Let me tell ya bout fairy shrimp

Donovan Jones
  • #1
These critters are so cool! To put it simply, they're large freshwater sea monkeys, and if your familiar with triops you have a good idea of how to raise these. I found a packet I had from forever ago, and unfortunately none hatched but it got my mind back on to how truly amazing these things are. They live in pools that dry up, and like annual killies, have a lifespan that matches. I'd post pics if I had any, but I don't yet. However, once it warms up a bit I'll be getting some beaver tail fairy shrimp and I can't wait! Just wanted to share in case I could drag anyone else along for the ride lol.
  • #2
I find having creatures as fun as having fish.
Donovan Jones
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I did a little research and I'm really liking the idea of collecting critters in jars now, kinda like snow globes of ponds and pools over been to. I have one with ostracods, one with scuds and copepods and now I'm looking for fairy shrimp. I just set em in the window and feed once a week.
  • #4
I'm glad you posted this - I was just looking at fairy shrimp eggs a couple of days ago, and wondering how easy they were to culture. I have scuds in most of my tanks already (though I am aiming to get them out of my shrimp tank, they've decimated the plants in there), and the fish definitely enjoy the bonus snack whenever they find one.

I also like keeping aquatic creatures, besides just fish. Which reminds me...they apparently like me, too.

I have a black car that often gets mistaken for water - dragonflies will dart at it, even drop eggs on the hood sometimes. It also has a sunroof that I don't hesitate to open when the weather is nice.

One afternoon, I saw something fly in from overhead but didn't see what it was or where it went. Didn't panic, but when I stopped at the next light, I started looking around for it. And this is where I found it:


(On my leg. Good thing I'm not generally afraid of bugs...)

I'd never actually seen one before - it's a water-scorpion. Not of course venomous, and these particular ones actually look more like a praying mantis than a scorpion (the long skinny tube is not a stinger of any kind, it's essentially a snorkel). It rode with me to my destination, and flew out when I opened the door - likely toward a nearby creek that I often see herons stalking/fishing in.

So, it was fooled by the car into thinking it had found water - but I guess it made a pretty good choice after all (since I wasn't motivated to squish it, and my destination happened to also be near a good aquatic spot for it to be.)
Donovan Jones
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I've pretty much given up on fairy shrimp for now due to the distilled or spring water requirement, and I can't just set em and forget em. However, seed shrimp are proving to be quite a hoot. I'm thinking about doing a different variety of ramshorn in each jar with seed shrimp...I really like blue spotted ones. Also trying to find planorbis planorbis, cuz they're cute. I'm steering clear of daphnia for now cuz they always crash on me, still iffy on scuds cuz I like the plants to stay intact, but I might spare one jar. I've got a few locations left in mind that I know I wanna go to. I'll post pics when I get a chance.
  • #6
I've been looking at setting up a vernal pool 10 gallon. I want to make sure it mimics a natural environment as much as possible. Culturing pond water with micro flora/fauna sound like an exciting idea and a possible solution to my problem. I'll have to start taking samples from local ponds and see if I can keep things alive.

Please continue to update us on your adventures with freshwater inverts. I'm very curious about your success rate and methods.

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