Orange Sunkist Shrimp (Caridina cf. propinqua)

ImageI really love the batch of Orange Sunkist shrimp I recently purchased from Bob’s Tropical Plants. I was actually rather worried about their temperament and activity level when I first introduced them to the tank, but they have proven to be extremely robust and active shrimp. They have become much more vibrant over the last few weeks, and I wanted to show them off to other people who are looking into trying some new color varieties of shrimp.

ImageSo far, the only potential downside I have found with these shrimp is that they seem to need brackish water to reproduce. I’m not entirely convinced that this is the case, but so far I have not seen any berried shrimp to test this out. Many of the shrimp that are often listed as needing brackish water “need” brackish water in part due to the micro-organisms that they can feed on as newborns. I’ll be sure to update on their progress once I see some possible shrimplets developing.

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I have five of these shrimp in my micro lace java leaf tank. They are quite active and eat any food I add voraciously. The floating salvinia in the tank seems to be a favorite grazing area for some of them.

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These shrimp range in color from a bright orange to a clear and brown color, like the one above. The brownish shrimp blend in quite well!

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Especially with this tank being mostly dark colors and really embracing shadows and texture, having sudden bright flashes of color really pulls the tank together. And it helps show off the shrimp when they are in the visible portion of the front.

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Orange “Sunkist” Shrimp and Blueberry Shrimp – Bob’s Tropical Plants Order

I ordered two different species of shrimp and some HC Cube from Bob’s Tropical Plants a few weeks back. Everything arrived quickly and appeared quite healthy. Portions were generous, and overall I was quite pleased with the order! I took some pictures of the packaging they used and arrival of my new shrimpies to share.

Here was my order:

Everything was packed up quite nicely! Box was well insulated and had a heat pack under newspaper and foam to keep everything the right temperature.

5 Orange “Sunkist” Shrimp (Neocaridinia)

5 Blueberry Shrimp (Caridinia)

3 portions HC Cuba

5 Orange Sunkist

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These guys seemed a bit scared and sluggish after their journey. They clung tightly to the moss and were rather skittish. Everyone looked healthy, and all are still alive, well, and growing fast weeks later. Quite robust, and doing well in my 2.11 gallon Lace Java Fern Tank.

5 Blueberry Shrimp

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These guys were super active straight out of the bag. They swam around quickly and immediately began eating extra bits of food from the floating plants and moss bits I later added to their acclimation cup. I had super high hopes for these blueberry shrimp, but ultimately couldn’t find a good balance for them in their tank. Not sure if they were more sensitive than I was expecting or if my tank was just far more out of balance than I realized, but only two remain. They all arrived looking quite healthy and with beautiful colors that have not faded one bit though!

3 HC Cuba

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The HC Cuba mini-mats had tons of beautiful roots! I haven’t yet been able to successfully plant Dwarf baby-tears, so I don’t have much hope for their future. Hopefully I’ll do a tank based in HC Cuba in the future to really figure out how to handle this delicate plant.

I’ll update on the shrimp soon now that they’ve settled in. 🙂

4.12 Gallon – Self Critique and Rescape

ImageSo I wasn’t super happy with how my 4.12 gallon tank came out. Aesthetically the tank seemed off balance and missing something. Even worse, the plants and shrimp were not thriving the way those in my other tanks were. There wasn’t nearly as much new growth, and sections of the tank were accumulating detritus and causing plants to rot. Somehow this tank wasn’t healthy. Here’s a shot from before this rescape for perspective:

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Here is a rundown of the main issues facing my tank, and how I fixed them:

1. Plants rotting, detritus buildup —> Increase water flow, trim/move plants, vacuum

  • Stagnant water and areas of low flow within a tank can inhibit plant growth or cause decay in weakened plants.
  • Plants reach the water surface can greatly impede water flow. Trimming plants to give a few inches of clearance can make a large difference to the tank circulation.
  • Moving plants away from the tank walls and corners can reduce low flow zones and allow circulation around plant clusters. Decaying plant matter often collects in corners, and is far easier to monitor and vacuum if plainly visible.
  • Vacuuming often as part of a small water change. After each mini vacuuming, pour the the fresh water into the tank such that it flushes out planted/low flow areas and stirs up detritus. Sometimes an immediate second vacuuming can be used as well. It is important not to remove too much water or disturb the substrate during this process, else the tank could endure a mini-cycle with spiking ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

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2. Tank lacks balance, crowded, no focal point —> Return to simplicity, increase open space

  • Simplify – reduce the different types of hardscape, plants, and substrate. I chose to remove the wood, leaving only rocks with similar coloring, texture, and cleavage. The tank feels much more spacious now, and the rocks form a clear focal point, contrasting the plants.
  • Space – I trimmed down the plants and bunched them more tightly, away from the walls of the tank. This helped the water flow greatly, and it also melded the previous chaotic mess of plants into a condensed bush. Suddenly the plants were united into one element, offsetting the substrate and hardscape nicely. The open space above the plants makes the tank look far larger than it is.

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Hopefully this helps! I’ll update again in a few weeks once the tank has stabilized again.