You don't necessarily have to buy cherry shrimp if you want to start with blue shrimp, although some of the blues can indeed be more expensive than cheap reds. If you can find a local breeder, you may be able to find cheap cherry shrimp for $1-$2 a piece. A lot of people will also sell them for pretty cheap, sometimes with free shipping. (depending on how many you buy)
My SO started out with shrimp from an LFS. Then we got shrimp from a local hobby breeder. I've added in some shrimp from Petco. In the beginning, we struggled to keep shrimp alive! Our water was too soft (didn't know it) so adults were slowly dying and the babies never made it past a few days old, if that... except for 3, but even those 3 didn't make it to adult-hood. Once I figured out what the problem was and corrected it, we now have shrimp living for longer and babies growing into adults.
A lot of people buy 10 shrimp and in 3-6 months they have a huge, thriving population! Me? I've been keeping shrimp for over a year now and have yet to get that big population boom that keeps on growing! A lot of people who struggle keeping Neos have better luck keeping Tigers, so I recently purchased some YKK (Caridina hybrid, Tiger x Crystal? mix). They are all pretty young, and I may have a bunch of males, so we'll see how that goes... (no saddled females)
RCS - Red Cherry Shrimp
CRS - Crystal Red Shrimp
CBS - Crystal Black Shrimp
PRL - Pure Red Line
TB - Taiwan Bee
Mischling - Crystal x TB
Tibee - Tiger x TB/Crystal
TaiTibee - Tibee x TB
BKK - Black King Kong
YKK - Yellow King Kong (TT x KK?)
TT - Tangerine Tiger
OEBT - Orange Eye Blue Tiger
OERBT - Orange Eye Royal Blue Tiger
Care between blue Neos and cherries (red Neos) is the same, just that imported Neos tend to be very fragile and potentially riddled with parasites. Color of Neo doesn't matter! Quick search on "ellobiopsidae shrimp", and pictures of orange, blue and red shrimp pop up.
My SO had picked out a female shrimp with ellobiopsidae, not knowing at the time that she wasn't berried - she was infected. She came from a store that we had never been to before and we were not familiar with.... I ended up quarantining her and attempting treatment, but she still died. The store did say they would give me a free shrimp, but I never went back... not worth bringing home another import that could potentially be carrying this parasite. (this being before I knew much about imports myself!)
The common Neo colors, Crystals and Tigers are commonly imported. Neos especially because they are such fast breeders! They're basically like rabbits of the shrimp world! (thinking of references, I feel like I'm more familiar with lionfish than I am of oscars, never kept fish though! Besides a beta... unplanned. Brought home to me and I later found it a better home!) The more expensive shrimp aren't commonly imported because so much could go wrong in getting them to the states, and it would be a lot of money wasted, if they died. A few people though are trying to bring in some of the more expensive shrimp and get a breeding colony going here in the states! There's a current buy-in going on where people will split the shipping costs, I think? Or maybe just buy your own shrimp and as long as enough people buy in, shipping will be free? Not sure...
Anyway, here's a couple of videos of outdoor ponds of Neo shrimp - Setups like these are common for the popular shrimp!
Vs a couple of overseas companies that keeps Crystals and go all out for their shrimp breeding and keeping!
My apologies if I may have steered you away from keeping blue shrimp! That was not my intention! I'm just trying to steer you away from imported shrimp! MANY people keep blue shrimp in the USA and sell them! I haven't watched this video yet, but judging by the comments, it's great! (aka I should really watch it myself!) It may help you better understand on how to care for shrimp!
the "Petco" website lists "Mandarin Shrimp"....
Tropical Freshwater Inverts for Freshwater Aquariums: Mandarin Shrimp, Neocaridina sp.
What is pictured is a Sunkist Shrimp, which is a Caridina species. Their description says Neocaridina.
They sometimes even sell shrimp labeled as "Orange Bee" shrimp... which should
be Sunkist Shrimp or something else...
Generally speaking, all their shrimp are Neocaridinas... and they are just selling shrimp as something they are not. It's common though for Petco to mislabel their animals... especially when they order one thing and their supplier is out of stock of it, or there's an idiot working at the supplier, and what gets sent out is not the same as what was ordered... and it's not changed.
So if you saw some yellow shrimp there, they were not YKK, but most likely some sort of Yellow Neo... common names include Neon Yellow, Goldenback Yellow and 24K Yellow.