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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey CAPE peeps!

So, good news today: one of my female CPOs released her babies! I have a bunch of little 1/4" miniature crayfish skittering around. I'm told they're easier to hatch than to raise, as they're vulnerable while molting, but so far all seems to be going well. With a little luck, I hope to have a breeding colony of little orange crays going in a few months :D I'll bring some to a spring/summer meeting to share if this is the case.

Also spotted some itty bitty baby assassin snails in the Endler tank today... looks like I might have some more of these to offer everyone in a month or two.

Meanwhile, the AZOO shrimp foods I got from John seem to be proving their worth as my snowball colony now contains appx. a gazillion teeny tiny baby shrimp. Tonny's first on the waitlist for some of these guys, but if anyone else wants a few in the near future let me know.

Final thought: %$#&$% spring needs to come NOW so I can set up a whole rack of shrimp tanks and spend the rest of my life farming inverts and fish and plants. Because we all know my art career is going nowhere fast. :p
 

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congrats asuka.
if you discover any tricks to help ensure invert molting - please let us know.

i think i killed most of my micro crabs because they were unable to molt,
even while the CRS/RCS in the same tank molt without difficulty, though
I suspect something else may be wrong since first time berried mothers
keep dropping their egg loads
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys :D

Spypet, funny you should mention molting - 2 of my 4 CPOs did just that this morning (the female who had the babies and one of the males). I've been feeding them a diet of colorbits (rather, the fish get the colorbits and the CPOs clean up what they miss) as well as bits of AZOO "Max Breed" shrimp food a few times a week. The Max Breed is supposed to help promote healthy molting in shrimp, thus encouraging breeding (since shrimp - & crays - can only procreate when the female molts). I sort of figured what's good for shrimp is probably good for crays, too, so I've been using it with both of them. Given that I've had these CPOs for all of 6-7 weeks and they already have babies, I figure it must be doing something to help them along. :D

I don't know how similar micro crab reproduction is to crays, but wouldn't the presence of eggs indicate that the crab was able to molt successfully at least once? That's assuming that crabs, like shrimp, can only lay eggs when molting, though... perhaps it's different for them. I don't know much about crabs.
 

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Congrats, Amanda, you're a certified CPO breeder now :D

Count me in for some snowballs! I'll trade you with Tigers, if you don't have that yet, once I have enough shrimps to spare... They're just starting to populate in my tank along with the cherries ;)

Though I need to setup another tank first, don't know when that will happen... I'm currently low on my 'hobby' funds :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks :) LOL, I dunno if two-day-old baby crays qualifies me as a breeder of CPOs... but it's definitely a start.

I'd consider swapping for some tigers, sure :D I might get a few more from another source in a couple months, but having a few to start the colony and add a little genetic diversity can never hurt :)

:mrgreen: all of my funds are currently low, LOL, but I'm now teaching art lessons to small children twice a month, so I'm hoping that will soon begin to supplement my income :D Or at least put enough gas in my car that I can drive to pet stores and drool over things I want to buy!

Best of luck in getting more of your own hobby funds in the near future! More tanks = win. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:D Well, my little CPOs have survived their first week. They're already quite visibly differing in size - some of the first-born babies have as much as quadrupled (maybe even more) their mass, while some of the later- released ones are still quite tiny. The largest ones are just starting to pick up little hints of orange coloration, too.

I think the 2nd female is getting close to releasing her babies as well. She's very defensive right now, hiding her tail in a "cave" under the driftwood and waving her little claws at anything that gets close - but she doesn't bother the other cray's babies for whatever reason (maybe she's in some kind of mothering mode? Or they're too small to be a threat?)

In other news, I've acquired a male OEBT shrimp to go along with my female, and a half dozen baby blue bee (Paracaridina sp.) shrimps. Also picked up some Crystal Reds from Tonny (thanks again!) that seem entirely too preoccupied with food. o_O Hope to have all of the aforementioned breeding in the coming months.

The snowball shrimp continue to multiplicate as well... I won't even discuss the cherries. Pfft. They're like cockroaches...

Also have a few baby assassin snails... hoping they continue to grow and multiply into sellable quantities.
 

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asuka - something you should consider before expanding your tank farm;

few in this hobby make a profit - most manage to cover their costs only
in hopes of expanding their collections - that is if they're lucky. even
people who import and redistribute out of their homes just break even
once all the transportation, fees duties taxes and utilities are paid, and
occasional catastrophic loss risks. bottom line; don't quit your day job ;)

I know several major resellers personally, and they all fall into the
same category - they have a full time job, or their spouse does.
also consider that midsummer and midwinter you either can't ship,
or then the loss risk can make it prohibitively expensive to do so.

people talk about buying more than they actually do. when I sell livestock
on my local craigslist, only 1:5 inquiries actually generates a cash sale.
considering the time I waste on the other 4 guys, it's hardly worthwhile,
and the inquiry to sale ratio on the aquatic forums is not much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
spypet,
Thanks for the concern, but I'm not really looking to turn a profit. Just to cover part of my costs... the rest of it is for my own amusement. I decided inverts are cool, so I want to try breeding as many kinds as I can. I have some collectoritis issues... :mrgreen: I'm a lifelong hobbyist - the notion that fish breeders don't make money is nothing new to me.

That said, I could never afford to purchase the stock I have if I didn't regain some cash from breeding things... I do occasionally sell to people on forums, but more importantly I do business with several of the LFS - especially during times of the year when they have a hard time shipping in livestock (winter and summer). You don't get as much money per fish/shrimp/plant through wholesaling, but they make up for it by buying 10-20 of things at a time, and when they inquire after something, they almost always buy. All I have to do is send them a stocklist every once in awhile and wait for them to tell me what they want.

So, no - no plans to quit my day job LOL. But as a side business it helps bring in a little hobby cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've decided that I'm now using this thread as invert breeding journal, just for the heck of it.

So, as of this week, the first batch of CPOs are surpassing 1cm. from nose to tail and now look like little mini versions of their parents, complete with orange mottling. They still mostly hide under the moss, though.

On a sad note, I lost one of my adult male CPOs - not sure why. Perhaps aggression from his competition? Everyone else looks healthy, though, so I'm not going to do anything drastic to the tank. One of the females molted overnight, but no new eggs - perhaps it's too soon for them to develop?

Also, the CRS I got from Tonny have produced shrimplets. The largest of my blue bee females, inhabiting the same tank, is now berried as well. I'm still trying to decide what Neocaridina species I'm going to put in that tank (CRS being Caridina and Blue Bees being Paracaridina) - probably either blue pearl or yellow shrimp, whichever I get my grubby little shrimp collecting mitts on first.

I have a group of blue leg posos (Caridina caerula), a Sulawesi shrimp, ordered, to be shipped (probably) around Mar. 5th. WIll be setting up a sulawesi tank this weekend, seeding it with media from my Tanganyikan fairy cichlid tank.

Also getting some Tylomelania (rabbit snails) along with the shrimp. Rabbit snails kind of freak me out, from the photos I've seen, but everyone who has them seems to enjoy them, so I'm going to give them a chance and see what happens. :D On the other hand, Tylos are NOT plant safe, excepting that they don't bother hornwort. So, if anyone has some spare hornwort they'd like to share, I'm willing to swap for it :) I'd offer cash, except I'm kind of broke from ordering the shrimp LOL.

I suppose I could always fill the tank with duckweed and let the Tylos snack away, as an alternative :) That works well enough for my baby marmorkrebs, at least - they pretty much just hang upside down at the top of the tank all day long and stuff duckweed into their mouths. Can;t say they're not cheap to feed, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
NAS auction tomorrow! I'll be swapping shrimp with Gordon while I'm there, as well as looking for shrimps & fish to bid on. And small tanks to put them in. And small heaters to warm them. Seriously looking for 5-10g acrylics for the bottom of the stairs. I set up the 5g flatback hex for Gordon's sakura (aka fire red, painted red, whatever you want to call them) shrimp... and some tiger shrimp (coming soon).

My 2 CPO mommies are berried again. They're very defensive of their eggs, spend a lot of time waving their claws at everything (their hubby, their kids, the pair of ricefish, my finger, etc.) I might bag up a couple baby CPOs to auction off; haven't decided yet. I'll figure it out in the morning when I start bagging stuff. Will def. bring cherry shrimp; they're breeding like guppies. o_O

Snagged some hornwort from Purrfect Pets for the new 10g Sulawesi tank. Rabbit snails and Poso shrimp incoming on Mon/Tues, I think. Also ordered some tiger (regular tiger) shrimp off Aquabid - they'll get here on Wed/Thurs, probably, and take up residence with the sakuras in the flatback hex.

Planning to spend the coming week (spring break w00t!) working on the fishroom. Probably get a few small tanks running soon for breeding purposes.... and impulse buys. :p Maybe try and build that rack for 5-10g tanks - ideally with assistance. I suck at carpentry.

Will update with new acquisitions after the auction :D Maybe some photos, if I remember.

In the meantime, have a random shot of a berried RCS in my 20g long:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
New shreemps came in yesterday - 26 tigers, all in good health, and 8/10 Blue Leg Posos showed up alive (there was a 9th that was still alive in the bag but obviously on its last legs... or, rather, not on it's legs, seeing as it was on its back twitching). I'm also now the proud (or something) owner of 5 rabbit snails, who seem very much in need of assistance in the department of general movement. They sort of slime forward, then tug their giant shells up to meet them... seems very laborious and inefficient, but so does life sometimes XD

After the epic failure of the NAS auction in producing small acrylic tanks, I was surprised to run across a 5g Marineland acrylic hex setup for sale in a thrift store. I made out like a bandit with tank, hood, light, filter, and all for $3 (I know, right?). It'll probably end up housing something from the C. babaulti complex, which I plan to obtain specimens of at the NEC.

Anyone know any good tricks for de-fogging acrylic tanks? It's a little hazy, but not so terrible that I can't use it... just needs a little clean up first. I could order one of those 3-step acrylic renewal kits, but at $15 it kind of defeats the purpose of getting a cheap tank.

Still looking for small acrylics/5.5g glass tanks, btw, if anyone has some spares lying around. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Exactly - CPOs are a dwarf crayfish from Mexico, cute little buggers that are very in demand lately because of their intense color and, unlike larger crays, don't dig up (or eat) plants. The term CPO is more often used because nobody wants to type Cambarellus patzcuarensis "Orange" all the time LOL.


OEBTs
are Orange Eye Blue Tiger Shrimp, a very cool looking, selectively bred variant of bee shrimp (Caridina cantonensis). IMO, they're one of the most beautiful dwarf shrimp out there these days.

---------

In other news, my baby CRS are getting bigger, but all seem to be of a higher grade than their parents - I realize they tend to lose white coloration as they mature, but these babies still have much clearer banding and significantly brighter colors. It looks like I'm getting A/B grade offspring from C grade parents. But, only time will tell - I'll have to keep an eye on them 'til they're of breeding age (i.e. probably next month at the rate they're growing).

CPOs still haven't released the latest batch of eggs. Not surprising, but I'm impatient LOL.

One of these days I'll get off my lazy bum and get some photos of all these critters. :p I know that's what you're all waiting for. :mrgreen:
 

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The CPOs I got from you are in my cherry shrimp tank and they look exactly like cherries if you don't look closely :p. They are doing well though, can't wait for them to grow into adults!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
LOL they won't look like cherries when they grow up! Actually, the adults are sometimes a little aggressive toward shrimp, but cherries are like cockroaches - even if they eat half of them they'll still breed faster than the crays can keep up :p Also I've read that crays raised with shrimp tend to tolerate them a lot better than ones that only meet them as adults. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmmm.... I think my head might just explode soon. Managed to wake up sick today and am now running a 100-degree fever. Hooray.

So, in the mean time, have a low-quality photo of a baby CPO. That's a 2" (maybe 2.5"?) piece of PVC pipe he or she is crawling 'round in. :)
 

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Sure sounds like you caught the "SHU" bug of doom that's been going around campus. I came down with it myself a while back and it's terribly contagious. I managed to get my whole family sick. It's truly miserable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hm. Yes. Well, having (mostly) recovered from the death flu, I returned to my fishroom this weekend. Everybody got along without me under the tender loving care of my sister Mimi. Anyway, the exciting thing is that I now have 2 berried blue leg posos, which means yay blue leg poso babies on the way.

On the other hand, not a single tiger shrimp is berried. This is something of a mystery, for there are over 2 dozen of the bugs and all are of a size to breed. I even gave them some of the Azoo max breed - haven't seen so much as a saddle develop. Very bizarre.

The assassins, on the other hand, continue to slowly increase their numbers.

5 days 'til the NEC!!!
 
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