Updated: Dec 6, 2021
We already know that shrimp biomass is low and that shrimp can survive in harsh environments, but because we keep them in captivity, we must agree that we should give the shrimps with the greatest possible living conditions.
To do so, choose a tank with at least 10 gallons of capacity, which is easier to maintain and has a better tolerance for changes in water conditions.
Shrimps are tough creatures that may survive in harsh environments depending on the breed. However, in order for a colony to function at its best, water quality must be considered.
Each variety of shrimp necessitates its unique set of water conditions. Neocaridina may generally be found in temperatures ranging from 72° to 82° F (22° to 28° C), pH 6.4 to 8.0, kH 0-8; gH 4-14; TDS 100-300. Those settings are required to keep your shrimp alive. Most breeders will tell you that in order to produce high-quality shrimp and maintain a healthy and developing colony, you must keep the water temperature low, the pH at 6.8, the kH at 2 and the gH at 6, and the TDS at 180.
Furthermore, maintaining those parameters precisely in a Nano tank like the Fluval Spec 2.6G is difficult; I achieved it, and I'm writing to share my experience and lessons gained.
I created three of these for a split design in our living room, as you can see. The aquascape is the most difficult aspect of those tanks to construct. Because the tank is tall and thin, it's difficult to stick your hands in the right places and manipulate the tweezers properly.
It's also important to remember to use the proper sort of stone to keep your kH and pH at optimal levels. I recommend testing each stone independently for a week or two while keeping track of your water parameters. This will give you an estimate of how much and how often you will require water changes in the future.
Because you need a buffering substrate that is also healthy for plants, choosing the substrate is a little easier. I used to use Fluval Stratum, but I switched to ADA Amazonia II because it emits less ammonia and has superior buffering.
Because the shrimp won't need the vertical elevation, a long shallow tank is a better option. Nonetheless, I did it in the Fluval because it's an all-in-one tank and simplifies things. But, alas, the troubles have arrived.
Because the Fluval's internal pump is so powerful, I had to cut holes in the tubing to control the flow and later had water circulation issues. With an externally controlled pump and a sponge filter, things would have been a lot easier.
The Fluval's Internal Filter Media comprises of a sponge in a back compartment that absorbs water through holes on the top and bottom of the tank. Baby shrimps are easily absorbed inside the filter because to the large holes. I'm not sure how long it's been, but I think I still see shrimp in the back compartment. To address this, I filled the bottom hole with substrate and lifted the back sponge higher than the top holes to hide them (Image 1). I could have used a needle plastic canvas (Image 2) instead, or attached filter floss to the top.
The lighting on the Fluval Spec is adequate for shrimp keeping, but if you want to grow lush plants, you'll need to upgrade to stronger lighting. Floating plants can be used to compensate.
So, if you didn't commit to a Fluval Spec 2.6, go for the 5 or 6 gallon tank or a shallower, larger tank. Keep track of your water changes and keep an eye on the water quality because the water chemistry in a tank this size can change faster than you think. Feed less frequently over time, starting with daily feedings until enough biofilm has formed, then switching to every other day. In a Fluval Spec 2.5G, do not maintain fish with the shrimps because it will greatly increase the bio-load; I only keep an Otocinclus and it isn't doing well, so I switch it out every now and again.
To view a full setup and update of the split build watch: