What are Fairy Shrimps ?
Fairy Shrimps are small freshwater crustaceans that mainly thrive in ponds with fewer fish to avoid falling prey to fish. They are not as popular and well known as their cousin Brine Shrimp.
They make an excellent live feed for ornamental fish because of their nutritional value. They can also multiply very fast because you can raise them from their resting eggs.
They are bottom feeders, and their diet is mostly algae, amoeba, and flatworm eggs.
Fairy Shrimps are popular live food in aquaculture owing to the nutritional benefits they provide as follows.
• They enhance Fishs’ body color and pigmentation because they are a great source of essential amino acids and carotenoid pigments.
Cartenoids are yellow, orange, and red organic pigments that plants and algae produce. They improve skin color, be it the green stripes on the head and the redness of tail and fins on Green Terror, or the black wavy spots and snaky skin of Gourami.
• Their cysts or dormant eggs, when processed, are highly beneficial for weight gain and the growth of Fish fries.
• They are an excellent source of protein and lipid contents for ornamental fish. Lipid contents in fairy shrimps are generally fatty acids and vitamins and highly nutritious for fish that thrives only on live feed.
•The fatty acids and amino acids improve reproductive performance in fish. • Freshwater fairy shrimp eggs have crude fat in plenty with many unsaturated fatty acids in both eggs and shells.
• The composition of nutrients in fairy shrimp are roughly 55% protein, 9% carbohydrate, 19% lipids, 10% ash, and an energy value of 20 kJ/g. Ash is left-over after digestion and contains minerals.
• They also improve the immunity and larval survival of aquatic fish, which we usually keep as ornament fish. • Decapsulated eggs, nauplii (larval state), and adult fairy shrimps serve great as food for culturing Fish.
Besides their nutritional value, Fairy Shrimps are easy to breed and don’t require special effort. Although special care to the water temperature has to be taken. They will only hatch at a constant temperature of 86 – 94 degrees Fahrenheit . Any temperature higher or lower will cause the eggs to not hatch.
Their eggs can go dormant for years when you dry them. But, you can raise them again from their resting state, and they will hatch if the conditions are right.
They have an inherent ability to hatch from dormant eggs. They are filter feeders in natural habitats, but in captivity, you can feed them yeast soup.