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Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:34 am

Some parts of this interview have been also published in a Brasilian website but some questions are exclusively for

Chris Lukhaup is a famous aquarist and musician. He has produced many videos for MTV, VIVA and other production houses and also complete world tours. He is also a well known photographer. His many articles and photographs published in leading magazines, websites and forums. His some Scientific Papers also published. So a Tag of Scientist also a part of his profile. We can say him a Multidimensional Personality. He have done Collection trips and Expeditions to Cuba, Chili, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, USA, Panama, Singapur, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Brasil, Japan, Europe, Sri LAnka etc. In future he will also visit to India.

Chris with his wife Isidora Paz Lopez and daughter Maya


His daughter Maya

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:40 am
AquaPetZ: What about your family?

Chris Lukhaup: Well, I am a happy father of a 3 year old daughter and this is like the best thing that happened to me. Maya (daughter) is very interested in all kind of animals but of course she loves aquariums. Sometimes I take her trips with me. The name of my wife is Isidora Paz Lopez

Aquapetz: Where is your birth place?

Chris Lukhaup: my birth place is the home of Dracula...I was born in Transsylvania
just about 3 km form the Dracula castle

AquaPetZ: When do you started to breed shrimps?

Chris Lukhaup: To be honest I never have been a real breeder of shrimps. I bread several species 10 – 12 years ago but for me the challenge was not to breed shrimps It was more like to find out what species of shrimp it is, where it comes from and how the natural habitat looks. I am more interested in taxonomy and systematic when it comes to invertebrates. In the times when the shrimp boom started some years ago we had a lot of shrimp species coming over to Europe and most of them with trivial names given by wholesalers in Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong. First of all we had to find out where exactly it came from then we could more or less determine the species. In many cases it has been new species without any scientific description. For me it is more interesting finding new species and determine them then just breed them.

AquaPetZ: What were the major difficulties you had encountered in the beginning? What is today?

Chris Lukhaup: Like I mentioned before for me the most difficult is still to find out where exactly species come from because many wholesalers don’t want to tell the locations. Without location it makes it is very hard to determine an animal and impossible to describe the species that are new to science.

AquaPetZ: How do you see the aquarium hobby growth?

Chris Lukhaup: To be honest I am a bit worried about our hobby. The kids are distracted a lot by hundred of possibilities that they could do specially Playstation and Computers have a big space in the life of our kids. There is a chance that we have bringing kids back to our hobby because in some surveys tell us that kids are still very interested to have pets in general. It is up to us to show them how interesting and "modern" the hobby is. A project I have launched is the Aquaristik Task Force.
Together with almost all aquaristic companies and the German Minstry of Education, I was working on a concept to familiarize kids with aquaristics and thus with nature. In November 2009 I invited all the marketing department heads to Stuttgart in order to present them the draft of "Kids go Nature". My aim was to put up a tank in all the schools in Germany and to offer teachers and children a project to explore nature in this aquarium. A side effect of this is of course winning over these kids as future tank keepers. This is a huge challenge and the project per se is an immense task.

AquaPetZ: What do you think about breeders and hobbyists who hide information, secrets, tips, etc? What is sharable and if exist what is acceptable to hide?

Chris Lukhaup:In fact I understand that some breeders hide information because meanwhile shrimp breeding is connected with shrimp selling and therefore a lot of money is involved. If you take a look at big names in shrimp breeding like Crimson or also Benibachi there is a lot of money in involved. Some of the shrimps costs 1000 Euros and more. For me that is ok because these breeders are companies meanwhile and the way how they obtain results is the capital of the company. The only thing I don`t like is that they spread wrong information in order to protect their business.

AquaPetZ: What species / varieties you most like?

Chris Lukhaup: In fact I have no species that I like most. I have a lot of species I am working on and these are probably the ones I like best for the moment. I have discovered a very nice freshwater species in Lake Poso in Sulawesi in a dept of 10–15 meters therefore at the moment this keep me busy and Werner Klotz and me are working on the description of the crystal red shrimp.

AquaPetZ: What is your message for Indian hobbyists?

Chris Lukhaup: The interesting in India is that some of the freshwater shrimp species that we have on the market come from India. I think that the Indian shrimp lovers have a great chance to keep shrimps that have a distribution in India. I am sure that there are many new and interesting species in your country and that could be interesting for the hobby also. Of what I heard is that normal Crystal red shrimps are still very expensive so that many people can not afford them. We had the same problem in Europe also but with time it will change and more and more people will breed these animals and so the chance of getting them for an affordable price is high. I think it will be even more quick then it developed in Europe. So I hope the hobby shrimp keeping will be big in India also,like it is in many other countries at the moment. Like I mentioned many times before, India is on my list of places to go and I would be more than happy to give some lectures and workshops in your country, talk to people interested in shrimps and also go on a trip with you guys.

Camouflage Tiger

Camouflage TigerAPZ.jpg

Caridina trifasciata

Caridina trifasciataAPZ1.jpg

Caridina trifasciataAPZ.jpg

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:04 am
AquaPetZ: Which species, variations and grades of shrimp do you keep?

Chris Lukhaup: This changes nearly every week because a lot of people send me animals to photograph, some wholesalers send me animals to determine and also I sometimes bring animals from my expedition. At the moment I have some species from my last Hong Kong and China trip in my tanks and always some nice crystal red.

AquaPetZ: You now produce specific diets for shrimp, how do you have the idea? Tell me more about these shrimp foods. Where can we find for sale?

Chris Lukhaup: I always wanted a good and natural shrimp food because good food is essential for a good growth, keeping and survival of shrimps. Information on how to feed shrimps was not there when i started with shrimps. Over the years we have been able to learn more and more about what they like and what they need. In this case I work together with Dennerle and Bernhard Ehmer now. Dennerle is responsible for the distribution and Bernhard Ehmer is a specialist when it comes to shrimp food. He knows a lot of ingredients and understands mixing them. We wanted to have a shrimp food that is based on natural ingredients without any chemical stuff. The ShrimpKing Concept is my creation but Bernhard developed the food and Dennerle has the power to distribute it. At the moment you can buy it in Europe and on the internet.

AquaPetZ: We know you are a good friend of the great aquascaper Oliver Knott and are doing a project together. Which project is this?

Chris Lukhaup: At the moment I am working on a huge project with Oliver Knott. We are Aquascaping 50 Aquariums for a book. I am sure that Aquascaping is a new trend we should put an eye on. I for shure will support this!

AquaPetZ: What equipment do you use to take fantastic shrimp´s photos?

Chris Lukhaup: Well, I've been sitting in front of aquariums for years, observing and studying the inhabitants.
If you consider the photos I've taken over the years you'll see that they continuously get better. This is not only because my equipment is constantly improved. Of course, the equipment is important, but without a trained eye, patience, the necessary knowledge and the ambition to keep getting better even the best of equipments is not really going to get you good photos. Of course you can photograph shrimp then, but I like to search for pictures that are out of the ordinary.
I have decided to keep my equipment up to date, also the light technology. I consider the light the most important aspect of aquarium photography. I've found my optimum solution with a softbox.
At the moment I work with a Canon 5 D Mark II which I use for habitat photography and filming, and of course with my Canon 7 D, a really great cam. Naturally I also use a macro lense and some extension tubes. In addition, over the years I've found the best camera parameters ( z.B. white balance, shutter speed etc.) for photos of aquariums and aquatic animals.
However, I can only speak for myself, and describe my way to do things. There are great aquarium photographers who work in a different way and their work is awesome.

AquaPetZ: How you take photographs of shrimps?

Chris Lukhaup: There are some rules I follow regarding taking pics of inverts. When people send me stuff to photograph or when I bring things from my trips I usually wait some days ( 2–3 ) until the animals adapt in my photo tank. Then I feed them well so they are more relaxed. About 4 or 5 hours before the shoot i have a water change about 80 % so the water is very clear. This is very important as you can see a big difference on the photo between "used" water and clear new water. A mayor issue for me is also that on a photo the shrimp need to be clear visible, that means that I like to see the shrimp immediately and without a lot of distraction around. The more important is the eyes are sharp and that there needs to be a dynamic in the pic. The best is if the shrimp looks at you in a active way. Meanwhile i use a tripod for nearly all of my pics and also a cable to take the pics. The difference is visible.

AquaPetZ: What substrate do you use in your shrimp aquariums and what filtration system do you use?

Chris Lukhaup: I decided to use sand and gravel because in 95 % of the shrimp habitats I find exactly that substrate. There are many ways to filter a shrimp aquarium. I usually use Dennerle and Eheim Filters but I have seen nearly all filter systems on shrimp aquariums around the world so in this case I have to say that the water parameters are more important then what type of filter is used.

AquaPetZ: Each keeper has your own method and workarounds to improve animals color, breeding even life. Do you have these workarounds?

Chris Lukhaup: I think as for color you need to select always the best animals. Therefore you need to be patience and invest a lot of time in it. Of course light also plays a role in this matter. In Asia the breeders have a lot of light on top of the shrimp tanks. I tam sure this improves color also. There are some minerals and also the new shrimp salt that was developed by the Logemann Bros. that improve breeding of Sulawesi shrimps a lot. With this salt that is specially made for Bee Shrimps and Sulawesi shrimps you can improve not only keeping the animals also some species that have been very difficult to keep ( like Caridina woltareckae,C.spinata etc ) are now a lot easier to breed. The water Parameters are very important as well. In most of the habitats in southern China,where most of the Caridina species come form, there have been very similar water parameters. ph around 6.5 ,Conductivity 40 -120 microsiemens and temperature from 16 to 22 degrees celsius.

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:10 am
AquaPetZ: Outside the usual which in his opinion could not miss in a shrimp aquarium and make the difference?

Chris Lukhaup: I think that the salt developed by the Logemann Bros. is something that i would recommend to all breeders. In the past i always said that it is not only the water parameters like temperature, ph and conductivity there have to bee other parameters that affect the shrimps also and meanwhile we know that it was true and therefore I can give this recommendation.

AquaPetZ: Have you tried to crossbreed different species and had good results or you are totally against this kind of experience?

Chris Lukhaup: It occasionally happens also in my tanks. I never did i i by purpose because I don’t breed anymore. I am not against this kind of experience. Its an interesting field and if there are cool results. Why not? If you look at the tiger bees a mix of Tiger Shrimps and bee shrimps there are some very interesting results.

AquaPetZ: Do you have any hobbies besides the aquarium? As you fill your time when it is not intended to shrimps?

Chris Lukhaup: I am on the road most of the time so it is really nice to stay at home and spend time with my daughter, do garden work (I call it terrascaping) and photograph insects. After many years of being on tour with my band (we played also in Sao Paulo, Recife and Puerto Allegre ) I enjoy the quiet moments.

AquaPetZ: What is your future planning?
Chris Lukhaup: I am always thinking about the future. The optimal would be if i could do a lot of scientific collection and photographing trips worldwide. I want to make books and continue working for the pet industry. At the moment i have plans for several books about aquaristic and nature. All in all i would like to have a happy life with my family and my work. I guess thats not so different from most of the people. Happyness
is the most important.

AquaPetZ: Any message for the members of

Chris Lukhaup: Our hobby is strongly connected with nature and therefore I have the hope that we can teach other people about our respect for nature. I saw that the forum members do trips together to experience flora and fauna in India. I like that a lot and thats why I would say keep up the natural spirit and let nature inspire you.

Neocaridina heteropoda Sakura

Neocaridina heteropoda SakuraAPZ.jpg

Super crystal red

Trio Red Bee ShrimpAPZ.jpg

Super crystal redAPZ.jpg

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:24 am
by parthapratim22
Thanks Mr Chris for your time!!! :adore

Good work team!!! :goodpost

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:29 am
by abartar
Thanks for sharing. Awesome.

BEWARE - I do not want to experience the multi tank syndrome again. :)

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:16 am
by aamir
:o :o :o :shock:
Thanks a lot chris for sharing

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:29 am
by zico_aqua
never knew Chris was from Transylvania! awesome!

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:38 am
by Zakk
wow. just wow.

Re: Interview of Chris Lukhaup.

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:41 am
by ishaan
nice interview