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FAQs on Freshwater (and Terrestrial) Crustaceans 3

Related  Articles: Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford, Freshwater to Brackish Crabs by Bob Fenner, Terrestrial Hermit CrabsInvertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs:  FW Crustaceans 1FW Crustaceans 2, 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 & Crustacean Identification, 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,

Fiddlin' around in freshwater?  Uca/"fiddler" crabs are actually marine animals....

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> 

Crawfish With Other Fish-Not For Long  11/11/05 I was wondering if crayfish pose any threat to fish or dwarf frogs, <Absolutely> both are smaller than the crayfish by a lot. < Crawfish are excellent hunters. Those large claws aren't for show.> I also have goldfish which are slightly bigger.  Also, is there anything you can tell me about crayfish,  Are they territorial? < You can keep more than one in a tank. They will fight too. The biggest problem is when they shed their exoskeleton. For a while after they shed their outer shell they are very soft and tender. Other crawfish will go after them and try to eat them before their shell hardens up and they are able to defend themselves.> Can you keep more than one in a ten gallon tank? < I think one would be plenty.-Chuck>

Crayfish Molting Troubles - 10/29/2005 Hi- <Greetings.> I'm hoping that you guys might help me. I have a crayfish, probably about 2 years old.  <Pretty well aged for a Cray - though some can live for quite a while.> It made the move with us to Massachusetts and a new tank fine - and has molted a couple times since. The past 3 days or so, the crayfish seems to lay on it's side with it's tail compressed and folded under. It's movements are erratic, and it doesn't seem to have much control over it's motions --- it's almost like his body is too rigid.  <Very ominous signs of a "bad molt".> I'm worried that he is dying - and I don't know what to do..... The water levels are fine and have been tested..... <By "fine" I hope you mean ammonia and nitrite are ZERO, nitrate is less than 20ppm? If this is not so, please rectify immediately with water changes. Good water quality is urgent. Next, I would advise that you add iodine to the tank - I use Kent's marine iodine, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week (NOT the marine dose!) - as they require iodine to aid in molting and developing their new exoskeleton. I suspect the new water in Massachusetts has less iodine in the water than you'd had before. I would begin adding this immediately, though in all honesty I do not know if he can be helped much at this point. It's mostly a "wait and see" aside from perfect water and adding iodine.> Help please! -SARAH. <My fingers are crossed. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>  

Oh Golly Mollies, Salt, pH, etc. - 10/21/2005 Hello I am new to salty systems. I've always had freshwater aquariums which I still run two. But I saw some Dalmatian Mollies and had to get some. I have one male and three females. I do plan on adding maybe two or three more mollies and an algae eater and that's all this tank will have in it. I don't want to overcrowd them. I talked to three different fish stores to set up my system to get it ready. (I wish I had found this site first.) So I set up a 29 gallon tank with one teaspoon of salt per 5 gallons of water. Should more salt be added? <Nah. Especially not if you plan on an animal for consuming algae. With salt in the water, I would recommend using Caridina japonica, the "algae-eating" shrimp, as these fare well in slightly salty conditions.> I have an Aqua Tech 20-40 power filter at a flow rate of 160 Gph with bio fiber. Is this ok or would a bio wheel be better? <Mm, whatever you prefer. If you've already got the Aqua Tech, I see no reason to buy something different.> All the stores said a pH of 7.2 was right; mine's between 7.4 and 7.8. <This is fine - BUT - please don't let it be *fluctuating* between these.... far too much fluctuation between 7.4 and 7.8 to be safe. A steady pH is pretty important.> The temp is at 80 degrees. I see on you're site you recommend a high pH so should I get some crushed coral sand to raise it, or is it okay at the level I have? <Constant, steady pH is better than precise pH. You'll be fine with what you've got, I think.> Also I do test the water with strips but this just shows a range of where it should be. So should I get a better testing kit if so what do you recommend? <I would. Look for a quality liquid-reagent test kit.... Kordon makes 'em, so does Aquarium Pharmaceuticals.... You'll need pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate most essentially.> Thank you for your time. -David <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Fresh-Caught Crayfish - 10/18/2005 <First, let me say thank you for repairing your capitalization and punctuation errors; much appreciated.> I have just caught 3 Yabbies and I don't know much about them. I feed them Mussel and fish food and they seem to eat that okay. <This is fine for feeding....  I also recommend getting some "greens" in their diet - either aquatic plants or something like sushi Nori (the seaweed wrapper that is used for sushi rolls and such; you can get this at Asian markets).> I have got a few rock caves in the tank with them. I also put a fake plant in there. <This is all fine.  I'd also like to point out that, depending upon their size, you should be a little cautious as to the size tank you use.  Crayfish/Yabbies can be very aggressive with one another.> What I would like to know: is it vital to have a live plant in there? <Vital?  No.  It'd be nice though.> Do they NEED to have mud at the bottom, because I've only got stones? <Mm, no, stones/gravel is fine.> Do they need to breathe air? My uncle said they get oxygen in the water, but I don't think so because they all seem to sit on top of the fake plant with their heads out of the water, until I go in there then they scatter under the rocks. <Actually, your uncle's right.  These guys do use water/gills for breathing.  The fact that they are all clambering to the surface may be some indicator of some toxin in the water (test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes; be sure to use a water conditioner for chlorine/chloramine if such is used in your tapwater in your area).  It may also just be that they are looking for an escape route.> Could you please answer quickly? Thank you. From Jarrad <There is actually a lot of information on the internet about caring for Yabbies.  You might want to try doing a search at http://www.google.com using the word "Yabbie" or "Crayfish" in the search bar; you should find a lot more information that way.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Crayfish/Yabbie, Fish Eater? - 10/18/2005 Hi!  What a great resource.  I wish I'd found you several months ago.   <Thanks for these kind words!> I've had some fish "disappearing" from my tank and began to suspect it might have something to do with my recent "prize" addition -- a Hammers Blue Cobalt Lobster named Gumbo.   <A crayfish/Yabbie....  likely Procambarus sp. or Cherax sp., some other genera possible as well....  In any case, yes, the will eat fish.> When I found your site, I realized that this must be the case.  This was particularly bothersome as the retailer (who shall remain unnamed) I bought Gumbo from said it wouldn't be a problem as long as the other fish were active and quick enough to stay away from him.  Oh well.   <Mm, that's actually a good "rule of thumb", as long as you realize that any fish might, for some reason, end up caught.> Anyway, I was wondering if you had any specific suggestions as to what kind of fish might be compatible in a community aquarium with a Hammers Blue.  Particularly for a 29/30 gallon tank.   <In all honesty, I cannot tell you any fish that will absolutely not turn into crayfish food....  You might try quick, small fish like smaller tetras, or something like Heterandria formosa, which may be considered too small to be of any consequence to the Cray's tastes.  Also, feed your Cray specifically and often with meaty foods (preferably things like human-consumption shrimp) to help keep him "full".> I'm guessing I'll need fish that generally stay near the top of the tank, but I've noticed Gumbo has a tendency to climb up the plants and even manages to get halfway up the tank when he climbs in the corners. <Yeah, they're good climbers, to be sure.> Currently in the tank is a very active loach, a Gourami and a swordtail, and three cardinal tetras.  They seem to be doing okay.  My "lost" include a gold veil angel and a 2.5" rainbow shark. <Never found the bodies?  Then yes, I would suspect that crayfish!> If you've got the time to respond, I'd -really- appreciate.  Thanks a ton! <Any time, my friend.> Carl Roller Boston, MA <Sabrina Fullhart, currently on the Big Island of HI....>

Algae Eater With Guppies - 10/17/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I have a 36 gal tank with guppies and live plants. I have had some algae growth on my plants and hoped you might suggest a good fish to add to my tank that will eat algae on the plants but is safe to keep with guppies and their fry. One of the people at the LFS I use a lot suggested Otocinclus. <A very effective, but very sensitive fish.> I've also read about using Plecos, but that they can damage plants if they are large. <Ancistrus "bushynose" Plecs are a good choice, and stay under 5" roughly.> The algae on the plants appears to be mostly green hair algae. There is some on the glass and a little on the substrate that appears to be more of a green slime. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. <You might consider shrimp of genus Caridina or Neocaridina.... the "algae-eating" shrimp, Caridina japonica, and the "cherry" shrimp, Neocaridina denticulata sinensis v. red, are both readily available in the hobby now and excellent consumers of algae. Not to mention cute!> Thanks, -Rob <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Crayfish/Yabbie Quarrels 10/17/05 Hi There, <Hello.> We have 5 Yabbies <For our readers: Yabbies/Crayfish/Crawdads all pretty much refer to the same groups of organisms.... Procambarus, Cambarus, Cherax, Cambarellus species.... and other genera as well.> in a 150 litre tank. <Mm, a touch small.... but maybe do-able, with enough cover for all.> We recently introduced another medium sized Yabbie which is electric blue compared to the others which are green.  <Probably a different species - there are quite a few!> The green Yabbies attacked poor blue and cut both his pinchers off. <Yikes! Either this blue newcomer was a less aggressive animal, or being so very new was not well enough oriented with his surroundings to defend himself. Best to always quarantine any new animals prior to adding them to your main system - not only to protect the existing animals from transfer of pathogens, but to observe the newcomer and "get a feel" for how it will respond in your system.... make sure it has all its faculties, is eating readily, and so forth. Amongst crayfish, there are some species that are just more or less aggressive and capable of defending themselves and territory - it could be devastating to your existing livestock or the newcomer to introduce it without knowing at least a little what you're getting into.... as you have seen.> We have now separated him from them... However I would like to know... How long will it take from bluey to grow his pinchers back? <Probably several molts. Feed him foods high in iodine and calcium content, and add iodine to his water (I use Kent's marine iodine at a rate of one drop per ten gallons each week - NOT the marine dose recommended on the bottle). Make sure he has some caves and crevices to tuck himself away where he can feel safe. Feed him a lot, but do not leave "leftovers" in the tank with him. Monitor water quality and so forth....> Is there a method to introduce new Yabbies/fish to the tank with the existing Yabbies? <To an extent, yes.... But I would absolutely not add Bluey back into your main tank with the existing crays of another species. I fear he simply can't hold up against their temperament. In any case, as above, always quarantine new livestock for their own good and the good of your existing livestock. Be exceedingly cautious with fish additions, as many/most crays will at the very least look at them and lick their chops.... some will dig right in and eat any and all fish livestock that they can catch.> Regards, Nikki <Thanks for writing in! Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

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 <grin>. <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

Crabby Crab?  Sabrina Has Crab Envy! - 09/03/2005 Just bought an apparently Yellow Moon crab from the local garden centre.   <Research prior to purchase, next time....  I'm impressed, I suspect you have Geothelphusa albogilva.  This animal is currently unobtainable in the US.> Guy said it was ok in my tank with 3 goldfish which are very big.   <Likely untrue.> Got the heater for him and the right food etc.   <Goldfish are coldwater, shouldn't be heated.> He seems to want to get out of the tank all the time, life seems one big struggle to climb to the top and spend some quality time out of the water on top of the heater or filter system.   <Yup, this and all other crabs available in the freshwater hobby absolutely require a land mass with hiding space - these are land animals that spend some time in the water.  Geothelphusa albogilva is more terrestrial than anything.  At least the animal is actually freshwater.  I sure wish we got critters like that in the hobby in the US.> Can't find any info on these crabs <Not much out there, from a husbandry point of view - treat this like any other terrestrial semi-aquatic crab....  Give it a large land mass of several inches of sand and wood/leaf debris, with a great deal of cover/hiding and a few gallons of clean, circulating freshwater.> and worried I'm not looking after him right.  Can you give me any advice on making sure he has good quality of life?   <Just as above - this is an animal worth accommodating.> Would really appreciate your help and comments. <I'd absolutely LOVE some images of this animal.... please.... if you have time and a camera.  I have crab envy.> Kind regards,  Joanna <Wishing you and your new decapod well,  -Sabrina>

Crabby Crab?  Sabrina Has Crab Envy! - II - 09/07/2005 God I feel so naive.....just thought I was buying a funny cute looking crab to live next to my computer and look nice.  Guess I was major uninformed. <No worries....  The fact that you are seeking information is wonderful.> Didn't realize I had something unusual! Please excuse my ignorance. <Again, no worries.> I am a total animal lover and now dead worried this poor little creature is not getting the right life. I will transfer him to another tank and somehow arrange land for him to rest on and water when he needs it. How come I can easily buy him here and you can't over there? <I have never heard of Geothelphusa offered for sale anywhere....  But Europe and the UK always tend to get "new" critters a few years prior to the US.  There are many shrimp and crabs available in Europe that I'd do a great deal to get my hands on!  I suppose I shall just remain patient....> I will take some pictures of him and send them to you... <Much appreciated!  I would very much like to see if this is in fact the crab I think it is.> again excuse my ignorance as a first time crab owner but what's the interest? He's not yellow or looks like he's from the moon haha, just a small baby crab that's whitish in colour and likes sitting on the heater.   <Once in a proper environment, I suspect you'll find him much more interesting.  The interest, to me, is that I have quite a passion/fascination with invertebrates, especially crabs and shrimp....  the interest with Geothelphusa, to me, is that they don't or shouldn't require saltwater access....  If there were more truely freshwater land crabs available in the hobby, folks would be more easily able to care for them properly, which is one of my main desires....> Guess I'm entering a whole new dimension I didn't know existed out there.   <Invertebrates are really amazing animals!> Would love to chat more, thanks for replying so quick.   <You bet.  Sorry for the delay in this response; I've been traveling a bit.> Where about in the US are you?   <In California....  In the Santa Cruz mountains.  Beautiful place.> I'm over in UK in Yorkshire - God's Country. <Sounds excellent!> Best regards,  Joanna <Wishing you and your crabby pal well,  -Sabrina> Re: the incurable itch, now unid'ed FW crustacean  9/2/05 Okay, I just seen something.  I was feeding my fish and crawling on one of the apple snails was a bug, it looked like a common flea that you would find on a dog or cat.  It was brown and big for an aquarium bug. I thought it was a bug that fell in my tank and was going to drowned but it just crawled around on the snail and it was carrying a little sac.  It carried the sac some where near the snail's eye and then I lost track of it because the snail retracted into its shell, now comes the weirdest part.  I think the bug crawled into my snails butt and is just sitting there because I can see a brown thing through the skin and I don't think it is poop because it isn't falling out. I am not 100% sure though. I just put the apple snails in the tank a few days ago and I KNOW they are healthy because they were born here in a 20g tank down stairs where they have lived without fish for several months. My step dad also has some of the snails including the mother in his 60g tank and I have never before seen anything like this bug in my tank.  It is way too big for me to have missed crawling on one of my fish.  Any ideas? <Is very likely one of many freshwater crustaceans. Very likely not harmful>   It didn't look like fish lice, or fish fleas, it was way too big, it was like at least the size of the apostrophe on the keyboard.   Oh yeah, also that is not a rock on the bottom it is bog wood.   <I see, thank you> Again thanks for your help. I need it!  I have to admit that I am sort of freaked out about this and I am feeling pretty down. I had high hopes about getting back into the hobby and was planning on adding either a few Kuhlis or some dwarf frogs to the tank but it seems like my tank will never be healthy. <Mmm, give it time... could be chemical/s leaching from the bog wood... try removing this for a few weeks, the carbon...> I have had problems right from the start despite all my efforts.  I hope I can get through this with all my fish and my tank intact. <There is something likely very simple at play here... to be found, fixed in time. Bob Fenner>

Answer to a mystery query (FW crab) 8/26/05 Bob: <Actually, Sabrina with you, today> In answer to Sabrina's question about the "red crab" on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swcrabidfaq3.htm from 8/13/05, I believe I have the answer. <My question??  Oh - OH!  I see.  Yes, that was in reference to the surrounding entries ("Mystery Crab") that I was helping Charlotte with.> I too bought what the LFS was calling a "fire crab" (or so it sounded with his slightly different accent from mine) for my nano. I tried Googling this and found nothing. Mystified, I posted a pic of him on reefcentral.com <I would love to see this image, if you can grab me a link.  If it IS an Uca/fiddler, I might be able to get it closer to a species, for yah.  Not necessarily likely, but there are some great references on the web.> and still everyone was baffled. It was when I went to a different LFS that I realized what it is I and others are buying:  A female fiddler crab (my LFS who I thought was saying "fire crab" was actually saying "fiddler crab" but pronouncing it "FIDE-ler" and I misunderstood him).  Some LFS call them red crabs.  Again: orange, 1", walks sideways, black eyestalks, burrows in the sand. <Does indeed sound like a fiddler/Uca sp., as far as burrowing goes.> Mine has proven to be totally reef safe, hiding about 99.9% of her life. I've seen her for maybe a total of 60 seconds in 3 months! The females do not have the typical fiddler chelipeded and so look like something else. <Correct/agreed.> The problem with this is that fiddlers are supposed to be given a land/water environment, as they live in muddy mangrove patches and near the shoreline. Unfortunately, a few seem to find their way into the reef trade, and unwitting people like me and Sabrina wind up with them. <Mm, again, 'twasn't me....  "I just work here" <grin>.  Though I do have a couple fiddlers....  but mine are in a large sandy terrarium with a 2g saltwater swimmin' hole.  They seem to be doing quite well.> I'm sure she'd be happier in a terrarium, but she does just fine it seems in my nano reef. <If possible, you might consider setting up a land crab system.  You wouldn't believe how much fun they are.> Hope this helps! <Thank you very much for this!  And again, I'd love to see an image of your crab, if possible.> Alex <Wishing you and your firely FIDEler well,  -Sabrina>

Mystery Crab (Again) - 09/01/2005 Hi Sabrina! First off, sorry to you and Charlotte for confusing you! <Oh, no worries!> Here are two pics of my crab when he was in my 5g. Hope they help! <Mm, some, yes....  I still think this is an Uca (fiddler), and it *might* be Uca ecuadoriensis....  though I'm by no means certain.  A very cool little invert; thank you very much for letting us see the images!> Alex <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina><<Am moving this to the marine section, since fiddlers are marine....-SCF>>

Online Freshwater Livestock Store? - 08/19/2005 What is a good web site to order freshwater fish/snails/crabs online? <As far as fish are concerned, you might try http://www.liveaquaria.com/ .  Crabs - please keep in mind that there are NO truly aquatic, freshwater crabs available in the hobby in the US, to my understanding....  ALL are brackish to marine animals, or absolutely require a land mass....  For some pretty neat fish and inverts, http://www.franksaquarium.com/ .  Some really awesome North American natives can be found at http://www.jonahsaquarium.com/ .  Hope you find what you're looking for!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Crabby Conversion? - 08/07/2005 Can saltwater crabs adapt to fresh water? <Unfortunately, no.  Thanks for writing in!  -Sabrina>

Ostracod Anomaly - 08/05/2005 Hey, thanks for a great and informative site. <Glad you enjoy it!> I just have a problem with Ostracods in my tank, they just appeared out of no where and it doesn't seem like there's a solution to this problem. <I recall when I was quite young, I had a small tank with renegade snails, and had the same problem.> Is there a way to get rid of these with out harming my plants and shrimps? <Reduce their food source - vacuum substrate heavily to get decaying materials out, feed significantly less, remove dead plant leaves if any, and perhaps try to find a fish that will make a meal out of 'em.  I've used Gourami to control aphid populations on floating plants; possibly dwarf or pygmy Gourami would consider Ostracods edible....?> Thanks, John <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Ostracod Anomaly - II - 08/07/2005 I actually don't know what is causing it, its not the food source, I only feed my shrimps a little 2 times a week. Thanks. <I wonder if perhaps they are feeding on plants or decaying plant material, or possibly algae....  Again, it might be worthwhile to employ a small predatory fish in this system and see if that controls the population.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

FW Crabs, using WWM 8/2/05 I was wondering what kind of crab this is: little red things in fresh water tanks, they stay in water at all times. I discovered that PetSmart (the worst place for buying fish) had them for $2.00. Very good with plants, keep real clean, always picking out the dead parts and leaving the beautiful green foliage behind. They also eradicate those little pond snails too ^_^. I don't know what kind of crab these are, but don't put them in with Bettas, or slow moving fish. Polara_Blues <Please learn to use the search tool, indices on WWM... and read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/fwbraccrabs.htm and the files linked... Bob Fenner>

Crabby Compatibility - 07/14/2005 Hello: <Hi.> Are there any freshwater crabs out there that are compatible with African Cichlids? <Mm, no, not any that are available in the aquarium hobby in the US, in any case.  There are, however, some different crabs that do live in lake Tanganyika and are pretty neat looking.  I do not believe that any of them are exported for the aquarium trade.  Furthermore, I fear any of them would be quite capable of taking on most cichlids.  The crabs that ARE available in our hobby are all, with one exception, brackish to marine animals that absolutely require land masses (can't stay submerged 100% of the time).  The one exception, the Red Claw Crab (Pseudosesarma moeshi / Sesarma bidens) can survive with only freshwater access, but still requires a land mass.> Thank you! Pedro <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

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 fist 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> Odd freshwater Crab behaviour I have a ten gallon tank with low water and rocks for crabs and other crustaceans. I bought some crabs and here's my q's. One: Are the crabs with one large and one small claw  males, and the ones with two small claws females? Two: Today the male??, one large one small claw, climbed out of the water onto the rock and started foaming? or bubbling from his face and doing something, like he was washing?? what is this? He the proceeded to sit then later he did this crazy claw dance, waving his arms around slowly in these rhythmic motions all the way out and then back in, what the heck? Does he have mad crab disease? Three: I put in feeder golds but they seem to ignore them. so I feed blood worms. should I add plants for veg food, or just stay with blood worms and whatnot? Four: The red crab I got has only one claw will his other grow back like at molting or something? Five: What's the ratio on crabs? The same as fish or? i tried here and all over to find good info on their behaviour and i came up empty handed! >> Yes, crabs with one larger claw are more likely males in most species. Crabs have to get oxygen when they are out of the water they will "chew" a small amount of water to mix it with air and get oxygen from this process, that is likely why your crab is foaming. He is waving his claws to show his territory and attract females, so he is not mad. You can feed with bloodworm, but try other foods to see what else your crabs will eat, it varies from one species to another, but most are omnivores. The missing claw should be replaced in the next molt,  I would not worry. For a great website on crabs and other crustaceans check http://www.crusta10.de not sure if it is all in English, but the site owner is one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject. Good Luck, Oliver

Re: Ostracods? Dear Bob: <BD> Thanks for your reply. I am hoping to experience first hand the effects of bioluminescence from Ostracods <Mmm, I recently saw a citation re just this...> - preferably dried. Would your kit labeled "Ostracods 100+ organisms" be the best bet? I realize these are living organisms? <I think so and yes> Are there any problems with customs when shipping to Canada? How long is lead time and delivery? <I'd ask the folks sending...> Thanks, Blake P.S. I assume this is your company? <Mmm, nope... we don't sell anything... but maybe the books we produce. Bob Fenner>

Triops and Their Nutritional Value? Hi! I have a tank with 2 dwarf puffers and a dojo loach. I like to feed the dwarfs live food whenever I can. They like those pesky little pond snails a lot! I've also fed them bloodworms, live mosquitoes and am thinking of trying clams and squid and such after reading some of the WWM FAQs (which are super helpful, btw!) I was wondering if Triops had any nutritional value for fish like puffers, or for any carnivorous-type fish? They seem like they might, but a ton of searching on Google and such has not given me any good information about what they may do for fish. (I now know that they are a scourge of rice paddies and live in my neck of the woods, El Paso, up at Hueco Tanks park!) All interesting, but not what I wanted to know! Do any of you have any ideas about Triops as a food source? On a sort of related question, can dwarf puffers eat daphnia, or is it too small? Is Gammarus too big? >> Triops are a great food supplement for puffers, as are Gammarus, and all types of other shrimp. The daphnia you will simply have to try out. I would think that your puffers will love chasing them down. Many large fish like eating small live foods. Good Luck, Oliver

Injured Red Claw Crab Hi, firstly thanks for such a great website! The information here is comprehensive yet easy to understand. Unfortunately I have a problem with my Sesarma bidens crab. The other night whilst cleaning out the tank I did not notice the crab (Colin) burrowed under a plant, as he is almost always hiding under an ornament on the other side of the tank during the day (or breathing sitting out of the water on top of it).  He just recently molted (about a week ago) so I thought I would leave him under the rock and clean the tank around him. Well I dumped the plant in a bucket (with Colin underneath it) and proceeded to vacuum out the gravel and remove other ornaments to the bucket. It was only when putting the ornaments back that I noticed Colin at the bottom of the bucket on his back... I immediately picked him up and put him in the tank but he didn't move, I put lots of little bits of food in front of him and left him for the night thinking the worst.  When I came back in the morning he was on his back again but when I went to lift him out of the tank assuming he was dead he started moving his legs frantically, anyway I righted him but noticed that 5 of his legs were not working as well as one claw (I think they must have been broken in the accident) he was attempting to move around but the legs were preventing him, I left him for the day came back and he still had not moved despite attempting to with his working legs, so I amputated 3 of the legs at the base (not the claw) he is now a lot more mobile however he is unbalanced due to missing 2 back legs (resulting in him overturning and not being able to right himself frequently/a few times a day).  I have also since noticed that one side of his mouth is not working (i.e. the exterior movable parts of his mouth that he uses to clean his eyes) he can still move it a little but cannot properly function.  My question is: Is there anything I can do for Colin? I am aware that crabs can regenerate limbs during a molt but has he just sustained too much damage? <I hope not> My main concern is his mouth as I cannot see whether he is eating properly. Would it be kinder to just kill him now or try to aid his recovery?  <I would not euthanize this animal. It may well recover> It has been three days since the accident and he is still defending his food against the fish (a few platies) but I cannot establish if he is eating the food or whether the platies are eventually managing to take it all. In this situation could a premature molt occur or could he partially grow back before a molt? <Not before, but might molt again sooner, shrink in body size> I really don't want to have to kill him but equally I do not want to prolong his life if he is suffering with very little chance of recovery. He is in a 5 gallon tank with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 20ppm nitrate, just over 1 tbsp. of salt per gallon and I am lifting him out of the tank daily for a few minutes to allow him access to air. pH is 6.6 (low I know but I added dolomite to the filter on the day of to raise it so hopefully that will start to take effect). Should I dose with Iodine? <Yes, I would> Sorry for the long question but I am very concerned about him.  Thanks, Chris <Do take care to maintain good, consistent water quality, assure this animal is getting food. Could take weeks to a few months, but may well be fine. Bob Fenner> 

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 <Can be done... there are marine species... some brackish that stretch... see WWM re. Bob Fenner> 

Marine Iodine in Australia I have some Australian redclaw crayfish. None of my suppliers where I live can get marine Iodine. Is it possible to put some 'iodine table salt' in the tank even thought they are fresh water crayfish. <I would not do that. No idea how you could balance the correct dosage of iodine with the salt you would be adding to the system. Try feeding foods high in iodine. IIRC salt water shrimp is one such food. I'm sure a little research would net many foods you could try. Any chance you could mail order the iodine over the net? Don>

FW Crabs Hello again. Thanks for taking a look at my letter. I have a few more questions for you. Using the German crab ID page I found on your site, I have determined that my soap dish crab is the third Thai fresh water crab they have listed, it looks just like my little Carl, right down to the dark zig-zags on his appendages. It says it is of the Demanietta species, but that seems to include a lot of different looking crabs. How can I narrow it down further? < Do a Google search on the web using the Demanietta species you have already found. That should get you closer to a correct ID.> Anyways, I've started adding iodine to all my crab tanks. How often should I add the drop? daily? < Add the drop of iodine every time you change water.> The water I use is well-water with a softener. If this is no good, what type of water should I use? Would adding some sea shells add calcium to the water? < All crabs like brackish water. I would use the softened well water but add some sea salt and micronutrients at about 1/3 to 1/2 the dosage recommended for salt water.> I know the fiddlers prefer brackish water, does Carl need some salinity also? < You bet.> Should I change the water to brackish? < The sooner the better.> Would his feeder minnows tolerate the salt? < They are pretty tolerant to salt and would probably do OK.> He has not molted since I have had him, but I just figured he was big enough that he only molted once a year. Am I incorrect with this assumption? < Sounds like a pretty safe assumption.> How big is this guy supposed to get, anyway? What is this creatures lifespan? well, thanks in advance, Scott < They usually get about 2 to three inches across the body and will probably live between 2 and 5 years depending on how old Carl was when he was caught.-Chuck> 

Soapdish Crabs, Fiddlers, Ghost Shrimp hello: please, I was wondering if y'all could help me.  I have what was sold to me as a Soapdish crab in a 2' x1' 6" tank with about 4 or 5 inches of fresh water.  Carl, as he is called, has a 2" wide body and is probably about 6" across including legs.  he has relatively short (compared to my fiddler crabs) eye stalks and is a reddish brown color with orange legs and claws that have reddish brown "designs".   the tips of his claws are whitish gray.  he has easy land access but hardly ever comes out of the water.  is that weird? <Mmm, not necessarily>   he eats live minnows and frozen peas.  anything else I could feed him for a little more variety? <Other meaty foods>   please don't say crabs eat anything, he won't eat carrots or broccoli.   is it safe to feed him hot dog? <Mmm, no... too fatty>   he'll eat it and seems to like it but I took it away because I'm wondering if it could be harmful with all that sodium.  should I remove any left over fish parts from the water?   <Yes, I would> sometimes he just eats half a minnow and the other half  just floats around in the filter current.  will it muck up the water or make it unsafe for him in any way?    <Could. I'd remove all uneaten food> I have had him for probably 8 months and he seems to be doing well.   I just want to know if you guys and girls have any tips to make him happier and/or healthier.  I read something on your site about iodine supplementation for crustaceans? anything else? <You could monitor, adjust biomineral (mainly calcium) and alkalinity... has this animal molted while in your care?> what is krill, where do I get it and how do I "soak it in vitamins"? <Euphausiids... liquid vitamins... just putting a few drops on for ten, fifteen minutes before offering...> I love my soap dish crab(s) and would really appreciate any help y'all could give as there is virtually zip on the web about them. also, for anyone wondering, Carl (as with all Soapdish crabs, in my experience: I have 2 males, I lost a female when she wondered into Carl's territory) is extremely aggressive and will decimate anything it can catch, including other Soapdish crabs of equal or  greater size. does not play well with others. I've even heard of one wasting an Oscar. <Have seen this sort, level of "aggression"> oh, why might a fiddler crab in similar tank conditions up and die for no obvious reason. <Is a brackish water animal...> a not too old/big male that seemed to be thriving was fine one day and upside down dead by the filter the next. he shares the tank with 2 females and one other male which doesn't currently even have its large claw. I don't suspect foul play, I am afraid there is something wrong with the water or something. the tank has been in operation for at least 6 months and has a good filter. I've heard a terrible rumor about fiddler crabs just dying after a while in fresh (not brackish) water but I've had a lot of these wonderful, mostly peaceful crabs and this is a brand new occurrence. any thoughts?  might the same thing happen to Carl? <What is the make-up of your source water? You may have hard, alkaline water that "works" for both these species> just one more thing, I promise. I employ a multitude of ghost shrimp as janitors and I read on your website that it was easy to breed them. that is very exciting to me, please tell me more! I am so glad I found your website, I hope you can give me a few pointers. thanks, Scott <Use your computer search tool/s... much written on Ghost Shrimp. Bob Fenner>

Re: Soapdish crab hello again! Carl has molted! about a week after starting the iodine treatments, Carl (Thai freshwater- Soapdish crab) molted.  could this be directly related to the addition of iodine? <Yes> unfortunately,  it did not go well for the big guy and he lost a leg and his larger pincher. <Evidence of? Likely a lack of biomineral (calcium) and alkalinity... provided in foods, water...> the next couple days were very tough for both of us, as he just sat there and twitched and I was terrified that he wasn't going to make it.  the next day I came home from work to find him on his back and motionless.  I nearly lost my mind with grief until I noticed his mouth apparatus was moving. I very gently touched the tip of his claw and to my great relief he sprung to life, trying desperately to flip over.  the poor guy just didn't have the strength! he was still very soft, so I decided to let him be rather than possibly injuring him by flipping him over.  after a couple more days he eventually started to consume his exoskeleton and move around the tank.  Carl's gonna be ok!  whew! now for the questions: I've noticed that since the molt his carapace and claw look very strange- its a very dull tan-gray and none of his normal patterns, like the "H"  on his back, are visible. it just looks very worn, or something. I know crabs will sometimes come out of a molt a different color, but the way Carl's shell looks makes me think its related to his traumatic molt. any ideas? <Either lack of nutrition, water quality... or will develop color, pattern in time> Also, is it possible to over dose them on iodine? <Oh yes> should I add the drop only when I do a complete water change or anytime I replace water that has evaporated? <Best to do with (weekly) water change regimens> keep in mind I have a 10 gallon filter in about 4 gallons of water, does that make a difference as to how fast the iodine is getting used up? <Yes> One more thing: I really want to change my crab tanks to brackish but I have read that once crabs are in freshwater for so long, they cannot be switched to brackish. is this true? <Not so. Bob Fenner> thank you in advance. Scott

Dirty Pond Needs Help OK, so I have a 10 gallon freshwater tank, and it's doing awesome! However, I also have a garden pond outside, and that's what my question is about. I put some ghost shrimp into my 10 gallon tank and within a week the clarity of it was like 10 times better. I was wondering if there was a type of shrimp or fish or crustacean that would do the same in my pond? < You could try the same ghost shrimp now that the weather is warming up. They are relatively cheap and worth a try. Other types of shrimp are much more expensive and may not do any better a job than the ghost shrimp.> I have 14 fish in there now (2 Shubunkin, 2 Koi, 4 Fantails, the rest are comets and goldfish). I have apple snails in there now and like one mystery snail and a few golden clams. Anything else? < Now that it is spring time you might add a couple tadpoles to eat the algae. When they turn into frogs or toads then they will be useful eating bugs and things.> I love my fish and would really love to see them more often, the algae is just bad. I'm putting in a bio-filter this weekend and understand that will help some, just didn't know if there was anything else I could do??? I have had the pond for about a year now. < Cut back on the food so that all of it is gone in two minutes and only feed them once each day. Your fish will eat more but they really don't need it.-Chuck>

What Kind of Shrimp Dear Sabrina, I will send you more pictures. I need to know the Latin name or common name if you can help me. Is there always a name for any shrimp? Or we put them in their class or family name and come up with any what ever name we want? hahahaha maybe smart people do these things? Ok,.. How they can come up with dragon red, caramel etc? I try to find many shrimp pictures and hope that my shrimp is just like them and I will know the name, but it doesn't happen. Only few that are the same. So,... I give more pictures to see. Sincerely, John <Looks like a rock, Singapore or pompom shrimp. Not certain of the scientific name but a Google search of these common names should get you in the ball park. They are filter feeders and can change colors depending on the diet.-Chuck>

Bettas and brackish This question is threefold, but background first. I have a two-year running planted tank with just about the easiest to grow plants in them (hornwort and Cabomba weeds) and a Betta (who is in heaven).  Ten gallons, inexpensive waterfall-type filtration turned all the way down to keep the water filtered but generally undisturbed at the surface, temperature at 82-84F, full spectrum lighting (as I pretty much used to use it as a plant-isolation tank to get the snails out of them... used to have a swarm of apple snails, which has since stabilized as the Betta tends to eat the egg sacs and young snails... basically anything he could fit in his mouth).  It was my first foray into plants and gave me the knowledge I needed to go into planting my goldfish tanks. <Outstanding> I am now interested in getting some (generally) bottom-dwelling small crabs, and according to the research I have done, while they can tolerate freshwater (poorly), they prefer brackish. <Most of the species sold in the trade, yes> I've done research into setting up a brackish system and I feel ready for it.  I've also been briefed in the requirements of the types of crabs I'm considering (but will eventually settle on a single pair of a single type, most likely the small red-clawed crabs) and feel ready to meet them. <Okay> Question one is:  Can the Betta tolerate a brackish or slightly-less-than-brackish salinity?   <Yes... as can the hornwort/Ceratophyllum... but the Cabomba may well do its falling apart act> I'd like to keep him (I got him as a fry and know he is around 19 months of age now) where he is, and possibly just slowly up the salinity to desired levels to get him used to it, as well as letting the microorganism population adapt to the change. <Good technique> Question two:  Would the Betta be socially compatible with these scavengers?  He generally will sleep on the plants and I've almost never seen him sleep on the gravel (I work nights, and keep the room dark on my nights off, so I have observed him during the 'night' part of his cycle). <The Betta should not harm the crabs, but the reverse may well not be so... almost all crabs are opportunistic omnivores... and if hungry, might attack, consume the Betta> Question three:  Answered on your brackish plants page, no, the plants will stick around. Thank you, Dan <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Japanese Swamp Shrimp (Caridina japonica) Compatibility Hi all, <Catherine> I'm thinking about getting a Japanese swamp shrimp (Caridina japonica) to control just a bit of algae and in general clean my 10 gallon freshwater tank. It's stats are ph 7.3, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates ~40 (my tap is around 30, I'm getting a reverse osmosis system in the next few months to combat nitrates and because I don't trust Los Angeles water). The aquarium has lots of plants, a pair of swordtails, 4 neon tetras and 2 male guppies as well as some snails that hitched a ride on the plants. I'm slowly getting rid of them as I find them (the good old fingers method).  I had a Chinese algae eater because my LFS said they were great for algae eating.  <Mmm, not in most settings... too much of bullies... plant eaters...> Turns out mine was much better at terrorizing the rest of my tank. He moved into a tank of his own and is much less active because he doesn't have to chase anyone. Anyway, long story short, I'm now skittish of buying anything I haven't owned before. I'd like some sort of general tank cleaner (although my tank stays clean and I vacuum once or twice a week). I think the Japanese Swamp Shrimp are cute. What do you think of them? <A worthy species... gentle, beautiful, stays small, useful. I encourage you to go ahead with the addition, and to consider Siamese Algae Eaters as well. Please see here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/saesags.htm. Bob Fenner> On a semi related note, do you know of any fish that are compatible with a 2 inch and growing Chinese (golden) algae eater? <Mid-sized Gouramis, some cichlids... medium aggressive, sized fishes>

Japanese Swamp Shrimp (Caridina japonica) Compatibility - II Hi Bob, Many thanks for your advice. After dong some internet research, I very much like Opaline Gouramis. I've called several tropical fish stores in the Pasadena/greater LA area. None seem to have either Opaline Gouramis or Amano shrimp. Considering I'm in the second biggest city in the US, there have to be some good LFSs. Do you have any recommendations in this area?  Thanks, Catherine <Mmm, I'd let my "fingers do the walking"... Try your search tools: with the string: tropical fish stores in Los Angeles, and call the folks nearer you re. Bob Fenner>

Lookin' To Talk About Shrimp - 04/19/2005 Dear Bob, <Actually, Sabrina here, at your request> My name John from Indonesia. <Nice to hear from you, John, thanks for writing in!> I am really interested in fresh water shrimp. <Me, too - obsessed, nearly!> Algae eater. <Referring to Caridina japonica, "the" algae-eating or "Amano" shrimp?> I need to talk to Sabrina (maybe). And I would like to join the discussion with Sabrina. Can I know how to start. <Well, here I am! You can also find me on the WetWebMedia forum, at http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk - my username is "Vintage_Fish" if you wish to correspond in that manner. I'm also including the other question you sent with this one....> I would like to get some importers of algae eater freshwater shrimps. Can you help to recommend me few names of good importers in USA or Japan? <.... I know one fellah that brings in some VERY interesting African imports, including the most wonderful and impressive Atya gabonensis (a large, filter-feeding blue/black or grayish shrimp, with orange colored juveniles).... You can find his information and stock list at http://www.rehobothaquatics.com. I imagine, since you're looking specifically for algae-eating Caridina japonica, you might want to try to find a contact in Japan, as that's where the species comes from. Unfortunately, I do not personally know of anyone for you to contact. Perhaps Bob or someone else might chime in here with some ideas for you. Please also be aware that C. japonica is NOT the ONLY species of freshwater shrimp that eats algae; there are actually quite a number of very different and beautiful species that are algae eaters. You might enjoy browsing through this website: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html#Garnelen.  The website is all in German, but you can at least click on the different species names and see what they look like. Many/most of the Caridina and Neocaridina species are algae eaters.> Thanks, John W. <Wishing you well in your shrimp hunt, -Sabrina> 

More Shrimp Talk - II - 04/20/2005 Dear Sabrina, <Hi, John! Good to hear from you again.> I attached the 2 pictures of shrimps and please confirm the names. I think no. 1 is Caridina <Likely a Caridina or Neocaridina, other possibilities as well....> and the 2 is Atya. <Either an Atya or an Atyopsis, I would *guess*, but it would help to see the animal from the side, in the water. I assume this IS a filter feeder, yes? More likely an Atyopsis species, in your area.... but it doesn't quite resemble A. moluccensis; I'm very interested in seeing more photos of this shrimp - Atya and Atyopsis are my to favorite genera.> Is that right? <An excellent starting point, at the least! I urge you to email the folks at the link that I gave you yesterday, and see if they can give you definitive species ID for both of these.> We wild caught them. Do you know where is the biggest market for those shrimps? <Seems to me the best market for any freshwater shrimp is in Europe. Also, if you try to market them in the US, please let me know - I am very interested in taking a look at that Atyopsis (?) firsthand.> I will send you more shrimp pictures. <Please do! But a word of caution - our crew inbox is somewhat limited in size, so please don't send too many at once. Just a couple at a time, and wait for my reply before you send more. These two are great photos, I'm eager to see more!> They are amazing, we get the size even what I call mono because they are seems weird small. <I very much look forward to further correspondence.> Thanks, John <And thank you as well! -Sabrina> 

More Shrimp Talk - III - 04/20/2005 Hi, John! I just wanted to clarify, since I sent you two links yesterday, the German website is the one to email for better identification. Here's the link again, just in case: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html#Garnelen. Though the website is all in German, I believe there is at least one fellah that, if you email them in English, should be able to help with identification. -Sabrina 

Dead blue lobster... Hi, I have a 55 gallon tank that has been going for about 5 months and one of the first things I introduced was a blue lobster. He did fine for a few months but then had a lot of trouble with his first molt and ended up losing his big claw. Then his second molt only a few weeks later seemed to give him trouble too, he was sluggish and not eating then crawled into the corner and died pretty suddenly, it took about 48 hours. I check the levels (Ph, Ammonia, Nitrate) bi-weekly, and they are all good, and water change every weekend, What happened?  Thank you in advance, Julian Ansell <Likely one of two sets of factors at play here... a lack of nutrition or inadequate water quality... These crustaceans re sufficient biomineral content (calcium, magnesium) in their water, as well as iodine/iodide... and protein on a regular basis to grow/molt properly. Bob Fenner>

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> 

Plant Supplements and Shrimp - 04/04/2005 I've been using Kent Freshwater Plant Supplement in my 5.5 gallon aquarium and recently bought a few algae eating shrimp (I believe they're the Amano something type).  <Likely Caridina japonica, "the" algae-eating or "Amano" shrimp.> I noticed that this supplement contains (min) .00001% copper as well as .24% chelated iron. I've been using a little lower dosage, just in case, but I was wondering if these metals would adversely affect my shrimp... <Having wondered the same thing myself, and having used similar supplements on my planted tanks with shrimp, I feel safe in saying that I really doubt that the supplement you are using, at or below the recommended dosage, will cause the shrimp any harm. I think your shrimp ought to be just fine.> ...and would the use of iodine supplements improve the situation?  <YES! Oh, yes. Absolutely, yes. I use Kent Marine iodine at a rate of ONE DROP per TEN GALLONS every week. For your little tank, you could do one drop every two weeks. DO NOT use the marine dose printed on the bottle.> Oh! I was also planning on putting some Triops in there (although I don't know if you folks know a lot about them) <I sure do! I *love* Triops!> and was wondering whether they would eat the shrimp, the shrimp being about 1.5 or 2 inches long.  <.... I don't think they would. I certainly can't guarantee anything, but I don't think they would. You might try getting a couple of el-cheapo shrimp (like ghost shrimp, often sold as feeders) and put those in with the Triops - if the Triops don't eat them, the japonicas should be safe. I've always wanted to put Triops in one of my tanks; I just need to hatch a few more. Awesome little boogers, aren't they??> Thanks a bunch for your help! <You bet. I have great interest in hearing how things go with the Triops. Please do let us know how it works out, and how well they do in the tank! Thanks, and good luck! Wishing you and your adorable inverts well, -Sabrina> 

Missing Shrimp I am the proud owner of a new 20 gallon freshwater aquarium. I have had it up and running for about 2.5 weeks with two scissortail Rasboras, and it is now completely cycled. The ammonia is 0, as is the nitrite level, and the ph is somewhere around 7.8. After weeks of anticipation, I went out today and bought two Gouramis that fade from orange to silver, three cherry barbs, a false Cory, and two japonica shrimp. If you haven't heard of them they were about an inch long, and looked like ghost shrimp (the store said they cost more for their "algae eating abilities").  When I returned home I excitedly acclimated them and then released them into my aquarium, I came back about an hour later, and the shrimp were gone, I had heard somewhere that some shrimp burrow and I was hopeful, but it is now the evening and there is still no sign of them. Were they eaten by the Rasboras (2.5") I hope not. I was also wondering if you have any suggestions for a peaceful community fish that is blue or green, I feel like there is so much red in my aquarium. And one last question, I also have a ten gallon aquarium with a golden mystery snail, one albino Cory, I adult male guppy and two adult females, 5 juveniles, and about fifteen on week olds. What should I do to relive my overpopulated tank, my nitrite and ammonia levels are zero but I can't help but feel that they are crowded. Thanks for having such a great site, Steven <First, keep testing for ammonia and nitrite. Two and a half weeks seems a little quick to establish good strong bio filtration. And you stocked a little quickly. The new fish add to the amount of ammonia that needs to be filtered by the bacteria in your filter. The colony will need time to grow and adjust. Do water changes to correct any spikes. When ammonia and nitrite stay at zero AND nitrates are on the rise, you are cycled. Not sure what happened to your shrimp. They may be hiding in there somewhere. They may have been eaten. Not sure what a "False Cory" is, but my catfish love shrimp. You may also want to check in your filter. Don> 

QUARANTINE FISH TO SAVE SHRIMP Hello! Just a quick question about my dear little Bamboo/wood/Singapore shrimp... I was unaware that these little guys could jump so well! I had a problem with a parasite on some of my other tropicals - Blue and Dwarf Gouramis and a couple stray fruit tetras, plus three Pictus Cats. The cats brought some sort of white parasite in with them.. much smaller than any ick I've seen, more like dust. I'm thinking (and treating for) fish lice, but the meds I have cover the bases for gill flukes etc as well. Any thoughts?  Anyhow, he needed to be separated since the meds said NOT FOR USE ON INVERTEBRATES on them. I had him in my hospital tank, just a 2g with a small filter/airstone and heater, but I left the lid off. Hearing a noise, I discovered he was GONE. I found him, about 5 minutes later, on the carpet. Will this kill him? Anything I can do to help him? He seems shocked. Well, any input appreciated! Thanks a million! Krystin < Most aquatic arthropods can handle some terrestrial time as long as the gills are not allowed to dry out too much. Your problem stems from not quarantining your new fish prior to placing them in your main tank with the shrimp. Many medications can harm and even kill shrimp so treat your new fish in a hospital or quarantine tank to keep your invertebrates alive and well in the regular tank.-Chuck> 

We were told it was a ghost shrimp I don't have a picture, and I don't have an digital camera, but I will try to describe this shrimp the best way I can.         It was a huge shrimp. The pet store told us all ghost shrimp grow that big if allowed to live that long. I think that's bogus. Anyways, this shrimp is 3 or 4 inches long, <Mmm, not what folks generally call a "Ghost Shrimp" then. Please see here: http://www.aquariumfish.net/catalog_pages/misc_critters/shrimp_ghost.htm> has long arms with small pinchers on it and a red nose. It's opaque with black stripes. <Sounds like a (small so far) Macrobrachium... rosenbergii... put this name in your search tools> We also bought a dozen ghost shrimp from this place and it looks like there are much smaller animals of the same species mixed with the common ghost shrimps. They (the 'ghost shrimps' in question) have the same black stripes down the side of it. We tried to ID it at the German language web site you suggested to someone earlier but didn't see it. I'm positive it's aggressive as it tore off almost all of a gold fishes tail within 30 minutes of being in the tank. <Yikes! Do separate this animal, schnell!> We're not sure what to do with it. My wife wants to keep it, but if it's going to terrorize the little fish I'm going to put in the Oscar tank and see how it likes the terrorism. <Oh, these two may learn to coexist> I know you don't have much to go on but just envision a ghost shrimp 4 inches long with similar pinchers and black stripes down each segment of it's body and a red nose... Any help you could give us on this would be very appreciated. Thank you... Jason <Read on my brother. Bob Fenner>

Re: We were told it was a ghost shrimp (Not a ghost of a chance) Thanks for your help. We had also bought crayfish at another store. <Man! Pinch city!> My wife didn't want to leave this huge shrimp in with a bunch of white clouds for fear of them getting eaten so we took them out (after trying to catch him, almost impossible) and put in with a small crayfish (had to do some tank swapping). The huge shrimp (which I now believe to be a Macrobrachium lanchester) tried to eat the crayfish. <Yes... would have eventually> I would have thought the crayfish would fight it off and they would go to their respective corners and stay there. <No... like putting me and a pizza in the same room...> Well, that didn't happen so we had to separate the two. I don't think my wife knows what to do with this huge shrimp but she wants to keep it, if you think it can coexist with the Oscars I'll suggest it to her. <If both are kept well-fed, not too crowded...> But the Oscars are only 3 inches long now albeit very aggressive (the result of feeding mostly live food to them, which included ghost shrimp). Eventually I think they would eat it. What do you think? There are 5 of them. Soon there will only be 2 though (55 gal. tank, <... still too small a system eventually> want them to pair off then going to get rid of the others), maybe it could fend off two? I guess I could always get up late at night, grab the shrimp, steam him and eat him with some cocktail sauce, and then blame it on the Oscars? What do you think? <Mmm, worth a try... Bob Fenner>

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> Thai devil Soapdish crab I know this is not truly an aquatic species, so I don't know if you  can help.  However, I thought that if you didn't know the answer, you may  know someone who does. <Mmm, am actually one of those "guilty" ex-retailers of yore who used to sell these w/o much knowledge of their husbandry> My friend has a Thai Devil crab (Soap dish crap).  His large  claw is inflamed at the joint where it attaches to his body.  He is in  a 10 gallon tank, partially filled with water.  He has land access and  spends most of his time there now.  He is still eating as normal and very  active.  The Ph of the water is 7.0, but she does not have any salt  added. <IS a freshwater animal, that DOES eat various meaty foods>   He is fed a varied diet of krill and hermit crab pellets.  She  soaks the krill in vitamins before she feeds them to him. <Good> I understand  that iodine is important to these crabs. <A essential micro-nutrient for much life, including you and I. I would add Lugol's solution, potassium iodide/iodate once a week or so... to this animals water.> Does he need special  lighting? <No> And could the inflammation be a sign of an impending molt?   <Maybe> He is full grown and they only molt once a year I think.  She is very concerned about his health, she has had him for about 6 months.  Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Caryn <I encourage you to place the above title words in your computer search tools and read what little there is posted on the Net re this crab/species. Bob Fenner> Fiddler Crabs, Ich Problems? Is there a safe medication to treat for ich that will not kill my fiddler crabs? <Yikes! Ryan here today.  We use a quarantine method to treat infected fish- That involves removing the infected animals, and treating them separately.  In that case, your crabs are safe!> It's been 20 years since I've had an aquarium, and it seems that many rules about keeping and caring for freshwater fish have changed.  <I'll say!> I did my homework and researched the subject so that I felt comfortable with my choices.  About 2 months ago I purchased a 55 gallon aquarium, and started with about 5 Neons to get the water cycle to do its thing.  I now have several fish: 5 swordtails, 6 mollies, 5 dwarf platies 6 dwarf Gouramis, a Pleco, 6 Cory catfish and 6 fiddler crabs.  (I love the fiddler crabs.) <That Pleco will soon outgrow the 55 gallon tank...I'd inquire early about trading him for a smaller Pleco once he's about 6 inches.> Everything was going well, including the birth of about 30 babies (black mollies, silver Lyretail mollies and sunset dwarf platies) until last weekend when I did a 25% water change to correct nitrate and total alkalinity levels.  I also rearranged the fake plants, rocks and log to allow the fish to have more swimming room and to ensure a better water flow from the filter.  I must have really stressed my poor fish.  The other day I noticed that 2 of my dwarf Gourami had small slits and little holes in their upper fins.  That evening I noticed my male silver Lyretail had trouble swimming and was at a 45 degree downward angle, and sometimes faced straight down.  I immediately added extra aquarium salt to the tank and increased the water temp to 82 degrees (from 78).  The following day, after work, I purchased a 6 gallon  'hospital tank', Maracyn and Maracyn-Two for my 3 sick fish.  Unfortunately, when I got home, one of the Gourami had died.  It looked to be sick for only 24 hours, so I was pretty shocked to find it dead that quickly.   I checked all my fish and decided that only 2 of the other Gourami had what is probably Fin and Tail Rot, so I put them, along with my male Molly into the hospital tank, using water from the 55 gallon tank.  (I didn't want to stress them further.)  I've been medicating them for 3 days now and they are looking much better.  My Molly is actually starting to swim somewhat normally, so I believe there is hope for him. <Sounds hopeful!> Now for the bad part... I came home from work today and found 3 more fish in the 55 gallon tank that look like they have Fin and Tail Rot.  It also looks like there may be a white spot or two on these same fish.  I have CopperSafe that I was going to use in the hospital tank if I needed to treat for Ich, but I can't use it in my 55 gallon tank as it would kill my crabs.  I've started treating the big tank for Fin and Tail Rot, but am not sure what to do about the possible ich, as I don't want to kill my crabs. <You're going to need to treat all infected fish in the QT tank.  Next time, add the fish to the display tank AFTER they have successfully completed 6 weeks of quarantine.  Then you won't have the same issues.  This time around, it's the long road my friend.  The answer to your question is no- There is no ICH treatment that is truly crab-safe.  Good luck, Ryan> Chris

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> Got Crabs? Hi WWM Crew! I have a 20g FW tank. In that tank I have 4 guppies, 5 small goldfish (who will soon have there own tank), and 2 small catfish. I was wondering, can I put some small red crabs in there or will they harm my other fish. The ph is 7.2 and the temperature is consequence at 73* F. Will this cause a problem at all? Please, I would be very happy to hear from you. Thank you: ~Lena~ <Hi Lena, Don here. Sorry, can't recommend crabs. Although some will thrive in FW, most would do better in at least brackish conditions and all would need a place to get out once in a while. If they were to catch a fish they would kill and eat it. There are plenty of FW shrimp you could keep with the guppies and cats. BTW, You do need to move the goldfish and then increase the temp to 78> FW shrimp cultivation Dear Bob, Can shrimps be cultivated in fresh waters - like farm dams where we raise tilapia (breams) fish? Best regards, Chileshe Mutale <Mmm, some species, yes... are polycultured thus. Bob Fenner>

FW Round, Tan Bugs? Hello <Hi Jodi> I have a question about an infestation in my aquarium.  I have a 75 gallon freshwater tank.  I have one big Oscar in it.  I noticed on the walls of the aquarium it looked like it had white hairs on it.  So I got to looking a little closer and on the gravel there are tiny round tan in color bugs.  I'm not sure what they are and how to treat the tank.  If you could help me I would really appreciate it.  Thanks for your time.  Jodi Hedden <Likely some sort of crustacean... and hopefully not a variety that will attack, parasitize your livestock. First off, I would take some of these bugs into your fish shop and ask them to take a look, give you an eyewitness identification as to species/group... Next, a thorough gravel vacuuming while changing part of the water (maybe 25%) once a day... till they are no longer visible may cause them to disappear... And if you find these are a bother still, there are "economic poisons" sold as fish remedies (ones containing Masoten, Dylox, Neguvon...) that you can add that will specifically wipe-out all arthropod life (hopefully you don't have crayfish et al. as pets). Please read here re this last: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm I would NOT use other more general biocides (e.g. preparations that contain formalin/formaldehyde...) as these are too toxic, dangerous to your other life. Bob Fenner> Crabby Confusion - Playing With Common Names - 10/11/2004 I recently ran across a Red Thai Crab in my LFS.   <Hui.  With so little English information on crabs offered in the aquarium trade, I fear "Red Thai Crab" is just about as descriptive as "Small, colorful fish" to describe a neon tetra....  Not your fault at all, just the fact of the matter.> I have never seen one before.  It was huge and in fresh water, and obviously red.   <Well, red helps quite a bit.  Getting' some ideas, at least.> I have no idea what the scientific name might be, <Sad.  But not unexpected.  I haven't seen a single crab available for sale with a Latin name for a label.> and my search on the internet has proven well, let's just say made me hungry, I can now prepare crab 100 different ways. <Great!  You can come make dinner, then!  ;) > Now the meat of the email.   <The crabmeat, as it were.> I have a brackish water tank with a Snowflake eel, a dragon fish, and some Sailfin mollies.  I would like to add one of these crabs to the tank but......  I have no idea if it is truly a freshwater crab and more importantly will it eat my eel and dragon fish. <Well, let's try to explore *what* this crab is.  Also, a tank size would be of some assistance - also, I'd like to drop a bit of a hint that your eel may prefer saltwater as it matures.> Does it require a spot to get out of the water on occasion?  The size of the crab was a good 4 inches, could be bigger it was busy moving a large rock in the tank.   <Alrighty....  You say "obviously red", easily 4", and sounds like a bruiser to be redecorating his digs.  My first, best guess is Gecarcinus ruricola (possibly the genus name is spelled 'Gercacinus'....)  Please see here: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=115 .  I have seen this species offered for sale quite a few times, now.  Some problems with this animal - and *especially* in keeping it in an aquarium - to my understanding, this crab, surprisingly, is not very aquatic.  In the wild, it rarely enters the water, and instead gets its moisture mostly from humidity in the air.  To keep it totally submerged is a short life sentence.  It should be kept in a terrarium with enough water available to be fully submerged should it choose to do so (for instance, low humidity).  The water available can be plain ol' freshwater, but I think it might be prudent to offer a separate container of brackish water, as well.  If I recall correctly, this crab gets big - roughly an eight inch leg span - and though not horrifically aggressive, I'm sure it would willingly pick off small fishes or land animals.  Feed with aquatic meats, also non-citrus fruits and veggies should be offered.  There is an Aqualog book by Uwe Werner available that has a (small) section on this crab.> My eel is about 18-19 inches long (of pure hunger) and the dragon fish is about 13 inches (odd fish there), neat how that fish eats. <Neat indeed!> Also I just bought a 150 gallon tank for my brackish system (have not changed it over from the 55 yet) Just how big will that Snowflake eel get? <Big.  Quite big.  I urge you to see here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm  and make use of http://www.fishbase.org as well.  As you will see, much is dependant upon specifically what fish you have.  Whatever your eel is, a 150 should be adequate; it's mostly just a matter of determining what kind of water it will need as it grows.> It was only like 5 inches long when I bought it and it just grows and grows and grows, oh and it eats and eats and eats, I love it. <Glad to hear it.  Amazing animals, aren't they?> Thanks you guys for any info you can give me. <Please do write back if you wish, especially if my guess on the crab in question was off - a very detailed description of color, placement and size of the eyes (widely spaced? long eyestalks?), whether one claw is significantly larger than the other, and any details you can muster will help.  And, of course, a picture is worth a thousand words!  Otherwise, you might be able to ID the feller here:  http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html#Krabben .> Craig in Peoria ILL <Wishing you and your fantastic fishes well,  -Sabrina in Boulder Creek, CA>  

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