Gammarus

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Gammarus

Postby pleco_breeder » Fri May 11, 2007 10:44 am

Hello,

Instead of buying the fairy shrimp, I decided to buy a bulk of gammarus. I've searched the site, and have only found reference that they are maintained like shrimp. I also searched the internet, and most sites are strictly about flyfishing. A bit of water quality requirement and feeding suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Larry Vires
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Postby Mustafa » Fri May 11, 2007 3:06 pm

I actually had an infestation with the species Hyalella azteca that I had ordered online to "try." They took over one of my snowball shrimp tanks and became so numerous that they were crawling all over the snowball shrimp.

In terms of water parameters, they seem to be pretty indifferent as long as everything is kept in the "normal range." Even your "rock hard" water should be fine. They eat anything and everything, including fish food, rotten/decaying leaves and even plants. Once their numbers go into the hundreds they even eat away any green plants you might have in your tank.

At first you might not see them at all as they like to dig themselves into the substrate, but once their populations explode they'll be everywhere. I was fishing them out by the hundreds from the snowball shrimp tank and still could not get rid of them. It took the relocation of the snowball shrimp and the purchase of a pair of amazon puffers to reduce their numbers. And just when I thought they were all eradicated by the puffers (I had not seen any in weeks) I sold the puffers, and of course they started appearing again. They had dug themselves into the sand substrate.

It took a disaster that killed a lot of my "normal" shrimp to finally do the Hyalella in, too. They are very interesting animals, but you have to be very careful about not infesting your shrimp tanks with them as they can (involuntarily) harass your dwarf shrimp by climbing all over them once they reach huge numbers.

I have never tried culturing them without a substrate to keep them from digging themselves into the ground when trying to capture them. If you're really keen on culturing them for whatever reason, you can give it a shot and see if it works.
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You can't kill them, I can't raise them

Postby JamesBryan » Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:47 pm

:roll:

What's a shrimper to do? I have ordered Gammarus shrimp three times. Once they came in late and most were dead, by next moring all were dead. I figured, try again with someone closer. I ordered from within my state. They arrived in excellent condition and had lots of java moss to hide in. I spit them into 4 cultures just in case. Three cultures down by next day. Only culture still up and going was bottled water, not aged water. Evidentially they are sensitive to metals in my water. Nice to know I am drinking water that kills hundreds of shrimp in a few hours. Yum yum.
:!:

If anyone has to get rid of some gammarus. I will take them. Now that I have the deadly water situation cleared up. I want to set up a pond type 10 gallon.
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Postby Neonshrimp » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:16 pm

Only culture still up and going was bottled water, not aged water. Evidentially they are sensitive to metals in my water. Nice to know I am drinking water that kills hundreds of shrimp in a few hours. Yum yum.

How are the culture from the bottled water doing? I try to use RO water in my shrimp tanks whenever possible.
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Postby badflash » Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:42 pm

Water is definitely an issue. These are used for water quality checks and if your water is anything like mine, you'll have little luck unles you get something to clean your water. Water additives like Prime don't help.

Now that I have my water quality under control it is easy to raise them. I feed them leached leaves and a few rabbit pellets. I use unraveled plastic scrubbies as homes for them. I just use an air bubble to keep water flow.

Once a week I drain half the water and use week old aged tank water from my shrimp to replace it. I have Gammarus and water luse together in the same tank.
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Water quality

Postby JamesBryan » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:12 am

The water was the green label cheap water from WalMart by the gallon .64 cents It says on the label that it is R/O and UV treated. The blue label had the exact same treatment process listed but was called spring water. The green bottle was called drinking water.

Some have still died off. Some are still breeding. That culture is about down to half of what it was originally. I remove the dead ones as I find them. I have added some water from a green water/paramecium culture and a rabbit food pellet.
No substrate by the way. Just floating "willow moss".
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Postby Mustafa » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:05 pm

Did you actually cycle your scud tank/container? Did you use a dechlorinator such as Prime to neutralize possible chloramines in the water? Just letting water "age" won't be enough. Even if it's a "culture" and not a pet-shrimp tank, it still needs to be cycled. I doubt your tap water is the problem.
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Walmart Spring Water NOT reverse osmosis--my error

Postby JamesBryan » Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:05 am

Looked at the label again last night. Mechanical filtration, Ozonation, UV sterilization. NO reverse osmosis.

My tap water was originally run through an innexpensive "water filter" that attached to the faucet. Then treated with Stress Coat dechlorinator/dechloraminator. Turned into green water and used for culturing snails, paramecium, daphnia, etc. I drew their water from these cultures and the water they came in. The one using the Spring Water has lasted the longest. The paramecium culture has a lot of debris on bottom so they may be all buried in that one but have seen no signs of them.

I am now growing green water from the spring water and have seeded it with a little of the paramecium culture. Which is really a mixed culture. A freshwater "mini reef" system if you will. Isopods, planaria, some form of clumping algae, pond snails (bubble snails?), plus who knows what.

So, once I can work out a good water recipe my plan is to separate attached pairs of gammarus into their own little containers and feed leaves and fish pellets. Moving parents to new containers once offspring are seen in container. Feeding off parents after after a few months production. I have racks set up and the containers. Do you boil the leaves first or soak them for a certain amount of time before placing in with the gammarus.

I appreciate greatly all the help. I want to have healthy gammarus even though they are just gammarus they are still Shrimp. And Shrimp count.
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No I did not cycle

Postby JamesBryan » Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:13 am

Sorry, didn't answer your question.

I just pulled water out of the other cultures and dig the bag float thing like you would a fish. The 4th culture was the Drinking Water from Walmart by the gallon.
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Postby badflash » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:37 am

If daphnia do well in the water, it isn't anything in the water that is the problem. I would not use Stress Coat as it has stuff for fish that may not be great for inverts. Others have reported problems with that.

My setup has pea gravel in the bottom, and stretched out plastic scrubbies for them to hide in. If you snip the knot that is on one end you can un-roll a nice mesh tube that they find good hiding places.

Rotting leaves seem to work well as feed and it keeps the water quality high.
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will try again

Postby JamesBryan » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:00 pm

I will set up as you have descrbed and place dry leaves in for organic matter and let tank sit for a while and then try again. Spring Water container still has a few swimming in the willow moss. I added some sand for substrate. I'll keep working on it till I get it to where they like it.

I appreciate all the help.

James
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Postby badflash » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:38 pm

Large gravel works better. They can hide in it. They have a harder time with sand.
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Postby sstimac » Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:10 am

I have two tanks at the store that are chocked full of Gammarus. I have found that so long as Ammonia and Nitrites are 0, Nitrates are less than 100ppm they will thrive. They are excellent detrivores and when you have a large number of them they are quite efficient in removing buildup. I have yet to have a problem with them eating the plants.

I do practise population control, however. I use them as food for some of the young fry I raise at the store.

I have found that they congregate around the Marimo Balls. At any given time during the day I can find a couple dozen of them on each 12cm Marimo Ball.

In my own heavily planted tank at home I have brought home two large batches of Gammarus. In this tank they seem to maintain a nice population. I have seen my 10cm discus eat them off my Marimo Balls and also out of my Java Moss. It is great watching them on the hunt looking for Gammarus.
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Re: Gammarus

Postby JamesBryan » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:38 pm

The one Gammarus (pulex?) culture that was made from the Walmart (green label) Spring Water is still going and I have my first babies. The plant I have is Willow Moss, not java moss. I have started to move just a few to the couple Walmart water jars that are now green water. I have only used the Walmart water on the one surviving culture and it has seemed to work.

I am going to order one order of gammarus and one order of water isopods from the last source who is only two hours away and they arrived very lively and well packed and use what has been working. I will use pea gravel as suggested and stay away from the Stress Coat. I have been feeding them fish food and some greens and carrots. The food dissapears so maybe there are more than I think in there. I think I will try a larger container such as a Sterlite storage box to get lots of surface area. I'll let it cycle for a few weeks before I test it with a couple of shrimp I already have and if they seem to do ok I'll order 50 or so and see if I can get this project going.
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Re: Gammarus

Postby badflash » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:40 pm

pulex are a speciies of daphnia.

Sounds like you are doing well with the scuds though, good luck!
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