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Caridina zebra pics


kizshrimp
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I was one of the lucky people who set up a tank for our amazing native zebra shrimp recently, thanks to our forum hero Northboy who made some available. 

These are an amazing little shrimp that look very different to a CBS, despite the conflicting perception often voiced by those who haven't seen one yet. They have a reputation for being very difficult to keep going in captivity. Like anyone, I spent a great deal of time reading about the habitat and water parameters, previous experiences of those who have kept them and so on. Unfortunately there's little to read and no long-term success stories. You just have to hope for the best really. 

The tank was running for some time before I added the shrimp so had a healthy biofilm going and plenty of brown diatoms. I added some leaves from an outdoor container which had collected rainwater and autumn leaves over the last few months. I added a mixture of rainwater and tapwater which is pretty normal for me, both are processed through a carbon filter before reaching my tanks anyway. 

The tank has a thin layer, perhaps 3mm of fine white silica sand as a substrate and  decaying leaves as the only real structure. I have one inert river rock in the tank, positioned to break the return from a HOB filter. Probably my least favorite style of filter yet I'm running 2 on this tank plus an air stone. The temperature is 22 +/- 1 degree C, pH essentially neutral, GH an KH undetectable, EC around 60uS (about 30ppm TDS). I have never felt any need to use RO water for any shrimp I keep, including Taiwan/Shadow Bees. However for these shrimp, it is just impossible to keep the TDS that low. I've already grabbed 20L of RO from a mate (thanks shrimply!) because the EC had gotten to around mid 70s (uS) and I felt that the shrimp were less happy then. I'll be buying an RO unit, the ability to remineralise with correct salts from virtually 0 will be a real advantage with these - as Fishmosy is already doing with his. 

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The zebras are constantly picking away at the biofilm layer but do not seem to take any offered food. This is in contrast to what others have reported - snowflake, Boss Shrimp Crack, Mulberry leaves and Dandelion leaves have all been completely ignored in my tank. I can't explain this as yet - do they prefer biofilm and only accept other food when it's in short supply? Perhaps snails are taking the food in other tanks and actually nobody's zebras take prepared foods? There's surely other alternative explanations that haven't occurred to me yet. One thing is certain, mine are doing ok with just biofilm - the female in the pic above is clearly developing a saddle. 

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In the shot of 2 shrimp above you can clearly see a hydra too, so it seems like they're doing ok without added food too. BTW I have been removing the leaves just before they really start to disintegrate to help keep the water clean. 

When the shrimp were sent down there was a couple of berried females as well as some small shrimp. These are growing well but the nice surprise was to find a new one the other day. I would say it's about a week or so old, definitely from one of the berried females and born in my tank: 

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I don't know if there's more that made it - I saw this shrimp one day for about an hour and then it was gone. I perform a daily head count on the tank and while they're mostly out and I count to within 10% of the known population, there's plenty of places to hide in the leaves. They're also quite well camouflaged even on a plain white sand. 

 

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Good luck with these beauties. I really hope someone can keep them for multiple generations. Good stuff Kiz and thanks for sharing.

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Hey Kiz, beautiful photos and a great writeup. Best of luck with them, but by the sounds of your set-up you dont need it. :aha-!::aha-!:

I can absolutely confirm that my zebs are eating Boss Aquaria Snow and Benibachi kale pellets. I have seen them eating it and there aren't any snails in the tank. If I haven't already, I'll post pics of them eating it in my zeb thread. HOWEVER my zebs do not eat Benibachi red bee ambitious. I suspect it is too high in protein and the zebs prefer a more vegetable like diet. Also note I only feed every 2-3 days. 

It sounds like your shrimp have plenty of biofilm to graze on for the moment. This may change as their population numbers grow, so they may be inclined to eat prepared diets then. 

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Brilliant.  Sensational photos. @kizshrimp. FWIW mine also shunned mulberry but are now eating them.  Same goes for Hikari micro wafers - they ignored them for weeks and I had to siphon them out  - now they cluster on them.and consume one overnight.

...guess I'm letting the side down with no pics... but they look like ^^  :D

Edited by Grubs
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I added some spirulina powder the other day and wondered if they didn't all get a bit excited like the other shrimp did. Perhaps I'll try some Kale powder tomorrow.

Anyway it seems pretty clear that they're eating then, perhaps they just need to get used to seeing a given food often enough. Guys, I really hope we can get these going, I think it's about time for this species. Thanks for the kind words and... Best of luck!! 

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that shrimplet is just the cutest thing .. i can't wait to start my zeb tank. seeing as im such a noob i may be over preparing a tad perhaps :-) i must say it is simply awesome to see you have shrimplets already kiz !! keep up the good work :-)

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I "over prepared" for these more than anything in a long time. You can't go wrong being prepared revo! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I was having a quick look through the zebra tank last night just to make sure everything was in order. I was just looking at a nice, heavily saddled female and thinking it can't be long to berries now, when I saw this: 

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Needless to say, I was pretty happy. This is the first female that has become berried in my care. Unlike Fishmosy and Grubs, who have gotten their shrimp used to eating commercial foods and leaves, I have been going powder as it just forms into the biofilm that they're eating anyway. It may be coincidental but I've been working on my nutrition project again the last few weeks and have almost finished formulating my new shrimp food. My shrimp have been getting fed the recipe as it develops and are all doing good things despite the cold. 

 

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you da man!!! :-)

(ok you and fishmosy both LOL)

love n peace

will

-edit- i forgot i really really wanted to ask you kiz - what powder are you using to cultivate your biofilm? cheers in advance !

Edited by revolutionhope
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Nice work, hope we can captive breed these more and harden them a little more so more people can enjoy them.

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Nice work, great to see so many people having a real crack at these shrimp. 

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Hi mate

 

I had not looked at much so was happy to read your thread and your success with the shrimp, more coming your way and some plants to. Keep up the good work

 

Bob

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