Monday, March 2, 2009
I glanced at the Wood shrimp today and noticed the eggs were no longer orange, but instead had turned brown. Knowing I was about to leave town for 3 days, after much consternation, I decided to attempt to move her to the breeding tank. On the one hand, I was afraid of the stress of moving her without me to vigilantly watch her for signs of stress. On the other hand, I was rather certain that with two filter feeders in a 2 gal. tank that by the time I got home there were be few larvae if they were to hatch.
I took a little tiny Tupperware container, and moved it up next to her. With a fondue fork I often use as a tool, I gently nudged her. She took a few steps to the side, right into the Tupperware. No muss, no fuss, it was a fantastically calm move.
Last Friday, Feb 27th, at the invitation of the Argent Chemical Laboratories Representative (makers of Cyclop-eeze), I had a long talk with the representative about the Singapore Wood Shrimp dilemma. He suggested a design for a hatchling tank that held the larvae in vented cups within the larger tank, with a drip apparatus to maintain water flow. In this way, the density of plankton could be much higher surrounding the larvae, with lower risk of fouling the water.
I went to a local hardware store, and decided upon using some hardware used for drip-irrigation, attached to a small 30gal/hr pond pump. I can house this whole thing in one of the spare 10 gal tanks I have. The drip nozzle has 6 outlets, and I am using 3 to feed into the hang-on-the-back filter that belonged to that tank, so there will be a good water flow being mechanically filtered (not using electricity to the filter, just moving some of the drip hoses into it). Also, the drip heads are supposed to have a constant flow of ½ gal/hour (although this has not yet been my experience), and I didn’t want the extra force from the pump (although it does have an adjustable flow) to blow off the hoses. So half of the outlets will flow unabated into the filter, and the remaining 3 holes split to form 6 drip hoses. Currently, my plan is to have the larvae in 5 water bottles, and use the 6th to gradually raise and lower the salinity.
The Representative suggested I buy some freeze-dried cyclop-eeze, which could be ground to smaller sizes than the frozen product I bought, and if I did, he would include some free samples of other products that have size ranges from 20-450 microns. I gladly agreed. Our bargain also included my commitment to talk to my friends about farm-raised salmon, which I have already begun to make good on. The package arrived Monday, March 2nd, and it was just like Christmas.
He also told me to start feeding the frozen Cyclop-eeze to the berried shrimp right away, as it’s nutritional benefits are needed while she is brooding. The other shrimp I have (Red Cherries, Blueberries, Bumble bees, and a lone Tiger) really like the stuff as well, as do my little Convict Cichlid fry.