Our Sulawesi Keepers Global Survey was announced exactly one year ago and here we bring you the first results. Who keeps Sulawesi shrimps, snails, crabs and fish? Which species is the most popular?


We received responses from 70 aquarists. That's less than we hoped for, but on the other hand, this survey gave us a much better insight into the world of Sulawesi keepers. We learned how some of these people perceive their hobby (or work), what their goals are, what’s their relationship with the endemic fauna of Sulawesi. And we appreciate everyone who contacted us through this survey and also provided personal notes, which of course will not be published.

21 is the number of countries represented in the survey. And that's a lot! 35% of the responses came from Germany, 18% from the USA. Other countries were Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

63% of the respondents claim to be pure hobbyists. 17% have a small income from their home aquariums and 13% work as professional aquarists either independently or in a breeding facility.

30% are not specialized aquarists, 28% are shrimp breeders (but not exclusively focused on Sulawesi), 10% keep only Sulawesi species. There were only 3 people focusing on snails and no one focused on crabs and crayfish. Most aquarists who keep fish have written down their favorite group, from rainbowfish (most often) to cories, killifish, labyrinth fish and even goodeids.

The remaining questions can be easily shared using charts:

What do we keep in aquariums?

Of course we wanted to find breeders of rare fish to build a conservation breeding network. In the charts below, we look for red (the species is currently bred), while blue means the species is “only” kept. Orange bars are traditionally the highest, as they show that the species has been kept in the past.


Questions about fish were divided into 4 groups: livebearing halfbeaks, gobies, sailfin silversides, ricefish.


There were again 4 groups of snails. Of the "classical" Tylomelania, the "Pure Orange" type is clearly the most popular (kept by 19, bred by 14). Snails known under the trade names "Yellow", "Yellow Antennae", "Yellow Spotted" are also well represented. In the future, we will work more closely with snail breeders to obtain detailed information and assist in correct species identification. Another group with deposits on the shell ("cf. perfecta" type) is bred much less in 3 color variants. The so-called "mini Tylomelania" and other snails can be seen in the charts:


We asked about 27 species or forms known to aquarists. Here we share just a few examples of what we learned. Nobody keeps or kept Caridina lingkonae, Caridina parvula, Caridina sarasinorum, Caridina tenuirostris. No one claimed to keep Caridina dennerli "Golden Ghost" while 3 people kept or keep "Blue Ghost". Selectively bred color variants of shrimps are not interesting to us, we try to preserve wild species, but it is interesting to see how often these different forms are kept and what else the same aquarists keep. We also learned that although some people keep Caridina profundicola and Caridina longidigita, none of our respondents breed them. The situation is also very alarming with Caridina ensifera and Caridina lanceolata.


Crabs remain a mystery with answers that are not very clear. Out of 70 respondents, only 4 kept or are keeping Sulawesi crabs. We will connect with them individually to see how relevant their experiences are and if we can learn something together.

The survey is still open, so you can participate! Read more about it here or go directly to the form:

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Markéta Rejlková