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Zebra

Caridina Zebra, best breeding conditions.

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Hello, I've been breeding different shrimp for a year or so and last month upgraded to some native zebras :) they are just so nice looking I couldn't resist, so I have a colony of 23, just in a tank with crushed black Quartz gravel a small piece of wood with plants and heaps of floating plants and such.

the ph of tap water here is well over 8 so I'm using raintank water from a large 2-3000L plastic tank out the back. Parameters are:

Tds 70ppm (forgot to write the most important part lol)

ph 7.7

gh 53ppm

kh 17ppm or less

0 nitrite 

and it's a slight tanin color.

ive set up 2x 20L tanks with cycled filter media, sponge filters and "kaito" aqua soil a few weeks back, just using the rainwater.

Now the tanks have a ph of 5.1 and basically same everything else, 0 nitrite.

So is this good parameters for breeding zebras?

If so, how long should I take to acclimate them to the softer water, like a few hours or days? 

When I put rainwater in (7.7) for water changes the ph swings to about 6 for a day or so which I don't think is good, but there's nothing in the tanks yet and I change most of the water trying to combat the even more rapid buffering effect the aqua soil has in the first few weeks. 

i usually drip half a bucket in through the hob filter over a few hours in the tank they are in right now.(40L tank) And I've added alder cones to start lowering the ph a bit getting ready for the switch.

any advice to making these guys happy would be appreciated. :)

cheers

 

Edited by Zebra
Forgot photos and tds
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NoGi    1,349
NoGi

Great to see more people trying the zebras. @fishmosy and @Paul Minett may be able to give you some suggestions.

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Any advice besides "use RO water" lol would be much appreciated.

i have pulled apart their tank after I noticed 2 die in the last week, and I hadn't changed anything in my routine. So they are in a styrophome box with a heater and their moss covered lava rocks.

so my thoughts are: 

maybe some small piece of seiryu would bring the kh up enough to stop the ph going right down to 5.1?

Or:

Now I'm thinking cause I have the 2 new tanks set up exactly the same I could just use one tank to "pre-buffered" water so when I do water changes the chemistry is EXACTLY the same to a T.

Or:

barebottom tank with just rainwater, dry leaves and alder cones, to lower ph just under 7. The tap water here sucks for shrimp and plants :(

I'm pretty stressed out about it by this point haha love them though,

And really can't afford to mess things up. 😬😬😬

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fishmosy    985
fishmosy

Because zebs are relatively new to aquariums, they don't have the tolerances of other shrimp like cherrys or even CRS. You need to match the water parameters and conditions found in their natural habitats if you want to have any success with them.

I don't think the aquasoil is a great idea, simply because it messes with water parameters (reducing pH and exchanging ions). More important is stability and low TDS. Forget pH, its just not important - have a look at my field trips - they are found at every pH but TDS is ALWAYS super low.

 I use inert substrate - specifically granite which matches the rocks where they naturally occur. I'd suggest you do the same.

 

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Thanks mate, I just found your field trips tonight, very nice photography, thanks for sharing :) 

after reading through it i ran down and bought some pure drinking water tds-0ppm neutral ph and I'm slowly cutting that half into their water which is bringing the tds down nicely.

Luckily the drip line clogged or something over night cause the water level is the same in the bucket they are in right now,

 

ok so just forget the aqua soil tanks? I'll just use them for some crs or something.

I have a 40L tank( the one they were originally in) with some fully established crushed black quarts sub, then do half rainwater half (of the drinking water I have- till I get RO.) till the tds is under 30?

and lots of moss/ algae covered inert rock of course.

So does this sound like a better way to go?

thanks for the advice much appreciated- 

I lost another adult too, so down to 19 😱😱😱 devo, I thought I'd done my research to start- turns out not so much haha feel bad for them now.

 

Edited by Zebra
Auto correct

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fishmosy    985
fishmosy

Sounds like you are on track. Hopefully the stint in the high TDS water wont have affected their health too much. Do the shrimp look transparent or milky? Milky coloured flesh is a sign that things are not well. 

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Yeah they did look milky in the few days before switching to RO, lost another few Aswell, so started with 25(heaps were riddled with parasites- so probably wild caught 😡) Now I have like 15, but they are looking so much healthier today.

But after reading your info and realising my water chemistry was way wack for them anyway so not sure how much being "wild caught" had to do with them dying. 

today my tds is 17ppm, RO mixed with a small amount of my raintank water to get that. Back in the 40L with a thin layer of inert Quartz and one old soaked feijoa leaf for food.

the last 2 I noticed dead was this morning, but they seem to be stabilising, touch wood (now that I've said that they will all die haha)

thanks once again mate, hopefully you've saved these little guys for me :) 

 

PS: 

A mate that bought 15 at same time as me lost all theirs. 

And the shop we got them from killed all theirs too. Like dozens.

And I would have thought for sure they were both more knowledgable about this stuff then me. Now I'm scared haha I shouldn't have things this sensetive, guess I just got to ride it out now.

once again a million thanks mate, you may very well have saved these lil guys.

Edited by Zebra
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Zebra    137
Zebra

 

 

 

Haha it's not as fun without pictures my bad- :)

the pictures make them look more "milky" then they are to the eye like but having said that can tell they still are a  bit crook just by looking at them. Just using an iPhone 5 camera.

Edited by Zebra
Had to delete pic to upload more.

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fishmosy    985
fishmosy

many people have assumed these guys can be kept like exotics. Unfortunately they cant. Its a steep learning curve - my current zeb tank is 'Mark II' afterall. 

Interested to know what parasites the zebs had/have? 

Edited by fishmosy
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Zebra    137
Zebra

Very true. 

They had what I would describe as leaches, really tiny leaches, could see one end reaching about and searching for something to grip onto, I removed about 5 or so with a sterile pin(not sure how I managed to do it without damaging the shrimp) I got a plastic bag over my hand and put a small puddle of their water in it and held the shrimp like this without actually touching them- very delicately.

I have pics of when I was doing it (but I've exceeded my upload limit here- is that just for today or?) and can clearly see the leach hanging on the shrimp, Also picked some that had just about looked like they wanted to burrow under the shrimps shell like?

but yeah I would describe them as leaches. Only one of the shrimp I treated died in the next following weeks, (till they started dropping from the tds regardless of anything I did) and that was one that still had a "leach" burrowed under its skin like. 

That was all in the first few weeks, and they seemed to stabilise since then before they started dropping in the last few days or week.

I was hesitant to do it but, thought If the parasites could be physically picked off that's the better option. But yeah apart from that odd one that still had a leach they seemed fine for weeks after that.

TBH it sounds like the ones I have I'm very lucky with, like they are hardier to have survived what they've been through. 

Am I a monster? Haha

Update:

another has white clear segments, is quite reddish and doing death rolls, I am guessing he won't last the night. 😭😭

 

tds 17ppm

Got a bit worried they didn't have a whole lot of food so:

Added aged native alder cones and eucalyptus leaves to try and bring some anti bacterial element into their tank. Not too many, and gonna do small water change or everyday or setup a constant RO drip.

The shrimp that look healthy look really really healthy, there's a few on the borderline that I'm not sure about, and that one that's doing death rolls. 

So basically 14 left once this one dies.

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Pray this thread doesn't just turn into me posting updates of numbers counting down haha

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ageofaquariums    71
ageofaquariums

Hopefully they are not temnocephalans, as if they are, leaving them in place is probably going to increase survival rates. Think of as cleaner worms.

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fishmosy    985
fishmosy

That was my thoughts from the description - temnocephalans. Unfortunately the current assumption by many people is that any organism on the shrimp is a parasite, but in fact some are symbionts. In fact, I've often come across shrimp with temnocephalans in the wild, but only once came across shrimp heavily infected with parasites in a creek with heavy siltation due to a road crossing just upstream.

Any shrimp doing loop-de-loops is going to die IME, so best to remove it sooner rather than later.

I'm against putting Eucalypt leaves in with shrimp because the chemicals within the leaves are likely more harmful than good. Assuming the chemicals do kill bacteria - they are more likely to kill your filter bacteria than the bacteria inside a shrimp. The filter bacteria have a hard enough time staying alive - remember water with a very low TDS is very difficult for bacteria to grow in. I think this is one of the reasons why zebras get bacterial infections in high TDS water - a high bacterial load in the water overwhelms their immune system which is used to very low bacterial counts in the water.

 As an aside, my student and I have been doing some feeding experiments lately with Paratya australiensis and we found that Eucalpyts are one of their least favorite leaves to eat. From personal experience with zebras, they don't eat the Eucalypts either.

At this point, I think you need to stop changing things and just let everything settle down. Don't be too worried about food, the shrimp can survive on very little food. Just ensure the tank gets enough light to grow a healthy biofilm and feed sparingly with pellets, snow or powders. Turn on the light for a longer photoperiod to get the biofim growing.

 

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Thanks mate, once again a bounty of knowledge. 

Update: they are all stable for now and feeding from the feijoa leaf/ huddled under it when lights are on. Tds still 17ppm, nothing changed. Starting to notice the reddish and milky colors fading and whites becoming more crisp. 

 

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Update:

Noticed Another relatively mature female dead when I got home, 

The rest look to be getting more crisp colors. That feijoa leaf is where they all hang out, though there is darker places in the tank, they seem to be constantly feeding off it.

Like @fishmosy said I put 1 shrimp pellet in for them to feed off last night, they all had a go at it at some point, took out the remains after. 

Noticed a few smaller shells, so some must be multing.

I set up a constant drip line of clean fresh RO into their tank, and I take out about 1L per day.

Down to 13.

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Another mature female on her side and very milky, as good as dead 😭😭😭

Edited by Zebra

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revolutionhope    438
revolutionhope

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Lost another few, down to 8,

Put a sponge filter in there and took out any remaining leaves except the feijoa. 

Just feeding them 1-2 shrimp pellets every few days. 

Tds still less then 20ppm 

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fishmosy    985
fishmosy

For 8 shrimp, even 1-2 pellets every few days is too much. They should get more than enough food from any biofilm growing in the tank to the point where it is almost pointless to feed them pellets. 

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Zebra    137
Zebra

Cheers,

I stopped feeding them like you said. Saying 1-2 days was probably an exaggeration of how often I actually got around to feeding them lol just Aswell though.

I noticed first with glass shrimp that feeding them in an established tank just makes the tank dirty, but the tank I put these in wasn't heaps established.

instead of feeding them pellets I just put some plastic in I'd grown algae on from another tank.

lost one early this week so down to 7. 

Still not happy and active like they should be, ive noticed most shrimp hide when they aren't happy whether they are multing or just don't like the water chemistry or quality. In the last few weeks I dont change water often, only when tds get above 18. Nitrite always 0 and a bright pale blue zero too. Ph is neutral and stable, just some giant deckweed to keep No3 down.

fair enough I'll admit I did no where near enough research before buying these, but still the shops they came from had them in standard water with other shrimp across 2 of the best aquariums in Melbourne, should I hit them up about it? Cause it's a bit much to sell a product you know nothing about and like $180 later... out of 3 or so shops and a few other people, I'm the only one that has kept any of these guys alive (barely) and im posetive that's only cause I did further research on here, and you guys told me about the Low tds.

Edited by Zebra
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Zebra    137
Zebra

Like less then 5 remaining, there's a nice layer of bio food for them now so I don't even feed, still despite my best efforts they seem to just keep dropping.

One thing I will say I've noticed, it's really hard to pump the nessacary amounts of oxygen in water with such a low tds, I've been using a hang on back with a prefilter and air driven sponge filter, and plants to add oxygen.

Probably going to atleast say something to the shops where I bought these, :( don't think I can find them again either. 

Its been a steep learning curve to say the least.

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revolutionhope    438
revolutionhope
Like less then 5 remaining, there's a nice layer of bio food for them now so I don't even feed, still despite my best efforts they seem to just keep dropping.
One thing I will say I've noticed, it's really hard to pump the nessacary amounts of oxygen in water with such a low tds, I've been using a hang on back with a prefilter and air driven sponge filter, and plants to add oxygen.
Probably going to atleast say something to the shops where I bought these, :( don't think I can find them again either. 
Its been a steep learning curve to say the least.


Hope you can turn things around mate... there is at least one other place selling them and I don't think they advise customers on how difficult they are to keep either ! Not very nice at all in my opinion...
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Zebra    137
Zebra

Yeah I'm gonna atleast try to hit up the places I got them now.

Even if I don't get a refund or whatever, At the very least so if they get them again they have some understanding of the zebras tds requirements.

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Zebra    137
Zebra

I've just had a look and there's atleast 2 healthy looking active zebras left in my setup, tds is around 20, I've seen them for sale again today so I might get another 20 now I actually have some idea of what I'm doing with them. :)

they are only like $4 ea this time too.

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fishmosy    985
fishmosy

Unfortunately their price does not reflect the difficulty in keeping them. 

good luck with them. 

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