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Old 11-19-2018, 03:43 PM   #1
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Advice: using brackish canal water and mud substrate

I'm completely new to aquariums and need some advice. I understand that people often start with sterile sand and RO water and that there are risks to what I'm proposing but hear me out. I live bordering a brackish water canal 1 mile from Mullock Creek. I'm want to see if I can get some shrimp to grow there. If you just toss in shrimp bought from the bait store, they usually have shock, probably due to temperature, salinity or oxygen differences or all three. I'd like to start a brackish aquarium and gradually acclimatize some shrimp to the canal water and then release them. Preferably I'd ultimately like to get a larger tank and breed the shrimp as well. So I was thinking of using mud from the canal for my substrate. That's what they be over later anyway. I understand that there is a risk of parasites / disease. But lots of juvenile fish live in the canal, so the water and substrate can't be that bad. I'd start with the water that the shrimp come in, drip canal water into the shrimp container and then after an acclimatization time move the shrimp to the aquarium. I have been reading / watching videos and would do all the other stuff by the book - nitrogen cycle the tank before putting any shrimp in, have a filter, pump, oxygen bubbler, plants and driftwood. But I'd like to use the canal water and canal mud substrate instead of sterile stuff. If pushed, I could use the canal water but a sterile substrate. The shrimp are not expensive, and without meaning to sound uncaring, if I lose a few in the experiment, they are no worse off than if someone had bought them to use as bait. We are talking about bait shop shrimp here (probably pink shrimp, penaeus duorarum), not something exotic. The canal water is 2 ppt salt in the summer and 15 ppt salt in the winter. Am I crazy or ignorant or both or could this work? If it could work, any pointers / advice would be appreciated.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:35 PM   #2
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Are you allowed to release shrimp like that? Sorry to ask but here it’s pretty strict.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:02 AM   #3
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Are you allowed to release shrimp like that? Sorry to ask but here it’s pretty strict.

At first I read it the same way. I believe when the OP said “released” it refers to releasing then into the tank, not the canal.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:10 AM   #4
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At first I read it the same way. I believe when the OP said “released” it refers to releasing then into the tank, not the canal.
Ehhh....I think he means acclimating bait shrimp to the same water conditions found in the canal by means of an aquarium and if successful..... releasing them into the canal.
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:11 AM   #5
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At first I read it the same way. I believe when the OP said “released” it refers to releasing then into the tank, not the canal.
Thanks. I'll check the rules. But these are not exotic or non-native. They are bought from a local bait shop who purchases them from a supplier who catches them near a local beach. They already live in water that is contiguous with my canal. And every fisherman who sticks one on a hook and flips it into the water is also potentially releasing it. They just don't live in my canal, at least that I have seen. Gulf of Mexico connects to Estero Bay connects to Mullock Creek connects to 10 Mile Canal. The shrimp are caught in the Gulf, near shore. I just want to see whether by gradually acclimating them to the less saline water, they'd establish a visible presence in the canal. So yes, I do want to release them into the canal. I also want to grow my own bait for fishing. Fishermen already daily dump unused live bait into Estero Bay at the end of a day of fishing. And they are a favorite food of fish that inhabit the canal, including snook, redfish and mangrove snapper. But if you buy them at the bait shop on Mullock Creek and flip them into the canal, they struggle. It may be shock due to sudden salinity decrease, sudden temperature change or less dissolved oxygen in the canal. Or it could be due to pollutants in the canal. I don't know. I'd like to see whether if more gradually acclimated, they can do better in the canal. This would have several advantages. They would be better, friskier fish bait. I could save unuse bait in a cage in the canal instead of discarding them. They'd attract more game fish to the area. And I could potentially grow my own fishing bait, which gives me flexibility if I want to leave earlier in the morning than the bait shop opens.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:48 PM   #6
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Thanks. I'll check the rules. But these are not exotic or non-native. They are bought from a local bait shop who purchases them from a supplier who catches them near a local beach. They already live in water that is contiguous with my canal. And every fisherman who sticks one on a hook and flips it into the water is also potentially releasing it. They just don't live in my canal, at least that I have seen. Gulf of Mexico connects to Estero Bay connects to Mullock Creek connects to 10 Mile Canal. The shrimp are caught in the Gulf, near shore. I just want to see whether by gradually acclimating them to the less saline water, they'd establish a visible presence in the canal. So yes, I do want to release them into the canal. I also want to grow my own bait for fishing. Fishermen already daily dump unused live bait into Estero Bay at the end of a day of fishing. And they are a favorite food of fish that inhabit the canal, including snook, redfish and mangrove snapper. But if you buy them at the bait shop on Mullock Creek and flip them into the canal, they struggle. It may be shock due to sudden salinity decrease, sudden temperature change or less dissolved oxygen in the canal. Or it could be due to pollutants in the canal. I don't know. I'd like to see whether if more gradually acclimated, they can do better in the canal. This would have several advantages. They would be better, friskier fish bait. I could save unuse bait in a cage in the canal instead of discarding them. They'd attract more game fish to the area. And I could potentially grow my own fishing bait, which gives me flexibility if I want to leave earlier in the morning than the bait shop opens.

i would recommend going and talking to a game and wildlife official in your area about this. i know most states have laws against releasing fish that are non native or even native into open waters. they restrict it because A.) your release could possibly affect the natural ecosystem since those shrimp are not found there now or B.) you could be releasing sick or infected animals that might infect other fish populations resulting in mass die offs. seems all i can find though is regulations on releasing nonnative fish.



here is a good link for you Conditional and Prohibited Nonnative Species Regulations


  • It is unlawful to import into the state or place in any of the fresh waters of the state any freshwater fish of any species without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.28, F.S.)
  • It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within this state, any species of the animal kingdom not indigenous to Florida without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.231, F.S.)
  • It is unlawful to import or possess any marine plant or marine animal, not indigenous to the state, which, due to the stimulating effect of the waters of the state on procreation, may endanger or infect the marine resources of the state or pose a human health hazard, except as provided in this section. (379.26, F.S.)
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:40 PM   #7
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By those provisions....and I don't know if it pertains to the OP's situation exactly.....it would seem he could keep, raise and release the shrimp as they are native and not imported. Just relocated?? But I agree, I would check on the specific laws of the area where the canal is located.
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