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revolutionhope

Hey SKFrs,

I'm creating this thread in the hope that it gets a lot of input and brings a serious subject to the forefront of our attention so we can all learn from each other.

In short; I'd like to know what people's processes are for culling weakest and selecting the best shrimps.

I can say honestly when I first kept shrimp I barely culled whatsoever, and that gradually I am culling more and more strictly.. I can think of a few reasons why/how I've been heading in this direction.

Some of these questions might only apply to breeders who have been selecting shrimp for several years while others may be relevant to people newer to shrimps; in any case some of the key points I'd love to get people talking about include - (in no particular order)

What numbers of mature shrimp do you like to keep in a colony?

At what size do you cull males and/or females? What do you do with your culls; do you kill/feed the worst of the worst or give them away or sell them very cheaply?

What do you do with your culls?

Do you partition of your tanks or use breeding boxes to keep your best males and females breeding while your main colony matures?

Do you introduce new genetics and if so how often and would they preferably be males? or females perhaps?

What differences do you think apply when choosing your best males or females for solid neos vs rilis vs different pattern bees vs TB etc etc you get the idea....

Has anyone found any clear proof of what traits males or females are specifically more likely to pass on in different shrimps?

:grimace:

OK That was a lot !!! I hope I haven't put you all by raising so many items of discussion but I hope someone can address at least one of these and get the ball rolling :-)

love n peace

will

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ineke

Wow that's a lot of questions there Will! Good ones though. I don't know that there are any hard and fast rules on culling. It can depend on the type of shrimp you are breeding too. With some shrimp you know almost straight away if they are keepers or not but in some groups it pays to wait until they are a bit more mature - I have put many Neos into my cull tank only to find they have matured into very nice shrimp. 

What do I do with culls -first if you are going to feed culls to fish please make sure the fish are big enough to quickly dispose of the shrimp. Small fish will take pieces out of shrimp but may not be able to quickly kill them. I have not so far resorted to feeding mine to fish but it's part of nature and big fish will quickly chase and eat shrimp.

 I do have a cull tank for my Taitibees as they can grow into or out of a pattern so if I don't want to use them initially I can at least keep an eye on them. I give many of these away and sell others off cheaply.

my CRS I keep until about 3 months now as by then you can see if their colours are good and if there is full coverage of the colour without clear areas or muddy whites. Culls go for free or very cheaply, so far I have had no deformities so have not had to euthanise any of them. Good colour is more important than pattern so I go for a good S or SS grade but if I find high A grade I would use that.  I do let my colony get to about 50 then cull right back to the best shrimp - maybe 10-12 - and start again.

I believe it is better to introduce a few really good males into a colony and remove all inferior males . Not because of any sex linked genetics but a few high grade males can breed with many females and that is a quicker way of introducing better genetics into a colony. I know some of our top breeders may only pick 2 or 3 shrimp from each drop of babies to keep up their high grade colonies.

i use 24" tanks for breeding purposes. Because I breed a large number of Taitibees I pick patterns and put those patterns into tanks rather than a specific male and female. I have similar patterns in red and black so have a tank for each pattern in each colour.  If I find new patterns within those tanks I put the new pattern into a seperate tank - I'm lucky to have 10 breeding tanks plus my cull tank and 2 larger tanks . I can partition my tanks if I get too many projects happening - I have some removable home made partitions that I can put in to give me 2 x 1 foot tanks but rarely do.

when I bred Rilis I culled very heavily - but not until the shrimp were about 1 cm. if they had any spots or lines in their clear section or if their coloured sections weren't a good strong red I would cull them. Some females with a few flaws were used to build up numbers but were still culled after 1 or 2 lots of babies.

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NoGi

When I had my choc and yellow cherries I had a set standard in my mind in terms of colour. Anything that didn't meet that standard was either sold (because they were still pretty good quality) or squished (crap quality or deformed) and feed to my endlers.

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Cryptocorynus

It might come to a shock to most of you but I never have had a "colony" of shrimp. What I do (probably due to being more into fish than shrimp, and just being used to working this way) is only keep 15 - 20 of my best shrimp of each variety together. As soon as there are offspring I whisk them away into another tank until I know which of those I want to put back in with the others. This cuts down on having any type of contamination of the good females by males that may not be up to standard. With the culls I either sell them (as culls) or throw them somewhere where I can let them run rampant and take care of algae, etc.. 

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Mitch91
4 hours ago, ineke said:

Wow that's a lot of questions there Will! Good ones though. I don't know that there are any hard and fast rules on culling. It can depend on the type of shrimp you are breeding too. With some shrimp you know almost straight away if they are keepers or not but in some groups it pays to wait until they are a bit more mature - I have put many Neos into my cull tank only to find they have matured into very nice shrimp. 

What do I do with culls -first if you are going to feed culls to fish please make sure the fish are big enough to quickly dispose of the shrimp. Small fish will take pieces out of shrimp but may not be able to quickly kill them. I have not so far resorted to feeding mine to fish but it's part of nature and big fish will quickly chase and eat shrimp.

 I do have a cull tank for my Taitibees as they can grow into or out of a pattern so if I don't want to use them initially I can at least keep an eye on them. I give many of these away and sell others off cheaply.

my CRS I keep until about 3 months now as by then you can see if their colours are good and if there is full coverage of the colour without clear areas or muddy whites. Culls go for free or very cheaply, so far I have had no deformities so have not had to euthanise any of them. Good colour is more important than pattern so I go for a good S or SS grade but if I find high A grade I would use that.  I do let my colony get to about 50 then cull right back to the best shrimp - maybe 10-12 - and start again.

I believe it is better to introduce a few really good males into a colony and remove all inferior males . Not because of any sex linked genetics but a few high grade males can breed with many females and that is a quicker way of introducing better genetics into a colony. I know some of our top breeders may only pick 2 or 3 shrimp from each drop of babies to keep up their high grade colonies.

i use 24" tanks for breeding purposes. Because I breed a large number of Taitibees I pick patterns and put those patterns into tanks rather than a specific male and female. I have similar patterns in red and black so have a tank for each pattern in each colour.  If I find new patterns within those tanks I put the new pattern into a seperate tank - I'm lucky to have 10 breeding tanks plus my cull tank and 2 larger tanks . I can partition my tanks if I get too many projects happening - I have some removable home made partitions that I can put in to give me 2 x 1 foot tanks but rarely do.

when I bred Rilis I culled very heavily - but not until the shrimp were about 1 cm. if they had any spots or lines in their clear section or if their coloured sections weren't a good strong red I would cull them. Some females with a few flaws were used to build up numbers but were still culled after 1 or 2 lots of babies.

Would CRS breed in ph of 7.6?

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ineke

I know they breed in PH 7 but ideal is PH 6 - 6.5.  You might be lucky and get them to breed but it's not ideal and I don't know about shrimplet survival rates at that level.

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fishmosy

I follow two ideas based on my conversations with other breeders on this issue - when numbers are small (say ten shrimp total), I limit the number of males to one or two with 8 females, and then cull all the male offspring and leave the females to build up the numbers of the colony. 

When colony is larger, I have a couple of really good males with lots of good females, then cull the offspring when they reach around 10mm, but you can already tell apart individuals with really good grades and really bad grades by this stage. I cull anything that doesn't reach a high grade (see SKF standard guides) and select only a few individuals to remain with the colony. The remaining high grade shrimp get sold. This might be seen as a bit hardlined - why don't I also sell/give away the mid and low grade shrimp and just cull the culls? 

The reason is simple. Shrimp breeders have a responsibility to maintain the quality of the shrimp in Australia. Selling lower grade shrimp means that lower grade shrimp will be bred more often, leading to a downward spiral in the quality of shrimp available in Aus. Case in point, has anyone seen the quality of common red cherries lately? The top breeders stopped breeding them to move onto more lucrative/difficult shrimp, so every man and his dog started breeding with no consideration for quality, and now you are hard pressed to find anything even close to high grade. most stuff you see in shops are, at best, low grades and mostly culls with so little red you could barely call them red cherries.

Now some people might suggest that you can give low and mid grades away with the understanding that they won't be bred or sold. Unfortunately there are very few people who I completely trust in the hobby and they breed for quality anyway. 

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ineke

I agree with a lot of what Fishmosy says although I'm not quite as strict as him. However we should clear up about what some of us class as culls. I call anything I don't want to use in my projects as culls. They aren't necessarily low grade but don't have the patterns or depth of colour I now want. Low grade shrimp are a different thing in my mind. Low grade are always low grade and should be kept out of the hobby. Not all culls are necessarily low grade just not up to the standard of a particular breeder. I can remember when a lot of us couldn't wait until certain breeders did a cull so we could buy their shrimp to improve our shrimp

 So we should point out there are culls and there are low grade poor quality shrimp that should never be bred with and this is why I have a cull tank for low grades that I won't use and won't give away and a pond outside for the last of my Neos.  When it comes to my hybrids it's a bit different as there are no standards but still I take out any shrimp that have poor colour and strive to get that depth of colour and full coverage of colour as required in all types of shrimp

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fishmosy

Well said Ineke.

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fishmosy

On the use of breeding boxes, I keep my main colony in the tank and use breeder boxes to hold shrimp that are going to be sold or that are 'spares' in case of emergency (e.g. If a male dies, I have a replacement ready to go). 

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zn30
On 13 May 2016 at 9:59 PM, ineke said:

............ Not all culls are necessarily low grade just not up to the standard of a particular breeder. I can remember when a lot of us couldn't wait until certain breeders did a cull so we could buy their shrimp to improve our shrimp............

@ineke we are relatively new with shrimp, cherries, just over a year now, and CRS since April this year. We will be depending on the experienced shrimp breeders as yourself and the local Geelong, Ballarat and Melbourne shrimp breeders to improve my line of shrimp in the future. 

We have been breeding fish for over fifty years, I'm glad that we stumbled across shrimp by finding a hitchhiker on a plant we bought from a LFS, this male cherry shrimp sailed around a catfish tank cleaning away unperturbed however we felt sorry for him so we purchased five cherry shrimp for company which has produced over 2,000, and counting, offspring. I have sold a lot of the lower grade cherries to a LFS that keeps paying for the hobby.

Thank you to yourself and all the others that have provided us with the info that ensures we are providing the parameters that healthy shrimp require. Sorry for the rambling.

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ineke

@zn30 I found this forum extremely helpful when I first started with shrimp- I was given 4 free red Cherries when buying some plants for my fish tank I had never heard of or seen them before - I am still learning and still receive great help from friends I have made here. The good thing about a more closed forum like this is that information is monitored and if incorrect info is given or if there are other ways of doing things then the moderators are quick to step in and add more or the correct information. Sometimes on  other sites well meaning people pass on a lot of information that is wrong and that causes a lot of frustration when you are new and keep getting conflicting things told to you. 

Happy shrimping.

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zn30

Thanks for sharing @ineke good to hear what you stated above, noted other groups have contradictions and some in fighting that's why it's been a pleasure to converse on this site, the one and only shrimp site I joined.

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anthonyd

In average :

- i keep 10 % or less of the shrimp i breed

- depending on species, 10% to 70% will be sold to shops or hobbyists

- the rest will be culled the hard way... 

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Madmerv

Ok SKF members i'm just about to do my second cull of the RCS we have. The first cull was easy as i was transferring them from a quarantine tank to their new home. The best reds went to the shrimp tank with the rest going in the community tank or to my daughter. Now the problem is how to catch the ones i wish to cull out with hardscape and plants in the tank.

What is the best method?

Any suggestions appreciated.

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revolutionhope

I do my breeding in well planted tanks. The only advice I can give is to cull frequently when you get the chance. I learnt from Ineke that it's epecially valuable to cull when males are excited by pheromones and swimming all around the place.

I have an open area(s) at the front where I feed and if I feed a variety of foods simultaneously (often I'll use snow, a veg based food and a high protein food to lure out shrimps) then most of the larger juvies and subs will emerge for culling.

It makes life harder having plants and wood and rocks spread around the place for sure which is why many exemplary breeders use moss balls or moss on mesh etc and have their tanks looking "so so" in my opinion compared to a considered aquascape.

Hope I've been helpful! I'd be interested to hear what other ideas and tips people have because I find it fairly time consuming too.

Love n peace

Will


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Kaylenna

I too have very full planted tanks.  I usually keep a breeding box around for culling.  Over the course of a couple of days, I'll keep an eye out during feedings or when I walk by and spot a candidate and remove any shrimps that aren't up to par and stick them in the breeding box.  When there's enough to warrant a move, I'll move them to the cull (community) tank or where ever they're going and acclimate the lot in 1 go.  Or sell them off from the breeding box if it's just excess shrimp of decent quality.  The box cuts down on the need to acclimatize individual or small numbers of shrimps, which makes me less lazy about the culling.

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Madmerv

Thats great advise from both of you. Now to the nuts and bolts of it. Do you use a single net, double net, Net and scraper/scarer or use one of those glass shrimp catchers. Get them in a corner or on the front glass etc. I find them bloody fast and run for cover really quick.

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revolutionhope
Thats great advise from both of you. Now to the nuts and bolts of it. Do you use a single net, double net, Net and scraper/scarer or use one of those glass shrimp catchers. Get them in a corner or on the front glass etc. I find them bloody fast and run for cover really quick.


I've found a single stiff "3d" net does the job alright for me. I just approach cautiously and almost half the time they'll enter the net by themselves for me!

3d nets are way better than the floppy nets.. I've never used the glass catchers so can't speak for those but I would love to know more about them too.

Love n peace

Will

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Kaylenna

Same - a small square 3D net.   I will usually wait for when I see the target(s) in a fairly open area rather than try to chase them around the tank.  Sometimes I'll have a long bamboo skewer to herd them a bit.  I feel bad about chasing them and don't want to unduly scare the others in the tank, especially berried mommas!

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jayc

Or ... turn your cheap floppy net into a 3d net with some DIY ...

 

 

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Kaylenna

That's my kind of diy! 

My fish net is relatively huge though, so it'd not work nearly as well for catching shrimp.  I just opted for a cheap Ebay'd shrimp-sized 3D.  

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Mitch91

Now I agree with low grade out the hobby but they can't be all that useless. If the shrimps brought into Aus was low it just take time to get higher grades and a strict cull process right ? I'm pretty sure the shrimps that came in wasn't high grades. And I'm stumped why we don't allow imports of shrimp it's not like they could survive anyway here

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Madmerv
13 minutes ago, Mitch91 said:

 And I'm stumped why we don't allow imports of shrimp it's not like they could survive anyway here

What makes you think that shrimp could not survive, and thrive, in australian waterways? Do you think all waterways have bad conditions?

I know the shrimp keeping community does have some trouble keeping and breeding some shrimp in tanks. They are working out the optimum breeding conditions and the offspring are acclimatized to that condition. If just 2 shrimp survive to reproduce in the wild then all the offspring then have the ability to survive and breed. 

I'm sorry to rant but i'm very passionate about this and it's thinking like this, that is the reason for there being a ban in the first place.

Just think what 6 rabbits did or a bunch of cane toads. 

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Mitch91
1 hour ago, Madmerv said:

What makes you think that shrimp could not survive, and thrive, in australian waterways? Do you think all waterways have bad conditions?

I know the shrimp keeping community does have some trouble keeping and breeding some shrimp in tanks. They are working out the optimum breeding conditions and the offspring are acclimatized to that condition. If just 2 shrimp survive to reproduce in the wild then all the offspring then have the ability to survive and breed. 

I'm sorry to rant but i'm very passionate about this and it's thinking like this, that is the reason for there being a ban in the first place.

Just think what 6 rabbits did or a bunch of cane toads. 

Well first sure cherry shrimp could yes. But what damage would they cause they would only become a good source.  Second CRS ect would not survive our water temps at all. Rabbits and cane toads are different they can put up with tolerances 

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