Triops! (Pics within!)

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by AllieMackie, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Okay, so the sea monkeys my friend got me as a gag gift a few weeks back? Total bust. No hatching eggs despite following everything to a tee. Sigh.

    I was actually sort of disappointed. I was looking forward to a silly little aquatic desktop pet. Then another friend reminded me that Triops exist, and are WAY cooler. For one thing, the company doesn't market them as something they're not... They grow bigger, look cooler, require the same amount of care, a starter kit without the aquarium and other stuff cost about 4 bucks, and you can get the rest for el cheapo. Oh, and they live a month or two max, so no huge commitment.

    So, I did, and early last week I got the eggs going in a hatching dish. And then they hatched! Six hatched initially that I could spot, and four survived. Today was day ten, so I moved them to their adult tank.

    Photos! All from today, because they're finally large enough to take photos without a macro lens. The largest is about a half inch long. They grow to be between 1-3 inches.

    Now that these four have survived a week and a bit, I feel comfortable giving them names. I named them Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Runt. Here's Bacon, it's the biggest one.
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    Lettuce and Tomato are currently interchangeable as I cannot tell them apart. So I call them collectively "L/T". Here's L/T and teeny little Runt on the far left. Runt was born after the rest and gets bullied out of a lot of the food, so it's wee. He may be eaten by the others if he doesn't grow soon. They're cannibalistic little beasts.
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    Not sure which one this is, but it really wants that air bubble. They love bubbles.
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    Bacon right side up, L/T upside down (see the size diff?) and wee Runt below them.
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    Those were all taken this morning before feeding time. This evening, their big tank was finally ready so I moved them in! Here's the tank. A critter keeper, some deco, sand, heater, air stone and a desk lamp on a timer for lighting. Cheap-o. BLT are all in this photo, can you spot them?
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    Their undersides are like a scene from Alien... or District 9.
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    L/T on the t-rex skull. They love having an ornament to skim around on.

    Bacon scooting along, kicking up rocks in its wake. They LOVE skimming and digging in the sand, likely an instinctual behaviour for when they become sexually mature.
    [​IMG]

    Runt, with L/T in the background for scale. Runt wasn't doing so well when I was prepping the hatching tank for transfer. Swimming in a disoriented fashion and unable to beat the bigger ones for food. As soon as it migrated, however, it shed his exoskeleton and emerged with vigor! The elders seem to be ignoring it for now, so it may not be cannibalized... yet. I dunno about you guys, but I'm rooting for little Runt.
    [​IMG]

    That's all for now. :) I'll try and keep this thread updated. They're neat little beasts, I highly recommend them for a nearly-no-maintenance funpet.
     
  2. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    awww they are pretty cute! Sucks about the sea monkeys but these guys look much more fun

    sucks they only live 1-2 months I like them!
     
  3. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    SO CUTE. Are they a type of shrimp?
     
  4. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Yep. Their scientific name for the species sold as science pets is triops longicaudatus, but they're known widely as tadpole shrimp or shield shrimp.

    Science! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notostraca
     
  5. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Awesome! I had one successful adult when I had them, only 2 hatchlings. If you're lucky, they'll lay eggs, and when they die you dry out the sand and hatch new ones the same way you hatched the originals, and just keep going!
     
  6. SoCrafty

    SoCrafty New Member

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    Those are really cool looking! Are they hard to take care of?
     
  7. MilliesMom

    MilliesMom Member

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    I never had any luck with the Triops, more with the Sea Monkeys. But they never sat around the kitchen table with the Dad, legs crossed, eating bacon and eggs as he read the paper... like the ad said.

    Might give these a shot again, they really look cool.

    Btw, those X-Ray glasses were a bust as well.
     
  8. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Not at all. The tank setup I have for them is SUPER fancy for triops. They'd survive fine in a good-sized tupperware container full of dechlorinated tap water at room temperature. My setup is slightly more ideal, but not required.

    They're bottom-feeder shrimp, so they'll eat just about anything organic. Right now they get some crushed veggie from whatever I make for lunch/dinner daily, plus I have a combo of tropical fish flakes and sinking fish pellets, both of which I got from the clearance bin at the pet store for 97 cents each. :rofl1:

    They live in dirty little puddles that regularly dry up, which is why you can dry and harvest their eggs like Sael mentioned. My tank setup is like a resort, haha.

    Did you know that X-Ray glasses and Sea Monkeys were created/marketed by the same dude? He was the king of mail-order marketing schemes. FUN FACT.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_von_Braunhut
     
  9. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    A bunch of new photos today!

    News: Runt is still alive (YAY) and is still the wee one by far. Bacon is emormous with a long long tail, and Lettuce and Tomato are finally slightly different sizes so I can tell everyone apart, so long as I have one or two others nearby for comparison. Bacon's about an inch and a half long head to tail. Lettuce and Tomato are each about an inch give or take, and Runt bottoms out at a half inch or so.

    At twelve days old, they've reached sexual maturity (yes, even Runt), so I'm keeping an eye out for full egg sacs! I hope to do egg harvesting and save some for friends, or for myself for later.

    They're finally getting to a good size for good photos!

    Runt contemplates the universe.
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    Lettuce digs a hole while Runt flits about in the foreground.
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    Lettuce. Doing what Lettuce does.
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    A fantastic pic of Tomato digging itself a hole. You can see the spinies along their abdomen and the infamous third eye between the black eyes (it's used to detect light so they know which way is up).
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    Dig dig dig. You can see the motion of how fast they dig. It's like a cartoon dog digging a hole with dirt flying everywhere.
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    Digging sand onto Bacon's face. That's not nice, Tomato.
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    Bacon's turning the deep green colour that many triops do as they mature. I hope to be observant and harvest as many of Bacon's eggs (har har) as possible. It's the best looking specimen of the four.
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    Aww look, Tomato wants to give you a hug.
    [​IMG]

    I'll leave you tonight with a Runt. I'm amazed and pleased that Runt made it this far. I was sure it would be cannibalized by now!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Are they asexual?
     
  11. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    exactly how big a container do they need? i cant afford more than $10 or less for stuffs, but holy cow i want some of these lil dudes! 5 gallon tank?
     
  12. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Plenty :)

    Nice triops!! I've been meaning to buy some giant ones off eBay, they are 1000x superior so sea monkeys, you can barely even see sea monkeys, all they're good for is beta food
     
  13. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Essentially. From Wikipedia:

    Triops longicaudatus displays several reproductive strategies. Individuals may reproduce sexually, but this is rare, as most populations are highly male- or female-biased. Parthenogenesis (development from unfertilized eggs) is the most common reproductive strategy. Some populations, however, consist of hermaphrodites who fertilize each other. Different populations display different strategies or combinations of strategies, and may therefore, be considered separate species or subspecies in the future.

    From my understanding, the majority of farmed triops longicaudatus for science kits are hermaphroditic. I just refer to them all as "it" as much as possible. :rofl1:

    I have mine in a critter keeper that's likely around 3 gallons, which is more than enough for my four, so 5 gallons is even better!

    They don't need much more than that, but an ideal setup should have a small heater and an airstone to oxygenate the water. I also put in my old 3-5 gallon filter to keep the water a bit less cloudy. Decorations are entirely aesthetic, they don't need them. My entire setup cost me about twenty bucks because I got a new critter keeper and a new heater, and couldn't resist the t-rex. I had the rest.
     
  14. Baxter'smybaby

    Baxter'smybaby swimming upstream

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  15. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    No pics for the moment, but guess who got caught in the water filter?

    Hint: not Runt.

    I noticed one triop was missing, and investigated the filter. I found a triop upside down and looked to be not moving, but it was hard to tell. I siphoned it into the same dish as the cloudy water, and there was Bacon. A bit disoriented, but swimming and alive.

    I nearly had a heart attack over a tadpole shrimp. Sigh.

    Now it's happily digging holes and laying eggs. Yup, I found it with a full egg sac. The others are starting to dig really deep holes too, so I'm guessing that it's egg o'clock. :D

    Also, Runt is almost as big as Tomato. :banana:
     
  16. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Would an under gravel filter work for them?
     
  17. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Do they work in sand, or just gravel? The triops live on coral sand.

    Supposedly low-power filters are fine for adult triops over an inch long, but this filter sucked up Bacon who is close to 1.5 inches. I've since removed the filter - they theoretically don't need filtration anyway, I just prefer less cloudy water.
     
  18. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    Wow...cool! A bit creepy looking (IDK if they make me think of spiders or what) but still neat!
     
  19. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    They are kind of cute in an alien sort of way! :D I will have to live vicariously through your adventures with Triops. They seem like neat little aquatic pets though!!

    More pictures! What do the egg sacs look like? How will you hatch those out?
     
  20. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    Undergravel filters don't work with sand. Plus, if they dig, they'd uncover the thing. I can't use them in half my tanks because of fish that would dig down to them.

    Sponge filters would do the trick. You can get them cheaply or make your own.

    You could also try to do a sponge covering the filter intake.
     

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