TDS - Total Dissolved Solids
Doesn't tell you *WHAT* is in the water, only how "clean" or "dirty" it is... aka it reads the electrical conductivity (EC) of the water. RO/DI and rain water should be low TDS, GH and KH. Possibly even 0.
Fresh water and safe drinking water is supposed to have under 1,000 TDS. It's recommended to keep *most* dwarf shrimp at 130-200 TDS, although certain species can handle lower or higher TDS ranges. I've tested water that some cherry shrimp are thriving in and the TDS was over 600! Most people keep them under 300 TDS.
GH - General Hardness
KH - Carbonate Hardness
Basically, mineral content. GH is more important than KH, although KH "controls" pH and helps to stabilize it. (as long as there is nothing to counter it)
If the water is too soft (1-4/5 GH) then the shrimp may not be able to molt properly because their shells are too soft to molt out of. On the flip side, if the water is too hard (15-20+ GH), then their shells may be too hard for them to molt out of.
Aquatic Arts sells imported shrimp. Imported shrimp are kept at Caridina parameters (general idea... 5/6 GH, 0-2 KH, 180-250 TDS, 6.4-6.8 pH). Lets say the breeder of these shrimp live in Taiwan. (there are a lot of breeders there!) First off, your shrimp will be stressed out from being shipped from Taiwan to the USA. They will again be stressed once they reach the resellers location, as they will probably go into holding tanks with different water parameters. The shrimp will be stressed out, once again, when they are then shipped to your home and then acclimated to your tanks. If your parameters are not close to what the shrimp came from, you may have a lot of deaths!
Someone actually recently purchased a 10 pack of Aquatic Arts Assorted Male Neocaridina Pack
. She only has 1 shrimp left.
Multiple people have purchased shrimp infected with ellobiopsidae
. If you do a search for "green fungus shrimp", you'll see a lot of results! And quite a few of them may even mention Aquatic Arts! They aren't the only ones that sell imported shrimp, but the majority of the people who purchase shrimp with this parasite (not a green fungus!) get their shrimp from Aquatic Arts... Unless you have the right treatment, just assume your shrimp are dead. Most of the recommended treatments to kill the parasite are likely to kill the shrimp in the process as well. If a shrimp is infected too much, treatment wont help. It'll eventually die. I've come across a couple of people who have purchased what they thought were healthy shrimp and 3-6 months later, this parasite showed up in their tanks!
Many imported shrimp are bred in outdoor "ponds", where it may be harder to tell the health of the shrimp. This means that there could be a higher chance for parasites and diseases in general. I don't know if the below shrimp are imports or home bred, but this next video shows a more common parasite seen in Neos.
Aquatic Arts is not a bad store, as far as I can tell, they have great customer service! I just do not recommend buying imported shrimp from them! Or any reseller of imported shrimp! Joe's Aquarium is another reseller of imported shrimp. I've spoken with a customer who purchased shrimp from Joe's Aquarium, although he purchased 40 shrimp. And he was having a hard time keeping them alive!
Water parameters the shrimp came from (Taiwan?)
What the reseller keeps their shrimp in
vs His parameters
pH up to 8?
Of the 40 shrimp that were purchased, at least 16 were confirmed dead from that shipment based on the last information given. (not just DOA, but also over time in the tank) That's a huge loss! It's not uncommon to purchase 10 shrimp and receive 11 or 12 instead. The extra shrimp are for any potential DOA's... aka "insurance purposes". Unless it gets too hot or too cold, most shrimp typically arrive alive. As long as the water parameters are good, deaths should be few. That is, if you order 10 shrimp and you receive 12, you should expect at least 8-10 to survive acclimation to your tank.
My apologies for such a long winded post! Just trying to stress all the potential issues with imported Neos. (regardless of who you buy them from!) Buying USA bred shrimp does have it's own pitfalls as well, however, if you purchase from a reputable breeder or a great hobbyist, then you can avoid many of these issues!
Since you've never had shrimp before, and if you want the best success at keeping shrimp for the first time, then don't buy imported shrimp! That's all I'm trying to say!
HanAquatics has some nice blue neos for cheaper...
Cobalt Blue - Han Aquatics
Or DLuxe Shrimp
Blue Dream Shrimp
Blue Velvet Shrimp
Lucas Bretz keeps his in higher parameters (not entirely sure what those are, though! although does say currently out of stock)
Buy Freshwater Aquarium shrimp for sale Blue Dream Neocaridina | L.R.Bretz Aquatics
Buy Freshwater Aquarium shrimp for sale BlueVelvet Neocaridina | L.R.Bretz Aquatics
If still available, these may be a great buy!
Maybe these instead?
Just make sure they are home bred and not imported. Find out what the water parameters are, and if possible get as close to them as possible. Otherwise, just make sure your parameters are within range for them and drip acclimate!