INTERVIEW: Kelvin Wong

It’s been a while since we have done an interview with another fellow hobbyist and we are very lucky to have Mr Kelvin Wong, champion of the creative group from Singapore Shrimp Competition 2019. If you haven’t read about the competition that happened this year, check it out here.

Kelvin have been in this hobby for close to three years now. Previously he had been heavily involved in the crayfish community and also breeding other fishes like Discus, Adoketa Cichlids and also Channidae. Through his vast experience in aquatic breeding, he picked up shrimp keeping in no time.

After the competition, we have approached Kelvin and asked if we could do up an interview with him and he gladly agreed.

MADSHRIMP: What makes you get into shrimp breeding?
Kelvin: I used to keep crayfish, and through crayfish, I have met many veterans in shrimp keeping and slowly learn about this hobby. I decided to plunge in one day and since then, I have fell in love with the hobby. I picked up the hobby quickly because I also learn a lot about water parameters in crayfish keeping. I created my own lineage of shrimp called TMJ, basically it means Taman Jurong, that’s where I live!

MADSHRIMP: What are the challenges that you face when you started this hobby?
Kelvin: The biggest challenge in this hobby is actually buying shrimps. It is very difficult to get quality shrimps from the local fish shops. The usual LFS usually carries the mainstream shrimps and bringing in shrimps from overseas is a huge risk and too much hassle. Fortunately, there are a few specialize shop like MADSHRIMP and Shrimps Affair that are able to source for quality shrimps.

MADSHRIMP: In your opinion, what is the important factor when setting up a new tank?
Kelvin: Whenever I setup my tank, after adding soil, I will fill it up with 100% RODI water and adjust my TDS to 100 with Aqualex gH conditioner immediately. I noticed by doing that, my water gets cleared up very quickly from the bacteria boom. This way, the light is able to penetrate through the clear water and algae is able to grow quickly. The entire process of clear water takes only about three days if I adjust my TDS during the setup.

MADSHRIMP: What other factor would you take note of or do?
Kelvin: Another thing that I would do is to overfeed my shrimps. I feed as much as the shrimps can finish in a day and never skip a day without feeding. By doing this, shrimps grow faster and get berried faster.

Also, don’t be too strict on culling. It is always good to have quantity first rather than just a few shrimps. For a one feet tank, have at least 30 shrimps to have a reasonable bioload. Ttoo little shrimps in a tank would affect breeding rate and growth rate as well.

Lastly, when you see a nice shrimp, just buy it! Money can always be earned but a nice shrimp is hard to come by.

MADSHRIMP: Do you think that plants are important in the tank?
Kelvin: There is a limit to the quantity of shrimp you can have in your tank. In order to increase the limit, you have to add more hiding space and plants are definitely great as they create hiding space and looks nice. Plants like mosses are good because they don’t die easily. Hiding space helps weak shrimp or shrimps that just moult. They can hide easily and will not be attacked by others.

MADSHRIMP: What is the most important thing in shrimp breeding?
Kelvin: When purchasing shrimp, I would always see what the parentage looks like. The similarity of the actual shrimp that I am buying and the parent of the shrimp must be as close as possible to determine a good lineage.

Lineage is extremely important to me. You can achieve good shrimps through culling, but that would take years, probably a quarter of your entire life to achieve something nice. Therefore, I would just spend on a good shrimp lineage and perfect it. It would save me almost half the time.

MADSHRIMP: How do you usually prepare for competition?
Kelvin: Two weeks before competition, I would not do any water change at all so that my parameters are stable. You want to avoid shrimp molting during this stage as well so that there wouldn’t be any color change in the shrimp. I would also start dosing Aqualex Shrimp Fert about two months before with the recommended dosage. This helps with the shrimp shell being shiny and those with blue base being more vibrant.

MADSHRIMP: Being a two time champion, what other shrimps will you be focusing on now?
Kelvin: I will probably be looking into breeding Golden Boa, Red Boa and also Mosura PRL.

MADSHRIMP: Lastly, do you have any comments for the shrimp community in Singapore?
Kelvin: I feel that having a shrimp competition helps perfect this hobby for me. It brings out the competitive spirit in me and makes me want to improve my lineage and perfect my lineage. I start to be more attentive in culling and also to improve certain traits that my shrimps are missing. I would recommend hobbyist to join for an experience and also its great to meet friends with the same hobby.

We would like to sincerely thank Kelvin for his time with us, and also the very freshly made watermelon juice. As part of MADSHRIMP initiative to bring awareness to this hobby, we will be conducting interviews with Singapore breeders and share their experience with our readers. If you would like to collaborate with us, feel free to contact me at demin@madshrimp.com.

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