Caridina japonica - breeding Vol.1

Through building and maintaining beautiful nature aquaria people re-learn the intricate connections between forms of life, plants, fish, microorganism and humans. Riches and beauty come from harmony, from balance. Aquaria are great teachers of this truth. TAKASHI AMANO


Conclusion !

To bring my first Amano breeding attempt to the end. I was following the article written by Heather Canderlaria, and I have to say that this article is not much of a truth. Heather probably had experienced another Caridinia spp but not the C. japonica. I tried it and it doesn't work. This is not just my opinion. Other Shrimp breeders on forum agree that this article is useless!
Another useless article is written by Wilma Duncan. This one is a funny case, must say. Lots of people actually believe Wilma and find this article of hers quiet charming. Of course it is far from it! She describes her first Amano larvae experience with words "The tank was full of baby shrimp hiding among the plants." , how charming. But there is one cruel truth proving her wrong! Amano baby's are free floating larvae (doesn't look like baby shrimp) and they float in the open water. She didn't mention any free floating larval!
To be even worst she claims that this Amphipod/Scud is the baby Amano shrimp! I don't think there is more needed to prove this article wrong. Well if she would change the article name to Breeding and Raising the Amphipod/Scud it would probably be the truth, but who would know that. On the side bar you will notice links to the False Breeding method 1 and 2. I already mentioned them.
Thanks god we do have some real Amano breeding articles that are not a myth and to be even better, are illustrated !
One of them is the article written by Mike Noren. It is realistic and the illustration are showing the raising progress. The salinity is closely measured. I will try this article soon. Second article that is recommended is written by the French and is saying almost the same what Noren mentioned.

One good thing to start with is to know the difference between the male and the female Caridina japonica. The first photo shows the male, that is smaller than female. Grows to 3.5cm. You can see three rows of dots on the side of its body. Females middle line is different.

The females middle line is more formed out of short lines. As well as that the female grows up to 5 cm and has a less transparent body than the male. The female carries the eggs.


The END of my 1st attempt in breeding Amanos.

4 days after the 1st day of the 2nd batch the zoea were lost. I returned all the mother shrimps back to the main tank and dismantled the 10 gallon breeding aquarium. Something was not working well for the larvae. Next time I will prepare my self much better.

I hope you learned something out of my experience so far :-)

Kind regards, Dusko Bojic.


1st day of the second batch !!!!

I keep 2 carrying Amano females in 10 gallon breeding tank. One of them released a few larvae last night. I can count 6 zoea swimming with head down. I introduced one liter of Green water and added 10 more tea spoons of salt. Total salt amount is 4 tea spoons per gallon.

The larvae are a bit bigger this time, around 1.5-2mm and their heads are slightly bigger. This time I can see with bear eye three parts of their body. Last time I could see only the small head and a tiny tail.

This batch moves with more energy, have to say. The water aged a bit I presume and is more stable. I am going for a 4 day trip and will leave the shrimps and the larvae to their own device with non-stop lights on.

Blue-Green algae started growing all over the Java-moss. There is lots of algae on the aquarium glass as you can see on the larvae photo above. With all that algae it is very difficult to do a decent shot. I hope this time the mortality is going to be low. Will know when I come back.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


The 5th day since the first female was introduced

Today is the 4th day since the larvae hatched and I lost them all. There is no signs of the dead ones. Sad but true.
The female No.2 didn't hatch eggs yet. I hope she is gonna do it tonight. She is in the salty breeding 10 gallon and will be returned back to the main freshwater tank when all eggs are released.
Next time I will get salinity test and raise it to 34ppm. As well as that I will get some food like Golden Pearls (100-200 micron).
I find hard to culture green water inside the tank. There is lots of lights (24/7), no CO2, NitrAte 20ppm, nitrIte 0.25ppm and water change every two days 5 liters, but no green water.


The 4th day

This photo shows a 3 days old Caridina japonica larvae. The larvae is slightly bigger than 1mm. There are also some algae on the aquarium glass.

The other photo shows a worm like creature that was spotted crawling on the front glass of the tank, this morning. It is no bigger than 3 mm. It has some kind of legs on the sides. You are not able to see the "legs" with bare eyes. Whitish in color, it moves quite fast for a worm that size. I am culturing Green water in a Cola bottle that is exposed to sun light all day long. I presume I introduced it through that water, that I fed the larvae with, this morning. It looks like this Oligochaete Chaetochaster diastrophus .

Today the larvae are 3 days old. I can count only 5 larvae (will check later for more). I changed 5 liters of water, conditioned with dechlorinator Aqua Safe. I added 4 tea-spoons of salt.
The bottle, where I cultured green water turned green today, thanks to the boiled lettuce. I mixed some yeast, boiled egg yolk and some of the green water and fed the larvae.
The tank water looks very cloudy thanks to the food mix. I am not sure will the larvae get to the firs molt stage. It would be a good idea to have the salinity test and small food like the Golden Pearls (100-200 microns).

I introduced another Amano female to the breeding tank. She behaved much calmer than the first one. Probably the salt is well dissolved by now. Her eggs are getting greenish in color which indicates the hatching period is near. I am hoping that this time more zoea will survive.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


The 3rd day !!!

The Amano female released all the eggs and I returned her back to the main freshwater tank. Mike Noren says that female should not be kept in brackish waters. The adult will tolerate high salinity but the eggs will fail to hatch (happened to Mike two times). Some claim that the adult female will die in salty conditions. In my case the female survived and as soon it was placed back into the freshwater tank started eating and behaving as usual. My eggs did hatch and the larvae are swimming with head down.
Today I can count approx. 13 larvae, but it is so hard to spot them.
I managed a good photo today and here it is posted.
Today I fed a small amount of yeast dissolved in a bit of aquarium water. As I mentioned before, I have no personal experience with raising Amano larvae. The water turned cloudy, but the larvae seem to be still moving as usual.
Water parameters;
Temperature is on 31'C (Celsius)
pH 7.8
KH 4
GH 5
Ammonia 0 ppm
NitrIte 0 ppm
NitrAte 15-20ppm
3 tea-spoons of salt per 1 gallon
Lights are on for 24 hours/7

Photo by Dusko Bojic


The 1st and 2nd day !

29th of Maj 2006 I decided to breed Amano shrimps. The 4 females I keep in my 180 liter planted aquarium are carrying eggs. One of them lost the eggs after carrying them for approx. 30 days (the larvae probably eaten by the Cardinal tetras). Since I never bred anything in my fish keeping experience, I decided to try with one female. and if it works i will add the rest.

I bought a 10 gallon aquarium with two 15W bulbs (DIY lights with reflectors).
I was researching the net for info abut breeding Amanos and at the end I decided to try Heather Canderlaria recipe. I filled the bottom with pea gravel, took some of the aged water from the main tank (1/3) and the rest with new dechlorinated water. I vacuumed some of the aquarium mulm and introduced that as well. There is probably enough of nitrifying bacteria in the gravel mulm but I added one part of the filter wool from the main tank, to seed some bacteria that way. I added one piece of bog-wood with Java-moss attached to it. I planted some Egeria densa. There are no heaters, air stones nor filters. I stir the water occasionally to move it around. I added 20 tea-spoons of kitchen salt to 10 gallons of water (2 tsp. per gallon). Female shrimp was introduced into this salt tank on the 29th.

I tried to culture some green water but no results so far. I added some blanched lettuce to the bottle mix, so hoping to get it tomorrow maybe. Green water is known to be the best food for Amano larvae. On the 30th I found some interesting DOTS moving in the water. I couldn't believe it, that just after a day in salty water they will hatch. I could count at least 50 zoeas swimming around the tank. I tried to make some photos of it just to convince my self that this is what I think it is.....the Amano larvae!!!! :-)
It is hard photographing them since they are always on the move. They are no more than 1mm in size. The larvae look like small dots with a tiny tail (like a spermatosoid). The only available food I had is the mulm form the other aquarium that is floating in the water. For first food I decided to give boiled egg yolk. After it was cooked I took a small piece and together with some aquarium water shuck it with a shaker until the egg was completely dissolved. That I added to the water. I am not sure will they eat it. The lights are on non-stop for 24/7. I hope to get some green water in the rearing tank. Will test for ammonia and nitrite tomorrow. Hope everything works well for the little ones. Mother shrimp is still inside since some of the eggs are not hatched yet. A very exciting day for me :-)

Photos by Dusko Bojic.