Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

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Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by SuperProofer » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:31 pm

Hello,

Years ago, I received an ecosphere as a gift. I now know the general thought on these is not favorable. The type I have is a large jar with a glass lid (glued in place - although, at some point, it became unsealed). I have 1 remaining shrimp left - he is about 8-9 years old. Currently, the conditions in his "tank" are very murky. I don't think he, as a sole member, is able to keep it as clean as it should be (or as it was when there were 7 of them in there). I'm conflicted as to what to do at this point.

1. Do I leave him alone as he seems to be doing ok? Does he even need help?
2. Do I try to add more shrimp to his environment in the hopes that they can clean it back up?
3. Do I get a new ecosystem and try to transplant him? (I'm nervous to create my own tank - it seems complicated and far too easy for me to screw up and hurt him.)
4. Start from scratch and make my own tank? Would I just leave him alone still or should I get more shrimp to add to it? Does he even want friends?? If I did this, I would still want to keep it small, something that can fit inside my desk cabinet (glass-front door) as I have cats who would love to knock it over. I used to keep it at work on my desk so this wasn't an issue, but I cannot have it at my new job.

At this point, I feel he has persevered this long, I would hate to do something that would kill him. On the other hand, his water doesn't look that great (but, it has been murky for some time and he just goes about his business in there), his plant seems to have an (in my opinion) excessive amount of algae on it, and the rocks have collected a lot of grit at the bottom. If I put him in with new shrimp, I'll really have no way to know if he survived as I can't tell them apart. I really want to know what happens to him. Am I just overthinking it?? LOL

Any advice would be welcomed.

Thank you.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by Stalker » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:46 pm

-Turn your ecosphere upside down (with something helping it to not fall) and open it. New gas exchang and some food will help your shrimp.
-At the same time, begin a new tank, it's really not complicated, juste dont overfeed.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by Varanus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:38 am

The fact that the other shrimp in the ecosphere died means conditions can't be all that good. These shrimp are just very tough and the survivor is just the toughest or luckiest. As Stalker noted though, simply opening up the ecosphere will improve things considerably by allowing gas exchange.

Definitely don't buy another ecosphere, now that you know the conditions in them are toxic ones where the shrimp usually live only a fraction of their normal life spans. All you'd be doing is supporting a flawed industry. I'd hesitate too regarding adding shrimp to the old ecosphere, they may not be able to handle the transition to what is likely pretty poor water.

As for starting a new system and being able to tell if the original shrimp survived, that probably won't be an issue. Provided you set up the new tank properly and wait until conditions in it are good you likely won't see any shrimp in it die for a long, long time.

I understand being intimidated by the idea of setting up a tank, especially a brackish water one, but supershrimp tanks are among the easiest and most simple tanks imaginable. The instructions on this site are pretty clear and there are lots of people here who can give you any extra info you want.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by SuperProofer » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:07 am

Awesome! Thanks!

I am leaning towards building my own at this point - going to go out this afternoon and look for supplies. I guess the question would be, what would be the best way to transfer him to the new tank when it's ready? I was thinking about using a small measuring cup to scoop him up with but was concerned that the plastic or the fact that I've washed it with dish soap before would contaminate the water. Is there a better way?

Can I use his existing plants and shell in the new tank? Should I use some of his water in the new tank in the beginning to help get the algae in there? I know they are hardy and live long, but I've also read things that make it seem like changes in their environment can "shock" them to death. :-/

Thanks again!

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by Varanus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:15 am

Compared to a lot of shrimp they can adapt to changes very readily, and yeah, adding the old water and substrate/shells should be fine as anything bad in it will be diluted by the new water.

What kind of plant is in there? If its survived all those years in the ecosphere then it will probably survive fine in the new tank. But if its something like hair algae you may not want to introduce it as it can tangle up young shrimp.

As for moving the super shrimp, I've never had to do that so I can't say what method would be best. However with other shrimp species I've had a fine-meshed fish net worked fine (assuming I couldn't just dump them in).

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by SuperProofer » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:23 am

It's not a real plant. It looks like a silk plant.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by SuperProofer » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:10 pm

Is it OK to use boiled tap water to rinse out the glass jar I plan to use before setting it up? Or should I use distilled for that as well?

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by Stalker » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:16 pm

Just wash it as a dish and rince it with warm tap water.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by Varanus » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:54 am

Just make sure you don't use any chemicals when you wash it.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by Stalker » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:59 am

Varanus wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:54 am
Just make sure you don't use any chemicals when you wash it.
Yes, dont use DHMO, many people die of DHMO around the world.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by SuperProofer » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:08 am

Great. Thanks! I bought him a new home yesterday. It's not half-gallon, but it's double the size of his old pad so he can have a few friends and not feel crowded. Going to go this weekend and pick out his furniture and hopefully start his new water brakish-ing! :D I'm kind of excited about it. I didn't think one dirty little shrimp jar would send me down this rabbit hole! I even bought extra "homes" in case I decide to make more than one. LOL

Question: How will I know which fake decorations are safe for his tank? I'm assuming that just because it's safe for an aquarium, doesn't necessarily mean it's safe for this type of environment? I hadn't intended on buying him any moss balls (because I don't want them to multiply; again, it's not a terribly large space) or other real plants, mostly just decorative as it seems like there will be enough algae for them to eat otherwise (plus, now with the new lid system, I can open it up and actually put food in there from time to time).

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by AnotherKevin » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:04 pm

I'm assuming that just because it's safe for an aquarium, doesn't necessarily mean it's safe for this type of environment?
If it's safe for saltwater aquariums, it should be fine.
now with the new lid system, I can open it up and actually put food in there from time to time
Yeah, but remember, it lived for eight years with no food added.

Tanks vary in terms of nutrient content. If there aren't enough nutrients to grow much algae, you might need to feed occasionally.

My one gallon bowl seems to have plenty of nutrients, so enough algae grows to support my shrimp. I actually did feed them once, a single speck of fish food, just out of curiosity, but no food since then, and my population has been booming.

I have the light on a timer, so literally the only thing I do to care for them is add a bit of distilled water if I notice the water level has dropped due to evaporation. Easiest pet ever!

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by SuperProofer » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:40 pm

"Easiest pet ever!"

That's why I'm so excited! Lol

Yes, I don't plan to feed them often, if at all. But once I add his new roommates, it's nice to have the option the removable lid provides.

Another question (I'm shopping right now). I found some "live" aragonite sand that had a nice look to it to use as their foundation (is that what people call "substrate"?). I don't want the live stuff, right? Or does it not matter? Can you have too much calcium? I also saw some pretty sand that says it's for hermit crabs and the package says "pro calcium" which looks like it means it has extra calcium. Would that be acceptable?

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by Varanus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:41 am

Its my understanding the water will reach its own balance when it comes to how much calcium gets into it, my only concern with hermit crab sand is it may not be meant for being underwater.

As for live sand, the reason to avoid it is due to the risk of there being a lot of dead organisms in it that could pollute the tank, especially such a small tank.

Normal aquarium sand also works fine, shells, limestone rocks, even eggshells can provide calcium instead of the sand if you opt for that.

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Re: Have 8-year Old Ecosystem Shrimp - Not sure what to do

Post by SuperProofer » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:23 pm

Yes, I steered away from the Hermit Crab sand. I went with a regular sand-looking substrate for aquariums. Not live.

I have almost everything I need now. I bought the sand, lava rock, sea shells and glass gravel pieces for decoration. I have a fake plastic green plant "sprig" I need to figure out how to attach to the lava rock or get to stand stabilized in the sand. I just want to get a tall narrow Sea Fan for them to crawl around on and give the tank some height dimension as the jar is taller than it is wide. Once I have that, I'll start to make the water. I did a "dry run" (literally) of the jar decor (see below). I suck at decorating my own house, I just want to do these little guys some justice - I don't know if I'm succeeding. LOL

I also figured out how much water the jar will hold. It is a 4 cup jar; so, like I said, not very big.

Another question: Once I mix their brackish water, do I have to let it sit for any amount of time before I add it to the tank, or can I just put it right in? Also, since I need such a small quantity, if I mix a 1/2 gallon worth (following the instructions from Mustafa's link), can I just pour only as much as I need for the jar or should I only make enough for the jar to begin with? (does that make sense??)

Thanks for all the help so far!
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