Attempting to Breed Microcrabs - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:19 AM
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I read somewhere that in their natural habitat they reside in water hyacinth. It's an invasive species in my state. So once it warms up I will acquire some. Not sure how helpful this is. But I aquired this paper from franks Aquarium.
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post #17 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:21 AM
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post #18 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:43 AM
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I thought zoeas need brackish water in order to fully develop into crab.
zoea just references one of the stages that larval crustaceans go through.

It doesn't really have anything to do with whether or not they are fully freshwater.

The most common shrimp that go through larval stages that we deal with in the hobby (Amano shrimp, caridina propinqua shrimp) just happen to require brackish conditions for the zoea.
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post #19 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by aquaponicpaw View Post
I read somewhere that in their natural habitat they reside in water hyacinth. It's an invasive species in my state. So once it warms up I will acquire some. Not sure how helpful this is. But I aquired this paper from franks Aquarium.
Thanks for the paper. I have luck raising daphnia with water hyacinth and water letter. Their roots harbor lots of microbes the larvae can eat. I guess a 'dirty' tank is best to raise the larvae.

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post #20 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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I read somewhere that in their natural habitat they reside in water hyacinth. It's an invasive species in my state. So once it warms up I will acquire some. Not sure how helpful this is. But I aquired this paper from franks Aquarium.
They might use water hyacinths nowadays, but they definitely didn't evolve to do so, as water hyacinths are native to the Amazon. I read the same paper though, prior to keeping them. I've got gobs of red root floaters going in their tank. Very infrequently I catch the crabs hanging out in their roots. I've never seen one swim up to the top, but they must at some point in the day.

One thing I've noticed my most mature, hairiest crabs doing is filter feeding. They don't do so in the sense that bamboo shrimp do, i.e. they don't constantly clean their setae as they filter the water. Instead they rest with arms extended into the current and when a relatively large object hits, they grab it. I am a bit curious about what might occur if a very small shrimp wandered into an adult crab's arms. To be perfectly clear, in half a year of keeping them, they have yet to show the slightest aggression toward any other tank inhabitants.
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post #21 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:35 PM
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zoea just references one of the stages that larval crustaceans go through.

It doesn't really have anything to do with whether or not they are fully freshwater.
I meant the micro crab Zoea not zoae in general.
I read somewhere that the river current drive's them down to brackish water.
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post #22 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 05:16 PM
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I meant the micro crab Zoea not zoae in general.
I read somewhere that the river current drive's them down to brackish water.
That is what I read also, except it was about amano shrimp.
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post #23 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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I meant the micro crab Zoea not zoae in general.
I read somewhere that the river current drive's them down to brackish water.
This is on the list of things to try if I ever manage to get a good batch of zoeas going, but everything I've seen or heard about them indicates that they live their entire lives in fresh water. Their genus name even means hairy lake dweller, loosely translated (limno- and -pilo, which I bothered to figure out before thinking to try to look it up. I found the source almost immediately. Stinking research, giving me answers to questions I'm curious about. The naiyanetri part is in honor of a Thai biologist, Phaibul Naiyenetr.) Here's the paper describing the genus and species for the first time. It's an anatomical rather than behavioral or environmental paper.

The specimens from this paper were collected very near the ocean though, in so it's entirely possible that they have a brackish phase to their development. In fact, the species holotype was collected in a river filled area of Nakhon Pathom province not 15 miles from the Gulf of Thailand. This might be worth more than a casual look. Glad you asked or I never would have bothered to look at the map.
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post #24 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 05:26 PM
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Yeah, definitely put a bunch in a brackish solution and fw to see if one group lives longer than the other.

It might have nothing to do with the salinity but the type of food available in those environments.

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post #25 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-13-2012, 12:07 AM
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This is on the list of things to try if I ever manage to get a good batch of zoeas going, but everything I've seen or heard about them indicates that they live their entire lives in fresh water...The specimens from this paper were collected very near the ocean though, in so it's entirely possible that they have a brackish phase to their development. In fact, the species holotype was collected in a river filled area of Nakhon Pathom province not 15 miles from the Gulf of Thailand. This might be worth more than a casual look. Glad you asked or I never would have bothered to look at the map.
I am thinking if its possible to adjust fully grown crabs to low end brackish water ~1.004 and let them breed in there so you don't have to move the zoea to another tank.
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post #26 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Not much has been going on lately with these. Of the females that I captured and put in a small hatching tank, neither has done anything yet. One of them, the one that had only a very few eggs to start with, has either dropped or hatched her eggs without me noticing, so she was returned to the main tank.

I did another full rescape today after discovering that floramax contains chips of carbonate rocks (they fizz wildly in vinegar) and has almost certainly been the source of my pH/KH headaches in that tank lately (numerous lost batches of bumblebee shrimp eggs and 0 surviving baby bumblebees in the last 2 months...) In the process of moving everything I was more concerned with speed than doing a proper head count, but it appears that most, if not all, of the crabs have survived to this point. I checked each as I moved them, and checked size, sex, and berried status. Of the females, all but 3 were berried. I left 3 berried females in the main tank and transferred the remaining berried females to my hatching tank to see if I could finally get some zoeas. I've seen numerous instances of mating behavior lately, so it seems likely that conditions are good for them to reproduce. Hopefully now that I rescaped I didn't mess things up overly much.

I've noticed a few things about these animals. I would like to be perfectly clear that these are just my observations and that it's entirely possible that they would be proven wrong with a larger or more representative sample of the animals.

Sexual dimorphism: Males appear to grow substantially larger than females. Of the crabs I have, the 5 largest are males, and they are larger by far than any of the remaining crabs. I have very few small males, and it seems likely that the small males that I have are young animals. The males also have much heavier claws and are much more setose (aka hairy.)

Color: RandomMan noted this in another microcrab thread recently. Microcrabs kept in soft, acidic water tend to turn gray. If they are kept in hard, basic water, they tend to turn brown.

Temperament: Peaceful, entirely so. The most aggressive acts I have seen involved mating, when the males occasionally use their claws to hold a female's leg, or when several microcrabs are in the same small container (as in shipping) they will tend to grab onto one another and form a crab ball. They disengage from the ball without injuring one another, however. While rescaping I tried repeatedly to get a crab to pinch me, they just wouldn't do it. I believe that one of my largest males managed to get me once, but his claw power was so weak that I am not certain whether that was what was happening or not.
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post #27 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 05:16 PM
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I'm reading and keeping tabs on this, as I'm interested to see the outcome to..

Someone needs to figure out how to breed these so we can start worrying about breeding some Color into them..
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post #28 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 05:33 PM
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I would think about using a kreisel and freshwater rotifers if they are small enough. I know the marine ones I used to use would be but not sure on FW.

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post #29 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 06:08 PM
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what inverts do you have with them!? they are safe with shrimp?!
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post #30 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 08:02 PM
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what inverts do you have with them!? they are safe with shrimp?!
they are shrimp safe. I have 10 coming tomorrow to add to my shrimp tank.
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