Set up and start up a shrimp aquarium
Shrimp is becoming increasingly popular to keep in an aquarium. Most shrimp don’t require much to stay healthy and the little critters are a lot of fun to watch. In addition, they keep your aquarium nice and clean from algae and other waste and it often happens that the shrimps in an aquarium get eggs. There are some points that are important for setting up and starting a shrimp aquarium.
Equipment and aquarium
Most shrimps are fine in containers from 15 liters and larger. If the choice is made to only keep shrimp, most people opt for an aquarium between 15 and 40 liters, often also called nano aquariums. Make sure there is a lid or cover on the tank so that your shrimp cannot climb or jump out of your tank. Shrimp come from a tropical climate and therefore need a heating element that keeps the water at the right temperature. A filter is also necessary to keep the water clean and to add good bacteria to the water. With a filter it is important to check the size of the openings. The shrimps, and especially the baby shrimps, can easily be sucked into the pump. If the opening of the filter is quite large, pantyhose can be put around it or a piece of gauze can be placed in front of the opening so that the shrimp are no longer sucked in through the opening. Lighting will ensure that your plants continue to grow well and that the water is therefore supplied with oxygen.
Furnishing the aquarium
Before the aquarium can be set up, a bottom must first be laid. Both gravel and sand are suitable for shrimp, but make sure there are no sharp edges on the gravel, the small shrimp can easily get hurt. The color of your bottom depends on the type of shrimp you choose. Some shrimps have a color that stands out better on a dark surface and other shrimps are more visible on a light surface. Under the bottom a nutrient medium could be placed that provides the plants with extra nutrition, but without food most plants will also do well in the aquarium.
Shrimps love hiding places. If the shrimp come into an aquarium in combination with fish, it is highly recommended to provide many hiding places, because the fish see the shrimp as a tasty snack and could therefore start hunting. Think of hiding places of stones, pieces of wood, broken pots, decorations for aquariums and special shrimp flats. The decor largely depends on what you like and as long as the shrimps can hide well, they will quickly be satisfied. Rinse all decoration well so that the water remains clear and no harmful substances enter the aquarium.
Planting for the shrimp
Not only do the plants provide a nice place to hide, they also add oxygen to the water and provide food for the shrimp. Moss is really a plant that shrimps love. It is very soft, food gets stuck in it and the young shrimp can hide in it well. You can tie moss to pieces of wood with a piece of string and then it will grow quickly. If you have a small container, it is important to consider how fast the plants grow and how big the plants can become.
The Java fern is a very suitable plant for shrimp aquariums. This plant cannot stand with its roots in the ground and must therefore be tied to a stone or a piece of wood with a piece of string, just like the moss. Larger plants can use well to hide the filter and heating element and to create a real underwater world. Make sure that the plants do not block the inflow and outflow of the filter.
Starting up the shrimp aquarium
Once the tank is set up, the filter is running and the water is at the right temperature, it is understandable that you want to release the shrimp in the aquarium as soon as possible, but unfortunately that is not possible. The aquarium needs at least 4 to 6 weeks to start up properly. The plants need time to grow, the filter needs time to accommodate bacteria and the water needs time to get the right properties. Because the plants are still small in the beginning, they will absorb little nutrients from the water, which gives algae a greater chance to grow. Therefore, only switch on your lighting for six hours a day and only increase the number of hours of lighting when the plants have grown well.
Release the shrimp
After the 4 to 6 weeks, a stable living environment will develop that is suitable for the shrimp. Of course there can always be something wrong, so it is wise to have the water tested or tested yourself before you buy shrimp. Special kits can be purchased on the Internet and at most pet stores for testing aquarium water. Only when everything is in order the shrimp can enter the underwater world. First let the shrimp get used to the temperature by floating them in the water in a closed bag. After about half an hour you can open the bag and put a small scoop of water from your aquarium into the bag. Make sure that the water in the bag does not end up in your own aquarium, because the water in your own aquarium has different properties than the water in the bag. After 10 minutes, put another scoop of water in the bag and repeat this about five times. With a scoop net you can carefully remove the shrimp from the bag and release it in the aquarium.