Jump to content

Trouble with grading shrimp morphs

Recommended Posts


This may be a really stupid question but I have been having a great deal of trouble deciphering the actual colour quality (depth of colour, clarity or thickness e.g semi see through or solid) of the different named cherry shrimp morphs. I have looked online and here and pretty much get the mat coloured graph which doesn't really go into the actual grading process. Is there such a definitive description with live pictures to go with the shrimp, or is it just everyones best guess? I did stumble across one lot of good colour photographs of some of the grades and morphs but it only had reds and even then no mention of bloody mary.

I guess I'm looking for something like all other breeders of show species follow. For example Certain dog breeds if shown can not have odd coloured eyes or only be set colours not liver or brindle or must have a black tongue while conforming to the rest of the show standards such as size, coat type and tail length.

What for example distinguishes a Fire Red from a bloody mary? Is it only the line breeding that they followed to get to the colour or is there something else I am missing? Or a blue dream from a blue diamond or just a blue cherry?

Usually I am happy to just have what I consider nice coloured shrimp, but when people go to buy them they want a name, and aside from doing the easy thing and giving my shrimp any old name that fits, I would like to be able to actually give a named colour morph with perhaps grade A. Mid or Low.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloody mary are not a grade of shrimp, but a color, just like blue dreams and chocolates. They may have their *OWN* color grading, but I haven't seen much in regards to a specific grading for them. That said, a high grade bloody mary is likely to have solid red legs and dark coloration.

FR/PRF are opaque shrimp that you can't see through. BM glow like a ruby and it can be difficult to get their true colors to appear in pictures. It's easiest to appreciate them in person.

There is no "blue" cherries, but there are many blue varieties... and trying to define the blues is a headache.... for example, Blue Velvet in the USA are supposed to be Blue Bodied Red Rili's without the red coloration but babies may show some red when they are young. Imported Blue Velvets on the other hand come from the black line.


Many blue diamond shrimp may be blue shrimp that may or may not have carbon rili coloration, but they are not blue carbon rilis. Blue carbon rilis are a lighter blue in coloration.

Blue Dreams are usually without black coloration.

I'm not entirely sure how imported Blue Velvets fit in here... unless they are actually Blue Dreams by another name.


It gets really confusing, especially when you come across shrimp labeled as "Dream Blue Velvet" or "Blue Dream Diamond". Like, which is it?


And there are these charts here.... but I don't know how accurate they are. Further DNA analyse may be required to determine if all shrimp currently labeled as Neocaridina davidi are actually one species or if they might be separate species 



In short, there is no world-wide grading for all the different colors. The only thing everyone can agree on is the grading system for low grade cherries to high grade cherries - aka Painted Fire Reds... and what a bloody mary is, a chocolate, a carbon/black rose, a rili (pattern type) and..... that's about it. There are at least 3 different names for different yellows, at least two different types of oranges (and I hate the name given to one orange type!), at least two types of greens (I'll never be able to think of green jades without also thinking about one with ellobiopsidae/green fungus but seller swearing USA bred shrimp not from imported stock and it's berried.... oh, and seller is a fish vet? supposedly certified, but seems self proclaimed... -shrugs-), who knows how many varieties of blues... and some people will sell low grade blue of one variety as a different variety of shrimp... as an example, if Blue Dreams are bred from Blue Diamonds, and someone has a colony of Blue Diamonds, they might sell the culls as Blue Dreams even though they aren't *really* Blue Dreams.


You can look up a chart (not sure where it may be here) for grading cherry shrimp, which should be able to give you an idea of how to grade other colors.




Back to subject of bloody mary... the best ones I've seen are actually from another member of this forum.



Compared to bloody mary from another member.... they are still nice looking shrimp (again, pictures do not do them justice!) but you can tell that they aren't quite as good by at least comparing the legs.


  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
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

  • Must Read SKF Articles

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

    Join Our Community!

  • Posts

    • Zoidburg
      I recently made the switch from sand and SS GH/KH to SL-Aqua substrate and GH only minerals (from same company - liquid form). When I switched everything over, I didn't even acclimate the shrimp. Knock on wood, I haven't seen a loss yet! It's only been a few days. Everything in the tank is the same except for the substrate and water. Also cleaned the sides and front of tank while I had it taken down.   It's a 10g tank, so I remineralized two 5g buckets of water, one of which I slightly over-remineralized. Figured it would work it out as I had tossed in some water that wasn't remineralized to the right parameters just to keep the plants in there wet. One bucket had been sitting around for a while with just RO water and the other only a few days before adding minerals. After everything has settled, it all worked out to about 7.5/8 GH which is about what I was aiming for.   I can't say I'll continue getting the liquid remineralizer right now, but we'll see with how this one does. Powders will always be more bang for your buck with how much water you can remineralize with it, but the liquids are supposed to contain more nutrients in them that are beneficial for shrimp.    Tank has Caridina (YKK and ???) and Neocaridina (Bloody Mary) in it.
    • Zoidburg
      Coming from a pet bird keeping hobby, I can easily back up what jayc said about imports.... not only can you not import animals, you can't export them either. The *ONLY* exception may come between New Zealand and Australia. Some animals can be moved between those two countries. Otherwise though, import and exportation for both countries is banned. I live in the USA.
    • ShrimpNewb
      Thanks, Simon.  I am a shrimpnewb after all.  My tank has pretty much zero evaporation - it's weird, but it seems to have something to do with not running a heater and the water temperature being the same as the room.  I'm just planning to switch over to the shrimp focused mineralizer with water changes over time.  I'll update the TDS differences I assume will be there.
    • sdlTBfanUK
      This has got rather long and involved, interesting though! Just wanted to remind you that topping up tanks from evaporation will still need pure RO water (not mineralised) though so you will need to keep some Pure RO water aside for that. Simon
    • ShrimpNewb
      Oh, yes.  Live and learn.  This is, as my wife keeps telling me, a science project.