Freshwater invertebrates are a steadily growing part of the aquarium hobby, due in no small part to the continuing popularity of nano tanks, some of which can be a challenge to stock with a vibrant community of healthy, happy fish.
Shrimp especially have filled the small-setup void in recent years,
and they are more and more sought after as the variety of colors and
patterns they come in has grown exponentially.
Shrimp, crabs, crayfish, and/or ornamental snails open up the
stocking possibilities in a freshwater nano aquarium tremendously,
provided their water requirements are met and there are no tankmates
around to munch on them. And in bigger community setups, with or
without invert-safe fish tankmates, they can add color accents to rival
the most brilliant reef denizens, as well as pull their own weight as
detritus scavengers and algae grazers. (Caridina japonica earned its
name “Amano shrimp” due to its ubiquity as an algae grazer in the
legendary Takashi Amano’s planted layouts.)
This issue’s focus on freshwater invertebrates begins with Bottom
of the Tank’s look at some popular pet snails in the hobby, including
volcano snails, rabbit snails, and the black devil’s horn snail (p. 28).
And Import Report (p. 32) follows up with some cool new additions
to the modern aquarist’s stock list: vampire shrimp, horned pagoda
snails, Thai micro crabs, and more!
Then there is undisputed invert master Chris Lukhaup’s feature
“Fascinating Freshwater Inverts!” (p. 46), a whirlwind tour of the
current and future stars among the shell-and-claw set: shrimps of
such varied colors and patterns that they can almost make you dizzy,
not to mention fan and long-arm varieties; brightly colored crayfish
from half an inch ( 1 cm) to 2 feet ( 60 cm) in size; and fascinating,
brilliantly hued crabs that will scuttle about and hunt for prey above
and below the waterline.
And that’s just the beginning! This
issue also features Bob Fenner’s survey
of the reef-ready but seldom-stocked
sandperches (p. 80), care and keeping
notes for the black-spotted “demon
fish” eartheaters (p. 74), and James
Fatherree’s report of a mass coral
spawning event that overtook his reef aquarium one fateful night,
and how he dealt with the blizzard-like gamete fallout (p. 24).
We also have two very different aquatic photography features in this
issue, with Part 2 of Mo Devlin’s “Tips & Tricks for Better Aquarium
Photos” (p. 58) and an at-depth, instructive look how to capture the
best photos of the world’s beautiful coral reefs and the animals that
make their home there from accomplished scuba diver, underwater
photographer, and frequent TFH contributor Richard Aspinall (p. 66).
And the chronicle of aquatic excellence continues, including tips
on hardscaping a planted tank and planting around the artfully
arranged rocks and driftwood (p. 20; p. 36), an in-depth discussion
from cichlid expert Juan Miguel Artigas Azas on how the cichlid
fishes came to be so widespread around the globe (p. 16), and our
annual Holiday Product Showcase (p. 87), featuring an array of
products to make the aquarists on your gift-giving list bubble over
with excitement this holiday season.
So what are you waiting for? Dive right in!
I have nerite snails and rabbit snails. I also have five shrimp tanks
with Neocaridina and Caridina shrimp, which include bloody
Marys, crystal reds, Tangtai, shadow pandas, King Kong, extreme
King Kong, and blue bolts.
I love nerite snails! Especially the striped ones.
I have three vampire shrimp, a bunch of Amanos, and a bunch of
red cherry shrimp.
I have snails, cherry shrimp, and Amano shrimp.
Harry C S Wingfield
Red cherry shrimp and assassin snails.
Mystery snails, nerites, and MTS [Malaysian trumpet snails]!
I’ve got bamboo, Amano, ghost, Malayan, and Neocaridina shrimp,
and apple, mystery, nerite, ramshorn, and trumpet snails. And a
mated pair of Mexican dwarf crayfish.
I had an Amano shrimp that was at least 2 inches [5cm]. I thought
I had my tank secure, but he got out and I found him dead.
Austin Danger Lehman
I have an electric blue crayfish and today I just acquired a new, bright
red crayfish. Apparently, a student at the high school where I teach
brought it into the school as a prank. The head custodian rescued it
and gave it to me—looks like we have a new classroom pet!
A gang of 20 red cherry shrimp and a sexy, veggie-lover apple snail.
I’ve got nerite snails and ramshorn snails in all my growouts.
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Facebook Poll: Who keeps freshwater invertebrates? Let us know what creatures are crawling around your tanks!
6 www.tfhmagazine.com Nov/Dec 2017
Albert J. Connelly, Jr., Publisher
Tropical Fish Hobbyist