harlequin shrimp care

Discussion in 'Other Livestock' started by hadiosbourne, 3 Mar 2012.

  1. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    Hi Guys,
    I'm buying a pair of harlequin shrimps in a couple of days,So i'm trying to get as much as info i can for keeping them,Would appreciate if anyone can answer my questions:
    1. what water conditions they need to live in, (I know cleaner shrimps are very sensitive to alkinity changes) my alkinity was a bit low and i'm trying to raise it for the past month , but it really takes long to get it right, mine is about 6 (not quiet sure) and the PH is about 8 (i think it should be a bit lower)

    2. How to feed them (I'm planing to keep them in my RSM 130 with my other fishes, maroon clown, yellow tang , regal tang, mono angel) do i just need to put the cushion star fish in the tank and they'll find them and eat them? or i need to move them somewhere along with the cushions in order to get them to eat?

    3. how often i've to feed them?

    4. are they sensible to nitrate? (I'm having a problem with nitrate also for long time and trying to get it lower but haven't succeeded yet)

    Really appreciate any helps.
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

    Joined:
    24 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    4,803
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Pinetown,South Africa(KZN)
    Hope this helps...:)

    Marine Shrimps Available for the Home Aquarium: Aquarium Shrimps - Shrimp Care

     
    Last edited: 3 Mar 2012
    hadiosbourne likes this.
  4. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    9,482
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    A Beautiful place!
    They feed on the tube feet of starfish and they need a lot. So unless you have an endless supply to keep them satisfied, I would not buy them.

    How high is your nitrates?
     
  5. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    if you dont already have a ready supply of star fish (asteria stars which multiply in captivity for example) then i dont think its worth starting with them. You can train them onto defrosted hake while they are eating on star fish although thats hard to do. they are beautiful shrimp, but need propper specialised care and in a tank of 130l which already has 2 large tangs in it (???) and an agresive clown i wouldnt mix them personally.

    Note your nitate problem is most liklely linked to youir stocking density of such a small tank.
     
  6. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    Last time i checked nitrate was 2mgl
     
  7. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    live in cape town, so its easy to get them fresh cushion stars from the sea every week, i was thinking of breeding the stars in the refugium(where i keep the bio balls)its a bit dark, but i don't think stars mind that, and once they start breeding , i don't need to go the sea any more:blush:

    The stock i keep in the tank are not too much, i've seen people stocking RSM 130 with lots of fishes and corals, and they're doing perfectly fine, The tangs i've got are not very large, the regal is hardly 5cm and the yellow tang is about 10cm,one of the clowns is about 5cm and the other one is about 15cm(its a huge female)
    And i don't have much corals (i had a couple of softies but they all died in the last month i think because of the alkinity), and the tank is half fill with live rocks, i recently removed the crushed live rocks from the refugium, i thought i've enough rocks in the tank,
    I'm having an idea for a while to do a 100% water change and get water from the sea, i know it might be shocking for the fishes but i've tried all possible ways to bring the nitrate down, and it didn't work, i bought the tank from someone else, and i think the problem is from the start, the tank didn't cycle completely,
    Any ideas is appreciated.:thumbup:
     
  8. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    well personally ive read and believe that the reccomended minimum of a hippo tang is 180 gallon or 680l with open swimming space.

    a yellow tang manages well in a significantly smaller tank around the 100 gallon or 350l mark. again needing significant swimming and grazing space.

    thats a LOT bigger than 130l.

    Sorry to be picky on a different topic, but ui do feel that those tangs are housed in an innapropriate tank (too small) and could significantly be leading to poor water quality.

    You may find that there is detritus build up in the bio balls which will lead to Nitrate problems, but a 100% water change is not the answer, it will stress the live stock badly, two 25 % water changes spaced a few days apart is far healthier for the tank.

    If as you say that tanks always battled and you dont think it cycled properly i would be inclined to lower the biological load (ie remove the tangs) and dose witha bacterial sollution whilst doing water changes on a regular basis. But thats just the way id go about it
     
  9. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    i might add, i wouldnt suggest adding harlequins to a tank thats battling already.
     
  10. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    When i bought the tang it was too small and was perfectly fine in the tank, and it still is very happy and healthy, I knew i will have to let the tang go some day, but wasn't sure when, i never thought that a tang living in a small tang can cause problem for the water,
    regarding the detritus , while doing the monthly 20% water change, i always rinse the bio balls and ceramic and always clean the filter chamber to make sure nothing is left there, so i don't think it can be the problem , unless cleaning it once a month is not enough,

    I really waited long for these harlequins, almost 4month! But i can ask the LFS to keep for me for a week or 2 until i do the water changes.

    Do you have any suggestion for raising the alkinity except the seachem alkinity buffer? its around 6 currently.
     
  11. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    my point around the tangs is two fold. Yes in a tank thats too small for them, and personally i dont add tangs to tanks that they cant grow out and old in, but thats me and I have the luxury of having multiple tanks and some biggish tanks so i can afford the luxury, but i am firmly of the belief that small tangs shouldn't be added to small tanks as they soon out grow them and then its difficult to let them go or find someone to take them on.

    the other point is that having big fish (the tangs and the big clowns) in a small space means that the increased waste which they produce plays havoc with the ability of the tank to process the waste, leading to a downward spiral in the water quality and thus difficulties in many ways to manage the tank. Smaller nano fish in a nano relay is your best bet.

    I hear you when you say you've waited a long time for the harlequins, but i promise you 4 months isn't that long, especially when you are working with natural populations of things. I love harlequins, always have and particularly i like photographing them as its particularly difficult. I have a good population of asteria stars growing in my tank, but Ive waited just over 2 years for the population to develop and i am still not sure its big enough for me to add harlequins and thus i haven't. It may well be my fault as my water quality has dipped and then been righted again too often in the tanks history. I want that population to be big and sustainable before i add the shrimp and then when I do i will work hard to get them to take defrosted fish (like hake etc) while they predate on the starfish population. I know its not easy to hear but its best for the tank and for the live stock to only add them when the tanks ready for it.
     
    Last edited: 3 Mar 2012
  12. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

    Joined:
    24 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Regarding alk.

    What you could try for the alk is doing more regular water changes with a salt mix - red sea coral pro ,as it has a nice high alk to start with.( and is made for use with R.O.

    The water changes dont have to be big - about 15 % a week with same tempriture water until your alk and nitrate is under control.
    personaly i think 20% is not enough though on a heavily stocked 130 liter tank.. , i would suggest a 40% a month , but in two 20% changes a month to lesson the stress .( always warmed to the tanks temp.)

    Then cut down on the water changes a bit , but try control your nitrate.

    P.S when topping up with r.o water , try get the alk higher first or you can actualy drop your tanks alk by adding R.O water wich will be so pure it will thin out the alk that is in the water by osmosis.

    Good luck
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 Mar 2012
    hadiosbourne likes this.
  13. Leon1975

    Leon1975

    Joined:
    11 Jan 2012
    Posts:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    hello hadiosbourne, best way to sort out your kh problem is to get a calsuim reactor best thing i ever did for my kh hassels, no i sit with a hole kilogram of tripplle buffer,want to give it away let me know if you want it its worth about 750 rand;)
     
  14. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    9,482
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    A Beautiful place!
    The problem with bio-balls and ceramic rings is they only convert ammonia to nitrites to nitrates. Their function stops there, so unless you have another means of removing nitrates, it's never gonna come down. Instead of bi-monthly water changes, I would increase to a 10-20% per week. Have you tried a bacteria like Seachem Stability to assist?
     
  15. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    Thanks bud, it was very helpful. :)
     
  16. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    pleasure, glad you reading it that I am trying to help and not criticize you:)
     
  17. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    Thanks david, What you think about 2oceans water? Is it better to use my own red sea salt mix or the sea water?

    And what do you suggest to control the nitrate in a permanent way, except the red sea NO3?
     
  18. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    Hi Leon, thanks for the advise, what is tripplle buffer exactly? would love to have it if it helps with my situation.:)
     
  19. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    Well, if you're doing something wrong its good to hear it from people who already tried it and have experience in it :)
     
  20. hadiosbourne

    hadiosbourne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    852
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    capetown
    I tried stability for a short period, i wasn't sure if it could help me, I thought its helpful for the new tanks where they need bacterias, but mine is nearly running for a year, wasn't sure if i need that, do you think it helps? How would you measure if there is enough bacteria in a tank?
     
  21. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

    Joined:
    24 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Nothing wrong with NSW - I use it , but we have bigger systems which are more stable by nature and we dose - allot !, as it has a low alk to start with .

    Go the red sea route for reasons given...

    I would increase the water changes per month until you get a handle on the nitrate , and of coarse - the more and bigger the fish are - the more you have to feed them and the more you are pushing up your tanks nitrate...

    Cheers
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - harlequin shrimp care Forum Date
Harlequin Shrimp General Discussions and Advice 21 Sep 2016
[wtd] Harlequin Shrimp Wanted 27 Feb 2016
[wtd] Harlequin Shrimp Wanted 29 Nov 2015
[wtd] Harlequin shrimp Wanted 10 Jul 2015
[wtd] harlequin shrimp Wanted 8 Jul 2015
Killer Harlequin Shrimp Invertebrates 24 Oct 2014
[wtd] Harlequin Shrimp Wanted 3 Oct 2014