Shrimp are usually bought as a scavenger that is supposed to eat uneaten leftover food. This can lead to incorrect care and failure of your shrimp to thrive and breed. Instead, if the shrimp were treated with the same care you give to fish then they will amply pay you back in terms of entertainment and beauty. They are active and interesting in their own right with some of the nicest colours too. So don’t treat them like second class citizens in the aquarium.
Sexing cherry shrimps
Males and females can be told apart by looking at the colour the female being a solid red while the male will have a more faded colour. The female has a yellow “saddle” on her back which is a bunch of unfertilised eggs. The female is also larger than the male. A fully grown adult female will be 1.5 inches long.
Cherry shrimp breeding aquarium set up
A shrimp aquarium will ideally have a sponge filter or two. The shrimp will actually feed off the bacteria on the filter. Keep the temperature at 75F. Have some clumps of java moss. The shrimp absolutely love this and feed off organisms that grow on the moss. Some floating plants too is great for them. Provide dark gravel to ensure the best colour of your cherry shrimps. Feed tiny amounts of fish food and vegetables every few days. Remove any waste and that’s it. They are much easier to maintain than fish. However, remove any dead shrimp immediately.
Cherry Shrimp Breeding preparation
Try an 18 inch tank mature aquarium containing a sponge filter. Set the temperature at 80F. Just like fish ammonia, chlorine and nitrites will kill shrimp so a cycled tank is best. Ph is not important. Anything between 6ph-8ph is okay.
Breeding Cherry Shrimp
Put the shrimps into the aquarium. Make sure you have males and females. A few of each is good. Feed the shrimp fish food. Feed very small amounts. They are not big eaters. Also feed lettuce, cucumber and carrot. Place in the aquarium in the morning and remove any uneaten pieces at night.
The shrimp will mate if all is well. The female will lay the eggs and hold them underneath her tail. The eggs will be held there for 3 weeks or more. When the eggs hatch the baby shrimp are flicked away by the mother. They are born as exact miniatures of the parents. however, they are almost transparent. Now you are well on your way to having your own breeding colony of cherry shrimps.
Making money from breeding cherry shrimp
At the moment, few people are breeding and selling them. There is a potential to make money from them. In that case consider also, the other coloured cherry shrimps such as the blue and yellow varieties. With these being the same species, care and breeding is exactly the same. However, don’t put the different colours in the same aquarium because when they interbreed they will revert back to their native greeny brown colouration.
Enjoying cherry shrimps in the home aquarium
To enjoy them fully it is best to have a breeding colony and every so often put a young adult female shrimp in your living room aquarium to enjoy them. But it is best to keep them with peaceful species such as small tetras.
Setting Up A Home-Based Aquarium Fish Breeding Business: An Overview
Setting up a home-based aquarium fish breeding business can be an exciting step for any fishkeeping enthusiast to partake in. While experience goes a long way in ensuring the success of your ambitions, just about any aquarist can begin breeding and start realising profit in the fun and rewarding business of fish breeding at home.
Why home fish breeding works
When you visit your local aquarium fish store and take a look at the various imported species of fish that they offer, chances are that a great deal of them come from commercial breeding farms that, in some cases, can be separated by hundreds or thousands of kilometres of distance from the store itself.
Naturally, this presents problems for the local store owners: namely, the health of the fish during transport. The local store has to pay for the number of fish they purchased regardless of how many of those fish show up dead-on-arrival or battling sickness and stress. These newly imported fish undergo a quarantine period where they are nursed back to health during which the shopkeeper will not be able to sell them.
For this reason, many local stores are more than willing to purchase their fish from local suppliers who can provide healthy, happy fish at similar prices and with a greater chance of their continued survival. Fish which can be put up for sale within days. If you are interested in setting up a home-based breeder business, you can earn a decent living through a reliable network of these local stores.
The Internet also provides a great way to make a profit through your home-based breeder business, especially through using local classifieds websites that let you undercut the local fish shop entirely, selling and delivering your fish directly to customers who, if they are pleased with your fish, will become repeat customers and pass the word on to their friends.
How to begin setting up a home-based breeder business
Naturally, the first thing that you need to do is choose which species of fish you would like to breed. Buying quality pedigree fish can pay dividends in the long run. In general, you can expect to get a higher price on species that are harder to breed successfully, or on common species that you can breed with specialised morphs or colours, ie of high pedigree. It is just as expensive to breed and raise expensive fish as inexpensive fish but the returns are greater. It is better to compete on quality than quantity.
• Killifish are a popular choice, but need a lot of involvement to breed;
• Discus fish are difficult to breed, but can earn breeders a healthy profit and are always in great demand.
• Angelfish are easier to breed, but are not likely to gain a good price unless you pick a specialised colouring or finnage.
• Guppies are easy to breed, and make an excellent beginner’s breeding fish. Some specialised varieties can even fetch good prices.
• Bettas are easy to breed, but you will have to specialise— for example, pedigree bettas such as koi bettas are highly desirable.
There are many other options available, and a successful fish breeder will want to have a selection of species available. Once you become established as a fish breeder, you will develop a good reputation and begin to get repeat customers who will be interested in other species you can provide.
Once you have chosen your fish, you can begin grouping them into suitable pairs or spawning groups. This will require sexing the fish, which is a simple process for some species and a very specialised one for some others. There are several important traits to consider in your pairs or groups that will yield higher-quality results in the resulting offspring:
• Markings, colour and finnage. Choosing fish that display attractive markings and bright colours should produce similarly attractive young. Many people are impressed by the colouration of tropical fish, and this factor will play an important role in the value of the fish you breed.
Similar markings and colours should be paired together, as differences in these attributes will often produce unattractive young. It is generally good advice to avoid crossing different strains of fish for this reason.
• Fish health. Only mature, healthy fish should be used for spawning because unhealthy fish can produce sick or deformed young.
• Pair Compatibility. This is an important factor for some species of fish. For example, some species of cichlids will only form pairs after being raised together for months or years. Other species will respond poorly to induced breeding and begin to bully one another, sometimes to death.
As an additional consideration for pair compatibility, fish must be of the same species. Hybrid fish tend, like many other members of the animal kingdom, to produce sterile young.
One final tip: Keep your eyes and ears alert for any new species of breed of fish that crops up. If you feel you could successfully breed these novelties then you could make money if you are ahead of the curve.
While livebearers are very easy fish to breed and offer a great starting point for beginners, you will eventually need to begin breeding egg-laying fish in order to realise a profit. There are five major groups of egg-layers to be considered when setting up a home-based breeder business:
• Egg-scattering fish These species of fish scatter their eggs during spawning. The eggs either fall down into the substrate, attach to plants, or float to the surface. These fish will produce large numbers of small eggs, and may eat their own eggs. So must be separated from eggs soon after spawning.
• Egg-depositing fish These fish will deposit their eggs safely on a substrate in the tank. This may be the glass wall of the tank, or on rocks or wood present in the tank. The eggs tend to be larger than scattered eggs. Some of these egg-depositing species will care for their eggs and the resulting young, while others will not.
• Egg-Burying Fish. Setting up a home-based breeder business with egg-burying fish can be tricky. These fish inhabit lakebeds that are dry for some portion of the year; the eggs lay dormant until the annual rains begin and hatching begins then. Recreating these conditions in an aquarium can be difficult.
• Mouth-Brooding Fish. Mouth-brooders are fish that retain the eggs and sometimes even the young fry in their mouth until the fish are ready to fend for themselves.
• Nest-Building Fish. These fish are not unlike egg-burying fish, except that they actively construct nests for themselves to lay eggs in. Examples include the bubble-nests formed by labyrinth fish.
Whichever type of fish you choose to breed, you must design your tank to have the necessary rocks, plants or other spawning material and enough space for the fish to feel comfortable spawning.
Designing your spawning tank
Since community tanks are filled with neighbouring fish that may predate on the vulnerable young, it is crucial to grow the young fish in a separate spawning tank. Spawning tanks need to have some special construction elements to protect the young fish:
• A protected heater will keep the young fish from burning themselves against the edges of the heater.
• A slow-moving sponge filter will prevent eggs or fry from being sucked into the filtration system.
• Tanks with a dual-layer substrate are ideal for egg-scattering fish since the parents of these fish may eat their own eggs. A permeable layer that lets the eggs fall down out of reach of the hungry parents is ideal for allowing optimal spawning conditions.
• Egg-depositing fish should be provided with a healthy number of fine and broad-leaved plants. Additionally, egg-depositors that do not care for their young should be removed from the tank once the eggs are laid.
• Nest-building fish should be provided with materials with which they can build their nests. Additionally, water currents should be very low so that the nests are not disturbed.
Once you have setup your spawning tank, you need to simulate natural conditions and keep your parent fish in good, healthy condition in order to stimulate the production of offspring. With care and a little bit of luck, you should begin to see young fish appearing in your tanks, ready for sale.
You will also need growing on tanks for maximising the growth rate of your young fish. large tanks without gravel and sponge filters are ideal. This will result in fish that are saleable within 3-6 months depending on species. The earlier you can sell the young the more profit you will make.
Tips on advertising and selling your fish
Like any business, you need to be competitive in the existing market both in terms of price, quality, and advertising. These three factors are what combine to create value in any product or service, and your fish are no different.
While the price is largely determined by the existing local market, and the quality by your fish keeping experience, your advertising is only limited by how much effort you invest in the process. Taking good pictures is a must— high quality photographs of your fish will attract buyers. Invest in a reasonably good digital camera, preferably one that takes animal photos. Then, take many, many different photos and select the best.
It is especially important to include pictures of your adult fish, as well as the young, in your adverts so that your buyers have a good idea about what to expect as they grow. Investing in quality photographs can pay off with a stream of interested buyers, especially if you choose to advertise your breeding business exclusively online.
The weedy sea dragon, a close relative of the sea horse, has been bred fro the first time at Birch Aquarium San Diego. Quite an achievement as only five other aquariums have bred sea dragons in captivity in the US.