It’s been 10 weeks since the tear-down and rebuild of the Shrimphaus. One of the things that surprised me in that process is there turned out to not be very many shrimp in the Shrimphaus, and mostly not any small ones. This suggested that things in the previous build were not as they should be environmentally such that the shrimp had stopped breeding. The big question was whether the new build would turn that around or not. It takes four or five weeks from mating until eggs hatch so there has been a bit of a calendar-watching excercise going on and…
We have baby shrimp!
I was pretty excited the first time we got baby shrimp in the Shrimphaus as well.
Baby shrimp look like tiny adults
Cherry shrimp hatch from eggs and look much like their adult counterparts, except about about 1/30 the size. Bloody mary shrimp have colouration throughout their body not just in the shell, and sure enough the baby shrimp have a bit of a pinkish hue to them. I have been feeding the adult shrimp a little bit since the rebuild, but the babies will generally graze on biofilm for the first little while rather than going after ‘solid’ food. Moss is supposed to be particularly good for them since it has a high surface area to collect biofilm and also lots of hiding opportunities in case they feel shy and the Shrimphaus has a big patch of Christmas(?) moss in the back ready to go for them.
I did the first water change since the hatching and looked very carefully to make sure no small shrimp were inadvertently changed out with the water. In general this seems not a problem; shrimp mostly stay on surfaces rather than swimming around freely in the water column. Potentially more of a concern would be shrimp stranded on the river during a water change and even though I did have to relocate a snail I didn’t find any shrimp up there – they much prefer the river after a water change, not before.
There’s another video of the baby shrimp (maybe not the exact same one) chillaxing with the copepods – so far everyone seems to be getting on well with each other. The thriving copepod population also seems an indicator of a healthy ecosystem.