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Old 11-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #1 
Perocore
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Indian Whisker Shrimp

Last year I set up a fancy guppy tank. The tank quickly became dirty with too many unwanted pond snails dying and algae growing. So I went to Petco for some ghost shrimp. Instead they had in one lonely little 1" long creature labeled as a "whisker shrimp," and I brought him home.

I did some reading and found that they are new in the fish/shrimp keeping hobby, and that people found them too aggressive to keep with peaceful fish. I ignored this advice and kept him with my guppies and baby pleco. I fell in love with this little shrimp, named Mr. Whiskers. He was a joy to watch, and would follow my finger around the tank, swimming about in search of food. He cleaned up the algae, dead snails, decaying plants, and yes, dead fish. I watched him interact with the fish very carefully. He would land on them every now and then on accident, and would never threaten to hurt them. The guppies actually became comfortable with his presence, and would follow him about the tank. If one did happen to nip at him he would slash with his claws but never gave chase or tore any fins.

My pleco would be sleeping on the bottom of the tank and Mr. Whiskers would sit beside him, nibbling on an algae wafer or simply grooming. Despite the pleco never moving at that point, Mr. Whiskers never offered any sort of aggression.

For this reason I would like to promote the keeping and breeding of Indian Whisker shrimp. They get about 2" long on average, but Mr. Whiskers reached 2.5" and, in the 8+ months I kept him with fish, never harmed a fish or shredded a fin. He could hold his own against aggressive fish, but was content to simply search for food. He did love algae wafers, but I believe highly benefited from a diet of primarily meat-based fish flakes and tubifex worms (which he LOVED). He was also given peas and algae wafers when algae was not present and the plants were all healthy.

So, anyone else experience the joys of owning an Indian Whisker shrimp? I finally found some for sale and purchased a female and a male...I plan to start breeding soon :D
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:37 AM   #2 
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Update on keeping bettas with Whisker Shrimp.

Both Sparks (my mom's crazy shrimp-killing betta) and Armageddon (my massive 2.5" long in body boy) have whisker shrimp in with them. Armageddon has a breeding pair, and Sparks has only a male. Sparks, of course, goes after his shrimp with a passion, and has managed to cause open wounds on the poor shrimp. Despite my protests, my mom insists on keeping the poor shrimp in the tank with him. However, Trident (my mom's shrimp) is resilient, and is hanging in there. He's about 2" long now, and if he lives long enough, should get about 3" long and be able to properly defend himself, hopefully. He has swiped at Sparks but has caused no damage.

Armageddon is gentler by nature, but he has gone after Madame (the female whisker shrimp) before when fighting over algae wafers (silly fish doesn't know he's a carnivore). Madame, despite being small for her age at only 1.5" long (she puts more effort into developing eggs than growing) has no problem standing her ground and swiping at the betta until he leaves her be. If this fails to work then she hides behind Monsieur, who is already 2.5" long, and he gets Armageddon to back off. Armageddon is a half-moon, and has received no tears in his fins or other injuries. These two also coexist with 3 snails, 2 neon tetras, and 1 5" long pictus catfish with no problems. They actually share a cave with the catfish and they still all get along perfectly.

Feeding wise, they come up to the top during feeding time and grab left over fish flakes and betta pellets, pick algae off of the tank, eat decaying plants, and love algae wafers (as does the catfish). If my filter gets plugged up with decaying plant matter, the shrimp will sit on it and eat the plant matter off until it's all gone, and the filter continues running smoothly.

I shall continue to recommend these shrimp for any betta owner. They should be kept in at least a 3 gallon tank. I kept my first one at 3" in a 3 gallon stocked to the gills, so to speak, with live plants and he thrived.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:55 AM   #3 
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They sound extremely interesting! Could you post up some pics?

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Old 12-23-2013, 09:36 AM   #4 
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I knew I was forgetting something! They're close relatives of Ghost shrimp, and are just as see-through, so photographs are a little abstract...just follow the whiskers!

This is Trident, hiding from Sparks as usual.


And here's the much-less-reclusive Monsieur!

I couldn't get a proper photo of Madame as she's been shy as of late (I believe she's preparing to lay eggs, hopefully a few will make it this time, now that the tank is cycled and gravel matured).
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:52 AM   #5 
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They look extremely long! But I love their faces and whispers!


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