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Glass shrimp: genus Paratya


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Glass Shrimp:

Paratya from Australia


By: Dr. Benjamin Mos

Paratya are probably one of the most under-rated shrimp in Australia.The common names 'glass shrimp', 'ghost shrimp' and 'clear shrimp' don't do this group of shrimp justice. Nor does their widespread use as live food. This species complex (a group of closely related species that are currently described as a single species) is very suited to life in aquaria, tough, are good algae eaters, wide spread and easily collected, and yet breeding them will provide a challenge for the most hardcore of shrimp keepers.


Why are Paratya so awesome?

In a word, potential. Paratya have a huge amount of potential for breeding new variations, as algae eaters in aquascapes, as tough shrimp for beginners, as a brackish water specialist for biotopes, and much more.

Paratya come in a variety of colours (blue, green, clear, black, orange and even full red individuals) and patterns (dorsal stripes, 'tiger-stripe' patterns, speckles and blotches). There is very little known about whether their colouration can be controlled by diet, stress or other environmental factors, or whether line breeding could result in fixed colour variants, so there is great potential for breeders to work on fixing colours/patterns.









Current status of the taxonomy of Australian Paratya

The genus Paratya in Australia has an interesting taxonomic history. Paratya australiensis was first described by Kemp in 1917. In 1953, Riek proposed several new species and sub-species of Paratya. However in 1979, Williams and Smith reviewed the genus and declared all the Paratya from the east coast of Australia were a single species, P. australiensis. Recent phylogenetic analysis (comparisons of the DNA from individuals from different locations) suggests P. australiensis is probably a group of closely related species - a species complex (Baker et al., 2004; Cook et al., 2006; 2007; Hughes et al., 2003; Hurwood et al., 2003). Currently, Australian taxonomists are working to unravel the Australian Paratya species complex. It appears the 'species' we call P. australiensis will likely be broken up into between 9 and 11 new species. This work may also shed light on the relationships among Australian Paratya and Paratya found elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. The fact that Paratya from Australia are a species complex has important implications for hobbyists in terms of breeding, hybridization and collecting, and these issues will be examined in detail later in this article.


Where are Paratya found?

Species from the genus Paratya are not limited to Australia. They are found through-out the western Pacific, with "a disjunct northern range in the North Pacific (Japan, Korea, Ryukyu Islands, Siberia) and South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Lord Howe, Norfolk Island)" (Page et al. 2005). The Paratya species from New Caledonia (see Choy & Marquet, 2002) are very attractively coloured and appear in the hobby (see link below). Whilst this article focuses on the Paratya from Australia, the information on captive husbandry and breeding should be useful for species collected and kept elsewhere.

In Australia, Paratya are found all along the east coast of Australia, from the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns in the north to the east coast of Tasmania. They are also found further inland, through the Murray-Darling system.




Approximate distribution of Paratya species in Australia


In these areas, Paratya are found in creeks, rivers and estuaries, but also frequently in static water, such as dams. Juveniles and adults from south-eastern Australia are very tolerant of brackish water up to a salinity of around nearly full seawater (33ppt, Walsh and Mitchell, 1995). However, juveniles and adults also live quite happily (and breed) in freshwater 10's or 100's of kilometres from the nearest ocean (e.g. Hancock, 1998). This leaves almost infinite scope for using Paratya in biotope aquariums, from brackish tanks with sand, nerites and plants all the way through to freshwater tanks with leaf litter and rocks, but no plants.

Some freshwater habitat pictures from the Mid North Coast of New South Wales









Paratya do not appear in the western half of Australia, and 'glass shrimp' caught on the west coast near Perth are likely to be a entirely different shrimp, Palaemonetes australis, although there have been reports of an introduction of Caridina indistincta from eastern Australia into several rivers near Perth (see link below). This is a good reminder why it is important never to release any aquarium organism, including shrimp, into the wild.


Also see paper by Harris et al. 2017



How do I know if I have Paratya?

I've realised whilst researching for this article that identification of Australian 'glass shrimp' is no where near as straight forward as what I had initially thought. Paratya can be easily confused with other native shrimp kept in aquaria, and it doesn't help that they have been mistakenly called 'cherry shrimp' in the past.

Two types of shrimp that are really easy to confuse with Paratya are juvenile Macrobrachium spp. and Caridina, particularly species from a group of shrimp currently known as Caridina indistincta. Caridina and Macrobrachium species are found alongside Paratya in the same habitats. In NSW Australia, you will often catch all three types at once!


How to tell Paratya apart from Macrobrachium?

Many of the pictures on the internet which are labelled Paratya are actually Macrobrachium spp., including adults which are at least three times larger than any reported size for Paratya. The mistake is easy to spot if you know what to look for.

To rule out if your shrimp is a juvenile macro, here is what to look for.

If it has 'arms', its a Macro!

Paratya have 10 legs roughly the same length



Macrobrachium spp. have 8 legs roughly the same length and 2 legs much longer (in technical terms, the second pair of pereiopods are very enlarged). In juvenile Macrobrachium, the longer legs are clear rather than black, but are still obviously longer.



How to tell Paratya apart from Caridina?  

NOTE: If you have collected your shrimp from Victoria or South Australia, they are almost certainly one of the Paratya species and not a Caridina. The number of species of Caridina shrimp generally decrease from northern to southern Australia, and have not been found south of around the Shoalhaven River in New South Wales. If do you find a Caridina south of this region, please contact me as I'd be very interested to see it!

Once you've seen Paratya alongside many of the shrimp from the genus Caridina, they are fairly easy to tell apart given differences in their body shape and size, size of the rostrum, egg size, and sometimes coloration and patterning on the body.

For example, one of the closest shrimp in looks to Paratya is Caridina longirostris, but their small Australian distribution in northern Queensland means they aren't likely to be collected by most people and they aren't widespread in the hobby. Note that there is also a species of Caridina (undescribed) from the Northern Territory that looks almost identical to Caridina longirostris - the Darwin Algae Eater (DAE) or Caridina sp. NT nilotica. This species is more widespread in the hobby because it is farmed in the NT and made available to the bobby via a well known supplier.



Caridina longirostris - Note the large body size, very small green eggs, long rostrum and red striations. Together these characteristics can help differentiate this species from Paratya without the need to examine specimens under the microscope.


If you want to be doubly sure about what shrimp you have, then use the method below for distinguishing Paratya apart from any Caridina.  

According to the taxonomic key by Choy and Horwitz (1995), there are two characteristics that distinguish 'P. australiensis' from all Australian Caridina shrimp; the presence of supra-orbital spines and the presence of exopods on all the pereiopods.

Now you are thinking 'what the hell does that mean?' and 'where the hell can I find those things on the shrimp?'



1. Supraorbital basically means 'behind the eyes'. So supraorbital spines are spines that are found behind the eyes. Paratya are the only small freshwater Australian shrimp that have these spines (Choy and Horwitz, 1995; Williams and Smith, 1979), so if your shrimp have these, well done you have a solid ID. All species of Caridina, including indistincta, do not have supraorbital spines.

Here is what the supraorbital spines look like.




Top view




2. Like all shrimp, Paratya have five pairs of legs (10 in total), plus some maxillipeds (arms) around the mouth to assist when feeding. The legs are called pereiopods and are used for walking around and picking up food, ect.



Exopods are basically little 'legs' that are attached to the pereiopods (or the main legs).



Paratya have an exopod on every pereiopod (Williams and Smith, 1979). In C. indistincta and other Caridina, exopods are absent or, in rare cases, found only on the first pair of pereiopods.

In the picture below, red is the exopods, blue is the pereiopods. Yellow is the third pair of maxillipeds (there are two pairs closer to the mouth that cant be seen here). You'll also notice that the front two pairs of pereiopods have chelae ('fingers' or 'pincers'). These are used during feeding to grab food. In fact, Paratya have been recorded using these to filter-feed like the Australian riffle shrimp, Australatya striolata (Gemmell, 1978).



And just to further confirm that the pictures are of a Paratya sp..

Here is the rostrum (nose). There are 9-36 spines on the dorsal (top) side of the rostrum and 0-11 on the ventral (bottom) side of the rostrum for 'P. australiensis'. The one in the pic has 30 dorsal and 11 ventral (yes, I counted them!). The number of spines is so variable because the number of spines increases as they grow (Williams and Smith,1979). C. indinstincta has only up to 8 spines on the ventral side of the rostrum (Riek, 1953).



And heres some pictures of the tail just because the colours look awesome.Notice there are both red and blue coloured spots.

Note also that the presence/absence of spines on and around the tail can be used to differentiate between different shrimp, particularly shrimp in the genus Caridina.





One thing you will have no doubt noticed is that both the supraorbital spines and the exopods are pretty small. The above pics were of a 35mm female, which is pretty much as big as 'P. australiensis' get (William and Smith, 1979), under a dissecting microscope (approx. 10 - 20 times zoom), and these features are still small. I could only just see the supraorbital spines with the naked eye in the right light at the right angle, and the exopods appeared only as a blur of movement above the legs. The point is that you will need some source of magnification to view these features. 

Unfortunately not many people have access to a laboratory spec dissecting microscope, but luckily you don't need to! A lot of the point and shoot cameras available today have built in macro modes. Simply take a picture of your shrimp using the macro mode and zoom in on the photo if you need to. I often use my point-and-shoot camera in the field for getting quick IDs of shrimp, instead of using a portable dissecting microscope.

Here is one such photo - test yourself, is this a Paratya? (Answer at the end).




How to keep Paratya in aquaria?

So now you know you have Paratya. Now how should you go about keeping them?

The answer is easily. Paratya are hardy aquarium inhabitants,  and tolerate a wide variety of pH, TDS and GH/KH, and some even tolerate high salinity - perfect for those with brackish set-ups. I've successfully kept Paratya in a variety of tanks including  planted aquascapes with soft, acidic water conditions to a tank with small African cichlids with hard, high pH water conditions. In my experience, Paratya are peaceful and can be housed alongside pretty much any shrimp. Likewise they are happy alongside fish that are too small to consume them. Like most freshwater shrimp, Paratya live to around two years of age (Hancock and Bunn, 1997; Williams, 1977; Williams and Smith, 1979).


In general, the below water parameters should keep your Paratya happy and healthy.

Temperature: optimal 20-26*C, but will tolerate extremes 8-30*C in the wild.

Salinity: 0 - 33 ppt (nearly full seawater). Note Paratya is not found in brackish water in Queensland, but is found from 0- 33 ppt salinity in estuaries in Victoria (Kefford et al., 2004; Walsh and Mitchell, 1995).

pH: optimal at around 7.0 but handles 6.0 - 8.2.

TDS: not important as long as extremes are avoided

GH/KH: not important as long as extremes are avoided

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: Optimally as low as possible


Feeding Paratya is relatively straight forward as well. They will eat anything that any other shrimp eats, and additionally are good algae eaters. In the wild they have been recorded feeding on biofilms** (Burns and Walker, 2000; Moulton et al., 2012), particularly those that form on leaves (Schulze and Walker, 1997) and on aquatic freshwater plants, like Myriophyllum salsugineum (Piola et al., 2008). In fact, they have been kept alive and bred in the laboratory by being fed on pieces of Elodea that were covered by algae dominated biofilms (Hancock, 1998). Interestingly, these are one of the few shrimp to eat cyanobacteria (Burns and Walker, 2000; Piola et al., 2008), more commonly known as the dreaded Blue Green Algae (BGA), but I'm unaware of any instances where these have been used successfully to treat BGA in aquariums. My opinion is that they would likely go for other easy-to-access foods prior to eating BGA, but they may be useful in preventing BGA out-breaks.

**Note: An informative thread on biofilms (what they are and how they form) can be found here:


How to breed Paratya?

Now comes the tricky part of keeping these shrimp.

In the wild, breeding occurs in the warmer spring and summer months, and stops over winter (Hancock and Bunn, 1997; Richardson and Cook, 2006; Richardson et al., 2004; Williams and Smith, 1979). Breeding seems to be triggered by warmer temperatures and females will not become berried at low temperatures or after a temperature drop. Some females will breed twice within a season (Hancock and Bunn, 1997). It is certainly possible that breeding could occur in aquaria year round.


There is one important tip I can offer for shrimp keepers thinking of breeding these guys that could mean the difference between success and failure. In fact, this may apply to most, if not all, Australian native shrimp.

If you can, obtain 'headwater' shrimp to breed from.

What I mean by this is, try to collect your adults from areas that are well away from estuaries, as far inland as possible and better yet, above a natural block to upstream migration (like a waterfall). The reason for this is that shrimp collected from these areas will have a natural tendency to produce large eggs (Cook et al., 2007; Fawcett et al., 2010; Hancock, 1998; Hancock et al., 1998; Walsh, 1993). Why? Because larvae in these areas have to develop quickly before they are washed away downstream (e.g. over a waterfall).

Why are large eggs important for breeding in aquariums?

Because it means that:

  • larvae from headwater adults are more likely to develop completely in freshwater
  • larvae from headwater adults are likely to develop quickly before settling onto the substrate and feeding like adults. In contrast, low-land shrimp have longer larval stages and may need to be raised in brackish water to develop properly. This is especially true for larvae from adults found in brackish water.
  • Headwater adults may even be a different species from lowland shrimp, and if so, will be adapted to living in pure freshwater and may even have direct-developing larvae (i.e. larvae that hatch out looking like mini adults instead of larvae that develop through a series of stages in the water column before settling onto the bottom as juveniles).

Therefore larvae from 'headwater' adults will be far easier to raise than larvae from adults collected from low-land areas. More in depth analysis of the topic of egg size in lowland and headwater shrimp can be found in Cook et al. (2007), Fawcett et al., (2010), Hancock (1998), Hancock et al.(1998) and Walsh (1993) but this literature is probably too in depth for the average aquarist.


Here are some examples of the difference that having headwater shrimp makes to breeding them:

Hancock (1998) used the following method to culture headwater 'P. australiensis':

  • Berried females were collected from freshwater creeks and kept at 11, 18 and 21*C. Females were fed Elodea.
  • Eggs kept at 11*C took 60 days to hatch, whilst those at 18 -21*C took 20-25 days.
  • Once the eggs hatched, the larvae were fed with algae scraped from the walls of an aquarium kept outside. Water changes were made every two days (no filter mentioned).
  • All the larvae kept at 11*C died, whilst those at 18 and 21*C developed normally.
  • Larvae took between 15 and 28 days to develop before settling onto the bottom.

In contrast, Walsh 1993 used the following method to grow 'P. australiensis' collected from brackish estuaries:

  • Adults were collected from 0.5 - 1.5 ppt salinity.
  • Upon hatching, seawater was added to boost the salinity to 15ppt (within one hour). Larvae kept at salinity below 5ppt didn't survive. Survival was highest at 15ppt. Larvae hatched at night on approximately the 25th day from the females being berried.
  • Larvae swam near the bottom with their tails pointing upwards
  • Water was changed every 2-3 days
  • Larvae were fed with newly hatched Artemia (Baby Brine Shrimp or BBS).
  • Larval development took 28-45 days, by which time the larvae reach 4-5mm
  • The larvae then settled onto the bottom and began feeding like adults.

Other authors (e.g. Hancock and Bunn, 1997) fed larvae using FPOM (Fine Particulate Organic Matter) which is organic matter less than 1mm in diameter. This ranges from microalgae and diatoms to decomposing plants, leaves and wood. With this in mind, powdered algae, like Spirulina, or finely ground shrimp food may make the perfect larval food.

There are also multiple online reports of successful breeding of P. australiensis in aquariums. However there is little variation in the methods used from those I have summarised above and often less detail, so I won't repeat them here.

One final thing with regards to breeding. It is very likely that many of the Paratya 'species' can interbreed. In fact a scientific paper recently published in the journal 'Journal of Heredity' by Wilson et al. (2016) describes such an event occurring in the wild due to an introduction of one Paratya type into a stream where they did not naturally occur.

This highlights the need for aquarists to be responsible with the shrimp they keep. Do not release any shrimp into the wild, even if you collected the shrimp from the same location previously.



I encourage everyone to try keeping and breeding these shrimp. They really deserve to be more highly considered than only as a live food.

Best of luck with your shrimp endeavors.




Baker, A. M., Hughes, J. M., Dean, J. C., & Bunn, S. E. (2004). Mitochondrial DNA reveals phylogenetic structuring and cryptic diversity in Australian freshwater macroinvertebrate assemblages. Marine and Freshwater Research, 55(6), 629-640.

Burns, A., & Walker, K. F. (2000). Biofilms as food for decapods (Atyidae, Palaemonidae) in the River Murray, South Australia. Hydrobiologia, 437(1-3), 83-90.

Choy, S.C. & Marquet, G. (2002). Biodiversity and zoogeography of Atyid Shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda: Natantia of New Caledonia. Mémoires du Muséum national d'histoire naturelle 187: 207-222.

Cook, B. D., Baker, A. M., Page, T. J., Grant, S. C., Fawcett, J. H., Hurwood, D. A., & Hughes, J. M. (2006). Biogeographic history of an Australian freshwater shrimp, Paratya australiensis (Atyidae): the role life history transition in phylogeographic diversification. Molecular Ecology, 15(4), 1083-1093.

Cook, B. D., Bunn, S. E., & Hughes, J. M. (2007). A comparative analysis of population structuring and genetic diversity in sympatric lineages of freshwater shrimp (Atyidae: Paratya): concerted or independent responses to hydrographic factors?. Freshwater Biology, 52(11), 2156-2171.

Fawcett, J. H., Hurwood, D. A., & Hughes, J. M. (2010). Consequences of a translocation between two divergent lineages of the Paratya australiensis (Decapoda: Atyidae) complex: reproductive success and relative fitness. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 29(3), 1170-1180.

Gemmell, P., 1978. Feeding habits and structure of the gut of the Australian freshwater prawn Paratya australiensis Kemp (Crustacea: Caridea, Atyidae). Proc. linn. Soc. N.S.W. 103: 209–216.

Hancock, M. A. (1998). The relationship between egg size and embryonic and larval development in the freshwater shrimp Paratya australiensis Kemp (Decapoda: Atyidae). Freshwater Biology, 39(4), 715-723.

Hancock, M. A., & Bunn, S. E. (1997). Population dynamics and life history of Paratya australiensis Kemp, 1917 (Decapoda: Atyidae) in upland rainforest streams, south-eastern Queensland, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 48(4), 361-369.

Hancock, M. A., Hughes, J. M., & Bunn, S. E. (1998). Influence of genetic and environmental factors on egg and clutch sizes among populations of Paratya australiensis Kemp (Decapoda: Atyidae) in upland rainforest streams, south-east Queensland. Oecologia, 115(4), 483-491.

Harris, A., Page, T. J., Fotedar, S., Duffy, R., & Snow, M. Molecular identification of the precise geographic origins of an invasive shrimp species in a globally significant Australian biodiversity hotspot. Biological Invasions, 1-6.

Hughes, J., Goudkamp, K., Hurwood, D., Hancock, M., & Bunn, S. (2003). Translocation causes extinction of a local population of the freshwater shrimp Paratya australiensis. Conservation Biology, 17(4), 1007-1012.

Hurwood, D. A., Hughes, J. M., Bunn, S. E., & Cleary, C. (2003). Population structure in the freshwater shrimp (Paratya australiensis) inferred from allozymes and mitochondrial DNA. Heredity, 90(1), 64-70.

Kefford, B. J., Dalton, A., Palmer, C. G., & Nugegoda, D. (2004). The salinity tolerance of eggs and hatchlings of selected aquatic macroinvertebrates in south-east Australia and South Africa. Hydrobiologia, 517(1-3), 179-192.

Moulton, T. P., Souza, M. L., Brito, E. F., Braga, M. R. A., & Bunn, S. E. (2012). Strong interactions of Paratya australiensis (Decapoda: Atyidae) on periphyton in an Australian subtropical stream. Marine and Freshwater Research, 63(9), 834-844.

Page, T., Baker, A., Cook, B., & Hughes, J. (2005). Historical Transoceanic Dispersal of a Freshwater Shrimp: The Colonization of the South Pacific by the Genus Paratya (Atyidae). Journal of Biogeography, 32(4), 581-593. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3566210

Piola, R. F., Suthers, I. M., & Rissik, D. (2008). Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis indicates freshwater shrimp Paratya australiensis Kemp, 1917 (Atyidae) assimilate cyanobacterial accumulations. Hydrobiologia, 608(1), 121-132.

Richardson, A. J., & Cook, R. A. (2006). Habitat use by caridean shrimps in lowland rivers. Marine and freshwater research, 57(7), 695-701.

Richardson, A. J., Growns, J. E., & Cook, R. A. (2004). Distribution and life history of caridean shrimps in regulated lowland rivers in southern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 55(3), 295-308.

Riek, E. F. (1953). The Australian freshwater prawns of the family Atyidae. Records of the Australian museum, 23(3), 111-121.

Schulze, D. J., & Walker, K. F. (1997). Riparian eucalypts and willows and their significance for aquatic invertebrates in the River Murray, South Australia. Regulated Rivers: Research & Management, 13(6), 557-577.

Walsh, C. J. (1993). Larval development of Paratya australiensis Kemp, 1917 (Decapoda: Caridea: Atyidae), reared in the laboratory, with comparisons of fecundity and egg and larval size between estuarine and riverine environments. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 456-480.

Walsh, C. J., & Mitchell, B. D. (1995). The Freshwater shrimp Paratya australiensis (Kemp, 1917)(Decapoda: Atyidae) in estuaries of south-western Victoria, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 46(6), 959-965.

Williams, W. D. (1977). Some aspects of the ecology of Paratya australiensis (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae). Marine and Freshwater Research, 28(4), 403-415.

Williams, W. D., & Smith, M. J. (1979). A taxonomic revision of Australian species of Paratya (Crustacea: Atyidae). Marine and Freshwater Research, 30(6), 815-832.

Wilson, J. D., Schmidt, D. J., & Hughes, J. M. (2016). Movement of a Hybrid Zone Between Lineages of the Australian Glass Shrimp (Paratya australiensis). Journal of Heredity, 107(5), 413-422.

Further Reading:

Bool, J. D., Witcomb, K., Kydd, E., & Brown, C. (2011). Learned recognition and avoidance of invasive mosquitofish by the shrimp, Paratya australiensis. Marine and Freshwater Research, 62(10), 1230-1236.

Page, T. J., von Rintelen, K., & Hughes, J. M. (2007). Phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships of subterranean and surface genera of Australian Atyidae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea) inferred with mitochondrial DNA. Invertebrate Systematics, 21(2), 137-145.

Smith, M. J., & Williams, W. D. (1980). Infraspecific variations within the Atyidae: a study of morphological variation within a population of Paratya australiensis (Crustacea: Decapoda). Marine and Freshwater Research, 31(3), 397-407.


Answer to 'Is this a Paratya'? - No. This specimen does not have supra-orbital spines, and is in fact a species of Caridina, most likely in the nilotica complex.



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Edited by fishmosy
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  • HOF Member

Great article Ben . Never thought to keep them but my interest has been tweaked.

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Thanks Ineke. If this article encourages just one person to keep them, then it was worth the effort. The guys really deserve a place in our tanks.

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Fantastic article dude, definitely got me interested in exploring & possibly line breeding them for patterns & colours, hmmmmmm. :D

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Wow, this is awesome. The bar has been set for quality library articles

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Great article! Happened across this while googling, the images depicting the morphological traits is a great resource. Well done with the photography too! 

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  • 1 month later...

Great write up!

I have just collected some shrimp and this a great way to self ID, although i need a magnifying glass!

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  • 1 month later...



now do one for Chameleons, please? 


I was just after the water parameters for chameleons, but man, if you can do one as detailed as this, that would be great!  :goodjob:

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now do one for Chameleons, please? 


I was just after the water parameters for chameleons, but man, if you can do one as detailed as this, that would be great!  :goodjob:

I think I'll set up a tank just for them before I write an article. I like to have a 'feel' for how a shrimp behaves in aquaria before writing, as its no point in saying that the shrimp is like X or does Y if you are relying on other peoples experiences. Found my next project!

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Awesome article, makes me so keen to go for a walk down to a local creek and catch me some. Would be nice to watch some of our natives

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  • 1 month later...

Really good article, I could never get my paratya to breed but I got some from ages away from salt water like you suggested and bam they're breeding haha

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Nicely done mate. I'd be interested to see your setup if you wouldn't mind posting it up. Any interesting colours or patterns?

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Haha it's nothing pretty both tanks they have bread In are very basic. I had my rhads in one when I first got them. The shrimp just took to the tank and when I swaped out the mops and some plants they poped up in the tank I was raising the fry in... I got them from teewah creek in very soft acidic water but they are taking to the higher ph and harder water. I'll grab some pics and water parameters

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Sorry about how bad the pics are, most of them are clear or a yellow colour.





Kh: 17.9

PH: 8.8 :/

This tank is running off sponge filters only and wasn't set up using ro. As I do water changes now I'm using ro. So hopefully the tds and pH will slowly fall. I'm dripping the water changes to keep it a smooth transition.

But to be honest the shrimp don't seem to mind and the rhads where breading readily. There is a couple of mops of lacustris in there atm but Im not sure if any eggs remained viable there were lots of fungus effected eggs when I got the mop but I'll see what comes of it.

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The last shrimp looks good. Guessing thqts what you are trying to breed towards.

pH and KH are definitely much higher than anywhere I've ever found Paratya so I think you are doing the right thing trying to bring it down using RO.

Just wondering whats causing the ammonia and nitrite? Its probably why the algae seems to be doing really well in your tanks.

Is that food on the substrate in the last pic? That could be the source of the ammonia. Be careful how much you feed as shrimp dont eat heaps (in comparison to fish) and any rotting food will quickly cause an ammonia spike.

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There black worms, up until a day or two ago there was a colony of rhads in there and when I was catching them one of the sponge filter air limes UN plugged slightly and I didn't notice so I'm not sure if it's having a mini cycle. I don't feed the shrimp to be honest they were only ever clean up for the rhads, there success is pure luck especially when you look at the numbers from the tests. That last one is a berried girl she has a blue hue to her and is the only one displaying that colour.

I'm just leaving the tank run and I'll probably move the shrimp I can find out and in to the ponds the rhads went to after they breed more and there are better numbers

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Sounds like a mini cycle.

Best of luck raising the shrimplets mate. Hope some colour carries over to them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yet another awesome rightup fishmosy, great work dude!!!

I've seen a few fb posts saying that these guys eat the green hair type algae, has anyone else had any experience with them eating it?

Also saw another fb post where a glass shrimp was snacking on a trout fry. Would the fry have been dead before it started snacking? Thinking of adding them to my Mischling/KK tank, but if theres any chance they'll eat shrimplets then that ain't going to happen

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Most likely the fry was dead before the Paratya got to it. From what I have observed, they tend to be grazers.

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    • sdlTBfanUK
      I just watched the video again. With that tank I would take 1 of the sponges and put it in the left compartment (where he put the heater in the vid) and the heater can go in the middle section with the other sponge, so that would work well and be very simple and no extra costs or modification involved. The water level in the back drops either because the pump is set too fast (if it is adjustable) or mostlly just because the sponge directly behind the inlet slots is getting blocked. Somtimes just pressing the sponge insitu at the top will blow some of the gunk back into the tank, but you will probably need to take the sponge out weekly to clean it, though I imagine you would probably do weekly water change/maintenance anyway. The tank in the video is also quite good because the back is covered so that will help with reducing evaporation from the back working part, mine was open/uncovered at the back so evaporation was more of a problem. I freaked out when I saw the level drop in the back the first time, especially as I had a glass type heater in the back! If you only very rarely need a heater then you could just put that in the main part of the tank on those rare occasions to be safer? As you say, you have time to see if you even need a heater but I suspect you won't as indoors will be warmer than the outside temperature overnite, and I have seen vids on youtuube where some Australians keep Neocaridina shrimp outside all year with no heaters in huge tanks or even ponds, and I doubt there is anywhere in the world where the temperatures don't fluctuate between night and day so all creatures must be ok with that (within limits of coarse).  My problem last week was the same only opposite, overnite it dropped to about 13 degrees outside but inside overnite it rose to 28 because the sun had heated the roof etc all day, so I did lose a few shrimps then (but they are Caridina so not as adaptable or tough as cherry shrimp), only babys though strangely? Of coarse, it's your winter now, whereas it is our summer. Do you have A/C in the house for the summer, even Neocaridina won't survive much over 30? I only have a portable room one which requires a tube out of the window hense I couldn't leave it running overnight as it is a ground floor room!
    • DemonCat
      Thanks for the response and interest! I'm planning on ignoring everything about the filter media provided and will do my own thing. But yes, a simple idea to save shrimp is put the filter right next to the intake bit.. I hadn't thought about that and was already thinking about adding mesh... your idea is much better and straightforward.  In regards to heater, where we are in Australia it gets 40 degrees in summer, but we had -7 last week at night.. this morning was a much warmer -3! The heating in the office is a bit whack too... it seems to be boiling hot or freezing cold, so the heater is something i'll just play 'wait and see' with. I don't propose to stock for a while anyway so will have substantial time to monitor the temperature and see if/how/when a heater is needed.  I saw a short youtube video on the water level at the back.. I'm glad I watched it / you told me because if I went in without knowing I'd be freaking out the first time I noticed it. 
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I had a very similar tank to the petworx one and they are very clean to look at and easy to maintain, but obviously you are losing some volume/floor area for the shrimps to inhabit. You will probably need to work something out so the shrimp don't get through to the back area, especially babies (sponge behind the slots etc) - you may be able to just move part of the sponge to that compartment looking at this video:  I would only get a 25w heater, I learned my lesson when my 50w stuck on and cooked the shrimps in my 35L tank. 25w should be adequate as you have a much warmer climate, in fact do you really even need a heater? One drawback with this type of setup is that the level of water in the back can drop drastically when the sponge starts to get clogged, though this is mainly only a problem with the heater which may break in insuficient water, or the pump in really severe circumstances. You will need to clean the sponges at least weekly.  The level drop in the back can look quite alarming when you first see it happening.  The other makes may also have the same issues? I would have thought nearer $250 as it already has a light and pump, and if you don't need a heater? I tried the 'let the idea fade away', but it keeps returning???
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I am still thinking it is 50/50 at this stage and will see what happens after another month! Th parameters seem to be slowly getting there, when I tested a few days ago, PH 6.5, KH 0-1, GH 6-7, TDS 150. I have around 10 shrimp left (25 were put in a month ago) but we did have a few hot days which ran together last week which killed at least a few, tank water got to 28 overnight, got a/c during the day, but that requires having the window open for the exhaust hose when running so a bit risky to leave it running all night. I may invest in some specific cooling if this works out for longer with shrimps, but we don't get much hot weather in the UK usually? The remaining shrimp seem fine, swimming about and coming out when I add food. I tried shrimp lollies but they aren't bothered with those at all so they seem to be just a good way of gathering snails to remove and keep their numbers down. If most of the remaining shrimp survive another month I will likely try some more, and by then hopefully ALL the parameters will be good and within the acceptable range as only GH seems to be a bit off. If I didn't have the shrimps in the tank I would try another 50% water change, but for now I will just see what happens in the next month with regular weekly water changes and running/parameter testing etc.
    • DemonCat
      Looks very nice! Similar scope to what I'm looking to do so am snooping for inspiration!   After another few weeks, how is everyone going? 
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