Crystal Red Shrimp Grading (with pictures)

Crystal shrimp Grade list color

The coloration makes Сrystal Red (Black) Shrimp (CRS and CBS) stand out in most tanks. However, the numerous different grades and color patterns might be very confusing even for some experienced shrimp breeders. That is why grading systems have been developed to ease the task.

There are two main grading systems: German (K0-14) and International (C – SSS). Nonetheless, the principle in these both systems is the same. Generally speaking, the more white coverage with the better opacity the higher the grade and the bigger the price tag for the shrimp. Therefore, if you decide to keep and breed Crystal Red Shrimp, you need to familiarize yourself with the systems of grading. Maybe one day you will have a couple of hundreds (or thousands) dollar shrimp swimming in your tank, but you will never know that.

Thus, let’s take a look at what defines a “high quality’” Crystal red shrimp in details.  Note: We use the same grading scale and pattern scale for red and black crystal shrimp.

Basics of Grading

There are many parameters that determine the class of CRS. One of the most important factors is the intensity and number of stripes (red and white or black and white). Transparent places on white areas lower the grade of the shrimp. So, if the white color is not intense or the color is not complete, and you can see the internal structure of the shrimp, it will reduce the grade of the shrimp.

Sometimes shrimp can lose a uniform white color due to stress after moving or due to age. However, it does not mean that their genes were changed. Thus do not worry about it very much.

You can read more about “Culling Shrimp. Selective Breeding” right here.

Color Grading and Pattern Grading

Grading Crystal red shrimp and black shrimp go two ways: color and pattern.

Color grading is based on transparency. If a crystal shrimp is solid in color, it is a high-grade shrimp in the color aspect.

Pattern grading is based on the amount of white vs. red or black. The more white color, the higher the grade the shrimp is. The grades go from C grade (lowest with the most red or black color) to SSS+ (the highest grade with the least amount of red or black). In order from least to greatest: C, B, A, S, SS, SS+, SSS, and SSS+.

In Germany, the Logemann brothers developed the German K-class scale from 0 to 14. K-0 has the lowest proportion of white on the body of the shrimp, and K-14 shrimp with almost completely white shell. K-0 Almost all are red, a lot of transparent and little white; K-4 Has four white stripes; K-6 – Tiger tooth / V-Band; K-8 – Hinomaru; K-10 – Doppel Hinomaru, Half moon; K-12 – Mosura; K- 14 – Mosura Crown (Crown), Heart (Heart), Lightning (Lightning).

Color Grading System C-SSS and K0-14

SSS-grade (or K14) Crystal Red shrimp

The main features of SSS grade Crystal reds are: 

  • In general, white color completely dominates (more than 75%).
  • Rostrum, abdomen, and tail have a rich white color.
  • The carapace has a red color with big white patches.
  • There may be small red dots or spots on the abdomen.

Note: SSS are not evenly valued. Some of them can be priced way higher than others depending on the features like:

  • the eye coloration,
  • the legs coloration,
  • even antennae coloration.

As the grading gets higher there are even more factors that can make a single specimen more prized than other of the same grade like the different patterns of red or black. 

SS-grade (or K8 – K10) Crystal Red shrimp

The main features of SS-grade Crystal reds are: 

  • Rostrum and tail are completely white in most cases.
  • White dotes on the red carapace are very noticeable.
  • Most of the abdominal segments are white with some red patches on the top of the abdominal segments.

S-plus grade Crystal Red shrimp

The main features of S+ grade Crystal reds are: 

  • Rostrum and tail are almost white with some small red dots.
  • Red carapace starts having white dotes.
  • The white stripes on abdomen segments are very clear, even, intensely colored.
  • The amount of white color prevails over red in general.

S-grade (or K6) Crystal Red shrimp

In some cases, A-grade can be mistakenly (or intentionally) labeled as an S-grade. Therefore, it is very important that you inspect each specimen. S grade has more color solidity than A-grade.

The main features of S-grade Crystal reds are: 

  • Rostrum and carapace are red.
  • The additional red coloration is located more along the sides of the body.
  • The coloration is relatively opaque with more white on the abdominal segments.
  • The white stripes on the abdomen are more clearly defined.
  • The color is a lot more evenly separated between white and red or black.

A-grade (or K4) Crystal Red shrimp

This is the most popular grade for beginners in terms of price and quality if you want to try breeding the Crystal red shrimp.

The main features of this class are:

  • The amount of red color prevails over white.
  • Slightly red rostrum and tail.
  • Blotchy and transparent red coloration.
  • The red stripes on the abdomen are fairly distinct, but the uniformity of the red color starts deteriorating compared to S-grade.
  • The intensity of the white color is not strong but solid.
  • The white color is not evenly distributed on the abdominal segments.
  • There are narrow, transparent places at the junctions of abdominal segments between red and white.

B-grade (or K2) Crystal Red shrimp

According to K2 classification – The carapace color is with poor distribution of red, interrupted by white and transparent parts, usually in the form of more or less pronounced horizontal bands. The tail fan is usually red or transparent with some white dots.

The main features of this class are: 

  • Slightly red rostrum and tail. The red color is not intense.
  • Stripes on the abdomen are indistinct, the red color is
  • White stripes painted poorly with a lot of transparent places.
  • An almost complete lack of any fully white bands.

C-grade (or K0) Crystal Red shrimp

This is how the very first crystal shrimp looked like. 

According to K0 classification – The carapace color of is weakly red, interrupted by white and transparent parts, usually in the form of more or less pronounced horizontal bands. The tail fan is usually red or transparent with some white dots.

The main features of this class are: 

  • Rostrum and tail are semi-translucent with a minimum of red color.
  • White stripes on the abdomen are very thin and poorly painted. There are completely transparent stripes instead of white color.
  • The red color is uneven almost everywhere. There are many transparent spots.
  • The number of thin and red white stripes can be different.

Super Red Crystal shrimpNote: Not long ago, some shrimp breeders attempted to breed the red 100% with absolutely no white color. They called it Super Red Crystal shrimp. Unfortunately, we do not hear anything about it anymore. The current Super Red Crystal shrimp still have some white stripes.

Cyrystal Red shrimp Color list

Color Grading vs Pattern Grading 

Sometimes shrimp can be of the highest (SSS or SS) grade pattern but with the lowest grade on color. So, you might ask what is the more valuable pattern or color? The answer is the color.

If you can completely see through the color, instead of it being worth $100 the shrimp is transferred to 4-10 dollars. It just means that you have a horrible looking SSS crystal red shrimp. You can get a really nice pattern with a really bad looking shrimp.

Color is one of those things that is much harder to than the patterns. Because it is easier to get higher patterns later than vice versa. That is why a lot of shrimp breeders will always take a better color shrimp over a higher-grade pattern shrimp. 

Pattern Grading

The classification depends on the color of the following parts: rostrum, carapace, abdomen segments and tail. 

SSS-grade (or K14) Crystal Red shrimp

“Smiley faces” (K14) – won Best in Show at the Australian Shrimp championships 2015. These crystal shrimp have a really solid white color with the red on the head and with a dash right behind it. Therefore, shrimp breeders call them “Smiley faces”. You can see the image when you look from the top.

“Mosura Crown” (SSS) is a semicircle resembling a crown, located on the top or on the side of the crystal head. Red mark in the form of two large rhombuses, connected by tops with a small rhombus in the center. You can see the image when you look from the top.

“Mosura Flower” (SSS) – the red sides of the carapace have a white spot, resembling the flower. You can see the image when you look from the side.

“Mosura heart” (SSS) – there is a dash on the top of the red carapace, resembling the heart. You can see the image when you look from the side.

Interesting fact: In Japan, some SSS shrimp are sold for huge money at online auctions, just because they have a red spot of unusual beautiful shape on their shell (in the form of a flower, a hieroglyph, a crown, etc.). Shrimps are often given romantic names depending on the bizarre shape of the red spot on the shell.

SS-grade (or K8 – K10) Crystal Red shrimp

Hinomaru” (rising sun) (K8) – The carapace color of the crystal red shrimp is red, interrupted by white horizontal bands. In K8 shrimp, the red band on the abdomen is reduced to a mere spot or circle. You can see the image when you look from the top.

Double Hinomaru” (K10) – It has the same pattern as the simple Hinomaru and there is another small dot (instead of a band) on the tail. You can see the image when you look from the top.

Stop” or “No Entry Sign (K8) – The carapace color of the crystal red shrimp is red, interrupted by white horizontal bands. In K8 shrimp, the red band on the abdomen is reduced to a mere spot, which has a small white line (dot) inside the spot. The tail fan of this color variant of the shrimp is usually red and white or all white. You can see the image when you look from the top.

“Half Moon” (K10) – The carapace color of the crystal red shrimp is red, interrupted by white horizontal bands. The red band on the abdomen is reduced to a mere spot, which looks like a semi-circle. You can see the image when you look from the top.

“Little lips” (K10) – The carapace color of the crystal red shrimp is red, interrupted by white horizontal bands. The red band on the abdomen is reduced to a mere spot, which is divided by a white line (unlike “Stop” pattern). You can see the image when you look from the top.

“Japanese flag” – The red spot round shape on a white abdomen resembles the national “Japanese flag”.  

 “Large Maro” – Two white dots on the red carapace right behind the head. Sometimes this pattern also called “Godzilla”, because two white dots resemble eyes.

S-grade (or K6) Crystal Red shrimp

Tiger-toothed” – The carapace color is red, interrupted by white horizontal bands. In K6 shrimp, the red band on the abdomen has two typical tips pointing downward. These shrimp are also Tiger-toothed. The tail fan is usually all white, sometimes red with white dots. You can see the image when you look from the side.

V-banded” – The carapace color is red, interrupted by white horizontal bands. In K6 shrimp, the red band on the abdomen is V-shaped or has one tip pointing downward. These shrimp are also called V-banded. The tail fan is usually all white, sometimes red with white dots. You can see the image when you look from the side.

“Small Maro” – Two small white dots on the red carapace right behind the head.

“Four white bands” – the shrimp’s body has 4 white bands and three red bands.

“Three white bands” – the shrimp’s body has 3white bands, two red bands, and the entire tail is red (or semi-red).

Cyrystal Red shrimp Pattern list

Conclusion

It is a very difficult task to grade Crystal red shrimp’s color. None of the guides can fully capture the complexity of color in Crystal red shrimp. The problem is that subjective opinion is the basis of the assessment. In addition, it may sound surprising but there are not many people who have a good sense of color in general. It makes the task even more difficult.

We all know the rule in Crystal shrimp grading that the more white coloration the higher the grade. However, there is a lot of gradient in and the color of the shrimp is probably the main factor as far as dictating the price and the quality.  You can get a really nice pattern with a really bad looking shrimp. Color is one of those things that is much harder to breed.  

 

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