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Old 07-05-2004, 12:06 AM   #1
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Amano Shrimp Babies!

Hi All,

It's been a while since I started my own topic... This one is interesting, though I am not sure whether I'll be able to follow it through to its conclusion.

I have several (6-8 ) pregnant amano shrimp in my 55 gallon tank, and a couple more in my 10 gallon QT tank (filled with java moss).

The females are carrying clutches of 100s, if not 1000s, of eggs on their swimming legs. They fan these legs constantly, attempting, as Angelfish and many others do, to aerate the eggs as much as possible.

I've noticed over the last few weeks and months that some of these shrimp simply seem to grow larger than others. I've come to the conclusion that there's a fair amount of sexual dimorphism--that the females are quite a lot larger than the males when mature. The females seem to have topped off at 1.75" or so, and the males at 1.25" (rough approximations). I believe they've stopped growing.

I do think I witnessed at least one instance of mating. As I've been taking the largest amanos from the small tank and adding them to the larger tank (so that they don't become prey to the cichlids in the 55 gallon), I think I have created a gender-skewed society in both. All but one of the shrimp in the large tank are female, and all but one or two in the smaller tank are male. A few weeks ago, I observed almost every one of the smaller males attack one female in the 10 gallon. She fought them off every so often, but I am guessing the males were able to fertilize her eggs.

I have no idea yet whether any of the babies from that event have survived, but I will keep a close eye out in the 10 gallon (little chance in the 55). I do know that the shrimp larvae go through many life stages, so it's possible I've seen one or two babies so far. However, I doubt this is the case, as I think the babies go through the life stages while they cling to the mother's swimming legs.

I've read one interesting article on the web: http://www.uniquaria.com/articles/amano.html, but can't find any scientific articles on the shrimp in online databases.

I've taken some pictures. The first is a general shot of a pregnant shrimp. The second and third are close-ups (as much as possible) of the eggs on the swimming legs of the female. The others are perspective shots... OK, I threw in a couple of them I liked coz they were pretty.

I'd really be interested in finding out what you think might be a good strategy to keep the young alive. The java moss will clearly help, but I was wondering if you guys could think of another method. Egg crate and constant observation? Just stick with the java moss? Try one of the livebearer baby traps (sucks babies into a separate compartment). I've got a version of this one here: http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=1537

I'd be glad to have some imput. These guys are constantly pregnant nowadays, so hopefully if this batch doesn't work out, the next will!
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Old 07-05-2004, 12:11 AM   #2
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Here are the "artistic" shots. A little less functional than the last 3.

BTW, make sure to expand any of these pictures after you click on them. They tend to look a little blurry when not expanded.
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:27 AM   #3
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I hope nobody minds but here are a couple of thorough discussions on this very issue over at Tropical Resources: http://tropicalresources.net/phpBB2/...pic.php?t=6363
http://tropicalresources.net/phpBB2/...pic.php?t=6647
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:42 AM   #4
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Thanks! Looks like I'll have to add some salt to the smaller tank. Will have to read through the thread more thoroughly later.
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Old 07-05-2004, 02:29 PM   #5
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Sorry I could not help more with personal experience on this one - I can grow baby cherry shrimp, but that's about it! Different situation, to be sure, and I am very interested in how it works out for you, so good luck and hope you have the Amano mojo
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Old 07-05-2004, 04:06 PM   #6
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Hey, those links were VERY helpful, and led me to other accounts that I hadn't been able to find. So, thanks!

I've started an infusoria jar from tank water and lettuce (under directish sunlight), and will be moving some of the pregnant shrimp to the 10 gallon, and some of the males into the 55.

I just hope I can figure out what to do with those pesky cichlids... It'll be a game of fish musical chairs to figure out what tank to put the cichlids in...
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:08 PM   #7
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OK, no kids look at these pictures!

This was the crazy mating frenzy the males went into when there was only one female in the 10 gallon. 2 pictures. Amano_mating(1) seems to show the mating position (male on female), and Amano_mating(2) just portrays the melee! The female is the larger shrimp in the middle, and the males are around her.

I hope this isn't perceived as too racy. It's just part of nature!
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:25 PM   #8
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And here's the set-up I've now put the pregnant females in...
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Old 07-05-2004, 07:08 PM   #9
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I didn't know females were larger!
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Old 07-05-2004, 07:12 PM   #10
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Yes, indeedy.
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Old 07-05-2004, 08:25 PM   #11
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Not too racy - it is something that many will never see, so thanks for posting the pics. I don't see my cherry shrimp "at it" but all I see are the millions of baby shrimp that seem to be coming out of the woodwork.

I think your hatchery is an ideal setup, from what I have heard, and even just having access to java moss and whatnot from an established tank will go a long way to provide food for the hatchlings.
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:42 PM   #12
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7/06/04, Day 1

Woohoo! The babies are born!

Length: 1 mm
Number: 100-250(?)
Form: An egg with a leg (will find out name of larval stage soon)
Color: Yellow egg, clear leg
Activity: Moving in spurts and with the water flow.
Parents: 7 still holding, 1 has deposited most of eggs.
Food: Infusoria added 1X.
Any important changes: They are now free-swimming

A few lousy pictures as evidence. I took a small video clip, but wouldn't be able to post that here, so motion will have to be imagined. There are about 100 of them so far. Each is about 1 mm long. I hope more will sprout in the next few days. The females are still holding eggs, so there should be many more coming.

The babies look like eggs with a foot. Amano_babies(4) is as close-up as I could get to the larvae (after zooming in with the camera and in Irfan Viewer), so that's the best picture yet It's a picture of one of them (in the middle) attached to the glass.

The other two are just picture of a few of the babies swimming infront of a flashlight. They're the yellow/white spots.

Enjoy! I'll keep updating if they stay alive. Fingers crossed that they do... I'll add some of the infusoria mix to the tank in a few minutes. Hopefully they won't starve. If this batch doesn't work out, I'll continue to update nonetheless. Hopefully one of the batches will work out!

Jon
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:05 PM   #13
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7/07/04, Day 2

Babies are still alive!

Length: 1 mm
Number: 500-1000(?)
Form: Still an egg with a leg (will find out name of larval stage soon)
Color: Yellow egg, clear leg
Activity: Moving in spurts and with the water flow.
Parents: 5 still holding, 2 deposited eggs.
Food: Infusoria added 1-2X a day.
Any important changes: Increase in number (3-4X)

Two of the females appear to have deposited all of their eggs, so I have removed them from the breeding tank, and have left the other 5.

The number of babies in there has definitely multiplied. The latest crummy picture shows about 3-4 times as many as yesterday. The density of them in the water has clearly increased.

I'm going to try using another system to photograph these guys tomorrow, with a more powerful LED flashlight and a slimmer container (if I can find one). Hopefully the pics will be more interesting then!

EDIT: managed to get one picture in before the camera battery died, with the better LED flashlight. It's the abdomen of one of the mothers who had already dropped all her eggs. Around her, if you look carefully, are 20-30 of the babies. They're the tiny whitish blobs.

Oh, and I shone the flashlight in there last night before going to sleep, and there was this 3-4 mm long worm thing swimming through the water like a water snake. It creeped me out. When you start to look on the micro level you start to see strange and wonderful?) things. No idea what it was...
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:50 PM   #14
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Wow, very cool. Hope they keep doing well! Do you have a "backup" food source if your infusoria don't seem to be infusoring?

I'm the shrimps' uncle, and I'm proud!
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:16 PM   #15
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I don't have a back-up food source . There's nothing else small enough to feed them. Brine shrimp, daphnia would probably either compete with them or eat them! So, for now, it's just infusoria and crossing my fingers...

Lol. I love that Neils Bohr quote--sort of a Yogi Berra-ism.

BTW, have you tried the Jalapeno, tequila, lime Kettle Chips? So good! Just tried them today for the first time!
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:27 PM   #16
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Am I obsessed with this? Clearly, yes.

More pictures. This time, some better pictures of a female holding the eggs. First picture is a zoomed-in picture of the eggs. Here, you can actually see the embryo in each of the eggs. It's only a brownish spot, but it's a lot more clear than the first pictures I posted on this thread! Second picture is the whole female.
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Old 07-08-2004, 08:46 AM   #17
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There are worms that reside in the guts of shrimp that are parasitic and eventually kill the host - so worms in a shrimp tank worry me, but I am still not over my own worm/ghost shrimp experience yet - Hopefully they are just planaria.
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Old 07-08-2004, 10:54 AM   #18
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Yeah, I had the same experience with my ghost shrimp. I wish I had known at the time. They were so elusive in the tank that I didn't notice that they'd all died off... But I did notice that they had wierd, wormy things in their guts before they died. So this def. happened to me, too.

I don't think the worms are in the amanos' guts. For the most part, they've survived very well for several months now. I certainly don't see the worms in the way that I did with the worms in the ghost shrimp's bellies.

We'll see...

Update:

The electricity in my building has been turned off for the morning. Grr... I hope the babies will be fine all the same... No bubbler, no heater until this evening... But the heat's pretty high in the city ATM anyway, so they won't freeze. But I do worry about oxygen getting low in the water without the bubbler! I'm at work now, so I'll just have to hold my breath until I get back this evening.
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:46 PM   #19
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7_08_04, Day 3

Power went out for 9 hours!!

Length: 1.5 mm
Number: 250-500(?)
Form: Still an egg with a leg
Color: Yellow egg, clear leg
Activity: Moving in spurts and with the water flow.
Parents: 4 still holding, 3 deposited eggs (have been removed).
Food: Infusoria added 1-2X a day.
Any important changes: Water quality dropped for the day, some of babies may have died. Some growth.

Not a huge change today. 3 of 7 have now deposited their eggs. However, the density of the babies seems to have decreased. I think this was due to the pump and heater shutting off for 9 hours (eletrical wiring in building was being repaired). None of the mothers seemed to suffer, but I expect some of the larvae did. I think I can see some on the floor of the tank.

Each time a mother relinquishes all her eggs/larvae, I'm returning her to the main 55 gallon tank. So, now there are 4 mothers left in the 4 gallon breeder tank.

In general, the larvae seem to have moved down in the water column, into the safer area where the java moss protects them. When I shone the light in at the top, very few came to it. When I shone the light in at the bottom, as many as yesterday came to it.

So, maybe I didn't lose any, but the numbers at the top are a conservative estimate!
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:13 PM   #20
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7/12/04, Day 7

Well, I thought they were dead, but they're not!

Length: 1.75-2 mm
Number: 100-300(?)
Form: Shrimp form is getting clearer. Tail visible. Spots, fin-like appendages.
Color: Clear with colorful red and yellow spots.
Activity: Moving in a little bit more autonomous fashion.
Parents: All have been removed.
Food: Infusoria added 1-2X a day.
Any important changes: These guys seem to have changed a little bit in the last few days. They seem to be much more shrimp-like now! Parents are gone, so very little chance that any will be preyed upon...

Well, I left this a few days, figuring that the guys weren't changing a huge amount. Now there seems to be a little change. I see a shrimp-like body: a crooked body/tail (from the side) and a fanned tail (from the top).

The body is marked with a few colorful spots: two on the tail fan, one at the caudal peduncle (base of tail), two in the middle of the body, and one close to the upper body.

The yellow blob that was the head seems to be changing a little bit. There are visible depressions in it that look like eyes (but are probably not), and there seem to be some sort of swimming appendages sprouting from it (proto-legs).

Neat, huh?

I'm still anticipating losing most, if not all, of these guys this time around. From the sources online, it looks like the first brood seldom succeeds because of the keeper's lack of know-how. I'll try my best, though!
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