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Shrimp or nano fish first?


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I have a 12 gallon bookshelf tank that I am doing a dry start with Monte Carlo, which I started 3 weeks ago. The plants are establishing roots and I am planning on flooding the tank next week. I placed the wood and sponge filters for this tank in an established tank (3 weeks ago) to gather biofilm and bacteria to speed up the cycle.  Once cycled, would it be better if I added Cherry Shrimp first, or some Endlers?  How many should I start with?

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On 2/1/2023 at 8:46 AM, Jackaroni said:

Once cycled, would it be better if I added Cherry Shrimp first, or some Endlers?  How many should I start with?

It is always a good idea to stock as slow as possible imo. I personally start with 10 juvinile/baby shrimps, as they are much better at adapting new parameters. That also increases the chance of having males and females in my case. So the colony goes on. meanwhile, plants turn into a jungle.

What I would do personally, and I am currently doing actually, after the tank cycles and biofilm grows in the tank, introduce maybe 10 shrimp(or less if you will know the gender by getting bigger ones) and let them settle for a while. Letting shrimp to start some sort of colony and letting plants and mosses turn into a jungle means higher level of shrimplet survivals. Then, after some time, you may introduce fish slowly, maybe 1m:2f?

You should also be ready to rehome some anytime I assume. Cause both endlers and shrimps will be having lots of babies! Probably endlers mostly in this scenario, as they will likely to hunt on baby shrimps.

If you don't wanna deal with lots of babies, then maybe you can consider some others, considerably harder to breed ones, for your tank size. Small rasboras like chilis, ruby tetras,  sound like a good idea to me. Baby shrimps will have more chance to survive in such tank too.

I would decide which one do you want to have babies. Endler+shrimp combo sounds like female endlers may hunt on baby shrimps due to bigger size, while in chili rasbora+shrimp scenario sounds like shrimps will be breeding much more, meanwhile rasboras harder to breed compared to endlers, so they will probably keep their school and provide a good color to the tank.

If you go with "baby shrimp safe" fish which means very small in size and small mouth mostly, I guess a heavily planted +cycled tank can deal with the chili rasbora school besides shrimp colony too, as their bioload is small. Probably I would not wait that much between the two in order to introduce them to the tank. But if it will be soemthing potentionally gonna hunt on baby shrimp and can reproduce a lot, like endlers, I would wait and let the colony go and plants to grow a lot.

Edited by Lennie
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I vote for fish first. Endlers are tough and will do fine in a new tank, as long as you keep up with water changes to whatever extent it’s necessary for your particular tank/situation.

I find that shrimp are really sensitive to water quality and food availability in new tanks, way more so than in established tanks. They’re all-day grazers by nature and new tanks just don’t have the biofilm to support them well.

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