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  1. So after 18mths & a number of different graphic designers, I have finally got the cherry shrimp family tree ready for peer review. I know there is a few additions to be added, like blue gene orange rili & green orange rili, any other suggestions will be gladly added.
    22 points
  2. Genetic Linkage from Mendel's Laws To begin defining the F1, F2, F3, etc terminology, we need to cover some basics in genetics and inheritance. Using Gregor Mendel's Law of inheritance, let's observe how genetic traits are handed down from parents to offspring. We will concentrate on the simplified traits of shrimp variants and colour traits (or phenotype) only, which will be easier for everyone to understand. A simplified view of what you would get crossing a Taiwan Bee and Crystal Shrimp. Over simplified Mendel's Law applied to Bee shrimps (click to expand). Of course it is never that simple and it doesn't mean you are guaranteed a % of either offspring. A more detailed result of Mendelian inheritance including the Law of Dominance applied to a Taiwan Bee and Crystal Shrimp is as per this picture I drew up below. (Click to expand) Notice in the F1 generation, the Black trait is dominant, all the resulting offspring look black, but they still carry the recessive red gene. Let's see what happens in the F2 generation. When the F1 generation mate with each other, we see the results in the F2 table above. Notice we get many more Black Crystal shrimp, than Red Crystals. We also have a smaller possibility of getting Black Taiwan Bees. And an even smaller chance of getting a Red Taiwan Bee. So in this example, we have 1 in 16 chance per egg of getting a Red Taiwan Bee. 3 in 16 chance per egg of getting a Black Taiwan Bee. 3 in 16 chance per egg of getting a Crystal Red. 9 in 16 chance per egg of getting a Crystal Black. The F3 generation will dilute the possibilities again of getting a recessive trait. Let's assume you are aiming for that Red Taiwan Bee in the example above. The chances are 1 in 16 or a 6.25% that the right allele (or colour trait) is passed on. Notice I said "per egg". If the shrimp is carrying 16 eggs, it doesn't mean you will get at least 1 Red TB !! This is where the practice of culling is used to keep the variation in dominant and recessive traits to a minimum to achieve a certain result. There are no guarantees with nature. Even when you think you have the Blue genes breeding true in your colony of shrimps, a Red gene could pop up by chance even after 4 generations of Blues. The Blue gene might be dominant, but when two shrimps with the red recessive gene get together by chance ... nature has spun you a curve ball. What is Filial F1, F2, F3, etc ? F1 stands for Filial 1 (or first filial). Filial is a word used to describe sons and daughters, and it means the first generation from a genetic cross between parents. For example, it can be used to describe fish that are first generation from wild parents (ie. the fry have come from wild caught fish), so it's seen as an indication of genetic quality. Definition: the offspring of a genetically specified mating: first filial generation (symbol F1), the offspring of parents of contrasting genotypes; second filial generation (F2), the offspring of two F1 individuals; third filial generation (F3), fourth filial generation (F4), etc., the offspring in succeeding generations of continued inbreeding of F1 descendents. So an F2 would be the 2nd generation from the original parents you are counting from. This could be from the F1 mating with the Original parents or between two F1 siblings. As long as it involves the F1 generation. An F3 would be the 3rd generation. This could be from the F2 mating with the Original parents or between two F2 siblings. As long as it involves the F2 generation. And so forth for F4, F5, etc (Click to expand) A1 Original Male B1 Original Female Fn Offspring Filial number The moment you introduce an individual from a different Parent (and thus genealogy), you can't continue counting the Filial number. So while an F4 Tibee with Parents (A) X another F4 Tibee of a different Parents (B) still produces a Tibee, it is no longer an F4 Tibee. The offspring of two different F4 individuals has different genetics (A & B) now and has to be an F1 again. IF you get two related brother and sister F4 Tibees who share the same P (initial parents), then yes ... it's offspring will be an F5 Tibee. (Click to expand) From a practical point of view, another thing Filial numbers are used for is to determine how stable the genes are in a certain specimen. For example, if you are looking for CRS, then an F8 CRS is going to be more desirable than an F1 CRS. The F8 CRS has more stable genes, than an F1 CRS which might have been an offspring from a mischling or taiwan bee shrimp. And would be closer to being a candidate for a Pure Red Line programme. Thus the F1 CRS is not as "pure" bred as an F8. But on the other hand, it could also be an indication of how far it is from the desirable genetics. Like in the case of fish, an F1 Apistogramma or Discus might be more desirable than an F9 fish. Since the F1 offspring are direct descendants of wild caught fish. And if the breeding stock is small, and offsprings keep breeding with each other, then the F5 generation will have a very small gene pool diversity from it's original parents. <-- not good. Since it will be an increased risk of genetic defects/disorders.
    14 points
  3. For those of you that are unsure of the differences, I thought the below might help shed some light on these products. Most Asian manufacturers do not disclose the composition of their products unlike the German manufacturers, so there is a lot of uncertainty out there as to exactly what one puts in ones tank once the packet is opened. Firstly a bit about aquatic bacteria: most aquatic bacteria are slow- growing. This means that biofilm is produced slowly. Biofilm is a gel-like mucoid substance secreted by bacteria that they live in. Biofilm in aquaria are almost always gel-like. Because aquatic bacteria is often slow growing, the shrimp outstrips the biofilm faster than it can regrow. There are biofilm promoter products and direct biofilm products and combinations thereof. Genchem Biozyme is a biofilm promoter: if you look at the ingredients, it does not contain bacteria at all. It is partially digested starch and cellulose and enzymes which are utilised by bacteria to form biofilm. Shrimp eat the Biozyme directly as well. It is basically a food source for your aquarium bacteria and is also fine enough for baby shrimp to eat directly. Mosura BT-9 appears to be a mixture of bacteria found in aquariums to supplement your contained ecosystem to prevent sludge, increase ammonia-Nitrite-Nitrogen conversion cycle and to outcompete pathogenic bacteria for food by established colonies that are present rather than growth speed. Because none of the ingredients are disclosed it is impossible to say what is in BT-9, but based on my experiments, it is the slower growing aquatic bacteria, but it does form a nice biofilm over time if you do not have large shrimp populations that strip it bare. I cannot comment on other ingredients in the product as it is not disclosed. Overdosing fouls the water. Queue the new generation products: someone asked the question wether it is possible to add an ‘artificial’ bacteria that grows fast enough not to be outstripped of biofilm faster than the shrimp can eat it? Pediococcus Acidilactici is a lactic acid bacteria that is temperature stable, grows well in pH 1 -6.2 ( grows a bit slower in high pH but still grows faster than natural aquarium bacteria) and is an ideal food source for shrimplets and the cell division rate of this bacteria is fast. It does not naturally occur in aquaria. Bacillus Subtilis is a bacteria found in nature from your intestines to plant leaves and outcompetes pathogenic fungus and bacteria for resources. It is very heavily used in agriculture like mango farming. It is not a direct food source for shrimp, but undoubtedly keeps your aquarium healthier based on controlled trials. Glasgarten Bacter AE contains both the Pediococcus Acidilactici and Bacillus Subtilis as well as amino acids, enzymes and vitamins to activate the bacteria. When used as directed, it grows lactic acid bacteria biofilm fast and greatly increases shrimplet survival as result as there is constantly biofilm available as a food source. Overdosing fouls the water. A similar product available is ShrimpyDaddy Revive Vita that definitely contains a lactobacillus. Genchem Polytase does not contain Lactobacillus, but does contain Bacillus Subtilis, so does Dr Tim's probiotic. Why is there a possible shrimp death warning on the Bacter AE container?: if you do not use an Oxydator in your aquarium and you add a large amount of Bacter AE to your tank, the bacteria will grow extremely fast and use up most of the oxygen in a poorly oxygenated tank, possibly leading to shrimp death. This will not happen if you follow instructions and aerate your aquarium well. This is only a risk if you add a very large amount of Bacter AE.
    12 points
  4. TDS and why is it important Preamble: Total Dissolved Solids or TDS for short is an area of water parameter we talk about very often, and is usually one of the first things we ask about when checking water parameters. This article will hopefully go into some depth for anyone who might still be new to the hobby, and likewise, might teach the veterans a thing or two that they might not have know about TDS. I have tried to keep the language appropriate to newcomers in mind, so please don’t expect a paper that reads like a scientific thesis. This article is also written from the perspective of a fish and a shrimp keeper, as I am, and draws from my experiences in these areas. You will see frequent mention of killis, Apistos, and shrimps. For the sake of simplicity, we will regard Electrical Conductivity (EC) to be of similar importance and similar definition to TDS. A definition of EC is the measure of the water's ability to "carry" an electrical current and indirectly, a measure of dissolved solids or ions in the water. Whereas a definition of “Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the total amount of mobile charged ions, including minerals, salts or metals dissolved in a given volume of water, expressed in units of mg per unit volume of water (mg/L), also referred to as parts per million (ppm). TDS is directly related to the purity of water and the quality of water purification systems and affects everything that consumes, lives in, or uses water, whether organic or inorganic, whether for better or for worse.” – (source: HM Digital) From the perspective of an aquarist, TDS can be defined as: a count of all the dissolved inorganic solids in the water. TDS gives an overview of mineral content in the water. It does not just necessarily provide information on hardness even though it does include the measurement of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Instead, TDS also includes measurements of all the other dissolved minerals in the body of water. So you cannot use TDS to give you an indicator of hardness, that is, how much calcium carbonate is dissolved in the water. GH is at its heart a measure of divalent cations, namely Ca (calcium) and Mg (magnesium); and we know KH is a measure of carbonate concentration. Both GH and KH can influence hardness and TDS levels – ‘an aquarium high in GH & KH can have a high TDS’. However, a fish tank could have a high TDS reading but still have low GH and KH readings. In this situation the aquarium water might be high in one or more of the other dissolved minerals apart from Calcium and Magnesium. Therefore, TDS is a better reflection of the total mineral content than hardness measurements. In conclusion, Total Dissolved Solids consists of dissolved ionic elements, both cations and anions. Whereas, GH only measures two elements, Calcium and Magnesium. Let’s see what those other minerals, that a TDS meter/pen measures, might be. In chemical terms, if a neutral atom loses one or more electrons, it has a net positive charge and is known as a cation (source: Wikipedia). Cations are elements that can be found mainly on the left side of the periodic table (metals) and when it reacts, they usually become positive ions. Cations include ions such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, barium, iron, copper and zinc. If an atom gains electrons, it has a net negative charge and is known as an anion (source: Wikipedia). Anion elements can be found on the right side of the periodic table which reacts with metals to take electrons to form negative ions called anions. Anions include elements such as chloride, nitrate, iodine, bromide, fluoride, sulphide, chlorate, permanganate, phosphate and sulphate. Because of their electric charges, cations and anions attract each other and readily form ionic compounds, such as salts. All these ions and other inorganic ions are what is included in the measurement of TDS. Occasionally you will also hear of the term Total Suspended Solids (TSS). Total suspended solids (TSS) are particles that are larger than 2 microns found in the water column. Anything smaller than 2 microns (average filter size) is considered a dissolved solid. Most suspended solids are made up of inorganic materials, though bacteria and algae can also contribute to the total solids concentration. These solids include anything drifting or floating in the water, from sediment, silt, and sand to plankton and algae. Organic particles from decomposing materials can also contribute to the TSS concentration. As algae, plants and animals decay, the decomposition process allows small organic particles to break away and enter the water column as suspended solids. Even chemical precipitates are considered a form of suspended solids. Total suspended solids are a significant factor in observing water clarity. The more solids present in the water, the less clear the water will be. – (Source: Fundamentals of Environmental Measurements http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/turbidity-total-suspended-solids-water-clarity/) Therefore Total Suspended Solids refers to solids both suspended and dissolved in water and is directly related to conductance and turbidity (optical determination of water clarity – how cloudy/clear the water is). Dissolved solids (invisible) are therefore the substances that can flow through the filter media, too small to be trapped. And the substances in TSS include undissolved solids (visible), like bits of plant matter, or detritus and therefore includes substances that can be trapped by the filter media. High levels of TSS also have the following impacts: increased levels of TSS obstruct light and therefore reduce photosynthetic absorption in plants. High TSS can gradually decrease the amount of oxygen produced by these plants. Decaying plant matter uses up a lot more oxygen and subsequently reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen available in the water. Unless there is a significant amount of surface agitation (oxygenation). It’s always a good idea to have your filters, be it air driven or canister, break the surface of the water. It will reduce protein scum off the surface and maximise the oxygen exchange. While TSS is not specifically measured in a TDS meter, it’s good to know the difference between TDS and TSS, as well as its influence in the aquarium environment. Measuring Total Dissolved Solids TDS is the measuring of the amount of salts in a solution. For a lot of applications the amount of salt is indicative of the levels of other stuff in a solution. TDS/PPM meters sold for gardening and aquariums figure the amount of salt in Parts Per Million by measuring the Electrical Conductivity of the solution under test. So a PPM/TDS meter is an EC meter that converts the EC value into PPM values. EC is a measure of Electrical Conductivity from two probes 1cm apart. 1 EC is = 1 microsiemens, to convert from EC to siemens multiply by 1E-6. EC can be converted to PPM by multiplying by 500. PPM can be converted to EC by dividing by 500. To convert from siemens to Ohms is s=1/ohms, you can also go the other way and do ohm=1/s for siemens to ohms. Siemens is also known as Mhos, which comes from ohm written backward. The number 500 used to convert between PPM and EC is called the Conversion Factor. Different salts will have different conversion factors because some conduct better or worse than others. NaCl's is 500, this seems to be the most common standard used, and is what was used for the calibration solutions. Though there is a close relationship between TDS and Electrical Conductivity, they are not the same thing. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Electrical Conductivity (EC) are two separate parameters. TDS, in layman's terms, is the combined total of solids dissolved in water. EC is the ability of something to conduct electricity (in this case, water's ability to conduct electricity). The measurement of dissolved solids is expressed in ppm of NaCl (sodium chloride) – TDS can be compared to Electrical Conductivity (EC) and the approximate conversion formula to get TDS(ppm) = 0.64 x EC mS/cm Conductivity measures electrolytes. Aquarists can now measure TDS levels via tests performed using a TDS meter (or TDS pen) in ppm at a relatively cheap price. Alternatively, you could use an EC pen and convert to TDS using the manufacturer’s conversion factor. Picture of a TDS meter or TDS pen TDS meters are usually calibrated using a solution of Sodium chloride NaCl. While Electrical Conductivity meters (EC) are usually calibrated with a solution of Potassium Chloride KCl. How do TDS pens work? Two electrodes with an applied AC voltage are placed in the solution. This creates a current dependent upon the conductive nature of the solution. The meter reads this current and displays in either conductivity (EC) or ppm (TDS). Electronic TDS meters essentially measures the conductivity of water, ie. how well the water conducts electricity. The higher the concentration of ions, results in the higher the conductivity of the water, and thus the higher the TDS level will be. And most of our softwater shrimp and fish don’t like high TDS. Many brands have meters that use a conversion ratio to change EC (conductivity in microsiemens) into TDS (ppm) along with a temperature compensation. It really does not matter too much, which one you choose to use, since they use the standard conversion for tap water of 0.5. For example, an EC measurement of 300 mS is converted to a TDS measurement of 150 ppm (TDS = EC x 0.5). In fact, most (if not all) TDS pens are actually EC meters that convert to TDS automatically saving the user from performing the mathematical step. There are TDS meters that perform a combination of functions (TDS/EC/pH/temp) which allow conversions to be adjusted between 0.47 and 0.85. There is one weakness with TDS measurements however, it does not measure which ions are responsible for the conductivity. So if you are testing tap water you don’t know if it’s the “good” ions like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium or the undesirable ions like Iron, Copper, Nitrates, or any other number of dissolved solids that makes up the abundance of the reading. That is why many experienced aquarist will recommend using RO water and remineralising it so you know exactly what is in the water. A few general observations on TDS When water reaches a TDS count of 50ppm it becomes electrically conducting, that is, it’s able to conduct electricity at this level. The EPA Secondary Regulations advise a maximum contamination level (MCL) of 500mg/litre (500 parts per million (ppm)) for TDS. Numerous water supplies exceed this level. When TDS levels exceed 1000mg/L it is generally considered unfit for human consumption. A high level of TDS is an indicator of potential concerns, and warrants further investigation. Most often, high levels of TDS are caused by the presence of potassium, chlorides and sodium. These ions have little or no short-term effects, but toxic ions (lead arsenic, cadmium, nitrate and others) may also be dissolved in the water. Higher levels can be a likely cause for corrosion in plumbing. The visual quality of water is also impacted at levels higher than this. A general observation of high TDS water is that it is slightly alkaline in pH, that is it is lacking in hydrogen molecules. As with everything in nature that tries to reach equilibrium, high TDS or alkaline water will want to seek out hydrogen molecules to reach a neutral state. As such, slightly alkaline water often causes dehydration at a cellular level. Low TDS water on the other hand is loaded with positively charged hydrogen molecules and is therefore slightly acidic in pH. Low TDS water is therefore very hydrating at a cellular level. TDS and Low pH fish When we discuss soft water fish or shrimp that like low pH, what that generally means is that these fish are really low TDS fish. While it is not impossible for many of these low TDS fish to adapt to harder water, and higher pH (and often relatively higher TDS levels), the problem is, especially for South American soft water fish and Caridina shrimp, that calcium and magnesium rich water makes the egg’s membrane harder, and dramatically reduces the chances of hatching. And in more recent experiences, I’ve had greater success hatching killi fish eggs in lower TDS levels than at higher TDS levels. I have also observed that high TDS levels (due to high levels of chlorides, calcium and magnesium, fluoride, sulphides as found in tap water) is generally the cause. This is where it can be a common mistake for many people, including myself, to try all sorts of methods to lower pH and hardness but give no attention to TDS values. This is where Reverse Osmosis water can help with this predicament. I now use RO water to successfully lower calcium and magnesium levels, as well as TDS. This in turn has an impact on reducing pH as well as KH and GH. The fish seemed to be much more contented using this method of preparing clean, low TDS water. And as a reward, the fish promptly rewarded its keeper with eggs which hatched into fry (apistos, rams, other South American dwarfs and Killies). If you want to also match the tank water with the shrimp’s or fish's natural habitat parameters, keep the TDS levels low. What is low? Soft water is generally considered to be in the range of TDS 70 – 150ppm. My personal observations have shown me that high levels of dissolved mineral content in the water, are the main reasons for the failed breeding of many Killis, Shrimp (Caridina) and South American dwarf cichlids. This is attributed to inappropriate levels of calcium and magnesium, and subsequently carbonates and bicarbonates. Placing the emphasis solely on pH alone does not rectify the issue since it can be said that pH is a symptom of the overall mineral content in the water, rather than the actual root cause. To make matters worse, pH down chemicals only adds to the TDS count, not decrease it. When breeding low pH fish, keep your emphasis on TDS instead of just pH. Some aquarists can often find themselves in a situation with tap water parameters that are no where near their shrimp’s or fish's preferred water conditions. My tap water in Sydney for example, is pH 7.8+, and GH & KH are also somewhat high for breeding caridina shrimp, Killi, or Apisto dwarf cichlids, which means we need to find a way of reducing it. We need to really stop thinking about just the permanent hardness of pH, KH and GH, or even temporary hardness for that matter. Concentrate on reducing calcium and magnesium hardness instead. Mixing the tap water with just plain RO at a ratio of 50:50 can be the simple solution to solving the problem of TDS, pH and Hardness. We want to keep calcium and magnesium hardness in check since this can affect the fertilisation of the egg, as the egg’s membrane can get too hard to a point of making fertilisation extremely hard (pun) and nearly impossible. Sometimes I will mix RO water with peat treated water along with tap water to make water whose parameters closely approximates the needs of the Killi or South American dwarf cichlids. Tap water can be included in order to stabilise KH levels and thus keep the pH from fluctuating. Occasionally, I will add my own remineralising DIY mix to RO water to bring TDS up to a certain specific level on the occasions that adding tap water was undesirable, especially for my shrimp tanks. TDS readings for my Caridina shrimp are around 140-150, with a lower KH value of 0-1 and GH of around 5-7 have been proving to be successful for me. Neocaridina dwarf shrimps are capable of tolerating slightly higher TDS levels of up to 200. They might survive higher, but it would be unethical of me to advice you that it’s okay beyond 200. TDS readings for Killi and South American cichlids of between 70 and 110ppm with a stable KH reading between 3 and 7. New soft water low pH fish and shrimp don’t merely survive in this treated water, but instead will thrive and multiply. You will find quite frequently that you will need to mix your water changes to a much lower TDS value that your target in order to maintain the tank’s overall TDS. This is normal, as the dissolved solids in the tank is continually increasing from various sources, like fish/shrimp waste, minerals introduced in food, water evaporation, or even decomposition of plants and organic matter. You might even get to a point where you need to change 80%+ of your tank water just to reset the TDS values. Don’t forget to re-acclimatise the shrimp back into this new water. TDS: Water Changes Many professional fish breeders practice the following method of TDS monitoring; it is one important parameter used to keep healthy fish. You could also use TDS levels as a means of deciding on the frequency of when it is time for a water change. A rise in TDS levels means it is time for some water to be changed, returning TDS levels to a lower count. Sharply increasing TDS levels can also indicate overfeeding, an over-stocked tank, or too much added minerals or fertilisers. But I would use caution in relying solely on TDS readings for water change indications. This is best reserved for those that are very familiar with their tank and understands what the TDS reading is showing. “pH Shock” - Moving fish from one tank to another For many years as a fish keeper, and now also as a shrimp keeper, I have understood changing the pH on fish or shrimp too quickly is a bad thing. It was only until I was researching the importance of TDS, a revelation has come to mind. TDS levels can represent different states of osmosis. Many aquarist have largely believed fish that succumb to what we call 'pH shock' is caused by the rapid variation in TDS levels. This places osmotic pressure stresses on the fish's osmoregulatory mechanisms which cannot become accustomed fast enough to the changing environment and hence the fish goes into a state of suffocation and in many cases can cause death. Fish have been shown to withstand fairly significant pH shifts when the TDS was low in both waters. It was not 'pH shock' as it is often alleged– that is, where the difference in pH is significant between one tank to another. But it was TDS shock! Maybe it’s because TDS meters are not as readily available, whereas, pH kits can be found in every fish shop. So the misguided recommendation was to test for pH, rather than TDS – who knows. One could declare that TDS measurements help to give an indication of the differences in osmotic levels between the water of one tank and another. In water with less total dissolved minerals compared to the amount of dissolved minerals in the tissue of the shrimp/fish, will cause the shrimp/fish to lose fluid from its cells via its gills (over hydration). In high TDS water, it has the opposite effect, they become dehydrated. Which causes the fish to have difficulty passing toxins out via its kidneys. This is a longer term impact to the fish, and you might not notice any impact immediately. IMHO, TDS meters are often the most under estimated tool that can be used to give a good indication of how successfully a shrimp or fish will adapt to the water in one tank to another. “Killies are dependent on osmotic pressure to regulate the amount and salinity of bodily fluids, just like any other fresh-water fish. Conductivity, which we measure as tds, is very closely linked to the osmotic pressure across the cell membranes in such fish. Sudden changes in it are what gave rise to all the old "pH shock" myths. The jury is still out on the effect of the hardness ions (divalent metals like Ca, Mg, Fe, etc.) on rain-forest killifish egg development. There is little dispute of the fact that suddenly dunking a killi from high tds water into RO or DI will damage gills and usually kill it dead. The tendency of discus breeders to use that very low GH water may have made them more aware of this problem earlier, but the situation is very similar for killies. In general, tds is many times as critical for killi health as the Ca, Mg, etc., concentrations. The rest of your explanation was right on. tds and GH are only related by a loose coincidence, and the value of one is a poor predictor of the other.” (Source: http://fins.actwin.com/killietalk/month.200009/msg00323.html) “99% of reported "pH-shock" cases were probably from sudden drop in tds. That causes cells in gills to explode as they take in too much water. Going the other way (to higher tds) is dehydrating, but seems to be less fatal, usually. Drip acclimation to major changes in tds is always a good idea. That allows the complex three-level osmoregulatory process to adjust slowly to the new water." ( Source: Wright Huntley, http://fins.actwin.com/killietalk/month.9906/msg00151.html) As a second reference, reading one of J. J. Scheel’s articles on dissolved solids also brought me to this realisation of ‘TDS shock’. Between 1959 and 1965 Col. Jorgen J. Scheel of Denmark sent out some letters about the science and systematics of killifish to any hobbyist that was interested. Scheel had what might be considered today some unorthodox opinions regarding water chemistry. He felt differences in salinity, or total dissolves solids mattered much more than pH (which could be safely ignored). Given this observation was made over many decades of working with killifish, it's a pervasive argument. Here are the relevant passages from Rivulins [killifish] of The Old World: Page 25 "If you move rivuline [killifish] individuals from water containing much dissolved mineral matter to water containing little such matter, these individuals probably soon will be swimming at the surface and they soon die. If you inspect the gills under a microscope you will realize the reason for this. You will find the gills completely ruined. The many brittle cells of the gills burst shortly after the individuals had been placed in water of low salinity, because of the large difference in osmotic pressures. If the fishes are moved from water containing very little dissolved minerals to water containing much matter nothing will usually happen. Page 26 I spawn my non-annual species in rather small tanks (about one gallon of water) and the tanks contain nothing but a mop and the water. Females are separated from males for at least one week, while both sexes are heavily fed. Only one female is placed with the male in the tank, because one female may eat eggs when the other is spawning. As my two types of water have similar salinities I can move the individuals right in and right out of one type of water without any harm. Differences in pH values, even from 5.0 to 8.0 have not produced any harm when individuals suddenly are moved from one type of water to the other (Source: http://info.killie.fish/ref/articles/by_Author/Scheel/ and Jorgen J. Scheel’s book “Atlas of Killifishes of the Old World” is an absolute must have if you are into Killifish.) TDS can also significantly impact the osmoregulation of the gills. Low TDS can cause the red blood cells to be depleted of water in fish that might not be acclimatised to the low TDS. While in high TDS, the red blood cells in the gills can be saturated with water causing the red blood cells to expand. Both will cause respiratory problems. As a result, always drip acclimatise new shrimp or fish to your tank prior to introducing them. Use your TDS meter/pen to match TDS values in your tank and the water of the new shrimp/fish. It usually takes doubling the amount of water from the tank to match the TDS in the bag of the new fish/shrimp. More caution needs to be placed on reducing TDS levels, compared to increasing TDS levels, as the former seems to be more lethal. Methods of lowering TDS There are several methods of lowering TDS, however, we will focus on only two methods as the other methods are unsustainable in the long term. These sources of low TDS water will need to be remineralised with Calcium & Magnesium mix in a ratio of 4:1. Remineralising raises the low TDS water back to a more suitable amount specific to the requirements of your fish or shrimp. Do not use low TDS water except to top up water loss due to evaporation. RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Reverse osmosis works by forcing water under great pressure against a semi-permeable membrane that allows water molecules to pass through while excluding most contaminants. RO is the most thorough method of large-scale water purification available. There are a huge number and variety of RO systems around. Studies have revealed how the concept of osmotic pressure can assist in decontaminating water. With a fine particulate membrane and the act of forcing water through that membrane with sufficient pressure, will produce clean water on the other side of the membrane. The clean water is stored and the filtered waste is either thrown away or used for other non consumption uses like watering plants. RO systems can removed up to 98% of all ionic and organic impurities like pollutants, sediment, bacteria and contaminants. And as a result, TDS levels are drastically reduced. The RO filter membranes do not last forever unfortunately. As the TDS of the output water rises, it is generally an indication that the membranes need to be changed. The frequency of use and the level of TDS of your source (tap) water will determine the frequency of replacing the membrane. Deionisation (DI) In large scale DI systems water is passed between a positive electrode and a negative electrode. Ion selective membranes allow the positive ions to separate from the water toward the negative electrode and the negative ions toward the positive electrode. High purity de-ionized water results. Deionization is an on-demand process supplying purified water when needed. This is important because water at this extreme purity level degrades quickly. The nuclear grade deionization resin or polishing mixed bed resin removes almost all the inorganic contaminants in the water increasing the resistivity of the water to a maximum of 18.2 megohm-cm. However, deionization alone does not remove all types of contaminants like dissolved organic chemicals. Deionization filters are not physical filters with a pore size and cannot remove bacteria or particulates. The water is usually passed through a reverse osmosis unit first to further remove non-ionic organic contaminants. RO vs DI: RO purity is relatively continuous while DI gets progressively worse as the resin nears its regeneration point. · DI chemicals are expensive and therefore operating costs are higher than RO per litre of purified water. · RO membranes are a physical barrier that remove bacteria, viruses, algae and suspended solids, while DI systems cannot remove these contaminants. · DI uses two hazardous chemicals, hydrochloric acid (HCl) and caustic soda (NaOH) for regeneration of the resin beds. These chemicals needs special storage and disposal requirements. As you can see, DI water is also uneconomical for aquatic hobbyists. More portable DI systems nowadays use Ion exchange resins to exchange non desirable cations & anions; and replaces them with hydrogen and hydroxyl, respectively, forming pure water (H20), which is not an ion. One type of resin will remove positive IONS, while another type of resin will remove negative IONS. Cations Anions Removed by Cation Resins Removed by Anion Resins Calcium (Ca++) Chlorides (Cl-) Magnesium (Mg++) Sulfates (SO4=) Iron (Fe+++) Nitrates (NO3=) Manganese (Mn++) Carbonates (CO3=) Sodium (Na+) Silica (SiO2-) Hydrogen (H+) Hydroxyl (OH-) (Table care of Puretecwater) You might come across the term "Mixed bed" or "Dual Bed" system - this is a DI filter with both Cation and Anion resins. RO/DI portable systems Modern portable RO/DI systems solve both the individuall RO and DI shortcomings. These systems combine an RO membrane with DI resins to produce near 0 TDS water. The RO removes the organic waste like bacteria, viruses and algae that the DI cannot. While the DI removes the minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Chlorides, Sulfates, etc that the RO membrane misses. By combining the two, we get the best of both worlds. Most Reverse Osmosis filters you can buy today, like those sold by FSA, https://www.filtersystemsaustralia.com.au/store/index.php/reverse-osmosis-water-filter/aquarium-systems.html are in fact RO/DI systems. Rain water What can be better than water from mother nature? After all, our river systems are made up of water that falls as rain. So this has to be the best source of water, is it not? In most cases it is. However, many of us live in polluted cities, and we collect and store rain water in manmade receptacles that might add to the contamination of rain water. So some form of caution is necessary. If you are confident that the water is collected off relatively clean, rust free roofs and stored in plastic drums, then rain water is a perfect free source of low TDS water. Rain can be sporadic and unpredictable in some countries, so an RO system as a backup is always a good idea. There are other methods of lowering TDS, as mentioned in the next section, but I will not focus on them as it’s not really a preference. I mention it here only as a last resort. Peat All over the internet and on forums, many can attest to using peat in helping to lower pH, GH, KH, and TDS. This greatly depends on your own water conditions and how much the peat treated water affects TDS. If your tap water is particularly hard, you might need more peat to lower the mentioned parameters compared with someone else’s tap water. It is not uncommon to mix the peat with RO water (and/or maybe some tapwater) in an attempt for one to achieve a stable chemistry that agrees with the shrimp/fish you are keeping. The addition of tannins, phenols, humic acids along with the combination of peat treated water allows you to create water conditions close to your livestock’s natural environment. Peat water (even small additions) is positively regarded by many aquarists, as essential for low TDS fish, especially dwarfs such as Discus, Tetras, Corys, Angels, Rams and Apistos. The problem with recommending peat is finding it in Australia is difficult. Especially peat that does not also have fertilisers included. Then there is the extra effort in making peat water, and the need to make it several days ahead of use and store it in containers. The colour that results from the added tannins from peat is also not to everyone’s liking. Distillation Distillation involves boiling the water to produce water vapour. The water vapour then rises to a cooled surface where it can condense back into a liquid and be collected. Because the dissolved solids are not normally vaporized, they remain in the boiling solution. However, some impurities with the same boiling point of that of water can be transferred to the collection water, and for this reason, Reverse Osmosis can produce purer water. The absolute advantage of the distilled water is the complete absence of harmful substances like bacteria, viruses or algae. Considerable amount of cost is required to produce and maintain the thermal requirements for a distillation process. As a result this method is uneconomical for aquatic hobbyists. A quick word on Water softeners Water softeners do not necessarily produce water that is suitable for Softwater fish and shrimps. Water softeners work by removing the temporary hardness (such as carbonates) by replacing it with permanent hardness such as chlorides. This increased level of chloride is unnatural to any environment where the fish or shrimp may be found. While the water is now softer, from the fish’s or shrimp’s point of view the water is still chock full of dissolved minerals (chlorides or sodium) and TDS will still be high. The cautious approach is to avoid using water softeners altogether if you are trying to reduce the hardness of your aquarium water. Increasing TDS We have discussed reducing TDS, but how do you increase TDS the right way? Increasing TDS is one of the easiest things to do. In fact, you could do nothing to the tank and TDS will increase over time. You could add salt or sugar to the water and TDS would increase. However, that increase is due to waste from fish, food, etc. and not always a good thing. And neither is adding salt or sugar - Don't do it ! The main minerals/chemicals that you want to use to increase TDS in an Aquarium is Calcium & Magnesium at 4:1 ratio and to a smaller extent other minerals like Potassium and trace elements. There are several off the shelf products that will remineralise low TDS water, increasing it to a suitable level. If you'd like to Do It Yourself, I even have a recipe here ... Summary One of the most vital aspects of keeping softwater shrimp or fish is the significance of TDS - Total Dissolved Solids. The majority of aquarists will put their attention on the pH only for soft water fish or shrimp but completely forget about TDS. A simple $20 piece of equipment will be able to rectify that. The various years of observation has lead to a realisation that low pH actually means low TDS be it for fish or shrimp. Both water parameter readings need to go hand in hand. We cannot ignore one or the other when you are trying to replicate the aquarium’s environment. The effects of shock can be offset by slowing mixing the water. And this can be important between your own tanks too, as TDS is unique to each tank. A TDS meter is an absolutely essential tool in an aquarist’s cabinet. For the shrimp keeper, monitoring TDS is of vital importance. In an environment where the shrimp are constantly using up Calcium to grow their shells, and dissolved solids are constantly changing due to food, nitrogenous waste being produced, and even evaporation of water can cause fluctuations in the level of dissolved solids in the tank water. This constant fluctuation can cause stress in the shrimp. This stress can lead to a reduction in their immune systems, and sometimes eventuate in death. Close monitoring of TDS is required to ensure the shrimps environment is stable. TDS should never fluctuate wildly. Aim for a constant TDS reading in the tank. In doing so, you might find that you will need a lower TDS reading for water changes in order to maintain a target. For example, if your target is 150ppm TDS, then you might need to aim for 110ppm TDS in your change water. Aiming for 150ppm TDS in the change water will result in TDS rising overtime as dissolved solids gets concentrated in the tank. Over time, TDS continually and constantly rises each day. They enter the aquarium via fish food, water conditioners, plant fertilizers, medications, and any substance that treats water in some way. Water evaporation will also cause the dissolved solids already in the tank to be more concentrated. TDS readings can also be used as an indication of when it is time for a water change. If you see TDS rising to the upper limits of your target TDS, then it’s time for a 5-10% water change. If the small 5-10% water change is still not enough to reduce TDS to your ideal target, another water change might be necessary two or three days later. Don’t rush in reducing TDS. Slow is always advisable. TDS readings also come in handy when acclimatising shrimp and fish. We all know how to drip acclimatise shrimps or fish. This process reduces the impact of large fluctuations in differing water parameters. I often hear of people saying “I drip acclimatised my shrimp/fish for 3 hours” or “6 hours”. But how do you know that 3 hours or 6 hours or even 12 hours was enough for that matter? Instead, rather than acclimatising new shrimp or fish by amount of time, we should be monitoring the TDS. Once the TDS reaches the same reading between the tank and the water the new shrimps/fish came in, then you can be sure that GH, KH and pH will all be matching as well. This can take a varying amount of time depending on how fast you add the tank water and how much water is already in the bag containing the new shrimp/fish. Once TDS is matching, then place the bag or container into the tank for a few more minutes to ensure temperature is the same before catching and releasing your new pets into the tank. It can take 6 hours or it can take 16. It doesn’t matter, but I have never lost a fish or shrimp using this TDS monitoring method of acclimatising. JayC Shrimp Keepers Forum http://shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/
    12 points
  5. With such a great number of hobbyist joining the forum, thought I'd start a thread on some basic shrimp maintenance/breeding advise and techniques I'm guided with..... Water Parameters (WP) is critical, so depending on the shrimp type, do some research and ensure your tanks (WP) are within the recommended range. There are extreme cases (i.e. PH at 5 or 7.5 where CRS are successfully kept/bred, but on avg. these WP are theoretically a good starting point.... Caridina (CRS, CBS, SW/GB, TB*, Tiger**..) PH - 6.4 KH - 0-2 GH - 4-6 TDS - 100-200 Temp - 21-23 *TB (KK, WR & BB) - Some breeders prefer a slightly lower PH (5.6 - 6.2) for Taiwan Bee **Tigers - Some breeders prefer a slightly higher PH (7-7.4), KH - 2-8 and GH - 6-10 for Tigers Neocaridina (All colour variants of Cherry Shrimp) PH - 6.4 KH - 0-2 GH - 4-6 TDS - 100-200 Temp - 21-23 There's several thread on the forum with regards to soil type/recommendations, filters, chillers etc, so I'll just focus on the "day to day" maintenance and breeding habits I practice religiously... * Weekly water change (WC) is beneficial to even the best filtered system. I only do a 5-10% weekly WC per week, just to "freshen" the water. Add minerals like salty shrimp, mineral powder etc... On each WC. * The quality and consistency of Tap water varies. Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is recommended, to avoid any imbalances/pitfalls that can occur. Control what goes into your tank, to ensure minimal unexpected deaths. * Ensure a varied diet of commercial and fresh food to your shrimps, including. Powdered food to feed your shrimplets.. I daily feed all my shrimp, and depending on stock levels and shrimplets, two feelings per days are done. * Do water top ups caused by evaporation. I use straight RO water to top up all my tanks. * filter maintenance is done every 6-8 weeks for all my nano tanks, and 8-12 weeks for my breeding racks. This ensure the filters/bacteria is running efficiently. Ensure the filters are only rinsed off with the tanks water...do not over clean, and or use tap water, as this will kill the beneficial bacteria. * On a established system, ensure your nitrates are kept below 20ppm. Low nitrates do promote breeding ! Other notable mentions.. *Shrimp consume their exoskeleton that they shed during molting. This is a a rich source of essential minerals for the shrimp, so do leave them there for their consumption. *Iodine supplement is not necessary as freshwater crustaceans obtain iodine from their food. *Metals like zinc, lead, and elemental copper, are toxic for shrimps and will kill them. *Majority of fish feed on shrimps. Although through clever aquascaping, a co-existance can prevail, But it really depends on the seriousness you take your shrimps/hobby, i.e selective breeding program's, exotic shrimps ... *Hiding spots/shelters are important especially in periods of molting. Shelters can be bought or created via aquascaping. *Avoid chemical, and short term solutions...i.e. PH Up/Down.....I personally don't use ferts, and anything chemical.... *During our summer periods, have a Plan B even if you are running chillers. Have some RO ice blocks in the fridge for emergencies.. *Observe your shrimps, and develop an eye to notice any changes in their behaviour. This may highlight some potential issues before it becomes real issues. *Shrimps require oxygen rich waters. Ensure ample aeration, surface agitation etc... *PATIENCE IS KEY Mother Nature, whether purely natural or influenced by us do throw all of us a "curve ball"... So don't be discourage, get advise and share the grief with this forum, as your experience will help others.... No doubt, there's '000's of other advise, so please do add it onto this thread.......
    11 points
  6. Good afternoon my fellow Shrimp Keepers, I have received the answers for the 4th SKF interview. Today we have a interview from @newbreed. He is a very well respected breeder (formerly AKA as the Pinto King), He is also a retired admin of SKF and is now the owner of Newbreed Aquatics. You can find his new website at http://newbreedaquatics.com.au SKF - Hi Jamie can you please tell us a little about yourself? JN - I have been keeping aquariums for over 25 years and started to keep shrimp specific tanks just over three years ago. As there was not much readily available information on keeping shrimp successfully, after hunting around I was fortunate to find SKF. The sharing of knowledge and experience gave me the confidence to keep a large variety of shrimp species I had spent many months, many hours each day, assisting people with shrimp tank problem solving. At the end of each conversation I found myself referring people to other companies websites to purchase the necessary items to remedy their situation. In January 2015, I decided I would just establish my own business and have these essential items on hand, so if someone had a problem i could send the items directly and quickly. Seeing as most people within the hobby knew me as Newbreed, this is how Newbreed Aquatics found it's name. Question 1 - What is your weekly/monthly maintenance schedule? JN - Daily: - Lots of shrimp staring, keeping an eye on behaviours, moults, shrimplet spotting, taking many pics with my phone Weekly: - Evaporation top ups with pure (untreated) rain water - BeeMax Bacterial powder added (Boss Booster also used when Beemax not available) - Mineral Powder added (recommend Benibachi or Boss products) - General Tidy up of tanks, moss trimming, removing used/spent IAL - Water testing mainly via TDS test Monthly: - PH/GH/KH Testing - 10% waterchange, siphoning out any buildups and replenishing with rain water treated with Salty Shrimp to desired TDS Question 2 - What is your favorite additive/products? JN - Essentials to me are the bacteria and mineral powders. I dose either weekly or fortnightly, to maintain good bacterial colonies and to ensure minerals available for use by shrimp for moults, etc. Favourite product is Benibachi Bee Max. Always something I add if there are any issues and just reassuring to know bacteria levels are propped up constantly. Also Indian Almond Leaves (IAL) and Alder Cones are a must, again good for bacteria and have helpful natural properties. Question 3 - What is your worst shrimp experience? JN - I had a wonderfully thriving CRS colony up until last year. Started with 15 shrimp and gradually started producing in the 100's. I fed them well, daily and also used baby powder type foods daily. As the colony was thriving and all seemed happy I got lazy with maintenance and conditions worsened over time. I started having occasional unexpected deaths and put them down to age, etc. Only when it became consistent and more deaths regularly did panic set in. There had been a plague of bacterial infections reported but my tanks were isolated from any new stock. The usual waterchanges, adding IAL/Alder Cones and powders didn't assist it. As these were a line that had been selling regularly and consistently, it broke my heart getting messages from keepers asking to buy some, as I could not sell any and risk any issues with others tanks. As I had not identified the cause. In the end a thriving three foot tank which held a colony of close to 200-300 shrimp was closed down to be reset. I figured that the overfeeding and low maintenance had just made the tank unsuitable. TDS, KH, GH and Ph were all good and stable, but must have been a build up of organics that was affecting the shrimp poorly. Some CRS others had taken during this time, after my advice they may be unwell, had thrived in their new homes. The colony was closed down and only now starting to recoup in a new setting. Sad when things were going so amazingly, that it could turn around almost overnight. Has made me much more conscious of feeding regime and maintenance regularity. Question 4 - What are the biggest myths in Shrimp Keeping? JN - 1. Shrimplets will not get through wire strainers on sumped systems (when first rack closed down, I had some amazing sump dwellers) 2.Shrimplets will not survive going through a sump and back into tanks on rack (Sadly my Pure TB line was invaded by shrimplets from another tank on same sump, killing off my 2 year Pure Line program - very sad day when discovered) 3. Shrimp are difficult to keep. (consistency and stability is the key) Question 5 - Unusual things that you use with your shrimps? JN - Can't think of anything that 'out there', I use lots of fun quirky shrimp related products like bee shelters and moss ledges. Many non shrimp keeping friends think I am odd when I grab my magnifying glasses out, to show them my newest sexy shrimp. lol. That may count. Question 6 - Can you give us tips on selective breeding? And how to improve the quality of our shrimps? JN - I always love watching my shrimplets develop and always look for new or unusual traits. I like unique strains and cross breeding at present. I guess the main thing with breeding is to know your goal, and what you want to achieve. Then it makes it easier to start selecting shrimp for desirable traits. Once I have a goal in mind, I isolate candidates into their own project tank and let things develop. With the CRS I was aiming for more red colouration in the legs. So I asked another breeder for some males with that trait, I then isolated my best formed females and let them go to work. It is amazing how each generation can vastly improve on the previous one. Also, key factor is to understand the genetic history of the shrimp you are breeding. If they are not from your direct lines, ask the breeder for a history. Majority of the breeders I have talked to over the last few years are very willing to share their experiences and knowledge, especially here on SKF. It makes your job a whole lot easier if you know what you are working with. Improving quality again comes down to regularly culling the undesirable or lower grade shrimp from your breeding group. (culling is not killing. just isolate them to another tank, where you are not concerned with the outcome as much) Keep and Breed the best quality shrimp you can afford to. The best foundation of a good colony is good quality, well fed parents Question 7 - What do you think will be the next big thing in shrimp? Will it come from crosses or line breeding pure species? JN - Hard call. Tigers, Tibees and Taitibees seem to be all the rage at present. As there is so many variations to come from these, I think the trend will continue for a long time yet. Many have been getting into Sulawesi Shrimp and recently there have been international images that look to be a cross from Sulawesi to Caridina, that would be a whole new world if it is indeed possible. I am personally a fan of cross breeding lines and know there will be some great developments from there. But I think there will be much interest in getting back to more Classic Pure Line TB in the future too. And lets never underestimate the Cherries, Colour developments and patterns will arise in these in the future that will also turn heads. Question 8 - How do you mineralize and what WP do you aim for? JN - When I setup a tank I always start with a sprinkling of bacteria powder and mineral powder before adding substrate (Thanks Jay for sharing this with me ages ago). Give the tank it's best start. I add mineral powders weekly to fortnightly. Also I remineralise my rain water with Salty Shrimp minerals. Depending on strain being kept. I aim for TDS 130-160, Gh 5-6, Kh 0-1, ph 6-6.5 (my main tanks I try to keep all strains in, so i mainly use the GH+ minerals) I run all my tanks at 22-23 degrees. Question 9 - What food enhances the welling being of shrimps and increase shrimplets survival rates? JN - I am a fan of a varied diet. I feed Boss Shrimp Crack, Benibachi Red Bee Ambitious, Benibachi Kale tabs, Shrimp Snow alternating every other day and always have Indian Almond Leaves(IAL) in my tanks. When shrimplets are present i usually feed Baby Powder foods daily, and I always keep IALs as they colonise beneficial bacteria even the smallest shrimp can graze on. Also a good level of biofilm in your tank will provide a good food source. Question 10 - How often do you cull? JN - Any shrimp that have obvious deformities or negative traits i cull as soon as identified. I would cull on a monthly basis, especially now as I am delving back into cherries, my culling has to be more regular and more brutal. Question 11 - What is your funniest shrimp experience? JN - I took awhile to try out Alder Cones. When I first put these into my CRS colony tank, they went beserk, just nuts. The alder cones were being pushed around on the water's surface by the canister filter, and the shrimp were piled on them, about six per alder cone, surfing just under the water's surface, being pushed from one end of the three foot tank to the other. It was great to watch about ten alder cones racing around with CRS clinging to them madly. They kept at it under the alder cones eventually sank a few hours later. These shrimp never stop entertaining! I wanted say on behalf of SKF and its members, Thank you very much Jamie.
    11 points
  7. There are very few stupid questions, yours isn't one of them. In the context of aquarium keeping, Biofilm is a collection of bacteria, diatoms, algae, fungi and other multi-cellular organisms that form a layer on any surface submerged in water (including seawater). Biofilms form because macro-molecules (e.g. Sugars, proteins) attach to surfaces because surfaces (at the molecular level) are polar (i.e. have positive and negatively charged areas). And bacteria are the first to attach to these surfaces to make use of these molecules. The bacteria make the surfaces attractive for settlement of other organisms. Each surface also has a unique biofilm depending on what molecules, bacteria or other organisms attach to it. This is more than the average shrimp keeper needs to know. The important thing shrimp keepers need to know is that shrimp eat this biofilm and it forms an important part of their diet. Hence why we feed our shrimp IAL and similar leaves, because as these leaves break down their surfaces are colonised by micro-organisms which the shrimp eat.
    11 points
  8. Hi there.... I read some interest topic here. I am a plant and shrimp keeper. Im running 12 tanks now. I keep Snowball Crs neocaridina ( yellow, red, orange, blue) Sulawesi dennerli I saw a lot photos. :) My 180lt dutch tank. :) Red cherry , rummynose and bnp. A 10lt with red chery , without filter and heat. Just growing plants. 90lt Sullawesi cardinals 30 lt topaz blue 30 lt crs tank1 30lt crs tank2 30 lt neo Yellows 30lt snowballs 30 lt orange neo And a some videos... Thats all ... :)
    10 points
  9. Breeding Celestial Pearl Danios (Also known as Galaxy Rasboras) Firstly I will start by saying that these are a fantastic little fish that show no aggression to any other species nor within their own species. Males will spar with each other sometimes and often display to females, no damage is ever done. They are shrimp friendly, but will take down shrimplets if they get hungry. So they can be added to a mature and established shrimp community tank to ensure maximum shrimp numbers surviving also. These fish prefer a nice planted tank with a dark substrate, this helps reduce skittishness and bring out their colour even better, it also gives refuge for fry that will pop up in the display tank! Feeding Celestial Pearl Danios will need to be fed small foods, due to their small mouth size. Though they are always excited to see live black worms (2-3 of these will make them VERY fat). Mine love grindal worms so they get this often, as well as baby brine shrimp and cyclops regularly. They will readily take dry foods of small size, I have had great success with Sera Vipagran Baby. To keep them in shape for breeding on a regular basis, I feed them twice a day with baby brine shrimp and a higher protein food like grindal worms, black worms, and so on. I find live high protein foods keep them in better shape and increase egg numbers. Sexing CPD Celestial Pearl Danios are fairly easy to sex, especially when they are of mature/breeding age. Females will have a much rounder body shape, when they are younger they will also have a taller body (older/more mature males develop this also, usually 6+ months old). Females also have a prominent black spot in front of the anal fin, the difference becomes more obvious as they mature more. Males are more slender in the body but will have much better colour in the body and fins, they develop a nice blue to purple colour to the body with nice orange fins and often the under belly too (the under belly colour can also be the case in females though, so isn’t a guarantee). In the below photos you will see the younger male has a slender body and orange under belly, as well as better colour than the female. However, as you can see in the older pair, the male has developed the deep body also and the female has a light orange hue to her under belly. The male in the second photo is a prime candidate for breeding as he is quite nicely coloured and has developed good body/fin shape and colour. Young Pair – Male on the bottom right and female on top left: Older/More Mature Pair – Male on top and female on bottom: Breeding Celestial Pearl Danios will start breeding from as young as 3 months old if fed well and have clean water throughout their short childhood. However, I find they are usually all mature by 4 months old. You will need at least one pair for breeding, however I have better experience breeding a trio as this gives females times to recover between breeding sessions as these fish are “constant” (usually daily) spawners. Spawning is induced by males, where they will hover over a specific area they like (moss, spawning mop, etc) and when a female is nearby they will begin to shake their bodies and flare their fins in hopes of attracting the female. They will do their dance and display, but the spawning comes when the male has his head pointed down and shakes, following the female behind closely. These fish will often spawn in a display tank and you will get fry popping up now and then in a well planted and mature tank. However, celestial pearl danios will readily eat their eggs and fry in my experience so this method will result in minimal fry numbers. There is another option which can work well if you have spare tanks, or enough room to rotate breeders. This method is basically using a bare tank with some java moss and keeping a trio in here for a 5 to 7 days, then moving them to another tank while the eggs hatch in the first tank. Then you keep repeating this process until you have enough fry or forever if you have the space… I have not tried this method myself, but have heard of others using this method with success. I personally don’t have the tank space for this method. The final method which has worked the best for me has been a dedicated breeding tank. In this tank all I have is a sponge filter and an acrylic yarn spawning mop (make sure it is 100% acrylic otherwise it will eventually rot in the tank). I keep a trio of my best fish in here, one male and two females. The male I use is the “older” pair from the photos above for his colour and body shape, as well as two nicely coloured and sized females. I call this the “permanent breeding factory”, because I am able to get on average 20 eggs per day with this method. To collect the eggs in the factory, I use a turkey baster purchased on eBay. I stop the sponge filter and after about 5 minutes or so when everything has settled down I slowly lift the spawning mop up and shake the mop, to make this easy I tied a long piece of yarn which comes out of the tank onto the lid for easy lifting without having to drop my arm into the tank. I then use a light on the front half of the tank, placing the light from the side helps in seeing the eggs easier as does a dark base (my tanks have black bottom panels). Using the turkey baster I suck the eggs up and collect them in a plastic cup for later use. With the eggs in the cup I then fill the cup most of the way and use an air stone on a very low bubble rate to keep circulation over the eggs to prevent fungus. Another option is to put the eggs in a fine meshed breeder box or poke some tiny holes into the cup and float it in the tank to keep fresh water circulating over the eggs. Eggs take about 3-4 days to hatch on average, and the fry will now be wrigglers which cannot really swim yet and are not ready to be fed. This wriggler stage will take about 3-5 days before they are free swimming. They will often be holding onto the side of the cup, or laying on the base. This is nothing to worry about. Once fry are free swimming they will be quite small and very thin in body thickness. You will need very small foods to have the best success, such as paramecium, spirulina powder, fry powder foods like sera micron and so on. I find that I get a MUCH better survival and growth rate when the fry are fed live foods so I only use paramecium for feeding them. The fry will need about 10-15 days before they can readily eat baby brine shrimp, I don’t bother with foods larger than paramecium until this stage mainly because micro worms and similar are a pain to keep going and requite too much maintenance. Once the fry are on baby brine shrimp, they will grow much quicker. Around the 5-6 week mark, I start introducing sera vipagran baby or similar small sized foods. I however prefer to give them live foods more than dry foods as I find the fry grow much quicker and are healthier and develop colour earlier. Fry will grow fairly quickly and at the 6 week mark will be around the 15mm mark and should be showing some slight purple/blue to the body and their golden spots should be readily visible. From this point on the fry will slow down their growth as they reach their adult size but colour will come in much quicker. By the 12 week mark the fish should be very close to looking like full grown adults, with the deep orange colour developing quickly after this point. Fish should also be reasonably easy to sex from this point on as the body shape has already developed and the colours are coming through quickly. Now I hope you enjoy the photos of the fry below, which should help you gauge age and so on of your fry! As a comparison, the first two photos are of fish the same age but the first shot is of a fry fed solely dry foods like spirulina powder and similar from hatch while the second photo is a fry fed on live foods from hatching. Young fry (most likely female) at 12 weeks old – Fed solely on dry foods from hatching. Young Female Fry at 12 weeks old – Fed on live foods, with dry food at the later stage in life Most likely a nice young female, but could be a male. Young pair of CPD, approximately 7-8 weeks old. Young female, approximately 7-8 weeks old Thank you for reading along and I hope you find the information useful, or at least enjoyed the article!
    10 points
  10. With lots of variety of mosses and ferns out there, here is a compile of Photos from the great Tomasz Wastowski of his current collection. Bolbitis sp. "Gau Angin" Microsorum "Small Leaf" Microsorum "Thunder Leaf" Microsorum "Short Narrow Leaf" Loxogramma sp. Wave Moss Mosses... Bolbitis sp. "Gua Angin", Bolbitis heteroclita "Cuspidata" & Buce. Brownie Jade Loxogramme sp. Amblystegiaceae Manaus "Queen Moss" Homalia sp "Rosa" Hymenophyllaceae sp. "Wayanad" Pteridophyta sp. "Xkiat" Microsorum sp "Trident" Plagiochcila sp. Cameroon Microsorum sp. Mini Windelov Fissidens Grandifrons var. Planiccaulis Microsorum sp. Fork Leaf Bolbitius Heteroclita Difformis Fissidens Adianthoides Fissidens Dubius & Fissidens from Poland Fissidens Dubius Fissidens from Poland Fissidens Geminiflorus "Nagasaki" Fissidens sp. "Himehouogoke" F. Nobilis, F. Zippelianus, F. Adianth, F. Dubius, F. Dubius 2, F. Poland Fissidens Nobilis
    10 points
  11. The Taiwan/Shadow Bee class saw some magnificent entries this year. 3rd place went to Adam Blackburn for a group of young Extreme (Full Red) Rubies. This was a nice uniform group of shrimp with great colour. Unfortunately they were a bit shy and most of the tanks didn't have clean glass... you can really see it in these pics. Still, I wanted to share the images with you all. 2nd place went to Shrimp My Tank for some exceptional Blue Bolts which just loved the camera. A lovely dark female was awarded Best Individual in show. Congratulations Shannon! 1st place went to our own Jamie Newbreed for an awesome group of Shadow Pandas... congratulations on a winning this demanding category! Unfortunately these were never where I needed them to be and I don't have many shots.
    10 points
  12. I just want to give a big thank you to @JPN07: it has been -4 degrees Celcius in Canberra the last 2 mornings. He posted Sulawesi Cardinals 2 days ago from the West Coast. With his ingenious double-heat pack-sandwich insulation packaging, the shrimp were at least 24 degrees Celcius in the esky when I got them. I went to check on them just now and they are all happy and foraging a few hours after arrival. Thank you so much for the generous extra ?
    10 points
  13. Ok guys first of a few competitions this month! This competition is open to Australian Residents only. Up for grabs is a Boss Aquaria Pack. If you win you get: 1. A pack of Shrimp Crack. 2. A large pack of Shrimp Snow. 3. A pack of mineral Balls. How do you do win this prize? The person with the most likes for the week ending Sunday 8th May 2016 at 8pm EST is the winner. I am not Eligible but every other Australian resident is. So if you see a good post make sure you like it. Good luck everyone. There is a tally on the Right hand side of the forum so everyone can keep track haha.
    10 points
  14. This took abit longer than expected and they didnt do what i wanted them to do but this will have to do :P And yes you can feel them picking away lol
    10 points
  15. After reading this thread with great interest and needing some new shrimp food, I thought that I'd give this recipe a go. Thanks to Jason for the recipe and advice. Made my first batch today with Chlorella, Spirulina, Kale, Bee pollen and Astaxanthin. Pictures below taken at 1 minute and 4 minutes after being in the tank. Can't even see the food lol
    10 points
  16. The story behind it... I have long known the benefits of Chlorella for shrimp. So I bought 250gm of Chlorella powder from Squiggle on Dec 3 last year. Up until now I have been trying to figure out the best way of feeding Chlorella powder to the shrimp. If I sprinkled it in the water it would literally turn the tank green like it was algae infested, not a good look and not the best way of feeding. So up till this weekend I have been digging into ways to feeding Chlorella, and I drew on a few inspirations - Fishmosy's biofilm alternative http://shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/index.php/topic/7770-biofilm-alternative/ And Repashy Gel premixes. If I could get the Chlorella powder in a gel like substance for the shrimp like what fishmosy did with Spirulina, it would be my goal. So the question was what to use to hold the Chlorella powder. Then I drew on the idea of the repashy gel. Jelly was what it looked like to me. But Jelly and gelatin is no good for shrimp. Gelatin is animal based. So the next best option was ... AGAR AGAR !!! The more research I did on agar agar, the more convinced I was that this was the perfect vessel to hold all kinds of Shrimpy foods that we can feed our beloved pets. Agar is a gelling agent extracted from red algae (perfect). It's easy to work with (awesome). It's easy to find and it's cheap (perfect, kaching). It's all organic (you beaut). Ingredients: 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder (2gm). 350ml water. Chlorella powder 3 teaspoons. Bee Pollen 1 teaspoon. You can find agar agar powder in most Asian supermarkets, some health food shops, maybe even coles and woolies. Please buy only agar that has no other additives like sugar, flavouring, or colouring. Method: Add water and agar agar powder into a pot, and bring to a low boil. Stir constantly or the agar with stick to the pot. Keep heat low to med. Heat until all sign of the agar powder is dissolved (approx 5 minutes on low-med heat). Pour into a shallow and flat container (for ease of cutting later) Let it cool for 4-5 minutes. Crush the bee pollen in a mortar & pestle. Then sprinkle in the Chlorella powder and Bee Pollen into the container. The agar would not have set yet. Use a utensil of your choice to stir in the Chlorella powder and Bee Pollen, taking care to smooth out any lumps of Chlorella powder and Bee Pollen. Let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Cut a small square of the Chlorella powder and Bee Pollen Agar, and drop in the tank. Sit back and watch the shrimp swarm it. Note: does not pollute the tank either. I have since learnt that you can get a Spirulina, Chlorella, and Wheatgrass supergreen powder mix at health food shops. A small bottle is all that's needed ( I think it was about $16-$18). You could use this and create a really Super green food with Bee Pollen. Otherwise you can shout out to Squiggle for some. He will charge you appropriately. The original plan was to include Astaxanthin, but I could not find powder that was economical enough. But there is SOOOOOO much nutrition in Chlorella powder and Bee Pollen alone that this exercise was worth it. And seeing how much the shrimp are enjoying it ... priceless. If I can get pics, I'll post it tomorrow. Hope you have a go at it yourself. Version 2 will include Astaxanthin as the colour enhancer. So I am still looking for affordable astaxanthin powder. Cheers.
    10 points
  17. So you went to the Local Fish Store and were seduced by a lovely Cherry Shrimp. The shop assistant said sure you can keep them with your fish - WRONG The shop assistant said just throw them in the water after a 4 or 5 minute float and adding a bit of tank water to the bag- WRONG Okay Cherries or Neocaridina Davidi are very easy to look after and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and are infact very forgiving of our first attempts at shrimp keeping but lets try and do it simply but properly. First there are very few fish that you can keep with shrimp- some people have luck with various fish but generally if it fits in their mouth fish will eat it with very few exceptions except maybe the Otto. So step you need a shrimp specific tank planted preferably with moss. If you are going to only keep Cherries then any inert gravel will do. You need a very good water conditioner to treat the Chlorine and heavy metals so something like Prime When you get your shrimp home you will need to take your time acclimatizing them to your water conditions so it is preferable that you drip acclimatize the shrimp over an hour or 2 or if you are unable to drip them then pop 10-20ml of tank water into the bag every 5 minutes or so to get the water equal in the tank and bag. Release your shrimp and watch them explore –prepare to be mesmerized and want more. So it can be that simple and if you have a male and female they may and probably will breed but let's face it we really want to become proper shrimp keepers don't we? We want to learn all this new lingo like TDS, GH, KH etc. What foods to feed, what water parameters etc etc etc. Luckily the forum has all the answers and if you can't find the info just ask there are a lot of friendly people here willing to share their knowledge with you. This is a very simplified care sheet with much more involved information available but it can get you started. Water parameters for a Cherry Shrimp A fully cycled tank is paramount pH 6.4 - 7.6 Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates under 20 but preferably under 5 KH 0 - 10 GH 4 - 14 TDS 80 - 200 Temp 18 - 24 So a good water test kit is a very necessary item. A TDS pen (total dissolved solids) is important. Simple care needs Shrimp need stability in their water parameters, sudden changes are not good for them especially later if you change over to the harder to keep species. Weekly water changes of between 5 - 20% depending on the population density of your tank are necessary with the new water nicely aged and as near to the tank conditions as possible. Good quality and variety of food comes next. A mixture of commercially prepared and fresh fruit and veg (blanched spinach, broccoli, kale, fresh bananas, rock melon ) plus dried or blanched leaves like mulberry leaves, IAL (Indian Almond leaves) but all fed sparingly as shrimp graze on the bio film in your tank and don't need a lot of supplementation plus feeding large amounts can lead to planaria and ammonia spikes. It's a good idea to take out any left over food after a few hours except the IAL that can stay in the tank until just veins are left. There are several good threads about food and nutrition, Water parameters and also a glossary for those pesky abbreviations so look them up. Good luck with your new found hobby and don't be afraid to ask questions, it's the only way to learn!
    10 points
  18. We would all like to think that everyone you deal with in the hobby can be trusted and don't have an alterior motive. Sadly however there are some in the hobby who are deceiving enough to steal what others have worked hard for. I thought i would write some tips which will better assist in protecting you, your belongings and what you have worked hard for. There is nothing worst then having someone violate your privacy and the home of you and your family. Tips that may be handy in no particular order. Most are common sense. * If you are breeding high value shrimp or selling anything of value avoid having your shrimp picked up from your home address. * Always obtain a phone number from the person you are dealing with as you can confirm some legitimacy of the dealing and phone numbers are traceable by Police. * Invest in an alarm system for your home if you dont have good neighbours make sure its back to base. * If you are unable to afford any alarm for your home or are renting consider investing in a dummy blue light box and alarm warning stickers. * Invest in good quality CCTV in your home covering the points of entry / Shrimp room. Dont skimp as poor quality images are useless to the Police in identifying the culprit. * If you can not afford CCTV then consider imitation cameras for the outside of your premises and again stickers. * If you have any concerns arrange pick up in a public place and arrive early and wait away from your vehicle. Some people can obtain your details from your roads and traffic authority through your number plate if they try hard enough. * Record your buyers/sellers registration plate if you have concerns and record your dealings. * Wait until the other party has left the location before you leave so that you can not be followed to your home address. * Record any break and enter or attempt to your local Police and ensure you obtain a report number and the Police officers name you spoke to so it can be followed up. * Invest in a P.O Box, it allows confidentiality without having to disclose your address to anyone. * Dont disclose any information to people you don't know. Simple things even like employment can provide vital information to a thief in regards to ascertaining times when you are not home. * If regularly selling shrimp and allowing contact with strangers invest in a separate sim card. * Take someone with you if you have the slightest concerns. * Invest in sensor lights on the external part of your residence. These days you can buy solar powered LED flood lights if you dont want hard wired to save money. * If you go away on holidays invest in in a holiday light attachment. You buy them from bunnings and you plug them into your light socket between the connection and the light bulb. It will randomly turn your light on and off at different intervals giving the look of someone being home. * Be cautious of who you advise that you are away on holidays. This is the prime time for someone to break in to your premises. * Try to avoid giving out your full name, especially if the buyer is local to your city. * If you use a land line number, make it a private number. * If you have used the same username or email address on various forums, do a google search to see if you've left identifying information associated with them. * Don't discuss how often/how long you tend to be out of the house for work etc.
    9 points
  19. This is still a draft now final but can still be updated to accommodate new info. Please help me refine the terminology, and let me know if I have forgotten anything that has to be included. Common Terminology Tigers, Crystals and Taiwan Bees will all breed together. Here are some common terms or names that are used in the Shrimp hobby to describe various shrimp. The following picture from rah-bop will paint a better image as we go through the descriptions. Refer back to this picture as you read the descriptions. (Click to expand) What is a Tibee? A tibee is a hybrid between any Tiger (OEBT - orange eye blue tiger or also blonde tiger) - and usually a Taiwan Bee (TB) OR can also be hybrid between any Tiger and Crystals - CBS (Crystal Black Shrimp) and CRS (Crystal Red Shrimp). The preference is to cross with a Taiwan Bee. Since TBs are rarer and more expensive, you might not have enough TBs to breed. Using a Tiger as a partner to the Taiwan Bee, will ensure some genes are carried over when you cross the Tibee back with the Taiwan Bee parent. It's offspring could yield some Taiwan Bees. Crystals are more common. So a Tibee from TigerXCrystal is not as sought after. But nature can throw up some amazing colours from this hybrid too. I am working on a TigerXCRS myself to try to get some Red Tiger tibees. What is a TaiTibee? A Taitibee is a Tibee crossed back with a Taiwan Bee. What is a Pinto? A Pinto is a colour variation and type of Taitibee. There are 3 variants of patterns: Spotted Head Zebra Fancy - Such as skunk pattern and cloud patterns. The creative name for skunk pattern is derived from the black-and-white pattern, which very much resembles that of a skunk, especially due to the pattern on the head. And as the name suggests, the Cloud pattern very much resembles clouds shapes on the head of the shrimp. Colouration of pintos generally come in either black or red base. Black Zebra Pinto Red Zebra Pinto Cloud Pinto Skunk Pinto What is a Mischling? Mischling is a German word for "crossbreed" (plural: Mischlinge). A mischling (in the shrimp hobby) is a hybrid cross between Crystals and Taiwan Bees. When this crossbred mischling is crossed with another CRS, it's genetics are diluted, and you get a small % of Taiwan Bees. When mischlings are crossed with another mischling it's genetics are even more diluted. And the % of TB are even smaller to the point of never getting a TB. It's like striking Lotto. However, when you cross a mischling back with a Taiwan Bee, you get a larger % of TBs, but with the added benefit of strengthening it's gene pool when it's original parents were mixed with a CRS. BlueBolts has already started an excellent sticky thread on Mischling here: http://shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/index.php/topic/714-minchlings/ This article is a supplement to information already on SKF. It is by no means trying to supersede any information found elsewhere. Here is an excellent explanation from Ineke as well “Taiwan Bees crossed with Crystals give Mischlings which are then crossed back to Taiwan Bees to help people get to their goals quicker in having more Taiwan Bees (TB) however on this forum we like to let people know when Mischling bloodlines appear in our breeding so more initials are added. If you get a King Kong (KK) Bluebolt (BB), Panda or any other TB from a TB/ Mischling cross we like to let people know by saying we have a KK(TBM)-King Kong from TB / Mischling. If you are lucky enough to get a TB. From 2 Mischlings it would be a KK (TBMM) or whatever type of TB you have. This just keeps people honest and let's buyers know that they will get a percentage of Mischlings from their TBM / TBMM. Nothing worse than having Mischlings showing up in your TB. Breeding program when you thought you had purebreds". What is a Tibee cross Mischling? To my knowledge, this has not been given a common name yet. It's still a Caridina Cantonensis. It's still a bee shrimp. It is just a different colour variant. Let's call this variant a "Tischling" for now (03Oct2014), unless someone can confirm a common name that pre-dates this name. This Tischling is an uncommon hybrid, possibly because the desirable genetic traits are too diluted and takes the shrimp keeper further away from achieving desirable goals. Not when there are easier and faster breeding choices that would achieve the same goal. Like for instances, using the Tibee or Mischling to be crossed back to a pure Tiger, Crystal or Taiwan Bee. A hybrid Mischling might carry recessive traits, and is unseen (like a specific colour), and crossing it with another hybrid Tibee would be like trying to get a certain colour (say red), from something that doesn't show any colour. A complete guess.
    9 points
  20. Back in 2014 I showed some pictures of my quite large CRS colony. At that time I was breeding for numbers just to fill a very large tank so the quality of the shrimp wasn't very important to me. Last year I decided to take it in hand to improve the quality and weed out all. The low grade shrimp. I ended with a much smaller colony so put them into 70 litre breeding tanks, added a couple of mid - high grade males and left them to it. Along the way I culled any low grade males and eventually low grade females . I'm happy to say I once again have a thriving colony of about 150-200 shrimp of mid to mid/high grade shrimp. Patterns initially were B & A with a few S and now they are basically S , SS and a few SSS . There is still a lot of room for improvement and I will be doing another big cull soon . I can see a few shrimp still have tiny clear sections but on the whole they are looking much better. I'm getting colour on the legs now too which is good. Hopefully in another year I might have more high grade shrimp
    9 points
  21. Hey guys and girls just wanted to show my setup. Firstly i want to say a massive thanks to Baz (disciple) for holding onto this tank for me so i could sort myself out. The setup didnt come with a stand so i started with this Then after a bit of reinforcing, some 12mm ply for the shelf, fronts and sides, a tin of stain i was ready to pickup the tank. Now coz the tank was running and had shrimp in that were coming with it i was crapping myself about getting them here alive and well anyhoo i got it here along with 90% of the water and started to setup Then once all shrimp mosses and driftwood were in place i added the light and panels and this is the end result So all in all im absolutely stoked with how it came up and the move was much easier than i thought ( although i pondered how i was gonna do it for weeks lol) so stay tuned and over the next week or so I'll show you guys each division and whats in there cheers for taking the time to have a look
    9 points
  22. Orange Rili Shrimp from master Cherry breeder gbang. You might care to refer back to my shots from the championships last year to see just how far he's progressed this line in only a year. Well done mate! Amazing Back-line full Carbon Shrimp also from gbang. A difficult trait to stabilise but the master is hard at work and if anyone can do it, he can. Next, the Sunkist/Orange Cherries really jumped out as excellent examples of that line. Blue Dreams were poorly behaved and I was lucky to get any shots at all. Fire Reds, lovely shrimp that need no introduction. They were beauties. In a league of their own, Bloody Mary Shrimp (from guess who) took out first in the Cherry Shrimp class and also Best In Show. Congratulations gbang!! At the top left of the final pic you can see the quality of the males benched in this group. An outstanding line of Cherry Shrimp.
    9 points
  23. There are other sources of Calcium for your shrimp apart from dosing Calcium sulfate or dropping shells and cuttlefish bones into the water column. These sources come from the foods we feed the shrimp. These are all natural sources of food, so should be okay to feed your shrimp, just be careful you wash them properly and ensure no fertiliser/chemical residue is on the veg/fruit. If you grow it yourself, you will be sure of what was sprayed on the plants. Here is a list of vegetables and fruits by mg of Calcium content per 100gm of food. Vegetable (mg Ca) Arrowhead 1 Chives (per tablespoon) 2 Peppers, Sweet 6 Alfalfa sprouts 10 Pumpkin leaves 15 Asparagus 14-28 Coriander (cilantro) 16 Chard, Swiss 18 Radish seed sprouts 19 Lettuce, Cos, Romaine 20 Lettuce, Romaine (100g) 20 Squash, Zucchini 20 Jerusalem artichoke 21 Pumpkin 24 Endive 26 Squash, Summer 26 Cauliflower 28 Purslane 28 Radishes 28 Carrots 30 Eggplant 30 Cabbage 32 New Zealand Spinach 32 Kohlrabi 34 Lettuce, Looseleaf 38 Peas, Green 36 Turnips 39 Cress, garden 40 Watercress 40 Broccoli 42 Mung bean sprouts 42 Celery 44 Beet greens 46 Snap beans 46 Parsnips 47 Spinach 56 Mustard Greens 58 Green Onions 60 Peas, Edible pod 62 Rutabagas 65 Celeriac 68 Chinese cabbage 74 Parsley 78 Salsify 80 Borage (Starflower) 82 Okra 82 Kale 94 Lettuce, Iceberg 102 Dandelion greens 103 Turnip Greens 105 Kale, Scotch 137 Chicory greens 180 Mulberry Leaves ~200 Collard Greens 218 Fruits mg Ca Plum 4 Peach 5 Nectarine 5 Casaba Melon 5 Blueberries 6 Honeydew Melon 6 Banana 6 Cranberries 7 Apple(with skin) 7 Pineapple 7 Persimmon 8 Watermelon 8 Mango 10 Grapes 11 Cantaloupe 11 Pear 11 Grapefruit, Red & Pink 11 Grapefruit, White 12 Apricots 14 Tangerine 14 Strawberries 14 Sweet Cherries 15 Raspberries 22 Papaya 24 Lemon (peeled) 26 Kiwi fruit 26 Blackberries 32 Lime 33 Orange 40 Seedless Raisins 49 Just a word of caution. These foods contain Phosphorous and could have an ill effect on your water quality. It might even cause an algal bloom if the levels of phosphorous become too high. Common sense applies when feeding ... not too much too often, and if there are any leftovers, remove it. For those Phosphorous conscious people out there, this is a table of Calcium to Phosphorous ratio: Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio - Vegetables 14.5:1 -- Collards 10.0:1 -- Mulberry Leaves 7.5:1 -- Spinach, Mustard 4.5:1 -- Turnip Greens 4.3:1 -- Lambsquarters 3.2:1 -- Dill Weed 3.0:1 -- Beet Greens 2.8:1 -- Dandelion Greens 2.8:1 -- Chinese Cabbage (pak-choi) 2.7:1 -- Lettuce, LooseLeaf 2.4:1 -- Mustard Greens 2.4:1 -- Parsley 2.4:1 -- Kale 2.1:1 -- Chicory Greens 2.0:1 -- Spinach 2.0:1 -- Watercress 2.0:1 -- Cabbage 1.9:1 -- Endive 1.6:1 -- Celery 1.5:1 -- Purslane 1.4:1 -- Cilantro 1.4:1 -- Lettuce, Butterhead 1.3:1 -- Okra 1.1:1 -- Swiss Chard 1.1:1 -- Turnip 1.1:1 -- Chard, Swiss 1.0:1 -- Squash (winter, all varieties) 1.0:1 -- Green Beans 0.8:1 -- Lettuce, Romaine 0.8:1 -- Sweet Potato 0.8:1 -- Rutabaga 0.7:1 -- Broccoli 0.7:1 -- Cucumber (with skin) 0.6:1 -- Carrots 0.6:1 -- Squash (summer, all varieties) 0.6:1 -- Carrots, Baby 0.6:1 -- Brussels Sprouts 0.5:1 -- Cauliflower 0.5:1 -- Kohlrabi 0.5:1 -- Pumpkin 0.5:1 -- Alfalfa Sprouts 0.5:1 -- Parsnips 0.5:1 -- Peppers,Green 0.5:1 -- Peppers,Red 0.4:1 -- Sweet Potato Leaves 0.4:1 -- Beets 0.4:1 -- Asparagus 0.2:1 -- Tomato .02:1 -- Corn, White Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio - Fruits 4.8:1 -- Papaya 2.9:1 -- Orange 1.8:1 -- Lime 1.8:1 -- Raspberries 1.6:1 -- Lemon (no peel) 1.5:1 -- Blackberries 1.5:1 -- Grapefruit, White 1.2:1 -- Grapefruit, Pink and Red 1.2:1 -- Tangerine 1.0:1 -- Pineapple 1.0:1 -- Pear 1.0:1 -- Apple (with Skin) 0.9:1 -- Mango 0.9:1 -- Watermelon 0.8:1 -- Cherries, Sweet 0.8:1 -- Grapes 0.8:1 -- Cranberries 0.7:1 -- Casaba Melon 0.7:1 -- Apricots 0.7:1 -- Kiwi 0.7:1 -- Strawberries 0.6:1 -- Cantaloupe 0.6:1 -- Honeydew Melon 0.6:1 -- Blueberries 0.5:1 -- Persimmon, Japanese 0.5:1 -- Raisins, Seedless 0.4:1 -- Peach 0.4:1 -- Plum 0.3:1 -- Nectarine 0.3:1 -- Banana So Collards are a good choice as they have a high Calcium to Phosphorous ratio While Bananas are not such a good choice as they a low Calcium to Phosphorous ratio.
    9 points
  24. Was showing off my tanks to @kizshrimp today and he found one of my stranger pets growing on the glass of my C. typus grow out tank. A freshwater colonial bryozoan.
    9 points
  25. Hi shrimplovers! The other topic with all the pictures was getting kind of long so I post it in a new topic if you don't mind. I did my best to catch the best shrimp of this contest on video again. Enjoy, hope you like it. Feel free to share this video and spread the shrimp faith! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLl5x1kAMfo
    9 points
  26. In reference to the conversation that started in this thread ... http://shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/index.php/topic/7693-prevent-algae-going-everywhere/?view=getnewpost where Ozshrimp mentioned that he had to dispose of a plant due to it being infested with algae ... I have started this thread in the hopes of helping others who might have the same issue. Have you ever had a prized plant that was infested with algae? The algae has grown in between your plant and has become one big mass of algae and plant. To the point of not knowing where the plant started and where the algae ended? Where manual removal is too difficult, and futile cause the algae just grows back, and where spot dosing with Excel/glut/Dino spit would kill sensitive plants like mosses, pellia or fissiden? Using regular algaecides on plants will kill delicate and sensitive plants like pellia and mosses. Well, I have found one product to be different. And I have tested it with great success with my own algae infested plants. I have mini pellia that had Staghorn algae and BBA growing through it. My Peacock moss was also infested with Staghorn. Manually pulling it out was destroying my delicate mini pellia. And it was fuitle ... the algae would just grow back in a matter of days. I had to researched a better way of treating algae, that had interwoven itself into the mini pellia. The moss, I wasn't too fussed about. But pellia is more precious to me. I came across a product that showed promise. Searching for local retailers brought me to two. And by luck both are SKF sponsors !!! Cha-ching! What's this product? EasyLife AlgExit. Notice it will treat filamentous algae - that's the staghorn, hair and string algae, Brush and beard algae. Notice also that it says it is safe on plants and shrimp. I can personally vouch for the safe with shrimp and plants statement, within reason. It is safe with higher order leafy plants. It is also safe with delicate mosses, pellia and fissidens AS LONG AS you don't use too much of the product and leave the plants soaking in it for longer than 3 days. How do I know this? Well I tested the limits, so you don't have to. (Warning: Do NOT follow this example - it is a test of limits to see what dosage will harm plants) I put in a small bunch of mini pellia into a plastic container, with just enough water to cover the plant ... approx 100ml of water. In this container I added 1ml of AlgExit. Left it for 5 days. Please note the dosage according to the instructions is 10ml per 100Litres. Or 1ml per 10L. So 1ml of AlgExit in 100ml of water is many times over the dosage. (anyone want to try calculating how many times over?) Inadvertently, a shrimplet (1mm) came along with the ride in the plant. Didn't notice it until about 15-30 minutes into the treatment. The shrimplet was removed from the container, and survives to this day. At this crazy overdose levels and 5 days of treatment the mini pellia is now showing signs of not surviving. It's back in my tank now, to see if it pulls through. Needless to say, the algae on that test plant was all dead. (End of warning. Recommended treatment method follows below) However, with more reasonable levels of dosage my mosses and mini pellia will survive even harsh dosage treatments. The following is proof. Mini pellia that was treated about 2 months ago. Not a sign of BBA, brush algae or staghorn. The plant is very much alive and thriving. This is a more recent treatment. Started 6 days ago. I had algae growing on the stainless steel mesh as well as in the mini pellia. Notice the algae is now purple? This will turn white in a few days and die off. the shrimp will graze on it too. But the pellia is unharmed. Same plant, another view. Notice the purple bits in between the Pellia? That's the dying algae, but the pellia itself is a lush green. I have managed to clear it out/eradicate/kill the algae within 3days, without killing the mini pellia. This is the treatment method. 1) Remove the plant for treatment into a bucket. 2) Add enough water to cover the plant. Make a note of the amount of water used. 3) Add up to 10 times the dosage. Recommended dosage was too slow. 4) Keep the algae infested plant in AlgExit for no more than 3 days. 5) Remove and rinse with clean water. 6) Return to tank and observe the algae. If it has not changed colour in the next day or two, return to the treatment bucket for another day or 2. Repeat from step 5 until algae changes colour. eg. I use a 1Litre container for mini pellia, it's only a small plant. I'd add 500ml of water and 1ml of AlgExit. (yes it's more than the recommendation above, but I'm a Pro at it now ) I remove after 3 days , and that is what you see in the picture above. All the algae has turned purple on the steel mesh. You can treat it in the tank, but you'd have to use more of the product. And I suggest following the manufacturers dosage. But this method will treat the algae infected plant in a targeted approach without impacting the main tank, at a much faster rate. You can get the Easy Life AlgExit from our favourite sponsors Age of Aquariums and Tech Den. Hope you found this useful. If it saves you from throwing away a plant, let me know. I get encouragement that I have helped someone else, and we get confirmation it works.
    9 points
  27. Here is my formula for re-mineralising RO or Rain water: Powdered compound Grams needed: Calcium Sulphate CaSO4 Heptahydrate (so it dissolves easily) or Dihydrate if you can't find it, but dihydrate is not as soluble. 58gm Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salt) MgSO4 37gm Potassium Sulphate (aka Sulphate Of Potash) K2SO4 11gm Iron Sulphate (optional) FeSO4 0.30gm Manganese Sulphate (optional) MnSO4 0.16gm Total weight 106.46gm Multiply accordingly if you need to mix bigger batches. Alternatively, Iron and Manganese can be replaced with a Micro-nutrient (trace element) mix of 0.46gm. Again micro nutrients or trace elements are optional, but a small amount of these minerals can be beneficial for shrimps. They will get it elsewhere if it is not added here. You can either use it in powder form, adding small teaspoons to your water change until a TDS of 140-160 is reached. OR You can premix this in 500ml bottle of RO water, and drip it into your water change until the desired TDS 140-160 is reached. If you have a TDS pen, you can check how much 1gm will raise TDS in 1L of water. Similarly you can also test GH/KH raise in 1L of water. It is very important you test this yourself, since there can be a number of variables between your mix and my mix. This mix will not alter pH. You will be able to find all you need at www.aquariumonlinestore.com.au <--- Back in business as of Jan 2018! It is getting more difficult sourcing Calcium Sulphate heptahydrate. The best source I can find is from home brew shops. keg-king.com.au/calcium-sulphate-1kg.html - $9.75 for a kilo. This is food grade stuff. removed - never seem to be in stock. https://www.keg-king.com.au/calcium-sulphate-caso4-300g.html.html https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/111974621019 - $20.89 for 1kg of Calcium Sulphate. https://www.bunnings.com.au/manutec-1kg-epsom-salt_p2960980 - 1kg of Magnesium Sulphate. https://www.bunnings.com.au/richgro-1kg-soluble-powder-sulphate-of-potash_p2980321 - 1kg of Potassium Sulphate (Potash). Alternatively, if you need a remin mix for Neocaridina or Tigers, you can replace 15g - 20g of Calcium Sulphate with Calcium Carbonate or Calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is probably easier to dissolve in water and that would be the preference. This will raise KH a bit. http://keg-king.com.au/calcium-carbonate-caco3-300g.html - $4.95 for 300g of Calcium Carbonate.
    8 points
  28. I haven't fed my shrimp cucumber for a very long time . Do you think they like it?
    8 points
  29. TDS and why is it important Preamble: Total Dissolved Solids or TDS for short is an area of water parameter we talk about very often, and is usually one of the first things we ask about when checking water parameters. This article will hopefully go into some depth for anyone who might still be new to the hobby, and likewise, might teach the veterans a thing or two that they might not have known about TDS. I have tried to keep the language appropriate to newcomers in mind, so please don’t expect a paper that reads like a scientific thesis. This article is also written from the perspective of a fish and a shrimp keeper, as I am, and draws from my experiences in these areas. You will see frequent mention of killis, Apistos, and shrimps. For the sake of simplicity, we will regard Electrical Conductivity (EC) to be of similar importance and similar definition to TDS. A definition of EC is the measure of the water's ability to "carry" an electrical current and indirectly, a measure of dissolved solids or ions in the water. Whereas a definition of “Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the total amount of mobile charged ions, including minerals, salts or metals dissolved in a given volume of water, expressed in units of mg per unit volume of water (mg/L), also referred to as parts per million (ppm). TDS is directly related to the purity of water and the quality of water purification systems and affects everything that consumes, lives in, or uses water, whether organic or inorganic, whether for better or for worse.” – (source: HM Digital) From the perspective of an aquarist, TDS can be defined as: a count of all the dissolved inorganic solids in the water. TDS gives an overview of mineral content in the water. It does not just necessarily provide information on hardness even though it does include the measurement of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Instead, TDS also includes measurements of all the other dissolved minerals in the body of water. So you cannot use TDS to give you an indicator of hardness, that is, how much calcium carbonate is dissolved in the water. GH is at its heart a measure of divalent cations, namely Ca (calcium) and Mg (magnesium); and we know KH is a measure of carbonate concentration. Both GH and KH can influence hardness and TDS levels – ‘an aquarium high in GH & KH can have a high TDS’. However, a fish tank could have a high TDS reading but still have low GH and KH readings. In this situation the aquarium water might be high in one or more of the other dissolved minerals apart from Calcium and Magnesium. Therefore, TDS is a better reflection of the total mineral content than hardness measurements. In conclusion, Total Dissolved Solids consists of dissolved ionic elements, both cations and anions. Whereas, GH only measures two elements, Calcium and Magnesium. Let’s see what those other minerals, that a TDS meter/pen measures, might be. In chemical terms, if a neutral atom loses one or more electrons, it has a net positive charge and is known as a cation (source: Wikipedia). Cations are elements that can be found mainly on the left side of the periodic table (metals) and when it reacts, they usually become positive ions. Cations include ions such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, barium, iron, copper and zinc. If an atom gains electrons, it has a net negative charge and is known as an anion (source: Wikipedia). Anion elements can be found on the right side of the periodic table which reacts with metals to take electrons to form negative ions called anions. Anions include elements such as chloride, nitrate, iodine, bromide, fluoride, sulphide, chlorate, permanganate, phosphate and sulphate. Because of their electric charges, cations and anions attract each other and readily form ionic compounds, such as salts. All these ions and other inorganic ions are what is included in the measurement of TDS. Occasionally you will also hear of the term Total Suspended Solids (TSS). Therefore Total Suspended Solids refers to solids both suspended and dissolved in water and is directly related to conductance and turbidity (optical determination of water clarity – how cloudy/clear the water is). Dissolved solids (invisible) are therefore the substances that can flow through the filter media, too small to be trapped. And the substances in TSS include undissolved solids (visible), like bits of plant matter, or detritus and therefore includes substances that can be trapped by the filter media. High levels of TSS also have the following impacts: increased levels of TSS obstruct light and therefore reduce photosynthetic absorption in plants. High TSS can gradually decrease the amount of oxygen produced by these plants. Decaying plant matter uses up a lot more oxygen and subsequently reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen available in the water. Unless there is a significant amount of surface agitation (oxygenation). It’s always a good idea to have your filters, be it air driven or canister, break the surface of the water. It will reduce protein scum off the surface and maximise the oxygen exchange. While TSS is not specifically measured in a TDS meter, it’s good to know the difference between TDS and TSS, as well as its influence in the aquarium environment. Measuring Total Dissolved Solids TDS is the measuring of the amount of salts in a solution. For a lot of applications the amount of salt is indicative of the levels of other stuff in a solution. TDS/PPM meters sold for gardening and aquariums figure the amount of salt in Parts Per Million by measuring the Electrical Conductivity of the solution under test. So a PPM/TDS meter is an EC meter that converts the EC value into PPM values. EC is a measure of Electrical Conductivity from two probes 1cm apart. 1 EC is = 1 microsiemens, to convert from EC to siemens multiply by 1E-6. EC can be converted to PPM by multiplying by 500. PPM can be converted to EC by dividing by 500. To convert from siemens to Ohms is s=1/ohms, you can also go the other way and do ohm=1/s for siemens to ohms. Siemens is also known as Mhos, which comes from ohm written backward. The number 500 used to convert between PPM and EC is called the Conversion Factor. Different salts will have different conversion factors because some conduct better or worse than others. NaCl's is 500, this seems to be the most common standard used, and is what was used for the calibration solutions. Though there is a close relationship between TDS and Electrical Conductivity, they are not the same thing. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Electrical Conductivity (EC) are two separate parameters. TDS, in layman's terms, is the combined total of solids dissolved in water. EC is the ability of something to conduct electricity (in this case, water's ability to conduct electricity). The measurement of dissolved solids is expressed in ppm of NaCl (sodium chloride) – TDS can be compared to Electrical Conductivity (EC) and the approximate conversion formula to get TDS(ppm) = 0.64 x EC mS/cm Conductivity measures electrolytes. Aquarists can now measure TDS levels via tests performed using a TDS meter (or TDS pen) in ppm at a relatively cheap price. Alternatively, you could use an EC pen and convert to TDS using the manufacturer’s conversion factor. Picture of a TDS meter or TDS pen TDS meters are usually calibrated using a solution of Sodium chloride NaCl. While Electrical Conductivity meters (EC) are usually calibrated with a solution of Potassium Chloride KCl. How do TDS pens work? Two electrodes with an applied AC voltage are placed in the solution. This creates a current dependent upon the conductive nature of the solution. The meter reads this current and displays in either conductivity (EC) or ppm (TDS). Electronic TDS meters essentially measures the conductivity of water, ie. how well the water conducts electricity. The higher the concentration of ions, results in the higher the conductivity of the water, and thus the higher the TDS level will be. And most of our softwater shrimp and fish don’t like high TDS. Many brands have meters that use a conversion ratio to change EC (conductivity in microsiemens) into TDS (ppm) along with a temperature compensation. It really does not matter too much, which one you choose to use, since they use the standard conversion for tap water of 0.5. For example, an EC measurement of 300 mS is converted to a TDS measurement of 150 ppm (TDS = EC x 0.5). In fact, most (if not all) TDS pens are actually EC meters that convert to TDS automatically saving the user from performing the mathematical step. There are TDS meters that perform a combination of functions (TDS/EC/pH/temp) which allow conversions to be adjusted between 0.47 and 0.85. There is one weakness with TDS measurements however, it does not measure which ions are responsible for the conductivity. So if you are testing tap water you don’t know if it’s the “good” ions like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium or the undesirable ions like Iron, Copper, Nitrates, or any other number of dissolved solids that makes up the abundance of the reading. That is why many experienced aquarist will recommend using RO water and remineralising it so you know exactly what is in the water. A few general observations on TDS When water reaches a TDS count of 50ppm it becomes electrically conducting, that is, it’s able to conduct electricity at this level. The EPA Secondary Regulations advise a maximum contamination level (MCL) of 500mg/litre (500 parts per million (ppm)) for TDS. Numerous water supplies exceed this level. When TDS levels exceed 1000mg/L it is generally considered unfit for human consumption. A high level of TDS is an indicator of potential concerns, and warrants further investigation. Most often, high levels of TDS are caused by the presence of potassium, chlorides and sodium. These ions have little or no short-term effects, but toxic ions (lead arsenic, cadmium, nitrate and others) may also be dissolved in the water. Higher levels can be a likely cause for corrosion in plumbing. The visual quality of water is also impacted at levels higher than this. A general observation of high TDS water is that it is slightly alkaline in pH, that is it is lacking in hydrogen molecules. As with everything in nature that tries to reach equilibrium, high TDS or alkaline water will want to seek out hydrogen molecules to reach a neutral state. As such, slightly alkaline water often causes dehydration at a cellular level. Low TDS water on the other hand is loaded with positively charged hydrogen molecules and is therefore slightly acidic in pH. Low TDS water is therefore very hydrating at a cellular level. TDS and Low pH fish When we discuss soft water fish or shrimp that like low pH, what that generally means is that these fish are really low TDS fish. While it is not impossible for many of these low TDS fish to adapt to harder water, and higher pH (and often relatively higher TDS levels), the problem is, especially for South American soft water fish and Caridina shrimp, that calcium and magnesium rich water makes the egg’s membrane harder, and dramatically reduces the chances of hatching. And in more recent experiences, I’ve had greater success hatching killi fish eggs in lower TDS levels than at higher TDS levels. I have also observed that high TDS levels (due to high levels of chlorides, calcium and magnesium, fluoride, sulphides as found in tap water) is generally the cause. This is where it can be a common mistake for many people, including myself, to try all sorts of methods to lower pH and hardness but give no attention to TDS values. This is where Reverse Osmosis water can help with this predicament. I now use RO water to successfully lower calcium and magnesium levels, as well as TDS. This in turn has an impact on reducing pH as well as KH and GH. The fish seemed to be much more contented using this method of preparing clean, low TDS water. And as a reward, the fish promptly rewarded its keeper with eggs which hatched into fry (apistos, rams, other South American dwarfs and Killies). If you want to also match the tank water with the shrimp’s or fish's natural habitat parameters, keep the TDS levels low. What is low? Soft water is generally considered to be in the range of TDS 70 – 150ppm. My personal observations have shown me that high levels of dissolved mineral content in the water, are the main reasons for the failed breeding of many Killis, Shrimp (Caridina) and South American dwarf cichlids. This is attributed to inappropriate levels of calcium and magnesium, and subsequently carbonates and bicarbonates. Placing the emphasis solely on pH alone does not rectify the issue since it can be said that pH is a symptom of the overall mineral content in the water, rather than the actual root cause. To make matters worse, pH down chemicals only adds to the TDS count, not decrease it. When breeding low pH fish, keep your emphasis on TDS instead of just pH. Some aquarists can often find themselves in a situation with tap water parameters that are no where near their shrimp’s or fish's preferred water conditions. My tap water in Sydney for example, is pH 7.8+, and GH & KH are also somewhat high for breeding caridina shrimp, Killi, or Apisto dwarf cichlids, which means we need to find a way of reducing it. We need to really stop thinking about just the permanent hardness of pH, KH and GH, or even temporary hardness for that matter. Concentrate on reducing calcium and magnesium hardness instead. Mixing the tap water with just plain RO at a ratio of 50:50 can be the simple solution to solving the problem of TDS, pH and Hardness. We want to keep calcium and magnesium hardness in check since this can affect the fertilisation of the egg, as the egg’s membrane can get too hard to a point of making fertilisation extremely hard (pun) and nearly impossible. Sometimes I will mix RO water with peat treated water along with tap water to make water whose parameters closely approximates the needs of the Killi or South American dwarf cichlids. Tap water can be included in order to stabilise KH levels and thus keep the pH from fluctuating. Occasionally, I will add my own remineralising DIY mix to RO water to bring TDS up to a certain specific level on the occasions that adding tap water was undesirable, especially for my shrimp tanks. TDS readings for my Caridina shrimp are around 140-150, with a lower KH value of 0-1 and GH of around 5-7 have been proving to be successful for me. Neocaridina dwarf shrimps are capable of tolerating slightly higher TDS levels of up to 200. They might survive higher, but it would be unethical of me to advise you that it’s okay beyond 200. TDS readings for Killi and South American cichlids of between 70 and 110ppm with a stable KH reading between 3 and 7. New soft water low pH fish and shrimp don’t merely survive in this treated water, but instead will thrive and multiply. You will find quite frequently that you will need to mix your water changes to a much lower TDS value that your target in order to maintain the tank’s overall TDS. This is normal, as the dissolved solids in the tank is continually increasing from various sources, like fish/shrimp waste, minerals introduced in food, water evaporation, or even decomposition of plants and organic matter. You might even get to a point where you need to change 80%+ of your tank water just to reset the TDS values. Don’t forget to re-acclimatise the shrimp back into this new water. TDS: Water Changes Many professional fish breeders practice the following method of TDS monitoring; it is one important parameter used to keep healthy fish. You could also use TDS levels as a means of deciding on the frequency of when it is time for a water change. A rise in TDS levels means it is time for some water to be changed, returning TDS levels to a lower count. Sharply increasing TDS levels can also indicate overfeeding, an over-stocked tank, or too much added minerals or fertilisers. But I would use caution in relying solely on TDS readings for water change indications. This is best reserved for those that are very familiar with their tank and understands what the TDS reading is showing. “pH Shock” - Moving fish from one tank to another For many years as a fish keeper, and now also as a shrimp keeper, I have understood changing the pH on fish or shrimp too quickly is a bad thing. It was only until I was researching the importance of TDS, a revelation has come to mind. TDS levels can represent different states of osmosis. Many aquarist have largely believed fish that succumb to what we call 'pH shock' is caused by the rapid variation in TDS levels. This places osmotic pressure stresses on the fish's osmoregulatory mechanisms which cannot become accustomed fast enough to the changing environment and hence the fish goes into a state of suffocation and in many cases can cause death. Fish have been shown to withstand fairly significant pH shifts when the TDS was low in both waters. It was not 'pH shock' as it is often alleged– that is, where the difference in pH is significant between one tank to another. But it was TDS shock! Maybe it’s because TDS meters are not as readily available, whereas, pH kits can be found in every fish shop. So the misguided recommendation was to test for pH, rather than TDS – who knows. One could declare that TDS measurements help to give an indication of the differences in osmotic levels between the water of one tank and another. In water with less total dissolved minerals compared to the amount of dissolved minerals in the tissue of the shrimp/fish, will cause the shrimp/fish to lose fluid from its cells via its gills (over hydration). In high TDS water, it has the opposite effect, they become dehydrated. Which causes the fish to have difficulty passing toxins out via its kidneys. This is a longer term impact to the fish, and you might not notice any impact immediately. IMHO, TDS meters are often the most under estimated tool that can be used to give a good indication of how successfully a shrimp or fish will adapt to the water in one tank to another. As a second reference, reading one of J. J. Scheel’s articles on dissolved solids also brought me to this realisation of ‘TDS shock’. Between 1959 and 1965 Col. Jorgen J. Scheel of Denmark sent out some letters about the science and systematics of killifish to any hobbyist that was interested. Scheel had what might be considered today some unorthodox opinions regarding water chemistry. He felt differences in salinity, or total dissolves solids mattered much more than pH (which could be safely ignored). Given this observation was made over many decades of working with killifish, it's a pervasive argument. Here are the relevant passages from Rivulins [killifish] of The Old World: Page 25 Page 26 TDS can also significantly impact the osmoregulation of the gills. Low TDS can cause the red blood cells to be depleted of water in fish that might not be acclimatised to the low TDS. While in high TDS, the red blood cells in the gills can be saturated with water causing the red blood cells to expand. Both will cause respiratory problems. As a result, always drip acclimatise new shrimp or fish to your tank prior to introducing them. Use your TDS meter/pen to match TDS values in your tank and the water of the new shrimp/fish. It usually takes doubling the amount of water from the tank to match the TDS in the bag of the new fish/shrimp. More caution needs to be placed on reducing TDS levels, compared to increasing TDS levels, as the former seems to be more lethal. Methods of lowering TDS There are several methods of lowering TDS, however, we will focus on only two methods as the other methods are unsustainable in the long term. These sources of low TDS water will need to be remineralised with Calcium & Magnesium mix in a ratio of 4:1. Remineralising raises the low TDS water back to a more suitable amount specific to the requirements of your fish or shrimp. Do not use low TDS water except to top up water loss due to evaporation. RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Reverse osmosis works by forcing water under great pressure against a semi-permeable membrane that allows water molecules to pass through while excluding most contaminants. RO is the most thorough method of large-scale water purification available. There are a huge number and variety of RO systems around. Studies have revealed how the concept of osmotic pressure can assist in decontaminating water. With a fine particulate membrane and the act of forcing water through that membrane with sufficient pressure, will produce clean water on the other side of the membrane. The clean water is stored and the filtered waste is either thrown away or used for other non consumption uses like watering plants. RO systems can removed up to 98% of all ionic and organic impurities like pollutants, sediment, bacteria and contaminants. And as a result, TDS levels are drastically reduced. The RO filter membranes do not last forever unfortunately. As the TDS of the output water rises, it is generally an indication that the membranes need to be changed. The frequency of use and the level of TDS of your source (tap) water will determine the frequency of replacing the membrane. Deionisation (DI) In large scale DI systems water is passed between a positive electrode and a negative electrode. Ion selective membranes allow the positive ions to separate from the water toward the negative electrode and the negative ions toward the positive electrode. High purity de-ionized water results. Deionization is an on-demand process supplying purified water when needed. This is important because water at this extreme purity level degrades quickly. The nuclear grade deionization resin or polishing mixed bed resin removes almost all the inorganic contaminants in the water increasing the resistivity of the water to a maximum of 18.2 megohm-cm. However, deionization alone does not remove all types of contaminants like dissolved organic chemicals. Deionization filters are not physical filters with a pore size and cannot remove bacteria or particulates. The water is usually passed through a reverse osmosis unit first to further remove non-ionic organic contaminants. RO vs DI: RO purity is relatively continuous while DI gets progressively worse as the resin nears its regeneration point. DI chemicals are expensive and therefore operating costs are higher than RO per litre of purified water. RO membranes are a physical barrier that remove bacteria, viruses, algae and suspended solids, while DI systems cannot remove these contaminants. DI uses two hazardous chemicals, hydrochloric acid (HCl) and caustic soda (NaOH) for regeneration of the resin beds. These chemicals needs special storage and disposal requirements. As you can see, DI water is also uneconomical for aquatic hobbyists. More portable DI systems nowadays use Ion exchange resins to exchange non desirable cations & anions; and replaces them with hydrogen and hydroxyl, respectively, forming pure water (H20), which is not an ion. One type of resin will remove positive IONS, while another type of resin will remove negative IONS. Cations Anions Removed by Cation Resins Removed by Anion Resins Calcium (Ca++) Chlorides (Cl-) Magnesium (Mg++) Sulfates (SO4=) Iron (Fe+++) Nitrates (NO3=) Manganese (Mn++) Carbonates (CO3=) Sodium (Na+) Silica (SiO2-) Hydrogen (H+) Hydroxyl (OH-) (Table care of Puretecwater) You might come across the term "Mixed bed" or "Dual Bed" system - this is a DI filter with both Cation and Anion resins. RO/DI portable systems Modern portable RO/DI systems solve both the individuall RO and DI shortcomings. These systems combine an RO membrane with DI resins to produce near 0 TDS water. The RO removes the organic waste like bacteria, viruses and algae that the DI cannot. While the DI removes the minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Chlorides, Sulfates, etc that the RO membrane misses. By combining the two, we get the best of both worlds. Most Reverse Osmosis filters you can buy today, like those sold by FSA, https://www.filtersystemsaustralia.com.au/store/index.php/reverse-osmosis-water-filter/aquarium-systems.html are in fact RO/DI systems. Rain water What can be better than water from mother nature? After all, our river systems are made up of water that falls as rain. So this has to be the best source of water, is it not? In most cases it is. However, many of us live in polluted cities, and we collect and store rain water in manmade receptacles that might add to the contamination of rain water. So some form of caution is necessary. If you are confident that the water is collected off relatively clean, rust free roofs and stored in plastic drums, then rain water is a perfect free source of low TDS water. Rain can be sporadic and unpredictable in some countries, so an RO system as a backup is always a good idea. There are other methods of lowering TDS, as mentioned in the next section, but I will not focus on them as it’s not really a preference. I mention it here only as a last resort. Peat All over the internet and on forums, many can attest to using peat in helping to lower pH, GH, KH, and TDS. This greatly depends on your own water conditions and how much the peat treated water affects TDS. If your tap water is particularly hard, you might need more peat to lower the mentioned parameters compared with someone else’s tap water. It is not uncommon to mix the peat with RO water (and/or maybe some tapwater) in an attempt for one to achieve a stable chemistry that agrees with the shrimp/fish you are keeping. The addition of tannins, phenols, humic acids along with the combination of peat treated water allows you to create water conditions close to your livestock’s natural environment. Peat water (even small additions) is positively regarded by many aquarists, as essential for low TDS fish, especially dwarfs such as discus, Tetras, Corys, Angels, Rams and Apistos. The problem with recommending peat is finding it in Australia is difficult. Especially peat that does not also have fertilisers included. Then there is the extra effort in making peat water, and the need to make it several days ahead of use and store it in containers. The colour that results from the added tannins from peat is also not to everyone’s liking. Distillation Distillation involves boiling the water to produce water vapour. The water vapour then rises to a cooled surface where it can condense back into a liquid and be collected. Because the dissolved solids are not normally vaporized, they remain in the boiling solution. However, some impurities with the same boiling point of that of water can be transferred to the collection water, and for this reason, Reverse Osmosis can produce purer water. The absolute advantage of the distilled water is the complete absence of harmful substances like bacteria, viruses or algae. Considerable amount of cost is required to produce and maintain the thermal requirements for a distillation process. As a result this method is uneconomical for aquatic hobbyists. A quick word on Water softeners Water softeners do not necessarily produce water that is suitable for Softwater fish and shrimps. Water softeners work by removing the temporary hardness (such as carbonates) by replacing it with permanent hardness such as chlorides. This increased level of chloride is unnatural to any environment where the fish or shrimp may be found. While the water is now softer, from the fish’s or shrimp’s point of view the water is still chock full of dissolved minerals (chlorides or sodium) and TDS will still be high. The cautious approach is to avoid using water softeners altogether if you are trying to reduce the hardness of your aquarium water. Increasing TDS We have discussed reducing TDS, but how do you increase TDS the right way? Increasing TDS is one of the easiest things to do. In fact, you could do nothing to the tank and TDS will increase over time. You could add salt or sugar to the water and TDS would increase. However, that increase is due to waste from fish, food, etc. and not always a good thing. And neither is adding salt or sugar - Don't do it ! The main minerals/chemicals that you want to use to increase TDS in an Aquarium is Calcium & Magnesium at 4:1 ratio and to a smaller extent other minerals like Potassium and trace elements. There are several off the shelf products that will remineralise low TDS water, increasing it to a suitable level. If you'd like to Do It Yourself, I even have a recipe here ... Summary One of the most vital aspects of keeping soft water shrimp or fish is the significance of TDS - Total Dissolved Solids. The majority of aquarists will put their attention on the pH only for soft water fish or shrimp but completely forget about TDS. A simple $20 piece of equipment will be able to rectify that. The various years of observation has lead to a realisation that low pH actually means low TDS be it for fish or shrimp. Both water parameter readings need to go hand in hand. We cannot ignore one or the other when you are trying to replicate the aquarium’s environment. The effects of shock can be offset by slowing mixing the water. And this can be important between your own tanks too, as TDS is unique to each tank. A TDS meter is an absolutely essential tool in an aquarist’s cabinet. For the shrimp keeper, monitoring TDS is of vital importance. In an environment where the shrimp are constantly using up Calcium to grow their shells, and dissolved solids are constantly changing due to food, nitrogenous waste being produced, and even evaporation of water can cause fluctuations in the level of dissolved solids in the tank water. This constant fluctuation can cause stress in the shrimp. This stress can lead to a reduction in their immune systems, and sometimes eventuate in death. Close monitoring of TDS is required to ensure the shrimps environment is stable. TDS should never fluctuate wildly. Aim for a constant TDS reading in the tank. In doing so, you might find that you will need a lower TDS reading for water changes in order to maintain a target. For example, if your target is 150ppm TDS, then you might need to aim for 110ppm TDS in your change water. Aiming for 150ppm TDS in the change water will result in TDS rising overtime as dissolved solids gets concentrated in the tank. Over time, TDS continually and constantly rises each day. They enter the aquarium via fish food, water conditioners, plant fertilizers, medications, and any substance that treats water in some way. Water evaporation will also cause the dissolved solids already in the tank to be more concentrated. TDS readings can also be used as an indication of when it is time for a water change. If you see TDS rising to the upper limits of your target TDS, then it’s time for a 5-10% water change. If the small 5-10% water change is still not enough to reduce TDS to your ideal target, another water change might be necessary two or three days later. Don’t rush in reducing TDS. Slow is always advisable. TDS readings also come in handy when acclimatising shrimp and fish. We all know how to drip acclimatise shrimps or fish. This process reduces the impact of large fluctuations in differing water parameters. I often hear of people saying “I drip acclimatised my shrimp/fish for 3 hours” or “6 hours”. But how do you know that 3 hours or 6 hours or even 12 hours was enough for that matter? Instead, rather than acclimatising new shrimp or fish by amount of time, we should be monitoring the TDS. Once the TDS reaches the same reading between the tank and the water the new shrimps/fish came in, then you can be sure that GH, KH and pH will all be matching as well. This can take a varying amount of time depending on how fast you add the tank water and how much water is already in the bag containing the new shrimp/fish. Once TDS is matching, then place the bag or container into the tank for a few more minutes to ensure temperature is the same before catching and releasing your new pets into the tank. It can take 6 hours or it can take 16. It doesn’t matter, but I have never lost a fish or shrimp using this TDS monitoring method of acclimatising. JayC SKF Aquatics http://skfaquatics.com/
    8 points
  30. New breeding project. Green strain from tang tigers. Love the banded pattern on the legs.
    8 points
  31. If you ever thought our Aussie native shrimp where dull or boring...... well I have a treat and surprise for you These are a mix of Chameleon Shrimp, Darwin Red Nose Shrimp, Darwin Algae Shrimp, Blackmore River Shrimp and possibly the odd Confusa thrown in.
    8 points
  32. I have recently rescaped my two footer which i started this wonderful hobby with almost a year ago. It started as a iwagumi scape with shrimp but quickly became a shrimp tank lol. Due to this I decide to redo the tank over the last couple of months. Currently i have my Oebt colony, blue gene red rili culls and some chamleons. I will be dropping and posting the last of the rili's this weekend and bringing home some additional chamleon. Shout-outs to @Ronskitz for this awesome driftwood. @OzShrimp for some of the nice plants. @newbreed for the moss ledges really like them. I plan on adding a few more plants and mosses but pretty happy with it now. As always please feel free to give me pointers, advise and critique. Cheers.
    8 points
  33. Always wanted sulawesi shrimp and snails since they first appeared in PFK magazine (from memory) back in the mid 2008. Today I got realised a bit of that dream with the arrival of some juvie cardinals - thanks to @JPN07 After acclimating them over a couple of hours they went into the tank and within seconds they had coloured up and were feeding away. It might just be because they are new, but these shrimp are really fascinating to watch. Cant wait until they get bigger. Excuse the dirty glass.
    8 points
  34. Hello, My name is Andrzej and I'm from Poland. If something is against the rules, please let me know. I will like to show you my tanks. A few of my aquariums :) Ok some information: Aquariums as you can see is 15 7 is 30x30x50 - the rest is different but mostly 35-45L Filtration Sponge: e-jet 104 or 103 and some u-jet 3 + several biological: such: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWhr-uCYX6Y Pumps have three: 2x Sera 550R and 1x Hailea ACO 9620 And now some of my shrimp: Thank You. I will try to put some new foto and film every few days. If you have any questions, ask. https://www.youtube.com/user/szopen2004
    8 points
  35. Hi everyone! I'm usually lurking on the website, but I'm a big fan of this forum and the great information it has. I hope this helps express my gratitude to you all! I recently wrote an article on shrimp macro photography for Photography Life, and they published it! I hope you enjoy :) https://photographylife.com/aquarium-macro-photography-of-ornamental-shrimp
    8 points
  36. Hello everybody, Ever wonder how the snails are scraping the algae? This shot is difficult to get, their mouth is moving so fast!
    8 points
  37. Not to be out done by Newbreed I thought I would share my CRS colony. I think Jamie wins because he has sold some and I haven't removed many. Both of us had months of no breeding and then within days of each other we had berried mamas and they have just kept breeding. The quality of mine is not great although there are a few nice SS in there. I have some juvies from another breeding program that are much better quality and I will add some of them when the numbers increase. The tank is an Aqua one 980 with 4 sponge filters and a canister with ultra violet light in it. This is the tank kept cool by 4 computer fans and generally sits at 22 rising to 24 on really hot 40 degree days but usually only sits that high for an hour or two.
    8 points
  38. My shrimp like black worms more than blood worm or tubifex, but the annoying thing is that the dried worms float. I have recently bought Australian Black worm Sinking Pellets. I use this as a meaty protein supplement and have rated it as such. It is not a complete holistic shrimp food and it isn't marketed as such either. Highlights: sinks immediately relatively unadulterated product shrimp love them and feed on it immediately ( I am assuming that they love the taste as they eat at it for a while and they do not lose interest or toss it away). Shrimp taste- test panel: Tiger, CRS, TB, Natives, various Neos. the pellets are the perfect size for shrimp: a young adult shrimp is capable of holding a pellet. Low wastage. it is extremely affordable I cannot fault this product at all. Rating as a protein/meaty supplement: ?????/5 Shrimp Tails View full article
    8 points
  39. I was lucky enough to be given 4 pure TB Bluebolts at the beginning of December - they were given to me because I had mentioned I had every colour pure TB except the BB. I have quite a few Taitibee BB but no pure ones. I decided to keep these guys in a seperate tank from the other TB because they came from a line that bred only BB when bred to each other. Anyway we thought there might be 2 pair but definitely 1 female. I was very pleased to see her berried within a few weeks of getting her and settled in inpatiently to await the arrival of shrimplets. Imagine my acute disappointment when a couple of weeks later I saw her not berried -complete devastation. The BB's don't come out much during the day as there were only 4 in the tank and probably didn't feel safe. The girl came out a bit but didn't get berried again so today I thought as they didn't seem particularly happy I would put them into my main TB tank so they had company. The other TB haven't given me any BB so I would know the BB were from these guys initially. Anyway I caught out a very berried female- surprise number 1 and excitement plus- then I caught out a male - no surprise, then another male -oh well we weren't sure there were 2 pairs. I had taken out the plants and couldn't find the last shrimp which was very disappointing but I thought I better just double check the plants and sure enough there was this most gorgeous deep blue berried girl- surprise number 2- so maybe the first one didn't drop her eggs after all and I had been seeing a different girl . Anyway on to the next tank they went and they are already out and about- nothing like a bit of company to make them feel a bit more secure. Back to the empty tank and replacing the moss etc. now for surprise number 3 and one of those moments- sure enough once I was tidying up the tank i saw movement -blue movement -there were little baby - like very little baby - Bluebolts swimming around! so not only did my girl have her babies but she must have gotten berried again straight away. The sad side is now That I have moved the adults I can't really move them back straight away -even though my tanks are all very similar I don't want to take the chance that the girls might drop their eggs with 2 moves on the one day. So if the babies survive -my shrimplet survival rate these last 12 months have been excellent so they should survive- I will be overun with Bluebolts both pure and hybrid! I would never have dreamed of owning so many Blue bolts just a few short years ago - I'm very very happy- apart from having pulled a family apart -bring on the blues.
    8 points
  40. 8 points
  41. Since I have done 1 x 10% water change ,using prime only, and I have seen 2 perfect moulted exoskeletons and no more deaths Good news Thanks for all the help
    8 points
  42. Hello SKFer's, I have a little treat for you. The first of many SKF "interviews" has been completed and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. ‌@ShrimpFan is a blogger/shrimpkeeper based in the United States. His blog is available in our blogs section, You can also find it at http://shrimpfan.blogspot.com.au/. Great read if you have not read it before I suggest you check it out. SKF- Hi ShrimpFan can you please tell us a little about yourself? SF - I got into this hobby a while back. I believe around 2007 when I was still keeping bettas and breeding bettas. In my search for live plants to assist my bettas breed better, I visited a local guy who was selling live plants. I saw his beautiful his tank was and saw that he had such an amazing planted tank (prior to this I didn’t not know live plants and aquarium went together). After buying the hornwort, I went home and did an eBay search and found a live plant seller (aquatic magic). I was captivated by those marimo moss balls and saw that in one of the photos, the photographer had a Crystal Red Shrimp. The moment I saw that red and white shrimp I became instantly hooked. It really opened the flood gates I could say. My blogger was a consummation of ideas between myself and the guy (now buddy) I visited FOR the live plants. We figured since shrimp keeping was pretty new, it would be a neat idea to blog about shrimping as a way to track our progress and share knowledge we’ve accumulated along the way. Personally, my blogger as grown to become my motivator for keeping up with the shrimping hobby. I find that writing about and taking pictures of my shrimps is a good motivating factor. It helps me unwind my thought processes and helps me maintain interest this slow paced hobby. Question 1 - What is your weekly/monthly maintenance schedule? SF - Ideally, I perform weekly water changes for all my tanks, but being that the past few months have been busy, I’ve only performed monthly water changes. I prep my water, age it for roughly 10hr+ and then perform the water change. Daily dosing involves dosing trace elements for my shrimps and plants. I only feed once, maybe twice, a week. Question 2 - What is your favorite additive/products? SF - Hands down, my favorite additives/products are the Shrimpy Daddy Revive Minerals and Vivace. I just adore those products because it really helped my shrimps gain that extra “gloss” and really added to the overall health of my shrimps. Question 3 - What is your worst shrimp experience? SF - My absolute worst shrimping experience has to be when I was a newer shrimp keeping and found success breeding Orange Eyes Blue Tigers (OEBT). Around this time, shrimping was getting big, and everyone was trying to establish themselves as either a breeder or provider for the shrimping world. Many new shrimps were coming into the hobby (Red Rili, Dream Blues, so on and so forth). I had a very healthy and happy colony of OEBT (massive size). I got really greedy and bought freshly imported Black Tigers and some Dream Blues. Being greedy and not having tanks cycled and ready, I figured well let’s toss them inside the OEBT tank being that they all share similar parameters requirements, it should work. Lord behold, the Dream Blues were carriers of that cloudy body bacteria. It completely decimated my OEBT colony. Not a single OEBT or BT survived. Dream blues were completely fine…. My greed lead to the downfall of my more precious OEBT tank.. That was nearly 6 years ago, I finally got over the loss and got back to keeping OEBT… Question 4 - What are the biggest myths in Shrimp Keeping? SF - Biggest myths… hmmm. I would have to say the biggest myths involves dosing ferts (macros, micros, traces) and injecting CO2. My personal belief is that all life forms requires some forms of trace elementals and nutrients to survive. Folks too quickly chalk up failures to this or that and really gave traces, macros, micros, and co2 a bad rep. They dose heavily, experienced bad results, and shoved it aside as bad. My philosophy is that less is more, and some is better than none. Do it right, do it smart, and you’ll experience success. Question 5 - Unusual things that you use with your shrimps? SF - Nothing really to talk about. I rarely do anything to my shrimps. I do have sort of a tinkering drive. I’m always messing around with equipment and modifying things to add to my shrimp tanks, but nothing directly related to my shrimps. Question 6 - Can you give us tips on selective breeding? And how to improve the quality of our shrimps? SF - My only real advice is never conform. If you have a preset goal, never divert from the goal and never conform because of any reasons. Example: I’m currently working really hard at selectively breeding my JRB. My goals are to breed for the best looking REDs, Red Legs, and great posture. What this means is I will not conform my standard when I see a really nice JRB with good whites and poor reds. Regardless of secondary characteristics, the first three must be achieved for the shrimps to not be culled. Create a goal, make it simple, and stick to it. Be aggressive. You’re working towards a goal, and if it’s selective breeding, then it doesn’t matter much if you have a super large colony. A colony of 10 extremely beautiful shrimps outweighs 1000 average looking shrimps. Lastly, remember that a single individual ugly shrimp can and will undo years of hard work. So cull, cull and cull. I cull 50% of my babies. Question 7 - What do you think will be the next big thing in shrimp? Will it come from crosses or line breeding pure species? SF - Great question!! If you were to ask me this 5 years ago, I’d tell you it’s all about line purity (gosh sound like Mr. Hitler) but honestly, it feels like folks today are all about mixing and matching. Years ago, the thought of mixing a tiger x crs was greatly frowned upon. Mixing was seen as a way to create mutts and muddle the lines and hard work of the original breeders. What’s the say… Mixing Yellow Neos and Red neos will result in brown neos? Such was the mindset of that time. But now… well now we’re reaching a point where breeding shrimps (especially mixing) has become a way for folks to express themselves. Similar to a painter painting his masterpiece, creating your own one-of-a-kind shrimp is a work of art and expressionism at its truest form. I think mixing is new and exciting. I believe it to be the trend now. Equally, I believe are those purist out there who still holds true the belief of perfecting a line and working towards a goal of having the best of the best (myself in this group). Now what I would love to see happening is a collaboration between the creators and perfectos. That would be an amazing sight to see!! Question 8 - How do you mineralize and what WP do you aim for? SF - I mineralize my water with Shrimp Daddy’s Revive Bianco mineralizers. Alfa and Beta for Bee shrimps, and Alfa, Beta, and Gamma for Tiger species. I pre-mix, and age the water inside my containers for 10hr+ before performing the water change. Parameters wise, for Bee shrimps, I aim for 6dGH, 6.0-6.2PH, TDS: doesn’t matter much as long as it’s not ridiculous, 0dKH, Temp: 74-76, depending on how hot the day is and how hard my fans are blowing. The rest of the parameters I don’t test. Question 9 - What food enhances the welling being of shrimps and increase shrimplets survival rates? SF - Honestly, I don’t subscribe to the idea that one food is better than another. Different different foods offers different things. In a hobby that is still very young, I find that the excessive amount of foods available to the market as a telling sign. How many brands can claim something and have it be true. My theory is most, if not all, foods contain the same ingredients. Some are even just repurposed foods from other pet industries. Ex: Snowflake is a soy husk based foods for horses. Barley is barley straw pellets and serves as an algaecide for rivers and lakes. Stinging Nettle leaves pellets is a parrot food. Etc… The key to increasing survival rates is stability and consistency. Don’t tinker with the tanks too much and don’t bother the shrimps too much. Imagine how scary it would be for your if someone 1000x your size kept coming at you and looking at you. HAH! Let nature be. Question 10 - How often do you cull? SF - Very often. For my JRB colony, I cull as much as 50% of my babies. Of course, the culls are moved to a separate tank whereas they continue to live and breed. Exceptional babies from the culled tanks that meet my breeding goals are re-introduced back to the main breeding tank. Question 11 - What is your funniest shrimp experience? SF - My funniest AND wildest shrimping experience would have to be with my Taiwan Bees. They LOVE to climb out and break the water surface whenever I perform my waterchanges. I have a little water pump that they always love to climb on whenever the water is newly drained and the conditions are moist enough to allow them to do so. I’ve recorded them doing this in the past. I laugh because I imagine them hanging out on the shaking pump and picture them sitting in a massage chair. Lastly on behalf of SKF and its members, I wanted to thank ShrimpFan again.
    8 points
  43. Some pictures taken over the last week. The shrimp are showing more red and blue colouration now. they also enjoy Benibachi kale tablets
    8 points
  44. Thanks to a massive effort of the team from Shrimp Club Victoria, and their sponsors, this first national championship was a great success. It was great to see all the beautiful shrimp on display, but also nice to meet a few more people including some awesome interstate travelers. Special thanks to you guys for making the effort to come down. I hope the championship next year is even bigger and judging by the success and great vibe of this one, I think that's a certainty. Congratulations to all the entrants and especially prize winners. Anyway I know you're all waiting to see the photos, so here goes. "Blue Dream" Neocaridina davidi First time I'd actually seen this strain. Wow! "Fire Red" Neocaridina davidi Wow again! "Orange Rili (Blue Body)" Neocaridina davidi "Chameleon Shrimp" Caridina sp. NT4 Such a beautiful Australian native species. I really like this pic even if those out-of-focus highlights are just horrible. The rest is good IMO. "Black Crystal / Bee Shrimp (CBS)" Caridina logemanni "Red Crystal / Bee Shrimp (CRS)" Caridina logemanni How's the legs on these things (especially the girl)? I must have liked them to show more than one photo, plus they were pretty well-behaved. "K14"grade CRS Caridina logemanni This line of shrimp are really lovely but weren't as well behaved as the last group. "Tangerine Tiger" Caridina mariae I was really taken with those Tangerine Tigers , they're even nicer in real life than I'd expected. There were a couple of tanks of them but no OEBT, strangely. You noticed how I've tried to apply the new Caridina names above? Sadly that's where it ends - I think everything else are probable to definite hybrids. "Fancy Tiger" Caridina hybrid Even though these guys were just little, they were already really striking. Hopefully there will be plenty more "Fancy Tigers" at the next championship! "Extreme" King Kong Shadow Pandas Wine Reds I'm going to wind it up there for now. There's only a few more pictures to go but they're of some of the loveliest shrimp, so make sure you keep looking.
    8 points
  45. Still got some growing to do on the right but getting there
    8 points
  46. Finally managed to get pictures of the shrimp enjoying their new food...
    8 points
  47. I dropped by Aquarist Chamber to stock up on some goodies for myself and I thought the members here may enjoy some pictures. Please excuse the picture quality I only had my IPad. Entry lol Counter with some stock & shrimp tanks Shrimp pictures again sorry for the quality. I totally stuffed PRL pictures! Thanks to Alvin for allowing me to take these pictures. My iPad is about to die so ill load these and add more tomorrow. Lol I planned on staying for 30 mins but ended up shrimp staring for 4 hours, my wife thought I got kidnapped lol. Chatted to a local shrimpkeeper and got invited for lunch. Got some tips from Alvin himself too. Great day out. Hope your guys enjoy these pics as much as I do lol
    8 points
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