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Breeding Tanks & Culling: What Are They For?

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I know it seems silly to ask this because it should be self-explanatory, but I really want more detailed information about this. Please bear with me as I go on my question rampage. I am such a newbie, so I'm sorry in advance!


Of course, the point of a breeding tank is to BREED shrimp, but what is the usual size of one of these and how many shrimp (male and female) are kept in them? How do you know when a shrimp is ready to be put in there or are they put in there for life and the babies removed when they are old enough? How planted should one of these be?


I know many people keep their culls in separate tank so that it doesn't dilute the good quality stock, and I'm interested in doing that if necessary. Do most people have to cull many of their shrimplets or do most shrimplets have good coloration and culls are rare? Are cull tanks usually larger than main tanks because of the frequency or quantity of culling? How can you tell if a baby shrimp needs to be culled? Once they go in the cull tank, do they just breed freely until the end of their lives?


My current main tank is a 7.9G Fluval Ebi, which I'm sure cannot house too many shrimp. I honestly don't know what the maximum capacity for a tank that size would be. From what I've seen, it's about 10 shrimp per gallon, but correct me if I'm wrong (please). I am hoping to get a 28G to house my shrimpies and build a large colony, but that won't be for a long while. How many shrimp can I keep in a 28 Gallon tank? How do you control the genes in a tank that size?


So many questions... and I will inevitably have more... sorry. =(

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I think your breeding/culling set up really depends on what your long term goals are for your colony(s).


For instance, some breeders are aiming for really specific control, and may go as far as separating a particular breeding pair together to make sure they get the exact genetic mix they want. Once berried, they may or may not go back into a group.


Others may keep a more general breeding tank with their best breeding individuals... and this may be a very sparsely decorated/planted tank so they can keep tabs on everyone. Usually fairly small... 10-15g, for example. The cull tank, where all the other shrimp live, might be more highly populated, planted, and might just be there in case they want to pull a few particularly nice-looking individuals back into the breeding pool.


Culling is again related to what the goal is. If you're developing and/or maintaining a very sensitive or new strain, intense culling probably has to happen. Otherwise, genetics will revert to a wild-type or be really unreliable, ie not "breed true". If you've already got a fairly stable line, then just pulling out the occasional anomaly that doesn't look like you want it to could be enough. You can decide how controlling you want to be.


Check out this thread for some more info on approaches as well. :)

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You Fluval Ebi can hold a lot more shrimps than you think. This one of mine has definitely over 600 now.


That said, there's a difference between adding 600 shrimps to the tank and 600 shrimps bred from shrimps in the tank. I started this tank from 3 shrimps 1.5 years ago.





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