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FAQs on Freshwater/Brackish/Marine Ghost Shrimp

Related Articles: Freshwater Crustaceans, Invertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford

Related FAQs: FW Shrimp 1, & FAQs on: FW Shrimp Identification, FW Shrimp Behavior, FW Shrimp Compatibility, FW Shrimp Selection, FW Shrimp Systems, FW Shrimp Feeding, FW Shrimp Disease, FW Shrimp Reproduction, & FW Crustaceans 1, FW Crustaceans 2, FW Crustaceans 3, FW Crustaceans 4, & & FAQs on: FW Crustacean Identification, FW Crustacean Behavior, FW Crustacean Compatibility, FW Crustacean Selection, FW Crustacean Systems, FW Crustacean Feeding, FW Crustacean Disease, FW Crustacean Reproduction & Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Hermit ID, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health, & Crayfish FAQs, Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Disease, Crayfish Reproduction,

Ghost shrimp with rock      7/15/15
Hi. We have a ghost shrimp that has been swimming around with a small piece of rock/gravel attached to the back of its leg.
<Interesting>
We're not sure how to remove it, or if we should,
<I would leave as is... will go w/ next moult>

as we don't wish to cause it harm. We wondered if it molts, would the gravel come off?
<Yes>
And, if the shrimp lost its leg, would it regenerate?
<IF conditions are propitious (sufficient alkalinity, nutrition.... see WWM re shrimp health and nutrition
>
The shrimp has had this gravel attached for about a week now. Even the pet store owner wasn't sure about how to remove the gravel. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Feeder shrimp/ghost shrimp; and as Lionfish food    1/4/15
Hello everyone at WWM, I have a situation here. I had bought 60 feeder shrimp from reefs2go, nice size, for a Radiata lionfish I'm getting on Tuesday. I received the shrimp took them out of the bag and put them into a container acclimate them. As soon as the drip line started dripping the shrimp most of them (60) were crawling up and out of the container. I fixed
a lid on container took drip line off and did the 1/2 cup of saltwater every 10 minutes. Every time I opened the lid shrimp were crawling out of container so I just through the shrimp in tank. What a nightmare most of
them were trying to escape the tank.
<Makes sense if you're a little shrimp being thrown into a small aquarium with a deadly predator in there! More seriously, temperate zone (i.e., coldwater) shrimps will naturally "leap" out of overheating tidepools and the like in a bid to land in deeper, and consequently cooler, tidepools nearby. Makes sense if the body of water you're in is overheating and oxygen-poor, and very likely to dry up. In the wild this strategy makes a lot of sense, and has probably saved the butts of many shrimps over the years, but in an indoors aquarium it's clearly suicidal.>
55 gallon tall tank that's been running for over 3 years. Not much in there, but a pair of maroon clowns and a pair of green Chromis. Most of the shrimp were climbing out (not a tight cover on tank) my fish really weren't paying any attention to the shrimp. I called the place were shrimp were bought and the person on the phone said that "yes the feeder shrimp were
saltwater and didn't know why my shrimp were escaping told me to check water). I did, everything was good. QUESTION: Are feeder/ghost shrimp fresh or saltwater animals?
<Impossible to be sure. Assuming US retailers are getting the same sorts of shrimps as UK retailers, they're buying, in bulk, cheap shrimps caught in river estuaries and freshwater marshes. True saltwater shrimp are much more valuable as human food, and if you're going to the fuss of dredging a marine habitat to catch shrimp, you're going to sell them for the best
return aren't you? In the UK, the two species usually seen as "feeder shrimps" are Palaemon elegans and Palaemon serratus. They're small estuarine shrimps that tolerate freshwater for a few days and can live in brackish and marine conditions indefinitely, but will tend to jump out of tropical tanks after a while (they're much less jumpy in unheated tanks,
and actually excellent denizens for such tanks). I don't know the standard feeder shrimp in the US, but can state that a freshwater species, Palaemonetes paludosus, is regularly sold as such for both freshwater and marine aquaria. It can live in marine conditions for a while but not indefinitely, usually long enough to be eaten. This is the so-called "Grass Shrimp" of the US hobby. Identifying shrimp species is generally extremely difficult. Can I direct you to the Smithsonian report on freshwater Palaemonetes for example:
http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/zoology/pdf_hi/SCTZ-0228.pdf
The collectors of your shrimps probably know what they are because only a small number of species will be found at any one locality, and typically just one or two predominate. But without knowing where yours were collected from, actually identifying a shrimp species will probably require expert (i.e., PhD-level) expertise.>
And how in the heck am I going to keep these live feeder shrimp to stay in and stay alive (if freshwater) in my tank long enough for the lionfish to catch and eat them?
<You really can't, short of a hood or mesh that keeps them in. As stated, temperate zone shrimps, especially those from truly coldwater areas, won't put up with tropical conditions for long. Their metabolism will be going too fast, and the oxygen availability will be too low, for them to feel at home.>
You can see I don't know what I'm doing with the feeder shrimp I never had them before? Thank you for your time and knowledge. Brenda
<Do consult with the retailer; ask they what the species was, where collected; describe your problems. If all else fails, try a few in brackish and freshwater conditions, at room temperature, and see which do best.
That'll be empirical evidence at least. Maintain thusly, and remove a few.
Neale.>
Re: Feeder shrimp/ghost shrimp        1/5/15

Thank you very much for the fast response.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
At least I know a little something about these live feeder/ghost shrimp. I'll call Reefs2go.com Monday morning and ask again where they are from. Also to let your members know I always buy my copepods from them they are the biggest I have ever seen on the retail market anywhere here in the US and a lot of their cleaning crew and refugium/copepods are FREE shipping!!!!

Ghost Shrimp Proper Home Placement      6/19/14
I just ordered 10 ghost shrimp. I was planning to put 5 in my 3 gallon Betta tank, with my 1 male Betta fish and his up to 5 gallon sponge filter.
Is this too many? Could I fit all 10 in there?
<As we've discussed before, 3 gallons is marginal for a Betta. I wouldn't keep one in such a small tank, and definitely wouldn't recommend adding additional animals.>
I was planning on putting the other 5 in my 500 gallon pond with the 5 pond goldfish that live there, to see how they would do there. I live in the Arizona desert and the pond is outdoors, sunken into the ground. The pond has numerous fake plants for them to hide in and tons of algae to feast on. Would the shrimp do ok in the pond?
<They aren't really pond animals, but assuming a brisk level of water
movement and plenty of oxygen, they might survive long enough not to be
eaten. Understand that they come from rivers and streams, often with clear,
clean water and you've got an idea of what they need.>
I have 2 other tanks. One is a 6 gallon with 6 neon tetras and 2 guppies in
it. Could 1 or more go in there?
<Six gallons for Neons and Guppies is unsustainable in the long term;
adding more animals isn't logical.>
The other tank is a 30 gallon with a single Oranda goldfish in it. If I got
some good hiding places for the shrimp, could they go in this tank?
<As Goldfish food, for a while.>
Thank you.
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Ghost shrimp, guppies, and Betta fish      6/19/14

I have 10 ghost shrimp coming. They will be around .5 inches (1/2 an inch
each). Will a 1 inch guppy be able to eat them at this size? Would a 3 inch
Betta fish be able to eat them at them at this size?
<No; potentially yes.>
Thank you?
<Neale.>
re: Ghost Shrimp Proper Home Placement      6/19/14

Thank you so much Neale!
<Most welcome.>

Sick Tetras?      8/27/13
Hi guys,
<Chelsea,>
Starting out with details and parameters:  I have a 30 gallon tank that I set up almost three months ago.  A month and a half a go, I got 3 Neon Tetras and a Ghost Shrimp.  Two of the Tetras died very shortly, so I waited two weeks, checking parameters, and then got two more Tetras.  They have been fine until about four days ago.
<I see. Well, the quality of most farmed Neons is not good, and "Neon Tetra Disease" (or diseases plural, there's some debate on this) can be particularly difficult to deal with. Once sick from this disease, Neons are highly contagious but difficult (usually impossible) to treat. That said, not all Neons die from Neon Tetra Disease, so be open minded, and do all the usual things you do when fish get sick, in case there's another reason they're ailing.>
My Nitrates and Nitrites are at 0, but my ammonia is at .25ppm. My tap water reads for over 1ppm straight out of the tap, so I have been using Prime and I get false readings for my ammonia concentrates.
<Possibly, but be open minded and review filter capacity, feeding, stocking, etc.>
I did a 25% water change two days ago, and before that, the ammonia read at 0ppm.
<Good.>
I am having trouble identifying a disease that my Tetras seem to have.  It started out with one Tetra hiding instead of schooling with the others.
<Is what Neons do when stressed, though is often associated with "Neon Tetra Disease". Such fish should be promptly removed, and to be honest, euthanised (I recommend the Clove Oil method as cheap, easy and humane).
You see, Neon Tetra Disease is extremely contagious, and medicating isn't possible. If you suspect there may be another explanation, you could isolate the Neon in a hospital tank and treat for Whitespot, Finrot or whatever, but unless you're 100% sure that your fish doesn't have Neon Tetra Disease, I'd always medicate in a hospital tank, not in the display tank.>
When he came out of hiding to eat, I noticed a white spot on his lip.  I got some Jungle "Ick Guard" and have been using it per the directions, as well as adding aquarium salt to my tank.  Over the next day or so, the sick fish got worse and the two others began to come down with the same symptoms.  I have been using the Ick Guard for 4 days now, and the fish are
not getting better.
<Oh dear.>
Today, I noticed that my Ghost Shrimp had white spots on him, as well (he disappeared for 3 days and I almost thought he was dead).  I Googled to see if invertebrates can get fish parasites, and the general consensus was that they cannot.
<Correct, but many fish medications are lethal to shrimps, particularly anti-Whitespot and similar medications that contain either copper or formalin. Always remove shrimps when medicating, or else remove the sick fish to a hospital tank.>
(Btw, he molted about a week ago, and one site said spots could be a sign of molting - would he do it again so quickly?)
<May well do.>
Between the shrimp getting spots and my fish getting worse instead of better, could the disease not actually be Ich?
<The photos are too blurry to be sure, but the fish look to me like they might have either Finrot or Whitespot/Ick, it's just not clear to me.
Whitespot looks like the fish fins and body have had salt grains stuck to them. It's very distinctive. Finrot erodes the fins usually from their edges inwards, and the fins often go cloudy, sometimes pinkish, as the fin membranes die. Again, quite easy to identify. It's possible for a fish to have both, by the way, and they're both common problems in newish tanks
when un-quarantined fish have been recently added and/or existing fish exposed to poor water quality.>
Is there another disease that they might have, or is it just a coincidence that the shrimp also has white spots?
<The latter; shrimps can't get Whitespot. For sure they might suffer in some way from poor water quality, but Finrot as such isn't going to happen.
Shrimps usually just die when stressed.>
I have included pictures, but they aren't terribly great because everyone in the aquarium moves so fast.
<Quite so. Try using a net to gently hold a fish against the glass. Use a tripod (or a friend with steady hands) to hold the camera.>
In the pictures, I have tried to point out spots where you might be able to see the white spots. Thanks in advance for any help, you guys are an amazing source of knowledge, and I have learned so much from your site.
Chelsea
<Hope this helps, Neale.>


Ghost Shrimp not reproducing 1/6/13
Hello,
<Hello Jennifer>
I have read everything I could find on Ghost Shrimp breeding and I want to try it. However, I have plenty of ghosties but they will not produce eggs for me at all. I have about 5 in a 26 Gal community tank along with Rummynose Tetras, 2 Vampire shrimp, a Bamboo shrimp and some yellow Sakuras
(which have also not produced eggs yet either to my dismay). I also have a 2.5 gal breeding tank set up with a couple ghosts in there since I thought maybe the presence of fish in my other tank was the reason they were not reproducing. I learned recently from m LFS that any amount of copper in anything can build up in the shrimps and eventually kill them. Therefore about a month or two ago I stopped dosing any fertilizer with copper to see if that would help. I have crystal red shrimp in another tank and they are multiplying like rabbits (they are housed with some Boraras briggitae). Do you have any idea why they are not producing eggs? Have you heard they need a temperature change or presence of plenty of food to reproduce as in the wild? Thank you for any advice!
<I wonder how hard your water is. I have ghost aka glass shrimp in a lot of my tanks and they seem to reproduce at replacement rate for me. Mine are housed in very hard and slightly alkaline water that I keep between 76 and 86 degrees depending on the time of year.  They are housed with fish, and I suspect that is the reason I am not overrun. Many fish will see the baby shrimp and think dinner. So, it could be that you actually have reproduction going on, but the offspring are quickly eaten. - Rick>
Jen
Re Ghost Shrimp not reproducing 1/6/13

I have watched closely to watch for eggs but I will check into my hardness I add calcium for their molts, thank you. :)
<You can usually see the eggs inside the female.  Good luck with it. -
Rick>

Ghost Shrimp Breeding Question.    4/12/12
Alright well I am trying to breed a couple Ghost Shrimp simply because I've always kept them in my larger tanks as bottom feeders. Anyways, I had a spare 5 gallon so I put 3 of them in there and one of them got wonderful green eggs upon her pleopods.
<This is the easy part. Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus, also known as Grass or Glass Shrimp) spawn readily, and the female carry the eggs around until they hatch.>
Now, I have read up on the breeding of Ghost Shrimp and it says that the eggs will turn clear when they are fertilized and I just wanted to see if A) my setup was good and B) what stages of the eggs I should be looking for as the guides indicated that the baby shrimp can only live an hour and thus I want to make sure that I am prepared to do anything I can to ensure their survival.
<You need to be able to provide lots of tiny plankton for the shrimp larvae to feed on. Unlike Cherry Shrimps, which hatch out as fully-formed miniature shrimps, Ghost Shrimp hatch out as larvae. These float about in the water for a few days before metamorphosing into miniature shrimps. Few aquarists have been able to feed these larvae. Essentially you need a very mature aquarium that [a] doesn't have a filter and [b] has "green" water full of floating algae. That's a stiff list of requirements! You'd have more luck with a pond than an aquarium, but I suppose a large water butt outdoors with good sunlight but not excessively high temperatures could do the trick, and just possibly an aquarium placed on a window shelf where it was nice and sunny could work too, though again, temperature would be an issue in such a situation. Add an airstone if you can but don't use a filter because the filter will suck up (and kill) the larvae.>
The tank is as follows - 5 gallon, planted, very low salinity levels, only tank buddy is a snail, temp is 80, 0 nitrates and nitrites and ph is close to 7.0. A picture (bad) of the pregnant shrimp is here -
http://i43.tinypic.com/2ppwuo7.jpg THANK YOU
<Do search online re: breeding, reproduction of Palaemonetes paludosus. The species is normally collected from the wild or bred in ponds, not aquaria.
Cheers, Neale.>

Ghost shrimp overpopulation 1/5/12
Hello crew,
Thank you for all your wonderfully helpful articles!
<Welcome AJ... also the name BTW of my Jack Russell>
I have a 29gal planted tank that I got cycling about 2 weeks ago. It has an Eheim classic canister filter, and 2 2" T5 bulbs hanging overhead. The plants are Water Sprites, Java Moss, Glosso, and Chain Swords. I got the tank cycling by using Glass/Ghost shrimp as the ammonia source. They are sold as feeder shrimp at my LFS, and I put about 15-20 of them in the tank to start cycling. Overall it went rather well only lost about 5-6 of them.
Now that the tank is cycling they are really thriving and I am concerned about overpopulation. (There are minimally 4 with eggs, and aprox. 35+ shrimp in the tank at this point).
<Mmm, okay>
Originally I had planned on making this a low salinity brackish tank for an F8 that I had in a tank that was too small for him (10gal).
Unfortunately he passed away before the tank had finished cycling.
At this point I am looking for advise <advice> on whether or not to make this tank slightly brackish in order to accommodate Bumble Bee Gobies, 1 F8, and possible a Rope Fish (really want one, but think the tank may be too small).
<It is...>
(If not the Rope Fish do you think Celebes Rainbows would be compatible with these?)
<Mmm, yes; if the salinity is kept low enough>
Or if I should keep it purely fresh water. Would a black ghost knifefish work to keep the population under control?
<Not really, and it too really needs more room>
Do you have an suggestions for fish along these lines that would help keep the ghost shrimp under control?
(I have had cichlids in the past and want to stay away from them).
<Most any large-enough predatory species would do... but I encourage you to simply net out, trade back in the shrimp to your shoppe if you're no longer interested in them>
I have been monitoring the water parameters in the tank carefully, and the ph has been fluctuating very widely.
<How wide is wide?>
I read that it is better to use ph buffers (such as crushed coral) than chemicals to keep the ph at comfortable 7.8-8.2 for the brackish fish I listed.
<Mmm, there are other methods>
I added some of the crushed coral in a sand path down the middle of the tank, and I saw what I now think was a ph spike to about 7.6 but then it fell to around 6.6 in a matter of days.
<Whoa! This is too wide a change. Please read Neale's piece re hardness:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwhardness.htm
You need to solve this lack of hardness (and hence dropping pH) issue ahead of adding further livestock>
and the linked files above. You may be a candidate for his homemade "Salts" mix>
This is very perplexing to me and makes me glad I had not yet put any fish in the tank (the shrimp appear un-effected).
I have looked on-line and is it possible that the drift wood I used to make a tree (java moss for the top, drift wood for the trunk) could be acting to bring down the ph?
<Oh yes; highly likely>
Does adding marine salt drastically change the effect of driftwood on the ph?
<Can raise a bit; but the influence of the wood may well be "stronger" in driving pH down>
Final question is that I read while researching cave making techniques that it may be possible to get ribbed plastic tubing from a hardware store and bury it in the substrate to create small caves for fish that prefer this (such as the Bumble Bee Gobies). Do you think this is a viable idea?
<Yes... most any chemically inert (or beneficial) material can be used thus. Small clay pots are a fave of mine>
I am slightly concerned about possible chemicals on the tubing, but think that it may be possible to clean the tubing to the point where it could be used.
I do like the concept, and had been thinking about nesting terracotta pots to achieve the same effect, but think that the plastic tubing would be much easier.
Thank you for all your help!
Keep up all the spectacular advise!
-AJ
<Do also read over the Brackish subweb... For instance the areas on stocking:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/BrackishSubWebIndex.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Ghost shrimp overpopulation 1/5/12

Thank you!
-AJ
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Grow my own live feeder shrimp? 4/17/11
This is mostly a curiosity/exploratory question. I see many, many references here to feeding new fish with live feeder shrimp. I love the concept of growing my own fish food, and I'm having a ball growing copepods in my cellar as treats for my small fish. But after searching this site for a long time, I can't find any reference to growing them. I do see references on the web for "freshwater ghost shrimp" as food. Is this what is meant by live feeder shrimp? Can you direct me to any online or book references for growing live feeder shrimp? Thanks!
Tim
<Hello Tim. Yes, "feeder shrimp" are any sort of freshwater shrimp. At least here in the UK, brackish water ones are quite widely sold as live foods for tropical freshwater and marine fish. Since the brackish water shrimps can survive for a long time in either set of water conditions, they're ideal for that. Now, while it is possible to breed *some* shrimps at home -- Cherry Shrimps are perhaps the easiest -- not all shrimps can be bred at home -- Amano Shrimps are the famous example. The non-breedable ones typically have a larval stage to their life cycle, and while the females will mate and produce eggs, the larvae that emerge from those eggs are difficult to rear and may need brackish or marine conditions to develop
even if the adults are freshwater animals. It's turned out to be very difficult to rear things like Amano Shrimps. As a very broad rule, Neocaridina tend to be breedable, Caridina spp. are a mix of breedable and non-breedable species, and Palaemonetes non-breedable. The bottom line is that breeding breedable shrimps is easy -- Cherry Shrimps for example will take care of breeding without any effort on your part, provided the tank has plenty of green algae, no predators, and gentle, ideally air-powered filtration. But even so, you're very unlikely to produce meaningful quantities of them that might be used as live food. Each female produces a few dozen offspring every month or so, and those offspring take a few months to mature, and the adults themselves only live about a year, so you'd need to reserve some to keep your population going. There are much, much easier live foods you can produce at home, most notably earthworms for big predators, and perhaps just as crucially, earthworms lack Thiaminase, which crustaceans contain, so they'd be healthier too. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Grow my own live feeder shrimp? 4/17/11
Neale - Thanks for all the info! After researching the Web on freshwater Ghost Shrimp, I, too, came to the conclusion that this would be a difficult project. Oh well. I guess I've just got to get a grip on my enthusiasm for new things!
Tim
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Shrimp query 3/30/11
Hi Guys,
<Hello,>
So its been over a week now since the quarantine and I've introduced the shrimp to my tank. All seemed well until yesterday where we noticed that our original ghost shrimp seemed to have suffered some eye damage (was almost like its left eye had been slightly crushed!!). After keeping an eye on her we have noticed her complete eye is now missing!!
<Does happen; usually physical damage on the part of fish.>
I did wonder if the new ghosties have had a pop at her (pecking order), but she is almost 2yrs old and almost twice as big as the new shrimp.
<I see.>
I'm going to 'scoop' her out and pop into a small holding tank so as to minimise any stress. Have you come across any such injuries before - and are shrimp capable of surviving on one eye.....I know that some breeders mutilate females in order to promote breeding!!
<Yes, the shrimp will be fine without one of her eyes.>
Poor thing keeps spinning around in circles - I'm hoping that she can adjust to the single eye.
<She uses her antennae to find food, so should do okay.>
Look forward to hearing from you.
Best Regards,
-Steve
<Cheers, Neale.>

compatibility 11/24/10
Hello, I was wondering if ghost shrimp, Amano (algae eating) shrimp and fiddler crabs would be compatible with each other. I know fiddler crabs require brackish water, but what salinity can the shrimp tolerate? If they get along, what SG would be best for all species? They would be in a 30 gallon tank. I would provide sufficient habitat/hiding spots for all species including water plants for the shrimp and adequate land for the fiddler crabs. Thanks.
Zach
<Funnily enough Amano shrimps develop in the sea, but the adults mostly live in freshwater. But they will tolerate slightly brackish conditions just fine, certainly SG 1.003 to SG 1.005 at 25 C/77 F, and perhaps a
little higher. In fact most shrimps tolerate slightly brackish conditions, and I have some Cherry Shrimps in a tank at 1.002 at 25 C alongside some Limia nigrofasciata. But Uca species may need more saline conditions depending on the species. Plus, Uca are opportunistic, and while their diet is primarily algae and organic detritus sifted from mud, they may catch shrimps given the chance. So by all means try it out and see what happens, but don't invest a huge amount of money in this just in case it doesn't work. I'd try out the brackish water Palaemonetes sold as live food -- at least here in England -- before investing in more ornamental shrimp species. Cheers, Neale.>

shrimp problem? 9/6/2010
Dear WWM crew
<Hello Francesca,>
I have a 60 litre BiOrb set up for tropical fish.
<Unfortunately "BiOrb" and "tropical fish" is a contradiction in terms. The BiOrb is a very, very bad aquarium. It's overpriced for what it is, and in particular has a very limited surface area at the top that limits the exchange of oxygen between the air and water. The filtration system is pretty basic as well. You will always be better off with traditional rectangular aquaria than any other shape, whether spherical, hexagonal, or anything else.>
I have three ghost shrimp and they have seemed very happy over the 2 months in residence. I have recently lost my blue Gourami with some sort of ulceration and it happened while was away and my neighbour did not notice so its rotting body was left in the tank for a few days.
<Indeed. Blue Gouramis, and indeed Gouramis generally, CANNOT be kept in this aquarium. It's simply too small for them. Assuming by "Blue Gourami" you mean Trichogaster trichopterus, that's a species that needs a 90-litre aquarium at the very least, and I'd argue 150 litres given how aggressive the males can be. As for the Powder Blue Gouramis and suchlike that are Colisa lalia, this species is so delicate and so ridden with problems that I never recommend anyone buy them unless they can source locally-bred specimens through friends or fish clubs. The ones pet stores sell very commonly come with "free gifts" like Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus and Mycobacteria infections.>
The water did not look pleasant although the tests were all in the OK range but I did a Hoover and a 20% water change and all looks well again.
<I see.>
This morning however, one of the shrimp has back legs covered in a pale fluffy substance and he is flicking them about. Is this part of a moulting cycle?
<Not really. Moulting shrimps tend to hide away for a day or two, and then reappear. It's rare to see moulting shrimps in the open. The moult itself looks slightly cloudy, clear, and usually comes off almost in one piece, and you will often see the shrimps eating the moult so that they can recycle the minerals. It doesn't come off one piece and a time, and it always looks like the skin of a shrimp, not fluff or mould or whatever.
Although Shrimps are fairly hardy, copper-based medications in particular will kill them. They also dislike very soft water. For best results, feed them foods designed specifically for shrimps and other crustaceans, though a varied diet of algae wafers and catfish pellets will do too.>
He certainly does not look as ghost like as the others which is why I am hoping he is moulting as one fatality this month is enough!
<Quite so.>
I would be grateful for your advice.
Thanks
Francesca
<Wish I could say something positive about the BiOrb, but I really can't. They're terrible aquaria. A few Cherry or Ghost Shrimps might be happy in them, perhaps a couple of Dwarf African Frogs or a male Betta, but that's about it.
Cheers, Neale.>

Ghost Shrimp Breeding Help 02/14/10
Hello,
<Hello,>
I'll start out with a general idea of my tank: 46 gallon, established for 2 years, currently housing 9 sidthimunki loaches, 3 Otos, and is quite heavily planted. There are some Malaysian trumpet snails to keep the sand moving and the plants healthy, but I only see them when the loaches decide to dig one up and play soccer with it.
<OK.>
About 6 months ago, I had purchased several ghost shrimp for my tank. I had never kept shrimp before, and I admit they were intended as a snack for my green spotted puffer. The humanitarian of a puffer decided to befriend the shrimp instead (in fact, the morning after I added them to the tank, I awoke to find him resting on the bottom with three shrimp cleaning him off). The GSP has now moved on to a larger saltwater tank, and I still have the shrimp!
<I've noticed some Puffers tend to eat small shrimps but ignore larger ones, even if they could in theory slice up the larger ones with their sharp beaks.>
I've become a huge fan of them, and would like to help them expand their population.
<Easier said that done. Palaemonetes paludosus is the standard Ghost Shrimp of the US hobby, which is the one I assume you have judging by your e-mail address. Anyway, female Palaemonetes paludosus carry the fertilised eggs
under their swimmerets, but the eggs hatch into larvae, not miniature shrimps. The larvae need to drift about for a few days feeding on tiny plankton (essentially infusoria). They then metamorphose into tiny shrimps, and start feeding on algae and detritus just like the adults. You can contrast this with Cherry Shrimps, which hatch from their eggs as perfectly formed miniature shrimps. These are easy to rear, provided nothing eats them. Given the right conditions, Cherry Shrimps will breed even in community tanks with filters, but Palaemonetes paludosus can only breed in tanks without filters and away from anything likely to eat the larvae from the water.>
They're fun to watch and certainly do their part with cleaning (my moss balls are sparkling!). I believe I have 5 females and 4 males, and I've seen the females carrying eggs. Unfortunately, I've never seen any evidence of "shrimplets"- the females have eggs one day, none the next, and the population never goes up.
<Precisely. The filter sucks up the larvae, and that's that.>
I suspect my sids may know something about this, though they never bother the adults at all. I have a breeder net, but I'm not entirely clear on the best way to use it for shrimp. I don't want to keep the females in the net for an undue length of time, as it seems it would only stress them. Is there a fairly reliable way to predict when the eggs are close to hatching without knowing when fertilization took place?
<Not really, no.>
Is it ok to keep the female in the net for a long period of time, possibly a week or more?
<Sure, but the larvae will drift right out of the net.>
Do the young shrimp have any special requirements like additional salt, temperatures, etc, beyond the typical needs of the adults?
<Contrary to myth, no, Palaemonetes paludosus don't need brackish water to reproduce. But the females do need to be kept in an unfiltered tank (ideally, a pond) with plankton-rich (i.e., green) water.>
Would Hikari First Bites be an acceptable diet until they're ready for something bigger?
<No, too big.>
Can you recommend a healthy limit on the number of shrimp in a 46 gallon (long) tank?
<Easily one per gallon, probably twice that, but the number of fish you have in the tank will reduce that, and if you decide to breed the shrimps, then the number will be reduced significantly because you'll be relying on plants for filtration rather than a filter.>
I was also wondering if there are any other types of shrimp that would get along well with the ghosts. I've seen red cherry shrimp in the stores locally, but they're usually quite small and I understand the ghosts may pick on/ eat them.
<Can happen, but rare, if plenty of space and food for all concerned.
Cherry Shrimps are an infinitely easier species to breed, and overall, the best shrimps for the casual hobbyist.>
It would be fun to have a few species, but I'm also happy with the ghosts and I don't want to risk any problems. Sorry for all the questions, and thank you (in advance) for the help!
<Happy to help.>
PS, I believe it was this site that convinced me to move my GSP into saltwater when he reached a certain age. Great advice! He's never looked better, bright white belly and growing quite rapidly.
<That would be Jeni's advice rather than mine. But I'm glad it's worked out well.>
And yes, he's made friends with a coral banded shrimp... for now. Thanks again!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Ghost Shrimp in a Community Tank Disappearing. 8/22/09
Hello Crew, long time no see, all well here, hope all is well across the
pond.
<Hello,>
Ghost Shrimp Q's please, for a community 120 gallon tank: several Corys, 1 rubber lips catfish, 1 Pleco catfish, and assorted swords, platys, mollies, guppies. And 4 glass catfish. There is lots of cover (plastic foliage, rocks, slate), even floating 'grass' (plastic) mats we use to hide livebearer babies. Water is brackish at constant 1.002 salt. Water is excellent all respects. pH 7.6. Temp is 80. Food is alternated between flake, algae tabs, shrimp pellets (!), and tiny spectrum pellets.
<Sounds fine.>
We started with about 8 ghost shrimp of good size from the LFS, now down to one we can find after 3 months.
<Often brackish water shrimps... limited lifespan in freshwater tanks.>
Some small evidence of shells once in a while (molting? eaten alive?
natural death?) we can't tell as we have never found a 'whole' body over the time period of losing them.
<I see...>
The shrimp seemed to spend a lot of time high in the floating grass mat or high on the UG filter tubes of the 3 pumps bodies when not crawling the bottom or hiding under rocks or in the created caves. Our one remaining shrimp goes high but makes forays across the bottom, too.
<Shrimps are super-sensitive to low oxygen concentrations, or at least, poor bottom water circulation.>
Questions, please: Would they have crawled out of the tank, since they can hang onto the slick uplift tubes easily?
<Can, will jump out of open tanks.>
Would any of the 3 types of catfish above eat the shrimp critters?
<Not normally alive... though glass catfish are of course predatory, and will eat very small fish/shrimps.>
Do they normally go high in the tank or remain on the bottom (the tank is two feet tall), or do you think they were running from the catfish? What is with iodine use; we saw related info on treating/feeding iodine in your forum.
<Iodine not normally necessary for shrimps, though can help with crabs and crayfish.>
Is this necessary for us? If so, please advise the amount per ten gallons and the frequency, and whether there is harm to the community fish in the tank from iodine. Is the salt content to the liking of the ghost shrimp?
<Difficult to say... if true brackish water species, will likely need more saline conditions than your other fish. Would recommend unambiguous species, e.g., Cherry Shrimps.>
If ghost shrimp are wrong for our tank, please advise what kind to look for of the other two choices mentioned in forums (cherry and bamboo). Is a 5 inch long bamboo shrimp ok with our catfish and other smaller guppies or will they become prey for the bamboo shrimp?
<Bamboo shrimps (Atyopsis spp.) fairly delicate, so do review their needs; need fast-flowing water and suitable particulate foods.>
Many thanks,
Don and Rosemary
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ghost Shrimp in a Community Tank Disappearing. 8/22/09

Thanks, Neale for the speedy reply below.
<Happy to help.>
Just to clarify as a follow-up: I neglected to mention that in addition to the 3 UG power head pumps, we also run two Fluvals (305 & 405) so our H20 turnover and movement is quite good, we think. Our tank is fully covered with only slots for pump hoses and wires.
We do have good water movement.
<Still, there's a difference between lots of water current and good, thorough mixing of water at all levels. Put some flake at the bottom of the tank in various places. See how well the flake is carried along by the current. The results may surprise you. Things like plants and large rocks can restrict the flow of water, creating pockets of still water. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if the sediment is dirty as well, lack of oxygen in these pockets as organic decay proceeds could cause problems.>
The glass cats stay mid water column all to themselves and skim the surface for food then hover in one end; I never see them descend below midlevel in the tank or explore much, unless it is after dark, so I had discounted them as a threat to the ghost shrimp. They seem rather reclusive and shy.
<Indeed often the case, even when maintained in large groups.>
It would be helpful to us if you could look at the follow-up questions. In comments below in your last email reply:
Are you saying that the typical LFS ghost shrimp prefer saltier water than our constant 1.002? I didn't quite follow you there, but I am protecting the Corys by keeping salt at this level, and the Mollies are very healthy and huge. So changing the salt content is not an option.
<At least some of the shrimps sold are brackish/marine species, and their longevity in freshwater will be limited. Another issue is that sometimes coldwater shrimps will be sold, and again, these will not live long in a tropical aquarium. I'd tend to avoid shrimps unless you can be sure they're something suitable, i.e., Cherry Shrimps, Amano Shrimps, etc.>
Are you saying that for 1.002 SG, the Bamboo Shrimp would be a better choice than ghost shrimp?
<On the contrary, Bamboo Shrimps are, when mature at least, strictly freshwater animals. They may tolerate slightly brackish conditions like those in your tank, but they do prefer neutral, moderately hard water. For what it's worth, Cherry Shrimps seem to tolerate brackish water well, and I keep this species in a slightly brackish planted tank alongside gobies and snails. They breed normally, and show no signs of stress.>
Would you advise not buying more ghost shrimp, even given their true inexpensive cost and the pleasure they give us in watching them in the tank? We don't want to harm any fish by trying to make something work that isn't meant for our conditions. They can pick up a shrimp pellet and run like crazy with the whole thing; lots of fun to see.
<There's some wisdom to what you're saying here: If you can't keep Species X in your tank, despite repeated attempts, then perhaps it's not worth keeping. For whatever reason they aren't doing well. With shrimps, there's a bunch of factors beyond the usual. For example, copper is highly toxic to them, so medications will kill them quickly, as will traces of copper in your pipe work.>
Are you saying that the shrimp were going high in the tank due to possible lack of Oxygen near bottom; or is the high/low behaviour normal for ghost shrimp? I wasn't sure.
<Yes, shrimps are sensitive to the lack of oxygen at the bottom of a tank.
Since most of the shrimps sold come from fast-flowing habitats where water temperature is quite low, even in the case of tropical species, oxygen sensitivity can be acute in warm aquaria. If your shrimps stay all the time at the surface, it's a good sign oxygen is an issue. This isn't in itself a disaster; my Cherry shrimps often behave this way in summer, but still breed like mad. But it's a factor, and coupled with others, could cause failure in the long term.>
Lastly one of your colleagues strongly supported a temp max of 77 degrees F for a community tank (our fish list is below) when another person stated their tank was kept at 80 degrees F, and urged that the temp be dropped to 77. We can pin-point the temp with the two heaters we have. What temp would you strive for, given a precise choice?
<For most community tanks 25 C/77 F is ideal.>
Many thanks, Neale, much time was spend on the forums last evening, and as always, the entire Crew's all encompassing knowledge much admired and appreciated. Happy autumn.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Cheers,
Don and Rosemary
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ghost Shrimp in a Community Tank Disappearing. 8/22/09

Neale,
Knowing full well you and Crew are deluged with email (and not wanting to add to the deluge), I did want to reply with Thanks In A Big Way for these thoughtful answers. No more questions for now, you fully
covered it and guided us in the right direction.
<Glad to have helped, and thanks for the thanks!>
You are appreciated here.
Don and Rosemary
<Best wishes, Neale.>

Shrimp Tonight ... adding to FW 1/22/06 I am going to setup a 29 gallon freshwater aquarium. I was thinking about putting in 7 Zebra Danios, 9 Harlequin Rasboras, 4 Dwarf Gouramis, and about 10 Ghost Shrimp. I have a 50 gallon AquaClear Power filter and a 30 gallon undergravel that I will be using with air to circulate the undergravel. Would the Ghost Shrimp be ok with these other species? Would I be able to put in more fish or is this the max I should go? Any suggestions on other fish if possible? < The problem with adding shrimp is the fact that every once in awhile they need to shed their exoskeleton as they grow. When they do this their skin is soft and they have no protection and become mobile banquet blocks. Go with this set up at first and see how it goes for awhile. Meanwhile check out some other fish and check the nitrates periodically. If you can continue to keep the nitrates under 25 ppm between water changes then i think you can add a few more fish depending on the species. If the nitrates exceed 25 ppm then you need to increase the frequency of the water changes or increase the amount of water changed.-Chuck>

Iodine And Freshwater Shrimp - 12/15/2004 I recently picked up some ghost shrimp for my two aquariums. <Yay, welcome to the world of freshwater crustaceans!!> All is well, but I want to be prepared for molting if/when it occurs. <No "if" about it - ghosties molt a lot and often.> I know iodine is important for crustaceans. Is there some sort of Iodine supplement the shrimp will need or is the weekly 10-20% water change I do going to be enough for them? <Some SERIOUS kudos to you for thinking of this! Yes, freshwater shrimp require iodine to facilitate calcium uptake and successful molting. Though you *might* be able to get by with your regular water changes alone, I have found that adding iodine *dramatically* reduces the chance of a "bad molt". Before adding iodine to my tanks, I would lose a few shrimp each month. After adding iodine, I haven't lost any shrimp to bad molts, that I know of - and they started breeding right away, as well. I use, and heartily recommend, Kent marine iodine, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons each week. This amount may seem insignificant, but it has proven seriously beneficial in my tanks.> I feed a varied diet of plant and animal foods, they also have in the tank a piece of real driftwood and several species of live plants. <Sounds perfect.> Thanks for your help guys! :-) (Almost forgot, they are also in the tank with some Zebra Danios and Otocinclus algae eaters in one tank, and a Betta and Otocinclus in the other tank.) <All sounds good. Wishing you and your shrimp well, -Sabrina>

Ten Gallon Shrimp Hello there! This is Molly here, avid fish enthusiast. I currently have a 10 gallon aquarium housing 5 White Cloud Mountain fish and 3 Zebra Danios. As you can probably guess, there is a fair amount of algae in this tank. I have tried to keep a small Pleco in the tank but sadly he died approximately a week and a half after I purchased him. I wonder if I could keep at least one African Dwarf frog in the tank, I have done a good amount of research on them and have figured out that they can (and will, given the chance) escape from tanks. I have a hooded light fixture on my tank so I am considering purchasing one....or more, depending. I have also read that they don't get too large so they will not eat my small ornamental fish. Do you think this would work? I was also considering ordering a ghost (glass) shrimp. They don't get much bigger than 1-1.5 inches so I thought they would also do well cleaning up the tank. I have had snails in the past, but they don't do too much to combat the algae problem unless I buy several...which I don't really want to do. What do you suggest? Would some Cory cats survive in an unheated tank? I did not have luck with Corys with goldfish.. but I think that is because of the large ammonia output of such fish. Any advice you could give would help me greatly. Thanks, or should I say, Tanks!-Molly <I'd go with shrimp over fish. Eight fish of this size are about all you want in a ten. The frog would work, but he will not eat algae. And I always warn, he may eat a fish. Any frog will eat any fish it can catch and fit in it's mouth. But the Dwarfs usually don't. And he would like it warmer, as would a Cory. The fish you have are OK unheated. And you are 100% correct in your reasoning about goldfish in small tanks. Shrimp add little ammonia to the water. You could handle about a half dozen. Make sure you feed them after the algae is gone. Any baby shrimp produced will make excellent food for the fish. Don>

Awesome Shrimp Question - 04/05/2005 Hey awesome team at WWM! <Hey, awesome reader!> Can ghost shrimp be slowly acclimated to saltwater at 1.025 SG.? <Honestly, it depends entirely on the species. There are many, many shrimp that fall under the name "ghost" shrimp. To be quite honest, you could try it with just a few and see how they fare. Don't raise the salinity more than 0.002 a day.> I want to raise them, should I aim for a larger say 55 gal, or could I do this with a 25? They don't seem to mind being crammed. <They sure don't mind being crammed, but the larger you go, the more likely you are to be successful. The ghosties most commonly offered for sale can be easily raised and bred in freshwater.> I also think that they don't eat their offspring so farming these little guys shouldn't be too much of a problem? <Not difficult at all. Been there, done that. They breed like bunnies.> UGF, air stone, water changes... Will everything just happen on it's own if I start with a good population, vary foods...? <Pretty much. A word of caution - if you don't add iodine, they may not breed, and may slowly die off. I use Kent marine iodine at a rate of one drop per ten gallons each week (note that this is NOT the marine dose!). I went from losing a few shrimp each month to breeding profusely after a few weeks of adding iodine. When your populations get very high, you may wish to increase the dosage. Good luck with your shrimp! Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Shrimp Discrepancy? - 01/19/2005 Hey, <Hola.> I was just admiring your site and I noticed you mentioned P. kadiakensis, a freshwater shrimp. There you mentioned it as a marine species; <Mm, no, just that this particular individual was living in a marine aquarium.... A few freshwater Palaemonetes shrimps can be pretty easily acclimated to brackish or saltwater environments. After looking at the photos that I have available (including a higher res pic of the one in question), I am not convinced that this is (or, for that fact, is not) P. kadiakensis - the only solid information I can find on its tolerance of salinity suggests 20ppt is okay, but 25ppt is lethal.... I also assume that, like with other Palaemonetes shrimps, this tolerance may differ with different geographical populations of the species.> however, it is true freshwater species, not needing salt or brackish water to breed, as I raise them successfully. <Agreed wholeheartedly. The same can be said for other Palaemonetes which can be acclimated to saltwater, as well (though some species have a much lower survivability in larvae in lower brackish or fresh conditions, and vice verse). But, taking into account the areas that P. kadiakensis can be found in the wild, I am inclined to agree - the species of this animal is, in fact, in question.... Unfortunately, I do not have other clear photographs of "known" P. kadiakensis for comparison.... Sigh. Perhaps you have some that I could take a peek at?> The shrimp on your site (bottom pic) was most likely P. pugio or P. vulgaris. <Alas, I do not have access to any clear photographs of either of these - but from the small pic on the site, I think identification is impossible.... The high-res version we have is very, very clear - if you have any photos of pugio or vulgaris, or kadiakensis for that fact, I would be very eager to see, and perhaps get this fellah correctly named! Or maybe I should take a road trip and find some to see with my own two cute little eyes.> It might even be Macrobrachium or a related Palaemonid species. <Mm, if in saltwater, I find it very, very unlikely that it's a Macrobrachium - perhaps I've got this wrong, but I'm not confidant that there are any saltwater Macrobrachiums, or any species of the genus that can take fully marine conditions?> If you have any questions, email me. <Thanks very much for your comments - if you can get any clear photographs of your kadiakensis, I would very, very much like to have a peek! Wishing you and your shrimp well, -Sabrina>

Ghost Shrimp, marine I would like to add fresh water ghost shrimp to my tank for algae control and they are neat. All I can find in the stores are salt feeder ghost shrimp. Is there any way to adapt the salt shrimp to live in fresh water and what is the difference. Thank you <With some species of Palaemonetes this can be done... see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Shrimps, FW Hi there I got a 5gal. tank for Christmas last year. It brought back memories of my childhood almost 50 years ago. I quickly went down to a local fish store and to my amazement found a $.79 tank (just before the store owner would get new fish on Thu. he would go threw the tanks and any single fish he would put in this tank just to get rid of them.) I was like a kid again every few weeks going down to the store and seeing what was there. I have 3 neon's, 3 white clouds, 3 zebras, and a white vial tetra in the tank. few weeks ago I got 3 ghost shrimp but they seemed to die during there mullet. <?> I went down and bought 3 more and again they seem to be dead one at a time on the bottom of the tank. I went out and got Kent's Iodine the label said 1 drop per 50 gal. so took a cap full and cut it with 10 caps of water. I add 1 drop per. week with my gal water change. And of course went out and got (yes you guessed it ) 3 more shrimp. 1 seemed to die but I lost the other 2. <?> My tank is pretty heavily planted with Java moss and ferns, swords plants, and several other types of plants I got from the fish store. I really like the different shapes and colors of the plants with the fish swimming around them but my real joy is the shrimp. I just got 2 bamboo shrimp but 1 is a fan feeder about 1.5 inches in length (I think you call it that) and the other is a long armed shrimp about 2 .5 inches in length. They were in the same tank about 5gal with about 12 other shrimp of the same types. After I put them in my than I noticed at least 4 ghost shrimp come from some place to investigate the newcomers everyone seems to be getting alone wonderfully. Now to cut to the chase am I adding the right amount of iodine to the water or should I just add 1 drop per gal. as you said in the past? <Not able to tell w/o testing... this material is transient depending on water chemistry, bio-load...> Should I buy shrimp pellets for the bamboo shrimp or is my testament and live plants OK? <Please read on the Net re... not able to live on pellets> What is the best way I could care for OTTO & HERMAN they are so cool? <Who are they?> I really think my tank is perfect until I get a bigger tank with more plants and shrimp. Is there any types of shrimp or invertebrate I should stay away from in the future? Thank you so very much for your time and please keep up the good work Walter. <Walt... please read over, have someone there review your writing before you send it... Some doesn't make sense, a bunch is mis-spelled. I do wish our "shrimp queen" were with us more often (Sabrina). Will cc her here in the hopes she will respond. Bob Fenner>

More Mystery Shrimp! - 10/04/2005 Hello, <Hi! Sabrina the slightly shrimp-obsessed with you today.... And please let me apologize for the extreme lateness of my reply; on top of having been sick and missed some emails in my box a few days back, you've really given some perplexing pictures! Excellent photos, I must add.> I have seen this question before ("Mystery Shrimp - Fun with Freshwater Inverts") but I would like to ask it once again... is what I have actually a ghost shrimp? <Not what is commonly considered to be a ghost shrimp, but it does look like a Palaemonetes species to me. Perhaps P. antennarius - your shrimp seems to have the same bizarre iridescence that they exhibit. They do develop markings like yours shows as they grow, but yours is more prominently marked than ones I've seen.> or is it a "long-arm" - Macrobrachium... because this guy's arm's aren't longer then his body, but he is a bit big to be a ghost shrimp. He is about 4.5cm (1 3/4"). <Not a Macrobrachium, as far as I can tell, but not a "common" "ghost shrimp".> I have posted photos here: http://www3.telus.net/public/al_s/ShrimpPhotos/ I am wondering what the morphological difference is between the Macrobrachium and the Palaemonetes? <Well.... See, you're asking tough questions now! Just kidding, this is a good one. To be quite honest with you, I do not know the difference in systematics between these two genera. They are both in family Palaemonidae, though Palaemonetes shares the subfamily Palaemoninae with a few other genera, whereas Macrobrachium is not in that (or other) subfamily.> is it just the length/size of the pincer arms or am I missing some other key item? <Macro = big, brachium = arm .... All of the shrimps of genus Macrobrachium do have very prominent "arms". Some more so than others, to be sure, but all are quite big. This can be somewhat less noticeable in females, but even most females have really big arms. Also, all of the Macrobrachiums (Macrobrachia? Uhh, I don't know the pluralization of this word!) that I have met seem to have an impressively large rostrum. Some Palaemonetes do as well though, including P. antennarius, whose rostrum can be quite wicked-looking. Physically, those two pincer arms will tell all. Or most, at least. Yours is not a Macrobrachium, as far as I can tell. Now, that doesn't mean it's not aggressive! P. antennarius, if it were just the size of a dog, would take over the world and wipe out humanity. And you'd hear an evil laugh while they did it. Fortunately, they stay at or under 2", so hopefully we're safe. Or maybe that's just what they want us to think....> Thanks, -Rose <And thank you for showing us these great images; I do hope you enjoy this animal. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Differences between Palaemonetes and Macrobrachium species shrimps.... 9/21/05 Hey Bob! <Sabrina> I know I should know this, or at least be able to find it, but I don't and I can't. I wonder if you know, or can point me in the right direction. <Will try> What, physiologically, ARE the differences between these two genera? I mean, aside from the (macro) big (brachia)" arms"/pincers, what really makes a Macrobrachium a Macrobrachium? What makes a Palaemonetes a Palaemonetes? Both are of the same family (Palaemonidae), though Macrobrachium is in sub-family Palaemonidae.... But.... What determines this? I've struggled a couple days to try to find *something*.... hobby-related websites and the few books that mention shrimps (including Uwe Werner's Aqualog) just talk about care, and those big honkin' arms.... and I can't seem to find any scientific websites that really explain what makes a Macrobrachium a Macrobrachium, or a Palaemonetes a Palaemonetes. Any thoughts? I wish/hope it could be as simple as counting scales, rays in fins, tooth shapes and pharyngeal bones.... Fish are so easy <. <Don't know... w/o "looking"... likely at SIO... but here is the feedback from Google on Systematics of the Palaemonidae: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-27,GGLD:en&q=systematics+of+the+palaemonidae Looks like there are some useful bits here... and I would try the (not ready for prime time) "Google Scholar" as well... Next time you're in town, let's make a sojourn down to the Scripps Library... am facile at searching "the literature". Bob F> Thanks much.... -Sabrina

Discus Tankmates 11/28/05 Hello. I was wondering if the blue tetra (Boehlkea fredcochui), the glass blood fin tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi), and some shrimp (Palaemon pantanal) would be able to be housed with 3 discus and not be eaten. If so would these be able to coexist with each other in a 55 gallon tank. CJ <All should get along fine. The tetras are too fast for the discus to eat even if they wanted too. When the shrimp shed their exoskeleton they will be soft and very vulnerable for awhile so they will need a place to hide until their new outer skin hardens.-Chuck>

Freshwater shrimp? Dear Crew, We have unfortunately had a small tragedy in our freshwater tank (240L, ph6.5-7, temp 75-77, nitrates 0, hardness 3-4)...in with our neon tetras (11), black widow tetras (6), Otos (5), Rams (3), Corys (6) we had had 5 "red claw shrimp". Now from the pictures on your site and on all of the other freshwater shrimp sites, they look like ghost shrimp, but are a reddish/orange color. We bought them from one of the LFS staff who lives in our area and breeds them in her tank. The biggest of these fellows is about 2 inches long, and the smallest about 1 inch. Until yesterday all was well (how can you tell there's going to be a but) but yesterday evening I noticed small red shrimp on its back, scrabbling a bit. I thought this was strange, so turned him over and moved him into a sheltered corner, he seemed to be struggling, so I wondered whether he was molting and turned off the tank lights to minimize stress and left him to it. This morning at work I have received an e-mail from home telling me that small red shrimp is no more. So now I have 2 questions, first of all, do you have any ideas what species these fellows might be? and secondly, what could have killed small red? his legs and claws looked strangely pale and he seemed sort of bunched up (cramp?) but apart from that we have no clue... Any suggestions would be useful, we want to prevent the same happening to the other 4. Thanks for your time. Nicola <Hey Nicola, sorry to hear about your shrimp. It is hard to get a positive ID without a good picture. The common ghost shrimp will not reach 2in. Take a look at the link below, is it one of these guys? http://www.calacademy.org/research/izg/SFBay2K/ghostshrimp.htm My first concern would be water quality. I would do a good water change, and add a poly filter to absorb metals and many other contaminants. Keep an eye on the other shrimp, if it starts happening to the others we will know that it was not a molting complication and can start troubleshooting from there. Let us know how it goes, Best of Luck, Gage.> Nicola Blay, BSc, MSc

Unidentified Shrimp... Perhaps a Ghost Shrimp 9/11/07 This is Paul again. <Hola Paul, Mich aqui> I just wanted to send you a picture of one of the shrimp in my tank. I have another just like it. I am currently living in Brazil (Curitiba) and this was a shrimp offered at the aquarium store (www.aquabetta.com.br) I thought you guys might like to look at it. <Always nice.> Maybe you haven't seen one like it before. If you have, can you tell me what its name is? <I could be wrong, but it looks like a pretty glass or ghost shrimp to me. Ghost shrimp are often used as feeders More here: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fishlore.com/Pictures/ Profiles/ghost_shrimp_2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fishlore.com/profile- ghostshrimp.htm&h=150&w=250&sz=6&hl=en&start=16& um=1&tbnid=mn4UJo7N5z_kqM:&tbnh=67&tbnw=111&prev=/images% 3Fq%3Dglass%2Bshrimp%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DG > Thanks a lot. <De nada! Mich>

Re: Unidentified Shrimp... A Ghost Shrimp 9/12/07 Buenos Dias Paul, Mich here again.> I thought ghost shrimp were freshwater. <Can be fresh... can also be salt... I have collected myself from saltwater in the Belmar NJ inlet.> They have been living in my saltwater tank for 7 months now. <Yes, there are several species. Many can tolerate great ranges in salinity. RMF is in agreement with this ID.> Paul

Crawfish and Shrimp 06/14/07 Howdy. < Ave.> > I have 2 10 gallon tanks. One of them holds my 4"inch crawfish, Bojan and four (used to be 5) guppy "friends". He is happy and healthy and hilarious. < So, you have discovered that crayfish can and do eat small fish, given the chance.> > The other tank holds 3 Cory catfish, a couple of guppies and three TINY crawfish (one temporarily named "grain of rice") which I know will get bigger and will need to be either moved to separate tanks, or returned to the creek from whence they came. < Returning animals "to the wild" is at least the wrong thing to do, and at worst illegal. If in doubt, <<My value systems switch these. RMF>> consult with your local Fish & Wildlife Bureau. The problem is that those crayfish have no been exposed to pathogens and bacteria than native crayfish (and other aquatic organisms) may have no resistance to. American crayfish got loose in the UK, likely from farms, and carried a fungal disease that has basically wiped out our native crayfish. The American crayfish is somewhat resistant, and so takes over vacated territory. See here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/fish/freshwater/crayfish.htm . Moral of the story: never, ever release captive animals back into the wild.> > Here is my question. My friend has the cutest little ghost shrimp. I was thinking of getting some to put in with the Corys and baby crawfish. I am guessing that ghost shrimp and crawfish are not compatible, but thought I would ask you guys and gals to see what you thought. If these two are not compatible, are there any shrimp that would be compatible with baby crawfish or would I need to choose between having crawfish or having shrimp? (What a delicious question!) > Thanks! < Crayfish and small shrimp are indeed incompatible. Crayfish are omnivores, feeding primarily on plant material and detritus, but small animals are also on the menu. In the confines of an aquarium their clumsiness isn't a problem, and eventually they corner smaller tankmates, usually at night. Obviously baby crayfish smaller than the shrimps won't be much of a problem, but as the crayfish grow, expect them to become more predatory *and* more territorial towards one another. The only shrimps I would keep with crayfish would be large Macrobrachium spp, (Freshwater Tiger Prawns) because they are pretty nasty animals themselves. Given crayfish don't move about much, I personally think they look best kept in their own small aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>

Killer Ghost shrimp?!?! 03/09/07 Hi there! <<Hello!.>> I don't have a question, I just wanted to share what I thought was kind of surprising. I turned the light on in my 10 gal tank this morning, just in time to watch my ghost shrimp "pounce" on a neon tetra. Before I went to bed the neon looked perfectly healthy, and seemed to be pretty strong after the attack this morning...at least initially. I would have intervened but I was far too shocked and amazed by what I was seeing. The neon struggled to get away, "dragging" the shrimp with him, but the whole time the shrimp had a hold of him he shredded his tail and fins. Eventually the neon stopped struggling and the shrimp was able to settle on a piece of driftwood and eat the neon at his leisure. He held the fish tightly and moved it up and down his legs ripping and tearing with tiny little pincher claws that I never noticed before. I just could not believe what I was seeing! I have two particularly large crayfish in my 30 gal, and I have neons there, as well as some Glowlight tetras, and in the past 6 months have not lost a single fish to the crayfish. I have had the shrimp since January, and he has already caused a loss... NOT what I expected! <<Thank You for sharing. I have not experienced this, but I have heard similar cases.>> Many Thanks for all the time and money this site has saved me with free education. My tank losses have never been lower since I started my research here 2 years ago! <<Happy to hear it! Keep up the good work. Glad to help. Lisa.>> Doug

Ghost shrimp, Acanthocephalans, worms in general... 1/15/07 I just bought a few ghost shrimp and everything appeared to be going fine until today, when I noticed one of the shrimp had a worm in it. <You have good sight> After a mild freak-out I managed to do some research on the internet and found out that it was most likely a horsehair worm. <Yes, possibly an acanthocephalan...> Unfortunately, I haven't found much useful information regarding my situation beyond the initial identification. The infected ghost shrimp was in a tank that contained some guppies as well as other ghost shrimp. Could the worm have possibly laid eggs in my tank? <Could...> Would I be able to see them? <No, too small> Should I worry about the larva (assuming there are eggs and that the eggs will hatch) infecting my fish and other ghost shrimp? <Mmm... possibly the shrimp... not likely the fish... May well be that the life cycle of this parasite is "complex" and that your tank is missing an/the intermediate host... likely guppies are not definitive here> I know that the young are parasitic, yet I am not completely sure if they use fish as hosts. The ghost shrimp was in my tank for less than 24 hours. Are they dangerous to my fish? <Again, not likely> Should I assume that my whole tank has been infested? Is there anything I can do to stop the infection, assuming there is one, without harming my fish? <... I would do nothing... but there are some useful Anthelminthics... Praziquantel, Levamisole... you can search re these on the Net, WWM...> Currently, all of the other inhabitants of my tank seem fine, and there is no evidence of other horsehair worms infecting my tank. I hope I am overreacting to this tiny worm. <Mmm...> Please set my mind at ease. Should I be freaking out about the possibility of infestation of my other fish and ghost shrimps? Thanks, Lauren <How to put this... there are actually several... as in many, species of worms... living in your system... in your own personal world... This one is likely only detrimental to the shrimp that are hosting large individuals... in non-propitious circumstances. I would not panic here. Bob Fenner>

Keeping Ghost Shrimp 7/24/06 Hello! <Hi Cathrine, Pufferpunk here> I am hoping you can help me understand why my ghost shrimp keep dying hours after being added to my 5 gallon aquarium. In this tank I have 1 male Betta and 1 Otocinclus. Originally the shrimp was to be the cleaner but since I am not having any luck with them I got the Otocinclus. I would like to add at least 1 ghost shrimp because in the short time they have been alive I find them fascinating. I suspect something with my water is not compatible with the shrimp because they are fine until they have been added to the tank. This tank is heated and stays around 77 degrees (unfortunately it can not be adjusted). I have a hang on the back filter rated for 2-5 gal and an under gravel filter. The tank has been running for 2 months. Nitrate is at 20ppm, Nitrite is 0, Hardness was at 0 but since the shrimp seemed to do well in the spring water they were in before being added to the tank, I added some to the tank and it is now at 75ppm. Alkalinity is 300ppm. pH is 8.4 (Both of these are high and I am wondering if one or both might be the problem.) Ammonia is 0. I have been using treated tap water only, which is softened with potassium chloride. (Possibly another cause?) The beta and Otocinclus are doing fine so I am not sure where the problem might be. The first time I added 1 shrimp (had only treated tap water in the tank so hardness was at 0), he died within an hour and half. A few weeks later I added two more thinking maybe the first one was just a "bad" shrimp. They both died within 2 hours. After that I started adding the spring water, topping off my tank so my hardness had increased to 75ppm. Two more weeks later I added four shrimp trying to increase my chances of one surviving but they only lived up to 5 hours. They seem fine then all the sudden fall on their side and finally end up dead on their backs. Neither the beta or Otocinclus are bothering them. So not knowing where the problem lies I am beginning to wonder if I should drain the tank and refill it with all spring water. Sorry for such a long email but I wanted to give you as much information as possible. Thanks so much for your time! <Here is an excellent article in keeping & breeding ghost shrimp: http://www.thepufferforum.com/articles/other/ghostshrimp.html HTH, ~PP> Cathrine Daily

African Dwarf Frogs and fish medications 7/13/06 Hello, my name is Robin. I have a 45 gallon tank that houses one African Dwarf Frog, 4 Ghost Shrimp, and 12 Bronze Cory Catfish. Yesterday I noticed that some of the baby (I say baby, my original three bred successfully in my aquarium about four months ago) Corys have fuzzy fungus growth. I have Applus+ Anti-Fungus Fungus and Fin Rot Treatment, whose main ingredients are Malachite Green and Hydrochloride. <Toxic to your Frogs and Shrimp> I wanted to check before I add anything to the tank, because I'm concerned about the frog and the shrimp. Will I have to move them to a different tank while treating the catfish? <Yes... and do check your water quality... The Corydoras would not "get" a fungal/bacterial infection if all was well here> Is there a more "frog friendly" treatment for the catfish? I know that the Anti-Fungus treatment is potentially harmful to scaleless fish, and frogs absorb things through theirs, so I don't want to poison the frog. Thank you very much. Robin <You need to separate the non-fish. Bob Fenner>

Platy fry and ghost shrimp fry 4/9/06 I really need help. My ghost shrimp had babies about a month ago and now my "Minnie" platy is going to. I need to know if i can put all the fry in the same breeder net. As of right now I can afford to get another tank. I also need to know if i really need to get another tank do to overcrowding. At this point I have 1 frog, 1 Betta, 2 kuhli loach, 3 Cory cats, 2 platies and 2 adult shrimp plus i don't know how many baby shrimp. I know I am pushing over crowding and really don't want that... Please tell me what to do. Can the fry go into one net and how long before I really have to get a bigger tank? Thank you Leeann <Mmm, the shrimp and platy fry can go and stay in the net as long as both are fed (small amounts a few times daily). The Betta and others will consume both if they are small enough to ingest... You will eventually need another tank if these animals keep reproducing. Bob Fenner>

Bettas and Ghost Shrimp comp., incomp. 4/1/06 Hi. <Hello> Do you know why my fighting fish ate my ghost shrimp? <Are you sure he did?> My fighting fish was a male <And still is, I'm thinking> and he ate 2 ghost shrimp. I bought 6 but he ate 2. I have 4 left. <Your math is correct. :)> E-mail me back when you get this. <We always do> Thank you very much! <First, Danielle, I don't have any way of knowing, one way or the other, if your Betta actually ate your Ghost Shrimp. I'm a bit skeptical about this for a few reasons. First, Ghost Shrimp are pretty fast when they need to be and Bettas aren't known for their speed (this makes them quite compatible together). Additionally, at warm temperatures such as your Betta requires, Ghost Shrimp are known to be far more active and aggressive than they would at cooler temperatures making it more likely that it would be they who would take a swipe at your Betta rather than the reverse. Finally, Ghost Shrimp regularly shed their outer shells (exoskeletons) and then hide until new exoskeletons form. This, all too frequently, leads folks to assume that their shrimp have fallen prey to a hungry tankmate when, in fact, no such thing has happened. I'd keep an eye on your tank and see if your "missing-in-action" shrimp don't magically reappear. Tom> International Zoo Veterinary Group

Ghost Shrimp Hi! Can you tell me what ghost shrimp eat? <Just about anything you offer them meat based.> Thanks, David Muir <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Sexing ghost shrimp I'm trying to breed ghost shrimp and I was wondering how to tell the difference between a male and female ghost shrimp. <Mmm, is this the ghost shrimp of the family Callianassidae? Or the Palaemonids that are sold as food animals in the pet-fish trade? For the latter please see here: http://fish.orbust.net/ghostshrimp.html Bob Fenner>

A worm question (Horsehair worms; stingrays) 10/17/08 Hello, <Hi,> was just wanted to know I notice some of my ghost shrimp have worms in there intestines are to believe they are Gordian Worm, a.k.a. Horsehair Worms...one died bc the worm killed it but I never notice them b4 on my shrimp I feed these shrimp to my Motoro stingray which I have had for about a week I know they are prone to roundworms and tapeworms but I was wondering if I did feed some shrimp that had these in them can they kill my ray I called the pet store where I got my ray and they never really heard of these worms really and are not sure if they will harm the ray they feed there ghost shrimp to there rays and had no prob but they never looked at there shrimp to see if they had worms so they could be feeding ones that do so I don't know what I should do I don't want my ray to die and I don't know if I should get new shrimp the other ones seem to not have these worms in them..should I continue to feed them to my ray or go and get new ones?????? <Sheesh... not even a period or comma. Do please review our very modest "fee" before writing: we expect e-mails to be spell checked and written with proper grammar. Not much to ask, and the point is that we depend on properly formatted messages so that we can share them with other site visitors. The better Google can index our pages, the more people will view our pages, and the more revenue our advertising generates to pay for bandwidth. It's a simple deal really.> HELP!!! PLEASE KINDA SCARED FOR MY RAY I LOVE HIM!!! <Horsehair worms are not likely to cause your Ray any harm. Most parasites are species-specific, and while they may be harmful to the shrimp, they are unlikely to adapt to the particular anatomy of your Stingray. If you're really that bothered, don't use the shrimps. Earthworms are a very safe food if collected from an area that is "organic", i.e., not sprayed with chemicals. Most rays love earthworms. There's no reason to use live food with most Stingrays anyway, and a varied diet of mussels, prawns and squid is easily provided using foods sold for humans.> thanks Maria <Cheers, Neale.>

Ghost shrimp/jewel anemone hlth/ID - 07/19/08 I can't seem to find an answer for my questions.#1 I bought some ghost shrimp from my LFS and I noticed they had some white dots on their body, is this normal or some sort of disease? <Mmm, likely more the latter... not communicable though. These sorts of markings show up in specimens that have been kept in poor conditions> #2 I have a large colony of jewel anemones <There are a few species that go by this name... Is this a Corynactis? Which do you have? and can't find any info on them any where can you tell me or give me a link to some information on them? Thanks for any help! <Bob Fenner>

Re: Ghost shrimp/jewel anemone 07/20/2008 Wow I didn't think I would even get a reply yet alone a reply so quick! So then it would be safe for my fuzzy dwarf lion to eat said ghost shrimp his health is of great importance to me. #2 yes my jewel anemones do resemble Corynactis and now I have their scientific name I'm finding a lot on them. I saw tanks full of them at Chicago's Shedd aquarium that's were I got the jewel name from. thank you very much. I'm sure your words of wisdom have prolonged the lives of many of our aquatic friends!!! <<Yes, the ghost shrimp are fine for the lionfish. Really glad you found the correct name for your anemone, all helps towards providing a better environment for them. Thanks for the follow-up, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

 

Glass shrimp 05/20/08 Hi, I have some FW glass shrimp I would like to adapt to NSW. Can you give me some guidance about how rapidly this can be accomplished and how? Mike <Hi Mike. What does "NSW" mean? All I can think of is New South Wales! So get back to us with this, and we'll try and answer your question. Cheers, Neale.> <<Near Sea Water? As in saltiness is my guess. RMF>>
Re: glass shrimp 05/21/2008
Hi, I have some FW glass shrimp I would like to adapt to Normal Salt Water. Can you give me some guidance about how rapidly this can be accomplished and how? Mike <Mike, unless these are truly euryhaline shrimps, then acclimating them to saltwater conditions may not be possible. It all depends on the precise species. Here in the UK, the common "glass shrimp" sold as food for marine/freshwater fish is the euryhaline species Palaemon serratus, and while it doesn't last long in freshwater (a few days at best) in brackish or salt water it does equally well. Acclimating euryhaline invertebrates from estuaries to variations in salinity is generally very easy, and can be done via the drip method (or similar) across an hour or so. These animals come from areas where the salinity will vary very rapidly, so they don't need to be "pampered". But if the shrimps aren't truly euryhaline, then this isn't going to work. You (probably) can't acclimate a freshwater/salt-tolerant shrimp to marine conditions. Palaemonetes paludosus for example is one of the shrimps sold as the "glass shrimp" in the US, and to the best of my knowledge is not amenable to high-end brackish or saltwater conditions. Cheers, Neale.>
Internal Parasites... In ghost shrimp... possible??? 2/6/08 Hello crew! I'm back with another question... sorry... So today I went to my LFS and picked up about 20 ghost shrimp with hopes of keeping them in a tank and possibly breeding for my GSP to munch on... Well I was looking in the bag before I dumped them in the net I noticed a long stringy thing... pure white... by long I mean about 4.5" and upon further inspection two of the shrimp themselves had these things INSIDE of them... what are they and should I be worried? The tank itself is fully cycled and running at tip top shape and I kept the 2 infected ones out in a separate 1 gallon tank for observation... Thanks! Jess <Hello Jessica. Without seeing the "long white things" it's difficult to say what they are, but they certainly sound like could be tapeworms or something similar. Shrimps are of course transparent, and they have a digestive tract (the "vein") running along the dorsal surface (the back) of the animal. Depending on what the shrimp has been eating, this can be a variety of colours. Obviously, this isn't harmful. Tapeworms are segmented and very flat, while nematodes, the other possibility, tend to be smooth, cylindrical, and with obviously tapered or pointed ends. In any case, I wouldn't use the infected shrimps to feed your puffers; at least, not raw. Boiling should kill the parasites (if that's what they are). Cheers, Neale.>

Ghost shrimp, horsehair worms.... -02/06/08 Heya Bobster (and Neale, and all), <Howzit Sab?> Regarding "Internal Parasites... In ghost shrimp... possible??? 2/6/08", the answer is most assuredly YES, it's possible. The animals Jessica saw, the "long white things", are almost certainly horsehair worms. These strange critters affect crustaceans and insects; to my limited understanding they do not often affect fish. Apparently larvae can bore into most any aquatic animal and encyst, but that's it. And you need both a male *and* female worm to make eggs.... I would only be slightly concerned for a fish that consumes a parasitized shrimp; in the following link are videos of the worms exiting animals that have consumed parasitized hosts of these worms (not for the faint of heart): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7085/suppinfo/440756a.html <Ahh!> I have seen more than a hearty handful of ghost shrimp with these bizarre parasites. Often you can see the worm moving about within the host.... Freaky, freaky, freaky. In my experience, about 50% of the shrimp with these worms died when the worms left the host, and thereafter, did not have a great survival rate. I *have* had shrimp survive after the worms exited, but not a great many. The worms can leave the water on their own - I've seen it happen - but I assume they die quickly if they do so. All the same, I wouldn't put a container or tank with parasitized shrimp next to or near tanks with healthy shrimp or even pet or feeder insects. Some nifty links: http://www.amonline.net.au/factsheets/gordian_worms.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematomorpha http://mrw.interscience.wiley.com/emrw/9780470015902/els/article/a0001594/current/abstract <Fab> Bob, by your leave, I'll log on, recreate a folder for myself.... I believe I have the capacity to answer one or two questions daily, though likely not much more than that right now. <Yay!> Best regards, -Sabrina C. Fullhart <Be seeing you, BobF>

2 questions. Glass shrimp repro., gold barb comp. 7/13/08 Hi guys. I noticed that my ghost/glass shrimp had eggs the other day!! I'm excited about possibly having babies! Unfortunately I have not found a lot of info on raising the fry. I have a 1gal tank with a bubble filter and some gravel to isolate the moms and babies (my nursery!) I noticed tonight when I was trying to catch the moms-to-be that there was a "bug" floating in my tank. I fished him out and discovered to my delight that it was a shrimp fry!! So he is now in my nursery. What can/do I need to feed the fry? I don't want to starve them to death. I put some algae pellets and 1-2 fish flakes, is this enough for the fry? <The American Glass Shrimp is Palaemonetes paludosus, a species with a planktonic larval stage (albeit quite a brief one). As such, it is virtually impossible to breed in aquaria. The mother will carry the eggs for a period of weeks, but once they hatch the fry float about in the water column feeding on microscopic organisms including algae. Unless you are able to both feed them and make sure they don't get sucked into the filter, the fry will die. The Amazonian Glass Shrimp Palaemonetes sp. is similar. Only those shrimps that produce fully-formed juveniles (such as Cherry Shrimps) are breedable in aquaria -- and how! Cherry Shrimps will multiply almost as quickly as snails under the right conditions.> And one question not shrimp related. I have one more too. I have a Gold barb in an 2.5 gallon tank because he didn't play nice and killed 8 of my other fish. <Did it have any tankmates of its own kind? Most Barbs tend to be aggressive and/or nippy when kept in groups smaller than six, and though it sounds odd, they become more peaceful the bigger the school. In any case, this tank is far too small for what I am assuming is Puntius semifasciolatus.><<Likely Puntius sachsii. RMF>> I did a water change and went home for the weekend and came back to find him in horrible shape. His fins were almost gone, and he had some red/bloody patches on the front of his lip, and at the base of his tail. He was very "twitchy." <Surely poor water quality. In a tank this small, maintaining the essential zero nitrite and zero ammonia at all times will be next to impossible given the size/activity of this fish.> I tested my water, and everything was normal, except for the water being hard, the pH about 7.8, making it alkaline. I treated the water I researched it and everything matched up with fin rot. <Would agree.> I got him some Melafix.... <Garbage; use something that actually works, e.g., eSHa 2000 (in Europe) or Maracyn (in the US). Melafix appeals to some aquarists and retailers because it is "homeopathic" and cheap. But it isn't tested either, and doesn't pass anything like the standards required by proper veterinarian drugs.> ...and it seemed to start to work, and the twitchiness decreased. Today he has some new open sores. He has a small in tank filter, 2 plastic plants and a decoration to hide under. Could he be "scratching" against his hiding spot? Or have I misdiagnosed him? He's not my favorite fish, but I don't want him to die a slow painful death. I can send a pic of him. <First of all, treat him appropriately. Then monitor water quality, and act accordingly. He can't possibly live in a 2.5 gallon system, so moving him to another tank is essential. If he is aggressive with your other fish, that's likely because he's bored. Barbs are intensely social, and like humans, become cranky and unpredictable when kept "in solitary". Consider six specimens the minimum number, and ten or more the ideal.> Thanks guys. Michelle <You're welcome, Neale.>

Unidentified Shrimp... Perhaps a Ghost Shrimp 9/11/07 This is Paul again. <Hola Paul, Mich aqui> I just wanted to send you a picture of one of the shrimp in my tank. I have another just like it. I am currently living in Brazil (Curitiba) and this was a shrimp offered at the aquarium store (www.aquabetta.com.br) I thought you guys might like to look at it. <Always nice.> Maybe you haven't seen one like it before. If you have, can you tell me what its name is? <I could be wrong, but it looks like a pretty glass or ghost shrimp to me. Ghost shrimp are often used as feeders More here: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fishlore.com/Pictures/ Profiles/ghost_shrimp_2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fishlore.com/profile- ghostshrimp.htm&h=150&w=250&sz=6&hl=en&start=16& um=1&tbnid=mn4UJo7N5z_kqM:&tbnh=67&tbnw=111&prev=/images% 3Fq%3Dglass%2Bshrimp%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DG > Thanks a lot. <De nada! Mich>

Re: Unidentified Shrimp... A Ghost Shrimp 9/12/07 Buenos Dias Paul, Mich here again.> I thought ghost shrimp were freshwater. <Can be fresh... can also be salt... I have collected myself from saltwater in the Belmar NJ inlet.> They have been living in my saltwater tank for 7 months now. <Yes, there are several species. Many can tolerate great ranges in salinity. RMF is in agreement with this ID.> Paul

Ghost shrimp, sel. 12/5/08 Hi, I was wondering if ghost shrimp would be a good fit for my 2 year old aquarium. I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank that has 1 red tailed shark (which is very passive ), <Lucky you! Lovely fish, but often rather mean spirited!> 1 gold Gourami, 5 tiger barbs, 3 cherry barbs, 2 catfish...I'm not sure of the type. They are a grayish blue color with a darker shade of polk-a-dots. <Pimelodus pictus by any chance? A nice, schooling catfish; gets to 15 cm, predatory towards small fish, but otherwise well behaved.> See, my husband bought me 3 rubber lip Plecos the other day.....but they are way to shy and are not cleaning the algae. <They won't. These catfish are aufwuchs feeders, meaning they consume green algae alongside small invertebrates such as crustaceans and insect larvae. They're basically more like Corydoras in terms of care. The best algae-eaters, without question, are Nerite snails. They won't breed in fish tanks, and only live a couple of years, but they are hugely effective. Do always remember algae is best combated by adding lots of fast-growing plants, and this sometimes means increasing the amount of light. That's counterintuitive I know, but more light = less algae, if you have the right plants.> I'm thinking of returning them and I'm considering ghost shrimp to help maintain the algae in my tank. Any suggestions???? Can you recommend another algae eater that will be more active, not so shy?...that is ...if shrimp are not good for the bunch. I know as far as any fish medicated treatments....I would need to remove the shrimp. <Cherry shrimps and Amano shrimps, basically any Neocaridina or Caridina species, are the best algae eaters. Being small, predators such as Pimelodus will eat them. But otherwise hardy and easy to keep. You already understand copper kills them, which is good.> Also, I use the black carbon in my filter cartridges as well as ammonia reducer ( the white small bits ), but there seems to be a lot of free flowing very small bubbles swimming around in my tank, which makes it appear to be hazy, or not so clear. <Wouldn't worry too much unless the bubbles are sticking to the fish or their fins. If the air is getting into the outflowing water via the filter, adjust the air intake or the position of the outflow spout.> Thank you so much for your time and knowledge. I really appreciate it. <You're welcome, Neale.>

Shrimp ID 11/27/08
Hiii!!!!!!! I caught 4 wild shrimp at the beach and threw them without hesitation in my 17 gallon saltwater tank. it's been 2 month now they r all the same and tiny except one which is bigger and more colorful, all the rest are transparent and look healthy. i did everything i could to identify their name or have information about them but NOTHING. 6 days ago i noticed the big shrimp(1 inch) with his belly full of dark green eggs!!!!!!!! everyday the eggs changed and one the sixth day i can notice 2 dots in each eggs, the shrimp look shy and is not eating like the others, what can i do to identify the shrimps, when the eggs r gonna hatch????i really need answers plz!!!! <Heyyyyy! Are you a child, a non native speaker, a person of diminished capacity?..... Please fix your English and re-send. Can you send a picture or two? The color of the eggs is about right. BobF. >
Shrimp ID 11/28/08 i'm sorry for my english and for the spelling, it's not my official language <Ah, no worries. I understand> i just wanted to identify the shrimp i caught, which is pregnant know. <This appears to be a Grass Shrimp, likely the species Palaemonetes paludosus. Bob Fenner>
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