The popularity of Crystal Red (and Black) shrimp continues to rise for good reason: these bee shrimp are simple to care for, do not need a large aquarium, and can be bred for both enjoyment and profit.
Different grades and color patterns might be difficult to distinguish if you’re just starting out with a Crystal Red shrimp colony. What accounts for the wide price range? What characteristics make a Crystal Red of “excellent quality?” If you want to know how to properly grade Crystal Red shrimp, you should read on.
Classification of Crystal Red Shrimp, in General:
The quality of a Crystal Red shrimp may be determined by following a few simple guidelines.
- To some extent, more white is preferable than no white at all. The highest possible grade cannot be awarded to a shrimp that is wholly white.
- Shrimp with transparent spots are rated far lower than those without. In general, the grade goes up as the level of opacity of the colors increases.
- Shrimp may lose some of their color or become more opaque as they age, but this doesn’t imply they don’t still have the genes for the trait.
Qualities of Crystal Red Shrimp:
The grading scale for Crystal Red shrimp goes from SSS (the highest) to C (the lowest) (lowest). Below you’ll find grade-specific descriptions.
Failing-grade Crystal Red shrimp:
C-grade Shrimp of the Crystal Crimson kind still seem very similar to the original Crystal Red in that they are nearly all red and have just very faint white stripes. Lacking in opaqueness, they are now out of favor in the hobby world.
Shrimp of the Crystal Red kind, not the highest quality:
B-grade Crystal Reds are less blotchy in color than C-grades because they include more white color. The appearance of visible color bands is progressing, although imperfectly.
Exceptional Crystal Red shrimp:
A-grade For those just starting out, Crystal Reds are an excellent option since they are inexpensive in comparison to higher grades but yet offer a lovely opaque coloring with distinct bands.
Crystal Red Shrimp, Quality Grade S
Crystal Reds of the S grade are less transparent than those of the A grade because they have a more diffused white hue and a less distinct red band in the centre. In order to raise a shrimp’s grade from S to S+, it has to have good color solidity, including some additional white and particular color patterns (more information on patterns below).
Sustainably caught Crystal Red shrimp, SS quality:
Grade SS Crystal A better quality of red shrimp is indicated by a little less intense red hue compared to S-grade examples. The strip of colour seen on S-grades is replaced with a larger round dot in the centre of their flanks. A Hinomaru is the name given to this pinpoint (more information on patterns below).
Cristal Red shrimp of the SSS variety:
By all conventional measures, SSS is the pinnacle of Crystal Red quality since it has the greatest percentage of white. The SSS grade and price of shrimp are based on their unique design and coloring.
Coloration Examples for Crystal Red Shrimp:
Not only are Crystal Red shrimp assessed according to their overall coloration and transparency, but also according to the presence or absence of certain patterns. Below, we’ll go through the most frequent Crystal Red designs.
These Mosura Crystal Reds are top-tier SSS quality. Mosuras are easily distinguished by their almost all-white bodies and distinctive red coloring on the head and tail. Several species of Mosuras may be found in the hobby, including:
- Flowering mosura: The pattern of coloring down the side of the head resembles a flower, with a white center patch.
- Crown of Mosura: On top of their heads, there is a white half-circle that seems like a crown against the red coloring.
- Heart of Mosura: When seen from the side, the red coloring on top of the head with the white dot resembles the outline of a heart.
- Smiley face mosura: When seen from above, the red on the head consists of only a dot at the top and a dash just beneath it, creating the impression of a grin.
The SS Hinomaru:
The red circle known as a Hinomaru may be seen on the top of the shrimp’s back if it is SS grade Crystal Red.
- Refusing to Let Hinomaru In: The Hinomaru looks like a no-entry sign because of the white line through the centre.
- The Double-Hinomaru: There is a second dot (instead of a band) on the tail, in addition to the first Hinomaru on the upper back.
Standard (S) patterns:
There are two prevalent patterns in the S-grade that “upgrade” a shrimp from a S to a S+. In addition, the number of white stripes may change.
- Teeth of a tiger: The red area in the center is broken up into two halves by a white triangle at the base. A toothlike shape may be seen in this white triangle.
- V-band: Once again, the red area in the centre is asymmetrical, taking on the form of a triangle. Very like the tiger tooth design, however without the supplementary red dash.
- Four white stripes: The term alludes to the fact that the pattern is segmented into four white bands and three red bands. First-class prawns also exhibit this pattern.
- Three parallel strips of white: There is one key difference, however: these shrimp are missing the last white ring on their tails. The whole tail, on the other hand, is crimson and/or see-through. A-grade shrimp also exhibit this pattern.