Friday, December 05, 2008

Aquarium Joys : Shrimp Rediscovered and Snail Romance

The two aquariums have provided much joy, and little glimpses into a mysterious world. I cleaned the sponge filter in my secondary fish tank yesterday, and as soon as I pulled off the bottom of the filter, the little shrimp fell out with the water. This time, I didn't put him back right away, I found a clear shallow container, and placed him in for observation.

I took some photos but they are all a dismal failure. I need to read the manual on my digital camera, to change the focussing mode, currently it is trying to get all spots in focus. I need to make it a single-spot focus, but couldn't figure out how to do it. So as a result, the camera kept focussing on the container, and refusing to notice the shrimp moving around inside.

Here are my attempts, anyhow:
Mystery freshwater shrimp
Small mystery shrimp
Freshwater shrimp
He's very small, only a couple of millimeters long. So hard to make out much detail, but his colour is greyish, almost clear. When he swims, he usually ends up swimming on his back. When he lands on the bottom of the container, he curls up his tail, and runs along on his legs. No noticeable claws or any interesting colouration. I tried to search for any clue of what this could be, and likely it is some sort of "feeder shrimp". That is, shrimp which is commonly fed to fish. That would explain his appearance in my tank, and he likely caught a ride with one of the plants I purchased.

The snails also continue to provide lots of amusement. The two ramshorn snails have been getting friendly quite a few times lately. The two clutches of about a dozen tiny eggs each on the back of the filter, seem to have disappeared, so I suspect they have hatched. Two more sets of eggs arrived on the inside of the glass. I spotted the first one, and my son spotted the second one tonight. We also have noticed a number of small snails, of the pointy-shelled type.

In the main aquarium, the bumblebee (Clithon corona) snails have also been quite amorous lately, so that would be really sweet if we ended up with more of them. From my reading, it sounds unlikely that the larvae will survive in the freshwater (they may require more brackish or salty conditions), and if they did, they would surely be eaten by the fish. I don't want to move them to the secondary tank at this point, since I enjoy the challenge of searching for them in the main tank.
In the main aquarium, the pleco has taken to hiding under one of the plants, and rarely comes out, at least during the day. I miss seeing him, and wish I hadn't scared him that time, when he was hanging on the filter. The goldfish seem to be bigger every day. And hungry. I've started feeding them peas (frozen baby peas, thawed, them squeezed out of the skin). This seems to help the two fantail goldfish, who often become "floaty" after eating the goldfish flakes. I have been pushing the flakes under water instead of on the surface, so they will moisten more, and avoid having them gulping air on the surface. But still seem to have problems with their swim bladder many days, after the morning feeding. I feel sorry for them, trying to swim down, and floating back up.

Lots of fun. I'm so thankful for this element in my life, to add cheer and excitement. My 7 year old son enjoys the snails, too, and is an enthusiastic volunteer in helping me sweep the tank with the net (we have a fine-mesh shrimp net) to pull out bits of plant matter and goldfish excrement. Always something to do, or to see!


Aquarium said...

I got a couple of pairs of glass shrimps for my aquariums, and I simply cannot find them anymore.

Garden Lily said...

Aquarium - Maybe yours are hiding in your filter also. That would be better than being eaten by the fish. Thanks for stopping by.

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