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Well, this time my wife is really not happy with me, and she has a point. I have spent too much time (and too much money) on the latest addition to my garage. As the title says, I now have 4 Sulawesi shrimp species in my 60 gallon tank.
I found a breeder in Indonesia who was selling both wild caught and tank bred shrimp (Aristocratama.com) They are a wholesaler but agreed to sell to me if I bought a minumum of one box. A bit more than I planned but I ordered the following
50 C. Dennerli - Cardinals. These are the consensus pick for hardiest Sulawesi shrimp.
50 C striata - Red line - cool looking
50 C. spinnata - yellow cheek. These get to 3mm. pretty big
50 C woltoreckae - Harlequins also called, mistakenly, C spongicola. These are the toughest
Also:
Mini bolbitis
50 Red cherry water plant. This is a macro algae that looks like a plant:
http://www.aristocratama.com/ - go to the plant and moss gallery.
This plant is seems to be configured to grow periphyton - a complex mix of diatoms algae and organic matter it collcts in its spiny little leaves - and is a really good food source for these shrimp. The exporter said this would be a good way to get them up and healthy ( ...he would say this). I did searching and found one paper discussing Chara sp and there position in the food chain. Seems plausible.
These Shrimp are all tank bred and the exporter kept them at a pH around 7.5 to 8. kH was 7 to 10, but he said that "breeders" would be fine with lower levels of alkalinity. He didn't know his gH. Temp 28 degrees C
His advice - they need high levels of oxygen. Water change - no more than 10% at a time. They come from 1 million year old ancient lakes. Stability is a requirement!
Some pics:

It took 3 hours to get them with trips to the air cargo place - then customs - then back to air cargo. Shipping, handling, certifications fees, inspection fees - these are expensive. You would need to order alot more to make a business out of this. These fees were 3x the cost of the animals

I had read about "mini bolbitis" and they had some - expensive, but heck, I can't find it here. Well I found out that I got the Costco size! These are two VCR size packages of mini bobiltis. ( no they are not what you are thinking...) I am sure it was grown emersed and will change leaf form soon.

Here is a pic in my 90 gallon.

Will absolutely sell some! ... and will be generous with the portions. PM me if you are interested.
The shrimp came in BIG bags. Each had an Indian Almond leaf for the shrimp to hang on to and to impart some beneficial/protective chemicals or so I have heard. The leaves did probably drop the pH along with shrimp waste and CO2. The water in the bags had the following parameters:
Temp 78 - an advantage of big bags and I got them in less than 24 hours!
kH 7
gH 15
pH 7.02! This was the biggest issue. I slowly added tank water over 3 hours to get them used to the higher pH again. These guys do not like big shifts in H2O chemistry.

Getting acclimated. You can see a Red Cherry water plant on the lower right. On the lower left - Eleocharis sp "belem" - thanks Todd ( a fellow SCAPE club member)! There are Eleo species in the Malili lakes.


A blurry but bigger pic of Rec Cherry Water plant (RCWP from now on)

After 3 hours, I floated them in breeder tanks over night to see how they would fare. In shipping, I lost two cardinals, 3 yellow cheeks, 5 harlequins at least, and zero Red lines! I lost more yellow cheeks and harlequins over night. Worried about these guys.

The hodge-podge scape - I added even more RCWP after this shot. Function over form in this tank.


Speaking of function - a cheap Petco power head with venturi. more flow and oxygen. Take this for what it is worth - 1 data point. When I was adding my yellow cheeks to the tank I removed three dead shrimp and saw two others that were clearly about to expire - on their sides but they moved/flicked when I went to remove them. I decided to put their net breeder directly in the flow. Check out the mist coming from the left side. This revived them! I wish I had put air stone in the bags right when I opened them maybe I could have saved more Harlequins

This picture says two things - I can't ever focus my camera, and I really think these RCWPs are cool. If any one wants some I may sell 10. 40 should feed the flock. If you have Sulawesis you should try them. PM me.

The Red Lines

Not hard to see why they have the name - again a blurry picture

The Yellow Cheek - a berried female hanging out in the RCWP

Two berried Harlequins! - there were many more berried harlequins than any other type - I hope some shrimplets make it to replenish the stock!

The cardinals in the breeder box - lot's of shrimp poo on the bottom! These guys were definitely the most active and relaxed of the 4 types.

Some group shots



I have been searching far and wide to find info on how the keep and breed these shrimp. It's tough. There are people who have had success but beyond water parameters, they give out little info. A couple people are trying to provide more complete histories and this will help everyone. I will try to document what I am doing and my thoughts behind why I am doing it. I will probably struggle but I won't hide that either. Failure teaches important lessons too!
Bill
 

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Thanks for the explanations. It was interesting to see how the two in the breeder were revived by the oxygen infusion.
 

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Haha I saw the title of the thread and I thought it meant "Cardinal Tetras and Redline Rasboras and Harlequin Rasboras", and I thought "why in the world is this in the shrimp subforum?". Now I see ;). This is awesome! There aren't too many people in the states that breed and raise Sulawesi Shrimp. I'll be following this one for sure. Good luck!
 

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