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breeding Neocaridina davidi shrimp of different colors

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I know the general rule of thumb with red cherries is dark substrate usually produces darker red shrimp, however the darkest most stunning cherry shrimp I had where in a 4ft tank with potential fish predators with pure white sand. They where just purchased as what would be considered low to middle grade but developed into what I think was high grade.

My black cherry colony is on multi-coloured and quite fluro coloured gravel, an these shrimp are a lovely glossy almost blue black, and living with a BN, whiptail catfish and Pacific Blue Eyes.

I think there is 4 ways factors that largely influence the colouration of shrimp

1. Genetics

2. Water parameters eg pH, gH and temp

3. Food variety and quality

4. Lighting intensity, duration and spectrum.

I add lighting because I had noticed with my red cherries when in the 4ft tank with a T8 light (forget which spectrums the bulbs where) first thing in the morning when the lights first came on I would see partially or all blue cherry shrimp, but within a short time these would drop the blue and go back to their normal complete red colour. I know they where colour changing because when I caught the blue shrimp and put them in a baby fish net/ trap while in the same tank within a few minutes the blues had reverted to red.

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Thanks for sharing@baccus: I too have experienced colour changing of cherry shrimp specifically with the choc/black/blue gene pool.


Aside from the colour changing within those 3 colours. This line produced a happy surprise for me recently. I found an actual green mutation! I'm interested to know what people make of it and what type of shrimp might be the best to cross him/her with. I suspect I should stick with another shrimp from the same lineage/group of neos.









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There are Jade Green Neos.... if you can get your hands on them...

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If the green one holds its colour when placed in another tank I would suggest adding either shrimp that you think are from the same batch of babies going by colour and size or try to add yellow/ green shrimp to see if any other offspring also show green tendancies.

The story goes that red cherries came about from one or two reddish cherry shrimp that the finder bred together and then picked out the reddest offspring to keep breeding and so on and do forth until we get to the red cherries we have to day.

Also when deciding on what colour a shrimp might be, be very careful of the lighting, certain lights can really make things a different hue. Many a time I  have seen a shrimp of a certain faint colour but when photographed that shrimp appears totally different. My current camera does have a sunset setting that is supposed to "allow  true colour" which I have tried using to get photos of my shrimp just so I can compare colour in a different format. I am slightly colour blind so maybe its just me who has trouble with lighting and subtle colours. But still something to keep in mind.

The biggest problems I have found when trying to develop or produce a particular colour strain is the sheer numbers of tanks you end up needing all with the same parameters to prevent colour changing between different tank conditions. And being totally ruthless when removing all undesired colours leaving only the desired colour to continue breeding. Deciphering potential colour of small and juvi shrimp can be a total nightmare due to their size and that they may not have fully developed their potential. But at the same time you want to remove them prior to them getting to a breeding age and potentially throwing the entire project out of kilter.

A case in point I have been quite active in removing any non-black cherry shrimp from my black cherry project, even to the point of removing chocolates. As soon as I spy any undesired I whip them out and put them in a tank next door that has all the other cast offs. Just the other day even with my frequent wrong colour hunts I happened across an adult pale yellow cherry in the black tank. It had managed to hide away for so long that it was a pure chance that it came out when I happened to be observing the shrimp.

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