red cherry shrimp color

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etspam

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Feb 11, 2007
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Hi all-

I bought (online order) of RCS years ago. These weren't sakura rated, just plain RCS (and they were red). Most died, but the few that survived, bred. And bred. And bred. It's been years and many generations since then, and the colors are mostly grey or some speckled red. Occasionally will have rated sakura grade, but also black and white-ish (albino I assume). This is all genetics I assume, but I have a higher proportion of grey/dark grey than anything else. My question is is there a way to get more red colored RCS by diet or some other method? They mostly subsist on fish flake leavings, shrimp pellets, and the occasional dead fish. I tried breeding for a while by putting redder/red shrimp together in a small breeding enclosure, but it didn't seem to make a huge amount of difference, I still got varying colors. Or maybe I just wasn't dedicated enough in taking out the non-red ones? Fresh blood might help, but given I have hundreds in my tank of varying colors, I'd have to separate them out from the rest. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

ET
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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That is pretty neat. I don't have anything to add other than I also had RCS for around 7yrs. I started with 10 from a LFS (that's long gone) and they continuously bred. I had them in all my tanks at some points. I never had any variants of color that I noticed. They were all the same shade of red, with the females being larger and more red.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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My experiences with RCS were much like FF's, not top grade fire reds or anything special. I never saw other colors than red, males paler...until I was given some "mutt" neo shrimp. 1 was a spectacular turquoise color but they ended up more like brownish tan striped "natural" color shrimp in a different tank than "red".

I think you will have to select some for red color. If you have fish that will eat the "culls" (less colorful), there you go, that's what I'd do. It's going to take a long while to fix your color problem is my guess.
 
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etspam

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Feb 11, 2007
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Hm, not sure then. I've had them at least 5-6 yrs, and although they started mostly red, I have the whole spectrum from black-dark grey-light grey-spotted red, and (a very few) sakura rated. Plus those white-ish (but not pure white) albino ones. It used to be more red, now it's gone more grey. My original ones were bought from someone on aquabid, since none of the LFS had any for sale. My tank only had an assortment of community fish, but now only has guppies. Nothing eats the babies, hence the current population of several hundred (probably). I've sold them on the side to lower the population over the past 4 yrs at least.

This is why I was wondering if maybe it was a diet thing, like they had to eat something specific to maintain their color - I used to do only fish flakes, and some algae wafers, and switched to shrimp pellets at some point when I got assassin snails to control a snail infestation from some java ferns I purchased.
 

etspam

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Feb 11, 2007
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Now that I've had some time to search online, there's some suggestions for maybe boiled carrot to give them carotene for coloration. Or other types of fish food. I use Tetracolor fish flakes in general, which has increased pigmentation, but there's also Astaxanthin products. I guess it doesn't help that I have white/blue gravel, some sites say that darker colors will help, because the shrimp will change colors over time to blend with background. But I've had it since the beginning, so I don't think that's much of a factor?
 

Gumby131

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Feb 4, 2006
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I've had the opposite with colour.
Actually purchased a batch of culls about 3 years ago. They were dull and not very red at all. They are in a shrimp only heavily planted tank along with some river prawns and other native Australian shrimp.
They have bred themselves into a brilliant bright red. I'd probably put them at a bloody mary grade.
They are the only species of thier genus in the tank so cross breeding is impossible.
I feed mine a variety of pallets, and occasionally a small bit of meat or vegetable, every couple of months I'll drop some in the tank.
It may be the the more colourful individuals had more luck in mating, or could just be by sheer luck.
 
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