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Old 08-17-2013, 01:35 AM   #21
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Got two GS today for my 2.5g.... Don't know how long they're going to last. My male betta already tried to nip at the bigger one and it swam underneath the cave for cover.... Perhaps it's just because they're new and trying to get adjusted to their environment, but they didn't even glance at the pellets and algae wafers I dropped for them. Should i get them flakes? Any suggestions to encourage eating?
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #22
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Fwiw, copper in food is unlikely to harm shrimp unless it's in very high amounts. It's often part of the mineral supplement. It is copper dissolved in water that harms inverts, which is why so many snail removers are copper based.

Ghost shrimp do breed entirely in fresh water unlike many members of their family that need brackish water for the zoeys to live in, as the larvae are called.

Females will have eggs often if you have both sexes. They carry them in the abdomen, they are very easy to see. As they grow, they drop down lower and lower. The female will fan them with her swimmerets to keep them clean, and about 3 or 4 weeks after they appear, one day, they'll be gone. She'll have let them go.

They don't become babies like cherry shrimp. Eggs newly let go float to the surface and hatch there very soon. These are larvae, or zoeys and take about four days at average temperatures to morph into something that resembles the adult. Then they tend to hang just below the surface during the day, and sink down at night, into the plants if there are any. They look like they are sliding up and down a spider's line. They do like plants, to hid in when they are tiny.

Once they have moulted several times, and get to be about a quarter inch long, they start to swim a bit. You can see them jerk when they grab a food item. By then I was feeding them live banana worms. They soon being to behave just like the adults and crawl all over eating biofilm off everything, but mainly the bottom and wood.

They don't survive mostly, because fish eat them & filters grab them. But if a tank is mature enough to have enough micro organisms in the water for the larvae to eat, they will live long enough to morph, and some may survive. I've bred them, and had them breed in a 30 G tank with numerous fish, filtration, etc. Considering how many eggs are released, the survival rate is very low, but I've had them grow up to be adults in their turn. I have never been able to see the eggs once they are released nor the zoeys, they are very tiny. Newly morphed shrimplets are not much over a eighth inch long, not counting legs and whiskers.

They don't live too long. A couple of years at the very most.. longest I've had one live is about a year. They are fun to breed, but you pretty much have to put them in a tank without fish to get any numbers, and if the tank is not old, you have to feed them something. I culture single cell algae, 'greenwater', and fed them that, as the tank I used was newly set up. First time I tried I raised about forty of them to juvie size, about 3/4 inch long, then put them in the 30G with their parents.

Like all shrimp, they are very sensitive to nitrites and ammonia, as well as high nitrates. Far more than fish are. They need clean water to really thrive.

The larvae that don't make it, I hope go to feed my filter feeding shrimp, at least in part, since the eggs do float, which means they don't all get sucked into the filter.

Btw, you can get prefilters, sponge ones are great, to put on the intake tube of a filter and that will stop eggs and larvae and baby shrimp and fish too, from being sucked up. It also grows a lot of biofilm which is a favourite food source for most shrimps. They love picking at a nice aged sponge and will spend a lot of time on one.

They will eat almost anything. Algae, pellets, flakes, whatever, but they prefer it fresh, not so much left over. Snails are the left overs specialists. I get a kick out of watching the shrimp grab newly added pellets to race away, hanging on for dear life, only to let it go when they realize it has not softened enough to eat yet. They often argue over bits of choice pellet.

It is a shame they are so often used as feeders, I think they are quite charming little guys all on their own, even if not so colourful as Neos and Crystals.

As they age, their shells will darken over the back to a shade of orangey brown, and they get some dark marks on the shells. Many also have a bright orange band around the 'wrist' and a bright orange 'dash' mark on each of the four tail fans. I am not sure why they don't all share the orange markers, but many have them. Have to look closely but if they are there, you can see them by the time they are juvies.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:51 PM   #23
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Wow fishfur... That was some great info!! Thank you so much!

I'm trying to feed my two shrimps in my 2.5g (well at least one... The other has been MIA/possibly eaten for a couple of hours...)and I can't get them to notice any of the pellets, algae wafers, or flakes I'm dropping for them before I have to clean it all up. My betta is suffering from fin rot so I'm trying to keep the water and tank SUPER clean while he heals.
Any tips fishfur?
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:37 PM   #24
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Don't feed them for a few days. Then I'd give them only one small pellet, or even less, for two shrimp. If you can get 1 mm size pellets, the Betta will like them and the shrimp can have those too. One or maybe two 1 mm size pellets per feeding, no more, maybe two or 3 times a week.

If there is a filter running, make sure the shrimp did not end up in there.

They really don't eat a lot, but they tend to graze for hours on end as a rule, it's instinctive with them, as in the wild they have to hunt for edibles all the time. Since they also eat biofilm & algae, it's possible they may be getting enough simply by grazing the tank's walls.. but mine always come for dinner, they are nosy whenever something is added to the tank.

They do prefer a cooler temperature.. I try to keep them no higher than 76F, often a bit lower than that. The Betta can handle that temperature as well, they don't truly need tropical temperatures.

I kept a couple of them for awhile, both adopted due to injury their owners were not able to deal with for various reasons. Both grew new fin tissues and were doing really well, but one jumped one night, and I did not find him in time. The other got an infected eye that did not respond to treatment. He'd been kept at 90 F for about eight months before I took him on, with a split dorsal fin. I think it weakened him quite a bit, his water was highly acidic as well, so that would not have helped him either. Though his fins healed, an eye injury, and I wish I knew how he got it, became badly infected and he died. Very discouraging.. he used to sleep under an almond leaf I put in his tank and would always come to the tank front to be fed. Miss the little guy.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:40 PM   #25
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Don't feed them for a few days. Then I'd give them only one small pellet, or even less, for two shrimp. If you can get 1 mm size pellets, the Betta will like them and the shrimp can have those too. One or maybe two 1 mm size pellets per feeding, no more, maybe two or 3 times a week.

If there is a filter running, make sure the shrimp did not end up in there.

They really don't eat a lot, but they tend to graze for hours on end as a rule, it's instinctive with them, as in the wild they have to hunt for edibles all the time. Since they also eat biofilm & algae, it's possible they may be getting enough simply by grazing the tank's walls.. but mine always come for dinner, they are nosy whenever something is added to the tank.

They do prefer a cooler temperature.. I try to keep them no higher than 76F, often a bit lower than that. The Betta can handle that temperature as well, they don't truly need tropical temperatures.

I kept a couple of them for awhile, both adopted due to injury their owners were not able to deal with for various reasons. Both grew new fin tissues and were doing really well, but one jumped one night, and I did not find him in time. The other got an infected eye that did not respond to treatment. He'd been kept at 90 F for about eight months before I took him on, with a split dorsal fin. I think it weakened him quite a bit, his water was highly acidic as well, so that would not have helped him either. Though his fins healed, an eye injury, and I wish I knew how he got it, became badly infected and he died. Very discouraging.. he used to sleep under an almond leaf I put in his tank and would always come to the tank front to be fed. Miss the little guy.
Sorry about your bettas :/ Thanks for the advice though!

Another question guys. This may seem like a stupid one, but Im seriously confused.
I came home from work to see the cloudy shell of a head of a ghost shrimp lying at the bottom of the tank and my betta with a very swollen belly... So either one of two things happened.
1. One of my shrimp molted and is in hiding in my tank (very easy for me to not see one for days. There are tons of hiding places in the tank.) and my betta ate most of the dead skin.
2. (Or the more likely situation) my betta ate my shrimp and all that's left is the shell of its head.

I did research online and found that because of the carotene in them they turn a different color after they die (either white or pink I couldn't find consistent research to be sure either way). Could anyone confirm this info and/or tell me how to distinguish between a dead GS and a dead skin of a GS? Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:48 AM   #26
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Shrimp consume their moulted shells, to reclaim the calcium in them. After moulting they do hide for a day or two until the new shell hardens. During this time, with the soft new shell they are very vulnerable to being eaten, and if the Betta got it, well, that is a risk keeping shrimp with Betta fish.

If it is a moulted shell, if you disturb it, it should move easily. It should be translucent and have nothing inside it, just be like a sort of a mask, is maybe the only thing I could compare it to. Whole shells can look like a dead shrimp, but you soon find they are hollow, with no 'shrimp' inside at all.

They can turn pink after death, but not always. Sudden death would not leave time for the colour change. Death from infection may turn them pink. Other shrimp will eat dead ones too, they are scavengers, after all. Betta might have found the head tough eating, it has bony structures in it.

I you have ever prepared shrimp for eating that still had their heads on, you learn one reason why we don't eat the heads, they're full of hard, bony structures, part of which support the eyes.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:35 PM   #27
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Shrimp consume their moulted shells, to reclaim the calcium in them. After moulting they do hide for a day or two until the new shell hardens. During this time, with the soft new shell they are very vulnerable to being eaten, and if the Betta got it, well, that is a risk keeping shrimp with Betta fish.

If it is a moulted shell, if you disturb it, it should move easily. It should be translucent and have nothing inside it, just be like a sort of a mask, is maybe the only thing I could compare it to. Whole shells can look like a dead shrimp, but you soon find they are hollow, with no 'shrimp' inside at all.

They can turn pink after death, but not always. Sudden death would not leave time for the colour change. Death from infection may turn them pink. Other shrimp will eat dead ones too, they are scavengers, after all. Betta might have found the head tough eating, it has bony structures in it.

I you have ever prepared shrimp for eating that still had their heads on, you learn one reason why we don't eat the heads, they're full of hard, bony structures, part of which support the eyes.
I have literally the shell of the head. Still no sign of the missing shrimp. I'm thinking he may have molted and gotten eaten in his vulnerability Sad day... Thank you for clarifying for me, fishfur.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:24 PM   #28
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That sounds more like a moult. When they moult, they split the shell at the line between head and body, and along the back.. and sort of wriggle out of it, like a tight swim suit. So you often find the head piece separate from the body section.

But, sometimes it sucks to be a shrimp. Might not be the best company for your Betta, but you may be surprised yet.

I have thought shrimp were gone and found out long after that they were just hiding.. it depends. Though in a small tank it is harder for them to hide, they are very, very good at it. One reason they are the colour they are is because it makes it easy for them to hide.
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