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KillieOrCory

RCS Grades: Really! Is there such a thing in Australia at the moment?

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KillieOrCory

Hi all,

What Ineke wrote in her thread about the culls made me start this discussion. Ineke wrote the LFS around where she is, are only interested RED cherrys not normal cherry, assuming meaning colour grades as Sakura, Painted etc. I have been thinking about this for a while and thought it is a worthwhile discussion; are there any high grade RCS around? Seriously?

I am pretty sure there are many good strains of RCS around but...

As a long time aquatic life keeper and breeder I find it odd that a lot of shrimp keepers say they have a few higher grade shrimp in amongst their shrimp and say there are a few Sakura's (painted whatever) in there.

My understanding of selective breeding is that a strain of anything is what will breed true 100% of the time (or very high 90's). If one sees an odd great coloured shrimp in amongst hundreds, it is not a higher grade. All it is, is a good coloured individual in amongst your RCS.

I always though Sakura, Painted etc where strains that are results of many generations of selective breeding.

If you selectively breed from the best coloured individuals for 20+ generations and all the offspring produced end up being as good as the parents (or better) you have now have a higher grade strain.

I am yet to see with regularity good coloured male RCS. This makes me think there aren't that many Sakura, Painteds etc around (if any). I myself have RCS that would fit into Sakura/Painted category (all females) that all came from my stock of RCS which I have been keeping without selectively breeding for about 5 years now.

Am I unjustifiably transferring selective fish breeding techniques to shrimp breeding? (I very well could be that's why your opinions are important)

I am sure some higher grade RCS would have made its way to Australia when RCS first turned up, but to me it seems more about water conditions etc effect the redness of RCS than any superior stock.

I find it a little belittling efforts of dedicated breeders (that are many in this forum and many are starting which is great to see), who spend years improving their stock, when the understanding of a 'strain' is not that accurate amongst us shrimp keepers. Here I am using strain and grade interchangeably.

No offense, but if one is keeping anything for a couple of years (or less), you just have not had enough time/generations to fix a trait in your stock.

That is why a true higher grade individual is worth more. Because the developer of the strain/quality have put years of selective breeding into it.

I so hope that the popularity of shrimp keeping will grow and last over the next couple of decades. Over my 25+ years of aquarium keeping I've seen many fads come and go. I still keep same types of fish I kept 25 years ago. I didn't care what I kept was worth (dollar wise) before and still do not today. I keep what I find interesting to me. Now that I am starting to develop interest in shrimp, I hope if I live that long I will be keeping shrimp as well as my favorite groups of fish for the next 25 years.

Thank you for reading my rant! :o Your opinions are valued.

Serkan

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ineke

I think what you say is true Serkan.

I know I have some very nice females and the males are coming along but truthfully at the best the males would be Sakura and these are coming out regularly however the females don't seem to getting as good colour as the parent female.- I wonder if some of the good painted and higher colours only develop as the shrimp mature.I do have babies that a very bright when first hatched but still have some light colours coming through. Admittedly I started with clear males so the males are definitely improving and I have only been breeding the reds since January so still a bit early for consistancy. I haven't got to the stage of selectively breeding that was going to be my next step breeding back the young males to their mothers and breeding brother to sister- basically that is where I am at I have a good number that I could start choosing the best but I don't have the tank space and find I also don't really have that commitment to the Reds. I know my limitations and so I am passing on my best shrimp to somebody who has the experience and commitment to do this selective breeding properly.

There seem to be a lot of high grade RCS on show on Facebook here in Adelaide but as you say they may just be a few good shrimp coming from hundreds.

There are a lot of people like me just starting out and having a few of this and a few of that and not really knowing what we are doing then become overwhelmed with the choices and decisions that are needed to be made.

At the moment I want it to be fun and enjoyable but I'm seeing that to be serious, decisions do have to be made, numbers have to be cut back and stop dabbling in everything and really start looking at what I'm doing ,make some choices and stick with it for the long run - that's where I'm at right now decisions, decisions , then stick to it!!

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KiwiBigD

Serkan, no you're not, the same techniques do apply absolutely, and considering for the likes of Cherry Shrimp we have a shorter time span per

generation it shouldn't be considered 'too hard' to do. People probably haven't concentrated on it purely because of the financial aspect, like I said

before you show me a Painted Red Male, I'll happily pay $50 for him. I want quality to improve my own all round, having girls of a high quality

is not the same as the entire strain at the same level. And if others overseas can do it why can't we?

Personally I like a challenge, but I also want to use my tank space for those I like the most. There are Shrimp I'd rather breed as compared with

say Red Cherry Shrimp and I'd rather concentrate on those, CRSs are what got me into Shrimp in the first place, not Cherries. I love our Blues

though, just the colour is excellent and one I'm working on developing further. Would love to get them to Painted grade but that's gonna take

a while.

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NoGi

We also have a relatively small gene pool to play with here in Australia as they are not allowed to be imported.

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ineke

It would be interesting if Cookster could show us a few close ups and side views of his males. He didn't breed them but is breeding them now. The pictures he has put up look very good and these shrimp were bred in Adelaide. He would know more about them and the breeder. Going by what has been shown on facebok and even what Cookster has there does seem to be some quality coming into the RCS.

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BlueBolts

KillieOrCory, totally agree. I'm working on many variants (blue, purple, gold,,,,,) but none breeding 100% true. As with my own personal benchmark, without having F3+ breeding TRUE (although at F2+ the champagne can theortically be popped), the prize of a NEW colour variant cannot be claimed.

Quality should be everything ! And with SKF and it's member's, I've got no doubt the shrimp hobby is here to stay !

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Cookster

Just replying in relation to Ineke's request about some of the reds in my collection... here's some pics:

post-12-139909861406_thumb.jpgpost-12-139909861409_thumb.jpg

post-12-139909861411_thumb.jpgpost-12-139909861414_thumb.jpg

post-2255-139909849902_thumb.jpg

post-2255-139909849906_thumb.jpg

post-2255-139909849911_thumb.jpg

post-2255-139909849916_thumb.jpg

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ineke

Thanks Ian it just lets the forum see the type of quality there is around. Having said that you have some ordinary cherry grade in the picture - that's the clear with tiny red dots. If the shrimp were breeding 100% true they would all be solid red and that is what is not happening yet and selective breeding would help to give all solid colours. So going by that you would cull all the shrimp with the dots and most or all of the shrimp you can see through on a side view. You would breed only solid to solid or the very best male you have to a solid female. Then keep breeding parents and children , siblings etc all the time culling light and see through shrimp. That's as far as my knowledge goes I'm afraid and in a very simplified way but I'm sure someone I'm sure someone can go into it in depth and complexity:)

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NoGi

This is one I used to have in my old tank till it escaped.

7589641854_091e08ed28_b.jpg

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ineke

That's a very nice shrimp too . I will try to take some of my females when I catch them on Sunday, one in particular you can't see a saddle. I don't want to chase her unnecessarily as she is heavily berried but will have to catch her ready for shipping on Monday.

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BlueBolts
This is one I used to have in my old tank till it escaped.

7589641854_091e08ed28_b.jpg

We should impose some sort of a fine when hobbyist allow such quality to "escape"...WOW, I know people that will kill for that !

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khemo

You are absolutely right Serkan!

I have never seen clear concrete evidence of fire reds or even sakuras here in Aus. I've said many times before to various people: just because it is a nicely coloured shrimp does not make it a fire red or sakura grade. I think that it is a little pretentious that we can even think about cherry grading here is Aus as the quality is simply no here. I reckon all Neocaridina heteropoda variants should just be called by their colours (i.e. red cherry etc), until proven otherwise or else it just gets too distorted.

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Matt_95
We also have a relatively small gene pool to play with here in Australia as they are not allowed to be imported.

Wouldn't the gene pool be limited overseas as well? Since its a mutation the ancestors of all red cherries would have been a rather small group of them right?

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blindfisherman

I certainly think there is some difference in the red cherries...

I don't think we are near the 'fire' classification but there is a definite colour difference between say this colony:

20130425192706.jpg

and the shrimp you buy from the pet shop...

As for the big debate about the males... if you look at alot of the shrimp that people overseas are trying to sell as fire red are also the same as the males we have out here.

Am happy to be proven wrong as I haven't had much time to spend surfing the net lately. But I am still yet to see a proven male from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD that is as solid of a colour as the females...

The males I have may not be as red but they sure produce some bloody nice red females.

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ineke

I have a female that is solid and the saddle can't be seen. I can't get a decent picture of her. Hopefully 2OFUS may be able to get a good picture to show you. My problem has been matching her with a decent male having started with clear males. Some of the males coming up have reasonable red cherry colour but I hadn't at this stage mated them back to her. I have many youngsters coming on that even day one from birth were vivid red specks against the dark gravel but I won't know how they turn out now.hopefully the members that end up with them may be able to get them darker still.

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blindfisherman

I have been selectively culling the shrimp over the last year and a bit to get the colouration I have now.

Haven't been getting shitty females for a while now.

About to join the 2 major colonies I have now as I want one of the tanks for other things.

Will take a pic when its full of mini lobster.

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endlerboy

I am going say something here that will start a bit of debate no doubt But to me there are what I call two grades in reds here in oz crap/culls (very little colour and very see through) and high (solid in colour and not see through) the later is normally what pet shops chase as they are easier to sell than the crap ones lol.... Now to add more to this debate you can change the colour and if they are see through or not via water conditions cherrys that are kept in high gh and ph will be darker and more solid in colour where a cherry kept in low ph and gh trend to be see through and not as strong in colour.... Remember a cherry has a ph range of 6-8 and wait for it a gh range from 2-30..... Lots of people make the mistake of dumping cherrys in soft water and low ph and then wonder why they are not as dark when they brought them etc... Ps the above applies to all cherrys yellows red blue brown blacks etc.... This why some people get their black home and they change colour to brown it normal GH related.... or a orange that turn red etc...

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ineke

I agree with you on WP's making a big difference as one of my very dark females usually kept in higher ph, gh is currently in a tank with much lower ph and gh and she would now be a plain red cherry yet if I were to move her again she would go back to solid red. I know this because I have had to move her a couple of times over the last couple of months and no way would you think it was the same shrimp.i do know it is the same shrimp

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KiwiBigD

Gotta agree with Endlerboy, I'm keeping mine in a Ph of around 7.4 and they're doing well. The only issue with high Ph tanks though, especially if

you start creeping up towards the 7.8/8.0 mark is the lack of plants that do well in it. I've tried quite a few including mini vals, erios (yes I know

that was stupid), various rotalas, various hygrophila and others, the main ones that do well are Bobitis and various mosses. Ross moss and some

of the finer species though didn't grow as quickly but enough to get by whereas most of the plants just went backwards over time.

But the Cherries and various snails thrive but unfortunately most of the native snail species need either a brackish or salt water stage so have

not bred for me. Have had a lot of eggs laid by some of the various nerites though so I'm hoping to try a number of other species that only

require freshwater to breed. My daughters tank with Cherries and Snails is great to watch, lots of interaction between the families and snails just

add that extra life to the tank.

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khemo

It's true that cherries change colour when in different water parameters but so do other shrimps like CRS. If you put a CRS in higher pH and GH, chances are it will survive and maybe breed (I've done it before with lower grades) but its' colours will be washed out and not to its fulll potential. Even though cherries can tolerate a wide range of conditions, I think that there is an 'optimal' range where they will show their best and be most active and in my experience that is with a pH>7 and higher GH. So just like grading CRS, you can't accurately 'grade' cherry shrimp unless it is in it's most prefered water conditions. This is all just emperical evidence though and is my opinion......

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ineke

I agree with all the statements made on this thread however it still doesn't explain why there're seems to be a large number of higher grade reds in SA. I am leaning towards the fact that our water is harder than the eastern states and also higher ph in the water- my water from a pura tap still comes out at 7.4 ph and may be why my cherries were doing much better in that water rather than the RO water with saluwesi salts added.

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blindfisherman

http://www.

is worth a read.

Especially the posts by Silane and Spid.

This from Spid was interesting: "For males, they do not have those so called full red males. Males are much smaller and can be colorless at times."

And from Silane: "The reddness is due to female hormones according to a famous Fire Red shrimp breeder, Mr Li Ji Tai in Taiwan."

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ineke

Thank you for the link very interesting read. Maybe we are aiming for the impossible with the males after all.

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blindfisherman

Yeah whilst the males don't necessarily have the same colour of the females I certainly think they play a part in the breeding of the better quality females.

With a bit more work though I think we can get (if there isn't already) males with FULL red but the jelly red not so much the solid painted thickness that the females get.

In my main tank in the shed I get maybe 2-3 sukura for every 20 or so solids.

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ineke

I have some males somewhere between the reds in lowest grade and Sakura quite a lot of red but still see through. Had I decided to continue the cull that I am now doing would probably give me six reasonable males and a few more young females showing promise- they would have been kept to breed back to the dark females. Curiously a while ago we spoke of the females getting the stripe down their back as they matured - I have a few young girls showing this stripe and they have not even bred yet. It would have been interesting to see how they go after a couple more moults when I think their colour would intensify.i am almost tempted to keep a trio just to see if I was on the right track but space is the problem.

I will make sure they go in with the older females I am sending to Gary and Jess. Hopefully they might get somewhere with them.

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