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RE: Those Secretive Shrimp

I have found that you can take a shrimp census by dropping a couple of
sinking algae wafers into the tank a little before lights out.  Wait about
an hour after dark and check with a flashlight or red lamp -- every shrimp
in the tank will be feasting.  I have a small red compact-flo from AHS for
night viewing.  Shrimp tend to be less visible in the tank the day after a
good feeding.  My AES seem to be active both night and day.  Normally after
lights out they will head to the surface and graze on surface leaves and

Some nights I see pairs mating.  I think this may happen immediately after
the female sheds (like blue crabs).  It also seems that the females (the
ones carrying eggs) are now almost twice the size of the males.  In the year
since they arrived from AAG (95% shipping success for me) they have about
doubled in size (to 1.5 inches).  Almost all (except for an early loss of 2
and a couple of jumpers) are still with me.  I also have a related Cardinia
species (sold by the Aquarium Center as Rainbow Shrimp) which IMO are more
attractive, and getting more so as they age.

I think AES may live about three years, so mine are approaching middle age.
Since I haven't seen any fry or young, I may try the suggested hatching
procedure of placing an egg carrying female in a greenwater tank and slowly
raising the salt content to trigger egg release/hatching.  If I can just
catch one...

I have been adding 1 ml of Seachem reef iodide at water changes for them.  I
also give them half a calcium pill twice a week. (watch your KH) They seem
to eat it and I often see shed shells the next day.  I also leave any
sheddings in the tank for them to eat.  IME they do eat BBA, java moss,
riccia, and tender shoots, esp. my Red Temple and Mexican Oak Leaf.

Joe K