Freshwater Shrimp and Cross-breeding - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question Freshwater Shrimp and Cross-breeding

I'm working to stock a 29g planted community tank and have been contemplating adding shrimp for a while now. Currently, there are aout 15 MTS, a bunch of ramshorn and bladder snails, 2 nerites, a mystery snail, a school or corys (6), and a school of lambchop rasboras (8). The plants, driftwood, and snails have been in the tank since July, but the fish are recent (~2 weeks) additions. Substrate is Caribsea Supernaturals Sunset Gold sand. I have two HOB filters (Aquaclear 70 and Penguin 200) that have sponges on their intakes and soap dishes filled with Matrix to baffle the spillways. Water parameters are all stable. I'm going to test after work today and can update the post with numbers. As someone who would be new to keeping shrimp, I think it's best for me to stick to neocaridinas for now, as they seem to be best for beginners. I do have a couple questions.

First and foremost, should I wait for my tank to mature longer before adding shrimp? I know they are sensitive to changing water parameters, and have all the necessary items to drip acclimate them for as long as necessary. Secondly, there are so many colors to choose from that I've been hard-pressed to settle on just one. I think the bloody mary, orange pumpkin, snowball, and red/black rili all look stunning. I've read that having multiple colonies of different breeds can lead to cross-breeding and ultimately having them revert back to the more natural color of the wild form. But I've also read that some shrimp won't cross breed. I'm assuming this is because they're actually different species? Will all colors/types of neocaridina davidi cross-breed, or are their certain colors that stick to themselves? Finally are the rili varieties, or any certain colors, any less hardy or more difficult to keep? I'd probably want to avoid them for my first foray.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 02:27 PM
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All colours of neocardina will interbreed. Rilis are also a type of neocardina only.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 02:32 PM
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I personally give my tanks 90 days before adding shrimp; I err on the side of caution after a losing few new batches over the years. At 60 days, roughly where this tank is, I'd think you would have a mature enough tank but the risk is higher than it would be if you waited. All Neo cultivars will cross with each other. I'd be inclined to pick your favorite and go with those. Cull tanks can be fun in their own right too, but it won't be a tank full of Skittles a year from now. Maybe 20% of the adults in my cull tanks are what most would call desirable shrimp but it's always neat when a bright red or such grows up among them. I haven't noticed a difference in overall hardiness but oranges and yellows seem to populate tanks the fastest and blues throw the most culls in my own colonies.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sudhirr View Post
All colours of neocardina will interbreed. Rilis are also a type of neocardina only.


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Thanks. So it sounds like I should stick to one type or run the risk of having them all revert to the more natural/wild coloration.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 02:40 PM
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Not all Neocaridina are davidi.... but yes, if it's a Neocaridina, it will cross.

Since you have fish, I would actually recommend adding amanos to the tank instead. They are larger and more likely to not get eaten by fish. If you end up with shrimp of opposite sex, you'll have free fish food, too...


As for the Neocaridina.... set up a shrimp only tank. Preferably at least a 10 gallon tank. Add whatever colors you would like to to that tank. You can use a sponge filter to filter the tank. Once that colony takes off, you can use shrimp from that colony to stock the community tank. Shrimp that revert to wild color are more likely to survive in the tank if they can blend in, but you could put any color in there that you wish from your breeding colony.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by darrylzuk View Post
Thanks. So it sounds like I should stick to one type or run the risk of having them all revert to the more natural/wild coloration.

Wild types, odd ball colorations are fun too. But yes you should stick to a single type.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Not all Neocaridina are davidi.... but yes, if it's a Neocaridina, it will cross.

Since you have fish, I would actually recommend adding amanos to the tank instead. They are larger and more likely to not get eaten by fish. If you end up with shrimp of opposite sex, you'll have free fish food, too...


As for the Neocaridina.... set up a shrimp only tank. Preferably at least a 10 gallon tank. Add whatever colors you would like to to that tank. You can use a sponge filter to filter the tank. Once that colony takes off, you can use shrimp from that colony to stock the community tank. Shrimp that revert to wild color are more likely to survive in the tank if they can blend in, but you could put any color in there that you wish from your breeding colony.

I know that I'd be running a risk with having the fish, but I thought that would only be for the shrimplets, and would provide a form of population control. Are the espei rasboras and cory cats big enough to prey on the larger/adult shrimp?


At some point I want to add a mid/top dwelling centerpiece fish, maybe a gourami (pearl, honey, or dwarf) or a betta, which are larger and much more likely to hunt the shrimp. I know the betta specifically will be more of a challenge and I would need a second tank/backup plan if his temperament is to stalk and kill everything in the tank. But for now, wouldn't all the current tank mates coexist? I find the neo's more attractive, but certainly would look to getting a larger variety if they will all become snacks for the fish.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 08:01 PM
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You didn't mention the species of cory cats that you have.... if it's the larger species, then they are more likely to snarf up a shrimp, even if accidentally, than say, a smaller species.

Doing a community tank, it's actually recommended to start with shrimp first, and get them breeding and going months before introducing the fish. Since you did fish first, it's possible that once you do introduce shrimp, they might not really breed all that much, if at all, so it might be harder to establish a shrimp population.

Heavy cover is also best for chance of shrimplet survival.


Just some things to consider moving forward.
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breeding, cherry shrimp, community tank, neocaridina, shrimp

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