Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Quest- Day 4

I’d like first to follow up on the “more on this later” items.

First on the System 3: I have found the system 3 to be one of the most reliable aquariums I’ve had, even though long ago the lighting fixture died. The combination of pump flow rate and the bio wheel has been such that I have hardly ever lost anything in this tank. Most recently it has housed a beta and several of what I call “blank” guppies. I have since just moved these into my 20 gal down stairs. My intention with the system 3 was to cultivate the filamentous algae that was so prevalent in the 10 gal where I housed the Convict Cichlids. Last weekend I moved them into a 20 gal, and suspect that without the extra lighting I had on the 10 that the algal growth would diminish.

The other little shrimp tank I have, with a variety of neocaridinas (cherry, blueberry, bumblebee) is small, but I love this tank because the shape of it creates a natural magnifying glass. These shrimp LOVE algae- so prior to the move from 10 to 20 I had several clumps of plants that I rotated- letting them grow a large algal growth, then putting it into the shrimp tank. They come by the dozens to this veritable cafeteria, cleaning it is in a matter of hours.

I had planned on using the System 3 to over-light and keep up this algae rotation.

For a while last night I thought about converting it to salt. But then I realized that if I, in fact, succeed at saving some of these Singapore fry, they will need a place to live. So I decided to keep it now as an algae garden, and hopefully soon, a Singapore Wood Shrimp kindergarten.

Now about the Brackish issue. The article I read named 17 ppm as the brackish reading recommended for Amanos. I did a web search this morning about Brackish, and this seems to be the saltiest end of the range that begins much more fresh than this. I had intended to aim for 17 ppm, but had a little problem with that. I started with the 30 ppm I had used earlier, figuring if I diluted it by half that should be 15 ppm. So I used just slightly less than half fresh for the last cup-to-cup measurement. But when I measured it with the hydrometer, it measured at 23 mmp. I suspect some of the fine particle suspension from the sand is giving a false salinity reading. Now, several hours later, the reading is 21 mmp. I will continue to monitor this.

Now on make-shift pvc filters: Some time ago with the mating of cichlids, the female was so freaked out by the close quarters (at the time they were young and in a 5 gal tank) I decided to move her and the fella into the system 3 so they could have some privacy. That worked out okay until she laid the eggs- then she was so aggressive toward the male that I was afraid she would kill him- lost scales and ripped fins, and I got desperate. So I moved him into this same little jar that is now the brackish tank- but kept him near so they could see each other. Naturally, in a couple of days with just an air stone, the water got cloudy. So I thought about a little miniature filter. I cut a piece of pvc, packed it with some filter floss, and inserted an air stone. Within a couple of hours, the water had cleared. With this little make-shift filter, he was able to survive the ordeal a month or so before I re-organized everything and got all the cichlids into the 10 gal.

Here are some images of the female Singapore Wood Shrimp. As you can see they are in a small goldfish tank. They have lived in this tank for a couple of years, generally alone, just them and some snails. A month or so ago, I moved a few juvenile shrimp (probably blueberry, but without color yet, so they could actually be bumblebee). I have no idea what prompted them to mate now. Jan 4th a pair of grass shrimp I had in there showed eggs. At that point I added just a little salt (about ½ tsp. twice, two days in a row) hoping they would make it. This is a different story to follow up on, but long story short- neither parents nor offspring survived.

Shortly after, I added a small piece of wood collected at a local river. It floated for a long period of time, despite having soaked in a bucked for months. This wood finally water logged and sunk just a couple of days before the eggs. The day of the molting/eggs, I noted a lot of activity with the other young shrimp in the tank- the kind of chasing around in circles that usually has been described as related to a pheromone release- I suspect it was the wood shrimp pheromones they were reacting to.

Late that night, Feb 19th, I looked briefly in the tank as saw a shrimp was very, very red. Usually when there’s a molting the shrimp with be redder than usually, but still, it’’ more of a reddish brown. The other shrimp had molted just a couple of days earlier. It didn’t really hit me them, I thought maybe I was seeing the one who had molted before (I have a hard time telling the two of them apart). Later, though, when I went to turn out the lights- that’s when I spotted her- with those eggs. OMG! This isn’t like the little dozen eggs of the neocaridinas- these are hundreds and hundreds of little, bright orange eggs, so packed into her pleopods that they looked engorged.

I had seen a few times when looking for info on the Neocaridinas, comments about the Singapore Wood Shrimp- most sites you find say they have never been successfully bred in captivity. On this night I looked again- for hours.

This is why I’m on a quest. Most of these fascinating animals are captured in the wild for folks like you and I to buy in Pet Shops. So little is known about shrimp in general- and it seems like shrimp with the Primitive type of breeding cycle have even less info available.

As of the writing of this tonight, Feb 22nd, I’ve gotten email responses from 4 Aquariums- no-one with knowledge yet, some have offer to pass my request along to others. One reminded me to make sure I have plankton for them to eat.

1 comment:

  1. you need to contact people who know how to breed these guys. The people at Arizona Aquatic Gardens would be of help (I beleive). They breed shrimp of all kinds, to include Amano, Bumblebee, Cherry, Giant African, Singapore, and serveral others as well.. They are a retail distributor as well as a comrcial distributor. But They have always been forthcoming in their sharing of information. They have the best quality of care and livestock I have ever seen. There shipping methods are impecable. I LOVE this company for a reason, they are GOOD at what they do. I am VERY demanding. (grin) They will also be able to give you some advise on brackish conditions. I could do the same as I have done brackish tanks myself, but it really is a 2fer, and I have no doubt that they are better at it than I am. They really are amaizing.