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  • Coloring Shrimp with Food?

    Recently I wrote a blog post called Redder Red Cherry Shrimp . The post focused on what affects the coloring of Red Cherry Shrimp. There was a comment left on that post that included some information that I forgot to mention: Continue reading

  • R/O water. What is it?

    In the Dwarf Shrimp world there is a lot of talk about R/O water, but what exactly is it?

    Reverse Osmosis (R/O)
    The movement of freshwater through a semipermeable membrane when pressure is applied to a solution on one side of it.

    What this basically means is that a Reverse Osmosis filter removes anything that is in solution with the water such as calcium, iron, copper and salt among other things.

    So why is this important to Dwarf Shrimp?

    R/O water is often used for soft water shrimp. The reverse osmosis process makes hard water very soft and appealing to soft water shrimp. This process also removes harmful metals and other chemicals from the water.

    Shrimp such as the Crystal Red Shrimp and Tiger Shrimp are both soft water shrimp and do better in R/O water than they do in hard water.

    Is it required?

    Simple answer is NO. R/O water, in most cases, is not required it can just be ideal for the Dwarf Shrimp that prefer soft water. In many aquariums the soft water shrimp will do just fine in tap water, and sometimes even thrive!

  • Simple Way to Net Dwarf Shrimp

    A question that I am asked often and see posted on forums often is “How do you catch Dwarf Shrimp?”

    When attempting to catch Dwarf Shrimp, if not using a proven technique, it can be quite a pain because Dwarf Shrimp can be fast and quite agile. But using this simple technique it is very simple to catch a large amount of shrimp or even target a specific shrimp.

    Step 1
    Drop a piece of sinking shrimp food (such as Hikari Shrimp Cuisine) as close to the front glass as possible.

    Step 2
    Allow time for the shrimp to gather around the food

    Step 3
    Slowly insert net behind shrimp, putting the shrimp between the net and glass.

    Step 4
    Move net toward shrimp and scoop up as many as needed.

    The shrimp will normally be distracted by the food and are usually easy to catch. I tend to scoop under the shrimp just on top of the substrate and it seems to work VERY well.

    Good luck!

  • Iodine: Is supplementation needed for Dwarf Shrimp?

    Iodine is an important part of a Dwarf Shrimps life cycle. It is needed to promote healthy molting and to encourage immune responses to injuries. It is obvious that any Dwarf Shrimp keeper would want their shrimp to have adequate amounts of iodine, but is supplementation needed?

    A staple in the diets of most Dwarf Shrimp is algae, either in the naturally occurring form in the aquarium or as part of their diet provided by their keeper. Almost all algae have a high amount of iodine in their cells, and this iodine is readily accepted by Dwarf Shrimp and, in my experience, has been more than an adequate source.

    I often read about new Dwarf Shrimp hobbies, and even some experienced ones, supplementing their Dwarf Shrimps iodine intake by putting liquid iodine into the water column. In my many years of researching this, I have never found any credible evidence that suggest that a Dwarf Shrimp can even use iodine found in the water column.

    It is true that many marine invertebrates need a fair amount of iodine in their water, and they can use the iodine in the water column. I believe that the idea that marine inverts use iodine from the water has spurred on the belief that Dwarf Shrimp can as well.

    Again, I have never seen any credible proof that Dwarf Shrimp can use iodine in the water column and I have plenty of evidence that it is not needed as a supplement. I have many aquariums with Dwarf Shrimp and I have never supplemented any type of iodine. My shrimp have always molted well and have always recovered well from any type of injury.

    So what is my suggestion for the use of an iodine supplement?

    I suggest avoiding supplementing any type of iodine in a Dwarf Shrimp aquarium. I have never seen any benefits to it and if the iodine is over dosed it can be harmful or deadly. If you are extremely concerned about your Dwarf Shrimps iodine intake (or lack there of), just make sure to feed a balanced diet that includes a high algae content.

  • The Softer Side of Breeding Neocaridina heteropoda

     

    During the expansion of TheShrimpFarm.com’s hatchery one of the less popular shrimp, but arguably one of the most important to the hobby, was not getting the attention it deserved. The breeding population of Neocaridina heteropoda was placed in a bare bottom aquarium with plenty of filtration. They were fed normally and water changes were performed as per usual, but the breeding came to a near stand still over the last few months! Why?

    The water that comes out of the tap in my area is very hard with and has a natural pH of 7.9-8.1. Nearly every aquarium that TheShrimpFarm.com uses to raise shrimp has a substrate of Aqua Soil Amazonia, which brings the water hardness down as well as the pH. In all of the Neocaridina aquariums that has Aqua Soil Amazonia as the substrate the pH is maintained at around 7.0-7.2.After realizing the Neocaridina heteropoda had stop breeding I decided to get an aquarium ready for them using Aqua Soil Amazonia. After the aquarium was cycled and had some plants added, I moved the  Neocaridina heteropoda over to the new set up.

    5 days later the berried female was observed. This seems to suggest that while Neocaridina heteropoda can be very adaptable to most waters, extremes should still be avoided.

    Helpful References

    - Neocaridina heteropoda

    - Growing Pains

    - Cycling Aqua Soil Amazonia

  • Dwarf Shrimp Photography

    Bee Shrimp   Cherry Shrimp 

    Over the past five years or so my two hobbies have been raising dwarf shrimp and photography.  I have found that dwarf shrimp are one of the more difficult things to photograph.  They are always moving, they are small, and they live in an environment not ideal for photography.

    In my photography hobby I used to be a purist.  I would only shoot on 35mm film.  I felt the colors were superior and that depth of field could not be matched.  Due to the expense of processing 35mm film, and the MANY bad pictures that one must take of dwarf shrimp to get ONE good one I never used my high-end cameras for dwarf shrimp pictures.

    I bought my wife a point-and-shoot digital camera so she could snap as many shots of our nieces, our family, and our dog as she wanted.  Selfishly I made sure the camera had a macro mode (the ability to focus up close on small objects).  With this camera I took a ton of pictures of shrimp, and out of 100 I would get one that was useable on my website. 

    I experimented with putting different types of glass in front of the lens.  I used magnifying glasses, this worked a little better than just the point-and-shoot, about a 75-1 ratio.  I tried using a lens from my high-end camera and placed it in reverse in front of the point-and-shoot lens.  With this technique I was getting about a 25-1 ratio.

    Here is a typical picture using a point-and-shoot digital camera with a lens from one of my high end cameras in front of it

    Tiger Shrimp

    When shooting with the point-and-shoot digital camera I found it necessary to have a lot of light over the fish tank and a tripod was essential.  After doing this for a few years digital SLR cameras improved leaps and bounds.  I decided that it was time to give one a try.

    I bought a very nice, entry level DSLR.  The Nikon D40.  It does everything I need as an armature photographer and more.  I also invested in a few macro lenses.  With this camera and lens set up I get about a 4:1 ratio now, and the quality is leaps and bounds above what I used to get with the point-and-shoot camera.

    Here are two pictures of the same shrimp.  The first is typical of a blurry, out of focus shot that about 3 out of 4 pictures look like.  The second is the keeper of the series.  Click picture for full size.

    Tiger Shrimp Blurry  Tiger Shrimp good

    I will be writing an article for TheShrimpFarm.com about dwarf shrimp photography soon with tutorials on both point-and-shoot as well as DSLR cameras.  But if you have the money to invest in a DSLR, you do get what you pay for and I would highly recommend it.

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