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Monthly Update: February-March 2020

Hello everyone! This month’s update is both for February and March 2020. A lot has happened within this time at Sans Vertigo, and a lot has changed for everyone around the world. First, let us focus on the most important news right now before moving on to the more fun and interesting stuff. 

COVID-19 Affects

As all of us are aware of right now, we’re all facing big changes due to COVID-19 and the measures required to keep everyone as safe as possible during this crisis. I want to take this moment to assure that Sans Vertigo is able to continue operating, as I started this as a home business and will continue to run it this way. 

There’s the off chance of Express post delays occurring due to more reliance on posted goods by everyone staying home and with changes to how state borders are handled, I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

For those worried about receiving mail/parcels during this period and the low risk of contracting the virus through them, here’s an article about risks and how to reduce it. If in doubt, discard packaging after opening parcels, and wash your hands after handling them. 

Please take care to rinse your hands free of any disinfectant or excess soap before working with your aquatic animals and invertebrates! These products can harm these particular animals. And as always, it's a good practice to wash hands after handling animals- pandemic or not. 

Underwater Pet Expo 2020

Before being physically social became too unsafe, on February 29th and March 1st was the Underwater Pet Expo at the Melbourne Showgrounds! This was Australia’s first comprehensive freshwater and saltwater aquarium expo. It was a great time for me, and I met a lot of people that I’ve only known from Facebook for a long time. There was a heavy aquascape focus for many of the exhibitors at this event, harkening to how popular aquascaping has grown in recent years. One of the major features of the event was the aquascaping competition hosted by Dymax.

UPE 2020 - Dymax Australian Aquascape Competition

I’ve been working hard on trying to make videos of the event, so more will be released on our YouTube channel in the coming weeks. Eventually there’ll be a full video about my thoughts and hopes for Australian aquarium events in the future. In the meantime, enjoy these montages. 

Shrimp Updates

You may have noticed our stock of shrimp has been very low lately! In January we focused on culling, so our main breeding colonies are a bit thin. Some specific colonies need a lot of time to repopulate because they are smaller or only have older females that are reaching the end of their natural lifespans. This is true for our Bloody Mary and Black Cherry shrimp colonies. These varieties will have to remain out of stock in our store until June to allow them to breed, mature and have a healthy population of young adult shrimp. 

Shrimp Mar 2020

New photos and videos of shrimp have been updated on the store listings! If you just want to look at cool shrimp videos shot in macro, here’s a YouTube playlist.

On another note, I’ve decided that the blue shrimp we have should be dubbed “blue cherry shrimp” until further notice. The reasoning is that blue dream lineages have been muddled over the past few years in Australia. While we’re trying to fix this, our lineage still puts out too many throws (of not so great blue colouration) to be confident in keeping the “blue dream” name. We would like blue dreams to be genetically robust, not just looking the part as individuals whilst giving offspring that don't match. 

New Tanks

We’re setting up two new aquariums right now to add green jade shrimp to our collection, and to prepare our tiger endler colony for sales. The green jade shrimp colony will need time to establish a good breeding population, so we don’t expect to sell any for the next 6-12 months. 

The tiger endlers are doing well and we have a much better ratio of male and female offspring from them now. It’s simply a matter of having the new aquarium cycle fully, and moving them over so that they’re easier to catch/cull/send out. 

Breeding Beetles

There’s some good news from our rhinoceros beetles! They’ve all pupated now, and most of them have emerged as adult beetles and are breeding. Eggs are in the process of being laid over the next few weeks. It’ll take some time for them to hatch and the larvae to develop. In the meantime, we’ve been fermenting oak pellets to have a reliable source of food for our future larvae to feed on (it takes three months to fully ferment). 

With my weekends free for the indefinite future, I’ll be trying to add more articles about shrimp, aquariums, and insects to our resource articles on the website. Some video care guides may join this list.

In conclusion...

To finish this update, I’d like you all to stay safe during these hard times. Practice proper hand washing, physical distancing and stay home as much as you can! This is not just for personal health, but the health of our families, friends and community. Keep up to date from reliable sources such as health.gov.au or from your local state government. 

We can weather this out, even if it takes many months. Humans are stubborn, clever creatures. After all, we’ve figured out how to keep fishes alive in a glass box. 

Best wishes to all of you,
Jennifer Mai