Yep, I'm making the plunge, I'm keeping Taiwan bees. A lot of people wonder, "How do you keep Taiwan Bees? Where are they from? Why are they so expensive & not in the US?"
Well, Taiwan bees require finite conditions, just like CRS, but more so, since they're more specialized. I don't claim to be an expert on TBs but in reading up on how to keep them and talking to experts who know the tricks, I've learned a lot.
TB parameters: ph 6.0-6.8
TDS: 150-180, can very a little
And here are my parameters:
THE most important thing I believe is that the shrimp adjust to the water. A friend of mine told me that TBs breed better in 6.0, but most breeders keep them in 6.5 anyway because it's a minuscule difference. It's important to use RO water, or at least know your TDS, while dealing with these shrimps. They're unusually sensitive to them. Temperature can go a little bit lower than 70, but NEVER higher than 74; it should be pretty uniform, and below 68 is bad also. kH of 0 helps them breed better.
Even though they can be kept in them, I wouldn't recommend any tank smaller than 10 gallons; that way the water parameters are more stable and take longer to change. I'm keeping mine in a 10 gallon for that reason ;)
Where are Taiwan Bees from? Taiwan I guess. Just kidding. From what I've read they're from Taiwan all right, and that they're a spontaneous mutation of CRS. You can tell they're a real mutation and not selective breeding because BKK eggs are dark blue vs. regular eggs which are reddish brown, and TB eggs take 4-5 more days to hatch.
Blue bolts were a spontaneous mutation of BKK, and there's something like a .01% chance of getting a BB from a berried BKK.
Why are BKKs so expensive? Because there aren't many of them in the US. It's a case of supply and demand, and there's a very limited supply so there's a big demand. People in the US have them but they're a lot more obtainable in other countries like Japan, Taiwan, etc.
Well, now you know ;) I hope to make more of these info blogs when I get the TB firsthand so I can absolutely tell what they like, what crosses get what, etc.