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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of picking up another aquatic hobby, and I would be interested in breeding a species of shrimp that is in demand, and that I could easily sell. Im willing to invest the startup costs to do it right, and am perfectly willing to fail a bunch before getting it right.

For those experienced with freshwater dwarf shrimp, what species would you say has the best mix of demand, value, and potential upside? There are so many different species to look at with just Cardina that it's getting to be pretty daunting. Add in all of the different Neo's with completely different parameters, and I don't even know where to start. I remember a seeing some species going for hundreds of dollars each, but it looks like that ship has sailed.

I really want to stick to a single species to start with, though. I don't want to have to have two completely different setups for two different shrimp, so I gotta pick just one =(
 

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Neos have all the same parameters.

Caridinas however, do not.... They very from soft, freshwater species to brackish water.


Neos will be your best bet.... more specifically? Red Neos.... best to start out with PFR's... but you want to find a breeder of them, do not buy imported shrimp - for best chance of success.


The shrimp that sell for hundreds? Those would be Caridina hybrids of specific colors and patterns... I saw someone share photos of two shrimp they purchased.... $500. Each. And that was the "friends" price... aka not retail price!


People want cheap and colorful though.... and Neos are more forgiving than Caridina are.... if you can get a thriving colony going..... have had no luck there... I actually recommend tigers for beginners... but tigers aren't as popular as neos are.... and Neos are rather fast breeders and fast growers...
 

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Neos would be best to start with most likely. Easy to breed and pretty forgiving on water parameters. Red seems really popular, not sure if it's because they usually are less expensive or they just really show up nice in the tank.

I don't sell any, so can't offer any advice on profitablilty. I'm willing to bet there's people on these forums with some real experience on selling, shipping etc..
 
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Agreed that Neos are the best to start with. But if you already have experience I'd say that Caridinas (specifically, crystal shrimp like crystal red shrimp, blue bolts, etc.) may give you better bang for your buck. However the most challenging (and therefore most lucrative) shrimp would probably be the Sulawesi shrimp.

If you're really crazy (like me), then you could try breeding the larger species of shrimp like vampire, filter feeding, or other shrimp like those. They're a bit too cockroachy for me, so I'm going to stick with my amano breeding attempts. They sell cheap, but they also produce hundreds of eggs per spawn. If you could get like a 50% success rate, I'm willing to bet that you'd be able to make a decent amount of money from it. That being said...amanos do require you to put in work and learn stuff, like how to make a kreisel, culturing phytoplankton (NOT greenwater), and other saltwater y things.
 

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Agreed that Neos are the best to start with. But if you already have experience I'd say that Caridinas (specifically, crystal shrimp like crystal red shrimp, blue bolts, etc.) may give you better bang for your buck. However the most challenging (and therefore most lucrative) shrimp would probably be the Sulawesi shrimp.

If you're really crazy (like me), then you could try breeding the larger species of shrimp like vampire, filter feeding, or other shrimp like those. They're a bit too cockroachy for me, so I'm going to stick with my amano breeding attempts. They sell cheap, but they also produce hundreds of eggs per spawn. If you could get like a 50% success rate, I'm willing to bet that you'd be able to make a decent amount of money from it. That being said...amanos do require you to put in work and learn stuff, like how to make a kreisel, culturing phytoplankton (NOT greenwater), and other saltwater y things.
How does the amano breeding work out, I’ve always been curious about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
However the most challenging (and therefore most lucrative) shrimp would probably be the Sulawesi shrimp.
What's challenging about them? From what I've read, it's all about stability. I'm kinda the guy who's done a lot of reading, but not a lot of doing. I'm not sure what (in practice) is difficult.
 

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If I were setting up a breeding for profit system I would make tubs outside with a 4 season greenhouse overtop. I've read (and watched some youtubes) that claim the shrimp hold color better when they are getting natural sunlight. And they definitely breed better outdoors. Since they can handle pretty cold temperatures this is probably your best bet. The biggest issue you will have by far is figuring out how to offload them. I mean lets say you have 100 good quality shrimp of X species ready to go. Where do you sell 100 good quality shrimp? If you walk into your local fish store you will get pennies on the dollar and maybe that only in store credit as well. If you sell them online you end up with people buying them in tiny batches and needing to pay shipping equal in cost to the shrimp themselves.. I haven't really found a good solution for this yet without going so big on production that you can actually open up a full size online store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've already been in contact with a few LFS's in NYC, and have at least a few that are interested in monthly quantities. I **think I'll be able to get rid of quite a few, and if I start getting overrun, I don't mind throwing culls in my 125.
 

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I've already been in contact with a few LFS's in NYC, and have at least a few that are interested in monthly quantities. I **think I'll be able to get rid of quite a few, and if I start getting overrun, I don't mind throwing culls in my 125.
In that case definitely look into setting up outdoor bins for breeding. Rachel O'Leary has some videos discussing her own setup for shrimp and I know there are a bunch more out there as well. For selling to LFS red neocaridina and blue neocaridina are almost certainly going to be the most requested and easiest to raise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think my concern with Neos is that there just isn't enough "meat left on the bone" to make it worth while. Selling 100 shrimp at $1 each just doesn't seem like it's worth the effort.
 

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I think my concern with Neos is that there just isn't enough "meat left on the bone" to make it worth while. Selling 100 shrimp at $1 each just doesn't seem like it's worth the effort.
Depends on the quality of the shrimp for what the LFS will give you. They do breed easier and are easier to keep. If you go with the other species you will need to do RODI and monitor them much closer. More money to be had per shrimp but fewer buyers.

I think you might be approaching this from the wrong direction. If your primary way of selling them is to the LFS, I'd go to them and ask them what they want to get in and how much they are willing to pay for them and if this has historically remained true. Meaning today they need red neocaridina but 5 months ago they really needed some red crystals, etc. Because it will be months and months before you can offer anything to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Depends on the quality of the shrimp for what the LFS will give you. They do breed easier and are easier to keep. If you go with the other species you will need to do RODI and monitor them much closer. More money to be had per shrimp but fewer buyers.

I think you might be approaching this from the wrong direction. If your primary way of selling them is to the LFS, I'd go to them and ask them what they want to get in and how much they are willing to pay for them and if this has historically remained true. Meaning today they need red neocaridina but 5 months ago they really needed some red crystals, etc. Because it will be months and months before you can offer anything to them.
That's a really great point. My day job involves selling catalog products, so that's been my angle. "I have this available at $xxx / ea. Is that something you would be interested in?" Looking at it from the other point of view, basically "making product to order", makes it much simpler. I don't need to worry as much that I'm "producing" something nobody wants.
 

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Specialty shrimp such as those with patterns and grades will net you the most profit per shrimp. You won't turn a quick buck breeding Neos or regular Bees.

If anything, the prolific and easy breeding of Neos are why they are so cheap and available. Nowadays, the highest price you'll find is about $6 a Neo, and that's usually double or triple the average price. If you sell them at $3 a shrimp, factor in the cost of shipping, there is barely any net profit.

Even most Bee strains only sell for $6-$9 per shrimp nowadays. Blue bolts used to be $70 a pop, now they're $7 each.

You're better off just breeding for fun. Maybe sell cheap shrimp to expand the hobby?
 

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How does the amano breeding work out, I’ve always been curious about it.
Basically: once the female's eggs are about to hatch, you isolate her, let her release her brood, and within 12 hours of releasing, remove the female and acclimate the larvae to saltwater, feed them with phytoplankton, and then wait for them to metamorphosize, and then grow out.
What's challenging about them? From what I've read, it's all about stability. I'm kinda the guy who's done a lot of reading, but not a lot of doing. I'm not sure what (in practice) is difficult.
I'm in the same boat. The same could be said of Caridinas and Neos as well. But seems to me that you have high startup costs (shrimp die, and the shrimp are already expensive) compared to the other shrimp previously listed.
 

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Neos aren't worthwhile since everyone either breeds their own or imports mass bred batches from Asia, especially with the stores in NYC. If you want to make a profit, go with Caridinas, specifically higher end taiwan bees and fancy tiger hybrids like fishbones and pintos.
 

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I've been selling culls from my 10g RCS tank for about a year now. I don't actively breed to sell, I just cull occasionally and sell off the culls on Kijiji.

I bought my first 11 RCS from a local breeder at $3 each. Since then, I've sold maybe 100-150 shrimp in total at an average of $2 per shrimp.

I would suggest that you hop online and see what's in demand in your local FB Marketplace/Craigslist/OfferUp etc. Then compare with what's available in your local pet stores. Because most of my local stores sell RCS at $4-5 each, it's easy for me to sell culls at $2 each.

If you do decide to breed for profit, I would also ensure that the tank is setup in such a way that it is easy to net the shrimps. In my tank it's a little harder because of the hardscape and the plants I have to be careful around. If I were to set up a separate tank just for breeding, I'd probably do a 20-40 gallon filtered with a sponge filter or a small HOB with a prefilter on the intake pipe. I'd do a carpet of s. repens and toss in a few cut sections of PVC pipes to make the shrimp feel safe and encourage breeding.
 
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