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Improving Shrimp Colouration 101


BlueBolts
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Depth of colouration/intensity in shrimps are often linked to several factors.

1. Water Parameters - It is important to research and determine the optimum WP related to your specific shrimp. Ensuring zero - ammonia & nitrites, low nitrates, ideal PH, KH, GH, TDS, Temp...is critical to ensure optimum WP. Great WP = Happy Shrimps

2. Environment - Depending on the type of shrimps, the colour of the substrate (darker substrate, deeper coloration) and lighting .. etc can play a role. I personally do not think shrimps are aware of their colour ( I.e. red, yellow...etc) they are just trying to blend in with the environment. In contradiction to this though, I have some black. Brown and red (female ONLY), that has very dark/deep colouration on a white sand substrate. Food, and additives (Calcium...etc) do/may effect colouration too.

3. Genetics - The MOST important factor of shrimp colouration. Selective breeding is the ONLY way to truly ensure depth/intensity of colour. Even with ideal WP and environment, poor quality stock will not result in the targeted colouration.

With a quality selective programe, ideal WP/environment and PATiENCE, we'll well in our way to improving shrimp colouration.

Please do add your thoughts and experience ..... Thanks.

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Great write up BB. One thing I have not seen a discussion on is exactly what to look for when selective breeding... is it as simple as picking the strongest coloured male and female and moving them to there own tank?

Also what do you consider "Ideal" for Neocaridina Heteropoda? I know they are hardy and not to fussy about WP but what would you consider to be perfect for them?

Im keeping my reds,oranges,yellows,rillis and backs at:

PH - 7.6

KH - 2

GH - 6

TDS - unknown (dont have a TDS meter yet)

Temp - 23

Also, do you add calcium? if so what do you use?

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Selective breeding is subjective. PRL (Pure Red Line) / PBL (Pure Black Line) are the accepted pinnacle of CRS/CBS, but hobbyist may focus on patterns/body colouration, instead of coloured legs etc.....depending on the level/experience. I initially started out just wanting to have CRS's, then keeping them alive, then breeding them, then successfully growing shrimplets.... which leads to patterns/grades, then quality/depth of colour, then coloured legs etc....

Selective breeding via culling, individual tank for selected pairs etc, are all depended on space, $ and permission (!). Many are doing this via breeding boxes etc.. just need to ensure water quality, 02 level etc are ample.

There's a wide view of ideal WP for Neocaridina Heteropoda...PH - 7-7.5, Kh - 2, GH - 6-10, TDS - 200+ & Temp 22-25 seem to be the accepted level, but my cherries are at 6.4-7, KH - 1, GH 5, TDS 200 & Temp 23, as they do share the tank with my Caridina. I just collect them, and don't really focus too much on breeding % for the cherries, so not too focus on giving them the perfect environment....priorities are in mt TB & Tiger's :-).

Like some fishes, I do believe they can eventually adapt to softer water, but that's just my opinion.

I do add calcium, and generally use CaSO4....but this is dependant upon you GH level, soil type and shrimp #'s....

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for this writeup Blue Bolts,

When should I start looking at culling, I began with low quality and expensive (for their grade) shrimp bought from 2 different aquariums (must have been someone's culls) before finding forum members to buy from, now after having some with better colouration I am wondering when to look at culling. It seems that the shrimp of lesser quality seem to be berried more often than my better shrimp so I am hesitant to take any out. Also I seem to have a slight planaria problem and I keep siphoning them out every 3 days to try to keep their numbers down while I save up for another tank and filter to set up, get the parameters right and transfer all shrimp while I treat my current tank. I am too scared to treat the tank as I do not want to kill any. I do see shrimplets from time to time but I think that the planaria are gobbling most of them up. At the moment I have around 20 shrimp of varying grades, I think some of them that I bought from a breeder are CRS/CBS crosses as although their white is more solid their red is more of a dull red than the first shrimp I bought. I am thinking of removing all shrimp with clear patches in their white stripes.

Any advice? What sort of population numbers would you have before beginning to cull? Maybe they can help test the new tank (when I finally get it!)

Anyway I guess as a noob to the hobby I am just looking for guidance and advice,

Thanks

Scott

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Hi Scott, no time to waste for any selective breeding programs. Delays will just result in more culls, and a compromise. Depending on your goals, tank numbers etc... even off a batch of 20+, if there's ONLY 1 Pair you like, then the rest would be culls. Lower quality shrimp do berry more frequently and easily.

Obviously, if you're just having them as a hobby, for viewing, then culling may not be necessary, BUT if you goal is to achieve the best possible quality and stock, then there's no time like the present.

Post a pic of your stock ....

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Great write up BB The only hard bit is knowing when to cull. i put some culls in a tank to cycle it and the male ended up being a good Red not solid but a nice colour he was quite small when I culled him. Luckily when I had the tank cycled I caught him out and put him with the rest. So what size is a good size? Can you cull too soon?

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Great write up BB The only hard bit is knowing when to cull. i put some culls in a tank to cycle it and the male ended up being a good Red not solid but a nice colour he was quite small when I culled him. Luckily when I had the tank cycled I caught him out and put him with the rest. So what size is a good size? Can you cull too soon?

Really depends on your expectations, and selective breeding goals. Other factors is whether you are prepared to purchase shrimps to add to your quality/line, and/or decide to just use what you've got !

Yes, I've had similar experience with my culls becoming a lot better then initially graded, BUT at the end of the day it's quality was still a "cull" category.....again, depends on the depth of your expectations and goals.

I too find it extremely difficult to cull my babies, BUT, for the better good of quality, it has to be done :-)

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Hi Scott' date=' no time to waste for any selective breeding programs. Delays will just result in more culls, and a compromise. Depending on your goals, tank numbers etc... even off a batch of 20+, if there's ONLY 1 Pair you like, then the rest would be culls. Lower quality shrimp do berry more frequently and easily.

Obviously, if you're just having them as a hobby, for viewing, then culling may not be necessary, BUT if you goal is to achieve the best possible quality and stock, then there's no time like the present.

Post a pic of your stock ....[/quote']

Thanks for the advice Bluebolts, I would love to post a pic but am still confused as to how to do it. I think I will still set up my new tank first before culling any. I am still getting the hang of everything really and with 3 kids and a missus that can't see the point of me spending money in my hobby unfourtunately I will have to make this a gradual thing. I love having them to look at but like the idea of selective breeding for better quality. I am so jealous of some of the setups people have in this forum and I can only just learn and aspire to eventually one day get a rack set up. At the moment I will just work on getting my second tank then getting rid of those horible planaria.

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very informative post BB :)

Scotty if you want to post a pic upload it to an external hosting site such as photobucket. Once you do that it will provide you with a URL address.

When you click on reply or begin a new post you will see a little pic of a tree in a box you click on that and select FROM URL and paste it in there :)

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  • 1 month later...
So' date=' who does have the best PBL and PRL in Australia?[/quote']

Apparently I have 1 female prl. The male died. I need a male to breed her with.

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  • 11 months later...

This is really useful information for people just starting to get to the point of culling...like me :)

Thanks for the post.

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  • 4 months later...

Thanks for sharing.

By the way, not directly related to topic.but  I'd like to point out that pale coloration, if comes with loss of appetite, and inactivity, is sign of trouble. 

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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Thank you for sharing this write up. I always struggled with lighting but this time i want to get everything right.

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  • 4 months later...

Great write up, thanks @BlueBolts

Had my small colony only 6 weeks or so, still waiting for the first berries. Totally chuffed with them. Trying to get my head around which tank to set up as the cull tank...

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  • 3 years later...

Thanks for this. In my small colony the blue neos seem to be pretty inconsistent and I have to *cull* constantly. Is this normal? 

Edit: I meant "cull" not "fill". I hate autocorrect sometimes lol.

Edited by abepaniagua
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2 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

What do you need to fill constantly? Are you aking about tank water evaporation?

Simon

Sorry, meant cull. My autocorrect changed it.

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That makes more sense. And yes, culling constantly is "normal", especially when the shrimps are of poor genetic quality, that is ... they are too inbred with no new genes. So getting good quality shrimps that are from different parents will improve the gene pool.

 

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