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Thread: Help with cherries - anyone around Garland (water help)

  1. #1

    Default Help with cherries - anyone around Garland (water help)

    Is anyone around Garland raising cherry shrimp?

    I have a 10 gallon shrimp only, black sand substrate, heavy Java Moss and other plants, two pieces of challa wood. I run two small sponge filters on an air tube. It looks like shrimp heaven but....

    In August I set up a 3 gallon tank, added 12 (a mix of cherries and a few ghosts) that I got from the feeder tank at Texas Aquatics (they had received a new shipment of cherries and just dumped their existing stock into the feeder tank - they refused to separate out the cherries, so I also ended up with a few ghosts). They did well, and I had babies - until the first of November when I decided to move everything over to the 10 gallon. Since then, I just can't seem to keep a colony going and I get a slow die off. I added 20 in December and now I think I'm down to only 1. I moved everything over from the small tank with no disruption to my cycle at the time.

    I have Garland water which I understand is very hard. I feed sparingly, either a blanched spinach leaf or a pinch of Shrimp King Complete or Protein every few days. I try to leave the tank alone, so I use a turkey baster to suck out wastes and plant debris and top off with 1/2 tap and 1/2 RO water when needed (usually every 6-8 days).

    Temp is usually around 72-73. Water parameters as followers as tested by API liquid kit):

    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrites - O
    Nitrates 40
    KH (6 drops) 107.4 (I think)
    GH 18 drops (doesn't show that many drops on the chart so I don't know)
    Ph 7.6
    High Range pH 7.8

    These would be the same parameters I had in August unless Garland water changes that much season to season. Any ideas?

  2. #2


    Hi Thor
    city tap water can change at anytime due to the municipality needing to clean the lines or any # of things the water company does on a daily basis. Your kh is a tad bit high, but the gh is Very high. typically you want these two parameters to be about 1:2 kh:gh. I keep my neos at gh 3 kh 6. I use RO water and remineralize with a shrimp specific remineralizer called salty shrimp. Your gh might be this high due to topping of with part tap & part ro. you should top off evaporation with just ro water to keep your parameters stable. How often do you do water changes and how much do you change each time?

    Do your dead shrimp have a white line around their abdomen?

  3. #3
    Site Supporter Site Supporter NanceUSMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Fort Worth


    Nick offers great advice... The parameters don't seem great, and while Cherries are much more forgiving of water quality, there's definitely a limit to their generosity in that area...

    Salty Shrimp is what I use as well... specifically the Bee Shrimp GH+... it's more aligned for Caridinas vs Neos, but the Neos will do just find in it...

    I'd also recommend investing in a TDS meter... Again, RCS are very forgiving for higher TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), but if it's super high that may be your issue...

    (tons of these on Amazon, but this link is for a TDS and PH combo for $20)...

    I try to keep my parameters right around where Nick stated, with ~130 TDS... I haven't tested my Ph lately, but it typically hovers in the 6.8 range...

    To help keep the Ph buffered, I use Brightwell substrate (again, this is more important for Caridinas vs Neos)

    For food, I feed a buffet of many different items... I have Aquatic Arts Invertibrate Pellets, Ocean Nutrition Shrimp Wafers, Hikari Sinking Wafers (mainly for bottom feeting fish, but the shrimp love it), Fluval Shrimp Granules, Glas Garten Bacter AE, Glas Garten Betaglucan, Hikari Shrimp Quisine, Azoo Max Bio Balls, Indian Almond Leaves (great for immune boosting and general health), Borneo Wild Color Shrimp Food (color booster), and Ebita Breed Quatro 2 (breeding booster)...

    If I had to venture a guess, it's going to be your water parameters... If you get those in line and are still seeing a die off with little reproductivity, then it may be time to start looking at potential health issues of the shrimp themselves...

  4. #4


    Sorry for the late response, but thank you both very much for all the advice. The dead shrimp do not have a white line around them when I find them, usually they are just pale pinkish. In the smaller tank I would frequently see molts, but because this tank is heavier planted, it's harder to see them. I will go over everything you've suggested and try again. Would it help if I remove the sand substrate and use a substrate like Fluval Shrimp and Plant substrate?

  5. #5


    no, buffering substrate like the fluval, ada, sl-aqua, controsoil, etc are geared for Caridina shrimp. Neocaridina (cherry shrimp) prefer higher ph than that substrate will allow.

  6. #6
    Frugal Fishkeeper Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Fort Worth, TX


    I know nothing about shrimp, but mine seem to love my bare bottom 10 gallon tank. I used some compost (real, like from my pile) that had a little woodash in it in a filter floss liner in a quart basket pot, and stuck the plants in it. And I went from a dozen to maybe 100's. I'm unwilling to try any kind of sand or change right now as everything is working. They are red cherry, and my tap water is fairly high. I don't top off, I do a 30% water change every couple of months. Like I said, I know NOTHING about shrimp but Fort Worth pH is at least 7.8. I do feed daily. there are assassin snails that help keep things tidy
    Gee, I get a sig file?

    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7


    I am in Plano so we both get our water from NTMWD. According to Erin Brockovich, we are all going to die from drinking this water, so it makes since that your shrimp are dying. But seriously, folks, I do filter my drinking water, but the fish and shrimp get straight tap water treated with Prime.

    I read that ghost shrimp will kill cherry shrimp. I cannot confirm whether that is true, however, I would not mix them.

    My own shrimp populations rise and fall. They will have a ton of babies and then all the sudden I notice that a large number of the shrimp, young and old, are gone. I never see dead ones. They just disappear. The population will rise again and then most of them will disappear again.

    My tanks are very heavily planted and I have wondered if that was the cause. Maybe oxygen deprivation at night? I have also wondered if I feed them enough. Maybe the tank reaches its carrying capacity based on my care and feeding.

    When you are ready to try again, there is a guy named Mike in Las Colinas that has healthy shrimp. He sells red cherry shrimp for $1 each and yellow cherry shrimp for $4 each. I have had good luck with his shrimp, although the yellow ones are slower to build their numbers than the reds. Look up Dallas Cherry Shrimp for more info.

  8. #8


    The GH is just a bit too high. They are invertebrates so higher calcium and mineral makes their shells harder and more difficult to molt and breed or live. If you're using RO water you could use KH/GH booster to get things exact if you are worried about changes in the municipal water. I've noticed with my crystals they breed better with a water change every two weeks


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