The goal is to get epiphytes such as Anubias or Bucephalandra to grow emersed in the open-topped Shrimphaus exposed to normal room humidity.  There is a lot of internet opinion, most of which says “forget it”, but some people have managed to make a go of it.  My first try was Anubias nana ‘Coin’  which died gradually over a number of weeks as the submersed rhizome rotted away, but what didn’t happen was the leaves all instantly drying out, which lends some confidence.  I’m going to keep the rhizome out of the water going forward and inspired by a report of success with Anubias coffeefolia, I plumped for a pot of that.

Anubias coffeefolia has interesting leaf texture

The leaves of Anubias coffeefolia have a striking resemblance to those of the terrestrial coffee plant (naturally), and even though Aquadip lists this plant as ‘caffeefolia‘ you understand what they mean.  The plant arrived from Pro Shrimp in great condition, apart from one or two dead leaves which I trimmed off.  Removing the rockwool revealed a very healthy-looking root system.

Continue reading “Planting Anubias coffeefolia (emersed)”

The initial concept for the aquaduct of the Shrimphaus was for water flowing over slate with epiphytic plants and mosses clinging to the slate under the water with leaves growing up out of the water.  That didn’t work out very well.  The underwater rhizome of the Anubias nana ‘Coin’ slowly rotted away, killing the plant.  The Christmas moss and the Bucephalandra pygmaea ‘Bukit Kelam’ didn’t look brilliant either.  Which leads to the new concept for emersed plants in the Shrimphaus…

Riverside planting
Riverside planting

Emersed plants on land

Whilst leaving a channel for water flow, land is built out of black lava rock on the slate shelf.  The lava rock is very porous and wicks up the water so staying continuously wet.  The epiphyte Anubias coffeefolia (replacing the Anubias nana ‘Coin’) and the Bucephalandra have their roots down amongst the lava rock staying wet, but the rhizome and leaves of both are in the open air.  The Christmas moss is simply placed on top of the lava rocks without any attempt at “planting”.  I have tried to keep things moist topside with irregular (when I think about it) misting to try to transition the plants gradually to standard indoor room humidity, but I’m not sure that’s actually necessary.  The wet lava rocks and moss will perhaps provide some degree of elevated localised humidity.

Continue reading “River run”

Following on from the disastrous experience of adding new cherry shrimp to the Fireplace Aquarium I decided to give the shrimp their own aquarium with no predatory fish!  I built them their own customised Shrimphaus and after a couple weeks of equilibrating the water chemistry and biology I added some Bloody Mary shrimp sourced from Pro Shrimp.  They all arrived alive and in good shape.

Drip acclimatising new shrimp

Shrimp can go into shock when their water parameters change suddenly, so it is recommeded to get newly arrived shrimp used to the new water slowly by adding the new water dropwise over several hours to a temporary shrimp holding container.  When the holding container is full, remove half the water and continue the drip.  After three of these cycles the shrimp will be essentially in the new water and can be safely added to the aquarium.  The acclimatisation setup was easy to rig and went smoothly.  The shrimp never appeared distressed and when added to their new home went off exploring straight away.  I made a video showing an easy way to set this up.

Shrimp keep plants clean

I had noticed the beginning of some type of black algal growth on the plants but the shrimp went after that and cleaned it all up.  In this low-tech set-up the plants will grow slowly so shrimp keeping it nice could be important.  Amano shrimp are well known for devouring algae and it’s nice that the cherry shrimp behave similarly.

Bloody Mary shrimp colouration

Although both Bloody Mary shrimp and cherry shrimp are the same species, Neocaridina davidi, and both are red, they are red in a different way.  With traditional cherry shrimp the shell (carapace) is opaque and contains the pigmentation, whereas with Bloody Mary shrimp the carapace is transparent and the interior of the shrimp is a smoothly pigmented red colour.  Apparently this comes from a heritable mutation common to Bloody Mary shrimp, Black Rose shrimp and Chocolate shrimp.

One, maybe two, of the shrimp are much paler in colour than the others.  Are these still Bloody Mary shrimp?  They have the transparent carapace and pinkish undertones so seem similar.  In some shrimp females tend to be much more strongly coloured than males, but that isn’t well known with Bloody Mary shrimp.  We’ll see how these all develop over time.