Mysis

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Mysis Shrimp.jpg

Mysid shrimp, greatly enlarged. NOAA

Family: Mysidae

Species in Genus Mysis:

Mysid or Mysis shrimp are small crustaceans found in saltwater, freshwater, and brackish habitats. Although not decapods and thus not true shrimp, mysids are related the marine shrimps. Sizes vary, those used for fish foods range from about 6 - 13 mm (.25 - .5 in.)

The there are 58 genera of mysids, with Mysis being of most interest, as a nutritionally rich food, for aquarium livestock keepers. Most are found in marine coastal waters.

A freshwater species, Mysis relicta has become a highly regarded staple food among both marine and freshwater aquarists. It is harvested from cold northern lakes, where it forms part of the zooplankton.

According to Piscine Energetics a leading supplier of Mysis shrimp to aquarists:

1.) Mysis relicta is a natural product enriched by the food chain of the lakes from which it is harvested. This is because of Mysis relicta's highly diversified eating habits. The extremely high levels of EPA and DHA (fatty acids) is related to the food chain found in deep cold waters, such as those where Mysis is harvested. These fatty acids not only provide your fish with essential nutrition, but also stimulate an energetic feeding response.

2.) Mysis relicta range in size from newly released young of about one-eight inch to adults of up to 3/4 inch. The other zooplankton are normally much smaller ranging from one one-hundredth to one tenth of an inch in total length. It is the size of the Mysis that makes them of interest as a fish food. Fish that consistently feed on Mysis grow much faster than those feeding strictly on the other smaller zooplankton. Mysis are extremely high in nutritional value and are salt free.

Live Mysis Shrimp

Aquarists living near coastal areas may be able to trap or net swarming mysids for use as live foods.

Cultured mysis shrimp are increasingly available to hobbyists. One source of saltwater mysis (Mysidopsis bahia) is Reed Mariculture: Reed Maricultured Mysids