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Old 02-04-2021, 04:09 PM   #1
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"Hitchhiker" Shrimp

Okay.. So I've heard of hitchhiker snails... sometimes called pest snails, or pond snails, or bladder snails, that hitchhike home from the LFS on plants and what-not, but I've never heard of hitchhiker shrimp. Long story, short... I have about a 1/2 dozen or so baby shrimp in my newly-started tank that I didn't put in. They just showed up. And they are TINY. Back story:

started a new tank. First I planted it with a couple plants from multiple sources (Monte Carlo on a mat from one on-line retailer, Java moss & moss balls from LFS, etc) and I added a single Mystery snail. Now, I have quite a few hitchhiker bladder snails... that's fine. I like them. And they help keep algae, etc. in check.

Then I added some CRS... from an on-line retailer. Sadly, I jumped the gun on the cycle and they all died within four hours. I'm sure it's my fault. Anyway.... a week or so later, I see something dart across the water column in the corner of my eye. There should be nothing "darting" in this tank right now... you know.. only living things being vegetation and snails and all... and, lo and behold, there's a TINY little shrimplet. I mean, TINY... <5mm in length, tiny. that was almost two weeks ago. I would see this little guy from time-to-time, but not often. I figured he had died. Fast-forward to this morning... I can see 4 or 5 now. Of various sizes. Some a couple MM in length, some as long as 5MM in length. Really hard to see, and very difficult to photo.

Anyway... has anyone heard of getting "bonus" shrimp when buying plants? Also, it's been weeks since i've added any plants to this tank, and these shrimp are definitely hatchlings... And they don't look anything like the Red Crystal Shrimp that died so quickly in this tank. I've never heard of shrimp eggs being carried on plants but, stranger things have happened. Also, these things look more like Amano shrimp than anything else... They don't look like bamboo, ghost, RCS or CRS. They look like Amano. Which shouldn't survive out of brackish water. Help! I just don't understand how I have little shrimplets that appear to keep being born!

I guess my questions are two:
  1. Has anyone heard of shrimp eggs being transferred on plants? and [
  2. Any ideas what these might be?
I wish I could get a picture, but they are REALLY TINY! And hard to find.

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Old 02-05-2021, 01:41 AM   #2
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Congratulations on some new babies. Shrimp carry their eggs under their tails till the burst forth and become fry.

So they wouldn't have laid eggs. It is possible there was a sneaky shrimp which got scooped up, was light colored and you didn't notice it??? and they just hatched. Or possible it could have come in on some plants. One time I have received a bonus shrimp which had been in some plants.

You can try an experiment, and do not feed for a day and a half and then put in a food wafer or couple depending on how many fish might charge in there for their next meal. In the front of the tank and watch for a shrimp to come towards the meal.

Once I had a shrimp order in the mail and it had the MOST tiny shrimp which looked like they were just a week old at most. Using a magnifying glass I counted my purchased shrimp and made sure I at least got what I paid for. Then a new tinyist shrimp I had ever seen appeared, plus the ones I already saw and counted which were slightly bigger by then.

I was newish to shrimp keeping and was stumped, in reading I read about how a keeper had a shrimp die, and carefully removed the eggs and kept them tumbling using an air pump ( maybe an actual egg tumbler for fish eggs) and they eventually hatched. So I guessed it was an egg maybe the guy caught a berried female and he didn't want to sell an adult berried female and removed her and an egg fell off in the capturing process. My theory, lol.
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Old 03-02-2021, 03:54 PM   #3
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Neat! Could one of the shrimp you received have been berried when it arrived or have given birth in shipping or in the few hours it was in your tank? The babies wouldnít look much like the parents yet, they stay clear for quite a while before developing their adult coloration!
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:52 AM   #4
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It's been about four weeks since the first appearance.... and I've seen quite a few more since then.. seems I have a bit of a thriving colony on my hands... of brine shrimp, I'm pretty sure of. None of them have gotten more than a centimeter in length, and they are, apparently, thriving, since spotting them isn't too difficult now. So, cool! Free brine shrimp! Fun! Thanks for responding!
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Old 03-04-2021, 09:26 AM   #5
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Brine shrimp don’t live long in fresh water though. Unless your tank is saltwater, they’re not brine shrimp.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:47 AM   #6
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Hmmmm... well then, THAT'S really curious then... Any ideas what type of shrimp this little buddy might be then? I didn't think to add an object for size perspective, but the substrate is basic Fluval Stratum... this little guy isn't a CM in length, by estimate. I just looked right now, and, without too much trouble, I spotted four of them, in various stages of life-cycle, from what appear to be hatchling (super-tiny) to about 7MM or so in length.. So curious.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:50 AM   #7
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Don't know why the pic didn't post...
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:51 PM   #8
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Copepods or scuds perhaps? If so totally normal in a tank with no predators to eat them. Hard to guess without a picture obviously.
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