Chit Chat with Silane Dilwyn Tng

Hi All, we got a chance to ask some questions to Silane Dilwyn Tng of Silane Shrimp, and he answered them. Globally he is one of the reputed shrimp keepers, and seller. He has been a judge of various shrimp keeping competitions and almost a household name in Asian & Global Shrimp keeping Industry. He has accompanied Chris Lukhaup to his various expeditions and studied shrimp habitats. Currently he is based at Taiwan.
1. Tell us something about yourself.
Silane – I was an electronics engineer until I got into the shrimp hobby, which turned part time when I got into programming job and later full time into shrimps.
2. What about your family?
Silane – I am married with caring and understanding wife who let me turn my shrimp hobby into a career. We have a son who is 9 years old.
3 .When did you develop interest in shrimps?

Silane – After finishing my overseas study due to which I had
a gap of 10 years from this hobby I came back to aquascaping, I remembered that the first shrimp used as cleaning crew was Yamato. And later, we got pink shrimps, Cherry Shrimp in Singapore market, I bought some to go with my planted tank. They did not do well because of the high level of CO2, later I chose to go with the path of focusing on shrimp tank with little plant.



4. What were the major difficulties you had encountered in the beginning? How is the situation now?

Silane -The lack of products that can be used with shrimps was the biggest problem, but it also let me have a clear understanding of the water, bacteria, additive and accessories for shrimps. For example, I had to use neutral quartz as gravel, as there was no good soil for shrimp, and had to lower ph and GH/kH of tap water so as to work with gravel. And also I had to experiment of which type of bacteria that work best for shrimps.
5. What shrimps species/varieties you like most?
Silane – I think I like all shrimps, except F1 or F2 hybrid which lack of characteristic patterns.
6. About the specific diets for shrimp, your thoughts on that?
Silane – I think shrimp do well on biofilm and that’s the natural food of shrimp in the wild. However, about biofilm for that given surface area and the density of our shrimp tank, the amount is not enough for shrimps and tablet food has to be given. On the whole, if one can produce biofood in tank for shrimps, they are the best.
One can see in a new tank or tank with few shrimps, shrimps are not attracted by tablet food as there is enough bioflim in the tank, this shows that shrimps prefer the biofilm in tank over tablet food.
If one wants to feed, powdered food or flake is next best to biofood, as shrimps do not need to fight for food and less stress for them. This is a more natural way of feeding. The density of shrimps in nature do not make them to fight over a piece of solid food.


7.How important do you think supplements play a role in shrimp keeping?

Silane – The supplements are needed only when tank is dense with shrimps, making them grow faster, cleaning nitrogenous waste and increase immunity.
I would dose when a tank is needed, for example I use BT-9 when the tank is new and after 6 months when plants start growing well and taking over the job of clearing the nitrogenous waste, I would reduce use of BT-9.
I will use Shrimp Tonic Pro for some species that are less hardy or shrimps I know they will have to travel a long distance in 1 months time. Shrimp Tonic Pro increase the immunity of shrimps.
If shrimps are growing in number and I see that they are not growing in sizes as expected even though I feed them a lot, I would encourage the growth of rich water by dosing Mosura Richwater.


8. Tiger shrimps don’t get so much of fanfare as compared to their counterparts – crystal reds, crystal blacks and the tibees. Do you agree to it? If yes, what could be the reason – your thoughts?

Silane – In Asia, I think the general shrimp keeping methods are more tuned to crystal red and its family. The bred form of tigers shrimp which originated in Germany are kept in higher pH (about 7.5) but in Asia, they are kept in lower 6 and should be the reason of not doing well and result in poor popularity.
9. Share your thoughts about taibee and taitaibee. How did they appear in the market?
Silane – Tibee appear before the appearance of Taiwan bee. I tried cross breeding of tiger shrimps and CRS before the appearing Taiwan bee, they are not interesting to my opinion and to others they are not interesting too as at that time Red Bee shrimp/CRS was in trend.

Taitibee appears when taiwan bee was in abandon and people want to create something new. And use of Taiwan bee to cross with tiger shrimps, and the end result is pinto alike shrimps.


10.I know that rili and yellow kingkong shrimp you have introduced into the hobby, which other shrimps you have introduced? And how did you discover these new species?


Silane – King Kong and Blue Bolt were introduced by me too, during an Invertebrate Meeting in Stuttgart, Germany in 2009. The term Bolt was introduced by me for snow genes influenced shrimps.

King Kong and Blue Bolt was as natural occurrence in the tanks.
Rili was through selective breeding

And Yellow KK was through cross breeding




11. Silane Shrimp is now possibly one of the biggest and reputed name in global shrimp domain. How did it happen?

Silane – It took me many years of work and commitment, not only in breeding shrimps but also promoting shrimps (hold talks) and also understanding shrimps (field works)
12. Share some information about your farms.

Silane – I have just closed down my farm in Singapore, as the lease of farm land with the government has ended.  I have co-own farm in China and Taiwan. And now I am an occupant in Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park where I have my own farm setting up in progress.


13. Other than shrimps which other species you like and keep.

Silane – Just shrimps for now, I would like to keep all kinds of small size fish soon.


14. What is your future planning?

Silane – Marine, I would like to go into marine fish breeding beside shrimps.


15. What is your message for Indian shrimp hobbyists? And have you kept any Indian shrimps?

Silane – There are many nice species of Indian originated shrimps, I would like to see Indian shrimp hobbyists take effort to refine them.  Yes, I keep Caridina Babaulti Green and Zebra before. I really like the Green, I hope I can get hold of them soon, I would like to do selective breeding on producing the “greenest” shrimp on earth.

Thank you so much Silane for sharing your time & knowledge with us.

Some of Silane Shrimps –

Feeding powdered food to shrimps

Hi All,

For baby juvenile shrimps, feeding them is a difficult task. Mostly they feed on the biofilm, micro-organisms in the tank. But now a days many dedicated baby shrimp food are available and they provide  most of the nutrition required by the baby shrimps during their growth stage.

However, most of the baby food are powdered and dropping them just in the tank isn’t an ideal solution. Mosy of the time the food doesn’t reach out to all of the babies.

So I have devised a small plan – mix the powder food with RO water or tank water and use syringe to disperse the food in the water column directly. This ensures that the powdered food becomes easily soluble and can be readily consumed by the small shrimps from water column.

Below are the things you would require –

1. A dedicate shrimp food for babies
2. A measuring spoon (most of the time it is available with the baby shrimp food)
3. A small bowl to mix the food with water
4. A disposable syringe

Basic Setup

Now add the powdered food into the bowl, with tank or RO water


Dose it according to your requirement


Stir it for 30seconds-1 minute


Now fill up the syringe with the mixed food


Your liquid baby food is ready


Now dose it into your shrimp tank, I spray it all around the tank to ensure it reaches every where but for representation sprayed it in front of the juveniles





You can mix 1-2 types of different food to prepare the solution.

Shrimps & their Trace Elements Requirement

Before I proceed with the document, would like to Thank Ulli Bauer for all the help, clarifications, knowledge she has shared. Without her assistance it wouldn’t have been complete. So Thank you Ulli for being so nice.

Trace element, also called micronutrient, in biology, any chemical element required by living organisms in very small amounts (that is less than 0.1 percent by volume [1,000 parts per million]), usually as part of a vital enzyme.

General function

The general function of minerals and trace elements can be summarized as follows:

  • Minerals play a key role in the maintenance of osmotic pressure, and thus regulate the exchange of water and solutes within the animal body.
  • Minerals serve as structural constituents of soft tissues.
  • Minerals are essential for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction.
  • Minerals play a vital role in the acid-base equilibrium of the body, and thus regulate the pH of the hemolymph and other body fluids.
  • Minerals serve as essential components of many enzymes, vitamins, hormones, and respiratory pigments, or as cofactors in metabolism, catalysts and enzyme activators.


1. Calcium

Biological function: The principal biological functions of calcium may be summarized as

  • Calcium is an essential component of crustacean exoskeleton.
  • Calcium is essential for the normal clotting of hemolymph, by stimulating the release of thromboplastin from the hemolymph.
  • Calcium is an activator for several key enzymes, including pancreatic lipase, acid phosphatase, cholinesterase, ATPases, and succinic dehydrogenase.
  • Through its role in enzyme activation, calcium stimulates muscle contraction.
  • Calcium, in conjunction with phospholipids, plays a key role in the regulation of the permeability of cell membranes and consequently over the uptake of nutrients by the cell.

Calcium is readily absorbed through the skin and gills of crustacea.


Biological function: The principal biological functions of phosphorus may be summarized as follows –

  • Phosphorus is an essential component for the crustacean exoskeleton.
  • Phosphorus is an essential component of phospholipids, nucleic acids, phosphoproteins (casein), high energy phosphate esters (ATP), hexose phosphates, creatine phosphate, and several key enzymes.
  • As a component of these important biological substances, phosphorus plays a central role in energy and cell metabolism.
  • Inorganic phosphates serve as important buffers to regulate the normal acidbase balance (ie. pH) of animal body fluids.
  • They need calcium for the hemolymph to coagulate

Although soluble phosphorus salts can be absorbed through the skin, and gills of shrimp, the concentration of phosphorus in fresh and sea water is low, and consequently body phosphorus requirements are usually met from dietary sources. The thing should be kept in mind that intake of the phosphorus should be more soluble so that the shrimps can absorb it easily.

3. Magnesium

Biological function: The principal biological functions of magnesium may be summarized as follows –

  • Magnesium is an essential component of crustacean exoskeleton.
  • Magnesium is an activator of several key enzyme systems, including kinases, (ie. enzymes that catalyse the transfer of the terminal phosphate of ATP to sugar or other acceptors), mutases (transphosphorylation reactions), muscle ATPases, and the enzymes cholinesterase, alkaline phosphatase, enolase, isocitric dehydrogenase, arginase (magnesium is a component of the arginase molecule), deoxyribonuclease, and glutaminase.
  • Through its role in enzyme activation, magnesium (like calcium) stimulates muscle and nerve irritability (contraction), is involved in the regulation of intracellular acid-base balance, and plays an important role in carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism.

Magnesium is readily absorbed through the gills, skin of shrimp. As with calcium and phosphorus, a proportion of the magnesium contained in plant based foodstuffs may be present in the form of phytin (Ca or Mg salt of phytic acid).

4. Potassium

Biological function: Potassium, occur almost entirely in the fluids and soft tissues of the body, and occurring mainly in the cells. They serve a vital function in controlling osmotic pressures and acid-base equilibrium. They also play important roles in water metabolism. Phosphorus, contained in plant based foodstuffs may be present in the form of phytin (Ca or Mg salt of phytic acid).

Potassium is a major player of intracellular fluid, and regulates intracellular osmotic pressure and acid-base balance. Potassium has a stimulating effect on muscle irritability. Potassium is also required for glycogen synthesis, and the metabolic breakdown of glucose.

Potassium is readily absorbed through the gills and skin of shrimp.




1. Iron

Biological function: The principal biological functions of iron may be summarized as follows;

  • Iron is an essential component of the respiratory pigments (copper-based) hemocyanin and myoglobin.
  • Iron is an essential component of various enzyme systems including the cytochromes, catalases, peroxidases, and the enzymes xanthine and aldehyde oxidase, and succinic dehydrogenase.
  • As a component of the respiratory pigments and enzymes concerned in tissue oxidation, iron is essential for oxygen and electron transport within the body.

Iron is readily absorbed through the gills and skin of shrimp. Dietary iron availability and absorption is usually very much required and should not be missed. In general, inorganic sources of iron are more readily absorbed than organic sources.

2. Zinc

Biological function: The principal biological functions of zinc may be summarized as follows;

  • Zinc is an essential component of more than 80 metalloenzymes, including carbonic anhydrase (required for the transport of carbon dioxide by the hemolymph and for the secretion of HCI in the stomach), glutamic dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, pyridine nucleotide dehydrogenase, alcohol dehydrogenase, superoxide dismutase, pancreatic carboxypeptidase, and tryptophan desmolase.
  • Zinc serves as a cofactor in many enzyme systems, including arginase, enolase, several peptidases, and oxalacetic decarboxylase.
  • As an active component or cofactor for many important enzyme systems zinc plays a vital role in lipid, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism; being particularly active in the synthesis and metabolism of nucleic acids (RNA) and proteins.
  • Although not proven, it has been suggested that zinc plays a role in the action of hormones such as insulin, glucagon, corticotrophin, FSH and LH.
  • Zinc is believed to play a positive role in wound healing.

Zinc is readily absorbed from the gills and skin of crustacea. Dietary zinc availability and absorption is reduced in the presence of phytates, and high dietary intakes of calcium, phosphorus and copper. So please ensure that either the mineral or food your are providing as supplement should contain a percentage of zinc as per the crustacean requirement.

3. Manganese

Biological function: The principal biological functions of managanese may be summarized as follows,

  • Manganese functions in the body as an enzyme activator for those enzymes that mediate phosphate group transfer (ie. phosphate transferases and phosphate dehydrogenases), particularly those concerned with the citric acid cycle including arginase, alkaline phosphatase and hexokinase.
  • Manganese is an essential component of the enzyme pyruvate carboxylase
  • As a cofactor or component of several key enzyme systems, manganese is essential for the regeneration of red hemolymph cells, carbohydrate metabolism, and the reproductive cycle.

Manganese is readily absorbed from the gills and skin of crustacea. Dietary manganese availability and absorption is reduced in the presence of phytates, and high dietary intakes of calcium, so please ensure that Manganese intake is present in your shrimp intake. Either by food or by trace elements

4. Iodine

Biological function: Iodine is an integral component of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine and tri-iodo-thyronine, and as such is essential for regulating the metabolic rate of all body processes

5. Copper

Biological function: Copper is on the one hand absolutely essential for shrimp as their blood cells are based on copper (hemocyanin has a copper ion in the middle, as opposed to hemoglobin, which has iron) on the other hand.

But too much copper is poisonous as it has been known to affect the gills of aquatic organisms, thus choking them, and it also reduces the osmoregulation in crustaceans.

How to provide trace elements to shrimps ?

Along with ideal water parameters, Trace Elements requirement of shrimps can be provided by two ways –

Food Shrimp dedicated foods contains most of the macro-micro elements. So before buying a shrimp food check which food contains which of the trace elements and it’s always better to have 2-3 varieties of food. Rotate the feeding cycle with different food to ensure that all the required elements are present in their diet.

Nutrient Solution Shrimp dedicated nutrient solution also is one of the best methods to provide the shrimps complex nutrient solutions. I prefer the solution because they can be dosed directly into the tank in liquid form. Along with shrimp dedicated food, having a shrimp dedicated nutrient solution is always a best thing to have.
Food plus Nutrient solution ensures that the shrimps get all of their required minerals both in their food and also in the water column.

Chit Chat with Michael Nadal

Hi All, we got hold of Michael of Wirbellose & More for a quick chit chat session. Globally he is one of the reputed shrimp keeper, breeder. He has been a judge of various shrimp keeping competition and also visited several countries and studied their biotope. He is from Germany.

  1. Tell us something about yourself.

Michael – Okay, I am 44 years old and 40 years in that I have been playing with tanks! LOL..


2. What about your family?

Michael – My family is the most important thing to me in the world. Me and my girlfriend are now 20 years together.


3 .When did you develop interest in shrimps?

Michael – I started the hobby with fish. In the past shrimps were only food for me, but then I saw some nice crayfish and then started with invertebrates. Along with shrimps I keep crayfish, snails etc.

4. What were the major difficulties you had encountered in the beginning? How is the situation now?

Michael – In the beginning I made the same mistakes like most other people do like wrong temp, wrong water, wrong food, wrong filter etc. These experiences have kept me growing.

5. What shrimps species/varieties you like most?

Michael – My favorites are all kind of tiger shrimps.

6. About the specific diets for shrimp, your thoughts on that?

Michael – I don’t follow any specific diets for my shrimp. I feed them whatever I feel is good for them.

7.How important do you think supplement, water conditioner play a role in shrimp keeping?

Michael – Sure water conditioners are important, different types of shrimps need diff water parameters. And these can be achieved using the conditioners.

8. Tiger shrimps don’t get so much of fan following as compared to their counterparts – crystal reds, crystal blacks and the tibees. Do you agree to it? If yes what could be the reason – your thoughts?

Michael – I personally don’t think so, I think tiger shrimps have also many fans because many breeder use tiger shrimps for cross-breeding, so they are also very popular

  1. Share your thoughts about taibee and taitaibee. How did they appear in the market?

Michael – normal tibee and taitibee are not so popular in the market, because most of them don’t look so good. But the high grade tibee and taitibee are very interesting and also very nice, they have many fans.

10.You are one of the biggest global and reputed shrimp breeders, how did that happen?

Michael – I think the most important reason is hard work and luck… :-))

11. What could be the best tank size, substrate, filtration for a shrimp tank?

Michael – I think the best size should be in and around 40-50L,

Filter – I only use sponge filter,

Substrate – There are many types of good substrate available but I cannot say witch one is good or bad. I like to use normal river sand, but many other breeder use soil also.

12. What do you think could be the ideal stocking?

Michael – Ideal stocking for shrimps I think should be around 20-30 pcs

13. Share some information about your farm or setups.

Michael – My setup(s) are very easy. Its with sand, woods, moss. I like keeping things simple.

14. Apart from shrimps what other species do you like and keep?

Michael – All kind of invertebrates. Like crayfish, snails, crabs etc.

15. What is your future planning?

Michael – As of now I don’t have any plans for the future, the most important thing is that you should have fun with what you do.

16. What will be your message for Indian shrimp hobbyists? And have you kept any Indian shrimps?

Michael – My message for Indian shrimp hobbyists is to look into your own rivers, you have so many nice native shrimps in India. You don’t need shrimps from Europe or Asia, but I know other shrimps from other countries are always more interesting than native shrimps, but if I be any time in India I will look in every river 🙂

I have many diff types of Indian shrimps, like green, malaya, zebra etc.

Thank you so much Micha for sharing your time with us.

Some of Michael Shrimps –

Setting up a dwarf Shrimp Tank

Hi All, today will discuss with you how to setup a new shrimp tank –

The Tank Size For my personal breeding I always prefer big tank size. The bigger the tank, the less fluctuations of water. Here I will be using a 30*18*18 tank which holds close to 160 liter of water.

This tank will be used to keep my Crystal Red/ Crystal Black or Tigers

Filter Any tank size above 24 inches, I use double filtration. One – canister/hang on back and Second – a sponge filter. The first one is for better filtration and second one for more aeration.

Soil – I will be using ADA Amazonia 2 for this project. I have done every day 100% water change to remove the ammonia effect.
Setting it up – I will evenly spread the soil on the tank. I use a credit card to do this operation.
Once the soil is evenly spread – I will use ‘SL Aqua Magic Powder’.

Sl Aqua Magic Powder

Magic Powder is a bacterial agent and it helps in the growth of beneficial bacteria. This can help in effective growth of micro-organisms which results in better survival rate of shrimplets.
You can use ‘magic powder’ also in a existing tank.
I will spray magic powder on top of the soil and post that will cover the soil with 100% RO water.

Once the soil is covered with 100% RO water, will use ‘SL Aqua Purify’.

Purify helps in successful decomposing of the organic waste. Purify contains nitrifying bacteria that starts and supports the nitrification process within your aquarium.
The dosage of purify is – 20ml/gallon.

After this keep the setup for 24-48 hours and post that fill the tank with 100% RO water and switch on the filter.

After approx 15 days do a 50% water change and use ‘SL-Aqua Blue Wizard’ or ‘Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp GH’ to get your desired GH range according to your shrimp species.

You can introduce some fishes also to complete the cycling.

After 15 more days remove the fishes and introduce your shrimps.

You can check the video also of setting up a dwarf shrimp tank –

Setting up a shrimp tank

Hope you will like my work. Do share your feedback below or reach me at for any queries.

My loss and biggest learning,

Confession about my biggest lost!!

Hi All,

I have been keeping shrimps from last 5 years . Recently moved to a new apartment and the biggest tragedy of my shrimp keeping tenure happened. The tragedy happened is mostly attributed from my side.

Background –
Earlier in my old apartment I haven’t used any remineralizing salt as the tap water quality there was good. I used to mix tap water and RO water and used to get the desire TDS and GH. My shrimps were happy so never bothered.

Incident –
I moved to my new apartment, same city around 15 km away from my old place. And as usual I have used the same water mixing criteria, tap water plus RO water to get desired parameters. The TDS of the tap water was fine around 180ppm.
I even used ADA Do Aqua with the tap water to remove the chlorine effect and then mix it with the RO water.
The tanks in my new apartment were already cycled 15 days prior with fishes in it. Removed the fishes and then introduced my shrimps.

But once I started doing the water change with the tap+ro water mix, my shrimps started dying. Just 6-12 hours post the water change interval I could see dead shrimps.
The deaths were constant sometime 5-8 in number sometime in 1-2. In no time I lost my Crystal Red Shrimp from 70 to 5, and lost my entire stock of tigers, tangerine tigers, blue jelly.
Some of the shrimps died post molting, some I found dead in extreme corners.

In every aquarium on mine I have double filtration – one canister and one air driven sponge for effective filtration and decent amount of aeration. So death due to improper oxygen flow is chalked out.

Possible Issue –
As the tank was cycled and also no new shrimp have been introduced so all things point down to one issue – WATER Quality!!
Took my tap water to a friend and got it tested there and found high level of magnesium, copper, lead inside the water which possibly could be the culprit of the mass demise.

Action and Prevention –
After discussing thoroughly with my shrimp friends and gurus decided to move every shrimp setups into 100% RO + Remineralizing Salt.
So prepared a new tank as per that and after some days moved my remaining shrimps to that setup and luckily they are doing good. Introduced some Indian Almond leaves also in the new setup. It’s been around 3-4 weeks and they are still doing well. Hope they continue the same way.

Learning –
For keeping shrimps the most important thing required is – pristine water quality. Either due to less amount of knowledge, or may be unwillingness to spend on remineralizing salt we tend to do the same permutation & combination with tap water and RO water. If it primarily worked fine for you don’t be so much buoyant as the moment your tap water quality decreases you are doomed! And tap water quality is inversely proportional to water the municipality people are pumping inside it.

My honest suggestion would be to get a remineralizing salt and use 100% RO. In this way you can chalk out the water fluctuations and also removal of the heavy metals from the water. This also enables you to maintain proper water parameters. If money is an issue to get a remineralizing salt, my suggestion – wait for some days – accumulate fund – then start the tank.

A simple math to show you how effective it will be –
For e.g. you are going to buy 6 Crystal Red Shrimp at INR 250/pc so total is 250*6 = INR 1500.
If your entire stock goes for a toss you lose INR 1500.

A remineralizing salt (SL Aqua Blue Wizard/ Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp GH+ or Shrimp Mineral GH/KH+ ) will cost you around INR 1250 maximum and can prepare 660lt or more of ready to use water.

Investing INR 1250 can save your entire shrimp stock and if happy they can multiply so its return on investment. Choice is yours.

Some more precautions –

Water Change –
Don’t do a massive like 40%-50% water change, do it in small quantity like 10%-20%. With nominal water change you can reduce shock.

Introducing new plants –
Many aquarium plants are grown emersed in plant farms and treated with all kinds of pesticides which are, obviously, extremely toxic to shrimp. Fish will do fine, whereas shrimp will almost immediately fall over and die. Unfortunately, rinsing does not always get rid of all traces of pesticides. Therefore, it is imperative to buy non-pesticide treated plants or exchange plants with other hobbyists instead of buying plants grown in huge plant farms and offered at your local pet store or your favorite internet retailer. Best Bet will be to keep the plants in a separate set-up after rinsing for a week and then introduce them to your main tank.