A quick web search for ‘dwarf shrimp’ will produce images of these red and white candy caned beauties. Colors that are unbelievably vibrant and rarely found in the freshwater hobby. Caridina cf. cantonensis bee’s are often shown grazing on foreground plants in a planted aquarium or shown in the feeding ball frenzy. The emergence of this red variant of the wild bee shrimp came from the exhaustive breeding efforts of one man.
Hisayasu Suzuki, sushi chef by trade, kept and bred wild caught bee shrimp
which are banded with black stripes. In 1991, he noticed a mutation in his colony where 1 out of a thousand exhibited a new red color replacing the black bands and soon took up the challenge to breed and strengthen the recessive trait. Although the original 1 had died, 3 others had emerged in the thousands he bred and were used for his selective breeding project. After many generations of selective breeding from redder offspring, he finally arrived at the true red bee.
The “Crystal Red” name patent was awarded then published in Japan on May 17th, 1996 accrediting him for successfully stabilizing the recessive selection of the red gene in the Caridina cf. cantonensis ‘bee’ shrimp. The next time you see a Crystal Red Shrimp (or Red Bee Shrimp in Japan), remember Hisayasu and his gift to this wonderful hobby.
The breeding facilities
No shrimp article would be complete without quoting their ideal parameters.
Crystal Red Shrimp/Red Bee and Crystal Black Shrimp/Black Bee:
PH: 6.2 – 6.6
KH: 0 – 2
GH: 4 – 6
TDS: 100 – 180
Water temp: 21 – 23C (69.8-73.4F)
Strive for these water parameters to see them at their best. Keeping water parameters beyond these extremes will eventually compromise their health, shell quality and longevity.
Please be a responsible hobbyist.
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