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Grubs

My Caridina zebra

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Grubs

Not a very sophisticated tank - just 3 granite pebbles on a thin layer of inert sand.  Eucalypt leaves and sticks (aged in the bottom of a pond) with some Indian Almond and Mulberry added for variety.  ~ 30% rainwater changes 1-2x per week (water at room temperature from supply in fishroom).  Lighting is strong because the tank is sharing the light with some algae cultures = green rocks and side walls.  Tank is small 45cm tank (~20 litres) oriented end-on.  Just waiting to move some fish around and will upgrade them to a 40l tank.  Room temp is ~23C  GH<1 KH<1.

The light is over the front part of the tank. most of the zebras hang out more on the filter sponges or under leaves during the day but always a few visible.  Seems to be more action at night.  I've noticed lots of activity when adding fresh rainwater - they really seem to like the current and fresh water. This is perhaps not surprising given they are found in flowing streams.

There are a few juveniles that arrived as eggs on berried females - but no breeding evident  in this tank yet.

 

 

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kizshrimp

Love the algae cover on those rocks. I bet the zebs do too!

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fishmosy

Nice setup mate. I imagine they will be breeding in no time. 

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Grubs

Interesting observation yesterday...  one female with a smaller shrimp (assume male) riding around on her back as if giving a piggyback.  A second "male" approaches... climbs onto the fist.  So now we have a 3 high stack..all facing the same way with the female walking around...  along comes a third who climbs on board (so one female walking around with 3 males clinging to her back) then #2 got displaced and eventually #3 gives up.  After 10 mins the female is still walking around with male #1 clinging to her "shoulders".  Courtship by attrition? ... or persistence?

I ran for the camera... and of course there was nothing to see when I got back. *rage*.

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NoGi

Nice work. Keeps the pics coming.

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fishmosy

If they were mating, there is certainly some competition between males for mating rights. This is probably the reason why male Caridina shrimp often have extra spines on the legs and pleopods to help them grip onto the female and not be pulled off by rival males. Its quite common across the animal kingdom really - male turtles have extra spines on their flippers and the female will swim will males piled one to three high on her back, all trying to mate. Even lions have a barbed penis that helps to ensure mating success. 

 

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kizshrimp

I've seen some very aggressive mating attempts from males in my tank where 2 or 3 would virtually attack the female and each other trying to get on board. The girls would take off, just moulted and not being ready to breed yet - so it should be interesting to watch now that some are. 

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northboy

That tank looks just like the creeks they come from, so baby time soon and it looks like you are not over feeding them??

 

The other thing I noticed is , your tanks look like mine a nice Algae growth one the non looking sides, love it and healthy.

 

Bob

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Grubs

Thanks Bob - good to know I'm on the right track....  from the source.

 

They seem to like my rainwater... but they need a pretty high turnover to stay vibrant so doing water changes 2-3 per week.  Will move them soon to a tank that is on a constant drip feed otherwise I'll never be able to go away!

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kizshrimp

Constant drip feed is such a good way, I'd like everything set up like that. Do you remember Ernie from ExoticFish? I think the whole hatchery was flow-through. I've had float valves for about $3 each from ebay but would love suggestions for smaller cheaper ones if anyone knows? 

 

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Grubs

Why floats kiz? 

The tanks I have on drip use 4mm irrigation line draining a blue barrel held at elevation as a header tank to drip into the tanks.  Tanks are drilled and have bulkheads with stainless strainers for the overflow.  The barrel has a stock trough float valve in it.

It uses a bit of water.. but in fear of bush fires and parched gardens in summer I've gone a bit crazy with rainwater tanks so have abundant supply!  I only have 3 tanks on drip (the ones down the bottom) there is a water loop using 13mm poly across both lower levels of the rack.

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(note if I had shrimp breeding in these I'd wrap some finer mesh around the stainless strainer)

Edited by Grubs

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Grubs

Just an update - I've been a bit worried about these guys as they are not as vibrant as they were... but I think I've seen my first berried female and she's a whopper ..  but I'm yet to get a good look at her.  Have been very conscious of the water change as I think I was getting a bit slack...really need to get them in a bigger tank on a rainwater dripper.

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fishmosy

Well done mate. 

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northboy

The pitter patter of little claws, WELL DONE

 

Don't know the trick 100% yet to keep them Black and white, but with a couple of generations all will be good in the Zebra world for you

 

I lost a whole pond full, due to rain, but I am picking up some from a mate this Sunday to kick start them again and moving the pond so no more rain in it, it went green and they hate the change in conditions that produces green water

 

Bob

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Grubs

Berried female checked out unfortunately.  I've found a couple of dead heads lately - maybe 3 in the last month - could just be old age but always a concern.   Water still seems good.  EC 50-90  (TDS 25-45) - too low?   Temp ~22C.  I could add a heater but figured 22 wasnt too bad for a cool rainforest stream ...  guess I better go re-read fishmosy and northboys habitat threads.  The juvies that hatched in the tank from mothers that arrived berries still have the most vibrant black/white.

So.. they are persisting, but not thriving.  I'm hoping for a glut of spring berries as we move into warmer weather at last.

Edited by Grubs

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fishmosy

22 should be ok. Their creeks dont actually get too hot. 

Likewise your TDS shoudl be fine. Mine is around 30 and my zebs are doing well.  I have plenty of bubs and subadults coming up to maturity. 

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Grubs

I just moved them to a 60litre tank (45x45x35h) drilled for overflow with 250µm screen to keep them in.  This is twice the volume of the old tank and I can set them on a continuous rainwater drip.  The new tank was already established (biofilm) but  I transferred the old sponge filter, the entire volume of water, all the stones, and a few handfuls of gravel so hopefully the transplant wasn't too stressful on the shrimp.  I only added a little fresh water (so the tank is just over half full) and I'll let the drip fill it gently over the next week.

I'm down to just 12 individuals and one was looking a bit sad-sack (opaque and unhappy).

Hoping I can turn them around!

 

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revolutionhope

i have my fingers crossed for you!

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Grubs

Well I'm calling it.  I've lost them.  Have not seen the last one for a couple of weeks.

lessons learned/observations:

1.  Stability is critical.  The bigger tank and small but regular water changes worked very well - condition picked up when moved to the bigger tank

2. Temperature - I suspect temperature too high in my fishroom at 26-27 in the hottest of summer.

3. Gut feeling - I've got a hypothesis that they need low bacterial counts in the water (a bit like discus) - if the water gets too stale, even with the low TDS condition drops off and they drop dead.  When I put them on a constant rainwater drip condition improved.

4.  The longest survivors were born from eggs that arrived on gravid females and they grew to adults in my tank - adds weight to the theory that successive generations in captivity become more robust. OR - all the shrimp died of old age at 1yr and never reproduced. *shrug*

5.  None of my shrimp every berried

6.  I still never found a food I saw them eat with any enthusiasm.

we ran low on rainwater and have been switching to and from mains water and I think this variability in water supply was enough to finish off the last survivors.

I'd like to try them again - options are run a chiller in the fishroom (where the constant water supply is) - or put the shrimp in my office where i have unheated tanks that stay < 24C..but it then up to me to keep up the fresh water which seems unlikley I'll be reliable enough!  -  bloody infuriating fussy shrimp.

Edited by Grubs
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fishmosy

Bugger. Better luck next time. I agree with everything you have said as I've come to the same conclusions. 

I think you have to treat them the same way you treat Sulawesi shrimp. You are better off not feeding them anything as they are just going to ignore it most of the time. They seem to find enough food from the algae that grows on the rocks. 

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revolutionhope

Damn grubs i was rooting for you mate. Hope you have another go and with more luck next time. As you know I've been researching and considering every aspect I can think of in relation to these and I also came to the conclusion that a massive tank is going to be a big benefit for sure. And that some kind of automatic water-change mechanism (using RO or otherwise very pure water) would be key to keeping these successfully.

It really sounds like they need as natural as possible conditions including food and not just WP. It would be cool if Bob, Ben or indeed whoever could document some more details about their conditions. It would be helpful to have accurate information about when they breed and the variations in seasonal temperature, WP, and food that is available among other things.

These shrimp are truly legendary.. I'm likely to move house again at the end of this year and when I do I will seriously consider trying to keep them in a pond or stupidly large aquarium like 6foot or something lol. If so many veteran keepers such as yourself are having such difficulties then I'll need every bit of margin I can get!

love n peace

will

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Baccus

That's a real shame that you lost all your Zebras, they really are an amazing looking shrimp. One of these days I might try them again in a tank whoely and solely for them, or trail them in my 1000L pond that seems to have most things thrive in there.

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Disciple

This shrimp seems like the holy grail of aussie natives. 

Bad luck grubs You did well man.

It seems @fishmosy has the magic touch. One day i would like to test my self with these shrimp as it seems like a tough challenge. 

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Grubs

I love it when a plan comes together. I bred some Caridina typus and swapped them for another 10 zebs so I'm back in the saddle.

From the outset I've got them in a tank at floor level (2C cooler than top of the rack), with a constant rainwater drip.  We're going into cooler weather (+1) and as of today there is fresh rainwater in the tanks (+2).  Therefore, the tank conditions over the next few months should be about as good as they can ever get.  The only additional "levers" I can think of that I could pull are:

1) food - going to feed a lot less than before (if at all!) and keep the tank much cleaner.

2) water chemistry (pH, KH, GH) - keeping EC < 100µS/cm.  My pH from rainwater is ~6.  We really dont know enough about these shrimp - maybe they would benefit from a fancy shrimp soil or a little shell grit in the substrate... but in the absence of information I'm going to leave mine on the inert sand and let the constant supply of fresh rainwater be the stabilising factor.  They'll have considerably more water changeover than I had last time with an aim to lower the bacterial counts in the water with no waterchange-day shocks.  (the tank overflow ends up in another rainwater tank that is used to water the vege garden!).

 

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Foxpuppet

Have you considered UV sterilization of the water to minimize bacteria?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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