Re:help please

Pete Giwojna

Dear ageber:

Since you’re not trying to breed or a culture the red feeder shrimp, setting them up in a separate aquarium isn’t necessary. In a pinch, just an ordinary clean, plastic bucket, that has been filled with clean saltwater and equipped with an airstone for aeration will do nicely. Neither a heater nor a fancy filtration system is required. They thrive at room temp and reduced salinity (1.015-1.016), and all they require is an airstone (or a simple air-operated foam filter at most) to keep the water oxygenated, with perhaps a little coral rubble as substrate and a clump or two of macroalgae (sea lettuce, Ogo, Gracilaria) to shelter in. They’re easy to feed — they feed primarily on algal mats and bacteria — but they will accept vegetable-based flake foods and pellets such as various Spirulina products. They are filter feeders and can also be fed with yeast or commercially prepared foods for filter-feeding invertebrates. Many people find an easy way to feed them is to place a small piece of algae-encrusted live rock in their holding tank; once they clean it off, simply replace it with a new piece of algae rock. That’s all there is to it!

Here are the acclimation instructions for introducing the feeder shrimp into it the holding container, whether that’s a small tank or simply a plastic bucket:

ACCLIMATION PROCEDURES: Be Sure to Check the specific gravity to 1.0114!!
Prepare NEW water. Do NOT rely on the water the animals are shipped in for holding these shrimp. Check that the salinity of your holding tank is the same as the shipping water. If it is not adjust your holding tank so it is the same as the shipping water BEFORE acclimating. If you do not do this you will kill the shrimp. All other parameters must be within acceptable ranges.
Please acclimate slowly. The best way is to:

1. Float the bag in your tank for about 20 – 30 minutes to equalize temperatures.
2. Then partially open the bag and add 1 cup of tank water.
3. Wait 10 minutes.
4. Remove 1 cup of water and add another cup of water from the tank.
5. Wait 10 minute.
6. Gently release the animals into the tank, discarding the water left in the bag.
7. Do not feed until the day after arrival and acclimation.

You could also introduce the red feeder shrimp into your 24 gallon aqua pod without hurting anything except the little red shrimp. Your goby and seahorses would certainly go on a massive feeding binge and gorge themselves on the tasty feeder shrimp. In that case, the feeder shrimp wouldn’t last long. They would likely all get eaten within the next couple of days, which isn’t the best way to get the most use out of them. Ideally, you’d like to ration them a bit, doling them out over a period of several days to help your seahorses make the adjustment to their strange new surroundings, until they begin to feel at home and resume feeding on the frozen Mysis as their normal everyday diet again.

So using them all up in a massive feeding frenzy in the first couple of days isn’t the most efficient way to go about it, but it shouldn’t be harmful providing the heavy feeding (and subsequent increased rate of defecation) doesn’t result in a dangerous ammonia spike, which would certainly be very possible. I would set them up in a clean, plastic bucket as previously described so that they’ll last longer and there is no danger of your seahorses overheating or running afoul of an ammonia spike following their feeding frenzy.

Best of luck with your new arrivals and the red feeder shrimp they find so irresistible, ageber!

Pete Giwojna

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