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Timid Amano Shrimp and water change question


Stef
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Hi everyone.  I recently acquired 3 Amano Shrimp for my 10 and 5 gal nano tanks.  I've had them since Oct 15 (7 days as of today). Two went in the 10 gal and one went in the 5 gal.  They were slowly acclimated to their tanks.  However, they have been very shy and I have yet to see them out and about.  I found the exoskeleton of the one in my 5 gal this afternoon. The shrimp is now hanging out on the wall of the tank near a wisteria plant. He had been hiding behind the filter output which was covered by a pre-filter sponge. Up until today, he hadn't moved from the sponge.  So I'm assuming his move to a new tank and molt caused the shyness.  His tank mates are only a betta and a mystery snail. The betta is pretty easy going.  

So the other two in the 10 gal are still in hiding but haven't molted.  My dilemma is the tank needs a water change. Water parameters aren't bad, but there's 3 BN plecos, 3 panda corys, a betta and an oto.  The substrate is getting quite poopy.  Per API liquid/master test there's 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrate and 20-40 Nitrate (hard to tell). The two shrimp have been hanging out on the top of the internal filter (Dennerle). There's a little "shelf" up there next to the spray bar at the surface.  If I do a water change, will they leave the "shelf" by themselves as the water level goes down?  Will they stay up there and possibly be exposed to air (dry up) during the water change process? At minimum it would take me 15-20 minutes to 50% drain, gravel vac, refill the bucket, treat with Prime, then re-fill the tank.  

Pic 1 is the molt from the shrimp in the 5 gal
Pic 2 is the freshly molted shrimp
Pic 3 are the two shrimp in the 10 gal hiding on the internal filter
Pic 3 is the top "shelf" area of the filter where they've been hanging out for 7 days straight

Should I delay the water change a few more days?

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I'd just shoo them off the filter, they'll almost certainly cheese it once your hand is swirling about. I've occasionally had neos hang on to breeding mops out of water, but I'm not sure that's entirely on purpose. 

 

As far as the shyness goes, that's sort of par for the course in my experience. My shrimp don't seem to care about me at all, which means it might be several days between sightings in a heavily planted tank. They tend to go where the food is, so might try feeding them and the fish in the same general area. My neos commonly hang out in "the food spot."

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I have bigger tanks with a bunch of dragonstone but I’m lucky if I see my 3 once a month. I can’t remember the last time I seen two at one time. And the only time I’ve seen all 3 at same time is when I put them in the tank.

First time ive kept them and had them for around 6-8 months. But have been that way since day one.

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