and so that leaves me with shrimp as an option.

I'm currently on:
1x honey gourami
3x black neon tetra
8x neon tetra
6x panda corydoras

Is there anything here that'll get in the way? I've read stories of neon tetras nipping at shrimp antennae, but are there specific shrimp I can pick up that the neons will leave alone? Will my cories get into scraps with the shrimps?

Offline Matt

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 09:53:47 PM »
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Other options include otocinclus (more picky about algae types and prefer diatoms to true algae), and nerite snails (good option, can lay unsightly eggs).  The nerite snails would be worth researching.

There are also a couple of options with shrimps - the smaller species like red cherries which will breed in the tank, though babies may be eaten by the other inhabitants, this will not stop you forming a good community as shrimp are very good at hiding! Also larger species such as amano shrimp which grow to 5cm and will not breed successfully in freshwater.  I don't anticipate problems 's with your existing stocking with either and they are efficient algae eaters.

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 10:02:14 PM »
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Nerites are fantastic algae eaters. They can be quite pricey in stores, but if you're not fussy about which ones you get then search 'neritina' on eBay. 5x for 7 or 10x 12 if a lot cheaper than any fish store I've been to.

Offline Sue

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 10:05:49 PM »
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I have nerite snails and cherry shrimps in my main tank. Yes the do lay eggs which don't hatch but they are worse if you have a male and female of the same species. If you were to get more than one, getting different species reduce the egg problem. This thread contains pictures of my snails so you can see what I mean. https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/gallery-showcase/snail-photos/

My cherry shrimps thrive with my fish. The babies may be getting eaten but they breed fast enough to cope with this. Shrimps do need hiding places, especially thickets of plants because they have to shed their skins to grow and while the new skin hardens they are very vulnerable.

Offline Fishbeard

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 10:10:36 PM »
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Thanks all for the advice - I really would prefer not to have snails, there's something about them (any kind - garden or water) that I find rather repulsive even if I can't put my finger on it.

If the consensus is that I can add shrimp without problems then I'll check the LFS next time I'm in there. I found the All Pond Solutions page when looking into shrimp, and their compatibility chart made it look like I'd face a lot of problems with shrimp, as my tank's pretty much just tetras (caution advised) and cories (not advised), so I guess this is just APS being overly cautious?

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 10:15:38 PM »
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Snails and shrimp are also quite nice to have as livestock in a tank. Colours, patterns and shapes of snails can be  varied, and shrimp are an adorable bundle of interesting colour, movement, and behaviour.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 10:18:44 PM »
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I have ammano shrimp in several tanks which also contain cories and tetras without problem. Make sure they have lots of hiding places.
I also have a random small shrimp that came with some snails that has been sharing a tank with panda cories, otos, and a betta for a while and is doing fine. That is quite heavily planted at one end of the tank though.

Offline Matt

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 10:21:37 PM »
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APS are referring to the fact tetra will eat baby shrimp I believe. You're unlikely to see this taking place and many shrimp will also survive.  If you bought a very expensive shrimp you were trying to breed for profit I would be concerned but not otherwise  :isay:

Offline Fishbeard

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 10:26:45 PM »
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Alright, great stuff. I won't be retiring early to care for my shrimp farm then, but otherwise we're good.

Thanks all for your help. :)

Offline Rustle

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 08:07:20 AM »
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I found a large piece of bogwood or driftwood propped up safely by rocks or large stones provides perfect hiding place for shrimp.My shrimp hid under it until they felt safe enough to come out in the open, and now they are big enough and feel safe enough to be out all the time.

I have amano's and tangerine tigers.

Offline Sue

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 08:56:31 AM »
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Another thing to be aware of is that different shrimp species, like different fish species, have differing water needs. Some like hard water, some like soft water. Some like it cool, some like it warm. And don't be tempted to mix different colour morphs of the same species or you end up with a tank of brown shrimps.

http://www.planetinverts.com/
https://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/
http://petshrimp.com/shrimpspecies.php

One of those links is a UK shop but it does give info on the shrimps they sell.


Cherry shrimps are the easiest.

Online Helen

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 06:46:00 PM »
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Ooh, this conversation has got me thinking about shrimp. I always assumed that because of my soft tap water, shrimp were a bad idea. But this conversation has caused me to look up red cherry shrimp (thanks @Sue for the link) and they might be ok.

@Rustle I notice that you have harlequin rasbora in with your shrimp. Are the shrimp ok because the armanos are quite big shrimp? What about the tangerine tigers?

Offline fcmf

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 08:57:02 PM »
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Helen, you may find that beta glucans helps too - I recall this being mentioned before, and, if you do a quick search for it on the site, you'll see what others have to say about its effectiveness.

Offline Sue

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 09:55:23 PM »
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I first got cherry shrimp a few years ago and they all died. The last one was an egg carrying female, and the eggs all hatched just before she died. My current colony is descended from those eggs.
I was helped by Natalia who told me there is a bug that stops shrimps shedding their skins properly so they die. She recommended beta glucans to help boost their immune systems. I bought a pack off Ebay - designed for aquarium use with the picture of a shrimp on the front - and used it in the tank with the shrimps. I carefully nurtured the baby shrimps, they grew up and had babies of their own and so on and on.
Once the beta glucans reached its use by date, I didn't get another pack and the shrimps have been fine without it.

Offline Rustle

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 08:00:48 AM »
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@Helen yes i have 12 harlequins  8 Neon Tetras 7 Guppy's  8 false julli cory's plus a baby in the hatchery net, 6 lampeye's.  6 cherry barbs. 2 honey gourami's, assassin snails 6 amano's & 6 tangerine tiger shrimps and they all seem to get on fine.

I have never seen a fish or another shrimp attack any other shrimp. I have to be honest tho i did have 5 bloody mary shrimp's but they all died. 3 were found dead in the sponges in the filter and the other 2 just disappeared" I do think they were bad stock tho as they were not very lively to start with.

I fixed the filter problem now so should not get anymore problems on that score. I have posted 3 photos below. I managed to get a good photo of 2 tangerines with a big amano behind them all feeding side by side.

I will say tho my shrimps love the wood more than my plants which is slightly annoying as i want them to keep the algae off the plants. I want to add a lot more after xmas and set up a shrimp farm as i adore the tangerine shrimps.

     

Offline Fishbeard

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 09:13:36 PM »
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So, an update here...

Before Christmas I picked up 10 red cherry shrimp from the LFS, acclimatised them and then let them loose in the tank.

I suspected that over Christmas I lost a few, as I barely saw more than four out in the open at once, though no bodies ever turned up. When I was cleaning, I tried not to disturb the tank too much, but a fortnight ago I decided to go looking for them as I thought all of the shrimp had died. I found two, but one died last week and the other was found dead today.

I've had plenty of algae (sigh) for them to feed on, and I've been adding some dried shrimp food pellets I got from the LFS. The two that died most recently had reached a good size and were a bright red colour, so I thought they were just hardier than the others. I had plans to add more shrimp at the weekend, but having had the last one die today, it leaves me suspecting that any more shrimp I add to the tank will meet with the same fate.

I've checked my tank's water and it is the same as it usually is - 0 ammona, 0 nitrite, 20-40 nitrates. I'm in a soft water area, but having looked into the red cherry shrimp, I was under the impression that the soft water shouldn't have been a problem.

Have I gone horribly wrong somewhere, or is there another reason to consider that would explain why ten shrimp have died in just over a month? The shrimp I have found bodies for don't appear to have been attacked, and while I'm no expert, I haven't seen any sign of disease in them.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2018, 09:56:43 PM »
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Sorry to hear about your shrimp.
Could any copper have got into the tank, perhaps from some plant fertilisers?
I would suggest waiting until finding what the problem could be, and fixing it, before getting any other shrimp, to be on the safe side.

Offline Fishbeard

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2018, 10:01:39 PM »
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Well, that's my reasoning too. No point in sending more shrimp in just to die...

As for copper, well, even I'm not bad enough at this to try fertilising artificial plants, so no, nothing like that. I only add food and water (with dechlorinator, during water changes) to the tank, no mineral salts or anything of the sort.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2018, 10:41:54 PM »
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I'm sorry, I've only just stopped laughing. 
Just trying to catch my breath now.
Yeah, probably best not to fertilise artificial plants.  :rotfl:

Offline Sue

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2018, 10:05:24 AM »
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This sounds terribly familiar. I think the best thing I can do is ask you to look at these threads.

https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fish-tank-plant-advice/plant-die-off/
This one starts off as problems with plants then moves on to shrimps

https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/invertebrates-shrimps-and-snails/baby-cherry-shrimp/
This one carries on from the first one.

They both contain irrelevant chat, but if you can manage to work your way through them you'll will find the advice I received from Natalaia which has resulted in my thriving cherry shrimp colony.

Offline Fishbeard

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Re: Shrimp as algae eaters - can I add them to my tank safely?
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2018, 08:40:16 PM »
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Thanks for the links, Sue. I've read through them and it seems like I'm doing most of it right, bar the beta glucans. My plants are artificial, but there's a lot of coverage, along with plant pots and rocks to hide in/under, so none of that should have stressed them too much.

I liked having the shrimp - the ones I saw visibly always seemed to be in bizarre places, upside-down on leaves, or sitting on top of a rock as if taunting the rest of the tank to challenge their claim to ownership - so I want to give it another shot. I'll get hold of some beta glucans and then try it again. If I've no luck the second time around then I'll have to shelve it.

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