Telling if a shrimp is pregnant can often be challenging due to its size and shape. However, several signs will confirm the fact.
First, if pregnant, a shrimp will change its behavior and appearance.
So, how do you know if a shrimp is pregnant? Read on to find out the details.
How to Tell if a Shrimp Is Pregnant
If you’re not sure if a shrimp is pregnant, look for the following signs:
First, Check for Egg Clusters
If a shrimp is pregnant, you’ll be able to see egg clusters near its abdomen. Depending on the shrimp type, you might even be able to see the eggs. For example, if you have ghost shrimp, you’ll see green eggs.
If you’ve noticed that the color of a shrimp has changed, faded, or even become transparent, chances are the shrimp is pregnant. Shrimp often change color, especially as the pregnancy progresses. After delivery, the color usually returns to normal, but in some cases, it remains faded.
Shrimp’s Fanning Its Legs
The reason for this is unknown, but it’s assumed that fanning provides the eggs with oxygen. Also, the shrimp may be irritated by the eggs, so fanning might help it be more comfortable. Either way, fanning is another sign of a shrimp’s pregnancy.
Increase in Size
Since they are small, you’ll notice a shrimp’s pregnancy if its belly has grown larger. Depending on the type, a shrimp can carry up to 80 eggs at once, making it look bigger.
Changes in Male Behavior
If you want to check if a shrimp is pregnant, monitor the behavior of male shrimp. Males will follow the pregnant shrimp to prove dominance and fertilize the eggs. So whenever you notice that males are fighting, you can be sure you have a pregnant shrimp.
White Dots Under Its Tail
If you’ve noticed white dots near the rear legs, it means the eggs were fertilized, and the shrimp is pregnant.
Your Shrimp is Trying to Hide
A shrimp will give birth in a safe, concealed spot where the baby shrimp can feed. So if you’ve noticed a shrimp is missing or it’s looking for a secluded place, it’s about to give birth.
What Can You Do With Pregnant Shrimp?
If you have ghost shrimp, their breeding process is easy to oversee. The tricky part is keeping the baby shrimp alive. Since they aren’t developed enough, their mouth is too small for regular food, and they often starve to death.
The best thing you could do to keep as many of them alive as possible is to put the pregnant shrimp in a separate tank. Since ghost shrimp are transparent, it’s easy to see the eggs. As soon as you notice them, remove the pregnant shrimp to a separate tank.
The baby shrimp won’t be able to eat large portions of food. Therefore, make sure to purchase dry food, moss, or algae powder for the aquarium.
Keep the baby shrimp in a separate tank for about five weeks. After that, you can put them in the community tank since they‘ll be large enough.
The breeding process of cherry shrimp is even easier to monitor. Since they can eat the same food as the adult shrimps, you can breed them inside the same tank.
However, there are a few things you should do to provide adequate breeding conditions.
First, make sure there aren’t any predators in the tank, as they will eat the baby shrimp.
Secondly, make sure there’s a lot of covers. This will keep the pregnant shrimp safe and enable them to give birth safely, but it will also provide a safe place for the baby shrimp.
Thirdly, pay attention to your filter type. Baby shrimp can easily get sucked into the filter, so make sure you’re using a sponge filter, or use a cover.
Baby cherry shrimp develop fast, and after about 4-6 months, they’ll be able to breed.
If you often see pregnant shrimps but never see any babies, they might not have adequate breeding conditions:
- Check the ideal temperature for the type of shrimp you have.
- Make sure you don’t change the water too often. Baby shrimp are very sensitive to frequent changes in water quality.
- Check your filter since it may be sucking the baby shrimp.
- Provide enough covers and hiding spots. If you have fish as tank mates, they might eat the baby shrimp. Hence, it’s necessary to provide enough safe areas for the baby shrimp to hide.
- If there’s a lot of hiding spots in the tank, the baby shrimp might be concealing themselves, and that’s why you can’t see them.
If you were wondering how to tell if a shrimp is pregnant, now you know the answer. If you want to ensure the baby shrimp survive, be sure to provide adequate conditions for growth (especially if you’re breeding shrimp to sell).
Water temperature, environment, tankmates, and hiding spots are critical and influence the development of baby shrimp. Keep the babies safe, and you’ll have a full tank in no time.