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How to buy and add cuttlebone to your shrimp tank

Adding a cuttlebone to an aquarium that is home to your Caridina or Neocaridina davidi shrimps is extremely beneficial.

You can take a look at this guide at Aquarium Blueprints to see what type of cuttlebone to buy as well as how to add it to your shrimp tank.

What are the benefits of adding cuttlebone to your aquarium

A cuttlebone will increase the gH and kH to your water column. Having more gH should result in a higher concentration of calcium in the water column. For the uninformed, shrimps need calcium to develop healthy shells to make molting less stressful. Otherwise, unhealthy shell growth could lead to death during the molting process.

kH will help stabilize the pH of your tank, preventing it from dropping to a more acidic level.

According to The Shrimp Farm, the Neocaridina davidi species (which include Red Cherry Shrimps and other variants) should be able to tolerate the following parameters:

  • pH: 6.2 to 8.0
  • gH: 4 to 8
  • kH: 3 to 15

The Caridina species (which includes the Crystal Red Shrimps and other variants) are more sensitive as it can tolerate the following parameters (via The Shrimp Farm):

  • pH: 5.8 to 7.4
  • gH: 4 to 6
  • kH: 0 to 4

What makes cuttlebone great for your shrimp tank is that it will dissolve very slowly into your water. As a result, your shrimps should be able to slowly acclimate to the new water parameters over a long period of time. Otherwise, a sharp and sudden increase in pH, gH and/or kH will lead to shock and may potentially cause death.

How to buy cuttlebone for your shrimp tank

When looking for a cuttlebone, make sure that you avoid buying products that have been artificially flavored.

You will mostly find the compatible cuttlebones in pet stores or the pets’ section of a multi-purpose store. While these are mostly advertised for birds or turtles, these products should also be safe for use with your Caridina or Neocaridina davidi shrimps.

If you are looking for cuttlebones that you can get online, then we recommend taking a look at the Emours Natural Cuttlefish Bone on Amazon with this link.

How to add cuttlebone in your shrimp tank

In order to add cuttlebone to your shrimp tank, you can do the following:

1. First off, we recommend boiling the cuttlebone for at least five minutes. Afterwards, let the water cool down to lukewarm temperature before removing the cuttlebone.

2. After removing the cuttlebone from the boiled water, you can then put it inside your shrimp aquarium.

3. The cuttlebone will most like float until it gets waterlogged enough to sink. Therefore, we recommend putting a little weight on it in the beginning in order to keep it down.

You can weigh it down by partially burying it with your substrate. You can also use other objects you have in your tank.

4. When placing the cuttlebone, we recommend that the inner shell portion, which should feel rougher to touch, to be exposed. This will make it easier for your pet shrimps (and snails, if you have any) to pick at the cuttlebone.