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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL
 

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How to get redder red shrimps

I am often asked how to make red shrimps even redder. Well, this is a question that has many answers and in my opinion there are basically 3 factors to consider to get Red Cherry Shrimp to express their color to their optimal amount water conditions, environment and genetics.

But, before I get into those three factors it is important to know a little bit about the Red Cherry Shrimp (RCS). The RCS does not exist in the wild. It is a selectively bred color variant of the Neocaridina heteropoda (or Neocaridina denticulata sinensis).

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In the wild this shrimp displays a pale brown color that is quite variable to dark brown to almost clear. These shrimp are found in South East Asia in rivers and streams.

Now, on to the 3 factors.

Water Conditions

All aquatic creatures are their most healthy and look their best when their optimal care requirements are met. Cherry Red Shrimp are no different. When the water in their aquarium is in their optimal ranges it allows the RCS to display optimal colors!

So what are their optimal conditions?

Ph Range: 6.2-8.0
Ideal Ph: 7.2
Temp: 65 – 85F
Ideal Temp: 75F
Hardness: 3-15 dkh
Ideal Hardness: 8 dkh
NO AMMONIA OR NITRITES

Environment

When a Cherry Red Shrimp has ideal water conditions the next thing to consider is their environment. This subject is often debated, but I believe that a darker substrate and plants cause a RCS to display brighter reds. And here is why!

In the wild, the Neocaridina heteropoda, like most aquatic invertebrates, will adjust its coloration to blend in with its surroundings. When they are on a light substrate they will turn to a lighter almost clear color. When they are on a darker substrate they will turn to a dark brown color.

This holds true with Red Cherry Shrimp. When they are on a dark substrate they turn to a deeper red. This red color, obviously, does not blend in with the dark substrate, and in fact does quite the opposite. The shrimps natural instinct does not know that it is red and it is just trying to blend in!

Genetics

This is the most important factor when considering coloration in a shrimp. No matter how perfect the water conditions are and how ideal their environment is a Red Cherry Shrimp will never get redder than its genetics will allow. Selective breeding has created some strikingly red shrimps, but a lower quality stock will not come close to the coloration these shrimp display.

How do you know what type of genetics a shrimp has?

The only way to know for sure is to see the parents. Out side of that, it is trial and error!

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