Ready Aquarium: All You Need for Freshwater Shrimp Tank

All You Need for Freshwater Shrimp

Ready Aquarium: All You Need for Freshwater Shrimp Tank5 mins read

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All You Need for Freshwater Shrimp
Image from Ready Aquarium.

For the first feature of our new series, Aquarium Spotlight, we spoke to Bolty of Ready Aquarium, who has designed a new custom food for ornamental shrimp designed to provide them with a diet that’s naturally like what they would get in the wild.

Here, we got the low down on the development behind PÚDR, this new food, which is suitable for varieties ranging from freshwater cleaner shrimp, blue freshwater shrimp, and more.

We also look at the ins and outs of keeping ornamental or rainbow freshwater shrimp – a less focussed on but extremely intriguing algae-eating tankmate! Check out the interview below:

What’s the story behind Ready Aquarium?

For years, like many of you, I’ve been a shrimp keeper who experienced frustration with the inconsistency of store-bought food. Sure, some brands are okay, but who wants to keep rolling the dice? You never quite know if you’re giving your little guys the best.

That’s why I, along with some fellow shrimp enthusiasts, took matters into our own hands. We embarked on a multi-year journey of recipe development and, let me tell you, there were some…interesting attempts along the way! But through countless batches, taste tests (by the shrimp, not us!), and yes, even some lab analysis, we finally cracked the code on a DIY shrimp food powder that we’re truly proud of.

The results in our tanks have been fantastic – thriving colonies, vibrant colors (especially important when you have brightly colored, red or blue freshwater shrimp), and even some anecdotal reports of increased breeding. But more than that, we know exactly what’s going into our shrimp’s food. No more mystery fillers or questionable ingredients.

We were so passionate about this project and the positive impact it’s had on our shrimp that we decided we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. So, after all that experimentation, we’re thrilled to share our creation with the wider shrimp-keeping community. 

How did you become interested in freshwater shrimp?

freshwater shrimp
There’s a whole world to discover when it comes to shrimp keeping, and it’s honestly one of the most rewarding parts of the hobby. Image from Ready Aquarium.

My love for aquariums started young, way back when I was just 9 years old. I built my first little tank back then, and from that moment, I was hooked. I’ve always found the underwater world fascinating, with a constant urge to explore new and interesting species.

For years, I dabbled in all sorts of fish – colorful tetras, majestic angelfish, the whole gang. But then, around 2016, something caught my eye: freshwater shrimp. I had no idea there was such a vast and diverse selection available for the home aquarium! Tiny cherry shrimp, the vibrantly colored neocaridina, the mysterious vampire shrimp – the list seemed endless.

The more I learned, the more captivated I became. The world of red, blue, yellow, and rainbow freshwater shrimp offered everything I loved about the hobby – stunning visuals, fascinating behaviors, and a relatively low-maintenance approach. It felt like I’d stumbled upon a whole new underwater world, and I knew I had to dive right in. That’s how my shrimp-keeping journey began, and it’s led me down some amazing paths, including the quest to create the perfect freshwater cleaner shrimp food!

Shrimp are very popular tankmates, but don’t always get the attention they deserve. Do you have any tips for beginners who want to find out more about freshwater cleaner shrimp?

Absolutely! Shrimp are phenomenal tankmates, but you’re right, they often get overshadowed by their flashier fish friends.  There’s a whole world to discover when it comes to shrimp keeping, and it’s honestly one of the most rewarding parts of the hobby.

For beginners curious about diving deeper, my number one tip is patience. Patience is key in several aspects of shrimp keeping. First, be patient as your tank matures.  Building a stable environment with beneficial bacteria takes time and is crucial for your shrimp’s health.  Second, be patient when it comes to breeding.  While some shrimp species reproduce readily, others can take a while to settle in and start multiplying.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see berried females (females carrying eggs) right away.  Finally, be patient during cleaning.  Shrimp are sensitive creatures, so gentle water changes and minimal tank disruptions are essential.

Speaking of learning more, there’s a wealth of information out there!  In fact, throughout my own shrimp keeping journey, I’ve found myself creating tutorials and writing articles aimed at both beginners and experienced hobbyists.  The internet is a treasure trove of resources – online forums, shrimp-specific websites, and even YouTube channels dedicated to these amazing creatures. Here’s mine.

So, if you’re ready to delve into the fascinating world of freshwater shrimp, embrace your patience and start exploring! There’s a vibrant community out there waiting to share their knowledge and passion for these incredible invertebrates.

Apart from this, what are some of your favorite multicolored or rainbow freshwater shrimp species that you work with?

multicolored or rainbow freshwater shrimp species
There are the neocaridina blue freshwater shrimp or bright red cherry shrimp; there are also more low key species. Image from Ready Aquarium.

That’s a great question! There are so many fantastic shrimp species out there, each with its own unique charm. But a few definitely hold a special place in my heart. There are the neocaridina blue freshwater shrimp or bright red cherry shrimp; there are also more low key species. 

One of my top picks has to be the Golden Bee Caridina shrimp. These guys are stunning to look at, with their snow-white bodies and a hint of golden shimmer. But their beauty goes beyond their appearance. Golden Bees are actually quite resilient for a Caridina species, making them a good choice for beginners who are still getting the hang of those specific water parameters.

Another reason I love them? They’re fantastic for breeding projects! The Golden Bee’s genetics contribute to the development of many other popular Caridina colors, like the Crystal Red and Black Bee shrimp. So, if you want to experiment with breeding your own designer shrimp colony, Golden Bees are a great starting point.

Of course, there are countless other amazing shrimp out there. The vibrant orange Tiger shrimp are always a conversation starter, while the filter-feeding Bamboo shrimp are like little underwater janitors, constantly cleaning up the tank. The hobby offers so much variety, and that’s part of what makes it so much fun!

What does your typical day look like?

shrimp food powder PÚDR
It was along the way that I developed this shrimp food powder PÚDR with some fellow enthusiasts. Image from Ready Aquarium.

In terms of aquariums, I keep shrimp as a hobby. It was along the way that I developed this shrimp food powder PÚDR with some fellow enthusiasts.

My typical day revolves around caring for my shrimp tanks.  Early mornings often involve a quick water parameter check and feeding my shrimp colony. Throughout the day, I might be trimming plants, cleaning up any debris, or just enjoying watching my little guys dart around.

Evenings sometimes involve working on new shrimp-keeping content –  articles, tutorials, or maybe even tinkering with the recipe for my shrimp food powder. There’s always something new to learn and share in the world of shrimp!

What is your favorite tank you ever had?

Choosing a favorite tank is like picking a favorite child – they all hold a special place in your heart for different reasons! Each one has its own unique personality, like a moderately sized, 20-gallon haven I once had. Densely planted with a carpeting foreground and soft, flowing stem plants in the background, it offered the perfect environment for its vibrant residents.

The real stars of the show were a colony of Tiger Shrimp. Their bright orange bodies popped against the green foliage as they tirelessly grazed on the biofilm growing on the plants. This peaceful, thriving underwater ecosystem was endlessly relaxing to watch.

But what truly made this tank special was the breeding success. Thanks to the stable environment and a carefully researched diet (including my own shrimp food powder, of course!), the tangerine Tiger Shrimp colony flourished. And when mixed with my Golden bee, I was able to create Crystal Black shrimps.

Lastly, what would you recommend to people, both from Ready Aquarium, and in terms of getting started?

Live plants provide hiding places for shrimp
Live plants provide hiding places for shrimp, help maintain water quality, and offer a natural food source through biofilm growth. Image from Ready Aquarium.

Based on my own experience and what I know about shrimp keeping, here are a few things I might recommend to their customers:

  • Focus on Water Quality: Stable water parameters are crucial for shrimp health. Encourage them to invest in a good water testing kit and familiarise themselves with ideal parameters for their chosen shrimp species.
  • Live Plants are Key: Live plants provide hiding places for shrimp, help maintain water quality, and offer a natural food source through biofilm growth. Suggest starter plants that are easy to care for and suitable for shrimp tanks.
  • Research Before Buying: There are many different shrimp species, each with their own needs. Advise customers to thoroughly research the specific shrimp they would like before bringing them home. This will help them ensure they can provide the proper environment for their new tank residents.
  • Don’t Overfeed: Shrimp are actually quite delicate eaters. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and even shrimp deaths. Recommend feeding small amounts regularly and avoiding leftover food accumulating in the tank.

Finally, while Ready Aquarium offers educational resources and tutorials related to shrimp keeping, I’d definitely recommend pointing my customers in that direction. The more people know about these fascinating creatures, the better equipped they’ll be to create thriving shrimp tanks.

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Sydney Perry

Sydney Perry has loved fish since she was a child and has enjoyed keeping many varieties over the years, ranging from black moors and shubunkins to betta fish. As a lover of nature and of Japanese culture, her dream tank is an Iwagumi aquascape, combining fish with carefully crafted aquatic landscapes in miniature.