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Fishmosy's zebra shrimp biotope tank (Mark II)


fishmosy
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It was 50%, but that comes from a header tank in my aquarium room that is normally almost identical to the tank water.  ie rain water at the same temp.   I do 30% water changes a couple of times a week so the water in the tank is very close to the same as the water in the heatder tank  - In theory I should be able to do 100% water changes without seeing a blip.

...however.....  last weekend I swapped over to town water for a day and my header tank may have been 50% town water and 50% rainwater...so this last water change was in fact a greater difference than previous.

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ordered a RO filter from FSA last night, so looking forward to being able to do as many water changes as I like without a trip to the LFS to get RO.

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They deliver very quickly .  It's much better when you have the RO at hand.   You can change water when you want to now!

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Good news.

1. My RO filter has arrived. Now I can make as many/large water changes as I like.

2. The zebras were buzzing around the tank yesterday evening, so I hope that means there was moulted female/s somewhere.

 

Finally just wanted to throw this out there as an idea. Rereading the Breeders and Keepers magazine issue on wild shrimp last night, I came across a paragraph that mentioned that the authors examined the guts of the wild bee shrimp and found their guts contained diatoms.

In aquariums, diatoms are those brown algae that often appear on surfaces when an aquarium is first set-up but generally disappear after a couple of weeks. Diatoms create a 'skeleton' using silica and it is thought the reason why they disappear after a couple of weeks in aquaria is because the silica is quickly used up.

Given that bees and zebras occur in basically identical habitats and are basically identical morphologically (i.e. they have the same feeding structures), it is reasonable to consider that they eat the same food = diatoms. At work, I use silicates (as a fertilizer) to grow marine diatoms such as Chaetoceros muelleri for feeding to marine larvae. I am considering dosing some silicates into my zebra tank to boost the growth of diatoms. The specific chemical used for diatoms in culture is sodium metasilicate (Na2SiO3.5H2O).

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With moving mine to a new tank I've added lots of new stones to fill in the gaps - After reading your post I'm hoping these get initial colonisers of diatoms (which is fairly likely). - maybe a routine of every now and then replacing an old algae covered  stone with a fresh one could keep a richer mosaic of food types in the tank?  A bit like a river that experiences variable flows that submerge new substrates periodically.

They really are an odd-ball shrimp.  I've still not found a food that makes them congregate and say yum which is very different to all the other shrimp species I've kept or seen kept!  Yes they eat some of the food but its "meh..." not "YUM!".  They are too cool for school.

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Yep only if they are super hungry will you get a half dozen or so congregating. Never the big all-in groups that you get with Bee and cheery types. 

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  • 2 months later...

Perhaps they find enough biofilm to keep them reasonably well fed ..... Bit like Sulawesi ....... Anyway Bump. How is the colony going?

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Colony has dropped off in numbers over the hot summer, probably the oldest wild caught originals dying off. Still no breeding even after feeding high protein foods. I'm convinced it is simply because they are too hot. Temps in the wild range rarely get above 22 and my tanks have been reaching 25-26 (and probably higher) regularly. I'm hoping cooling temps into Autumn will get them breeding again. I plan on getting a heater/chiller to keep them at consistent temps but that expensive item is down the list of other items that I need to get. 

The change in TDS down to 20 has been the best thing I've done with these guys. Their colour has been consistently good ever since I did the change, no washed out colours. 

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  • 4 months later...

Some updates for this tank: 

- I added some extra adults to the colony in late June. Also added some moss collected from the natural habitat in June. The new adults have settled in well and the colony is looking great. Perhaps the colony needed higher numbers to encourage breeding? 

- Newly hatched zebs spotted in late July

- today I spotted a newly berried female 

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Noticed lots of activity in the tank over the last two days. Turns out there has been some moults and now there are more berries. Currently berried shrimp = 3 :) 

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Trying out a new food. They like it pretty well. 

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So much win in your posts @fishmosy

I lost my zebs but I'm so glad that yours are doing well and clustering around the food bowl is something I never saw with mine.  You're onto a winner. Bravo!

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I had the zebs in a 40l plumbed with a constant drip in (2 drip per second?) and screened overflow. No sudden water changes.

The water supply is a blend of Melbourne tap and rainwater (mostly rainwater, maybe 20% tap).  EC ~ 40-50 µS/cm.  The tank started clean with a nice "hint" of green biofilm, but over time developed a very thick brown algal mat that coated most surfaces including plant leaves.  I have 8 tanks on the same constant drip and only one other tank has developed the same brown biofilm - it thickly coats the glass consistent with how blue-green looks (at it might very well be) - because it was brown as it developed I thought it might have been just a good natural film for the zebs  - brown diatoms are common with new tanks and usually burn out, but in this case they didnt they just got thicker until manually removed.  My gut feeling is that this was actually a chance colonisation by a brown cyanobacteria that exploited the low nitrogen rainwater in the tank (all theory and no substance - I've loaned my microscope to someone so can't look at the "algal mat" further.. yet..).

In retrospect perhaps the drip wasnt a good idea (less control) or maybe my water quality -  even with rainwater - isn't good enough (I would have said unlikely previously)... or perhaps just a chance colonisation by something bad.

Even from day one however I still had that concern of them not showing enthusiasm for the food choices I was giving them so I'm stoked to see yours and Jamie's recent posts with some shrimp gluttony.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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In more good news, I now have four berried mummas

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 years later...

That’s a shame he seams to be the leading voice on zebra shrimp, from what I have read here. 

I recently had the opportunity to purchase some and unfortunately I got told they were ‘easy to keep and before long they would over run my tank’. 
(Rookie error not investigating/research before placing the order)

from what I have read here Keeping them will not be easy if at all possible unless things have changed over the last 4 or so years? 
 

Does anyone know of anyone keeping them successfully? 

 

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