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Fairy shrimp

This is a discussion on Fairy shrimp within the Daphnia, Moina, brine shrimp, etc forums, part of the Food: Live, Frozen, Freeze-Dried, Pellets, etc category; I had no idea such critters existed but it turns out I may have some in my pond. I was ...

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Old 6th February 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fairy shrimp

I had no idea such critters existed but it turns out I may have some in my pond.

I was wondering about the feasibility of feeding such beasties to newly hatched axy larvae? Etc? Raising them to adulthood for food for axies and tiger sals?

I found a FASCINATING article about tiger sals going from poop to temporary pool eating the adults here in AZ.

But if they are good for tigers - can they be for axolotls? Since they eat detritus they shouldn't harm axies?

How are they nutritionally?

I tried to look up the size of fairy shrimp eggs vs. size of brine shrimp eggs but got bupkiss. I found brine shrimp readily enough and one reference to fairy shrimp eggs being 150 - 190 micro meters, which didn't translate for me. I was hoping that would clue me in as to whether or not newly hatched axies could eat them.

I did a search in this forum and found a handful of references to fairy shrimp but mostly they were casual references.

Anyone?

Sharon
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Old 6th February 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

You got to look harder, there is quite a lot info about fairy shrimps on the Net.
Look on eBay - there is quite a few folks selling cysts. Mostly from Thailand.

They are very good for axies assuming the pond where you catching them is not full of fertilizers or pesticides.
Downside is they are not very big as adults, so adult axies would rather ignore them. But they are perfect for larvae and youngsters. Much better than brine shrimps - similar nutritional value and wont die in freshwater, so no risk of fouling water!

The popular species have naupli sized 1/2 to 3/4 of brine shrimp nauplis size.
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Old 6th February 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

I found lots of info about feeding them to fish.

Nothing about feeding them caudates or larvae and nothing about their size when hatched. Yes ebay has a few sellers - about 3 as far as I can tell, but they don't give sizing information, at least not that I saw.

The fairy shrimp that are to be found in my area are supposed to get quite large. I remember thinking last night that an adult axolotl might snap one up if a shrimp wandered across its path.

Sharon
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Old 6th February 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

A lot of people have tried raising large numbers with little success. Part of the inconvenience is that the eggs sink instead of floating like brine shrimp eggs. But if you work something out, please let us know!
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Old 6th February 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Fairy shrimp and brine shrimp are both Anostracans, one of three orders of very primitive crustaceans which form the Eubranchiopoda. So fairy shrimp and brine shrimp are far more closely related to each other than they are to the shrimp we eat. The Eubranchiopods tend to be inhabitants of vernal or temporary ponds. Except for brine shrimp they are freshwater animals. Brine shrimp live in the Great Salt lake and in other inland inland salt lakes. Eubranchiopods seldom occur in ponds with fish, presumably because the fish eat them. Some salamanders breed in the same sorts of places, so Eubranchiopods may be a food available to them. I don't know if this really happens. Maybe someone knows through their experience or reading whether wild salamander larvae use them for food. It would be interesting to know if this happens, or if salamanders extirpate them from local habitat as fish seem to do.

Here are a couple representations of the other two orders of Eubranchiopods. These are copper foil pieces that I made to be layered in glass and fired in a kiln:

Notorascans or Tadpole shrimp:

Click the image to open in full size.

Triops are sold in kits, much like brine shrimp often are. They hatch out and grow nicely, but I don't really know if it would be practical to raise them on a scale to feed them to anything. Like other Eubranchiopods, their resting eggs or cysts can withstand extremes of temperature and dessication, and may be capable of hatching many years after they were laid. One species, Triops cancriformis, may be the oldest living species of animal, indistinguishable from fossils dating back 220 million years. For more information on Triops and other Eubranchiopods, see:

http://www.urzeitkrebse.at/

Conchostracans or Clam Shrimp:

Click the image to open in full size.

I don't see these offered for sale, but in the temporary ponds where I've seen them, they can be very abundant. I have been able to maintain these in aquaria for some time, but haven't bred them.

-Steve Morse
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Old 6th February 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Yes, salamanders do breed in the same vernal pools as fairy shrimps occasionally.
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Old 6th February 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

From what I read the key is to raise some to adulthood - which the sites claim is easily done - then when the adults die, carefully siphon off the water well away from the mud, when its pretty low, scrape the sides of the tank, pushing accumlated film to the bottom and let it dry out.

The three websites I read didn't give a time frame for how long they were to remain dry. But one of the studies I read where they collected tiger sal poop presumably with fairy shrimp cysts in it, was dried and put into a fairy shrimp free pond - where they later hatched. COOL!! I may have TOTALLY misread that article but it was fascinating, I tried to skip the techy formulaeic parts and get the meat of the article.

This site was of particular interest to me.... http://www.arizonafairyshrimp.com/fairyshrimp.html

AUGH of course I can't find any of the sites that told me how to what I said above for raising them. LOL I was tired last night, and today - as I went to bed around 2am and got up at 5.30.

I'll go through my search history and see what I can find. I put in a bid for some native fairy shrimp cysts and I'll let you know how that goes.

AND my husband swears that what he sees on the fairy shrimp page are what he saw in our pond. Which I dunno about. That pond has been continuously full for the most of year and its cold and they only hatch when its warm.

Sharon
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Old 6th February 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Very interesting that salamanders sometimes breed in vernal pools that contain fairy shrimp, and that Tiger salamanders may even spread them around. I will definitely get some eggs from the site Sharon mentioned. I was surprised to see this, and they have clam shrimp eggs too. The fairy shrimp I grew up with in Minnesota were early spring creatures, so they may have been present with young tiger salamander larvae in some places.

With regard to Sharon's pool, although resting eggs seem to require drying or freezing before hatching, they can repopulate permanent ponds whose water level fluctuates. If the pond has a resident fish population, though, that would likely exclude them.

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Old 6th February 2009   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

HA!! I found it!! You have no idea the sheer amount of browsing and research I do online so tracking this down was ALOT of fun!! << read sarcasm there >>

http://www.azgfd.gov/i_e/ee/resource.../insects46.pdf
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Old 6th February 2009   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Hmmm...seems like the redtail sp. may be worth a try.

I think what would probably be best is a 10 gallon tank placed outdoors to take in natural sun.
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Old 6th February 2009   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Thats my plan. I've got some spare tanks, I was thinking of putting them near my pond, a 10gl in az is going to get kinda hot, probably more hot than their top temp. will allow. But I've never checked it so I dunno for sure. So I was going to use larger tanks and either drop them in a shallow portion of the pond with nice wire mesh screens or just set them near the pool in the yard, lol.


Ok how about this one?

http://i43.tinypic.com/24wyd11.jpg

Branchinecta gigas

Sharon
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Old 7th February 2009   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Whoa! I've raised fairy shrimp before but had no idea some species get this big!!! I'd love to see some of those in a tank! Thank you for posting that link
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Old 9th February 2009   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

[The three websites I read didn't give a time frame for how long they were to remain dry. But one of the studies I read where they collected tiger sal poop presumably with fairy shrimp cysts in it, was dried and put into a fairy shrimp free pond - where they later hatched. COOL!! I may have TOTALLY misread that article but it was fascinating, I tried to skip the techy formulaeic parts and get the meat of the article.]

I think I found this study: http://www.bio.sdsu.edu/pub/andy/Bohonak1999b.pdf

-Steve Morse
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Old 1st May 2009   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Click the image to open in full size.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferret_corner View Post
This site was of particular interest to me.... http://www.arizonafairyshrimp.com/fairyshrimp.html Sharon
I got some eggs from this source and hatched them. I still have one redtail fairy shrimp that has been with me for over a month. As newly hatched shrimp these seem tough to keep alive, but after a few molts they seem hardier. I find it fun to watch in its little jam jar. I think the learning curve on raising them in quantity, though, might be steep. This one gets by on a daily dribble of dilute yeast water that I keep in the refrigerator.
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Old 19th February 2010   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Depending on the species of fairy shrimp you have you can breed them like dalphia
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Old 19th February 2010   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Quote:
Originally Posted by geganewt View Post
Depending on the species of fairy shrimp you have you can breed them like dalphia
Is there a species that works for you?

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Old 21st February 2010   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fairy shrimp

Sharon those shrimp probally had their eggs blown into your pond or delivered by visiting waterfowl. They are a perfect food for a Axolotls. They basicly are a Tiger Salamander to begin with. They may even be better than brine shrimp since they are a natural food source. Triops are another great natural food source you can find. Quit a few sites exsist online to buy them from. They grow much larger than fairy shrimps. My experience with those Ebay suppliers from Tailland is that you send them your money and they keep it without sending your eggs out. Stick with local US suppliers.
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