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Re: cleaner shrimp

> Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 16:56:41 -0600
> From: "David W. Webb" <dwebb at ti_com>
> Subject: cleaner shrimp
> Non-member submission from [klaus.schoening at jungle_org (Segeberger)]
> Subject: cleaner shrimp
> Where on earth do you get cleaner shrimp except by going to Hawaii and I
> thought those were strictly saltwater.  Tell me more, do some fish eat
> them?

They were brought to the International Betta Congress Convention in
Sacramento last summer by a Betta breeder from Hawaii. Quite a few
people got 20-30 of them, but my rumor mill is that not many were able
to keep them going.

These are a purely fresh-water species that I have had reproducing in
water with <300 ppm tds. That was a surprise to even one Hawaiian
aquarist. He thought all their species required a larval salt-water
stage, too. I used a 25G long with very coarse gravel over UGF. Feed
fish flake foods primarily, with some veggie flakes, and Nori flakes to
keep up with their iodide needs. Despite brief direct sun on the glass,
they generally kept the glass surface essentially algae free all through
the fall. Plants were mostly Java moss, nitella and some hornwort (that
they ate completely, at one point as it was in "meltdown" mode).

Not counting feelers, a really big gravid female might be 3/4" long.
Color is an attractive verdigris greenish with a bright brassy-gold
stripe running the length of the body.

They are active busybodies, eating detritus, algae and (if starved)
softer plants like hornwort. As they molt, the fish enjoy a meal of
"soft-shell crab," so yes -- fish do eat them. They swim freely in open
water at times, too, so the tank looks like it has fish.

I may not have them long, for I now have put small fish in their tank. I
doubt if the larvae will survive that. I have distributed some to
friends that, I hope, will keep them going. I'll set up another
dedicated tank after the holidays, maybe.


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntley1 at home dot com
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