Showing posts from May, 2017

Rod MacPherson: Shrimp Paparazzi

So with the day off work, the weather wet and me not feeling great, I sat in a stakeout by the shrimp tank for about an hour this morning to get a rare glimpse of Momma shrimp. Here are the first photos of her in quite some time.

She is still doing well even though she's been a bit of a recluse lately. You can see she's developing a nice new saddle, so she'll be ready to breed again shortly after this group are born. Speaking of the babies being born, It looks like we have about a week left to go.

The other girl in the tank might be carrying eggs soon too. Judging by her and the boys' behaviour recently. She's been doing some of the same grooming that Momma did before she got pregnant, grooming her swimerette (pleopod) area with her back walking legs. and the boys have been very active, swimming around a lot more than usual.

Mamma Shrimp Update

Good news. I saw Mamma tonight. She hasn't dropped all her eggs, she still has them, she'd just been in hiding and I'd mistaken one of the others for her.

Yay! baby shrimps still on their way!

Maybe she's not going to be a mamma this time

The shrimp who had the eggs, "mamma shrimp" seems to have dropped them. I feel bad because I think it was due to the stress from the salt dip they all got on the weekend. ...but I'd rather rid the colony of a parasite than have it in there once the little ones are born.  It's much easier to deal with when you have only a handful of adult shrimp than once you have dozens in all sizes.

Shrimp eggs have been known to hatch on their own (particularly if the mother dies while carrying them) so there is a chance that somewhere in the tank there are eggs that are still developing and might soon become baby shrimp even without mamma protecting them. I've removed the assassin snail in case that is the case. Shrimp eggs on their own have no defense against even a slow moving predator like that.

Mamma shrimp will be ready to try again in a few weeks, so even if this group of eggs is lost, it's not the end of her line.

Spa day for the shrimp

While this may sound like it should be a part of "What are the little bugs in my aquarium" I'm not really going to talk a lot about the bugs, just how I'm attempting to fix the problem. If you want to learn more about the bugs themselves follow the links in the text below.

A while back I noticed these spots on the side of one of my shrimp.

Jessica Lawrence-Hall over on the Aquarium Shrimp Keeping facebook group said that they looked like the eggs of Scutariella japonica, which was something that she was currently treating in her shrimp. Scutariella are a type of small flatworm that attach themselves to a host shrimp and lay eggs in their gills. Then when the shrimp molts, the eggs come away with the molt, hatch and attach themselves to a new shrimp.

After Jessica suggested that they might be Scutariella eggs, I started scooping out any molts in case she was right. Despite not seeing any clear sign of the adult Scutariella , which look kind of like little white leaches…

Thanks to Shrimp, These Waters Stay Fresh and Clean | National Geographic


What are the little bugs in my aquarium? - Part 1 Cyclops

It can be interesting and sometimes challenging to identify all of the little lifeforms in your aquarium that you didn't intentionally put there. I'm going to do a series called "What are the little bugs in my aquarium?" as I find and manage to get photos or video of the various little critters that somehow make it into my tank.

These first ones are a type of copepods known as cyclops because they have only one eye at the front, but you'd need a microscope to see that kind of detail. I used a cell phone zoomed in to get this shot. That light green thing they are all gathered on is a part of a pea. 

You can tell cyclops by the two front legs that stick out to the sides like antenna and the split tail. These guys are popular as a live fish food and for that reason, you probably won't see them (or not many of them and not for long) if there are any fish in the tank, but my shrimp don't hunt them down, they might eat them when they are dead, but they aren…

New Stuff For The Shrimp Tank

Today I had the day off work, and 2 of the fish stores I like in Scarborough had stuff I wanted on sale. So, I went to Shrimp Fever to get some Indian Almond (Cappata) leaves for the shrimp and the betta, and picked up a new shrimp food to try. I got them some Hikari Crab Cuisine because I had read that other people's shrimp like it as a high protein food. I haven't tried it yet as I don't think they need a protein meal just yet, but I will try it out later this weekend.

Next up was Big Al's Scarborough for Assassin snails. (2 for $1.99!) One was added to the shrimp tank and one went into the tank with the big Java fern in the basement. We've been holding the fern in a 10gallon spare tank while we get the recroom floor done so we can move our big 65 gallon in there, and that's where most of that fern will end up. Meanwhile, the assassin snail is tasked with ridding the fern holding tank of any pest pond snails.

"I'm a Rock." can you spot the snail…

A Better Photo of Mamma Shrimp


Cleaning an aquarium

I came across this YouTube video from Cory at Aquarium Co-Op that will really simplify the process of cleaning aquariums around here. I'd been doing something like this because I'd been completely frustrated with the little squeeze ball pump that came with our siphon because the valve in it doesn't work properly. When you squeeze it water flows out in both directions, then sucks from both directions until you get some momentum going or give up and fill the hose another way. Cory's method for getting the siphon started is so simple, and is going to ease a lot of frustration.

Also his tip for sponge filters will help a lot especially in the betta tank. Getting the sponge off the Hang-On-Back filter intake without squezing muck out of it into the tank has been a challenge, this simple tip will solve that.

I should have been able to think of these things on my own, and given that I was part way to the siphon solution already probably would have eventually, but sometimes a …

She's going to be a momma

Yesterday morning I filmed this video of the more mature female in the midst of a mating ritual of having the boys chase her around the tank.

Last night she was in hiding all night, but this morning I came down to find her near the back of the tank, with the other female seemingly standing guard next to her. ... and she looked a little different.
No saddle, instead, "berries". Her eggs had been fertilized and moved down under her belly.
Sorry for the bad photo, because of where she was in the tank, it was very difficult to get a shot at all, let alone a nice clear one.
[Update: there's a new better photo here:]


Ok, now I'm sure there are 2 females in the tank. You just rarely see them together.
In case anyone wonders what a saddled female Blue Velvet Shrimp looks like, here is a photo of my most mature female.

Update for the first week of May 2017

I guess it's been over a week since my last post. There is some more sad news. On the morning of Sunday April 30 Anna found another of the shrimp dead. On the plus side, no others have died since then. Although last night Don, the Red Cherry shrimp seemed determined to climb out. He was not successful, but he did seem to be trying. We have a mat of Java moss that I'm trying to grow out in the shrimp tank. It just kind of floats near the top as it's 2 layers of plastic mesh with moss sandwiched in between the layers. The shrimp like to go up there and feed on the algae. Last night Don tried to climb one of the stalks of moss out of the water, after failing to get any grip to climb the wall of the tank. The water tests fine so I have to think he was just searching for more algae. He seems to be the dumb one.

Here's a couple of the Blue Velvets dining on algae in the Java moss mat:

Besides Algae they seem to like Aqueon Betta Pellets. They will not touch the Quattro 2 veg…