How to Grade your Cherry Shrimp
Over time, the grading of some of the offspring of your red cherry shrimp might look different. This is from dominant and recessive genes, or commonly known as mutation. When trying to grade your shrimp, there is somewhat of a standard chart nowadays for cherry shrimp to give you an idea of how pure your little shrimplets are. You can see from the chart below how a low grade cherry can have a HUGE difference compared to a Painted Fire Red Shrimp (which is also a cherry shrimp).
Why are these higher grades more valuable?
Well just like anything, it’s all about supply and demand – well, actually more about rarity. Breeding a red cherry shrimp grade to painted fire is extremely difficult for hobbyists that are just starting out. You need a lot of tanks to be able to selectively breed the most prominent shrimp together, creating a better strain of color. But throughout the process, you are able to sell your culled shrimp to other hobbyists for a profit and hopefully upgrade your breeding environment.
How do I get a grade of Painted Fire Red Shrimp?
Of course, everyone wants the most beautiful looking cherry shrimp they can have and there are a couple of ways you can go about getting your own to this grade.
- (easy route) Purchase a few higher grade ones and hope they reproduce quickly.
- (novice route) Purchase one or two of the higher grade shrimps and introduce them into your colony. Then you will have to start selectively breeding the colony to create your own Painted Red Fire Shrimp
- (pro route) Start with standard low grade cherry/sakura shrimp and get really technically with your select breeding. This could take a couple of years before you start seeing Fire Red Grade or hopefully Painted Fire Red.
It really all just depends on your budget and how much time you like to spend on the hobby. The great thing about Red Cherry Shrimp is if you have enough space in the aquarium, they will breed like rabbits. You just want to make sure they are breeding with the most prominent shrimp, which requires selective breeding in different tanks, or breeder boxes.