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.We 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 –