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Feeding Question

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Hi, My question is essentially a feeding question but let me set the scene -

  • Planted Tank w/ floating plants and variety of epiphites and stem
  • 5 Neon Tetras
  • 5 Ember Tetras
  • 2 Otos and 3 Pygmy Corries
  • Breeding Cherry Shrimp
  • 2 dozen + baby shrimp of various ages
  • Breeding Ramshorn snails
  • rock solid, steady parameters in good ranges
  • Clean filter every 3 weeks or so with a small water change (just what is needed to clean the filter in tank water)
  • Feed either nano pellets , powdered flakes, Shrimpy or occassionally frozen baby brine shrimp
  • Feed well on Wednesday (healthly pinch of pellets and power 4-5 Shrimpy pellets) and small on Saturday or Sunday (small pinch of pellets and powders and 2-3 pellets.
  • My babies are either on the substrate or hiding in plants.  When I feed the snails and adult shrimp come right away.  The baby shrimp that are on the bottom of the tank seem to swamp over anything bigger that comes to eat.  

Problem - I have lost 2 shrimp in the last week.  They were adults when I got them, perhaps natural causes.

Question - Is it possible I am not feeding enough in quantity?   Is it possible the baby shrimp are swarming larger shrimp and canabalizing them?

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Well, I haven't had shrimp before, but I highly doubt that is the case. I would assume the baby shrimp are swarming the larger shrimp because they want to eat the "leftovers!" I see my cories do this when my mystery snail hogs the food. He climbs on top of the food and eats it, but he is a pretty messy eater, and little food particles float around him because of it. The cories just eat those tinier food particles, because they have tiny mouths.

I would assume that is what is happening here. The adult shrimp eat the pellets, and when doing so they break off smaller bits that the babies can actually fit into their mouths. 

Again, I haven't kept shrimp, so I couldn't be sure.

How big is your tank? What kind of filter do you have? If you have a sponge filter I would not recommend cleaning it as this would mess with the beneficial bacteria colony. I have heard shrimp need very particular water parameters and that any small change in nitrites or nitrates can lead to disease or death. (I could be wrong.) Even if the sponge filter looks kinda nasty - the shrimp and snails would love munching on the algae and other gunk growing on it. I cannot tell you how many times my mystery snail goes onto my sponge filter and nibbles off algae 😂 sometimes for like an hour hahah!

Best of luck, I hope this helped a bit!

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Hi Clownbaby,  Thank you for your thoughts.  

I have a back of the tank filter.   The filter gets cleaned in the old tank water so as to retain the helpful bacteria growing in the tank. My filter has bioballs and a large sponge that get cleaned as well as the tank when the water runs brown from the waste in the water.  I also clean my substrate however I have not done that of late with all the baby shrimp hanging out on the bottom of the tank.  Shrimp do like specific parameters and as I said, my water parameters are solid and steady, very  consistent.

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It is very highly unlikely that shrimplets are swarming and cannibalizing adult shrimp. Not saying it’s impossible, just saying I’ve never seen it and don’t really think it’s plausible. 

Shrimp are grazers. They graze all day long. Some breeders only feed once per week and the other 6 days the shrimp graze and breed up a storm. 

Personally, I feed my shrimp only tank once every other day. Outside of that they graze. 

If I had to guess, the two that you lost probably just ran their course. The ones that are growing up in your water should be bulletproof, and when they start to breed you’ll really be set. 

When I see one dead shrimp I go, “well, that’s a bummer” and don’t think much else of it. If I was seeing shrimp constantly die that would be a different story and would indicate something is off and actually causing them to die. 

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Thank you AFNB - I'm learning something every day.  I tend to think they did run their course. 

Interesting note, one that I found today had turned completely black which tells me it had died a while ago.  Interesting that they other shrimp or the snails did not clean it up.

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