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Does anyone use shrimp anymore for algae control?

Art

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    Hi everyone!

    I thought we would have more activity in this forum. I know back in the day, everyone was using shrimp to control algae especially the Yamatos.

    Is that not a thing anymore?

    Any shrimp-heads still out there? If so, what you got?
     
    I have a ton of Sakura RCS and some Yamatos in my tanks. I really don't use them for algae control, but I do enjoy them. In many ways they are more interesting to watch than fish. They can help with some forms of algae, but any real issue will not be solved by them IMO and they contribute to the organic load like anything else. Here's a gathering of them after I dropped in an algae wafer.

    52006837833_1143fcde4c_c.jpg
     
    Wow those look beautiful! Quite a population you have going there.

    Do you find you need specific water parameters? Mine always die off in a few months.
     
    Wow those look beautiful! Quite a population you have going there.

    Do you find you need specific water parameters? Mine always die off in a few months.

    The RCS for me have always been pretty adaptable. I've had flourishing colonies in both very low KH with aquasoil and extremely high KH with seiryu stone. The pic is from a tank with inert substrate, KH 4 and a 1.3 PH drop with co2 from around 7.5 to 6.2
     
    In this last year or so, I’m much less of a believer in having an “algae clean up crew.” I think if you’re doing things right, the algae you get should never be to the extent you need a dedicated clean up crew, and we should keep the algae-eating critters because we like them and want them to thrive, not just to take care of some algae. Especially when one considers overstocking is one of the biggest mistakes (I struggled with it too when I was less experienced).

    With that being said I am a fan of shrimp. I stopped keeping Yamato/amano shrimp in my high tech tank though because they like to eat certain plants like AR species and will also go after tissue culture plants. Holes in leaves?. I do keep a small colony of Bloody Mary shrimp in my 7 gallon tank though.
     
    In this last year or so, I’m much less of a believer in having an “algae clean up crew.” I think if you’re doing things right, the algae you get should never be to the extent you need a dedicated clean up crew, and we should keep the algae-eating critters because we like them and want them to thrive, not just to take care of some algae. Especially when one considers overstocking is one of the biggest mistakes (I struggled with it too when I was less experienced).
    Hey @Freshflora I could have written this word for word myself.

    I don't have any "clean up" crew.........well, other than me and good old fashioned elbow grease.

    Most of them contribute more waste than they remove. Especially things like pleco's, Bristlenose's, Panda Garra's, etc. They are epic waste machines.

    Although if I could I would keep some shrimp. Not for clean up purposes, just because they are neat looking and interesting to watch.

    A few years ago I decided to try an experiment. I bought 50 red shrimp just to see if any would make in my tank full of Rainbows. Well it turned out to be an expensive snack. The Bows mowed them all down in a matter of minutes. Boy they are good hunters and fast when they want to be. It was an epic fail!
     
    Based on my readings and a couple of videos that I watched, shrimp is much better than any other fish in the cleanup crew category, and the best shrimp would be the Amano Shrimp, I tried getting a couple of Amano Shrimps but couldn't see them in action as they escaped the tank as it didn't have a lid and it turned out that Amano Shrimp tends to escape the tank

    A few days ago I got some cherry shrimp for another tank, and although the cherry shrimp is not efficient like the Amano but from what I have seen so far is that the algae traces in the tank has just disappeared. I am keeping them with a small school of mosquito rasbora fish, if I will be able to keep them with other bigger fish I would have added them to every tank, but unfortunately this can't happen as @GreggZ mentioned they will be a very expensive snack
     
    I don't know about rainbows, but this shrimp sold as an Amano at Petco is about twice the size of regular Amano and no one messes with her. It's been identified by some as an Australian Amano, including the shop that is using my image without permission. I have a few pea puffers in this tank and they don't touch this one, but I have found a few of my RCS eaten. Before the puffers, I had only black neons, ember tetras and the shrimp were able to breed with those fish in the tank. YMMV by how well planted it is.

    49215080552_191a9ed1c9_c.jpg



    Puffer on the hunt

    52402016882_cb03e7a9c9_c.jpg
     
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    including the shop that is using my image without permission
    LOL that's funny and terrible at the same time.

    Thanks everyone! I agree with all of you that said "I'm the best clean-up crew"! I think the longer you're in this hobby, the more true that becomes to you.

    As for the famous Amano shrimp, I have also lost tons of money over the years (perhaps not as much as @GreggZ rainbow snack) as they either died mysteriously or I found them dried up feet away from the tank (they love to crawl out).

    I will say, however, that some of this, IMHO, depends on your tank. I have not needed any clean up crew in my high-energy stem tanks. Once I dialed them in, algae just wasn't an issue probably due to the plants outcompeting it. However, in my non-stem tanks where hardscape is more prominent or my plants are slower-growing, a clean up crew has been a blessing.

    If you have wood or rock, it does have a tendency to become covered with green algae. Also, I've never had a moss that I wasn't battling algae with. The right crew can help keep algae to a minimum in those circumstances.
     
    Any shrimp will eat the algae, especially if they had no other food available. Here is my experience with CRS;

    Moss pad infested with hair algae was putted into the tank:

    d.jpg

    A few minuter later some shrimps had to check it out:

    e.jpg

    A few hours later algae free!

    f.jpg
     
    That’s nice to see. Although I find that inverts have fallen from the once mandatory position they had in planted aquariums, they still do a wonderful job of keeping algae away.
     
    I've been considering adding some Amanos but have held off for now. This month has been a ridiculously expensive month so maybe in January or February I'll pick a few up. While I'm hoping that they'll just graze constantly, I also like shrimp so they'll be interesting to watch.

    I'm one of those people who likes multipurpose critters....shrimp, snails, etc. that serve more than just a cleanup purpose. For example I love watching big snails just sort of travel all over the tank and shrimp are very much interesting characters. I don't think my reef tank was ever missing shrimp and snails since the added benefit was that they'd keep the tank clean.
     
    I primarily have shrimp because I do like seeing them around the tank, but not for clean-up. They do add to the bioload and if you ever keep them in a light sand tank you'll see all the waste they produce. I think they can be helpful with some of the hair-type algae, but they will do little for BBA, GSA, GDA. The best clean-up crew is you!

    I only see my Amanos when it's feeding time, the RCS are out all the time. I like snails, but can not keep them alive for long as they're shells seem to fall apart from heavy co2 use. This even happened in my Seiryu dominated tank with high KH/GH.
     
    I've had terrible luck with Amanos. They simply don't do well in my tanks. I don't know why. I've never tried any other types though.

    The best clean-up crew is you!
    👆truth
     
    The RCS for me have always been pretty adaptable. I've had flourishing colonies in both very low KH with aquasoil and extremely high KH with seiryu stone. The pic is from a tank with inert substrate, KH 4 and a 1.3 PH drop with co2 from around 7.5 to 6.2
    Are RCS hard enough for a planted co2 tank? My tank is around 140- 170 tds (gh 4-6 kh 3 buffered by aquasoil, tap water is kh8 and gh11), i love them but i was afraid that they would die in atrocious way. I had 2 amano, 1 died after 5 months while the other is still alive and seems fine.


    CRS are way cooler but seems that > 3 kh is a no go for them
     
    Last edited:
    Are RCS hard enough for a planted co2 tank? My tank is around 140- 170 tds (gh 4-6 kh 3 buffered by aquasoil, tap water is kh8 and gh11), i love them but i was afraid that they would die in atrocious way. I had 2 amano, 1 died after 5 months while the other is still alive and seems fine.


    CRS are way cooler but seems that > 3 kh is a no go for them

    RCS are definitely hardy enough for a high tech planted tank. I’m guessing you’ve never read Tom Barr’s tank journal based on that question — 120 Gallon ADA "like", ditched, Dutch style.... Check it out, it’s one of the all time best tank journals.
     
    well thats a lot of reading thanks
    Yes it is. TLDR in terms of RCS is that Tom kept one of the highest grade of them (Fire Red) in the tank that journal follows in around 2kh (don’t remember GH) and high co2. They bred so much he referred to them as roaches lol.

    This is a good page for reference too - Keeping dwarf shrimp in planted tanks. A general parameter range for RCS (and other Neocaridina davidi shrimp) is 0-12 KH and 3-15 GH. They are pretty hardy.
     
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