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TOPIC: The Complete Fairy Shrimp Guide

The Complete Fairy Shrimp Guide 4 years 11 months ago #206

  • xenxes
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This was from my thread over on TPT, thought I'd share it here too:

Thinking about grabbing a few thousand eggs and hatching them as either live food and/or just as a nano/pico fairy shrimp tank.

Anyone have experience with this?:

- What kind of tanks / bowls do you use?
- What substrate/flora/fauna setup would maximize their life-cycle (if any needed)?
- What do you feed them?

Lastly, anyone keep these as pets? Want to see some pics! :D

Will update more feedback / info as I find them here. Only good info I can find are from 2 shrimp farms :/ Not sure if this is very accurate:

Wild Habitat:
Fairy shrimp have short life cycles and live in standing temporary water, dry lakes and vernal pools to name some. Many in the wild will also hatch and breed in small puddles of muddy rain water.

Aquarium Habitat:
At home, keepers claim that Fairy Shrimp exhibit brighter coloration when kept under direct light. Use distilled or spring water, and top off regularly. A filter and flow is not required, as Fairy Shrimps live in standing puddles of water in their natural habitats. In fact, strong filters should be reduced and covered with a sponge to prevent sucking away the baby shrimp. Salinity and specific conditions vary based on the species of the shrimp.

In the wild, fairy shrimps are filter feeders. They strain tiny particles (bacteria, algae, spores) out of the water. In captivity, they can live on a diet of “yeast soup”: dissolve 1 packet of dried yeast (bakers or brewers), 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a big pinch of crushed fish food flakes in 1/3 cup of hot spring water. Mix well and let it sit an hour. Store your “soup” in the refrigerator or another cool place. To feed your shrimp, stir or shake the mixture thoroughly. (It settles out quickly.) Use an eyedropper or pipette to drip a few drops of the soup into the water. Give the right amount of food -- the water should be slightly hazy (still see-through), but not cloudy. If it becomes cloudy, stop feeding for a day or two until it clears up.



Redtail Fairy Shrimp (Streptocephalus _):

Lifespan: 8 weeks
Full Size: up to 0.5"
Temperature: 50-100F, widest range of survival temperature

Thai Fairy Shrimp (Branchinella thailandensis):

Lifespan: 8 weeks
Full Size: up to 1"-1.37"
Temperature: 50-65F optimal to hatch

Dry Lake Fairy Shrimp (Streptocephalus _)

Lifespan: 3-5 weeks average, up to 9 weeks
Full Size: up to 0.9"
Temperature: can survive up to 93F

Winter Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta _)

Lifespan: 10 weeks
Full Size: up to 0.8"
Temperature: 40F - 72F (optimal 60-68); can even hatch in icy waters < 40F!

Mammoth Winter Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta _)

Lifespan: 12 weeks
Full Size: up to 1.2"
Temperature: 40F - 72F (optimal 60-68); can even hatch in icy waters < 40F!

Beavertail Fairy Shrimp

Lifespan: 14 weeks average
Full Size: up to 2"

Giant Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta gigas):

Full Size: up to 3.4"
Temperature: 45-60F optimal to hatch


2-3" red and green found in a well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftBNnrteoP8
2" beavertails captured from a puddle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xunAaPDOtNs

I think they make an unique addition to an aquarium despite their 3-4 months lifespan. The red/green ones, and the red-tail makes them pretty prominent and easy to spot.


Instructions on raising fairy shrimp.
Journal article on using fairy shrimp as live feed to improve growth in prawns.

Personal Experience:

Thai: low hatch rate, longest life span was 3 1/2 weeks.

Redtails: seems hardier, better survivability.

Overall they seem to prefer outdoors with some indirect sunlight. A mud bottom in the container, did not require any feeding. Sunlight & dirt harbors more than enough microfauna for them to feast on.
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