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steelcube

Operation: Bring Sexy Back (Sexy Shrimp Breeding)

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steelcube

Alright, well I decided to start a thread to give people an opportunity to give me constructive criticism on my techniques for breeding sexy shrimp and to create yet another thread dedicated to breeding them. I've been through countless threads of other individual's attempts/successes and I figure if someone out there tries to do the same another thread about the topic will hopefully help them and encourage them.

 

What?

Breeding sexy shrimp.

p-90056-shrimp.jpg

 

Why?

Trade in to my lfs for store credit to help fuel my addicti.. I mean hobby.

 

How?

Previous method of using upside down soda bottle with mesh lid placed in fuge was difficult to observe so I modified my set up.

 

Now I'm using a glass cylinder to house the larvae and another to breed brine shrimp. They both sit in an old eclipse 6 that has a heater to heat both cylinders, thermometer, and pump to push water.

 

2013-01-29_18-03-52_279_zps7efc9cac.jpg

 

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I currently have a 10g shallow rimless DT and a 10g sump with refugium below. The refugium takes up almost half of the 10 gallon tank and since water spills over the baffle into the return section its water level is higher than the rest of the sump.

 

In the refugium I have a ball of chaeto which my four sexy shrimp (3 females, 1 male) enjoy perching on. There are also two maxi mini anemones (the kind that stay small). I put them there to allow the sexies to perch on them and so that they can move around without harming other coral, and they move A LOT!

 

2013-01-29_18-09-54_717_zpsf9fa912b.jpg

 

I was observing the fuge today 1-29-13 and noticed quite a few larvae had settled in the back left corner of the fuge (directly above is where the water overflows) so I began constructing this new set up and extracting larvae. I use everything pictured below (minus the light) and once I create a siphon I plug the airline with my thumb. When I see larvae I remove my thumb and pick them up. So far this technique has worked fantastically and many larvae are still alive.

 

2013-01-29_18-09-45_443_zpse22ac74d.jpg

 

I intend to feed the larvae once a day and observe them so I can siphon out the dead. I plan to do 16oz water changes (volume of one plastic solo cup) every day to ensure stable water conditions.

 

Any questions? I'll be sure to post updates when I think is appropriate.

 

Enjoy.

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steelcube

1-29-13 Larvae Release

2013-01-29_18-02-55_664_zps3648f67e.jpg

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Acielot

OOH cool. Good luck with this batch.

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sean151

I'm glad to see someone attempting to breed, and hopefully rear, these lovely shrimp again on the forum. For how popular they seem to be, not many people have openly attempted breeding them on NR.

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1reefluvr2

I had some formover two years and they have never had any eggs

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steelcube

Fed the larvae today. Used a flashlight to try to concentrate the bbs in one area to make feeding easier for the larvae.

 

2013-01-30_13-52-35_464_zps43530dda.jpg

 

To hatch bbs I use about 2.5 liters of tap water. Add a spoonful or two of decapsulated eggs. Let hydrate for an hour then add 2.5 tablespoons of sea salt (no iodine). Then turn the light on for the rest of the day and let them hatch. Usually the are done the following afternoon. At that point I use a flashlight to concentrate them and use airline to pull them out and place in larvae vase.

 

Here is the site I used BBS Decapsulating and Hatching

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steelcube

It sort of dawned on me when looking through pj86's thread on breeding sexy shrimp. He fed them TWICE a day. SO, I just started another batch of bbs. Since I will be having two setups I'm going to use two 20oz soda bottles and a light to heat them. I will try to alternate the feeding times, but since I have a lot of classes Tues/Thurs it may not be very varied.

 

Also I placed a small chunk of chaeto in with the larvae to help remove waste.

 

I figure he had a lot of success with his setup so I will try to replicate it to the t and won't question it. The possible future livestock of my display tank depends on it!

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steelcube

Four Days after Release (2-1-13)

 

While completing the regular 16oz water change today I noticed a couple molts floating around. Also I decided against feeding twice daily. There are many bbs that remain in the system so instead I've just placed my flashlight (spotlight) on the tank about twice a day to concentrate the bbs for the larvae.

 

Since I'm using such a large volume of water I haven't been too concerned with removing dead larvae and molts. I'm more concerned about accidentally removing the live ones. I read on pj's thread that he does a 5% daily WC while I complete more like a 20% WC daily. The larvae container has approx. 80 oz of water and I change 16oz daily (using ounce because I use red solo cups to wc and their capacity is 16oz).

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pj86

steelcube, it is really cool you are attempting to settle sexy shrimp. You seem to be on the right track. The water changes are great, try to keep up the feeding because bbs lose their nutritional value quite quickly unless gut loaded. Also with the bbs try to use decapsulated eggs because hydroids are a common problem with bbs eggs that are not decapsulated. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

 

whys thread is a great thread, I'm certain his setup will yield a large survival rate.

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fishfest10

Cool project! I hope it's very successful. I have sexies and they're awesome. I'd try this too if I still had the patience for hatching bbs.

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steelcube

Yeah, I didn't post about it but I'm decapsulating the eggs for 5 minutes in half bleach half water and storing in saltwater in the fridge. I've been doing well feeding them every day at approx. the same time.

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steelcube

QT'd a female carrying eggs last night. Came back to find she released some larvae, not all. So I left her in QT and moved the larvae into the vase. As soon as I was done placing them I fed them bbs.

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steelcube

2-7-13

A couple days after the second release I couldn't see any larvae in the container, but I kept up with feeding and wc's. I decided to take a short piece of 1" tubing and place the air stone and air line tubing in it. This somehow created smaller bubbles so I haven't had any larvae get stuff on the surface.

I also cut a notch in the tubing so that water could still flow well and while doing a wc I bumped it so the notch faced the center of the container and it seems to have created a nice rolling flow in the container.

Larvae seem to be doing very well.

 

Finally,

I THINK I SEE EYE STALKS!!! it's tough to tell, but they definitely have something coming out of the top of their heads. I'd post pictures but it's tough to see anything in the container let along photograph it.

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Acielot

Why?

Trade in to my lfs for store credit to help fuel my addicti.. I mean hobby.

Haha will your LFS take this many shrimp at once? if not you will have some high quality feeders. :P

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steelcube

Haha will your LFS take this many shrimp at once? if not you will have some high quality feeders. :P

 

 

I actually was kind of worried about whether they'd be willing to take 20+ a month cause I'm not sure there's that much interest, but that was back before I realized I probably won't have more than 5/hatch settle, if that. They did tell me they'd be interested though.

 

High Quality Feeders!!

With how much time I've put into it, if I feed them to my coral and fish it's going to be white cloth, candle lit dinner.

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steelcube

2-10-13

 

We have eye stalks! Still have around 5-8 floating around. WOOT!

 

2013-02-10_15-02-37_928_zpsd9ebba3b.jpg

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steelcube

Well I fed the larvae and performed a water change. Somewhere I read that using tank water for the water change seems to help induce molting. After the water change I went to check on the larvae and didn't see many floating around. I assume they are somewhere in the aquarium molting, maybe after awhile I'll see more floating around. Currently I only see one, and there was another at the bottom of the vase.

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steelcube

Went back to check and sure enough there were many larvae floating around. I counted 6. I'm not sure where or what they were doing since I couldn't see them, but I assume they were molting at the bottom.

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Whys

Glad to see you're still at it! But shame on you for not posting a link to this thread in mine. :)

 

The feeding twice a day is probably the hardest part about this project. Problem is, if you miss one, you actually miss two, because not only do you fail to feed, but you fail to prepare the next batch. Back when I was first using undecapsulated eggs, hatch-out took the full 24 hours, thus even being a couple hours late with one feeding would really throw things off down the line.

 

As to feeding density, while you might be retaining enough BBS that you can maintain it with just one hatch a day, it means the average age of the larvae's prey is several hours older. The BBS grow rapidly, but have little to nothing to eat. Thus they become less nutritious as they age, as well harder to catch and hold on to, all within a matter of hours. Regardless of feeding density, hatching twice daily really makes a difference.

 

More food does equal more water changes tho. I'm doing 30% water changes every 3 days right now, just to keep the ammonia in check. That's with a sand bed and decent bio-cycle in place. And those water changes can be a real PITA! It can be a real challenge not to disturb the larvae in some way while doing one. It just involves too much moving about and doing stuff. I got so focused on the larvae, I failed to notice my heater was still turned on when I drained the refugium. Lucky for me, the heater was the only casualty.

 

Incidentally, Pj86 is the one who mentioned that adding breeder tank water helped, but I thought it was more to settle and cue than to molt, not sure. I've seen molting lately, but not settlement as yet. If I don't get settlement by day 29, I'll definitely try it and see what happens.

 

If you haven't already, consider duplicating this thread on MBI site with a breeders journal. If you're serious about breeding Thor, then why not earn the merit badge?

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steelcube

Alright. After this current hatch I will try to work on setting up a second bbs hatch out container just to see how it works, but since I've already been refining my process as I've progressed feeding twice daily will not be the only variable.

 

I've seen those breeding journals on MBI but I'm not sure what the significance of them is versus making these types of threads. I'll ask this in your thread, I assume you might see it sooner then. But once school ends I'll be on an internship and won't be able to continue breeding till next year so I may hold off on starting a journal.

 

About pj's thread I'd have to go check it again. I just thought there was something about it aged water influencing molting but I'm not sure.

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Whys

The significance of a breeder's journal on MBI site is that they have an approved process for establishing the legitimacy of any breeding claims. If you meet the criteria and receive a breeder's badge for Thor, then you will be recognized as a legitimate breeder by career marine biologists, and they will not question your claim.

 

Marine biologists and other marine breeders are far more likely to assist a verified breeder. That may become important to you later if you want to attempt to breed something else... or just brag. :D

 

I located Pj's post in question. He said that mature tank water seemed to encourage morphing after settlement. I take that to be metamorphosis, which is not necessarily the same thing as just molting. I take back what I said about not having settlement. I do have a few that appear settled, and I do believe I saw some molting before that happened. So those two things may go hand and hand. But I haven't seen metamorphosis as yet. The documented larval phase for Thor is 26 days. I'll probably wait the remaining 5 before attempting any mature tank water. But yeah, I have a couple that want to run around on the bottom and appear pretty competent. It might be that they are ready to morph, but I don't want to force anything. This is the farthest I've ever gotten, so I don't have any previous experience to draw upon at this point. Just Pj's journal, same as you. :)

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steelcube

Well maybe I should have heeded your warnings sooner whys. I see maybe 2 larvae left. I think I'll try to hurry up and get a second station set up for bbs hatching and start watching for another release.

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Whys

Well maybe I should have heeded your warnings sooner whys.

 

Nothing wrong with testing the waters, so to speak. I know I always like to start by first testing the conventional wisdom. What you lose in time you gain in experience. Besides, how does one measure improvement without a baseline? Now you will know exactly how much of a difference feeding twice a day makes. Would you know as much otherwise? Is that comparative knowledge not useful to you? The only failure is to not see the gain.

 

There are a lot of possible reasons for your larvae loss. Feeding may be a factor, but it may not be the most significant factor. I only know that it has been the most significant factor for me.

 

Keep at it! You'll get there.

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steelcube

Well today is 21 days since release and I have two larvae left. Hopefully I'll see settlement occur in the next couple days. I plan on transferring them straight to my fuge with their parents. There aren't any predators in the fuge, but there is algae and a big ball of chaeto.

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