- [20:01 16/09/2005] <!craig> Good evening everyone and welcome
to Live! Fishchat!
- [20:01 16/09/2005] <!craig> Tonight's guest speaker is Christine,
yes right from downtoan Badman's and she will be speaking on Cherry
- [20:02 16/09/2005] <!craig> Christine, take it away..
- [20:02 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Thanks Craig :)
- [20:02 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Hello everyone and thanks
for coming! Tonight's chat will be all about keeping the red cherry
shrimp - Neocaridina denticulata sinensis.
- [20:02 16/09/2005] <+Christine> This shrimp was bred in Taiwan.
The red variety does not occur naturally in the wild. Click here for
a great pic of a female carrying eggs, male is below: http://www.petshrimp.com/redcherryshrimp.html
- [20:03 16/09/2005] <+Christine> These shrimp are a joy to
keep. They are brightly colored red making them easy to spot and coloring
up the dullest of tanks, they are bred very easily, eat more varieties
of algae than most other shrimp, and tolerate a wide range of temperature
(70-82) and pH (6.3-8.2).
- [20:03 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Cherry Shrimp are truly busy
workers, keeping the algae under control. They eat most types of algae
while Amano shrimp are generally limited to hair algae. Even on seemingly
clean plants, they appear to be nibbling on something.
- [20:04 16/09/2005] <+Christine> However, cherry shrimp will
not usually touch Cladophora, the same algae that makes up those plants
commonly sold as "moss balls".
- [20:04 16/09/2005] <+Christine> In regards to feeding, it
depends on the set-up. If the shrimp are in a tank with other fish,
the shrimp are content to pick at what is given to the fish. If it's
an algae-ridden tank, the shrimp will be content nibbling at the algae.
- [20:04 16/09/2005] <+Christine> If it's a shrimp-only tank,
no or minimal algae, feed your shrimp 3 times a week or every other
day. Shrimp will eat just about anything. Feedings can consist of
Hikari Crab Cuisine, Flake food, Spectrum, spirulina, blanched veggies,
Algae wafers, and the list goes on. Some even feed their shrimp bloodworms,
crushed snails, brine shrimp, shrimp pellets, etc. They're not picky.
- [20:05 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Some fish foods contain copper
(e.g. Wardley Algae Disks), which is known to be harmful to invertebrates.
Some hobbyists do not feed these foods to be on the safe side. Others
assert that the amount of this ingredient is negligible enough to
not harm shrimp.
- [20:05 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Some hobbyists add iodine
directly into the water column via such products as Kent Marine Iodine
to promote growth and healthy molting. If using this, err on the side
of caution and do not overdose. These hobbyists generally add 1 drop
per 10 gallons once a week.
- [20:06 16/09/2005] <+Christine> However, there doesn't appear
to be any empirical evidence that suggests freshwater shrimp are capable
of metabolizing iodine from the water column. Its been said the iodine
oxidizes quickly in water and would need to be dosed daily to produce
any effect even if the shrimp could absorb it through the water column.
- [20:06 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Keep in mind that there seems
to be a fine line between how much is toxic and how much may be beneficial.
Daily dosing is out of the question. Some say that iodine's toxicity
causes an immediate molting response and more frequent molting detrimental
to the shrimps' health.
- [20:07 16/09/2005] <+Christine> The addition of iodine to
a shrimp tank is a curious contention. The question intrigues me.
To my understanding, shrimp require iodine in their diet to grow/molt
healthily. Certain foods can be purchased that contain iodine, such
as Hikari Crab Cuisine or Nori seaweed.
- [20:08 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Some attest to raising healthy
shrimp without supplemental iodine, others attest to the "miracle"
effects of it (i.e. more breeding, longer life-span, regular molting,
better growth, etc.). Yet, others use it without noticing any effect
at all and reasoning that "it doesn't appear to hurt them, so
why not add it?"
- [20:08 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Most hobbyists raise healthy
cherry shrimp regardless of whether they add iodine or not. They are,
in most hobbyists' experiences, quite robust little creatures. The
choice is yours. I remain curious about the topic, so I share my findings..
- [20:09 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Please note that I do not
agree with one side or the other. I've read any research/articles
that I could find on the topic (some of those links will be posted
below) and yet, I am not convinced of either of the three sides of
the debate: a) it does nothing; b) it's beneficial; c) it produces
a mild toxicological effect that may induce heightened and therefore,
harmful frequent molting.
- [20:10 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Searching for actual scientific
support specific to freshwater shrimp for any of the three positions
turned up disappointing results. It seems that this topic remains
under-investigated to any substantiated degree. I did find some information
on related topics, some of those links follow:
- [20:10 16/09/2005] <+Christine> http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2003/chem.htm
(scroll to middle of page to see tidbit about shrimp; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/iodfaqs.htm
(FAQs about iodine); http://ss.jircas.affrc.go.jp/engpage/annualreport/1996/overview/fisdivision2-2.html
(molting and hormones); and lastly, a search through Pub-Med, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi,
will yield some more information on the topic.
- [20:11 16/09/2005] <+Christine> To continue with the topic
at hand: Something that is well known is that invertebrates need calcium.
This is especially critical if you have soft water. Calcium can come
in the form of cuttlebone, chalk, crushed coral, liquid supplements,
- [20:11 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Some foods that you can feed
shrimp contain calcium. See: http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/cgi-bin/message_board/show.cgi?tpc=29503&post=144439#POST144439
for a nicely compiled list by our very own Debra Ann.
- [20:12 16/09/2005] <+Christine> When shrimps molt, most hobbyists
assert that it is best to leave their shells in the tank as they are
consumed to regain lost calcium and other nutrients. This helps them
to better reform and harden their shells.
- [20:13 16/09/2005] <+Christine> There are no special considerations
in regards to breeding cherry shrimp. They pretty much take care of
this themselves as long as they are kept in good water conditions
and receive enough food, they'll multiply quickly.
- [20:13 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Females are a deep red color
(darker when carrying eggs). Males tend to be much paler and smaller.
(Azgardens states the opposite, but this is untrue - refer to pictures
above). There are, however, exceptions to the rule; some males become
a nice red, some females are duller than others. Generally though,
they are easily sexed by color.
- [20:14 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Breeding takes place right
after the female molts. With her new soft shell, the male will mount
the female. A pregnant female is easily spotted by a yellowish "saddle"
that is visible in the thorax under the carapace- these are the eggs
developing. The female will soon drop a cluster of yellow colored
eggs where her swimmerets hold them and fan them.
- [20:15 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Up to about 20 baby shrimp
(or so I've read, but have not yet experienced) will hatch out of
these eggs and are extremely tiny- 2mm. I am unsure about the length
of the gestational period - some breeders site 2-3 weeks.
- [20:15 16/09/2005] <+Christine> There is no planktonic larvae
stage, the babies are tiny replicas of their parents and just like
their parents, will eat anything. The babies take quite some time
to color up. If fed well and kept in proper water conditions, this
new generation will be ready to breed in approximately 50 days.
- [20:15 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Every once in awhile, the
male shrimp will frantically scamper around doing laps in the tank.
It has been hypothesized that a 'ready' female gives off pheromones
and the males then seek out the ready female. The behavior lasts a
few hours or more and then ceases as quickly as it began. Quite interesting
- [20:16 16/09/2005] <+Christine> The only downfall to cherry
shrimp is their size. They grow to about half the size of Amano shrimp-
¾ to 1 inch, making them easy prey for other carnivorous fish.
Also, with their bright red color, they're easily spotted by predators.
- [20:16 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Some hobbyists successfully
keep them with tankmates such as tetras or smaller livebearers. Others
assert that they should be kept alone in shrimp-only tanks or Nano
cubes. Fish with specialized mouths such as corydoras do not pose
much threat to adult shrimp and make ideal tankmates as long as you
don't care to sacrifice any offspring.
- [20:17 16/09/2005] <+Christine> My solution to the problem
is having a shrimp-only tank for breeding. As the shrimp multiply,
I am able to cull the population (leaving behind egg-carrying females,
a couple of adult males, and juveniles) and place them into any of
my other tanks needing a good algae clean-up.
- [20:17 16/09/2005] <+Christine> These other tanks do contain
threatening carnivorous fish (mainly cichlids), and the shrimp do
eventually become snacks. But, they are fast swimmers and good hiders
and in the meantime, they combat the algae before entering the "circle
- [20:18 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Some may cringe to the fact
that I'm allowing these shrimp to be expensive snacks for the fish
as price quotes for cherry shrimp range from $3 - $14.99. However,
at the rate that these shrimp breed and their increasing popularity,
I predict the price will be driven so low that eventually there will
be no need to worry about breeding them for a profit. Don't get me
wrong though, If I see a demand for cherries, I will sell some :)
- [20:18 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Their diminutive size also
requires that water changes are made with some adaptations. Nylon/hosing
attached to the end of the siphon with a rubber band works well. Others
use airline tubing and ensure that they hold the tubing in open water.
- [20:19 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Regular water changes are
as important for shrimp as they are for fish. Shrimp are very sensitive
to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Overfeeding or missed water changes
have been known to eradicate an entire tank full of shrimp.
- [20:19 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Shrimp will climb out of your
tank if given the opportunity, so a tight fitting lid is important.
Plants or other things to climb on should be provided as well. Even
during shipment, shrimp should be given some moss or other plant to
cling to or will otherwise become stressed, possibly to death.
- [20:20 16/09/2005] <+Christine> That said, cherry shrimp are
considered rather hardy in the shrimp-enthusiasts world. For example,
my shrimp took 14 days through the mail to get to me. All 12 were
perfectly fine and the female that was carrying eggs at the time of
packaging was still holding them upon arrival! They hatched about
three days later.
- [20:20 16/09/2005] <+Christine> I am having a ball with these
little guys and as they become more available and less expensive,
I hope others can enjoy them too. Now, bring on the questions! :)
- [20:21 16/09/2005] <+Christine> umm yeah, so that's it lol
- [20:21 16/09/2005] <!craig> Thanks! Well done Christine!
- [20:21 16/09/2005] <+Christine> TY and you're welcome
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <!craig> Our custom of late has just been
to open the floor, so let me fiddle with the controls and do so. :-)
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <!Jessica> thank you christine.
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <!craig> Its nice having a secretary. ;-D
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <+Christine> no prob:)
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <!Jessica> it was very interesting. :-D
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <russ> Christine, that was simply great!
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <!JP> Thank you again Christine for doing
this. Very good presentation. :-)
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <+Christine> ty Russ. you all are too sweet
- [20:22 16/09/2005] <!Jessica> made me want to get them again
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <+Christine> you had them before?
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <megan> nice job christine! :-)
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <+Christine> ty megs
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <!Jessica> yeah, they made great snacks,
and expensive ones!
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <+Christine> hahha
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <Erin> Made me want to get rid of my angels
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <Michelle> WTG Chrissy! ~S~
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <!JP> This is why I have a critter tank.
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <+Christine> ty hun (your gunky filter
stuff is waiting for you, Michelle)
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <Michelle> cool be there in a bit!
- [20:23 16/09/2005] <Erin> I do have a spare tank sitting around...
- [20:24 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Critter tanks are great.
- [20:24 16/09/2005] <+Christine> they are sooo neat
- [20:24 16/09/2005] <!JP> I enjoy mine. Needs some more shrimp.
- [20:24 16/09/2005] <+Christine> I"m glad I got them.
And so surprised they made a 14 day shipment from the US to Can.
- [20:24 16/09/2005] <!Jessica> that is amazing
- [20:24 16/09/2005] <Erin> hmmm, might have to try some shrimp
- [20:24 16/09/2005] <+Christine> female still carrying when
she got here
- [20:25 16/09/2005] * !JP passes the cocktail sauce over to Erin.
- [20:25 16/09/2005] <+Christine> It MUST mean the gestation
period is at least longer than 2 weeks. That much I know.
- [20:25 16/09/2005] <russ> Christine, have you kept them with
any other inverts?
- [20:26 16/09/2005] <+Christine> snails.
- [20:26 16/09/2005] <+Christine> pesty snails that is.
- [20:26 16/09/2005] <russ> ah...lol
- [20:26 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Although, I'm going to try
an apple snail (a first for me) in the shrimp tank.
- [20:26 16/09/2005] <+Christine> as soon as Michelle raises
me a nice burgandy one :)
- [20:26 16/09/2005] <Michelle> ;)
- [20:27 16/09/2005] <+Christine> umm to my understanding, they
can be kept with any other freshwater shrimp without fear of hybrids.
But I can not attest to that from experience. Just anecdotal heresay.
- [20:28 16/09/2005] <+Christine> I'll be back in 1.52 minutes.
- [20:28 16/09/2005] <russ> What do you use to cathc them (if
necessary). Any special procedure besides a soft net?
- [20:28 16/09/2005] * russ starts the stopwatch:-)
- [20:30 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Great ? . A soft net is a
must. Nets can hurt the little guys. I use a turkey baster to move
them around or I try to scoop them up in mid swim with a plastic cup
- [20:31 16/09/2005] <+Christine> even shipping should be done
carefully. The type of bags from fish stores may even hurt them. Breather
bags are perfect.
- [20:32 16/09/2005] <+Christine> I attribute the successful
shipment of mine to the exquisite packaging and breather bag.
- [20:32 16/09/2005] <!Jessica> breather bags do sound like
- [20:33 16/09/2005] <+Christine> they worked very well in this
case. However, a little strange as I was talking to those who ship
- [20:33 16/09/2005] <+Christine> the gentleman that shipped
mine had the breather bag 3/4 full of water (with some plants to crawl
on: Important!) inside another bag filled with water.
- [20:34 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Other shippers say that this
is not the way breather bags were intended to be used. the outer bag
with water in it would inhibit oxygen exchange.
- [20:34 16/09/2005] <+Christine> I'm not sure, but it worked
very well in this case.
- [20:35 16/09/2005] <+Christine> hahahha - just reading back.
I want to point out that my shrimp don't "mold" they actually
- [20:36 16/09/2005] <!craig> (I'll fix it when I edit the transcript
- [20:36 16/09/2005] <+Christine> this beer is doing very well
- [20:36 16/09/2005] <+Christine> ty Craig
- [20:37 16/09/2005] <!craig> Don't be shy folks, the forum
is open to any and all questions.
- [20:41 16/09/2005] <+Christine> Well, if there's no more questions
..... I've got a terrible cold, I should probably relax on the sofa