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How Many Neos Are Too Many


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Happy Tuesday!

I have a very heavily planted 5g and just got nine Neos a few weeks ago. I ended up with three berried females. 😳 How many shrimp can I safely have in the tank before it gets overloaded? 

Parameters: 

Ammonia & Nitrite: 0

Nitrates: 10

Ph: 7.6

Kh: 3 drops (I forget what the value is that correlates with this)

Gh: 12 drops

Thank you Nerms!

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That KH is low . . . like my water. I'm not too advanced with Neos, so I honestly can't say if KH or GH are the more critical parameter. I think that 1/2 cup of crushed coral would help to "ballast" your water, and prevent pH crashes. With a low KH, my water tends to have this plunge after enough humid acid builds up where it dives waaaaaay down once the buffer wears off. With Neos, I dislike changing water much, since they prefer older, established environments. But you might want to hear from others with water like your to see what they say about water changing.

I had a 2.5 gallon with one berried female in. She laid eggs, and I had probably 30-50 shrimplets growing along with Emerald Killifish fry. I left the setup alone . . . and one day, the shrimp were all gone. It was strange . . . kind of like "dissolved." The shrimp were the same size as the killi fry, so I don't think the killis ate them outright. I don't know. This same thing has happened to me with shrimp in other tanks. I'll get a load, they look great, but then they suddenly crash. Could just me a me-thing. I don't know... 

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@Jennifer V, I’ve seen five gallon tanks  packed with healthy, breeding Neos. I think @eatyourpeashas one like that.  I wouldn’t worry unless your population goes absolutely crazy. 
My shrimp keeping experience is more like @Fish Folk’s. I’ll get a nice batch of shrimplets and then most or all of them disappear. ☹️

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If you maintain the water with water changes and make sure they are getting adequate nutrients the population will find it's own max. I don't cull shrimp to control quantity in the tank, more so for the lack of the traits I'm after. Some of my 20L's have had probably 500+ without an issue. For a smaller tank you're obviously going to find a higher cap, but I wouldn't worry about overbreeding causing an issue as long as you keep up with water changes, quality food being fed and keeping up with general maintenance.

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On 4/19/2022 at 8:08 AM, Patrick_G said:

I’ve seen five gallon tanks  packed with healthy, breeding Neos.

My Neo tank is 6 gallons filled half way, so a 3 gallon paludarium at best. Hundreds of Neos. Just out of curiosity, I tested water on Sunday during water changes, and the strip came out completely white! No signs of anything! Tested several times with different test kits. The tank had been depleted of nutrients, between the shrimp, snails, crabs, and plants. Had to add KH and GH and bring the pH up from 5-ish. Little things are still running around and breeding like crazy. Go figure... 🦐🦀🐌

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On 4/19/2022 at 8:55 AM, Fish Folk said:

That KH is low . . . like my water. I'm not too advanced with Neos, so I honestly can't say if KH or GH are the more critical parameter. I think that 1/2 cup of crushed coral would help to "ballast" your water, and prevent pH crashes. With a low KH, my water tends to have this plunge after enough humid acid builds up where it dives waaaaaay down once the buffer wears off. With Neos, I dislike changing water much, since they prefer older, established environments. But you might want to hear from others with water like your to see what they say about water changing.

I had a 2.5 gallon with one berried female in. She laid eggs, and I had probably 30-50 shrimplets growing along with Emerald Killifish fry. I left the setup alone . . . and one day, the shrimp were all gone. It was strange . . . kind of like "dissolved." The shrimp were the same size as the killi fry, so I don't think the killis ate them outright. I don't know. This same thing has happened to me with shrimp in other tanks. I'll get a load, they look great, but then they suddenly crash. Could just me a me-thing. I don't know... 

I have crushed coral added to the tank because it was originally at 6.0 ph and 0 kh. I'm not exactly sure how much I have in there, maybe a cup in a mesh bag. I test the water every couple days so maybe sure it's stable, and it has been for quite awhile, but do you think I need more crushed coral, or just leave it be? 

On 4/19/2022 at 9:08 AM, Patrick_G said:

@Jennifer V, I’ve seen five gallon tanks  packed with healthy, breeding Neos. I think @eatyourpeashas one like that.  I wouldn’t worry unless your population goes absolutely crazy. 
My shrimp keeping experience is more like @Fish Folk’s. I’ll get a nice batch of shrimplets and then most or all of them disappear. ☹️

That's what I'm afraid of -- that they'll all disappear -- which I feel like would break my heart. I've been waiting a year to get the tank just right for them so I'm beyond excited that they're doing seemingly well so far. Is it just something I need to become friends with, that they'll just regulate their own population and some will vanish? 

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On 4/19/2022 at 9:09 AM, Tihshho said:

If you maintain the water with water changes and make sure they are getting adequate nutrients the population will find it's own max. I don't cull shrimp to control quantity in the tank, more so for the lack of the traits I'm after. Some of my 20L's have had probably 500+ without an issue. For a smaller tank you're obviously going to find a higher cap, but I wouldn't worry about overbreeding causing an issue as long as you keep up with water changes, quality food being fed and keeping up with general maintenance.

You bring up a good point -- water changes. I haven't changed the water yet and it's been a few weeks. I just monitor the parameters every couple days. I'm so afraid to water change and lose them! So I just use a turkey baster to collect mulm that builds up in the front, which isn't very much and top off the tank with fresh treated water. I feed them every couple days with dennerle shrimp king color, but I'm thinking I need something else because they're cull shrimp so they really don't have any color. I also have hikari algae wafers and vibra bites but I know those don't contain calcium. I have banquet blocks too but they don't seem to like them. What else should I buy? 

On 4/19/2022 at 9:37 AM, Guppysnail said:

I have them overpopulate in all my tanks even invade tanks accidentally.  My experience if there is a place for them to sit it’s not a problem with maintained tanks and proper feeding.  When there are so many it looks unsightly I give a bunch away. 

Ok good! That makes me feel better. They are cull shrimp so they don't really have any color and I'm not sure anyone would want them if I did get to a point where I needed to give some away, but maybe? 

On 4/19/2022 at 10:58 AM, eatyourpeas said:

My Neo tank is 6 gallons filled half way, so a 3 gallon paludarium at best. Hundreds of Neos. Just out of curiosity, I tested water on Sunday during water changes, and the strip came out completely white! No signs of anything! Tested several times with different test kits. The tank had been depleted of nutrients, between the shrimp, snails, crabs, and plants. Had to add KH and GH and bring the pH up from 5-ish. Little things are still running around and breeding like crazy. Go figure... 🦐🦀🐌

Oh that's wonderful! I'm obsessed with testing the water because I love having them so much so it's good to know that as long as I keep up what I'm doing, they'll likely be fine. 😅

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On 4/19/2022 at 1:31 PM, Jennifer V said:

I feed them every couple days with dennerle shrimp king color, but I'm thinking I need something else because they're cull shrimp so they really don't have any color. I also have hikari algae wafers and vibra bites but I know those don't contain calcium. I have banquet blocks too but they don't seem to like them. What else should I buy? 

I feed a mix of things. Strictly following the Dennerle line had the best results IMO. I would alternate between the basic, mineral, protein, and color every day and every few days with a treat of a snow tab. Since I've cut back on Dennerle I've noticed my populations have drastically reduced. I cut back because I started to raise some Ancistrus babies with the colonies and started to feed green beans which the shrimp swarm. On top of that they were getting some Xtreme Krill Flake and Xtreme Algae Wafers. Once I pull the Ancistrus I'm going to go back to the Dennerle lineup and not deviate from it.

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On 4/19/2022 at 11:31 AM, Jennifer V said:

I haven't changed the water yet and it's been a few weeks. I just monitor the parameters every couple days. I'm so afraid to water change and lose them!

I lost my colony in my Back2the Roots tank when I got covid and couldn't maintain the water changes. the lesson i learned is to do the drip method, like drip acclimation. Neos like a pH closer to 7.2 - 7.4, but were breeding and shedding great in my pH 8.2 water, because all the minerals were in correct proportions. No water changes when I was sick, and only top offs, meant some minerals got out of proportion. My water change (found several who died from shed problems) finished off the colony because I slowly poured in the new water instead of setting up a drip method.

As long as the shrimplettes have plenty of plants to hide in and graze, you should start seeing your colony grow.

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On 4/19/2022 at 11:50 PM, Torrey said:

I lost my colony in my Back2the Roots tank when I got covid and couldn't maintain the water changes. the lesson i learned is to do the drip method, like drip acclimation. Neos like a pH closer to 7.2 - 7.4, but were breeding and shedding great in my pH 8.2 water, because all the minerals were in correct proportions. No water changes when I was sick, and only top offs, meant some minerals got out of proportion. My water change (found several who died from shed problems) finished off the colony because I slowly poured in the new water instead of setting up a drip method.

As long as the shrimplettes have plenty of plants to hide in and graze, you should start seeing your colony grow.

Oh goodness! Ok now I'm totally freaked out about not having done any water changes yet. I'll make sure to start doing them and drip the new water in. Thank you so much for the advice! The last thing I want to do is accidentally crash this colony before it even gets started. I adore watching these little guys! 

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