Frequently Asked Questions
The following FAQ is exclusively for WonderShrimps only.
Q1. How does the self-sustaining eco-system actually work?
The eco-system works as a nutrient cycle. These shrimps feed on the micro algae in the system and their waste is broken down by beneficial bacteria. The nutrients produced are in turn used by the algae to regenerate.
Q2. What is the difference between a closed and open eco-system?
A closed eco-system is a sealed unit with no flow of air and nutrients into or out of the unit. An open eco-system differs by allowing gaseous or nutrient exchange.
Q3. Is the system optimal for the shrimps and is it harmful to house them in small sealed units with no filtration?
While the concerns of sealed units are heavily discussed, be rest assured that all our eco-system units are open systems, which means that they are not completely sealed. This optimises conditions, allowing oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. We also encourage feeding the shrimps with our vitamin supplement to boost their health and water changes can be done if required.
The wastes produced by the shrimps in the eco-system do not become toxic as they are properly and completely broken down by a special mix of beneficial bacteria, becoming the building blocks for algae in the unit.
As we have a recommended cut-off limit to the amount of shrimps that can be added in each individual system, no overload of nutrients will be of concern, thus not needing to run aquarium filters or pumps. The use of filters may in fact cause the shrimps to be sucked into the units due to their tiny size and ultimately end up dead in the filters. But if you like to enjoy seeing more of them, we have done and can recommend larger aquarium sets with proper modified filtration units to cater to those who may feel the need to.
Taking a look at these shrimps in their natural habitat, they often live in small rock pools, some with totally stagnant water with no constant water exchanges at all. This is the reason why our eco-systems can accommodate these shrimps well.
We have done extensive R&D with our existing eco-systems and a number of them are even breeding in the units, proving to be a sustainable environment for these shrimps.
Q4. Can any other shrimp species or foreign objects be added into the Eco-system?
It is not recommended to add foreign items into the unit as the eco-systems have been specifically balanced and any added materials may disrupt the eco-system cycle.
Q5. How long will they live and how big can they grow?
These are dwarf shrimps which grow up to about 1.2cm and they typically live for months to a few years in this eco-system setup.
Q6. What are the optimal conditions for keeping them?
No direct contact with sunlight. They do well in both air-con and non air-con environment. Avoid excessive handling or shaking as this will transfer body heat from hands to the unit or cause stress to the shrimps. Fewer disturbances can also calm the shrimps and increase their colouration.
Q7. Can these shrimps breed in the eco-system?
As these shrimps have a long lifespan, their breeding frequency is slow and it may take years before you get to see a batch of babies. To increase the chances for this to occur, we typically recommend larger units with at least 10 and above shrimps and it requires lots of patience and some luck to get them started.
Q8. There is a clear shell that looks like an additional shrimp in the unit. What is that?
This is actually a molted shell of the shrimps. As crustaceans, they have to change their shells to grow bigger. It is a natural process and will not affect the eco-system. They will feed on these shells as additional nutrients to their diet.
Q9. What are the round brownish spots seen forming on the sides of the unit after some time?
This brownish spots are actually the brown coloured micro algae growing on the sides of the unit. Excessive lighting causes the algae to grow faster than the shrimps can consume. This does not affect the system and are actually the shrimps’ source of food. If that happens, keeping it in a dimmer condition will help as the shrimps will slowly feed on the algae. Alternatively, we do have cleaning kits available to clean off these spots.
Q10. Can we supplement their diet with food?
The eco-system contains micro algae as their main source of food. But to ensure that they stay healthy and happy, we have included supplement vitamin pellets which come together with the units to boost their health. These will be used as recommended. Excessive overfeeding will cause the eco-system to crash and kill the shrimps.
Q11. What if a shrimp dies in the system?
If a shrimp dies in the system, the other shrimps will feed on it and the beneficial bacteria will break down the excess waste, balancing out the system again. Therefore, you do not need to remove it.
Q12. What is the difference between our Formula 1 and Formula 2 water?
Our Formula 1 water is used only to top up water when evaporation takes place. This is a formulated mix for use to ensure the eco-system stays in a stable condition all the time. Although not a necessity, Formula 2 water is used in instances where water changes are required to refresh the unit.