Filter Feeder Shrimp Update

Singapore, Wood and Blossom are names that describe similar (perhaps the 
same) shrimp that feeds by filtering the water for fine particles.  My 
shrimp are 2" long, from  nose to tip of tail, one is blond and the other is 
brown, lighter and darker horizontal striations can be seen upon close 
examination, and a light broad strip runs down the back.  Two pair of 
"filtering" feet are normally held in front of the body but underneath the 
head.  Occasional flicking of a foot to the mouth will be noticeable.  Two 
large antenna and 2-4 (I forget) smaller antenna are located on the head.

These shrimp position themselves in a strategic position and may be 
motionless for hours, except for the flicking of the filtering feet. 
 Occasionally, they will be seen moving around the tank or hanging from the 
oddest places (not only on and in plants but once Blondie was in the 
canister filter outflow!  The tank water was clearer than it had ever been 1 
week after introduction (Tank is 42gal hex).  Two weeks after introduction, 
the bottom two thirds of the tank was still clear but the top third had 
visible particles in it.  I attribute this to adding a biowheel and changing 
the flow patterns.  The water simply did not circulate to the bottom as 
well.  Three weeks after introduction the shrimp were "grooming" the algae 
on the plants.  They did not actually pull up the algae but brushed their 
filter feet over it.  I believe they are pulling particles off the algae, 
possibly even algae spores.  I have also seen the exact same behavior occur 
on the gravel.  With the gravel (5-15mm size) they will completely wipe each 
exposed surface on the gravel, and even saw some small pieces being moved.

The shrimp are funny to watch.  One day Brownie got something on one of his 
filter feet and it wouldn't come off.  Imagine a person finding something 
nasty on their finger and trying to sling it away - Eeeuww!  That's exactly 
what this one was doing.  A not so nice thing about the shrimp is that they 
molt.  The first time I saw a shell I thought I had a dead shrimp.  I don't 
know how often they molt, in 6 weeks only one time so far.  They become 
reclusive when it's "time" so they need a little bit of shelter.  But they 
molt away from protection - I guess to not contaminate their home.  Their 
reflexes are superb - one of my Discus got too close and the thing BOUNCED 
about 6" straight up into a plant.

I purchased mine at the local Pet Smart for $8 US each.  The wholesaler who 
supplied them is Seagrest Farms out of Florida.  (800)237-9317

Rochelle Williams
williaro at ftmcphsn-emh1_army.mil