Friday, 27 November 2015

The Princess!

The Princess Bee, Paracaridina haivanensis, is a shrimp I was looking for for a long time. Not often seen for sale in Denmark, I was able to get some from Garnelen-Guemmer in february at the Aquarium-fair in Vejle.

With the reddish-brown or black and white drawings, they fall into a big group of fairly similar-coloured shrimp, both natural occurring and fancy breeds, but to me these Princess Bees have something special about them. They are lively and grows to around 25 mm. and not at all shy, which makes them more interesting to keep in my opinion.

I took them home and kept them in my normal tapwater. I knew this might be too alkaline for them, so I kept a close eye. They seemed to thrive. They got berried but no shrimplets were seen. After a few months I gave them 50% rainwater and soon I started to see shrimplets. What I learned from this is that they survive in quite wide range of water, but they need it soft to breed successfully.
In their natural habitat in Vietnam they are living in soft water too, so this not exactly a surprise.

More shrimplets on the way...

This shrimp is a slow breeder; since I got the water right, they have gone from 10 adults to 26. I have no count on shrimplets, but there are quite a few. In any case, I am very happy to have found the key to breeding this beauty.



The tank is set up quite simple; 30 litres, sand substrate, a lot of small pieces of bogwood and a big Anubias. A handfull of leaves (Oak, Cattappa) and some Corydoras for company, filtered with HMF driven by air.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Finally Quintana atrizona fry!

Late last year I got a few Quintana atrizona, a species I had looked for for some time. Unfortunately I chose to try keeping them with Poecilia wingei...lesson learned; it was a bad idea. Even though the wingei did not seem to bother the Quintanas at first sight, the Quintanas just disappeared little by little.
A bit later I got some new fish from fellow  Poecilia Scandinavia member Peter Iversen. An old strain from 1987, caught in Guanimar, Cuba.

The Quintanas got their own little tank of 30 litres with a sand substrate and some bogwood with Anubias tied on. Water straight from the tap, around pH 7,5. Temperature around 23-26C. A lot of filamentous algae growing in the HMF-filter seems good for grazing. Also the shrimp in their tank, a wild-type I'm not shure of regarding ID, enjoys this part a lot.

Enjoying Repashy's Soilent Green. Male in front.

Female with more family behind it.

The species seem to be at home here, so I hope to keep them going for a long time this time. I have cut back considerably on the livebearers but these small ones I want to give some space.
They seem to be very sporadicly distributed in the hobby. I know only two people who keep them here in Denmark; Peter and myself. Hopefully this will change. They deserve more attention.

A fry.

...more fry...

Monday, 16 November 2015

Caridina sp. Red Spotted and new magazine!

Finally it is out! Breeders'n'Keepers vol. 3...and the team behind really did a good job! A good balance between articles about fancy shrimp like Skunks and SCB and others via in-the-field articles about habitats and wild shrimp (my personal favourites!) to articles about diseases and how to avoid or treat them. For me this is the best of the 3 issues published so far, not counting the ChinaWild-edition which was quite spectacular. Go and get it!

One of the shrimp featured in the second wildie-article in this issue is living close to where Caridina sp. Galaxy Tiger is collected. It is Caridina sp. Red Spotted, which shares it's biotope with the more famous loach Yaoshania pachychilus.

I ordered Caridina sp. Spotted Galaxy from a German webshopduring the summer and I am quite convinced this is the same shrimp.

They have proved prolific and easy to breed, both in my tapwater at pH around 7,5 - 420 microsiemens/cm. and in lower values too.

The spots are reddish and can look black too, depending on light. They are nice in their own way, not showing too many fancy colours, but they are really active and moving around constantly.

...eating cucumber meant for the snails ( I need to thin them out)...

Saturday, 14 November 2015

What are Staecks Endlers?

Steacks Endler is a really pretty fish, but there are several types in the hobby. Hybrids as well as supposedly "pure" fish. Some say that the orignals were hybrids. What is real seems to change depending on who you talk to.

The fish were collected by Dr. Wolfgang Staeck in a creek around Laguna de los Patos in Cumana in 2004. That much is clear!
It is also clear that they were crossed with Poecilia wingei "Yellow Top Sword" by Karen Koomans. Today there are several strains in the hobby, which look a bit different from each other.

Two years ago I got the fish below from Claus Osche and they can be traced back to a DGLZ-member in Berlin who wasn't shure if they were hybrids or not. Still pretty fish, none the less!

They are quite similar to the Karen Koomans hybrids below. Thanks to Phillip Voisin (Philderodez Endlerslover on social medias) for lending me the photo!

Except for the coloured dorsal in my fish, they are very similar and the difference could simply be different breeders selecting in different directions.

So, what does the real one look like? A good guess is these fish I got earlier this year from Jef Pedro who has the nice website Casadiguppy.

These fish is from a strain with the tracing Dr. Wolfgang Staeck - Dr. Fred Poeser - Leo van der Meer - Jef Pedro - Me. To me they look much more "wingei" in appearance. In any case I find the very pretty.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Robustness-test of Taiwan Bees!

Having kept and bred shrimp for 10 years I thought it was about time I tried these popular ones. I am mostly a fan of natural forms, but there's always exceptions...

Most people seem to use shrimp-soil of some sort with a truckload of additives available. Minerals, special food etc. and RO-water with salts added. I am quite opposite...sand substrate, a mix of tap-and rainwater made roughly 50/50. I never or very rarely measure anything and temperature is normally felt with my hand. I do weekly og bi-weekly 50-80% waterchanges and feed a variety of foods. Frozen bloodworms and various sticks. Mostly the ones from TA-Aquaculture. A lot of leaves are always in the tank. Cattappa, Oak, Beech, Chestnut etc., and nettles or Hazel-leaves for the shrimp. Only recently I have tried adding Polytase and Biozyme to see of it makes a difference.

I am a bit rough on the shrimp compared to many others, so I had to see if I could keep these supposedly very fragily Taiwan Bees alive. As an example the temperature drop during last waterchange was from 23 to 16C! 
A few types were purchased from Germany - Blue Bolt, Red Bolt, Red Ruby and Panda. 5 of each. I decided to keep them together in a tank they share with Corydoras nattereri. So, time would tell if I was successful!

One of the Blue Bolts.

It wasn't long before a Panda and a Blue Bolt were carrying eggs. After a while the eggs were gone and the waiting could begin.

Today during waterchanges I noticed a tiny Blue Bolt and after closer inspection I found a lot of Blue Bolts and a few others I guess is Panda and King Kong or something like that. Hard to see at this time.

Tiny one...King Kong maybe?

Blue Bolts really stand out!

Looks like a Panda.

I have seen Red Bolts with eggs too, so I hope to see some of those soon. I really like the strong colours on these shrimp and I will get more in the future, but still the natural forms outnumber them considerably. 

Some of the adults: