Ghost Shrimp disappearance and Name this plant!

Hi, all!

I just came back from an extended weekend away, and noted that one of my
tiny ghost shrimp was dead on the bottom of the tank. I seem to recall that
I was able to see one or two of its mates still swimming around the tank.
Anyway, I forgot to scoop the body out, and when I came home last night, it
was gone. I guess my Tiger Barbs and Gouramis and maybe the Corys had a
'seafood' feast.

Anyway, as I was looking around the tank, I couldn't find any of the other
shrimp. I'd started out with 10 of them, and 2 or 3 had died over the
months (I attributed it to getting caught on the heater), but at 15 cents
each, I wasn't heartbroken. Now, they are pretty good hiders when they want
to be, and my overgrowing Hygrophilia didn't help the search, but I'm sure
I should have seen at least one of them.

I know that crustaceans shed their shell, and are very vulnerable just
after shedding the shell. So, I was wondering if anyone else has had ghost
shrimp shed and get eaten? I think I saw a remnant of a shell on the
bottom, but it was late, so I didn't investigate too closely.

Also, if you have had your shrimp shed, how long did it take for them to
get back into 'circulation' as it were?

One of the contributing factors may be the tank temperature variations. I
normally keep the tank at about 75 degrees F. But, over the past few weeks,
we've had temperatures get higher, and my apartment being on the 3rd floor,
the tank temp has gotten up to 80 or so. THe fish seem none the worse for
it, but maybe the shrimp are used to colder waters?

My second question involves a plant that is taking over the surface of my
tank. I've got a bunch of Hygrophilia and a little hairgrass, and I feed
them with FloraPride and Hilena Crypto-Dunger tabs. The plant that is
taking over the surface (well, besides the Hygro! 8-) is very small, with
bright green floating leaves about 2-3mm long, and roots extending down
into the water about 1cm. The leaves don't seem to have a particular shape
(well, they are small), though they are longer than they are wide.

I don't know if it is something that is airborne, but since I haven't added
plants or fish in over 2 months, I don't think that's where it came from.

Thanks for the help!!

Larry West

Larry West - larry.west at pobox_com
Indy Car Racing, Country Dancing, Mac Maven, Saab 900t
"Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire" - GB