How do I breed my Peppermint shrimps?

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For a marine shrimp, the Peppermint shrimp is relatively easy to breed. Matt Pedersen has a few tips.

April Kirkendoll’s book How to Raise and Train Your Peppermint Shrimp (ISBN 978-0-966-7784-4-1) will tell you everything you need to know. My advice, first and foremost, is to read it from cover to cover!

One of the big plus points of Peppermint shrimp rearing is that it’s reportedly ‘very easy’. I haven’t seriously attempted to do so yet, but they’re on my list!

The shrimp mate only hours after moulting and they are simultaneous hermaphrodites, meaning all you need is a pair of any two random individuals. If healthy, they will mate.

Mating is the easiest part of the process. Single individuals may even produce eggs after every moult, but, lacking a mate for fertilisation, these will not hatch.

One of the most difficult things may be actually getting the babies. The baby shrimp hatch after lights out, shortly before the adult moults again. Serious rearing would utilise dedicated tank space and this would reduce predation on the larvae as they hatch.

Typically, larval collection involves turning off the filtration the night of a hatch and using a device called a ‘larval snagger’ to collect the larvae.  After collection is complete, you can transfer the larval Peppermint shrimp to a rearing container and fire up the filters once more.

Peppermint shrimp rearing is ‘easy’ because they only require baby brineshrimp as a first food. It is important, however, to enrich baby brine with a HUFA enrichment product like Super Selcon or to use phytoplankton.

Another reason for ‘ease’ of breeding is that typically no special larval tank is required. A standard 37 l/ 8 gal glass tank with heater and air feed for circulation should do the trick. You may need to black out the sides and bottom of the tank and cover the light on the header to prevent the babies congregating there.

When things go right typical settlement occurs about 35 days post hatch, but can take longer.  

This is a very short answer, but this species is well documented, so do read up. Note that multiple species of Peppermint shrimp enter the hobby and not all are equally easy to rear.

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