View Full Version : Puzzled?

24th May 2006, 09:08 PM
I am a bit puzzled about some shrimp advice on the net. I have a concrete raised pond in the garden here in Hong-kong (any-one else in HK?) and I keep koi-swordtails and zebras and mollies year round in it plus some newt like things I found in the stream. Its a natural pond no heater or filter and filled with all sorts of tadpoles,but a very dense half of it is filled with plants and a few waterlillies. I have mountain stream water flowing through it when ever I need,usually once a week, otherwise it is static and very clear. Its about a 1.5 meters deep.

Any-way I added some bright neon little blue shrimp I found in the stream near our house and they are doing very well,quite happy even when I add sea salt to the water for the other fish.In the stream they sit on rocks and dead leaves and are quite difficult to catch as they leap around. They have been in my pond for a few years now,multiplying I assume as they are always some in there,on any surface there will be at least a dozen or so working away.I look at them at night with a torch as their eyes shine like little cats I dont know what kind they are but they are very attractive and quite small only about 2cm or so. I also dont know what they eat but they are very active on the sides of the pond and sometimes under the lily pads.

I got quite interested in these little things as they are so charming, so tried finding out what they are. No luck. But I found out there are a number of species here wild in HK and Southern China so I am quite excited. I wanted to add some red ones or other types to the pond. There are at least four or five species from here perhapse more. I dont know where they live. But all the info about them on the net tells me they dont like it cold or very hot. However it gets down to about 9%C here in winter which is cold and in summer it gets to 30+%C which is very hot. So I think they are in fact very adaptable?

Is there any-one here from HK here, I can show you where the blues live if you can show me where some other species live. You understand there are about ten zillion streams here and swampy bits and little delta things so its quite difficult and a little dangerous. Our stream is in fact filled with interesting things including some tiny fishes with dark red stripes and strange turtles with huge heads and little green crabs. The fish market has many kinds for sale tiny little red ones and stripy ones etc. I dont know where they come from or what they like but they are kept in constant tropical conditions so I would prefer local ones used to our natural weather conditions. It worked so well with the blue ones so I thought why not. I was worried they would miss the rushing stream (now a white water torrent after the typhoon last week, interesting that they dont seem to get washed away) but they dont seem at all worried by my pond.

25th May 2006, 06:01 AM
Sounds like you have yourself a very nice pond setup. It's lucky that you are near their native streams. I do believe that shrimp are able to adapt to natural weather conditions and we probably don't give them enough credit for it. Given the fact that it rains often in HK, I'm sure the native shrimp species have a way of surviving, especially if they live in streams that change flowrate with the rains.

Re: finding them in other streams, have you considered asking the lfs owners on fishrow? One of my friends was able to find them by asking some of the owners, but he was also starting a business relationshipship with them, so that may have made the difference.

25th May 2006, 07:30 AM
Thanks retardo, Ok call me a dummy but what is the "lFs owner on fish row" it sounds interesting.

Yea it's great having a stream near-by. I have a pipe coming from higher up on the mountain in the stream, down through the forest to the pond. This makes water changes very easy and I dont have to worry about water quality. I have never tested the water but add a few spoonfuls of dissolved sea salt after heavy rains just in case.
The flow in the stream does indeed change dramatically from season to season. In winter its no more than a mountain spring, trickling between nice little ponds,the best time obviously to find things, now it is literally one long waterfall and dramatically wide and strong, it sounds like the sea a constant roar,even boulders come crashing down every so often, making a very nice drumming sound.

This time of year is also very dangerous as the streams can change in seconds due to squally type monsoon down-pours on the mountain tops. I really dont know how the tiny shrimps dont all get washed down into the South-China sea. Perhaps they do or they wedge themselves into the rock crevices? But they are always there again in Autumn in good numbers. Maybe they crawl all the way back up from the sea. Even the fish are not free swimming they hop from one spot to the next, their tails almost prehensile as they curl up onto rock surfaces.

25th May 2006, 08:25 AM
lfs=local fish store. In HK, there an entire strip with just fish stores (hence, fishrow). :p I would imagine that maybe you've already gone there a few times... maybe not. I don't know the name of the street unfortunately, and I've never been either. These stores often get shipments from local sources (quite a bit of wild caught shrimp) as far as I know. Just a thought. I don't know how fruitful asking them will be, though, especially if there's nothing in it for them. Then again, you do have the location of your stream to offer at the very least.

I'm actually very curious as to what these shrimp you have look like. Do you have pictures?

25th May 2006, 08:58 AM
Oh yes I have been to the Mong-Kok fish market many many times. Almost every Sunday evening I go there. One thing a vendor in Hong-Kong will never tell you, is the source of his wares, even if I could understand a word of Cantonese it would not help me. This also makes buying anything quite difficult as I can never get the proper information about any-thing, forums like these are very helpful for me.

I have a camera, I will try and take some pictures of the shrimp I have and some of the things at the market, maybe someone could tell me what's good and what's not. The shrimp look like dark blue jelly. A bit see through. Some have little gold specks on the side.
I warn my pictures could take awhile, the batteries need loading first.

25th May 2006, 09:07 AM
Might any organisms in your pond conceivably enter natural bodies of water (as by rain-induced overflow)? I am somewhat concerned about the presence of non-natives in your setup.

As to temperature preference: since Caridina and Neocaridina spp. are to be found in habitats ranging from cold montane brooks to tannin-stained oxbows, it's difficult to make generalizations about ideal environmental parameters. Many species, however, are quite adaptable.

25th May 2006, 10:02 AM
Veneer, no not really. The pond floods almost daily this time of year, but the run off is channelled into the guttering and then into the forests, that soak it all up. It is not connected back to the stream. I thought of only using natives (shrimps) so thats why information is crucial, I also thought they may hybridise,but thats not a problem for my pond because it is big but also I dont much mind, though I prefer not. They are also better adapted for my set up.

I wonder if each stream has its own variety of shrimp any-way? We are bordered by 2 streams one on each side and a few springs. I have only been to the one as the other is very difficult to get too and there are many many mosquitoes and shocking green tree vipers that dont get out of your way in a hurry,as you push through the vegetation. Last year a whole batch of the snakes hatched from my compost heap and hung around for months.

I thought of using the native fish as well but they are very predatory, at least that is my feeling. They hunt in packs and literally mob anything that moves, I assume they try and catch the shrimp in the river too. So I prefer the fish I have. The only native one I have is a sort of Beta with short fins, this does nicely but I hardly ever see them as they are in the thick weeds. The only sign is sometimes a little cocoon of slime left from the night before, they wrap themselves up in it every night, I think?