Shrimp got here yesterday and they arrived in GREAT shape. Thanks again, Yoink!
I can't believe how many he sent me. DH counted 38 and I counted 39 before they started moving too much to keep count ~ and that's with some hidden under the little batch of plants included with them! I'll bet there are fifty or more in there!
I put them in the tank and they went to town on the hair algae right away, abandoning a sinking algae wafer I'd given them. Man, was I ever glad to see that. Like an idiot, I put a few rocks from my creek in the tank before disinfecting them and that algae popped right up in no time. *sigh* But looks like it wasn't a bad thing after all ~ made their new home even more comfy for them. Serendipity!
After a few hours, they started swimming around a lot, up high off the substrate, back and forth across the tank. I was a bit concerned, but DH loved watching them. The tank is next to his chair for now and he sat there for hours staring at the tank. Looks like these will be good for his blood pressure.
I got on here to look for info on whether that was normal or not and found a thread that said when a female molts she lets off hormones that make the males go crazy. Sure enough, I found what looked all the world like an empty exoskeleton laying on the substrate with a shrimp eating it.
This morning they're a lot more subdued. We only saw about a dozen foraging out in the substrate near the front of the tank. I did find a few more in the "forests" in the back corners. I've also read on here that they hide well, so out of a hundred you may only see a dozen or so, so I'm not worried.
What I LOVED seeing this morning was one eating a little bunch of that hair algae! As I sat drinking my coffee, I watched her munching down! It was a piece about 3/4" x 1/2" and she finished it in no time! No wonder the tank looked a lot cleaner this morning. They're quick!
I've also noticed atleast three females with saddles. Looks like I might get a population explosion in a month or two! I'm really looking forward to it as I have another tank with a bare bottom and plants in pots that have started growing hair algae as well. I think I'll move the betta out of that one and put some cherries in there once the number grows enough to do that.
I've been reading about the "super red" cherries and thought I might try my hand at selectively breeding for that trait, so I might start that with the second tank ~ just moving the reddest ones into it. Out of the four or so adults I've seen, there are two females that are REALLY red, so maybe I can have some success. Even if I don't get super reds, it will help me start a second line to backcross so I can keep them from inbreeding. Breeding Longhorn cattle and racing Paint horses for years has given me a good working knowledge of genetics, though breeding on this large of a scale with this many individuals and at this fast of a pace is a bit new to me. Cattle's gestation is nine months and horses is almost a year, so breeding these guys will be like instant gratification!