It’s a well-known phenomenon – you see photos of shrimps on the Internet, in some shop, forum or on Facebook, and you immediately fall in love with these beautiful intensively colored animals. Fortunately, these guys are up for sale, too, and so our joy is great. However, when the long-awaited parcel arrives, more often than not those highly coveted shrimps look rather dull and colorless.
Well, an experienced shrimpkeeper knows that shrimps tend to be rather unattractive when in stress color, and gives the guys time to get used to their new environments. However unfortunately, after that time, the shrimps are still not really attractively colored, and you take heart and inquire with the seller. You often hear statements like “The shrimps are under special light in my tanks, that’s why they are colored so intensively”, “The shrimps surely need some more time to color up, they’re stressed from transport”, or “The new water parameters are less than good for them, so that’s why they stay pale”. And indeed, all of this can be a reason for good or less intensive colors – however, we as customers ought to have a critical look at the “goods” peddled to us. Sometimes, photos of less intensively colored shrimps are optically enhanced for sales presentations. But keep in mind, this is not true for all of the shops and shrimp dealers, there are very good and serious sources for shrimps on the Internet.
But how do I recognize whether someone has enhanced the shrimp’s colors in the photo? If the photo is manipulated professionally it is hard to see that, however, most frequently the colors of those photos are enhanced more or less unprofessionally, and you can see that without using any forensic software if you look closely enough. If the shrimps are on light-colored ground it is easy – if the white sand has a yellowish tint when yellow shrimps are in the picture, a purple one when the shrimps are dark, and a reddish one with red shrimps, more likely than not the colors have been enhanced. Green plants in the background tend to have a reddish, yellowish or purple tint, as does driftwood (in some dealers’ photos, brown driftwood actually looks purple …). The overall impression manipulated photos leave is that they are overly colorful and that the colors of not only the shrimps but also their environment and the background of the picture are very intensive and almost garish.
How do I recognize a good source for shrimps? There are several points to keep in mind here. If the photos in the shop are not overly colorful and the colors are not all that intensive, it is a good sign to begin with. Moreover, the dealer should give detailed information regarding how the animal he or she sells needs to be kept and bred. Prices need to be reasonable, and not too cheap. Some shops have a rating system. Quite ironically, those shops that do not have 100% five stars all along usually can be counted among the more serious ones. A good dealer knows that he is only human and leaves all the ratings online – it is simply impossible that everything goes smoothly with even the most difficult customers, and some neutral ratings are going to happen. If you are unsure whether the on-site rating system has been manipulated there are platforms like ciao.de (in German), or forums and social media groups where you can read up on the shop you are going to buy some living things from. Usually you will find something somewhere – a job well-done and serious work are prone to leave their traces!