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Re: Amano Shrimp and Snail Eaters
> Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 12:46:02 -0500
> From: "Alysoun McLaughlin" <alysoun.mclaughlin at ncsl_org>
> I don't think that shrimp-eating behavior is so easy to predict. Yes,
> there's a danger, but...
> I've occasionally purchased ghost shrimp, mostly as a treat for my yo yo
> loach. I've watched him take them down. This last time, I dumped about
> thirty shrimp in, and watched a pair of egyptian mouthbrooders snap up about
> ten of them within the first few hours. The yo yo loach didn't take any
My experience with ghost shrimp has also been mixed. Often they are
safe until they molt, then the fish tear them up and eat them. On the
other hand, I mostly have small cichlids, which tend to be enthusiastic
omnivores with fair-sized mouths and plenty of teeth.
> They've since declared a truce, and the invertebrate labor movement has
> scored a major coup. Not only do I still have at least ten ghost shrimp (I
> dumped them in about a month ago), but I've also got hundreds of trumpet
> snails. The egyptian mouthbrooders completely ignore the shrimp now
> (they're no bigger than the ones I watched them eat), and I still haven't
> seen the yo yo loach go after a single shrimp or snail.
> I think it's time to get a few younger, more ambitious loaches.
Some clown loaches will go after MTSs, but mine won't unless I crack
the shell (with pliers) for them first. This was supposed to be vocational
training, but doesn't seem to have worked. MTSs are harder for snail-suckers
like loaches to eat because they have an operculum (trap door). However,
some do figure it out.
> Is the 'skunk botia' the bluish, striated one? I think it's something like
> 'botia striatus'? That's what I was planning on adding to the tank...
Skunk botias (B.horae or B.morletti) are the beige ones with a black stripe
down the back. B.striata is sometimes sold as the zebra loach. These fish
are really beautiful in a subtle way, don't get very large and are social
and peaceful. Skunk loaches can get aggressive amongst themselves. I don't
think my B.striata are eating many MTSs, although the MTS population doesn't
seem to be increasing in that tank, but they definitely do eat ramshorns.
I've got some Anomalochromis thomasi in that tank, which will crush and eat
very small snails, so they may be getting the MTSs when they are small. (My
vocational training method worked perfectly on these little cichlids - you
could watch them doing their homework, carefully studying the snails and
deciding whether they were indeed snails and whether they were small enough
to fit in their mouths, then making a lightning grab for them accompanied
by a loud snap like breaking glass!)
Btw, this time of year seems to be loach season, so now is a good time to
find the loaches of your dreams.