Dwarf shrimp breeding guide January 16 2017, 1 Comment

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Dwarf shrimp breeding guide. How to keep things simple.
The original article was written by “ShrimpZoo” on TPT back in 2012. We’ve since updated this simple guide with all the latest methods and knowledge.


Introduction:

This article here will outline the basic requirements for Crystal Bee Shrimp (Caridina logemani) breeding. We will provide what we feel is some of the most efficient ways to breed Crystal Bee Shrimp.

This article is written with the assumption that you know what the basics of keeping a shrimp tank are. Therefore, I will not go into depth of what gH, kH, pH, or TDS is, or what it means to cycle an aquarium. These pieces of information are available in some of our other helpful blogs.

Note: This guide is the basis of how we breed Crystal Bee Shrimp. What works for me may not work for you. Regardless, topics discussed in this guide can be taken as useful information.

Table of Contents:

1. Tank Size – What is a good size?
2. Parameters – What are the ideal parameters?
3. Substrate – Investing in Active Substrate
4. Water – Using RO Water
5. Feeding – Schedule & Nutrition
6. Plants & Breeding Aids - Floaters, mosses, mineral rocks, etc
7. Equipment – Filters 
8. The Laws & Recommendations – What to avoid and what to abide by
9. Conclusion

1.  Tank Size:

I would recommend having a tank size of at least 10 gallons or more to easily breed Crystal Bee shrimp. Breeding Crystal Bee shrimp in smaller tanks is possible but will require more work than breeding in larger tanks. 

Water changes are a necessity in smaller tanks and will compromise parameter stability for those who are inexperienced. The bigger the tank the better, since you have a larger water volume to work with and parameters will not be as impacted by change as easily.

Having a bigger tank, parameters are easy to keep stable and maintenance will be minimal, where consistent water changes are not necessary. A 10-gallon tank is a good standard size to start breeding Crystal Bee shrimp.

2.  Water Parameters:

Crystal Bee shrimp will thrive in the following parameters:
Temperature: 70°F - 73°F
pH: 5.5 – 6.5
gH: 4.0 – 6.
kH: 0.0 – 1.0
Ammonium: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: As low as possible
TDS: 100-200
 
*Additional Bee shrimp parameters on our Water Parameters Blog

Having an ACTIVE substrate and using RO water will be the key to obtaining and maintaining these parameters.

The key to having them breeding is keeping the parameters CONSTANT.

3.  Substrate:

As mentioned before, investing in ACTIVE substrate will make your life easy. It buffers (AKA brings down) your pH to a level that Crystal Bee shrimp will prefer.

The preferred active substrate used now is SL-Aqua Nature Soil.  It does not leech large amounts of ammonia like ADA. This means you will not have to wait as long as you typically would with ADA during cycling.

It is recommended to leave the tank running for minimum 1 month before introducing livestock so that bio-film will be established and the tank will be mature when starting your tank. Baby shrimps need lots of bio-film to survive during the initial weeks of life.
 
SL-Aqua Cycle Method blog.

In addition, ALL active substrates eventually expire. Once expired, they lose their ability to buffer and are unable to keep a stable PH. This will be your indication its time to have another tank cycling/cycled.

4.  Water:

Using RO water for the tank is highly recommended.

When performing water changes, use REMINERALIZED RO water. For top-offs, use pure RO water. This allows you to control what is going into your aquarium. The only thing you are required to do is to remineralize the water to your target gH to use for water changes and to initially start-up the tank. In addition, because RO water has a kH of 0, your active substrate will easily change the pH of the RO water.

The #1 recommended remineralizer for Crystal Bee Shrimp is SL-Aqua Blue Wizard for GH. KH products should not be used with active buffering soils.

SL-Aqua Blue Wizard Liquid GH remineralizer is one of the most popular, easiest, and cleanest GH options available.

In addition to GH, there are additional liquid options to aid the shrimp’s health. Extremely popular SL-Aqua TM-1, which provides additional liquid minerals and nutrients to improve shrimp immunity, increases spawning, greater growth, and stronger colors. Making your shrimp stronger, healthier and more beautiful! MK Blood Diamond’s high concentration of minerals, multi-vitamins, and chitin to improve growth and overall tank environment.

5.  Feeding:

A good diet for Crystal Bee shrimp is a well-balanced one. The variety of foods you feed your shrimp should include a source of protein, veggies, vitamins, and baby/powder foods.

Here is an example of some of the foods we use on a regular basis:

Protein based foods such as, SL-Aqua MORE Meat, Nishiki Protein and Lowkeys Hiden No Esa

Vegetable-based foods like, SL-Aqua MORE Veggie, Nishiki Veggie, Ebikuma Senbei, Ebita Breed. 

Baby/Powder foods - SL-Aqua Baby Food, SL-Aqua Magic Powder (our favorite food), Ebikuma Baby Food, Lowkeys B18, L’Bee powder based foods. Lots of options in this category.

Kale and Spinich are additional great vegetables. Along with Tantora Mulberry.

Be sure not to overfeed, less is always more. Overfeeding can cause nitrates and ammonia.

6.  Plants & Breeding Aids:

Floating Plants: Amazon Frogbit, Water Lettuce, Red Root Floaters, etc.

Floating plants are very good at sucking up nitrates in the water. Amazon Frogbit, Water Lettuce, Red Root Floaters, etc. provide great hiding places for shrimp and are very easy plants to take care of.

Moss: Various Moss.

Having Moss in your tank will greatly benefit shrimp. Java Moss is the hardiest and most common of the mosses. Moss will provide shrimp with a grazing area, a place to feel secure, and will suck up excess nitrates. Con: moss grows quickly and will require trimming.

Other Plants: Bucephalandra (our favorite plant)

“Buce” are becoming more and more popular in shrimp tanks. Both aesthetically pleasing and ease of care. Buce are easy to care for, do not require heavy lighting or CO2. Also grow slowly so you don’t have to trim often.

Many other plants can be used in the tank since active substrates are rich in nutrients. The plants listed are recommendations as they are hardy and require little to no care. Planting your tank will reduce nitrates.

Cholla Wood, Driftwood, and artificial hiding places

Providing hiding places for your shrimp will allow them to feel secure. Cholla Wood and Driftwood also provide a lot of surface area for shrimp to graze biofilm.  Both also make great places to attach Buce plants.

Breeding aids: We do not recommend any of these liquids such as Dance, Eros, etc.. A cool water change is a much more natural option. 

7.  Equipment:

In order to minimize the amount of maintenance required, we suggest having any of the following 3 types of filtration in your aquarium:

Sponge Filter: ATI Sponge Filter, SeaPora Sponge Filter, Dual Sponge Filter or etc. Sponge filters provide a grazing area for shrimp and add aeration to the aquarium. They also offer a large surface area in which bacteria grow on. They are effective at biological filtration, which is very important in keeping and breeding shrimp.

HOB Filter: AquaClear or various other HOB Filters. HOBs are very easy to use and will provide a lot of filtration (look @ the rating of #gal/hr to see for yourself). For example, for a 30 gallon tank, having an AC50 rated for 200 gal/hr means that the AC50 will filter my entire tank 6 times an hour. The output of a HOB Filter breaks the surface of the water and provides O2 exchange.  HOB filters can also hold a decent amount of biofiltration media.

Canister: Eheim canister filter or similar. Canister filters are made to filter large amounts of water and allow you to use various filter medias. The canister is very roomy and will allow the user to use any combination of mechanical, chemical, or biological media. The spray-bar on the output of the Canister will provide a ton of oxygenation for your tank.

Under Gravel Filters (UGFs): Yes UGFS! Under Gravel Filters provide a very large amount of aerobic bacteria using all the soil in the tank as a filter medium. Make sure you set it up correctly, using a layer of media like Eheim media will help keep the soil from passing through the UGF slits.

NOTES:

- When picking a HOB or Canister model for your aquarium, typically choose a model that is an upgrade of the model recommended for the aquarium size. For example, an AquaClear 20 is rated for a 5-20 gallon aquarium, if you had a 15 gallon aquarium you would instead get the AquaClear 30 (rated for 10-30 gallons) or AquaClear 50 (rated for 20-50 gallons) so it would filter the total amount of water in your tank many more times in a timeframe.

- Extremely important to have some sort of pre-filter attached to your HOB Filter or Canister Filter; whether it is a sponge, a pantyhose stocking, or a stainless steel pre-filter. This will prevent adults and baby shrimp from being sucked up and chopped into pieces.

- Don’t bother using activated carbon in the tank. Consider it useless in a shrimp tank. Instead, replace it with either BioMax, Purigen, or another layer of sponge. Carbon will expire and release what it has stored back into the tank. Carbon is typically only used to remove medication that is dosed into an aquarium.

8.  Laws & Recommendations of Bee Shrimp Keeping:

- Snails may be added, they benefit the tank by being a back up clean up crew and provide infusoria with their slime trail (a source of food for baby shrimp).

- DO NOT add fish into the tank, the only 100% shrimp safe fish is the Oto (Otocinclus), any other fish will be detrimental to breeding. If you want a fish tank setup a fish only tank.

- A starting colony of 10 or more shrimps is recommended. You can start with any number you wish.

- Every few generations, introduce different stock from another source to prevent inbreeding and to increase genetic variety to strengthen your stock

- Slowly drip in your top-offs and water changes at a steady rate. A shift in parameters is detrimental.

- Limit the evaporation of your tank by using a hood or glass-hinged top.

- Keep easy-to-maintain plants, fertilizers, and CO2 can make things complex fast, especially for beginner shrimp keepers. Keep it simple!

- Whenever introducing anything new into your tank (such as plants), quarantine.

- Provide good surface agitation for O2 exchange via spray bars, sponge filters, etc. (Prepare for blackouts and find an alternative method to cause agitation - ex: scooping water out of the tank and pouring it back in, running a drip with tank water, battery powered air pump, Oxydator, etc)

- It is recommended to leave the tank running for minimum 1 month before introducing livestock. This way, bio-film will be established and the tank's water parameters can be confirmed as stable. Baby shrimps need lots of bio-film, oxygen, and stable parameters to survive during the initial weeks of life.

- Do not change what works. Leave your tank alone as much as you can. This means, don’t touch your filters unless they are 95% clogged and little to no flow, and keep your hands out. The less you mess with your tank, the more likely your shrimp will breed. Shrimps like stability.

- Invest in a Liquid Test Kit such as Sera and a simple TDS pen/meter to check the water parameters. Without this, you can never know if your water parameters are where it’s supposed to be at despite dosing according to the label. Having a test kit that tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, gH, kH, and PH will allow you to identify most if not every problem that may be occurring within your tank.

9.  Conclusion:

In the end, the key thing you should take away from this article is:

-  If it works don’t change it. Don’t try to trail blaze a new way when proven methods are already in use.
 
-  Keep it simple!

Feel free to share what you feel is essential on breeding Crystal Bee shrimp or if you think something is missing from this guide email us!

Best of luck breeding and caring for your Crystal Bee shrimp!
 
 
Thanks again to “ShrimpZoo” for writing the initial guide many years ago!