I just wanted to say first - Paintingpintos, I am not picking on you, lol, re your thread earlier. I just have wanted to make a post about these shrimp for some time now and I was reminded to do so.
I guess what I'd like to bring to people's attention here is a question of ethics in aquarists purchasing Atyopsis moluccensis
, AKA the Wood/Singapore Wood/Bamboo/Flower/Asian Fan/Asian Filter Shrimp - those largish guys with the amazing 'fan-hands' used to scoop food into their mouths. Here's a couple of pics:
There's a few different kinds, and some are pretty common in LFS's now. What a lot of folks don't know is that NONE of those thousands of shrimps for sale in the stores world wide are bred in captivity. They are 99.9% removed from the wild
- and are rapidly dwindling in numbers there for this and various other reasons.
In addition, these shrimp are VERY fussy to keep, and most starve to death or succumb to ammonia levels that wouldn't bother other, hardier species.
The reason they are taken from the wild is that they are -very very
difficult- to breed. Here's a blog by a guy documenting the hooplah he had to go to in order to get his pair to produce living young:
It's a really interesting read, in itself. :)
If these shrimp are in fish tanks, and they don't breed easily or at all...
And if most people who buy them from the LFS don't know how to take of them properly....
And even when they do know, the shrimp die of happy old age without ever reproducing in number sufficient to make up for the huge numbers removed from their native habitat...
Then it will be fish keepers like me and you who are (or are NOT..) helping these amazing animals to perhaps one day vanish off the face of the planet forever.
My point being:
If you must
purchase this shrimp from your LFS, ask where it came from.
And PLEASE consider not just plopping it in with your betta (who prefers sluggish water anyway, not the high flow this shrimp requires to feed) but instead taking a true interest in the species and doing what's necessary to breed a few in captivity to keep/sell/trade.
It looks like a lot of work - they need brackish water to breed in, for a start. But really worth it, especially if it helps to encourage people to breed this cute lil critter in captivity - because then, if it does vanish from the wild, at least there'll be a few left somewhere.