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Why I love my natives


Baccus
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The other day I did a total rescape on my 4ft corydoras tank that also houses Dwarf Neon Rainbows a couple of remaining threadfin rainbows, otocinclus, Borneo Suckers, Fly Specked Hardy heads and Riffle Shrimp. It involved removing every critter I could find in the tank including the notopala snails and all the plants and structure, all this disturbance made a huge chameleon shrimp break cover, she was/is what appears to be the sole survivor of the time I had chameleon shrimp in the tank with only the corydoras, threadfins and riffle shrimp. She has since been relocated into my normal native tank that houses Chameleon shrimp, Darwin Red Nosed Shrimp, Darwin Algae Shrimp, Blackmore River Shrimp and Spotted Blue Eyes as well as a few thousand pest snails and a couple of desired snails like notopala.

Sorry about the clarity of the picture but the big girl is the one behind the more expected sized chameleon shrimp.

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She really is much chunkier and bigger than all the other chameleons in the tank and positively dwarves the tiny Blackmore River Shrimp. I don't know if she got so big simply because of the size of the 4ft tank with limited competition for all the free pickings of food. If she was just genetically prone to being bigger bodied, or if she pushed her growth to avoid possible predation, or if I am just prone to breeding giants since it was in one of my other tanks I ended up with a hulk of a wild type cherry shrimp. Either way I think she is a stunner who I hope becomes a breeder, to produce bigger bodied chameleon shrimp, giving more body area for their various patterns and markings.

I think one of the reasons so many of chameleon shrimp tend to show extremely dark colours is thanks to the huge tank dominating hollow log that fills a lot of the floor space, although I do see the odd chameleon shrimp with a clear body overlaid with bands of white and faint brown. Even if chameleon shrimp will not play ball and hold one particular colour or pattern I think they are well worth the effort to keep them, even if its only to see how varied they can decide to be, and they are not as tiny as Blackmore River Shrimp or (usually not) as chunky as cherry shrimp.

 

 

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Thanks, when I first saw her cruising through the murk in the catfish tank as I stripped it I was shocked, that she was even still in there, then when I saw her against my other chameleon shrimp I was doubly shocked by her size.

I have some other pictures of her but need to clear out some old photobucket pictures before I can upload them.

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Some more pictures, in the flesh she doesn't look so red.

Looking at the camera is a large DAS and infront of the rock up against the glass is most likely a little Blackmore River shrimp or a juvi DAS. Its nigh on impossible to tell them apart due to lack of distinct pigmentation or obvious differences.

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Sorry about the dodgy clarity but its the same big girl with a DRN. With another little dark chameleon photobombing in the back of the picture hiding under the log.

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Her again in a sea of Blackmore River Shrimp (BRS) with an out of focus DAS in the back ground.

P1130643_zpsrkd6y5ye.jpg

 

 

Edited by Baccus
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Just had to add some other pictures of my beauties besides the big girl.

Doing a good job of blending in with the snails

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Same shrimp just moved to a better photo op.

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Loving this black and white girl who came out of the log for the food feast

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And big girl again, the green ball of algae she is on is a type of green hair algae that keeps cropping up in my tanks, apparently nobody likes eating it but love picking through it.

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A nicely coloured up youngen

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solid with back stripe

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Another solid colour with tan back stripe

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Just hanging out, a DAS and ??? could be a juvi anything

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Edited by Baccus
doubled up on photos
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The green balls are cladophora. Shrimp love picking through it but don't eat it. 

@Baccus you seem to like the same patterns/colours in your chameleons as I do. A tank full of chameleons with this pattern would rival just about any other shrimp in the world. 

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They would certainly keep people on their toes, I would love to know what exactly makes them determine if they are going to be tiger patterned with lots of stripes, or nearly solid coloured with only one or two stripes or the third pattern I often see solid coloured with a solid tan stripe down the back.

I did learn one thing with these guys, don't put them with cherry shrimp. Not because there will be any aggression issues but the simple fact that the chameleons will go with the "status quo" and end up blending in with the cherry shrimp, which was not the original objective of having the two together.

Fishmosy, have you found a particular food that the chameleons just can not resist? Mine will come out eventually for various shrimp pellets and crayfish pellets, occasionally algae wafers and a bit of interest in catfish pellets, but still nothing that I would call going mad over. I would love to find a food that the shrimp will actually beat the snails to, so that I don't get a swarm of snails before I get I a shrimp scrum.

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No, I'm not aware of any particular food that they will come out for. They love their structure. It's not surprising. In the wild, they have to hide away from many predators, and they are therefore found in the thickest structure. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love my chameleon shrimp! They're so good at blending in the only thing you can see is their silvery stripe on the back, when they're really trying to blend in.

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