Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
I have contemplated this idea myself
From what I can tell, tiger shrimp, tangerine tiger, and bee shrimp come from the same water. They may or may not be the same species, but they definitely live in similar water in the wild.
I've read about a dozen different articles that say different things. I honestly don't know if they are different species or not.
That being said, tiger and tangerine were bred in Europe where hard water is more common. Bee shrimp were bred in Asia, where soft water is more common. My understanding is that the current shrimp just acclimated towards those conditions. I wouldn't say someone bred them that way, but it was an evolutionary pressure
So the pH tolerance is malleable, from what I have read.
One thing that seems pretty consistent is that bee/tiger shrimps cannot survive in as wide of a temperature tolerance as neo shrimp.
Given that this is probably an evolutionary adaptation over millions of generations, I don't know if you will be able to breed a "robust" caridinia shrimp that can handle a larger temperature delta.
Sulawesi shrimp like >80 degree F water. You might be able to breed some that can handle 77 degrees, but I dont think you will get them to tolerate 45 degrees F like neos can.
Bee shrimp seem to like soft water with almost no GH.
Tigers can tolerate hard water better.
Neos, despite being generally very tough, do not survive well in soft water.
This actually makes a lot of sense. Animals that build shells typically prefer harder water, because they make their shells out of calcium. Calcium-based chemicals are normally what makes water "hard". However, the environment where some shrimp live has very limited calcium. Bee shrimp seem to have evolved to handle the softer water, when needed.
One important thing, a lot of city water is made hard ON PURPOSE. Traditionally, hard water is caused by calcium in the water table. If you ever go to San Antonio, TX, which is built almost entirely on a limestone aquifer, you will experience very hard water. If you live in Portland, OR a lot of the water comes from snow melt and the water is very soft. Alkaline water prevents pipes from leaching things like lead into the water. In fact, if you saw the whole Flint, MI saga, it was caused because the city changed their water source without adding enough alkaline agents. These agents make the water "hard", but while your water might have the same pH/KH/GH that you see online for a shrimp, it wont actually have the same chemistry.
All that being said, I would think that you could breed shrimp to handle hard water much more easily than you could breed shrimp to handle soft water. I doubt anyone is going to breed neos that can survive in distilled water. However, I think you could breed bee shrimp that can survive in harder water.
95% confident bee shrimp could be bred to handle hard water <100 generations.
85% confident you could NOT breed bee shrimp to handle >80 degrees in <1,000 generations
90% confident you could NOT breed neos to handle typical bee paramters in <1,000 generations
Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompous fools -- guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus -- THAT, I CANNOT STAND! -Richard Feynman