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About AFellowReefer

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    Shrimp Fanatic!!!

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    San Diego
  1. Congratulations! And what a lovely tank!!
  2. AFellowReefer’s Encyclopedia on Shrimp: The One Stop Guide for Your Shrimp!! NOTE: This took me a long time to type up, so you all better like it! Introduction: Hello all you fellow reefers! Decided to live up to my name and let you all learn about shrimp!!! I have always wanted to make an encyclopedia on shrimp, it has been my dream... (strange dream, I know.) I have compiled a list of common and not so common species of shrimp found in the hobby. I will give you information on tank conditions, personalities, reef safe, behavior, compatibility, and a whole lot of other stuff. Minor Things that bother me on this Forum -The plural of shrimp is shrimp, NOT shrimps, just thought everyone outta know General Information about Shrimp Shrimp are widespread and are quite abundant as they can be found near the seafloor, shallow coasts, estuaries, and even as deep as the Marianas Trench. They are classified as decapods, belonging to the class of Crustacea, along with crabs and lobsters. Shrimp are quite diverse. Some species form the base of the eco-system, while others are higher on the food chain or provide cleaning services to fish. All shrimp have an exoskeleton and subsequently molt it every few weeks (the molting frequency depends upon the species and water conditions.) They require proper iodine and calcium levels in the tank in order to molt properly, as they use these trace elements to have their exoskeleton harden. Please do not dose your tank with iodine and calcium unless you are checking iodine parameters. If you dose too much, this can lead to excessive molting and eventual death. All shrimp require a stable specific gravity. A quick swing in salinity can easily kill your shrimp, so be sure as to when you add them, use drip acclimation and maintain appropriate salinity levels. Shrimp can tolerate a specific gravity of 1.021-1.022, however prefer a higher specific gravity of 1.023-1.025. Shrimp cannot tolerate copper. Classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Subphylum: Crustacea Class: Malacostraca Order: Decapoda Family: Genus: Species: Shrimp Anatomy Here is a pretty good picture of the anatomy of a shrimp. Be aware, all shrimp have a different number of teeth on their rostrum, depending on the species and often differentiates many similar looking species. Here is the basic function of the major components on a shrimp- Antenna and flagella- Its function is for “touch”, they will use it for sensory information Eyes- Like insects, shrimp possess compound eyes Pleopods- Also known as “swimmerets,” are used for swimming, and in females, they are used to hold, fan, and then disperse the eggs into the water column Carapace- Provides protection and support, it is part of the exoskeleton Maxillipeds (not diagramed)- Primary mouthparts Mandibles (not diagramed)- Secondary mouthparts, contains a muscular jaw For those of you who have too much time on your hands, here is an excellent resource on shrimp anatomy- http://www.chucksaddiction.com/shrimpanatomy.html Breeding Your Shrimp and Raising Your Larvae It is pretty easy to get your shrimp to reproduce. Many species are sequential hermaphrodites, such as the genus of Lysmata. However, many species are not hermaphroditic and sexing between the two can be difficult (I will tell you how to sex your shrimp in each profile below.) The shrimp will generally spawn once per month around dawn. They will release their eggs into the water column where the larvae will perish, unless moved to another tank. In nature, the larvae would become part of the zooplankton, until they matured. Raising your larvae is difficult, and few have succeeded. You need a dedicated tank, with a sponge filter and pristine water conditions. The larvae are quite sensitive to sudden salinity swings, so constant monitoring of specific gravity is a must. Perhaps the most difficult part of raising the larvae is giving them proper food, The larvae require a constant supply of live foods, which can be difficult. In the early stages of development, the larvae require rotifers. As they mature they accept larger prey, such as baby brine shrimp. Be aware that the brine shrimp should be gut loaded to provide nutrition for your larvae. Larval development varies upon species, and also is dependent on the amount of food is provided for the larvae. Compatibility Chart Key- YG= Yes/Groups; they are compatible and should be kept in groups Y= they are compatible C= possibly compatible; with caution MP= only compatible as a mated pair MP-H= only compatible as a mated pair, however are hermaphroditic, and will pair up as long as there are only two specimens in a given tank N= not compatible Abbreviated Common Names- CBS= Coral Banded Shrimp Yellow L.= Yellow Line Shrimp Venus A.= Venus Anemone Shrimp SS Cleaner= Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp NOTE: -This chart applies to smaller tanks (like 20gal and under) as the larger the Tank gets, the more likely compatibility is, as there is more room and therefore less conflicts. -I had to omit the word shrimp and abbreviate common names in order to fit all the all the names. How this Thread is Organized: I organized this by alphabetical order using scientific name. That way, all species in the same genus will be in the same place. For those of you who do not know scientific names, do not worry, the common name is right next to the scientific name. Alpheus Genus The family Alpheidae (family of pistol shrimp) consists of at least 46 genera with more than 600 species. Most do not exceed 1 inch in length and often hitchhike on live rock. These shrimp are the most common shrimp found in coral reefs, however are often never seen as they live in their burrows for most of their life. The Alpheus genus is characteristic of one large claw, properly called a dactylus that acts as a defense and for hunting prey. The dactylus has the capacity to close quickly, causing an air bubble to form and subsequently a sonic wave. It is considered to be one of the fastest things in the animal kingdom, occurring in about 300 microseconds. The dactylus is in fact so strong, that it produces a flash of light (not visible to the naked eye) along with a blast of heat. Researchers suggest the temperature inside these bubbles produced may reach up to 8,540 degrees Fahrenheit for less than a second. It has the same force as a .22 pistol and will instantly stun or kill their prey. The Alpheus genus also forms many symbiotic relationships with other species on the reef, including echinoderms, sponges, corals, sea anemones, mollusks, and other crustaceans. For example, Alpheus lottini lives in Pocillopora corals and will protect their host from the crown-of-thorns sea stars, a deadly menace on the coral reef. Alpheus heterochaelis also form symbiotic relationships with Panopeus herbstii or black-clawed mud crab. Some pistol shrimp have even been known to live with mantis shrimp. However, the most known partnership occurs between at least 30 species in the genus Alpheus and about 130 different species of watchman gobies. The Alpheus genus’ unique symbiotic relationship between goby and shrimp has helped the species to become quite popular in the aquarium industry. Pistol v. Mantis: Which hitchhiker do I have? A common question among beginning aquarist is if they have a pistol shrimp or a mantis shrimp which has hitchhiked on their new live rock. Distinguishing the two is often quite difficult as the sounds are quite similar. However, there are some clues that help give away what you have. Most pistol shrimp are nocturnal and will use their dactylus as a warning against potential predators. So when a large fish gets too close to a rock, you should hear warning shots. Also, you should only hear the pistol at night. Alpheus bellulus (Tiger Pistol Shrimp) Other Common Names: Tiger Snapping Shrimp, Snapping Shrimp Care Level: Easy Aggressiveness: Moderately aggressive. This shrimp are known for being more aggressive compared to other species of the Alpheus genus due to its larger size. They will kill other, smaller species if not fed properly and have been responsible for disappearances in tanks, especially other shrimp species. I would recommend this species to pair with a larger species of goby, and not to house it with smaller or even similar sized shrimp. Reef Compatible: Yes Water Conditions: 75-82° F, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025 Maximum Size: 3” Compatibility to other species: Do not house with fish that will hunt shrimp, such as groupers, anglers or lion fish. Also, I would not recommend any shrimp smaller than or similar size with the tiger pistol as the pistol shrimp may kill that shrimp. Also, do not keep small fish as they may fall victim to tiger pistols as well. Origin: They are native to Eastern Asia Potential Lifespan: 5+ years Family: Alpheidae The tiger pistol shrimp is known for their unique symbiotic relationship with watchman gobies, such as the yellow watchman goby as seen in this picture. The pair will become bonded and the tiger pistol will continuously dig a burrow for the pair to live in. In return, the goby will remain on the lookout for predators, providing protection for their near blind symbiotic partner. The pistol shrimp will usually have an antenna on the goby in order to know where the goby is. Please be aware that the shrimp/goby will not always partner up with each other, so for best results, introduce them at the same time, or purchase an already bonded pair. Also keep the sand bed at about 3-4 inches, as this will provide a deep enough burrow for you pistol shrimp to live. Often times , this shrimp will remain in its burrow and will not be seen, generally, a smaller tank is preferred, no smaller than ten gallons as this will ensure that you will see the pair more often and will be able to witness a truly unique symbiotic relationship. Attempted breeding is rare and limited success has been reported. Sexing any pistol shrimp is difficult as very little is known about gender, however generally the females have a broader abdomen and broader pleopods , while the males will have a larger dactyus as they will use it when fighting for a female. Here is the only attempt to breed them I have seen online- http://www.marinebreeder.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6536&sid=e7a6b88e30bfcf39bf6bf9ab61efedf7 It was an unknown species and the attempt to raise the zoea (larvae) failed sometime after the thirteenth day.
  3. Congratulations! And that is a beautiful tank!