Native Glass Shrimp
Author: James Cooper
First published in Aquarium World February 2014
Max Size: 9cm
Temperature: 5 – 26°C
pH: 6.5-8.5 (high reading due to marine larval stage, 6.5-7.5 best for adults.)
These peaceful detritivores are great as a clean up crew for an aquarium, especially for their ability to consume Black Beard Algae. Quite common New Zealand wide, even on Stewart Island, they can also penetrate inland quite far but their full range has never been investigated. This shrimp has a marine larval stage so is unable to be bred in the home aquarium without specialised equipment. They are easy to collect by sweeping a net through stream-side vegetation. Glass shrimp are less common in waterways that have been infested with Gambusia.
Sex is determined by size, the larger specimens over 5cm being female. Please release all larger specimens that have been caught to ensure future generations of shrimp.
They are quite happy in tropical tanks as long as the temperature does not rise above 26°C at which point a very high mortality rate is recorded. They are very sensitive to ammonia so should be added to mature systems.
There are several different colour morphs recorded such as black, green or red, which seem related to diet but in the wild they are normally a clear yellow colour with slight coloured speckling (colour depends on locality of capture). Lifespan is estimated to be about 2 years (Carpenter 1983) and they die after approximately 6-8 months as a female.
Alan Carpenter (1983): Population biology of the freshwater shrimp Paratya curvirostris (Heller, 1862) (Decapoda: Atyidae), New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 17:2, 147-158
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