hi D, i keep 25 volcano shrimp in a 5 gallon. i got them for about $1 a piece from seahorses.com. i have had mine since April and they dont breed quickly. i read that conditions have to be perfect in terms of salinity (something like 1.014 SG) for them to breed. each shrimp will have only a few offspring (maybe 6) and only a few times per year. otherwise they would be a great feeder shrimp. i squirt a little phytofeast into the tank once a week and they just keep on ticking.
The longest I have had and S. bandensis was 18 months.
There is an article by Rob Toonen linked on TONMO several times but I cant find it right now, that shows the nutritional profile of freshwater fish is very different from saltwater fish, but not very different with freshwater crustaceans vs saltwater crustaceans. I feed a lot of gutloaded freshwater ghost shirmp to cephs with no noticeable problems, except perhaps for fecundity, but there is no real data on that - just a feeling.
Thanks for the input on that Thales. That may have been the article I read, but I guess I missed the exception to crustaceans. I didn't realize freshwater ghost shrimp were acceptable for cephs. Good to know!
Thanks for the input. Another member found them on Ebay shipped for about the same price and I ordered 40 of them when she had a 30+10 sale. She (assuming female from the name but not sure as Leslie could be either) raises them herself, ships and packs with great care is was helpful with suggestions. I will need to lower my SG some, add a little more live rock to the tank and buy some Spirulina when I am out this week I was aware of the low off-spring count when I bought them as food for my seahorses but I made no attempt to raise them at that time. However, they are very hardy and are know to produce offspring that survive in aquariums vs the more prolific SW shrimp whose offspring never seem to survive. My hope is to keep a culture and not use them as the only food. I don't have an octo that will be producing hatchlings right now even though I have two females so it may be as long a year before I have the opportunity again.