Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby gpsmart » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:56 am

About 7 weeks ago I was offered the loan of a breeding pair of Harlequin Shrimp to have a go at raising the larvae. A huge thank you has to go Dave for making that very generous offer since these are a rare species. I am very fortunate that Dave had both faith in me and an attitude of furthering this hobby.

The larvae were released 47 days ago and I have been feeding them a combination of algae, rotifers, NHBBS and enriched artemia. Growth has been fairly slow but there were 2 that were larger than the rest. These two were always hanging out under the light where the food density is greatest. On Monday this week at 44 days old I found that I had 2 harlequins that had reached settlement. They have been moving around the tank a fair bit and one spent a couple of hours perched on a starfish.

44 Days - Upside down on the side glass of the tank towards the back so it was a bit hard to photograph.
Image

44Days - In the afternoon right at the front of the tank.
Image

There is no guarantee that I will be able to get them to survive long term but I am hopeful. I figured that settlement was an achievement on it's own.
Hope you enjoy the pics and I will post more pics and updates when I get a chance.

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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby malau » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:59 am

Will you feed them with seastars when they become adult? or e.g. mysis shrimps?
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby gpsmart » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:01 pm

I will be looking for an alternative to seastars. Hopefully I will be able to get enough through to try a variety of foods and find a suitable substitute.
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby malau » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:49 pm

If you can convert them to take e.g. mysis shrimp I am interested in breeding them and feed them with other foods when they are adult :)
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby PaulG » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:09 pm

Congratulations Graham!

well done to get them to settlement.
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby Suzy » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:29 am

How exciting! I had thought they were obligate sea star eaters! That is what we hear and read anyway. It would be great if you could get them cultures to where they dont have to eat sea stars.

Are the adults being fed sea stars?
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby Luis A M » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:51 am

Congrats GP!.There are few reports of them being raised to meta,not clear if because they are hard to raise or because this is seldom attempted.How would you qualify their ease of rearing?.
Unfortunately we still need seastars to feed them.Some preliminary research (one by an active MOFIB member) has shown that they can be weaned to non star seafood using some chemical atractants.I don´t know if there would be a market for a commercial harlequin shrimp food,but certainly it would be great for all of us who fancy them but dislike the seastar food issue.
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby rgrking » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:47 pm

Great going on this!

I have a pair I'm just starting with. They are eating like hogs. I feed them nothing but astrea starfish as of right now. I have a chocolate chip in the DT just in case, but I have thousands of the little ones.

You've done a great job getting them were you are now. Congrats! There's not many people that have achieved this. I hope we can help each other in the future with this. I'd love to see your setup you're growing out the larvae in.
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby gpsmart » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:43 pm

Thanks everyone.

Suzy - The adults are being fed sea stars. Given that the breeding pair are on loan I am not going to experiment with their diet, however, I will be looking for alternative foods for the juveniles (assuming they continue to grow).

Luis - I am certainly no expert on raising shrimp. I have raised a few peppermint shrimp (L. vittata) and have got L. amboinesis to about 11 weeks. This was my first attempt and to get them to settlement is a great result. With that in mind I don't think they are in the league of L. amboinesis but certainly are harder than peppermint shrimp.

Assuming I can get enough through, which is no certainty, I will be actively attempting to find an alternative food. I agree that the sea star issue is a problem but I need to use sea stars at the moment to get myself into a position where I may be able to solve this.

rgrking - There is nothing special about my setup. It is simply a rectangular glass tank (18 x 10 x 12 inch) with a couple of air stones. After a few weeks I changed one of the airstones for a seasoned sponge filter. I have fed rotifers, artemia and some wild plankton. I added a small star after settlement. I have also been using Rotifer and Shellfish Diets from Reed Mariculture. The tank has had the sides blacked out but I don't know if this is necessary. Plenty of water changes (up to 2 x 50% daily have been required) are done to keep the water quality up to scratch.

Here is another picture from yesterday.

Image

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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby Suzy » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:51 am

How incredibly cool! I wish I could visit you and bring you a few hundred asterina stars!
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby rgrking » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:35 pm

good deal.

I have mine eating the little white stars already and they can sure go through a bunch in a day. Luckily I have thousands of them.

I look forward to seeing good results from you.
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby BCNSumps » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:06 am

Finally I found somebody without a story of mass baby harlequin deaths. I was starting to think I wouldn't find one. My female started laying eggs last night and I'm actually watching her squeeze some out right now. I'm thinking its a good idea to remove them asap so I can get them away from hungry fish. The daddy shrimp is guarding the ones from last night and they are kinda just piled together in the sand. How did you move them and how long did you wait to feed them? Really any advice you can give will be appreciated to get those little boogers started right. I've got a copepod culture that's been up and running for a few months now, I also have the bottled live phytoplankton. Congrats on being a superstar shrimp daddy. Haha
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby gpsmart » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:08 am

This was a couple of years ago that I did this so I am relying on my memory - not always a good thing! Plenty of food with as much variety and nutrition as you can provide. Clean water is critical. Scoop or siphon the babies out. You might be able to use a turkey baster but be gentle and feed them straight away.
Good luck,
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Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby DavideAM » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:59 pm

Any update?
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Re: Harlequin Shrimp (H. elegans) Settlement

Postby Vietscuba » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:13 am

I just stumbled soon this thread although it's old any more info on how it went would be great.
I currently have 2 breeding pairs in dedicated tanks.
Keeping the fry alive seems to be quite a struggle. Current batch 4 days in are still quite active and have some strong yellow pigmentation and can be seen actively seen chasing and holding/eating the new hatched bbs. For this round I have live phyto now and am keeping the water very slightly green and the survival rate is far better
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