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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve been keeping crystal red shrimp for nearly a year now. I started out with some low grade crystal reds from a couple US hobbyists and kept them in a 5 gallon tank. They seemed to do well but did not breed at all even though a few females did carry eggs for short periods of time. I eventually moved them all to a 20 gallon tank and had it heavily planted with DIY C02 and they breed readily and I ended up with quite a few offspring from each batch.

A few months ago, I imported roughly 35 very high grade crystal reds from a hobbyist in Singapore and introduced them to my existing breeding stock. It’s been a few months and I’m finally seeing females carrying eggs. I’m excited to see how the offspring turn out.

I have quite a bit of experience with cherry shrimp and much of it translated to the methods I used with my crystal reds. However, I’ve learned a few things along the way that may be helpful to people that want to give crystal red shrimp a try. Crystal red shrimp are pretty easy to keep, but they will do much better if you do a few things differently compared to cherry shrimp.

Here is what has worked for me and what I suggest for other people if they want to try their hand at breeding crystal red shrimp

1. Tank size should be at least 20 gallons. I did not have much luck breeding them in smaller tanks.
2. Temp should be between 71-75F. Many people will keep crystal reds with cherries at higher temps (78F+), which is fine…but crystal reds display the best colors at lower temps and they tend to breed more readily at lower temps. I found this out after experimenting and having a lot of females carry eggs at 78.5F but very few off spring.
3. Moderate water hardness seems to work the best for robust breeding and coloration.
4. I highly recommend the addition of live plants to maintain good water quality and a natural environment.
5. Sponge filters are the best since they do not pose a danger to baby shrimp.
6. PH of 7.4 has worked well for me even though I’ve heard of breeders having success in acidic environments as well. I’m fairly certain crystal reds do NOT do well in very alkaline conditions.
7. Keep up with water changes! Crystal Red shrimp are HIGHLY prone to nitrate poisoning and they need good water to maintain good health and molting. I do weekly 30% water changes. I use plain tap water (moderate hardness, PH 7.6) and I treat it with declorinator (Amquel+ and Novaqua).
8. I use a little DIY Co2 just to keep the plants healthy and it helps to lower the PH slightly. Co2 is not necessary for successful breeding and poses little threat to crystal reds when used in moderation.
9. I use full spectrum lighting...10 hours a day on a timer.
10. I DO NOT dose liquid iodine as the shrimp will get all they need from a proper diet.
11. I feed them HBH Vegetable Wafers and HBC Crab & Lobster Bites exclusively. Any invertebrate food will suffice as long as it does not contain any large amounts of copper (READ those labels!). I will occasionally drop in a piece of boiled vegetable (squash or spinach). I feed my shrimp once a day in very small amounts.

The bottom line is you can keep Crystal Red shrimp in similar conditions as other common freshwater dwarf shrimp. However, the keys to successful breeding will depend heavily upon temperature and water quality.

I hope I haven't forgotten anything. Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions or would like to provide your experiences. I’m still learning and would appreciate the feedback and advice as well. Thanks!


Here are a few websites with grading information:

http://www.tonina-forest.net/tonina/crs/crs08.htm

http://www.shrimpnow.com/modules.php?name=Content&file=viewarticle&id=21

http://www.fishyou.com/shrimp-crs.php/

Update with a few pics (sorry for the poor quality):

















Here are some pics from this afternoon. I'm trying out a new food item and they seem to like it. :)


 

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There is no difference between the care of CRS and Cherries is there? It seems like all of the Caridina "family" would require the same conditions.
 

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Now if I can only get my hands on some CRS. :) I can put all this great advice to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
co2 said:
There is no difference between the care of CRS and Cherries is there? It seems like all of the Caridina "family" would require the same conditions.

Well...the entire point of my write-up is there are subtle differences and they need to be observed if you want to breed crystal reds.
 

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Oh how I covet your shrimp! With my luck lately I'm lucky I have anything moving around in my tanks! Do you have any pics of your CRS?

Offtopic (sorta), but will cherries breed in small tanks? I have a 5 gallon laying around I am keeping some endler fry in that I would like to breed some cherries in.
 

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Kyle said:
Oh how I covet your shrimp! With my luck lately I'm lucky I have anything moving around in my tanks! Do you have any pics of your CRS?

Offtopic (sorta), but will cherries breed in small tanks? I have a 5 gallon laying around I am keeping some endler fry in that I would like to breed some cherries in.

They will breed in a 5G tank
 

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There is no difference between the care of CRS and Cherries is there?
I wouldn't think so either.

I never saw the "mystery" behind Cherry shrimp propagation. I use the word "propagate" as opposed to "breeding" because breeding implies there is some special hand in the process by the hobbyist. I just put the shrimp in an aquarium with plenty of fine leaved plants (heavily planted) for the shrimp to graze over, and kept the aquarium free of shrimpy predators and let them be. The shrimp propagate prolifically. I think "free of predators" is the key for some. ;)

I am certain I'd be able to do the same with CRS and Bee shrimp.

Mike
 

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Momotaro said:
I wouldn't think so either.

I never saw the "mystery" behind Cherry shrimp propagation. I use the word "propagate" as opposed to "breeding" because breeding implies there is some special hand in the process by the hobbyist. I just put the shrimp in an aquarium with plenty of fine leaved plants (heavily planted) for the shrimp to graze over, and kept the aquarium free of shrimpy predators and let them be. The shrimp propagate prolifically. I think "free of predators" is the key for some. ;)

I am certain I'd be able to do the same with CRS and Bee shrimp.

Mike
If bee is not the same as bumblebee they are more difficult to keep alive and breed than cherry red. They are more susceptible to nitrates than cherry and their water temp and alkalinity is lower than cherry red. That is my experience
 

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When are you going to be selling crystal reds vinnymac? ever since I got cherries from you I wa stricken with shrimp fever.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the great comments and questions. I'll continue to update this thread with information and pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm very pleased to report I've had a recent batch of new baby crystals. My females have been carrying eggs for several weeks and it's always difficult to keep track of which ones have released them since many look the same.

I noticed a few tiny baby crystals the other night and I ended observing my tank for nearly an hour counting the babies and verified there were at least 10 new ones. I'd say about 60% of them are very high grade like the parents and the remaining are only displaying moderate coloration.

It's amazing how vivid the colors on the babies can be even at a few days old. I'm in the process of clearing out my lower grade crystals to make more room for the really nice ones, so I'll post some pics if I can get some good shots. :thumbsup:
 

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I'm also interested in when you're ready to sell some CRs. I'd love a batch myself. I want to start a 5g shrimp tank. Right now I only have 3 shrimp in a 2.5g.
 

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I got mine and only one died woo hooo. Thanks vinny a few of these look like they arent such a bad grade. Though I am happy with my purchese and for the price wooo hooo how could you go wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
scrimp said:
I got mine and only one died woo hooo. Thanks vinny a few of these look like they arent such a bad grade. Though I am happy with my purchese and for the price wooo hooo how could you go wrong!

Glad to hear you received the package. Sorry to hear one died.

Yeah, a few of them are actually going to be better than grade C...so it works out nicely. :thumbsup:
 

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Hello Vinnymac,



Your article about your cherry shrimps is very well written. I am from Singapore and would you be kindly enough to let me know which hobbyist you imported the shrimps ? I am having some problem to get hold of these beautiful shrimps locally here in Singapore.



Hear from you soon and thank you.
 

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Hi Vinny,

Is there an easy way to tell a male from a female Crystal? I know I have lost 2 of the ones I received from you and can only find 3 remaining. I am afraid they are all females. Is there an easy way to tell them apart? If not, I quess I will have to get some more from you once the weather gets warmer.

Thanks
 
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