Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive?? -
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

No, I don't mean crustacean CPR. Did a search but couldn't find the post about how to keep sand shrimp alive for a week or more. I remember the writer saying to keep them out of their urine. (No I don't have shrimp diapers.) Do you keep them on a screen or wire mesh? What would be a good container to use? Do you add a little sea water? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-09-2007, 11:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

Killer Dave is a writer for Salmon Trout and Steelheader who posts on this board (or used to), and had a method in that magazine a couple of years ago. He basically described retrofitting a baitbox or cooler by placing a plastic screen on the bottom of it. But I have know idea if that will keep them alive for that long.

I have also heard of guides who built themselves a little mudflat in some kind of aquarium/type tank to keep a good supply of sandshrimp in. I have no idea how easy that is to do itself.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

Keep them cool is all we do Bait cooler with icepack.

Don't live a long time but they last through the fishing trip and into the next day for us.

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Old 02-09-2007, 11:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

You can keep them alive longer if you gently dump them out of that cardboard or styrofoam container, dump out the sawdust medium from the bottom, wipe out the container with a paper towel, fold a new paper towel into a little square that will fit in the bottom of the container, put the animals back in, and keep them cool. It it the sandshrimps' own waste that often kills them, and they are sitting in some of it when you buy them. This method should keep them alive for at least a few more days than they will last in their original state.

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Old 02-09-2007, 11:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

As long as it is around the temp it is now, if you are looking to save some from one weekend to the next you can probably fill a 10 gallon fish tank up using the chlorine remover drops and keep them outside or in your garage. You might do a 25% water change during the week. This is just my best guess based on several years of running aquariums. Temp, water quality and oxygenation are the keys... Hope that helps.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

I can keep most shrimp alive for over a week by throwing a paper towel in a tupperware or any container as soon as you buy them or dig them and change out the paper towel every day, and keep them cool

I leave the lid a little loose for oxygen, not sure if that helps but a week of use for the criters is good when they get so hard to find and some stores (lee's camp)no not carry them any more
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

I bought a cheap tupperware container and driller holes in the top (stole the idea from a guide). It keeps the water out and lets air in. Keep them cool and moist but not wet.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

The plastic screen material Bent Metal refers to is called an "egg crate louver light diffuser." It's 1/2 thick and comes in 2' by 4' panels. It's available at most hardware stores and costs about $8. Cut it to shape with any kind of cutting pliers or heavy scissors.

It definetely helps the shrimp last a few extra days, but you know how shrimp are. They only last so long.

Here's a picture:

Last edited by KillerDave; 02-09-2007 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Grammer
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

1. Bucket in fridge filled with bay water with a aireator (sp) of some kind is the best.

2. Lay out on papertowels and put in fridge (couple days)

3. Lay out on newspaper and cover with wet (bay water) papertowels and then put in fridge 3 poss 4 days or more.

Don't have the fridge too cold, 40 ish is just fine.

The key is to keep them cool, prevent them from peeing all over each other, prevent them from drownding in their pee and keep them as hydrated as possible.

For 20 years I ahve used a small cooler with some small plastic trays lined with foam rubber. I cut 2 metal rods and melted groves in top of each tray so I could stack them in the cooler w. ice pack on top. By taking the shrimp out of the box and putting them in the cooler, spread out they also last allot longer. you can now buy bait coolers that work almost as well.

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Old 02-09-2007, 01:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

I have a tupperware container 8" long, 6" wide and 2 inches deep.
I drilled 6 - 1/8" holes in the lid, and then line the bottom of the container with rinsed and drained MOSS, like you would find along the riverbank on trees and rocks, the very spongy supple kind.

Get it about 1/2" thick, rinse, drain, lightly hand squezze, excess water out and place in the tupperware, green side up, make sure to place a folded paper towel under the moss to help wick out the moisture and the sandshrimp urine.

Now add 2 dozen sandshrimp, and keep in a dark cold place....preferably a spare fridge with little use, or a cooler with good ice.

After 3 or 4 days, remove moss, rinse, drain, hand squeeze, and place back into the tupperware etc, after rinsing out container and relining it with the papertowel.

The longest they lasted was 2 weeks, and that was buying them as they were stocking the baitfridge.
Seems 7-10 days is pretty close to tops.

I have used this method for yrs. posted it works!
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Last edited by Fshklr; 02-09-2007 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

I'm too cheap to buy sandshrimp, and prefer to dig them myself. Here are my suggestions (you're mileage may vary)...

1. If you follow the suggestions above (i.e., changing the saw dust, keeping them cool and out of their urine), you'll get about 7-10 days before complete die-off. Some may die earlier than others.

2. Use prawns instead of sandshrimp. Some folks swear that prawns work better or as good as sandshrimp. Some people even suggest using pieces of squid.

3. I've also tried freezing sandshrimp immediately after getting them home, while still alive. The thawed sandshrimp is a bit softer than a fresh wiggly one, but the fish did not seem to care. Plus, they did not have the rotten smell that tends to accumulate if you leave them in the fridge unfrozen and dying an agonizing death.

Most of the stuff I've read about keeping them alive in aquariums have mostly resulted in failure. Let us know if you unlock the secret to making it work!
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

I used to live-well the little critters a few years back, and with pretty good results. I would go to the coast and pump a couple hundred and haul them home in a cooler. I'd have a large shallow plastic tubready in my bait fridg. You need about 3 inches of salt water ( I would use some stuff called " instant ocean", from the local salt water fish store ). The most important thing is air, I'd use 2 aquarium pumps with stone bubblers. Next you need a water pump and filter. Keep the temp around 45-50 f. They will stay alive for weeks , and since they don't cost 2 bucks a doz you can use lots. I'd make 4 or 5 trips during the springer season and always take a couple extra containers fishing to share or sell for gas money. I don't do it now because I don't bobber fish as much. Good luck with your efforts:mike

PS- You should change half the water each week


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Last edited by mikebraun; 02-09-2007 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Help... How to keep ghost shrimp alive??

I used some synthetic sea salt (add to taste) in tap water and was able to keep shrim alive for as long as I needed them. I change the water daily and kept them in a smaller sized tupperware container and they lasted for at least a week.

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