The Complete Fairy Shrimp Guide (hopefully, help me fill in the blanks!)
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:12 PM   #1
xenxes
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The Complete Fairy Shrimp Guide (hopefully, help me fill in the blanks!)


Thinking about grabbing a few thousand eggs and hatching them as either live food and/or just as a nano/pico fairy shrimp tank.

Anyone have experience with this?:

- What kind of tanks / bowls do you use?
- What substrate/flora/fauna setup would maximize their life-cycle (if any needed)?
- What do you feed them?

Lastly, anyone keep these as pets? Want to see some pics!


Findings
--------------------------------------------------
Will update more feedback / info as I find them here. Only good info I can find are from 2 shrimp farms :/ Not sure if this is very accurate:

Wild Habitat:
Fairy shrimp have short life cycles and live in standing temporary water, dry lakes and vernal pools to name some. Many in the wild will also hatch and breed in small puddles of muddy rain water.

Aquarium Habitat:
At home, keepers claim that Fairy Shrimp exhibit brighter coloration when kept under direct light. Use distilled or spring water, and top off regularly. A filter and flow is not required, as Fairy Shrimps live in standing puddles of water in their natural habitats. In fact, strong filters should be reduced and covered with a sponge to prevent sucking away the baby shrimp. Salinity and specific conditions vary based on the species of the shrimp.

Feeding:
In the wild, fairy shrimps are filter feeders. They strain tiny particles (bacteria, algae, spores) out of the water. In captivity, they can live on a diet of “yeast soup”: dissolve 1 packet of dried yeast (bakers or brewers), 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a big pinch of crushed fish food flakes in 1/3 cup of hot spring water. Mix well and let it sit an hour. Store your “soup” in the refrigerator or another cool place. To feed your shrimp, stir or shake the mixture thoroughly. (It settles out quickly.) Use an eyedropper or pipette to drip a few drops of the soup into the water. Give the right amount of food -- the water should be slightly hazy (still see-through), but not cloudy. If it becomes cloudy, stop feeding for a day or two until it clears up.

Genus/Family:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streptocephalus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branchinecta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thamnocephalidae

Species:

Redtail Fairy Shrimp (Streptocephalus _):

Lifespan: 8 weeks
Full Size: up to 0.5"
Temperature: 50-100F, widest range of survival temperature

Thai Fairy Shrimp (Branchinella thailandensis):

Lifespan: 8 weeks
Full Size: up to 1"-1.37"
Temperature: 50-65F optimal to hatch

Dry Lake Fairy Shrimp (Streptocephalus _)

Lifespan: 3-5 weeks average, up to 9 weeks
Full Size: up to 0.9"
Temperature: can survive up to 93F

Winter Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta _)

Lifespan: 10 weeks
Full Size: up to 0.8"
Temperature: 40F - 72F (optimal 60-68); can even hatch in icy waters < 40F!

Mammoth Winter Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta _)

Lifespan: 12 weeks
Full Size: up to 1.2"
Temperature: 40F - 72F (optimal 60-68); can even hatch in icy waters < 40F!

Beavertail Fairy Shrimp

Lifespan: 14 weeks average
Full Size: up to 2"
Temperature:

Giant Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta gigas):

Lifespan:
Full Size: up to 3.4"
Temperature: 45-60F optimal to hatch


Videos:

2-3" red and green found in a well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftBNnrteoP8
2" beavertails captured from a puddle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xunAaPDOtNs

I think they make an unique addition to an aquarium despite their 3-4 months lifespan. The red/green ones, and the red-tail makes them pretty prominent and easy to spot.

Articles:

Instructions on raising fairy shrimp.
Journal article on using fairy shrimp as live feed to improve growth in prawns.

Personal Experience:

Thai: low hatch rate, longest life span was 3 1/2 weeks.

Trying some Redtails now.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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I've thought about raising a bunch of these before. I had one that grew up with my triops, their eggs are often included. The things get pretty big compared to regular "sea monkeys" or brine shrimp.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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I read that triops will eat anything (short life cycle, need lots of food), so I don't think I'd keep them in the same tank.

Found a recent article on the subject of using fairy shrimp as feed:

http://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ijzr.2011.138.146
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #4
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Yeah, I wasn't intentionally raising it with the triops but it was there and avoided it well. Wonder if you can even keep the fairies in a regular planted tank, but with a very fine sponge filter of course.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:44 PM   #5
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Updated 1st post with most of what I could find. Seems like red-tail and thai are most popular / cheapest. The giant ones look interesting though.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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Excellent post! I've kept triops in the past and tried fairy shrimp but never had any luck. I've got several thousand triops eggs in a ziploc on the shelf though and have been thinking about getting them going again.

I did keep triops with my cherry shrimp with no real problems. I don't know whether they ate the cherry babies or not, but the level of predation, if any, wasn't enough to cause a problem for my colony. They also weren't cannibalistic as is usually advertised. I suspect that a major part of their good behavior is that they had plenty of food that they could eat without bothering to chase it down. When these have been introduced in mosquito control trials that has been the problem: they are voracious but lazy and won't bother chasing the larvae around.

I'd also love to keep mysis relicta or bloody red shrimp. Not really the same thing, but similar in that they are non-shrimp shrimp. Unfortunately nobody sells these as live shrimp, and the second may not even be legal to keep where I'm at.

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Old 01-08-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftBNnrteoP8

The gigas is very expensive though. I'm going to hunt down some 2-3.5" species as pets
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
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They're really neat, something for me to consider adding to my tanks since I love lots of life in aquariums, whether it be small or big.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:04 PM   #9
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I grabbed 5k eggs for $5 (Thai fairies), will let you guys know lol.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:12 AM   #10
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I have a baggie of beavertail shrimp I have yet to hatch. I kept fairy shrimp until their tank exploded (no, I don't know how....) It was just a round glass vase I kept on my dresser. When the water evaporated about 1/3 of the way, I added distilled or spring water and new babies would hatch. It also had seed shrimp and clam shrimp, but the clam shrimp never laid eggs.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:13 AM   #11
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Forgot pictures.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:08 AM   #12
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Exploded!? I think some containers aren't meant to hold water and can't support the weight. I see they're clear, any idea what gives them coloration? or is it purely genetics/breeding. I guess to hatch them any bag of water will do, thanks for the pics
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #13
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Mine had more coloration when I let them get direct sunlight, I've found the arizona shrimp are the most colorful (are we allowed to post links to other sites here?) arizonafairyshrimp.com had bright green swimmers and red tails. The ones you get as betta feeders on ebay tend to be pink or white.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:54 PM   #14
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Oh and distilled water, IMO, works best, I've always had much better hatch rates with distilled than spring with fairy shrimp. With triops it hasn't mattered.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kannachan13 View Post
Mine had more coloration when I let them get direct sunlight, I've found the arizona shrimp are the most colorful (are we allowed to post links to other sites here?) arizonafairyshrimp.com had bright green swimmers and red tails. The ones you get as betta feeders on ebay tend to be pink or white.
Yeah you can (just no eBay or Aquabid links), that site is where I got most of the info and pics from. There are not a lot of vendors. But I ended up grabbing Thai ones for cheaper on no ebay links allowed

I guess these will be clear / I'll use them as food. I might pick up some prettier & bigger ones later to add to aquarium life. These are more for experimental purposes

TY for the direct light & distilled water tip.

Also, hatch those Beavertails before they expire (though I think they're good for 1-2 years)! And post pics!
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