I seem to have a dual population of RCS. One is the standard red and the other is brown and I suppose closer to the wild coloration. Anyone else have RCS like this? Should I seperate the browns from the reds?
I've got some brown-ish looking ones too from some red adults. My understanding is that neos have lots of different colors they can be and without selective breeding for color, they'll revert to the wild coloring (brownish).
You'll want to separate the colors/cull/select for the reddest ones if you want to preserve the red coloring.
The females should be the ones that get the reddest. Males tend not have such a deep red and are more clear-looking.
It's mostly just natural variation. Before hobbyists got a hold of them, Neocaridina heteropoda was primarily brown. Selective breeding has greatly enhanced the red color in the cherry variation. Same with yellow shrimp, same species, bred for a different color. Granted, females *are* generally more colorful than males, but your brown shrimp are simply the "ancestral" form of modern cherries. My population started with some brown ones, I like the way they look, but the brown was quickly eliminated, and I now don't have *any* in a tank that probably has a couple hundred cherries.
Thanks for the reply TarantulaGuy, what you said makes sense. The cherries have been breeding amongst their own little group for quite a while so I suppose the wild coloration was bound to show up eventually.