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Cherry shrimp farm in a 5 gallon?


teenage fish
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I am wondering if I can get a nice cherry shrimp farm in my empty five gallon tank. I have a seeded sponge filter ready, but I am not sure on how to do it. What plants are recommended? Also, what is the best food for them, and how do you get to breed them so fast? I saw a post with hundreds of cherry shrimp and I want to get that!

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You definitely can. First, start with 10-12 shrimp and don't just choose the largest and the brightest. Those will be all female. Males will be skinnier and a little paler. You can start with fewer, but the higher number makes things go a little faster, and assure you a good mix.

Use fine leaved plants like java moss, horn wort, make a pile of rocks or something with many hiding places so they feel secure, add a few catappa leaves or alder cones, and some cholla wood if you can get it--I found some on etsy of all places. The wood will take forever to sink, you can weight it with a rock. The wood and leaves pull double duty as a food source and hiding places.

Any shrimp pellet will do if they are hungry, I prefer a calcium fortified one because my water has low calcium, and they need it for their shells (if you are like me with crazy soft water you may also want to add a tiny bit of crushed coral). Here is a great video by @Irene 

 

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The real trick to fast breeding is feeding just enough--you want to feed as much pellet food as they can clean up in a day. If it is still there the next morning wait a day until they clean it up and then offer less. As the colony grows you will be adding more and more. They can eat a lot as a group. Like snails they breed more when there is an abundance of food, but you don't want to foul the water.

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