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Thread: Tieri's Dino-Bug-Fish Adventures!

  1. #1

    Tieri's Dino-Bug-Fish Adventures!

    Can I just geek out here for a bit?

    Because I want to squeal somewhere about my upcoming adventure: Raising Dino-Bug-Fish babies!

    ... Well, sort of. They're Triops!

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    They share a relation to both the horseshoe crabs and the extinct Trilobytes, and certain species of Triops have remained largely unchanged for over 180 million years, though the genus itself has been around for 300 million years. There's a reason they're referred to as "living fossils"! This is because they've developed this sort of suspended animation mechanism which allows the eggs to remain viable for pretty well forever if they dry out, so they can hatch again once they're back in the proper conditions. So a Triops could lay its eggs, and the temporary pool the eggs were in could end up drying out and staying dry for years and years, and then once it rains again and the pool fills-- ta-daa! Magic instant babies!

    They get their name for the three eyes they have-- two normal eyes which locate food, and a smaller third eye on the forehead that detects light and tells them which way is up.

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    They're a little creepy-looking to most people, but honestly, I find them really charming! They're very acrobatic in the water, they don't nip or bite and are actually pretty playful little critters! I used to raise these little buggers all the time when I was a kid, and it was seriously one of the coolest experiences for me; I was always buying the starter kits and hatching eggs, and move the adults into a 2-gallon tank by my bed so I can watch them swimming around at night.

    A little while ago I was in a Skype conversation with a few friends who are really into fish care, and the subject of Triops came up. I ended up doing some poking around, and it turns out there's this whole online community of breeders and the eggs are super affordable! I got really excited and spent the last couple of weeks poking around and doing some research on them, and then yesterday I took to Ebay and ordered some eggs from three different Triops species: Longicaudatus (One of the most common species-- these are the ones most commonly found in storebought starter kits), Cancriformis (Another common species also found in some starter kits, and also one of the largest species. Dat speckled carapace! <3) and the auction for the Australiensis eggs (a bit rarer than the other two, originating from Australia) ends in about eight hours. I'm watching this one like a hawk!

    The Longis and Cancris are on their way (Cancris were shipped last night, Longis shipped today), so I should have those in a couple of weeks!

    Seriously, I'm not really much good when it comes to caring for fish. But these guys? I love the hell out of these guys. There will always be a super special place in my heart for these goofballs.

    I'm pretty sure if Triops could grow to be the size of a large dog (they don't, the largest ones tend to be around 5 inches long), my mersona Starfrit would have one as her best friend/pet in a heartbeat. ...even though they're technically freshwater critters but whatever let me live my fantasy damnit!

    I'm pretty excited about it, and if anyone here's interested I could post updates here about my adventures in Triop-raising, from tank setup to hatching the eggs and everything with it!

    ... Or are they too creepy-looking for most people? XD

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rocky Mountain Pod Mermaid Dottie's Avatar
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    YES! Those things were so much fun when I was little, and my brother was so totally into dinos, so it was a bonding experience for us!
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  3. #3
    Aren't they? I was totally obsessed with them when I was a kid, and now since I've realized how easy it is to actually get them-- and how cheap the eggs are!-- that obsessive adoration for these guys is starting to come back... XD I've been bouncing off the walls ever since I found out my first order was shipped out, I really can't wait until they get here! I'm going to have so much fun decorating their tank and getting everything set up for them!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod ShyMer's Avatar
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    Yaaaay I was following a YouTube channel for a while that was trying a kit and I loved watching his progress! He wasn't very good at caring for them, sadly, and they only lived a couple weeks. One of his complaints was that it was expensive because he had to use so much bottled water. I suspect his trying to use less for water changes is partly why they didn't do so well.
    Do you have some way to make normal water safe for triops? I read in the directions that any chlorine or other chemicals in tap water will kill them, while having water with too few or too much minerals will cause them to not develop properly. Sounds tricky!
    Anyway, I'd love to see pictures and videos. It would be fun so watch their progress!

    Edit- I was too excited and didn't think before I hit submit... when I was talking about water I think what I meant to ask was how sensitive are they to the kinds of water used? The kits made it seem as if they were super sensitive.
    Last edited by ShyMer; 03-25-2014 at 06:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pod of The South Aziara's Avatar
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    *shivers* To me they make me think of that tracker/bug that was inside of Neo in The Matrix. My husband thinks triops are freakin' awesome, though. I just don't like creepy-crawlies. I always tried sea monkeys as a kid, but 4/5 of the time they never hatched, fifth time they only lasted a few days. I do think it's cool how the eggs can last indefinitely dried out.
    Also known as Salina Tideglow

  6. #6
    @ShyMer - The water issue is one that I've found a lot of breeders can't seem to agree on! Everything I've found on the subject of "What water is most suited for Triops" has turned up with one contradiction after another. Some say not to use mineral water because the minerals found in them will harm baby Triops, others insist the mineral water is the best option because the baby Triops need them to thrive, some say to only use distilled water found in grocery stores, others say to only use spring water... Even the instructions that come with most starter kits contradict each other the same way!

    When I was a kid, my dad and I used to just take a whole bunch of tap water, run it through a filter (like one of those Brita filters for waterjugs) and then let it sit at room temp for a few hours before pouring it into the containers or changing the water in our 2-gallon filtered tank. It seemed to work fine for me, most of my Triops (I'm fairly certain they were Longicaudatus?) regularly grew up to about 2" and lived for around four months, which is a pretty impressive lifespan for them!

    So, honestly, I'm not really sure about the water problem, and I don't really think I know of any methods for completely removing chlorine and such from tap water. I'll look into it, though! I may take the opportunity to try different kinds of water and see which ones give the best results in terms of raising these guys!

    @Aziara - Funny thing is, that's the opposite for me! It was the fact that they looked so much like the tracker-thing from the Matrix that convinced me to first buy a kit! XD I still hate like 90% of bugs, though, but I have such a major soft spot for Triops. <3 Meanwhile, my boyfriend is... really, really not looking forward to when the eggs arrive. He's so creeped out by them and wants absolutely nothing to do with them, haha! XD

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod Fun123joker's Avatar
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    WHOA H]WHOA WHOA WHOA ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT THERE IS ACTUALLY A CREATURE THAT CAN LIVE IN A 2 GALLON TANK ⊙0⊙


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  8. #8
    YUP.

    EVEN BETTER, SEVERAL OF THESE BEAUTIFUL BABIES CAN LIVE IN A 2-GALLON TANK.

    ... They're very little.

    I picked up a 3-gallon tank with a light and filtration system earlier, which'll be plenty of space for my babies. I should be getting about... 260 eggs in the mail? But I'm only going to be hatching a few at a time so I'm not totally overrun by like, billions of Triops. Especially when they get old enough to start laying their own eggs... XD

  9. #9
    A reverse osmosis filter could work for water filtration, but the systems can be expensive. For fish, I usually use a water conditioner in tap water to remove chlorine and let it sit for a few days.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod ShyMer's Avatar
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    I guess it's not as big of a deal as some of them make it out to be. Thanks for the information!

    This is so cool! Thanks for being willing to share your progress with us

  11. #11
    That might work! Although the person I ordered my eggs from suggested that I avoid using conditioners in the water because the Triops can be really sensitive to it, so I'm a little wary of it (then again I'm the paranoid sort when it comes to not wanting to screw something up, so that doesn't take much!)

    I have no idea, though, when it comes to water all of the advice I'm getting from people contradicts everyone else. >.o Turns out one of my local friends, who obsessively breeds and raises all kinds of fish, ordered Triop eggs from the same guy I did so chances are we'll be working together on raising them-- I know more about Triops than she does, but she knows a lot more about water quality and such than I do. XD

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chesapeake Pod Fun123joker's Avatar
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    you know if the tripod thing dosnt go as planned you have a big enough tank for a betta (required gallons 3+)


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  13. #13
    Oohh, I hadn't thought about that! I'll definitely consider a betta if the Triops don't work out.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Are they the same as those just add water packets that you could buy from comics?

    Well prob not these modern comics, I meant from my day long long ago... Before mobile phones and computers...

  15. #15
    Pretty much! I'm not really familiar with those sorts of comics, but I do know these things were often shared in similar offers in starter kits, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were!

    My elementary school used to do these Scholastic book-order things where everyone would get these little catalogues full of neat stuff and kids' Triops starter kits!


    And in other news CHECK OUT WHO JUST WON SOME GORGEOUS AUSSIE GREEN BABIES

    I'LL GIVE YOU A HINT IT'S MEEEEE



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  16. #16
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    That one looks like a big cockroach! They are not fishy looking creatures.

    The first pic you posted, that one looks like a King Crab.

  17. #17
    They're related to horseshoe crabs, so they're actually tiny crustaceans.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    How big can they grow to?

  19. #19
    Depends on the species! Longicaudatus averages around 2 inches, Australiensis is around 3 inches, and Cancriformis are among the largest captive Triops I know of at an average of around 4 inches. I think the largest known breed is Numidicus, which can reach almost half a foot in length. (Which is pretty damn big when you think about it!) Numidicus is one of the only ones I know of that aren't found as pets; they're only found in Africa, where they are considered an endangered species and as far as I know, capturing a Numidicus from the wild, or even harvesting eggs are both considered highly illegal.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Tieri, the Dino fish expert!

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