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Vampire/Viper Shrimp Coloration


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I’m trying to understand what causes the coloration of vampire shrimp. I’ve heard that water hardness directly correlates with the color of their shell. I wanted to encourage my vampires to develop blue shells, and supposedly increasing the water hardness does that. Does anyone have experience with this?

 

thank you

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On 7/22/2018 at 10:33 AM, Isaac said:

I’m trying to understand what causes the coloration of vampire shrimp. I’ve heard that water hardness directly correlates with the color of their shell. I wanted to encourage my vampires to develop blue shells, and supposedly increasing the water hardness does that. Does anyone have experience with this?

 

thank you

 

Hi Isaac!

 

Unfortunately I don't have much experience with keeping vampire shrimp but from what I've learnt about keeping their slimmer cousins (wood shrimp), there are 3 things that seem to affect their colour:

 

  1. Stress Level - If your shrimp is stressed, its colors would definitely be much paler than usual. From what I know Vampire shrimp are nocturnal so its highly likely that your vampire may not show its full colouration when the lights are on unless there is adequate shade/hiding spots around the tank where it can feel safe
  2. Diet - Generally speaking if your shrimp is well fed, it'll colour up really nicely for you. Be sure to feed foods with SOME protein as they need it to grow
  3. GH - Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to test if different GH would yield stronger or weaker colouration in my wood shrimp but I do know that if your water is harder (i.e. higher GH), your shrimp's shells would tend to be shinier and appear more robust since they have the necessary minerals like Calcium to build a strong shell. That said, try not to overdo it with GH as an overly high GH would cause shrimp to have too much of a difficulty molting and die as a result of trying to break out of their thick calcium cages 😕 

I really hope someone with more experience related to Vampire Shrimps specifically could help you but I hope this may help you in some way or another :) 

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I do not have any experience with vampire shrimps, but I used to sell lots and lots of MarmorKreb Crawdaddies.  When I bought my first batch in the beginning they were mostly a marbled brownish color.  Back then I lived in a city that had very hard water.  Over a couple of generations, the Crays started showing a blue hue to them.  I took pics and posted those pics as the ones for sale.  Once people bought them from me and put them in their own water at their homes, the blue hue would fade back to a marbled brown color.  The only thing I could come up with was the water parameters were causing the difference in colors.

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