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Old 03-09-2006, 05:43 PM   #1
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Breeding Ammno Shrimp?

I wasn't really sure where this should go, but since my inspiration was an article on breeding Ammano Shrimp, I guess it goes in freshwater.

Premises:
1. Many species, such as ammano shrimp, need to switch between salt and fresh water sometime in thier life cycle.
2. Saltwater is heavier than freshwater, and given a lack of turbulance, the two will not mix quickly. This can easily be proven with three water glasses, table salt, food coloring, and careful pouring. (I've done it, for 24 hours my interface held. I needed the table space before the solutions diffused together.)
3. In nature, estuaries and groundwaters tend to develop a "salt wedge" where the surface water is fresh, and the deeper water is salt. The depth of each layer is dependant on how close you are to the salt or fresh source. Brackish water animals can encounter both layers as well as mixed areas such as our traditional "brackish" tanks.

What if I built a tank with two chambers, one salt, one fresh, with a coil of tubing going from the top of the fresh chamber, to the bottom of the salt chamber? In theory, could I develop a freshwater/saltwater interface there, mostly protected from the filter turbulance on each side? Would larve have the instincts to swim twoards the increasing salt concentration, or do they depend on currents to take them there? If I do all my saltwater topoff from the fresh end, letting the excess pressure push through the interface, will that provide enough current to push the larvae into the salt chamber?

I think this interface coil would have to be valved, or regular water changes could easily disturb the interface, and cause one chamber to leak into the other.

Does anyone think this would increase survival rates of Ammano larvae, or would a decent percentage not switch to the salt chamber in time?
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:02 PM   #2
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Interesting theory. I have no idea, but it definitley is a thinker.

My understanding was always that the eggs were "laid" in the freshwater. They floated to the salt water where they encountered a brackish area, evolved as larvae in the salt water, then instinctivley swam back to the fresh water.

The issue I see with your theory is that you are betting that the larvae will have enough instinct to "follow" the salt water environment, and that your salt section could remain undisturbed for long enough to develop two distinct salinity areas. An estuary usually is undisturbed to a certain degree, right? How do you plan on keeping the tank filtered, yet allowing it to sit for long enough to develop the wedge?

Very interesting.
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Old 03-10-2006, 12:26 PM   #3
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The interface would be in a long coil of flexible tubing, the relatively narrow opening and long length would shield the center of the coil from turbulance. Only a pressure differential between the two sides would cause much current in the coil. (Such as when the water is changed, or if one side evaporates more than the other.) A seperate filter for each side would be utilized; considering it's a larvae tank, probably just a sponge filter that doesn't produce alot of current anyway.

From the things I've read about breeding in captivity, the eggs hatch in saltwater, remain there for a few days, then are transfered to saltwater. The timing of this change seems to be critical to larval survival. The Larvae are swimming at this point, but I don't know if they swim with direction, or just circle in the current looking for food. They are phototrophic, perhaps that could be used to lure the larve into swimming to saltwater, but that still depends on my timing rather than nature's.
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Old 03-10-2006, 07:57 PM   #4
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Cool. I'd like to know if you try it, and how it works out. Sounds interesting for sure. Which I could help ya out more though with your Q's.
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