Fire shrimp experiment

Fire shrimp experiment

Postby hydroinnovations » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:04 pm

Hi everyone!

I've got a 500 gallon reef system and I'm quite addicted to it...and the challenge of keeping it. I'm a strong believer in conservation despite the fact that most of my animals were pulled out of the ocean. Had there been tank raised fish available I would have certainly bought them instead, even if they were more expensive. I'm an inventor and I own my own business and am currently working on plans for a small commercial hatchery that I'm incorporating some new ideas in order to simplfy the process. Basically the process of raising fry is what is keeping it from becoming feasible to do on a commercial level. I'm experimenting at this point with a smaller version of my future design to make sure it works properly. Now all this is assuming that I can make it work, I think that I have a pretty good chance at it especially with help from you guys.

I've been thinking about this for at least a year and have done my homework, I'm certainly aware of the challenges in front of me. My plans for the smaller system is to have 3 breeding pair of fire shrimp setup in a divided 55 gallon tank...keeping them seperated. My system will automatically catch larvae or fry every night (I realize there won't be fry evernight) using a custom fry catcher that will hold prey ready for the larvae to eat. It doesn't use any air bubbles like other catchers that I have seen which I think can damage at least some of the fry. Everyday manually (plans for automation in the future) the fry catcher will be emptied in to a kresiel tank assuming there are fry in it. The kresiel tanks will be tied in to a main system of around 100 gallons total that is dedicated to this project. Each kresiel will be fed continously with baby brine and rotifers with added vitamins. This prey will be rotated out continously and removed from the system and fed to my reef tank. I won't be using any live rock in the system and no live sand to try and keep contamination from happening. I was planning to add larvae to each system for a month and then move on to the next kresiel tank. I will have a consistent monthly harvest in the future....well that is the plan at least lol. I want to start out with fire shrimp even though I know they aren't the easiest to raise. I really want to put the system to the test, but in the future it can be used for any larvae including fish.

My questions are

1. Do you guys see a flaw in my system so far, any suggestions?

2. Is there any suggestion of what prey to use besides rotifers and baby san fransico brine shrimp for the first 2 weeks? Two weeks after the first fry were introduced to the kresiel I planned to add either flake food, blended frozen food, or ???. Two weeks after the last fry are introduced I was going to stop feeding rotifers. Does anyone have a better suggestion than this?

3. What should I feed the rotifers and brine besides phyto and vitamins?

4. I know that speeding up the life cycle will be vital to a commercial operation since time is money. And the less expensive they are to raise the cheaper they can be sold. Seems the only way to do this is by proper nutrition. Is there any tips, tricks or new information that anyone has to speed up the life cycle?

Thank you in advance
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Re: Fire shrimp experiment

Postby Suzy » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:34 pm

Wow! Your plan sounds amazing!

I have been using Reeds products, Omega green and roti-rich I believe they are called. Look at their website if you haven't already.

I have not tried to raise this species so I cant help you with experience. but sometimes you may be able to use commercially prepared flake or powdered foods, at a certain point. That may increase their growth. And of course, higher temps increase metabolism and growth.

If you have time., look on google scholar for research papers on other shrimp culturing. I bet there are a ton.
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Re: Fire shrimp experiment

Postby hydroinnovations » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:55 pm

Thank you!

What temperature do you thing is best, that is a great idea that I didn't consider. I had planned on about 80 degrees, can it be higher? I've read a few papers but I wasn't aware of that particular search engine. I did just order a book but they sent me the wrong copy. Its called Marine Ornamental Shrimp: Biology, Aquaculture and Conservation by Ricardo Calado. Surely there will be some info there that I can use. Thanks for the tips on the food, I'm going to check in to that. I actually have heard of those products but had not tried them. I ordered most of my supplies from brineshrimpdirect.com and my order should be in this week. As an enrichment for both I was going to add selco, are you familiar with that? I got some rotifer eggs that I'll start soon as well.

I forgot to ask...when do I need to seperate the shrimp in to pairs. I've read they are cannabilistic but surely this is only when they are mature, if so what size is mature?

It worries me a little that a company like ORA for example isn't doing something like this. It seems that they are well prepared to raise fry, why are they not tackling shrimp too? Is there no profit in it? I hope that I don't find out the hard way why no one is doing it lol

Also to simply things I was planning to use phytopaste for the rotifers and brine instead of culturing my own...is there any benefit to live phyto? If so is it minmal?

Thank you for your reply
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Re: Fire shrimp experiment

Postby hydroinnovations » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:49 pm

I did find a paper that was really useful to me, I had to pay for it but it was worth it. Seems that 82 is the highest temperature recommended. Also I learned that I do not need many breeding pairs of shrimp, seems that just one pair will produce more than I need for my experiment. Per kresiel I'll only need 400 larvae and they produce between 500 and 3500 larvae per hatching every 10 to 20 days. This makes it waaaaay easier
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Re: Fire shrimp experiment

Postby Suzy » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:16 am

I think 80' is good. At higher temps, bacteria also gets a faster metabolism!

Let us know about the book? It sounds promising!

I love BSD! I live close to them. Very nice people and I like their products. I have used selco, it is good. It can feed bacteria, so I only use it to enrich artemia for a short time, maybe over night, and drain the water.

I am not sure why Ora doesn't raise shrimp. Thats a good question.

I use algae paste to feed my rotifers and artemia. I grow live at times, but I ran out of room. Live is best, IMO, only because it will consume ammonia in the water, and dead algae won't. I think the nutritional value when it is gut loaded into our rotifers and artemia is the same, paste or live. And with paste, you can feed more than one species.

I wish I had experience with your species so I could be more help. I have only done peppermint, ghost shrimp and those cool tiny red shrimp from ocean rider.
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Re: Fire shrimp experiment

Postby dave w » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:56 pm

A couple of thoughts regarding your questions. First, I think your plan is sound, but there is a good deal of hit or miss in practice. Which means to say that stable sources of high quality food takes a lot of experience, culture volume, and time.

Regarding temperatures. Metabolism happens faster at higher temps, but dissolved oxygen goes the opposite direction. Given the two choices I'd opt for higher DO than higher temps. I don't think your worry is whether the larvae take an extra couple weeks to metamorphosize, but getting them to settle at all. My opinion is to start at lower temps until your process is worked out.

Regarding ORA. I don't know what theyre doing, but every few years for 20 years I've read that some lab has perfected fire shrimp larva culture and is ready to produce them in commercial quantities. But it never happens. So don't worry about ORA or anyone else, in my opinion and forge ahead.

Nutritional value of algaes are similar with live vs. paste, but water quality management is vastly different. Try growing as much live algae as possible and you will find larviculture become much easier. Both selco and paste will enrich Rotifers well.

Hope that helps and good luck.
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Re: Fire shrimp experiment

Postby the81ghost » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:41 pm

I have a pair of fire shrimps. My first attempt to hatch the larvae was a fail. Because all the larvae were sucked in to the power filter.
Now Im using a smaller power filter. I reduced the flow to a minimal degree. And put a sponge filter around the intake pipe of the power filter.
That serves as a barrier and my new hatch of fire shrimp larvae not getting sucked into it.
Feeding is hard. They are so small I cant observe if they are feeding or not. I fed them frozen baby brine shrimp dont know if they ate it.
Then I fed the spectrum pellets that are crushed into a powder. I saw one of them was trying to eat it. And they gather in the bottom of the aquarium
playing on this pellet powder hoping they are eating it. Now they survived the 3rd day. Its a 10 gal tank as I said with a small power filter. No live rocks.
The current in the tank is very minimal. Larvae can swim with no difficulty. Temperature at 78 F. Larvae are very small. Did you do your plan of breeding fire shrimp?
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