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Black King Kong Shrimp
In May 2009 a pair of Black King Kong Shrimp were sold for US$ 8,500 at auction. Why so high? Simply a case of supply and demand. Presently breeders of this attractive little decapod crustacean can only breed fewer than 100 or so a month and the survival rate is less than 10%. Whilst the demand exceeds availability then the price will remain high. The Red King Kong Shrimp was already popular and is both more common and, naturally cheaper than its darker cousin.
The shrimp hobbyists are very keen to acquire something which is just that little bit different and outside of auctions a price of US$ 1,500 are not unusual. Prices for pregnant females are much higher in spite of the risks and extra work involved. The aim of course is to breed successfully, to hit on the formula for success. The normal lifespan for this small, in the region of 2 centimetre shrimp, is less than two years.
There is no argument that such creatures are attractive and have a special and interesting beauty. However they are not natural. They have been created by selective breeding to produce something which is rare and different. It is not unlike the production of white tigers or the numerous colour morphs in birds and reptiles. Undoubtedly very clever and whilst feeding a demand they are doing nothing at all for conservation.
It would be far better if the the unarguable skills and expertise of breeders were utilised to the breeding of natural marine and aquatic life so that we will be in a position to re-stock the wild once we have repaired the damage we have done.
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Freshwater Shrimps within an aquarium are a beneficial asset to the biosystem provided it is compatible with the other occupants. As natural scavengers they seek out, recover and consume even the smallest of waste food particles. The shrimps make active and fascinating tank residents.
The Freshwater Shrimps are always an interesting challenge to keep with some species being much easier to maintain than others. Breeding is possible but not easy. The greatest difficult is feeding the young. It is hard to find enough micro food to feed them.
Black King Kong
Freshwater Aquarium with Bumblebee Shrimps
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