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FAQs on Freshwater (and Terrestrial) Crustaceans, Selection 

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

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

Perry in Sing.; more news from Aquarama    5/29/11
The Taiwanese were introducing a new aquatic pet. This animal reminds me of the trilobites. The breeding kit sells for 15 sing. They call it Triops -a living fossil. Www.uanbiotech.com
<Oh yeah. An old timey offering. Neat animals. BobF>

Subject: another photo, please: blue-legged hermit?   8/28/09
> Hi Bob,
> Do you have this beastie? Clibanarius tricolor, or similar?
> As a swap, I can offer a photo of Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, a euryhaline Limulus doing the rounds as the "freshwater horseshoe crab" even though it doesn't last long in freshwater (no surprise).
> Thanks!
> Neale
Will either of the attached do? B

Re: another photo, please: blue-legged hermit?
Yes, perfectly well! Thanks Bob.
Attached, a "freshwater" horseshoe crab.
Cheers, Neale
<Will post w/ your prev. comment with credit to you. BobF>

FW Limulus, not!  8/29/2009
Hi Bob,
Here's a better caption:
"Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, one of several Southeast Asian Limulus relatives. Basic care similar to Limulus polyphemus, except that Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda is truly euryhaline and tolerant of a broad salinity (and temperature) range. Sometimes sold as a freshwater invertebrate, as it does sometimes occur in freshwater habitats, having been recorded from the Hooghly River 90 km (56 miles) upstream.
However, it does not do well in freshwater aquaria, but can be maintained in brackish or marine aquaria from SG 1.010 upwards, assuming other factors (substrate, diet) are appropriate."
Cheers, Neale
Will append. B

Lookin' for Atyopsis - 09/10/2004 I saw three rather large shrimps (larger than the typical ghost shrimps) while browsing in a pet shop.  <There are indeed quite a number of freshwater shrimp that grow larger than ghosties.... Even one carnivorous monster that'll reach nearly 20 inches....> Unfortunately I did not purchase them. Now I would love to have three or four of those guys in my aquarium. The pet shop does not know when they will get another shipment. Know of someone who sell the type of shrimps mentioned on your website? <I do, indeed. Frank Greco, of http://www.franksaquarium.com/freshwatershrimpfarm.htm , sells a number of freshwater inverts. You might send him an email regarding the particular species you're interested in and see about availability. Also, Toyin at Rehoboth Aquatics http://www.rehobothaquatics.com/index2.html carries a couple species of Atya (including my all-time favorite, Atya gabonensis). I got my own five A. gabonensis from him, about a year ago, and all are doing quite well today. Also, do be sure to check out your local stores - I've seen some very nice Atyopsis moluccensis at Petcos, and they're also carrying M. rosenbergii, the "blue prawn" (largest, most aggressive freshwater shrimp - and tasty, too!). Do beware of this blue prawn, as they WILL grow up and eat all their tankmates. Mom'n'pop fish stores are almost always willing to order what you want, as long as it's available - definitely check with any local stores around you to see what's available to them.> Betty <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Macrobrachium rosenbergii information Robert, Around 14 years ago I purchased three "Blue Lobsters" from a pet store in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Later on I learned that they were known as Macrobrachium rosenbergii. These three invertebrates were the most interesting aquarium pets that I had ever owned. They are long gone now, but I recently purchased a 125 gallon aquarium which I intend to put my larger Cichlids in. Thinking about what to put into the empty 55 gallon, I remembered the "Blue Lobsters" which I loved having in the past. My question is where can I purchase them??? I can not find them anywhere in the West Michigan area. Whenever I ask pet shop employees they look at me like I am crazy!! If you might have any information that might be helpful please e-mail me back. <These crustaceans are still about, though not near as popular as they were years back. This one species is widely and intensively cultured as a food organism (mainly in the Far East). It and a handful of new species of interesting prawns, shrimp and true lobsters can be had from larger retailers and etailers. Please contact the folks on our Links Page here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/links.htm to start your search, and ask your local fish stores if they'll please look, special order one, more for you. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Andy Shearer

Diatoms, and the shrimp that eat them Hello! <Hi, Lemia!  Sabrina here, today, fighting the algae war with all you algae-hatin' folks> I've been reading the many FAQ's and other info on your site concerning Diatoms.  Most of them seem to address this issue with regard to marine/saltwater aquaria (unless I am misunderstanding some of the abbreviations).   <Nope, no misunderstanding, you're right.> I have a freshwater aquarium that is almost 4 months old.  Some of the specs are as follows:  46 gallon, Emperor 400 Bio-Wheel filter.  No live plants or rocks.  Water levels as follows:  Ph-7.0, Ammonia <.5 ppm, Nitrite=0, Nitrate=60 ppm (I will be doing a water change tomorrow). KH=5 dKH and GH=9 dGH.   <Fish, yet?  Get that ammonia to zero.  And YIKES! at that nitrate reading!!  There's the cause of your problem (or at least part of it)!> My problem is that over the past 2 months I 've been developing diatoms that just keep getting worse not better.  Before I confirmed they were diatoms I tried increasing the lighting, <Increasing lighting will only help the algae grow....> an algae eater (neither helped at all or made things worse) <Depending on what fish you mean by this, it might not even recognize diatoms as food.> and a chemical algaecide (only helped a little).   <Yuck.  This should be kept as an absolute last resort.  Could be quite harmful to plants, should you ever choose to keep them.> I have since confirmed through my local fish store that I definitely have diatoms. <Kind of a brown, mucky, dust-looking stuff?> They believe (as do I) that it is due to excess silicates in the tank.   <Although silicates are likely a contributor to the problem, the extremely high nitrates are very much to blame, too.  Also high phosphates are definitely suspect.> They recommended use of the Phosguard product by Seachem.  I began using the product a week ago with no noticeable improvement.   <Cool stuff, really.  I've not had need of it in my freshwater aquaria, but it is helpful in my nano-reef when necessary.> I purchased a silicate test kit and determined that the tank has 1.5 ppm of silicate.  My understanding is that for freshwater aquaria that level should be at .02 ppm.  I have tested my tap water, which is what I use for water changes and evaporation top offs and determined that it has over 2 ppm of silicates.   <Yeah, probably a contributing factor, but you've got a lot going against you what with the super-duper high nitrates.  I'd like to know your phosphate levels, too, I bet they're high.> As a result, I believe that continued use of the Phosguard will not remedy my diatom problem.   <Correct.  You need to get to the source of it, cut off its nutrients.  Phosguard will help, though, in starting to control the problem.> I have been reading up on diatom filters but from what I read, I'm just not sure if they are the correct solution.  I also saw on your website notes on Reverse Osmosis water?? Where would I be able to get that?? I also saw info on Deionization units/water??   <Please start reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rofaqs.htm  , then if you're still uncertain, read some of the gobs and gobs of related FAQs :)  I think you'll have more than you ever wanted to know.> I am hoping you can expand on what some of these items are, what they'll do, how will they effect other factors in my aquarium, etc.  Also, if you can give me your feedback on what the best solution would be to remove the diatoms and manage the tank to prevent future breakouts I would be most appreciative. <Ahh....  Now I start in....  First off, please do consider planting the aquarium.  Anacharis/elodea will help with sucking up some of the nutrients, as well as feed some fish.  You might want to plop some water lettuce in the top of the tank, to provide shade as well as to soak up nitrates.  Water sprite, Vallisneria, Amazon swords....  the list goes on and on.  But even more fun....  Bamboo shrimp.  Also called wood shrimp or Singapore shrimp, Atyopsis moluccensis are EXTREMELY adept at consuming diatomic algae.  When first starting out my 72g planted aquarium, I had major diatom issues while the tank was still extremely sparsely planted.  I grabbed some Amano shrimp (Caridina japonica) to try to help, but they weren't too adept at nailing the diatoms (though they did a number and a half on some green algae that was forming).  Just for kicks, I dropped in a wood shrimp.  The thing was a diatom lawnmower!  He truly left an obvious path behind him where he'd been grazing.  You could track him by the path in the stuff.  Just one single wood shrimp in a 72 gallon aquarium cleared up the diatoms in less than a week.  However, I will caution you - there is a drawback to this shrimp - once the diatoms are gone, you'll have to drop in food for him regularly, or he will starve.  These are filter feeding animals by nature, and will simply hold their 'fan-hands' open in the current in the wild to catch bits of food suspended in the water.  But our tanks are just too clean for that to happen; they really must have food that will break into particulate matter (I use Hikari sinking wafers/pellets) for them to 'shovel' into their mouths.  If ever your shrimp is 'fanning' in the current for long periods of time, this is likely indicative that he is starving to death.  From my experience, when well fed, they will only filter-feed when they are at rest.  One more drawback is that you can never, ever use copper in a tank containing invertebrates.  If interested in shrimp, you may also want to dose your tank with iodine weekly at a rate of one drop of Kent's iodine supplement (made for reef tanks) per ten gallons of water.  After I started doing this in my tanks, there was an extremely noticeable increase in health, activity, growth, and color in all of my shrimp species.  Wonderful animals, they are.> Thank you in advance for your assistance and for your patience in reading my lengthy note. <And thank you for my patience in my lengthy reply!  (I'm shrimp obsessed ;D ) Lemia M.

Classroom Tank >Hi crew! >>Good morning, Joy, Marina here. >One of my students took home the class pet for summer vacation, renamed her, and now my red eared slider has a new home and I have a 55 gallon tank to fill.  Help!!  I've purchased an aquarium divider.  I want to know can I have a crayfish or lobster on one side of the divider and a shrimp and some type of aquatic or semi-aquatic frog on the other.   >>Yes, you can do this. >Possibly a fish or two if you can recommend ones that won't be eaten. >>Not with the crawdad/freshwater lobster, but if you have something like a small leopard frog on the other side, then you can put in mosquito fish or similar small fish.  Also, consider land hermit crabs (the Caribbean variety).  I don't think they can pinch any worse than a crawfish!  They do require a different setup, though.  If interested, check out http://www.hermit-crabs.com for best information. >My concerns are having species that have the same temperature and water hardness requirement. >>Not exactly a worry with frogs and crawdads, very hardy, as are most commonly available tropical fish. >Some of my students have vision issues, so could you please recommend colorful species (our school uniform colors are white and blue, I would love to say my aquarium creatures are dressed in uniform). >>Sorry, but most colorful species are VERY specialized and difficult to care for, and the ones that I can think of that would match your school colors are poison dart frogs.  Even though their stay in captivity and lack of variety in diet seems to seriously reduce toxin levels, still not a good idea in my opinion (mostly for meeting their requirements).  There does exist, however, a BLUE freshwater crawfish that is also known as a freshwater lobster.  This may take some searching to find.  Marina

Little Eaters of Algae Hi! <Hello!> I have an Eclipse 6 aquarium.  I have had it for 6 weeks....it is finally done cycling....no ammonia an no more nitrites.   <Wonderful.> I have 4 platies and 1 Cory catfish.  Is it okay to purchase an algae eater....can you recommend something small?   <I can, indeed.  But you'll find I'm extremely biased, here - getting into my favorite subject, an' all....  Your best bet all the way around is to look for freshwater algae eating shrimps.  These pleasant little creatures come in pint-sized packages packing a punch to pulverize your putrid algae problem - uh, sorry 'bout that....  Do try to find cherry shrimp or bumblebee shrimp, as these seem to stay the smallest and are avid attackers of algae.  You could easily keep half a dozen of either of these kind in your tank.  If you can't find those, next in line are 'the' algae shrimp, or Amano shrimp, the well-known Caridina japonica.  These get significantly larger, so you'd probably only want two or three in your tank.  If you're lucky, you might find 'rainbow' shrimp in as contaminants with the Amanos.  These have a slightly more prominent 'hump' in their back, though not much, and they have a few stripes running perpendicular to the stripe down their back (the Amanos lack these stripes, and the stripe running down their back is much narrower).  They also become neat colors as they age, blue-green or red-brown, and they stay smaller than the Amanos, too, though not as small as cherry shrimp or bumblebee shrimp.  And, failing shrimps altogether, you'd probably be safe to get a single Otocinclus catfish.  These tiny little guys do a number on algae, but aren't nearly as fun as shrimp (uh, in my obsessed mind, that is).> I don't have much algae yet.   <Good!!  Though you might have to feed your new algae-eating-critter on other veggie matter, too.> I don't want to purchase a larger algae eater because of the size of the tank.  And the algae eater has to get along with catfish and platies.  Is the catfish good enough???   <Corys don't eat algae much to speak of (they also like to be in groups of three or more, but in a small 6g tank, that's virtually impossible).  Whether you choose an Otocinclus or any of the abovementioned shrimps, you'll be absolutely fine, in terms of compatibility.> Also, with a tank this  size.....should I do a water change about every 3 weeks....like a 25% water change?   <Well, I'd do water changes closer to every week, but only on the order of 10-15%.  Less water, more often is usually the best bet. Thanks! <Any time!  -Sabrina, the shrimp-obsessed>

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