A shrimp fan is born
They are bright red, shimmering blue or flecked with brown spots and look as though they're about to race at break-neck speed through the aquarium on their six tiny legs. We are of course talking about shrimps. These lively little creatures are a pleasure to behold, easy to keep and increasingly popular. Almost by chance, Silvia Klein found herself transformed overnight into the proud owner of some dwarf shrimps. In keeping with the saying "good things come in small packages", Silvia from Nuremberg describes how her invertebrate room mates settled into her home and recounts her first successes at breeding the small crustaceans.
© Tetra
What started as harmless fun at a Christmas party ...
Life can take some strange turns.  Although you often don't see them coming, they do have a specific purpose. But let's start at the beginning. As in previous years, a raffle was held at the 2014 Christmas party organised by the North Bavaria branch of the International Society for the Study of Barbs, Characins, Loaches and Catfish (I.G. BSSW Nordbayern e.V.). This was met with great enthusiasm as people are always happy to support their club and the prize draw is invariably tremendous fun.

Gradually, the drum emptied and the number of prizes decreased until only two ticket holders and prizes remained.
"But not shrimps in garlic sauce"
There was a drum roll and my fate was decided. I had one of the two last winning tickets which landed me the main prize, a Tetra aquarium set complete with light, pump – the whole shebang (although the aquarium was obviously empty). As fate would have it, I'd had a number of discussions in the previous six months with a friend who breeds frogs and shrimps. I loved shrimps and I don't mean in garlic sauce ...
My first shrimp aquarium
So for a while, I'd been trying to persuade my husband to empty one or two tanks in his breeding facility so I could use them for keeping and even breeding shrimps.   I could write pages about how these discussions went but suffice it to say I never got my own shrimp tank. So when I won the aquarium I was over the moon! As I said at the start, everything happens for a reason!

The winner of a small complete aquarium: me. Someone who was still interested in keeping and breeding shrimps: me! This basically meant I had my own aquarium so I could have my own shrimps. The realisation hit me like a flash of inspiration which signalled the start of part two.
An aquarium with distinction
© Tetra
An aquarium with distinction
We got started looking for a suitable little cabinet for my treasured prize. Although in theory a simple task, this dragged on indeterminately ... the ones we looked at were either too high, too low, too deep, too narrow, too dark or too light – after all it had to fit in with our living room. We've now solved the problem. And when women say "WE should ..." most male readers realise that this phrase comes with drawbacks.

Clearly relishing the task, our family's DIY expert eagerly took on the challenge of cobbling together a little cabinet, as shown in the picture, from a motley collection of planks and screws. He did an excellent job! Cabinet: check! Aquarium safely installed on it: next step completed.
The 'Bees' move in
© Tetra
The 'Bees' move in
We filled the aquarium with water, left it for four weeks and then introduced the first occupants (some snails).  All water parameters were constantly monitored until they were finally in the standard range and my Bees could move in. We tried to make them feel comfortable by adding substrate especially selected for shrimps, carefully planted moss, a number of shrimp pipes, a few stones and an almond leaf.

We used special food to make the microorganisms feel welcome too. Food was placed in a specially positioned little bowl in sufficiently small quantities to avoid contaminating the water. This way remnants and mulm are easier to remove and do not infiltrate the substrate. The aim of all these measures was to help the Bees feel at home.
We're pregnant!
It seems we've got everything in the right proportions as my little room mates appear to like their new home. We lost none of them when stocking the aquarium or the first time they shed their skin and ... here comes the good part: WE'RE PREGNANT!!!
An aquarium fan is born
© Tetra
An aquarium fan is born
And so fate has decreed that by winning the raffle I have also become a winner in terms of shrimp keeping and breeding. A new aquarium fan is born and I hope I'll soon be able to report back on some successful breeding. I may also soon be able to "talk shop" from time to time at regular meetings of enthusiasts and describe my experiences. I also hope that I don't encounter any severe setbacks that adversely affect my Bees.

I'd like to thank my friend who continues to provide me with abundant expert knowledge, hints and tips. Thanks also to my husband, the mastermind behind the cabinet who helps me with every water change and provides expert knowledge, hints and tips in response to my numerous questions.

And last but not least, I'd like to thank the donor of the aquarium! Without this prize, there would have been no 'new world' for a family of Bees, at least not in my house. I'd like to end on a bible quote: Go forth and multiply!

Greetings from Franconia.

Dear Silvia, the Tetra team would like to thank you for a fantastic article and wish you every success with your new aquarium!
AUTHOR: Silvia Klein
DATE: 29.06.2016