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FAQs on Freshwater Shrimp 1

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 Shrimp 2, & FAQs on: FW Shrimp Identification, FW Shrimp Behavior, FW Shrimp Compatibility, FW Shrimp Selection, FW Shrimp Systems, FW Shrimp Feeding, FW Shrimp Disease, FW Shrimp Reproduction, & Shrimp by Family, Genus, Species: Atyids: Genera Caridina & Neocaridina (Japanese Marsh, Yamato Numa Ebi, or Amano Shrimp, Bumble/Bee, Crystal), Genus Atyopsis (Bamboo, Wood Shrimps), Genera Attya, Atya, Atyoida (Mountain, Rock Shrimps), Freshwater/Brackish/Marine Palaemonidae Rafinesque, 1815 & FAQs on: Palaemonetes (Ghost/Grass/Glass Shrimp), Macrobrachium (Blue "Lobsters), & FW Crustaceans 1FW Crustaceans 2, FW Crustaceans 3, FW Crustaceans 4, & & FAQs on: FW Crustacean Identification, FW Crustacean Behavior, FW Crustacean Compatibility, FW Crustacean Selection, FW Crustacean Systems, FW Crustacean Feeding, FW Crustacean Disease, FW Crustacean Reproduction & Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Hermit ID, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health, & Crayfish FAQs, Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Disease, Crayfish Reproduction,


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

Java fern and wood shrimp... where's that Sabrina?    1/19/06 Wow, and double wow with regards to the, very, useful forum at Wet Web Media.  In a 30 gallon tank  (pH 7.4, KH 4, no nitrates, nor ammonia).  Four month old, natural sponge filter on a powerhead, producing decent current and bubbles. Good fluorescent light. Substrate and gravel bottom, 26 degrees Celsius. It is a freshwater setup for, now, two wood (or flower) shrimp. Stuff seems to thrive, like Daphnia, hydra and some plants (some grass and a well established lotus that can't be stopped, cut from another tank setup). <Neat>   This is a second tank, because the first ten gallon has a very mean skunk loach (didn't know they come equipped with knives along the gills which to stab at Chinese algae eater and others attempting to share space under bogwood), so now it gets it's own tank.  The first shrimp, a larger one died, but the two much smaller ones seem to be doing fine once I started to hand feed them with microalgae via eyedropper injected into the current they filter from. <Good technique> They have settled, not looking for the exit, even at night.  From the many unorganized questions about aquarium habitats, two are pressing.  I have some Java Fern and Java moss in this tank.  Not much salt and rather soft water. Will the fern do ok in the tank -- not brackish? <Yes, likely so. Once established, is tolerant to a broad range of conditions/environment... just a slow grower> They look fair now, darker green, some black spots, and some bearded algae did show up.  The second question, a more depressing situation.  That I have read up on, including aquaculture perspectives from overseas; no one has had luck in getting these shrimp to thrive in a closed systems.  Have you heard different? If not, why on earth are they sealing them as pets? Mark <Am going to send your question to Sabrina Fullhart, who knows most re this group... I do think that some of the Europeans, especially German aquarists have done better and better here. Bob Fenner>

Java fern and wood shrimp... where's that Sabrina?   1/22/06 <<In and out, hopefully mostly in for a while....>> Wow, and double wow with regards to the, very, useful forum at Wet Web Media.  In a 30 gallon tank  (pH 7.4, KH 4, no nitrates, nor ammonia).  Four month old, natural sponge filter on a powerhead, producing decent current and bubbles. Good fluorescent light. Substrate and gravel bottom, 26 degrees Celsius. It is a fresh water setup for, now, two wood (or flower) shrimp. Stuff seems to thrive, like daphnia, hydra and some plants (some grass and a well established lotus that can't be stopped, cut from another tank setup). <Neat>   This is a second tank, because the first ten gallon has a very mean skunk loach (didn't know they come equipped with knives along the gills which to stab at Chinese algae eater and others attempting to share space under bogwood), so now it gets it's own tank.  The first shrimp, a larger one died, but the two much smaller ones seem to be doing fine once I started to hand feed them with microalgae via eyedropper injected into the current they filter from. <Good technique> <<To be quite honest with you, I have only once seen truly healthy wood shrimp in an aquarium store....  And that was at Ocean Aquarium in San Francisco - Justin's tanks are nicer than any of mine will ever be.  Happy shrimp.  Uhh, the point I'm trying to make here is that it is VERY hit-or-miss whether you can rehabilitate newly purchased wood shrimp....  I would say you have a 50/50 chance of your newly-purchased Atyopsis living past a week.  If you can get 'em past their first moult and they end up with a less "foggy" look, you're probably in the clear.  I urge you to quickly get some sinking food that breaks into a "powder" in a short time after sinking - any/all freshwater filter-feeding shrimp will dip their "fans" into this powdered food and gobble it greedily.>> They have settled, not looking for the exit, even at night.  From the many unorganized questions about aquarium habitats, two are pressing.  I have some Java Fern and Java moss in this tank.  Not much salt and rather soft water. Will the fern do ok in the tank -- not brackish? <Yes, likely so. Once established, is tolerant to a broad range of conditions/environment... just a slow grower> They look fair now, darker green, some black spots, and some bearded algae did show up.  The second question, a more depressing situation.  That I have read up on, including aquaculture perspectives from overseas; no one has had luck in getting these shrimp to thrive in a closed systems.  Have you heard different? If not, why on earth are they sealing them as pets? Mark <Am going to send your question to Sabrina Fullhart, who knows most re this group... I do think that some of the Europeans, especially German aquarists have done better and better here. Bob Fenner> <<These are very easy animals to care for if you observe a few key points - iodine, food, hidey-holes, and "clear" or "uncluttered" space.  Unless you do VERY frequent water changes, I recommend you add iodine to the aquarium - I use Kent marine iodine, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week - notice that this is NOT the marine dose!!  Regarding food....  Most folks are duped by the term "filter" feeder into thinking that these animals will get what they need right out of the water of our aquaria.  Not so, as you obviously know!  Feeding with microalgae, though certainly helpful, is likely not enough for them, unless it's constantly in the water in a high volume....  They really need a lot of food.  I've had a single wood shrimp completely clear a 70 gallon aquarium in which everything was covered by a fluffy diatom algae - in just a few days.  You could literally see the paths in the algae left by the animal.  Crazy.  Tetra makes a sinking tablet food that breaks into a fine dust; this is a very useful food item for them.  Larger wood shrimps or their giant African Atya cousins (A. gabonensis, A. "camarunensis"....) will be delighted with the smallest forms of the Marineland foods or Hikari's micro-pellets.  Do keep in mind that some of these animals are very secretive and like to be hidden.  Make sure there are plenty of spaces where they can pile up on or near each other in close confines.  A pile of driftwood or a piece of slate leaned against the back wall in the corner of an aquarium will please these guys.  And uncluttered space....  I sometimes think these beautiful fan-handed lovelies are as dumb as stumps.  They can really get "freaked out" by a lot of plant cover or just "stuff" in general that gets in their way.  They'll grow accustomed to it eventually, but try to let the bumbling beasties have some empty space to roam around, and try to feed them in that space.  It'd be nice if that space opened out right in front of their hidey-hole(s).  All in all, they can live for quite some time - my Atyas stuck around for some years, even carried eggs (though I never found young).  They're really quite interesting to watch, especially in groups.  A couple males to a handful of females is perhaps best.  One male will grow very large and display dominance - it's funny to see them "battle"; with no weapons, two sparring shrimp will "face-off" by walking headlong into one another and trying to climb each other.  Whoever gets bored and wanders off loses; the other is the winner.  They make excellent and fascinating aquarium pets, as long as their needs are met.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>> 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>

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

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

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

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>

Japanese Swamp Shrimp (Caridina japonica) Compatibility - II Hi Bob, Many thanks for your advice. After doing 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 

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

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

More Mystery Shrimp! - 10/04/2005 Hello, <Hi!  Sabrina the slightly shrimp-obsessed with you today....  And please let me apologize for the extreme lateness of my reply; on top of having been sick and missed some emails in my box a few days back, you've really given some perplexing pictures!  Excellent photos, I must add.> I have seen this question before ("Mystery Shrimp - Fun with Freshwater Inverts") but I would like to ask it once again... is what I have actually a ghost shrimp? <Not what is commonly considered to be a ghost shrimp, but it does look like a Palaemonetes species to me.  Perhaps P. antennarius - your shrimp seems to have the same bizarre iridescence that they exhibit.  They do develop markings like yours shows as they grow, but yours is more prominently marked than ones I've seen.> or is it a "long-arm" - Macrobrachium... because this guy's arm's aren't longer then his body, but he is a bit big to be a ghost shrimp. He is about 4.5cm (1 3/4"). <Not a Macrobrachium, as far as I can tell, but not a "common" "ghost shrimp".> I have posted photos here: http://www3.telus.net/public/al_s/ShrimpPhotos/  I am wondering what the morphological difference is between the Macrobrachium and the Palaemonetes? <Well....  See, you're asking tough questions now!  Just kidding, this is a good one.  To be quite honest with you, I do not know the difference in systematics between these two genera.  They are both in family Palaemonidae, though Palaemonetes shares the subfamily Palaemoninae with a few other genera, whereas Macrobrachium is not in that (or other) subfamily.> is it just the length/size of the pincer arms or am I missing some other key item? <Macro = big, brachium = arm ....  All of the shrimps of genus Macrobrachium do have very prominent "arms".  Some more so than others, to be sure, but all are quite big.  This can be somewhat less noticeable in females, but even most females have really big arms.  Also, all of the Macrobrachiums (Macrobrachia?  Uhh, I don't know the pluralization of this word!) that I have met seem to have an impressively large rostrum.  Some Palaemonetes do as well though, including P. antennarius, whose rostrum can be quite wicked-looking.  Physically, those two pincer arms will tell all.  Or most, at least.  Yours is not a Macrobrachium, as far as I can tell.  Now, that doesn't mean it's not aggressive!  P. antennarius, if it were just the size of a dog, would take over the world and wipe out humanity.  And you'd hear an evil laugh while they did it.  Fortunately, they stay at or under 2", so hopefully we're safe.  Or maybe that's just what they want us to think....> Thanks,  -Rose <And thank you for showing us these great images; I do hope you enjoy this animal.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Differences between Palaemonetes and Macrobrachium species shrimps....  9/21/05 Hey Bob! <Sabrina> I know I should know this, or at least be able to find it, but I don't and I can't.  I wonder if you know, or can point me in the right direction. <Will try> What, physiologically, ARE the differences between these two genera?  I mean, aside from the (macro) big (brachia)" arms"/pincers, what really makes a Macrobrachium a Macrobrachium?  What makes a Palaemonetes a Palaemonetes?  Both are of the same family (Palaemonidae), though Macrobrachium is in sub-family Palaemonidae....  But....  What determines this?  I've struggled a couple days to try to find *something*....  hobby-related websites and the few books that mention shrimps (including Uwe Werner's Aqualog) just talk about care, and those big honkin' arms....  and I can't seem to find any scientific websites that really explain what makes a Macrobrachium a Macrobrachium, or a Palaemonetes a Palaemonetes.  Any thoughts?  I wish/hope it could be as simple as counting scales, rays in fins, tooth shapes and pharyngeal bones....  Fish are so easy <. <Don't know... w/o "looking"... likely at SIO... but here is the feedback from Google on Systematics of the Palaemonidae: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-27,GGLD:en&q=systematics+of+the+palaemonidae Looks like there are some useful bits here... and I would try the (not ready for prime time) "Google Scholar" as well... Next time you're in town, let's make a sojourn down to the Scripps Library... am facile at searching "the literature". Bob F> Thanks much.... -Sabrina

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>

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>

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> 

Shrimps and Iodine Hello again, seems like I'm pestering you folks a lot with invertebrates questions lately.  I was looking through the Freshwater Snail FAQ again, and noticed a note by Sabrina <Me!> that freshwater shrimp tanks can/should be dosed with iodine <I first got this notion from another person that had asked about it, and I got the dosing rates from the fella at http://www.franksaquarium.com/ , in case you (or others) wished to know.> (she recommended Kent reef iodine - I found a bottle of Kent's marine iodine while browsing an LFS this weekend and picked it up) at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week, and that it may help snails as well. Getting to my questions, does the iodine break down over time in the tank, or get absorbed by the charcoal in the filter, or what? <It'll get used up by the shrimp, and will break down in time> Also, is there a way to measure the amount in freshwater, and would you be able to suggest a recommended level? <I think it highly impractical to test for it....  Iodine tests are very awkward and time consuming, and I'm not even positive they'll work with freshwater.  One drop per ten gallons weekly is a very, very small amount, but really does improve overall health of the shrimps.> I've been told there are iodine test kits for reef tanks, but the individual who told me that wasn't sure if they would work in freshwater. <Yeah, I rather doubt that it would.> I change approximately 10% of the water in my tanks weekly, and 25% once a month, would that be enough to remove any excess to prevent buildup?   <I think you'll be absolutely fine with that.> Additionally, can the iodine harm fish or other life forms in the tanks? Other than ghost shrimp and mystery snails, the other tank inhabitants are black phantom tetras and Otocinclus (golden Otos, I believe) in one tank, and African dwarf frogs in the other.   <I don't know much at all about the frogs - but everything else should be great.  I've used this in a heavily planted tank with some pretty sensitive fish, with absolutely no effect on the fish (or plants) whatsoever.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina.> Thanks again for any help you can provide,  Chris

Fish, Shrimp, and Thanks Our fish would like to say thank you to the WetWebMedia crew. (tank you, tanks, tanka) <To you and your fish - you're very welcome!  Please forgive the delay in response; I've been having computer issues, but it looks to be all sorted out now.> We have had a lot of fun with our new freshwater tank and several learning experiences. Our first fish was a "Betta in a bowl"  purchased by my two eldest, they saved their allowance to do this and we ended up with two new family members, Blootie a Betta, and Pickles, an African frog. A few months later we knew we wanted an actual aquarium so we soon had Blootie and Pickles housed in a ten gallon with five neon tetras, several plants, free snails which appeared out of nowhere and every thing was fine; we do a 20% water change weekly and add some aquarium salt and dechlorinator. <Sounds like great fun!  Please remember, when you add salt, only add enough to compensate for water you *remove*, not water that has evaporated, as salt does not evaporate.> Our tank is held at 78F and we have several plants which we prune every two weeks, we run a Whisper filter with activated carbon, every other week we switch the carbon for Ammocarb, though I am not sure it does anything, <Only the carbon is needed; test your water regularly for ammonia, with your water change/maintenance scheme, I doubt you see a trace of it.> we have a shallow smooth gravel substrate. We feed a mixture of flakes, bloodworms, brine shrimp and a pea every night about an hour before lights out. <Mmmmm, yummy!> Our first problems started when we obtained two new fishes, Odie and Sink (Otocinclus).  The primary pea consumer was Blootie but after Sink and Odie arrived things changed. Sink metamorphosed into a new fish we called Stink. He chased everybody, the tetras, the frog, the Betta and especially Odie, Odie lived in perpetual fear, Stink would charge the full length of the aquarium to get him. <WOW.  That does *not* sound like normal Oto behaviour!  Please check out the following links, perhaps you have something different....  First, on Otos: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/otocinclusart.htm  on SAEs (and non-SAEs): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saes.htm > Stink actually latched on to Blootie a couple of times leaving a white mark which has now cleared up. <Yikes....> Stink may have been starving when he arrived but that passed, he turned into a very messy fish and was getting visibly fatter and  meaner. <He's sounding an awful lot like a "Flying Fox" or "Chinese Algae Eater" at this point....  notoriously mean buggars.> Pretty soon everybody started hanging out somewhere safe from the seriously deranged Stink and this caused problems, nobody was eating the pea, our water started to get cloudy and green algae started to grow on our floating plant. The tetras which previously tested every floating speck to see if it might be food, stopped doing that and spent their time up high, avoiding Sink. Blootie stayed at the top of the tank, ready to run, Stink couldn't eat all the food but he was determined to try. We finally decided Stink had to go and things are back to normal. Our water is clear again, nobody is chasing anyone and everyone seems happy. (We gave Stink to an unsuspecting local fish store, not telling them he was an insane fish.)   <*Laugh!*> I have been reading the freshwater links (I have actually been reading everything I can on your site as time allows) and my question has to do with adding a crustacean of some sort. We really do not want a repeat of the Stink trials and we really would like to add a shrimp or something. Given our current happy tank is there anything we could add that would probably be happy. <Stick with shrimps of the genera Caridina and/or Neocaridina; these primarily algae-eating lovelies include "the" algae-eating (aka "Amano") shrimp (Caridina japonica), cherry shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata), bumblebee shrimp (Neocaridina sp.), red-fronted or "Rudolph" shrimp (er, I think a Neocaridina species....), red-tailed tiger shrimp (another Neocaridina), to name a few that are occasionally available in the US.  Ghost shrimp would be a safe addition, as well (and cheap, to boot - and commonly available).  Filter feeding shrimp, such as Singapore/bamboo/flower shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) are commonly available, and also perfectly safe to add to your tank; this last would probably be the most "fun", as they are large, diurnal, and uber-cool.  Stay away from "big-arm" shrimp of the genus Macrobrachium; these are nearly all carnivores that will prey upon your fish.  Same goes for crabs, they'll eat anything that holds still long enough - and some things that don't.> I have read about the shrimps in the freshwater shrimp section <Currently and unfortunately very lacking in information - I intend to rectify that with an article or two as soon as I dig up some time, I promise!> but I am still not satisfied that I won't get it wrong. <One important point - please dose the tank with iodine if you get shrimp.  This is easy and cheap.  Get a bottle of Kent Marine Iodine from your fish store (geared for saltwater tanks).  Ignore the directions on the bottle completely, as your freshwater shrimp have nowhere *near* the iodine needs of a saltwater tank - add only one drop of the iodine once every week (use a pipette or a medicine dropper from the pharmacy).  Doesn't sound like much, but it makes all the difference in the world.> In addition to adding a shrimp to our ten gallon, we intend to get another ten gallon aquarium and move the frog (Pickles) in with two fire newts, for which my oldest boy is saving his pennies, is this going to work ? <Oh, wow, I have absolutely no idea....  I'll pass this along to Gage for his input; hopefully he'll be able to help you on that one better than I can.> Thank You <You bet!  Wishing you and your critters well,  -Sabrina>

Molting, Dead, or a Shell? Ok, I've had this bamboo shrimp for several months and when I woke up yesterday it wasn't moving. <Yikes, sorry to hear it!> Well, I know a dead/ sick/ injured fish when I see one but I don't have much to go on when it comes to shrimp. Its legs are still spread out as if he's about to start walking and yet there he stays not moving any appendage at all. <Do check that this isn't an empty shell - I have been fooled a few times by shells left over from molting.> Well, the shrimp and other crustaceans I've seen curl their legs inward as life ceases but those are usually served with cocktail sauce. So, not wanting him to be dead I convinced myself that he is/ was merely molting therefore I should leave him be. <It should be fine to remove the shrimp/shell.  If the shell is empty, your shrimp is probably lurking around somewhere in there.  If it turns out to be a shrimp, well, my apologies. :( > However, if he is dead I don't really want him to decay in my tank. <Agreed.> How long should I wait before removing the body (exoskeleton or carcass) from the tank? <Go ahead and remove it.  My shrimps usually devour their shells before I get to them, so I've given up trying to pull them out.  If the shell/shrimp is still in there, and still not, well, alive, go ahead and pull it out.  I'd also like to mention, adding iodine to the tank will help your inverts out tremendously.  I use Kent Marine iodine in my freshwater shrimp tanks, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week.  Since doing this, I have experienced tremendous results with my shrimps.  I do wish you and your fan-handed pal the best!  -Sabrina>

The King of Freshwater Shrimp Someone on my message board was looking for info on these guys.   <Would you mind sending along a link to the discussion?  I would be very, very interested in participating....> I searched all over the web myself and can't find anything but a single picture.  I was wondering if you could help me out a bit here with some info on these really neat looking shrimp.  Their common name I guess is Vampire Shrimp and the scientific name is Attya gabonese. <Ahh, Atya gabonensis!  Dear me, these are my ALL-TIME FAVORITE shrimp - and that's saying a lot, with my major shrimp addiction!!  I have never heard of them being called "vampire shrimp", though.  In fact, I do not believe there are *any* widely used common names for this animal.  Try a search under the accurate Latin name, this should yield some pics.  The only good, solid information available on the web is located at:  http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=030 .  This is in German, so it may or may not be of much help to you.  You can translate the page (somewhat) at Google, using their language tools.  Some basic info - they get about 6" long at their largest.  Juveniles are orange, females (and possibly sub-dominant males?) are grayish-brownish-bluish, and the big head honcho male will get lustrous black and blue.  They are a filter feeder, and are of absolutely no threat to even tiny fish or fry.  There are actually perhaps even three or four different animals that fall under this name somewhat loosely....  can be found in eastern South America with some variances from their central-western African cousins.  As with all filter-feeding shrimp, these MUST be fed in the aquarium; it is a common misconception that the animals will take what they need from the water - our tanks are simply too pristine for that to happen.  Sinking foods which break up into a fine dust, or frozen foods that can be mushed up (I like Ocean Nutrition's Formula One and Two for this) are great.  These shrimp are largely nocturnal and very shy.  Provide them with a lot of rocky places where they can hide - stressed shrimp are *not* long-lived shrimp.  To facilitate seeing them once in a while (again, VERY nocturnal), provide with subdued lighting, or lots of floating plants to block out some of the light.  They prefer to have areas of open substrate that are not planted, as well; they are quite clumsy.  Lastly, and perhaps most important with these and any other freshwater shrimp - please dose your tank with iodine. I use Kent's marine iodine at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week (NOT the marine dose!).  This really, really, REALLY makes all the difference in the world.  Another tidbit - I got mine from Toyin at Rehoboth Aquatics ( http://www.rehobothaquatics.com/ ).  They were (still are) in EXCELLENT shape and great health.  They had poked holes in the nice, thick bag (double bagged) with their pointy legs and all but a couple tablespoons of water had leaked out, but they still did absolutely fine.  He is a wholesaler, and may possibly have a store near you that you can get these from, and if not, he may sell to you directly.  Another 'site you should check out:  http://www.franksaquarium.com/ - he has several species of not-very-common freshwater shrimp, and has been an invaluable source of info for me, too.> Thank you in advance for any help you can give.   <Ahh, no, thank YOU for giving me a chance to discuss my favorite critter!  As uncommon as they are in the US, it is WONDERFUL to hear of increasing interest in them.> Regards,  Kristen <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

The King of Freshwater Shrimp - II - 03/01/2004 Thank you soooo much for all the info on these really neat little critters.   <You bet.  And again, thanks for mailing us.  I could talk the ears off of corn regarding these shrimp.> Here's a link to the thread on my message board.   http://www.aquatiqterrors.com/forums/index.php?s=248e4199c7eb812b3d38122b7b82f115&act=ST&f=46&t=15336&st=0& <Excellent.  I've joined (am "vintage_fish") and hope to chat there!> Thanks again, Kristen. <And thank you for helping to increase interest in these awesome little beasties.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Ich medication is not working Hello there, I am having a problem treating ich in my tank. I have a 29 gallon freshwater tank. I have a few hatchet fish, and some black phantom tetras (I did have cardinal tetras, but they all died) <A tough fish to keep, indeed; very, very sensitive to medications and water parameters.> The hatchet fish were the first to show symptoms.  I also have a wood shrimp, which I took out before adding any medication. <Ahh, good move!> First I got Kordon RidIch, I have been using this for over a week and it does not seem to be doing anything. <It may take a while for the meds to become effective, especially if you are using it half-strength (recommended with sensitive tetras, etc.).> After I started using it, I noticed that the black phantoms started to get spots, it looks like the hatchet fish have more ich now than when I started.   <It may appear to get worse before it gets better.  I would strongly recommend reading the following article for a better understanding of this illness:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm > I have been following the directions, and doing a water change before each treatment.   <Wonderful.> I went to the pet store today and bought some Mardel CopperSafe, it doesn't give me very much information about it. I also read some where that if I use copper in my aquarium, I won't be able to put any invertebrates in the tank, and I would like to put my wood shrimp back in. <You are *exactly* correct!  Copper will adhere to your substrate, decor, etc., and leach out slowly over time.  Returning the shrimp to the tank after copper treatment is very, very risky - I would not use the copper, at all.  Ananda introduced me to a product called "Eco-Librium FW" made by Fish-Vet; she has informed me that it works very, very well, and has thus far been safe for her scaleless buds - but I do not know how shrimp-safe it would be; no ingredients are listed.  Here is the manufacturer's rundown:  http://www.fishvet.com/pages/disease2.tmpl?sku=09202001140509 .> Do you have any suggestions? <By far, your best option is to remove the fish from the tank and use whatever medication you prefer on the fish in a separate quarantine/hospital tank.  Then, you will not have to worry about the shrimp, and he can go back to his home after you clean the RidIch from the tank.> Thank you so much, <Any time.> Leeann Pippert <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Water Needs of FW Shrimp - 03/15/2004 Hello, Thank you for a wonderful website!! It gave me a lot of  good tips and answers to questions concerning tapwater I had. <Glad to hear it, and thank you for the kind words.> I have been using P.A.T. by Aqua Craft, Full Spectrum Multipurpose Water Conditioner for water changes, now I'm not so sure that that alone is enough. <I must say, I'm not familiar with these products; I'm assuming we're in geographically different places?> I had a problem with slimy black algae last year and the pet store told me that came in our tapwater?? <Uh, not *quite*.  The algae didn't "come in" your tapwater, but was probably there due to the presence of nutrients that it could feed off.> I live in Northern Washington. <Ah, bet it's nice and cool, there!  It's already like summer here in sunny silicon valley.  I'm envious.> I purchased 6 algae eating shrimp a day ago (about 1inch long, transparent) and they seemed quite happy roaming around the tank and on the glass eating. <Truly wonderful critters.  I recommend dosing the tank with iodine - I use Kent marine iodine, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons weekly (NOT the marine dose).> This morning they were all hovering around the top (plastic knob) of the aquarium heater. The aquarium temperature is 78. Is that to cold for them? <Not at all, this sounds fine.  Out of curiosity, do the shrimp have sort of a "cloudy" look to them?  Healthy shrimp, even opaquely colored ones, can be discerned from unhealthy ones by an almost "clear" quality to their color.> I have a 46gallon tank with 6 cardinals, 6 gold tetras, 2 Otocinclus. Would it be safe to add 4hatchet fish, or would that be overcrowding? <Sounds like an excellent addition to your tank.  You have room in your tank, plenty and to spare.  Do please be sure to employ a quarantine tank, hatchets are notorious for bringing in ich.  I'd recommend getting six or so, though, as they're happier in groups, like the tetras.> That's a lot of questions...hope you can help me. <Hope so, too!  Everything sounds good, to me.  The only thing to be very concerned of with the shrimps is metals like copper in the water.  Look for that "clear" quality in your shrimps as a telltale sign of good health.> Eliza <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Water Needs of FW Shrimp - II - 03/21/2004 Sabrina, Thank you for you quick reply and the tip about adding iodine to keep my shrimp healthy. <Yes, a very important issue, I'm glad to have been able to help.> They are doing an amazing job of cleaning the tank! <Wonderful critters, eh?> They are so opaque that I have trouble locating all six of them at one time. <Er, do you mean clear?  Or really mean not-see-thru?  Basically, clear = good, cloudy = bad, and both qualities can be observed on shrimp that are an opaque color (like wood shrimp, cherry shrimp, etc.).  Now that I re-read my previous message, I realize how er, "unclear" my wording was - sorry about that.> Will they eat fish food when they run out of algae? <Yes.  I would try to offer them foods high in veggie content, perhaps something like Ocean Nutrition's frozen "Formula Two", or things like blanched zucchini, cucumber, etc.> Eliza <Thanks for writing in, Eliza.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Shrimp ID <Hi! Ananda here while our resident shrimp experts are off in the wild blue yonder...> I was hoping you might be able to help me ID this little guy that came into my tank as a hitchhiker and where I could find more info. Thanks. Troy <While I personally don't know what species this is (or even if it's saltwater or freshwater!), I can point you at a shrimp site with bunches and bunches of photos: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html ...It's a German-language site, but the shrimp species names are still in Latin. :-) Have fun! --Ananda> 

Wood Shrimp Have just acquired a Wood Shrimp. Have looked at many web sites, but have not really found that much information about them. The LFS I buy from is long established, well-respected, and staff is quite knowledgeable and always available and helpful. They always have healthy live-stock; both Marine and Freshwater, and interesting inverts. They admit they also are not yet completely knowledgeable about the shrimp.  At any rate, the first one we bought home this past Friday was dead by this past Sunday morning. I tested our water quality with two different test kits: pH=7.4, KH=4.5, GH=9, Nitrate=0, Nitrite=0, Ammonia/Ammonium=0.  The tank is well-planted (all plants doing well), it is a 46 Gallon Bow Front and has the following members: 4 quarter-sized Angelfish 1 small Pearl Gourami 1 dwarf Flame Gourami  1 dwarf Honey Gourami 6 Amano shrimp 3 Kuhli Loaches 3 small Clown Loaches 2 Blood Fin Tetras 5 ghost shrimp (I am fairly sure, but not absolutely positive these have all been eaten by now; have not seen any in about 2 weeks) 6 small Siamensis 5 Otocinclus 6 pygmy Corys 3 green Corys 3 Sterbai Corys 3 Panda Corys 11 Harlequin Rasboras 1 Pair- Sailfin Mollies 1 Pair- Sword-tails Mollies 3 small Clown Plecos  3 very small Borneo Plecos (butterfly loaches)  The tank has been up since 3/26/04. Everyone doing fine, looking fine, eating well. I bought the Pearl Gourami, 3 of the Amano Shrimp, The 6 Siamensis, and one of the Angelfish at the same time I got the first Wood Shrimp. I returned the deceased crustacean along with a water sample to the LFS, and they agreed with my water tests. They believe as do I, that the Wood Shrimp dying that quickly is more than probably a reflection that something was wrong with it to begin with. They gave me another Wood Shrimp that has appeared and behaved much more actively and interested than the first one. I am interested in your opinion, (s) regarding this death and my tank numbers. I would also be very interested in any and all info about Wood Shrimp and Vampire Shrimp. I enjoy research and reading and do not mind technical jargon ( I give anesthesia for a living). I appreciated Kevin's remarks regarding setting up my 275 Gallon reef tank and am looking forward to hearing from you regarding the above matters. Thanks so much, Dave Harvey <<Dear Dave. Here are some sites for Atyopsis moluccensis, a filter feeder: http://www.plantedtank.net/woodshrimp.html  http://www.fishpondinfo.com/shrimp2.htm#wood  http://www.azgardens.com/shrimpfactory.php  etc etc...I get the feeling there isn't much info because there isn't much to say about them :P basically, they're filter feeding inverts that look cool but are a tad more sensitive than other shrimp species. Dave, btw, your tank is WAY overstocked. I am very concerned regarding the fact that your NITRATES measure zero, to me this means something is wrong with your testing kits. I have not seen such a stocking rate with zero nitrates. It is physically impossible unless you have so many plants in there that you can't fit any water in. Is there a freshwater plenum being used? Please re-test your water. You may want to keep an eye on your pH, if it starts to fall, the substrate may be becoming anoxic. Chances are, there are sections already anoxic (or anaerobic) in the tank, small gaseous emissions like sulfide or methane may be killing your shrimp. You can read up on anaerobic substrates here: http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilizer/roots.html or you can check the WetWeb plant section, or do a Google search. You might not want to add any more shrimp for a while, it is obvious they will not survive in this tank. When you do decide to add them, you may want to drip them, as you would a saltwater invert. A nice slow drip may make the difference in acclimating the sensitive shrimp to your tank parameters. Or better yet, put one into a small cycled quarantine tank, and observe it for a week or so before adding to the 46g. But please, buy yourself a new nitrate test kit. Ammonia and nitrites at zero are logical. Nitrates need to go somewhere, but in your tank, I fail to see where! -Gwen>> 

Shades of Uwe Werner! Sabrina, hope you're all recovered... <Yes, much! Thank you. Nothin' a little Gatorade couldn't fix.> pls take a peek at the attached pix. This was the FW shrimp I mentioned at IZOO... about an inch long. <Attractive little beastie.> Any idea as to species? <But for the reddish cast, I would almost think just plain ol' C. japonica; my bigger ones in a brightly lit tank have taken on that nice coppery cast to their backs, quite different from the small guys - but the red and patterning on the sides.... no, I think perhaps this is your fellah: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=094 ("Redbacked dwarf shrimp") Or perhaps this guy: http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=117 ("Red dwarf") I would lean more toward the first of those two, though. Unfortunately, no species name for either, but hopefully an idea as to what they are. Very nice. -Sabrina> Bob F <Do agree with your analysis. Thank you. Bob F>

Shrimp.  It's What's For Dinner. - 07/13/2004 Hi, <Hi, Tim, Sabrina here, this evening'!> I have bought a number of freshwater shrimp (japonica) to help control hair algae.  However, they apparently are being consumed by someone in the tank.   <What leads you to believe this?  Are you missing shrimp, or have you found shells and/or dead shrimp?> I have a long-standing 30-gallon tank with 10 golden white clouds, 5 green neon tetras, 3 marble hatchets, 3 Kuhli (sp?) loaches, 1 spotted Cory cat and 1 stick catfish.   <By stick catfish, do you mean a Farlowella/Sturisoma cat, or something else?  I don't see anything in this list that looks like a shrimp eater, provided that cat is in fact a Farlowella or Sturisoma....> Any idea who the shrimp eating culprits might be? <No clue whatsoever.  None of the above animals seem like something I'd think twice about....  I have a large Sturisoma aureum in with my japonicas, and haven't seen any problems....  Also, how big are your shrimp?  And are you *positive* they're being eaten?> Thanks,  Tim <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Shrimp.  It's What's For Dinner. - II - 07/14/2004 Hi, Sabrina, <Hi, Tim!  Glad to hear back from you.> I've bought maybe 18 shrimp over the last six months - four in the last couple of weeks. I saw 2 yesterday (none now but they could be hiding in the plants - Amazon Swords).   <They are a good critter at hiding.> Their size is maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inch.   <Pretty small, but even still, I don't see how any of those tankmates could be at fault.> Yes, I've seen some shells, which I expect are molting, and occasionally I see what appears to be the meaty portion of a shrimp body on the floor of the tank. <Some things to consider, here.  Do you dose the tank with iodine?  And have you ever, in the life of the tank/substrate/decor, used ANY medication containing copper?  AquariSol, Cupramine, and CopperSafe are just a few.> My "stick catfish" is a Farlowella (according to the pictures).   <A very cool fish.  I would not expect this animal to go after shrimp, at all.> Still stumped, but thanks for your thoughts.  Tim <My best guess is that the shrimp are dying for reasons other than predation - first and foremost, I'm thinking a lack of iodine.  I used to lose a few ghost shrimp a month before I began using iodine in my shrimp tanks; now, not only am I not losing any, but everyone's breeding.  I use Kent Marine Concentrated Iodine, marketed for reef tanks, at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week - NOT the marine dose!  The other idea I can come up with for your losses is toxicity of the water; copper naturally comes to mind, possibly ammonia or nitrite....  Do be testing.  I hope we can get to the bottom of this!  Wishing you and your inverts well,  -Sabrina

Atyopsis moluccensis; Molting, Behaviour - 06/14/2004 Hello Bob, <Hi, Michelle, Sabrina (the freshwater shrimp-obsessed) with you, today!> Recently we bought 2 bamboo shrimp for our tank a couple days ago. We thought that one of them died because he was laying there. But when we looked at it we found both shrimps and what we saw was a shell.  My question is if they shed or lose their shells, or why are they doing that? Thanks, Michelle <This is totally normal, Michelle.  All shrimp - and even crabs, lobsters, and crayfish - shed their exoskeletons (their shells) as they grow larger.  They form a new shell beneath their old one, and when they've grown too large, the old one splits and is shed off.  The new shell is soft when this happens, and then hardens after the old shell is off.  This process of shedding shells is called 'molting', very much like lizards or snakes shedding their skin.  If you feed them well, your shrimp should molt regularly.  Wishing you and your shrimp well,  -Sabrina>

Attack of the Killer Cabomba? - 08/22/2004 My sister put a plant called Cabomba caroliniana in her aquarium and within hours the shrimps she had died. <Pure coincidence, unless the plants had some sort of toxin spread on them....> Does anyone know if this type of plant is injurious to shrimps? <It is not, not at all.  I have had plenty of shrimp in aquaria containing this species of plant.  Did your sister use any sort of a dip for the plants before adding them?  Some people will dip plants in solutions to kill snails, etc., and if not rinsed *thoroughly*, I imagine some of the water from the dip would get in the tank, and possibly cause harm.  Otherwise, I assume this is pure coincidence.  If you wish to explore other reasons for the shrimps' deaths, please respond with great detail on your tank - what size tank?  How many and what kind of shrimp?  How many and what kind of fish?  What do you feed the animals?  How often do you change water?  What other maintenance do you do?  Do you add any chemicals to the water (aquarium plant fertilizers, iodine for the shrimp, etc.)?  What are your readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH?  When was the most recent animal added to the tank, and what was it?  Hoping to help you get to the bottom of this,  -Sabrina>

Furry Shrimp? - 09/10/2004 Hi all, I have a question for Sabrina, the shrimp-obsessed!  <Wayhay, thass me!> Actually anyone will be just fine :) I have some Japonica shrimp in my 25G freshwater tank. I have had them for about 4 months. Well I noticed that on one of them the rear legs (all the small ones) have what looks like fur, thick, fluffy stuff (for want of a better word) in between the legs. It's really hard to describe.  <And hard to envision, from the description.... Is this "fur" on/among the swimmerets/pleopods (the legs used for swimming, not walking), or on the walking legs?> It goes from the body of the shrimp down to the end of the legs and its thick! It's not on the front legs just those small multiple rear ones.  <I don't suppose you could provide a photograph.... ?> It looks like a thick algae growth or something.  <I *have* seen algal growths on the backs of very large shrimps, like fully grown M. rosenbergii, when kept in a poorly-cared-for tank, but never, ever seen C. japonicas with algae on 'em; I doubt that's what it is.> It's the same color as the shrimp kind of beige-y color. <I'm supposing what you're seeing is, in fact, a normal "hair" that grows on the pleopods - not really true "hair" at all. Strikes me as though I've only seen such "furriness" on larger japonicas.... I know my two biggest exhibit this, and all my Atya and Atyopsis shrimp are so furry on their undersides they make puppies look bald.> Anyone have any idea what this could be?  <Though admittedly, I don't know what the hair is called off the top of my head (ouch, bad pun), I do believe this is absolutely normal.... A pic would help immensely.> All my water param.s are good, NH3, NO2 zero, NO3 about 5ppm. My other fish and shrimp are fine. <Sounds good.> I'm really mystified. I was hoping it was eggs but I found a picture of what a shrimp with eggs looks like and they ain't eggs! <You'll know eggs when you see 'em. But unless you're keeping your japonicas in brackish water, no eggs from them will survive; the larvae would require quite a bit of salt in the water to make it to adulthood. If you are interested in breeding, though, there are a lot of species that will do so successfully in a freshwater tank like yours!> Thank you for your help and time as always. <And thank you for your interest and kind words!> Maggie <Wishing you and your inverts well, -Sabrina>

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> 

Caridina japonica and freshwater shrimp Hi Robert, I have some beard algae troubles in my tank and I want to ask you if there is any difference in purchasing C. japonica or any old freshwater shrimp? <Yes... very different animals. A bit on both on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/shrimpfw.htm Bob Fenner> Keith

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

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

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

Shrimp/Crayfish As a Valentine's Day gift for my two sons, my husband purchased two African Clawed Frogs, while the man at the pet store was trying to catch the albino frog, he came across a little guy my oldest son likes to call "Pincher."  He gave him to us for free since he wasn't sure what he was.  I think he's either a shrimp or crayfish of some kind.  How do you tell the difference between the two?  He's about 1 inch long with two pinchers and a grayish/brown color and a flat fan like tail.  I would greatly appreciate your answer.  Thank you. Susan <Hi Susan, generally crayfish are larger than shrimp.  It's hard to say without a picture.  Does it look like any of these: http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/Shrimp/ Regards, Gage>

Shrimp/Crayfish I am going to try and get a picture sent to you of "Pincher". <Awesome> I looked at the site you sent and couldn't find any one shrimp that looked enough like him, they all resembled him but not enough for me to say he's a shrimp.  The only other way I can describe him is he likes to hoard food, he at first didn't mind the African Clawed Frogs but then suddenly started to chase them around and even pinched off some of the little albino frogs toes. <Maybe a crayfish, they are pretty aggressive.> He has dug himself a little home in the gravel under a decoration in the tank.  I know this probably doesn't help you much more, so like I said I'm going to try to get a picture sent to you. Thanks for all your help. <In my experience freshwater shrimp will usually do their best to hide and avoid confrontation with anything and everything.  This sounds like a crayfish to me, I named mine "fish pinchin' crawdad" I'm working on a country song about him. A picture would be great. Regards, Gage> Susan

Fresh water shrimp can fresh water shrimp cause disease in humans? thank you <Not as far as I'm aware by simply handling... however, I would cook any thoroughly if consuming. Bob Fenner>

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

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.

Mystery Shrimp - Fun with Freshwater Inverts Hey all, <Hey, Chris> I have a rather odd hitchhiker that came with my bumblebee shrimp today. It's about the size of a large ghost shrimp, it's pincer arms are about as long as it's body <This alone screams "Macrobrachium!"  Now, Macrobrachium *what* is the question.> and are sort of banded in alternating pale red and grayish-black. LFS said it'd snuck in with the bumblebee shipment and hadn't injured/killed any of the bumblebees in the couple weeks it had been in their tank at the store, but they're not sure what it is. <Fun!> Well, due to various chaos today involving having to return/exchange the tank I got for Xmas (Marineland 10gs apparently have different dimensions than All-Glass 10gs), having to take relatives to the zoo for their annual Zoo Lights event, discovering I either need to buy an adaptor for the power cord and/or change the outlet the tank was going to be plugged into, my new 10g didn't get set up like I'd planned it to be. <Boy, when things go wrong!> So, for the night, the bumblebees (and unknown) all got placed in a 1 gallon tank with an airstone and some algae wafer bits. A short time later, both my sister and myself observed this unknown shrimp would wander the perimeter of the tank trying to pinch the tails of all the bumblebees (who'd jump out of the way). <Oh yes.  Macrobrachium shrimps almost all are aggressive meat eaters.  Fish, shrimp, anything that holds still long enough to be nabbed, are all at risk.> So the unknown got moved to a separate 1g, where he's mostly watching the bumblebees in the tank next door. <Dreaming of snacking, I'm sure.> (The bumblebees now appear much happier, munching away on the algae wafer and exploring instead of sitting in groups along the walls) <Probably feeling a touch safer, now that they're not potential meals!> So, can anyone ID this critter? <Your photos are quite unclear (no offense, just an observation) and therefore very difficult to tell anything for sure....  is it possible to get him into a position against a solid background?  It'd be especially nice to be able to see his first pair of legs, their shape, color, etc.  From what you've given me, the best rough guess I can give you is Macrobrachium japonicum.> I'm probably going to try and take him back, unless someone can convince me he'd be better behaved in the 10g with the bumblebees (and future fish inhabitants) rather than how he acted when stuffed into a 1g with them. <I would not expect him to change his ill manners, not at all.  But it certainly might be fun to hang on to him in his own tank, see what he grows up to be!  I'm sure he'll worm his way into your heart, even with an unbeatable appetite and a bit of a bad disposition.> I'm hazarding a guess it's some kind of Macrobrachium, perhaps? <Almost definitely.> The object it's sitting on in the photos is an airstone if that helps with scale at all. Given the day it's been, you're probably going to tell me I just got a future 5" monster shrimp that eats fish or something ;) <Well....  ;)  I do believe you're reading my mind!  I'm not at all certain on his ultimate size, though.  I'd guess somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of inches.  Small fish would likely be at risk, and small shrimp, as you've observed, certainly aren't safe.  But again - don't give up on him just yet!  He may prove to be an endearing little dude, well deserving of his own tank.  Give him a chance, if you can.> Thanks again for any help you're able to provide,  Chris <You betcha.> --Addendum-- A friend located this photo that sort of looks like the unknown shrimp:  http://www.shrimpcrabsandcrayfish.co.uk/Shrimp.htm?Longarm.htm~mainFrame  (scroll down to Striped-Hand Prawn and click on the image). Although this site's photo is a bit redder than the one I have appears. <This picture looks very much like Macrobrachium japonicum to me.> And it seems to be the only site on the internet that uses the name Striped-Hand Prawn (aren't common names fun to deal with?) <Ugh.  I think the world would be a far less confusing place if we simply scrapped ALL common names.  *sigh*> Also, I already checked through the photos at   http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.html#Großarmgarnelen   to try and ID it with no luck (Remembered the site from when it was pointed out to me in the forums by vintage_fish <Hey, that's me!  ;) > several weeks ago in regards to a different species) <Try this one:   http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=220 .  Do please look very closely at the faint striping on the legs (I bet this is a juvenile or young female) and compare with your shrimp.  Also, try a Google search on Macrobrachium japonicum and check out some of the pics that come up.  If at all possible, try to get a clearer pic on a plain (perhaps black) background.  In any case, a fun little fellah to find out more about, if you can spare a tank for him!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Mystery Shrimp - Fun with Freshwater Inverts - II Hi Sabrina, thought you might get that e-mail ;) <It strikes me that there simply aren't that many shrimp-obsessed people around....  *sigh*> Thanks for the help, I think you may be right with the species, maybe this one just hasn't gotten its full color yet since it lacks the markings along its sides. I located this site: http://www.aquajapan.com/encyc/shrimp/palaemonidae/macrobrachium/japonicum_e.html <I've seen that one, hoped you'd Google the name and find it - glad you did> That has two pictures of females, the lower one reminds me a little more of what mine is. I'll try to get a better photo sent in (or posted in the forums) soon, still trying to figure out proper fish photography with a digital camera (best results so far have been with tank light off and flash on in that 1g). <"I feel your pain" - my shrimp photos are currently far worse than yours, so don't feel bad, not at all!> The bumblebees are now in the 10g (blending in with the Fluorite), <They are goo at that.> I was going to try reintroducing the bully in the 10g after a few days (and after I add some rockwork for hiding spots) but given this info, I'll just keep him in the 1g while I figure out what to do with him. <A good plan.  Surely you've got room for a smallish tank somewhere?  He'd probably be fine in the 1g for a while.> LFS has informed me their return  policy on livestock only applies to dead livestock. < .... That's simply insane.  And stupid.  And insane.  So, let me see if I've got this right....  They won't take it back and sell it, but if you kill it and bring it in, they'll refund you?  That's....  Insane.> Happily, one of the other Aquamaniacs moderators has offered it a home if I don't/can't keep it, since she has two "shrimpzillas" already that she was sold as ghost shrimp (she thinks she's narrowed down the ID of hers to either Indian or Thailand prawns). <Heh, if it weren't that shipping costs suck, I'd gladly offer the li'l guy a home.  Do consider keeping him, I think you'd have fun learning about him.  The larger, aggressive shrimps can have a lot of personality (or seem to, if you're a shrimp nut like me!).> Thanks again for the help,  Chris <Any time.  Wishing you and your shrimpums well,  -Sabrina>

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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