Selective Breeding Shrimp With Limited Space

My shrimp ‘career’ has changed a lot over the years. I started with a single tank with CRS. I then got the bug and built a small rack with four 100l aquariums. By mid 2010 I had 80 120l tanks and was importing close to 100,000 shrimp a month. If you bought any shrimp from Maidenhead Aquatics during that time then there is a high possibility that they came from me.

I am much more of a hobbyist now. I now have limited space but still enjoy the selective breeding side of the hobby. To be honest, seeing the results of selective breeding is what I find most rewarding.

Everyone who selectively breeds needs a cull tank. Even if you have one type of shrimp and want to selectively breed them, you need a cull tank.

Nowadays I keep a small rack with six varieties of shrimp but I only have one cull tank.

If you have ever watched videos or read articles on selective breeding then you probably hear people say “just select the best looking shrimp”. I strongly disagree!

If you are trying to selectively breed shrimp for better colour, better pattern or leg colouration then you should only be focussing on the male shrimp. Your main focus should be trying to produce the best looking males, the females don’t matter.

When I am culling shrimp I only focus on the males. Unless the female is absolutely butt ugly, don’t cull her. My tanks are 95% female, my cull tank is 99.9% male.

Everything you are trying to select for comes from the male, colour, legs and pattern. It doesn’t matter what the female is like, if you get a good looking male then the quality comes from him.

Anyone can selectively breed, whether you have 2 or 3 tanks or 50 tanks. All you need is one cull tank to put the ugly males in. The fact they are all male also stops random crossbreeding’s.

Selective breeding shrimp is a lot quicker than you think. By selecting the best males you will see huge improvements in quality in just 2-3 generations.

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