Cleaning a small tank with shrimp...

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brucemc777

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Apr 21, 2020
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I have a little 2.5 Gallon tank with shrimp and a beta. The gravel bottom has become very much filled with sediment - decayed plant and food (and some decayed shrimp over time). I wish to do a thorough cleaning, but have two concerns:

  1. I don't want to kill the baby shrimp! They appear rather regularly and would easily slip through any net; the darned things can be as small as freshly hatched brine (aka "sea monkeys"...)! I know there will be some casualties, but any thoughts on how best to handle?
  2. I know shrimp require an established aquarium - will keeping my filter medium for several weeks after cleaning be enough to keep them happy?

Thank you for your expertise!!!
 

FreshyFresh

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I had a 10gal with java moss, java fern and countless RCS and many little endlers. I would do a weekly ~80% WC on the tank but would only gravel vac a few times a year at best. For water changes, I'd put a mesh bag over the suction end of the siphon. It was a piece of a bag you'd use for bio media.
 
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brucemc777

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Apr 21, 2020
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Much appreciated; i used some screen i cut from the repair roll i have for our windows! I guess i am just going to have to forfeit the littlest guys, but they will have a chance - i will dump the water and wash the gravel out first in a small agricultural retention pond behind our house. At worst, they will just become part of "the circle of life"...
 

the loach

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I would advise against introducing even more non native species in the environment.
Stir up the surface a bit on the spot you want to vacuum to chase off any shrimplets. Use a white bucket to collect the water, just let the debris settle for like 15 minutes, and you can catch any shrimplets that you vacuumed and put them back. They'll be fine.
 

FreshyFresh

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I would advise against introducing even more non native species in the environment.
From going down the drain?
I know in my case, nothing is going to survive in my septic system.
 
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brucemc777

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Hmmmmmm. I just tried to find out where they actually are native to and wasted some ten minutes of my life. All i saw is they live in Missouri and maybe Ohio. I live in Florida (well, as of about two weeks from now, Virginia)...
 

fishorama

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I did like the loach did, white bucket & eye straining rescues looking for swimming detritus...for a long while. Then I didn't mind if I lost a couple during water changes. A healthy happy shrimp colony can handle a few more losses than I ever had, I quit obsessing over every last shrimplet. I used some kind of netting or screen but shrimp are attracting to all the "goodies" getiing sucked up the vacuum.
 
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