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 For all my Shrimp Freaks

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KMX
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PostSubject: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime2/28/2011, 9:50 am

For all my Shrimp Freaks Shrimp10
Copyright ©️ Chris Lukhaup

Chris Lukhaup visits China and Hong Kong to examine and photograph the elusive and protected natural habitats of most of the shrimps we see in the trade.

Of the shrimps in the hobby, most are found in South China. Until now little was known of their biotopes and living conditions and most information was gleaned simply from aquarists’ experience. Reason enough then for the Crusta10 team of Werner Klotz, Andreas Karge and myself to head east to get a privileged insight into the natural conditions of their remote hideaways.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Shrimp11

Bee, Bumblebee and Tiger shrimp, all widespread in the hobby, originate from the province of Guangdong (Canton) in South China where they live in headwaters of small mountain rivulets. Other species are also there but less interesting in coloration and/or pattern.

Many are only known from scientific descriptions, others are unknown and probably yet to be scientifically described.

The Crystal Red shrimp also has origins here, its ancestors living in a rivulet in Greater Hong Kong. However, you’ll look in vain for photographic evidence or for water parameters of this habitat!

With the help of Ping Yiu Tang, a fish wholesaler from China who was our interpreter and guide, we visited some small brooks, previously kept secret by insiders, to gather data with the help of his local shrimp collectors and to film the habitat.

We flew to Hong Kong and first visited Mr. Tang’s farm just over the border in China, where some 8,000 shrimp caught by his collectors are temporarily housed and prepared for export to Europe and Japan.

They are kept in large tiled concrete basins, and animals from different locations sitting together in one tank are not exceptional. This means that several species may be put into one bag, which makes identification difficult.

Next day we made a three-hour drive to the long-promised habitat. The rivulet we visited is among mountains near the city of Heyuan and belongs to the owners of the huge Xingfeng Jiang reservoir. This remote corner is also home to Caridina meridonialis, a Bumblebee shrimp only recently described.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Shhrrm10

Appeasing the god
However, the collector said that to catch shrimp we had to get the mountain god’s permission. So we climbed for one and a half hours through mixed tropical forest to offer sacrifice with candles, rice wine and fireworks on a centuries-old altar. This appeased the god and enabled us to collect shrimp!

After the ceremony we descended for about 30 minutes until reaching a small, clear rivulet in the forest where we could see black and white Bumblebee shrimp.

They were mainly in shallow areas along the bank and not shy — probably due to the fact that there are no predators, like fish or waterfowl. There were also stray colourless shrimp, which, though still unidentified, might belong to the group of C. serrata or C. cantonensis. The Bumblebees were C. meridionalis, as expected.

After filming and photographing we took some water parameter figures from the habitat. The brook was about 1m/39" wide, slow-flowing and had a temperature of 16°C/61°F. There was no detectable carbonate hardness and conductivity was only 12 µS, while the pH was only 5.8. The habitat therefore had all the typical characteristics of a softwater brook.

On the banks of the heavily shaded rivulet were interesting ferns and mosses. In the brook itself, with rocky to sandy ground, we could not find any waterplants or mosses. There were vast amounts of fallen leaves in the larger pools, though, and this is where we found most shrimp.

The next rivulet was also quite remote but easier to reach. Here we also found dwarf shrimp with black and white stripes, even though their pattern was a little different. The habitat was comparable to the first, but the riverbank plants seemed to grow more densely here.

The brook’s water parameters were even more extreme than those of the first habitat. Water temperature was the same, but conductivity was only 7 µS, as taken with our pocket conductivity meters. However, the pH of 5.4 backed this finding and indicated the lack of any hardness buffers. We did not find any acid-binding capacity (ABC, KH) with our drip tests, even with the double amount of water. We could say the shrimp here live in pure rainwater.

Driving coastwards to the border between China, Macao and Hong Kong we collected in a small brook, winding around large granite blocks in an amusement park. A few metres upstream we could see blueish-grey shrimp and Werner assumed they might belong to the genus Neocaridina, as many females had a broad stripe along their backs and looked very much like those exported from Hong Kong as Neocaridina sp.

However, Werner and Andreas later discovered that these had to belong to the group related to C. serrata and C. cantonensis. Later, at home, they corroborated this finding under the microscope.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Shp_310

Much to our surprise, we found another shrimp species with dark and light bands. The younger animals particularly showed a very clear black and white pattern. Some were even blue and white, and quite different from those collected at Xingfeng Jiang reservoir a few days earlier.

We later found that the blue and white as well as the black and white shrimp belong to a species of the C. serrata group, which therefore makes them a distant relative of our Bee shrimp.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Shp410

It’s possible that we have now found the shrimp that Taiwanese and Japanese breeders used to create the Red bee shrimp.

We also saw professional collectors looking for shrimp in this brook. It is highly probable then that animals from this location were mixed with other species in the wholesalers' tanks and so made their way into the hobby.

Nearly always working in full sun we were able to find shrimp in this habitat in nooks and crannies of granite rocks where they were searching for food on the sandy to rocky bottom. They were well camouflaged by their pattern and much more shy than their congeners in the forest rivulets. One reason might be because of the fish we detected in this brook.

However, the banded shrimp were less common than the uniformly greyish-blue ones. With the brook in full sun, without any riverbank forest for protection, water temperature was 22°C/72°F and significantly higher than the rivulets. However, the water was very soft, conductivity was 32 µS and we could not detect any KH. The pH was 6.0.


For all my Shrimp Freaks S_wate10

Easier habitats
After our experience in China, the Hong Kong habitats seemed a lot easier to find. Shrimp are even said to live in the small park brooks within the city itself.

Four species are currently known from there: C. serrata, C. trifasciata, C. cantonensis and C. apodosis — and all belong to the group of C. serrata.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Shp_510

When the shrimp hobby started to boom, Bees were named Caridina serrata as it was then unknown that they might belong to a completely new species. The true C. serrata (above) is transparent to greyish or reddish brown, has irregular dark lateral bands and looks totally different to the black and white banded Bee shrimp.

It’s highly unlikely that these shrimp have already made it into the hobby. The species is endemic on Hong Kong island where it lives in small mountain brooks carrying water year round. You can find large numbers, often where a lot of dead leaves have accumulated.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Snail10

Water temperatures of these brooks were quite coolish at 18-19°C/64-66°F. A small, slow-flowing rivulet had a low conductivity of 80 µS and a pH of just under 6. Here we also found other inverts like Brotia hainanensis (above) a snail species common in Hong Kong, and a hitherto unidentified crab species.



For all my Shrimp Freaks Shp610

In the estuaries in the east of the New Territories we stopped by a small river in the tidal zone that had little water at this time of day. We caught a Caridina species under some rocks that science has labelled C. elongopoda, which, however, shows clear differences compared with the true C. elongopoda from Malaysia, according to Klotz and Karge. A more thorough examination might be necessary to place these animals in the right species.

We were also able to catch several Macrobrachium and a Palaemon shrimp species. We also collected nerite snails of the genus Clithon on the algae-covered rocks. These snails are variable in colour and vast numbers of their egg cocoons were the rocks. The banks were strewn with crab caves, but we did not see any crabs.

The water in this area, about 500m/1,640’ from the estuary, was slightly brackish with a conductivity of 1,120 µS, at a temperature of 19°C/66°F and slightly acidic pH of 6.8.

When following this brook up to the mountainous forest area the conditions changed. The water body was heavily shaded, slow-flowing and there were masses of dead leaves on the bottom.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Shp710

Here we found Caridina cantonensis, the most common species on Hong Kong island. Some are reddish yellow, some rather blueish with a red-brown dotted pattern. The higher you climb, the stronger the current, the steeper the rivulet’s gradient, the more shrimp can be found. They look very much like Red tail shrimp already in the hobby.

These shrimp shared their habitat with some Brotia hainanensis and a Macrobrachium longarm shrimp not yet identified. There were also fish in these waters, among them a loach species identified as Liniparhomaloptera disparis and a small goby with a bright orange dorsal fin from the genus Rhinogobius. The water up there was around 2°C cooler than in the brackish area, pH was 6.4, and there was no detectable KH.

Next day we went to the eastern part of the New Territories where Tang wanted to show us a rivulet where he used to collect shrimp and where Caridina as well as a Macrobrachium species could be found.


For all my Shrimp Freaks Lobste10

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whisper
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whisper

Posts : 1990
Location : Euless, Texas
Favorite Fish: : Betta's,Fancy Guppies, Plecos, kio.

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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime2/28/2011, 10:20 am

Very interesting. Thanks KMX.
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CajunGator
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Location : New Iberia, Louisiana
Favorite Fish: : Cichlids, WC Syn Petricola, Shellies, Festae, Mbu Puffers, Koi Angels, ABN, Piranha, Mermaids

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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime2/28/2011, 10:23 am

awesome article... very informative and wow such COLOURS......
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Keelo
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime2/28/2011, 10:34 pm

Love this ive been getting into shrimp lately i think they are so neat to watch. Maybe one day ill set up a tank for them :)
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/1/2011, 1:21 am

Now that's a great article. Thanks Kory.
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James0816
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/1/2011, 6:03 am

Nice read
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2SciCrazed
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/1/2011, 6:59 pm

Very informative! Thanks for sharing...
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Ben
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/1/2011, 9:15 pm

Thanx for the read Kory.

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For all my Shrimp Freaks CMSIG
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newkid
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 11:22 am

thanks i would love to own those blue ones very beautiful
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CajunGator
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 11:44 am

whole new world for the aquarium... exotic shrimps
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Holey Rock of Texas
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 11:47 am

there are so many. i liked it when i had my planted tank. the shrimp use to school together.

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For all my Shrimp Freaks Sig-HoleyRockcopy

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KMX
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 12:03 pm

I want some of those green ones James has. drool

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James0816
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 12:07 pm

KMX wrote:
I want some of those green ones James has. drool

Soon .... beddy soon. I'm actually thinking about offering up a small group within the next couple of days. ;o)
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KMX
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 12:10 pm

hi

Line starts here. rolling eye

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Ryan H
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 12:26 pm

Sorry, I'm all but completely ignorant of these little guys - these are freshwater shrimp?

They're beautiful, though that last guy with the pincers kinda bothers me.
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rchan
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 6:43 pm

Ryan H wrote:
Sorry, I'm all but completely ignorant of these little guys - these are freshwater shrimp?

They're beautiful, though that last guy with the pincers kinda bothers me.

They're all freshwater.
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CajunGator
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 10:21 pm

wow, i love the blues.... awesome... i want some!
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For all my Shrimp Freaks LSU_CajunGator
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Ben
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime3/31/2011, 10:28 pm

The green ones James has are awesome looking.

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For all my Shrimp Freaks CMSIG
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proyect01
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime4/1/2011, 12:14 am

really good article !!!
that longarm in the last picture ... drool
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Startingover365
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Posts : 6
Location : Dallas,Tx.
Favorite Fish: : Dwarf Shrimp,Dwarf Crayfish,it is amazing to watch the shrimp and crays on a daily basis

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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime5/5/2011, 9:25 pm

Man nice reading,very helpful..glad I joined
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Madmax0r
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Location : Austin Texas
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime5/5/2011, 10:04 pm

That shrimp with the long front claws is pretty amazing
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cwhip
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime5/6/2011, 6:52 am

shrimp are cool! here is a pic of a cleaner I've had for about 3 years he's huge:)
his body is 3 1/2 - 4 inches and his tentacles span is close to 8 inches. he's really friendly and love to crawl all over your hands he give great manicures too:)
For all my Shrimp Freaks 008-35

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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime7/12/2012, 11:54 pm

great article, thanks for sharing
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ilikeendlers
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PostSubject: Re: For all my Shrimp Freaks   For all my Shrimp Freaks Icon_minitime7/24/2012, 11:19 pm

Beautiful pictures and definitely a great source of information.
Thanks
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