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Caridina cantonensis family tree

By rah-bop
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I have a confession: I really really really like.... shrimp. Shrimpkeeping is a thing. Boy is it ever.

There are many different kinds of shrimp that are kept in the hobby and their relationships to each other are sometimes complex and mysterious. In an effort to make it more clear I am trying to make family trees of some of the most common breeds starting with this species, Caridina cantonensis. This one shrimp is found with at least five different color morphs in the wild and from there hobbyists have selectively bred the crap out of it to create all of the different colors and patterns we have today. The beauty and variety make C. cantonensis a very popular shrimp.

Prints and posters of this diagram are available here.
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© 2013 - 2021 rah-bop
Comments41
anonymous's avatar
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Mechasupial's avatar
This is so lovely! ❤️ I absolutely love shrimp keeping! It's easily my biggest personal passion. They're so beautiful and calming. This chart is so well done and detailed. I know what I'll be buying for myself the next time I have $20.00 to spare. 
ShinrinToriyama's avatar
Thank you for making this!!! :D
pucknotsr's avatar
This is absolutely fantastic, I really appreciate the way you simplified a lot of the information on here.
No wonder it has become so popular in the shrimp-keeping community.
Mustaverikathi's avatar
wow, this is amazing !
QuillCoil's avatar
Reminds me of the ball python morph market, only even tinier and I had no idea this existed. Definitely gonna look into it just to see what its all about! Cuties ; ;
XXtraPrince's avatar
Are they bred for appearance, or for taste?
rah-bop's avatar
They are bred to be pets. They only grow to a maximum size of about one inch. Shelling them would be a pain!

I mean, you could still eat them if you wanted to, but I think it would cost you something like $8,000 per pound, and that's if you got one of the cheap ones.
tser's avatar
Oh this is absolutely adorable and a brilliant graphic. I LOVE SHRIMP! I actually lean more towards the Neocaridina but but but... I love them all. AUGH SHRIMP. Shrimp on treadmills. [link]
WindieDragon's avatar
And here I thought a clownfish breeding pair at $500 was crazy [link]
Who knew shrimp could be so expensive? :o
Foxfeather248's avatar
You are so awesome for putting this together! I adore shrimp - I've just got cherries at the moment but hope to keep crystal reds eventually :)
Nambroth's avatar
This is amazing! Why are you always so amazing. I think I am doomed to never breed these guys. My water is just too hard / too much TDS.
rah-bop's avatar
I'm doomed to never keep them because I don't think I could ever afford them. Until they are only a few dollars apiece I think I'm just going to have to settle for looking at photos of them on the internet.
bonefish's avatar
I want to say I once saw an auction where somebody paid $800 for a pair of black king kong shrimp.

Yep, here it is. Looks like I was wrong, it wasn't $800 for a pair, it was $800 a piece.
rah-bop's avatar
That's pretty crazy. Check out this article. I'm not sure if it's true or not but amazingly I can believe it.

If you can stand to wait a few years, the price comes down a lot as more people get them, and as people learn how to keep them better so they don't die so fast. One guy I know bought his first Crystal Red shrimp at $150 apiece back when they were new and rare. These days they are about $5.
bonefish's avatar
$ 8,500

I just

Wow. Those hobbyists must have a lot of disposable income to be able to drop upwards of 8k on a pair of finicky, short-lived crustaceans. At a minimum, it seems like a huge gamble... what if the shrimp die in transit? What if they don't like the new water conditions and instantly keel over? Money down the toilet, quite literally if the owner goes with the "flush the corpse" method.

So true. Once they proliferate the market and stop being such rarities -- and one more and more people breed them -- the prices will drop. It's almost like a shrimp-based pyramid scheme.

rah-bop's avatar
Well, the demand for new and exotic shrimp is pretty high. If you can set up a productive shrimp colony then those $8,500 shrimp become a business investment. Not that I'd do it!! I've killed enough shrimp to know how tricky they can be.
bonefish's avatar
Forget grants and fellowships, I think I've found how to fund my graduate school education + research!

... except that I live in a tiny studio and lack the space for any tank larger than about 5-8 gallons. DOH. That, and the water quality in this city is atrocious -- very hard with high TDS -- and it has a reputation for wrecking folks' aquariums. I get the feeling any shrimp colony outside of maaaaybe an RCS/CRS mix would crash and burn the moment the shrimp hit the water.
Nambroth's avatar
But you have CRS! I don't think I will ever have them breed for me.
bovidaeloony's avatar
This is amazing! I've always been stunned and confused by the different variety, this helps make so much more sense of it all. So many kinds I'd never heard of as well!

Though looking at the prices many of them sell for I choose to stick with my cherry shrimp :P Damn but these guys are gorgeous though.
shads's avatar
The blue shrimp are a thing? WHY ARE YOU NOT BREEDING THEM D8

[holy frig the cost on those show quality shrimp, people are insane o_o ]
rah-bop's avatar
Some of those blue ones are stupid expensive. Maybe someday, though!
grzanka's avatar
I had that obsession some time ago; right now it's just a matter of time when it'll come back, because on my new flat I want to start mini shrimp cube (5-8 gal) :)

Awesome sheet, I had no idea that now there are so many kinds!
Sejuay's avatar
I did not know you had this obsession!

This is an excellently-designed diagram and very colourful (obviously). I'm sure you could sell it to many people.
shads's avatar
... I was going to say something to you, then I decided it was dumb and changed my mind and scrolled to the bottom to that text box and tried to say that to Rah, but APPARENTLY DA decided it was going to say it to you instead D8
anonymous's avatar
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