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John Henry

Paratya Australiensis in Tasmania

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John Henry

Hi there, here's a rant / question out of the blue! I couldn't see a category so here I go.

I'm currently investigating an idea surrounding the breeding of Glass Shrimp (Paratya Australiensis) for a small scale supply to private aquarium owners and potentially for live feed in Tasmania.

You're probably already aware that it's illegal to import shrimp of any kind into Tasmania and I contacted the Department in charge of Inland Fisheries last week to discuss how we might go about breeding from captured stock within the state. To be honest, I was a little surprised with the way I was spoken to; their representative (referring to himself as 'the bunny that has to answer these questions') said that I would need to establish wether or not they're here (saying they're very hard to find), that everyone he knows of has been unsuccessful in breeding them in captivity and finishing his opening statement with "Why would anyone want to keep shrimp? Why would someone buy shrimp as fish food when they can just buy flakes?"

To follow this, I was told that they wouldn't even consider a permit to catch any shrimp unless the operation was part of a research project supported by an educational institution or similar. There was a lot of talk about biosecurity and what might happen if shrimp were released into the wild but the conversation turned sour as soon as I mentioned that the shrimp would be back with their original colonies that already live in Tasmania. To be fair, I'm aware that introduced aquatic life can cause irreparable damage but I'm struggling to understand how an accidental release of a species that already exists here would make any difference. They're already a substantial food source for freshwater species here but does that mean that any diseases originating in a private aquarium could have a devastating effect?

Now, I've the super helpful article by user @fishmosy from a few years ago and it convinced me to join your forum. It confirms my own knowledge of freshwater shrimp in the state given that I've lived here all my life and I've spoken to many that catch them (illegally) on a regular basis and even watched Tasmanian videos on youtube that demonstrate how to do so. I know they can be bred in captivity because there are people such as yourselves guiding others to achieve the success you also enjoy. I know there's a market because there are literally no shrimp available for purchase anywhere in Tasmania (legally). I tried contacting @fishmosy directly to see if I can incorporate some of the findings in the article or ask their personal opinions but they can't receive messages and haven't been active for a couple of years now.

You might be wondering where this is going but I don't really know why I'm reaching out to you all, honestly. I guess I've been butting heads with departmental cases over the better part of the last month and I just needed to talk to someone that can potentially tell me if I'm stupid for pursuing this. If you were in my position, what would you do? A couple of options I've considered are contacting a mate of mine that's a marine biologist and actually starting a research project, or working to ease the restrictions and start a registration for approved shrimp breeders.



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Yeah, it's unfortunate fishmosy isn't active anymore. He has a lot of knowledge that would have been useful.

However, I would suggest you give it a go.

Build a tank specifically for the shrimp you manage to catch.

When you do succeed in catching some, make a note of the location and date. If you are ever successful enough to release any, you have a record of the location.

Also bring your test kit to check on the water parameters where the shrimps were caught. Test pH, temperature, GH, KH, TDS. Those are the key ones. Make sure your tank parameters match this water exactly, as wild caught shrimps will adapt better if the parameters match. 

Start collecting rain water in plastic rain water tanks. You're going to need it for water changes. Don't even consider using tap water.

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John Henry

Thanks @jayc, really appreciate the support!

Unfortunately I can't even go and catch the things without potentially catching a fine as well. Having a permit means I can catch as many shrimp as I like but I can't get a permit unless I'm backed by a research program. That's the roadblock I'm confronted with for the moment, I guess!

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    • jayc
      A 5gal into a 10gal is double the change in water.  You should drip acclimate. Even more so if it was a move to a 15 gal.   Simon makes some good points with temp differences.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Good to see you back, I assume all is doing well! As you are transferring everything from one tank to another, and using a neutral substrate (gravel) you can probably do it in one go. If you are getting a new filter as it is a larger tank then I would float the sponge from the new filter in the 5L tank for a week or two to get some bacteria on to it, but it looks like you will be transferring your existing filter which can just be transferred as it is. If you are using some sort of active soil substrate you will need to run that in to avoid any ammonia spikes or other build up of nutrients etc before that is put into the new setup, but you say gravel so this is probably not relevant. I assume you will catch the shrimp and put them somewhere safe whilst you do all the tank work so I would drip acclimate them for a couple of hours to the new water to be safest, once you have completely set up and filled the new tank! If they are neocaridina shrimps you are transferring and the water parameters are very close you would probably be able to miss the drip acclimating, but I would play it safe and drip acclimate though! You will also need to ensure the water temperature is matched when you go to put the shrimp in the tank as the shrimp may have been in water that has cooled over the time they were put to one side. How are the tanks doing, and did the small micro crabs work out? Simon 
    • Ludwiggg17
      Hello everyone, lately I've been thinking of upgrading a tank of mine from a 5 gal into either a 10 or 15 one. So I plan to move all the stuff and shrimp from the 5 gal into the new one. I'll use the same gravel and the same water for the new tank and the filter and plants will come from the 5 gal. My question is, do I still need to cycle it separately with a new seeded filter or is the whole using a mature filter okay? Also is skipping drip acclimation when the water params are almost identical acceptable?
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Sorry to hear you have lost half the remaining shrimps. At least you have another taiwan bee tank which is doing fine. Be careful not to take anything (including shrimp) from the bad tank and put it in the good tank! It could be an infection as LukeBeveridge above, maybe some shrimp were sick when you got them. Time to start thinking/preparing to start that tank again! If you are using something different in the tank that you aren't using in any other tank then use what has worked well with the other tanks. At least there is no rush so you can do it at your leisure, and once it is up and running you should have shrimplets you can transfer from your other tank! There is a device out there to prevent heaters overheating by cutting the power to the heater when it gets too hot, it probably would be worth getting one of those, at least for the taiwan bee tank(s).  The parameters look fine. The nitrate figue may indicate the tank isn't cycled properly, but I have a tank that has nitrate 25 permanenetly for 5+ years with no problems. You could test the nitrates in the other taiwan bee tank and see what they are out of curiosity, but as I assume you will be re-setting up the bad tank it probably may be better to just get ready to do that. I feel your disappointment have a tank that is exactly the same and I have (temporarily) given up on that (as I don't know what the problem is) and just have fish in it for now, but I would have to start again if I want to start with taiwan bee shrimp again...... Simon  
    • sdlTBfanUK
      That is a beautiful shrimp! Mixing different colours as you are will mean you will get offspring reverting to wild (brown or clear usually) quite quickly. Simon
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