So I have recently taken on the task of breeding Amano shrimp. I have had success however, the final tank that they are transferred into immediately after metamorphosis is riddled with seed shrimp, flat worms and so on. I am sure a lot of you would have seen this coming but since I am new to the aqua game, it was not anticipated. So I have two questions.
1- Anyone else breeding Amano shrimp?
2- Does anyone have a brilliant idea as to a fish that would be small enough not to eat a freshly morphed Amano shrimp, yet large enough to eat these crustaceans and other various critters that are ruining my view?
All constructive replies are appreciated.
As for breeding Amano shrimp... Here we go...
-First of course is identifying males and females. Males will have rows of perfect dots along the shell while Females will have a combination of dots and slashes.
- In terms of getting them to mate, idk... Its my understanding that with adequate water parameters, temperature and food they can't help but get romantic. Keep your NH3 - 0, NO2 - 0 and nitrates low with a nice temp around 78 degrees and i'm sure it will happen. Even at my LFS they have a 180 gallon planted display tank with 100+ amanos in there and every female I seen was pregnant. Btw asked if I could buy some of the pregnant females out of the display and they said no
- When the female becomes pregnant (Buried) she glues them underneath her shell, You can't miss it. Initially they will be a very dark green color. After 5- 6 weeks they will become a much more light khaki color. Around the time of this khaki color you can even look very closely with a magnifying glass and see a tiny black eye for each individual egg. This is when her release date is right around the corner. So you need to isolate her into a holding tank to await her full release. My female released them in waves lasting a few days and I am pretty sure she is more inclined to do so at night. I am trusting that anyone who is actually considering trying this is experienced with fish keeping so they know the usual aspects of this process such as acclimating her carefully to the new tank(water parameters and temp), give her something to hide in, have circulation, plenty to eat and so on. Also do not be like other people I have seen and as soon as she is pregnant take her out. She can stay in her real/already established home for 4-5 weeks before isolation so she i'snt spending most of her life alone in a iso tank. ALSO DO NOT PUT HER IS SALT/BRACKISH WATER. Remember that your female is more important then the fry so take care of her.
- In the wild the Amano eggs hatch in freshwater streams and migrate into the ocean. They live in the ocean up until metamorphosis and then swim back up the brackish water to reach a fresh water stream as it's final resting place. This is the environment/process you are trying to recreate.
- When the eggs the female released hatch, cut off the lights and shine a flashlight in. you will be able to see them clearly. They have a head and tail and honestly look like a animation that you would see of sperm. They are attracted to light so after staging the flashlight by the glass for some time go back and collect them with a syringe. Note.... Some of them do not go towards the light. I am not sure if this is because they have not hatched properly or have not had enough time etc. My first batch I would grab them anyway but I have a experiment in place this next time around to test the success rate with only the none light followers to compare to the light followers... Sorry I forget the Photo word to describe something being attracted to light.
- You are capturing them into a syringe to transfer them into salt water. I believe they will not survive in fresh water for more then 2-5 days at this point so stay on top of it. DO NOT PUT THE MOTHER SHRIMP INTO SALT/BRACKISH WATER. There is various information about what salinity (ppt) to put the fry in. I and others that have had success have landed on 33-35 ppt. I try to stay at 34ppt. Have 24 hour light to grow algae for the fry to eat. Have circulation going but not to much so the fry can float to the algae and eat. Do not feed fish food.
- After 45-60 days the fry will start to morph. Once they are fully morphed they will not live in the salt water for more then a few days so stay on top of it. There are three ways to tell they have morphed. color, body type and behavior.
1. Color - The healthy fry become orange in color but once they morph they change into the silver color of a amano shrimp
2. Body type - The fry are the head and tail mutant looking creatures but once they morph they no lie look exactly like .4 - .5 mm long amano shrimp, Legs and everything. If they look like amano shrimp, legs and everything but still have a little of the orange color to them then wait 24 hours because they are still in the process of morphing.
3. Behavior - you will have noticed that the fry just kind of float around aimlessly but once they morph they are hanging out on the glass, Swimming quickly around the glass jar, crawling around and so on. Acting like a amano shrimp does
It is important to make sure that you at least have Number 1 and 2 before transferring them to fresh water but also not taking to long to start the transition.
- Transitioning to freshwater is simple. In the wild once they morph I believe the swim back to fresh in a matter of hours so... Drip system. Drip water (Water taken from the tank they are going to be placed in) into a jar of the salt water they where living in to start slowly acclimating them for a span of 1-4 hours. Then you are finished.
- (Notes) As mentioned above they are very small after metamorphosis, So in fresh water tank sponge filter is a must. As for the fry they do create ammonia so keep up on good water parameters. Water evaporates but leaves salt behind so keep up on your salinity. Remember that the mother is more important so make sure to take care of her. There is information out there on this subject and even a few you tube videos I've seen that are pretty good including a guy named happy chappy. Id recommend watching these videos.
Let me know what you think or better yet, how it goes.