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Hi,

 

I just started keeping shadow pandas. I got 6 two weeks ago and all are still alive. But 2 lost the blue color and is now just a regular panda. Don't mind as much as long as they are healthy, though I do love blue..

 

My questions are

  • Is this normal?
  • Should I be feeding a certain type of color enhancer?
  • Is this a stress indicator?
  • What would I need to breed them with to get more shadow pandas? Blue bolts or other shadow pandas?
  • Any tips?

 

Much appreciated for any feedback, Thank you

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I have shadow pandas (although they were advertised as regular pandas so it was a huge bonus for me to see how much blue color they came with) that lost a lot of their blue color as they got bigger. The parameters in the tank are stable and should be ideal, I feed them a variety of foods from well-known brands and take any extra food out if there's a lot left over, and I typically only do water changes once a month, or until the waste levels start to rise, to keep parameters stable. Also, I have several shrimp that're berried, so I don't think my shrimp are stressed (hopefully), but they still lost their color. 

 

If yours are true shadow pandas that carry strong genes for the blue coloration you may be able to get some deep blue babies through just breeding what you have right now. Although a shrimp might not show the specific trait (blue coloration), it may still carry the genes for that color (genotype) even though it doesn't physically show the color (phenotype). That's pretty similar to how most new colors and patterns of shrimp arise through selective breeding. This is the long-term method of obtaining deep blue shadow pandas (or any other kind of shrimp for that matter). But like shrimp life said, you can speed up the process by getting high quality blue bolts (preferably extreme blue bolts) to increase the blue coloration. Your best chance would be to separate males and females so that you ensure that the blue bolts only breed with the pandas and vice versa (ex. separating the female shadow pandas with male extreme blue bolts) or else your pandas might end up just breeding with each other. Extreme blue bolts can be expensive, so this route is the shorter, but possibly more expensive route. However, I'd assume the first shadow pandas were created through a similar method of breeding so this should be a good method of getting the most blue pandas.

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This question is interesting and I think about it often.  I had a similar situation recently.  About a year ago I transferred my Shadow Panda and Blue Bolt colonies over to our other house.  They were both stable populations with intense blue and very prolific and healthy.  Some of the bolts could definitely be classified as extreme and the pandas were also intense blue.

 

Upon moving them to their new rack setup and new larger tanks, they both began to exhibit more faint coloration.  As time passed, this phenomenon only exaggerated.  It reached a point where I was looking at shrimp that were once intense blue (Shadow Pandas) and now if I didn’t know any better, I’d call them straight Pandas.  Breeding also was at a standstill.  Food never really changed, light type and intensity never changed, parameters never changed, nothing really seemed to differ in tank setup.

 

I later noticed my plants/mosses were basically stagnant as far as growth was concerned.  I previously grew so many rare mosses, buce, and plants I was selling them.  Now nothing.  I immediately upped my fertilizers and saw the color gradually return to the shrimp (plants obviously took off too).  Possibly the increase in biofilm?  That’s my guess as my feeding has now decreased as the shrimp are less interested and breeding is now way up.  Juvenile survival is now through the roof too.  I always used the growth of a few select mosses as my “indicator” of adequate fertilization... I don’t know what o was thinking there for months.

 

I’m hardly saying that dumping ferts into a tank increases blue coloration, I’m just saying that I’m my case I believe I returned my shrimp to the “habitat” they were accustomed to and their color returned.  I always wondered- does a stressed Shadow Panda exhibit stronger Blues or Whites when stressed?  In my case I believe they shifted to white because they weren’t as happy.

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5 hours ago, H2oh said:

 I always wondered- does a stressed Shadow Panda exhibit stronger Blues or Whites when stressed?  In my case I believe they shifted to white because they weren’t as happy.

Yes its known that they get light after shipping, during stress and even can go opposite and intensely colored at maturity or breeding (dramatic improvement from juvie size) I've witnessed it all. The color can be influenced by all of the above.

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