Jump to content

Why I love my natives


Recommended Posts

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.


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.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.


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.


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




Edited by Baccus
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Doing a good job of blending in with the snails


Same shrimp just moved to a better photo op.


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



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.



A nicely coloured up youngen




solid with back stripe



Another solid colour with tan back stripe


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


Edited by Baccus
doubled up on photos
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Join Our Community!

    Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Posts

    • sdlTBfanUK
      There isn't much to report on this at the moment, I am 50/50 as to whether this is going to work or not long term. I have seen 2 dead shrimp since adding the new ones and counted about half of the new shrimp bought, that I saw yesterday! This is going to be a long term experiment I guess, the best I hope will happen at this point is that the remaining shrimp survive and reproduce and that new borns born in the tank should be more suited to the environment/water etc. There is an element of the acclimating didn't go as well/to plan as it should with my knowledge/experience, but I did the best I could, so that is what it is! Simon
    • Franks
      How is now the condition of pH?
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Summary from the old thread; I managed to destroy my wonderful Taiwan bee tank with a faulty heater that cooked them. I then set up the tank afresh May 2019 using shrimpking substrate, new plants and wood etc. The tank looked very drab from the start and several batches of new taiwan bee were added and died out instantly. Covid came along so I decided I would give up with the taiwan bee shrimp and get some fish instead about a year later (1 kilie and 12 mosquito rasbora). September 2020 I tried another batch of tawian bee but they fared no better and the tank was still very drab looking (and still is to this very day). I very much doubt it is the substrate but won't be using that again but have aquired a large bag of the old type of substrate I used before, but I really don't know what caused the problem, maybe there was some sort of bacterial infection or I accidently poisoned the shrimp, or there was something on the new plants/wood??? The parameters were always perfect and I have to just accept I will never know? At some later date I dumped some wild type red cherry culls into the tank as food for the killie but he didn't seem to eat them (they were clear/brown so maybe he didn't see them) and they seemed to settle into the tank and bred! Fast forward to a month ago and I decided that now the postal service is better than it had been early in the pandemic, I should maybe try some more taiwan bee as the cherry shrimp had been in there for a year or so and doing well, so I assume whatever the problem was had gone, although the tank is still not as healthy looking as the other tanks using the other substrate! I ordered 15 black shrimps 2 weeks ago and put those in the tank and they seemed to be surviving so earlier this week I order 20 red/blue shrimp and put those in the ttank yesterday. This morning I counted 18 shrimps (about half) so it looks as though it maybe going to work now, the tank is so densely planted that I would never expect to see ALL the live shrimp anyway! The killie fish died a few days ago so he isn't a threat anymore and I doubt the rasboras are either. I am now in the process of fishing out the wild type cherry shrimp as/when I see them! Here is the link to the full thread about the above but I decided to start a fresh thread from here on, https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/14523-here-we-go-again/ I will keep this thread updated and get some photos at some stage, though the new shrimp are a bit small at the moment.  Simon
    • sdlTBfanUK
      I think I should start a new thread on this now as this is getting a bit long and it seems to be working now, and to keep it tidier and easy to find/follow! I will attach a link below once done! Simon https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums/topic/15621-here-we-go-again-again/  
    • sdlTBfanUK
      Hopefully it will settle quite quickly now and it was just everything sorting itself out, and at least you caught it before it caused problems with the fish and shrimps. As you also say, it will take a bit of time for the neneficial bacteria to spread in the new sunstrate as well! The  packaging of the substrate should tell you if there is any routine you should carry out when first using it because of mineral build-up or ammonia, so if the packaging didn't say anything I think it is safe to assume it was not the substrate (Fluval stratum is volcanic soil), and other people may have just assumed it was the substrate without considering anything else if they had a similar episode to yours? Simon 
  • Create New...