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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL



bee shrimp

  • Shrimp caresheet: Panda shrimp (Caridina cantonensis var. 'Panda')

    Panda shrimp are a bee shrimp variety appreciated by aquarists for their bright coloration. Although they definitely aren't the easiest dwarf shrimp to keep they are worth a try for the more experienced shrimp keeper. With the right care they can thrive and be a real eyecatcher in any shrimp collection.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about panda shrimp and keeping panda shrimp in your own aquarium!

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis var. "Panda"

    Common names: Panda shrimp, black panda shrimp, black king kong panda

    Difficulty level: Intermediate to hard

    Origin: Spontaneous mutation

    panda shrimp

    Setting up a panda shrimp aquarium

    Panda shrimp requirements

    Although panda shrimp definitely aren't the easiest Caridina cantonensis variety to keep, it's possible to keep them happy and healthy as long as you strictly follow their care guidelines.

    For most dwarf shrimp an aquarium of at least 5 gallons is recommended, but things are a little different for pandas. Larger setups are more stable, which comes in handy with these fragile shrimp. An aquarium of 10 gallons (preferably even more) is a good idea, especially if you're worried about water quality.

    Your aquarium should always be fully cycled. Use one or multiple sponge filters or any other type of gentle filter with a filter guard. A heater is also recommended: these shrimp do well at room temp but a heater protects them from sudden temperature fluctuations.

    As with all shrimp, pandas need plenty of hiding places to feel safe. Try adding some easy aquarium plants like Java fern and a few shrimp hides to help keep your panda shrimp happy.

    Panda shrimp water quality

    In order to keep your panda shrimp healthy, water quality should always be high. Any traces of ammonia or nitrite can be deadly, so check your water values very regularly using a liquid test kit to verify the cycle is still stable. Stay on top of your water changes, as nitrates can also damage the shrimp in higher quantities. Be sure to match the new water to the old and don't change too much water at a time.

    As Planet Inverts describes, although neutral pH and relatively high temperatures are preferable for panda shrimp, these conditions are also appreciated by pathogens. These vulnerable shrimp can easily fall prey to infections, which means it might actually be better to go for a slightly lower pH and temperature. That way there are less pathogens to worry about and the shrimp population is safer.

    In short: water quality and stability is everything. Keep it in mind at all times if you want your pandas to thrive.

    pH: 6-7.5

    Temperature: 62-76 °F

    GH: 4-6

    KH: 0-4

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-200

    Panda shrimp tankmates

    I think most aquarists can be brief about this: no fish with your panda shrimp. It's just too much of a risk; with their fragility and slow breeding you really don't want to lose any fry.

    There are a few invertebrate tankmate options. You can try small snails if you're sure they're not carrying any diseases. Other (dwarf) shrimp can also work as long as they don't interfere with your breeding program. Neocaridinas like cherry shrimp are 100% harmless, don't interbreed with Caridina cantonensis and should combine well with your pandas.

    Panda shrimp diet

    All aquarium shrimp naturally feed on biofilm that grows on rocks and other surfaces. In the aquarium their diet should be supplemented with a high quality shrimp food. To add some extra variety you can also feed things like fresh blanched vegetables, frozen foods and much more, although pandas are often said to be a little picky when it comes to food.

    Be sure to remove any uneaten foods from the aquarium after a few hours to avoid issues with your water quality.

    Breeding panda shrimp

    Breeding panda shrimp is definitely not the easiest thing, although they are not as difficult as some of the other Taiwan bee varieties out there. Keep in mind that breeding panda shrimp to other panda shrimp might not result in success, as the offspring can be too weak to survive. Figure out your breeding goals beforehand and choose which shrimp to breed your pandas to accordingly. Other Taiwan bees and Caridina cantonensis species should work well.

    In essence, the breeding process is the same for all dwarf shrimp, pandas just aren't as fertile. Females (which are larger and more brightly colored) carry small eggs between their swimmerettes for around 30 days. The fry, which look exactly like tiny versions of the adults, don't need extra care but high water quality is very important to keep them alive.

    Buying panda shrimp

    Panda shrimp are not too easy to breed, which means they aren't the most common shrimp in the hobby. Your local aquarium store usually won't carry them, but you might be able to obtain some from a fellow hobbyist or from an online source. The Shrimp Farm sells panda shrimp and ships them right to your doorstep! You can order your shrimp here.

    Keep in mind that panda shrimp look similar to Crystal Blacks. Make sure you don't buy the wrong shrimp! Pandas have intenser coloration and a black face, whereas CBS often have less opaque colors and a their face isn't colored.

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  • Shrimp caresheet: Golden bee shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)

    The golden bee shrimp is a bit of a mystery of the shrimp world: no one seems to be sure where it came from or who bred it. Like the much more common crystal red shrimp it's a selectively bred variety of the bee shrimp.

    Although its carapace is snow white, its flesh is slightly orange-colored, which makes for a combination that looks almost golden. Golden bee shrimp aren't the easiest dwarf shrimp to keep and breed but their unique coloration certainly makes them worth the challenge.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about golden bee shrimp and keeping golden bee shrimp in your own aquarium.

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis var. "Golden bee"

    Common names: Golden bee shrimp, golden crystal red shrimp

    Difficulty level: Intermediate

    Origin: Unknown

    Gold star! How to care for Golden Bee Shrimp (Caridina genus) in your aquarium #fishtanks #aquatic Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a golden bee shrimp aquarium

    Golden bee shrimp requirements

    If you're looking to start your own golden bee shrimp breeding project you don't need a large aquarium. Around 10 gallons is preferable; experienced aquarists might be able to keep the water quality high enough in a smaller tank but that can be a little risky with these sensitive shrimp.

    Equipment-wise, a filter is the most important. It allows the aquarium to cycle, which is crucial in keeping your shrimp alive and healthy. If you're not sure what cycling is, read this article first. A sponge filter should work well, as it produces a gentle flow and can't suck up any baby shrimp. If you're using another type of filter be sure to use a filter guard to protect your shrimp. A heater can help keep the aquarium temperature stable.

    Like all shrimp, golden bee shrimp prefer an aquarium with plenty of hiding places. This can be as simple as tossing some Java moss into the tank or adding some ceramic or pvc pipes.

    Golden bee shrimp water quality

    Water quality is a crucial part of golden bee shrimp care. Unlike the sturdier Neocaridina davidi dwarf shrimp varieties golden bees are quite sensitive and won't respond well at all to bad water quality or sudden fluctuations.

    To keep your golden bees happy and healthy the aquarium water should be soft and relatively acidic. The setup should always be fully cycled, as any traces of ammonia or nitrite can quickly prove fatal for these fragile shrimp. Nitrates should also be kept in check because they are harmful in larger doses. Do regular water changes to lower your nitrates and keep a close eye on your water values using a liquid test kit.

    pH: 5.8-7.4

    Temperature: 62-76 °F

    GH: 4-6

    KH: 0-4

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-200

    Golden bee shrimp tankmates

    When it comes to tankmates, most serious shrimp breeders choose to skip them altogether. No tankmates means no risk of any fish or invert bothering the shrimp, which in turn means less stress and higher rates of fry survival.

    If you do want to keep your golden bee shrimp with other fish or invertebrates be sure to choose very, very wisely. Almost all fish will eat tiny shrimp fry, so stick to very peaceful options like pygmy Corydoras catfish. These are too small to fit even a baby shrimp into their mouth. There are also a few shrimp safe invertebrates. Most snail species, like nerite snails, should work well. You can also combine your golden bees with other dwarf shrimp as long as there's no risk of interbreeding (that means no mixing multiple bee shrimp varieties). Neocaridina davidi should work well.

    Golden bee shrimp diet

    Wild bee shrimp survive by eating algae and biofilm off any surface they can find. Because our aquariums are usually too clean to contain enough natural foods it's up to you to make sure your shrimp have enough to eat. There are many high-quality shrimp foods available that make great staples. A varied diet is key, though, so be sure to also include some of the various other foods that shrimp love. Fresh blanched veggies, frozen foods like mosquito larvae and leaf litter will all be appreciated.

    Feed around once a day and be sure to remove any uneaten foods within a few hours to prevent pollution.

    Breeding golden bee shrimp

    Breeding golden bee shrimp is similar to breeding crystal reds. Females can easily be recognized, as they are larger and more intensely colored than males. The underside of their carapace is more rounded and if they're healthy they should almost constantly carry small brownish eggs. These hatch after around 30 days to reveal tiny copies of the parents, which can immediately fend for themselves and don't need special care.

    The more opaque a golden bee shrimp's coloration, the higher the "quality". If you're breeding golden bees to sell be sure to regularly remove shrimp that lack the intense coloration to prevent the overall quality of your colony from decreasing. Many aquarists set up a special tank for the inferior quality "culls" so they can happily live out their lives.

    Buying golden bee shrimp

    Golden bee shrimp are still a relatively uncommon bee shrimp variety. This means they might not be the easiest shrimp to find and your local aquarium store probably doesn't carry them. You can ask them to order some golden bee shrimp for you but you can also try the Internet. Fellow shrimp hobbyists might have some golden bees for sale. The Shrimp Farm also sells golden bee shrimp: you can buy your golden bees here and have them shipped right to your doorstep.

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  • Shrimp caresheet: Crystal black shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)

    Most shrimp keepers know crystal red shrimp, but are you also familiar with their less common cousin? Crystal black shrimp, also known as black bee shrimp, are named after the black bands that cross their white bodies. Like crystal reds they were selectively bred from bee shrimp. Their bright black and white colors are sure to liven up any aquarium and they make a great breeding project that can even yield a little profit!

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about crystal black shrimp care and keeping crystal black shrimp in your own aquarium.

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis

    Common names: Crystal black shrimp, bee shrimp, CBS

    Difficulty level: Intermediate

    Origin: South East Asia

    Crystal black shrimp care & info: keeping Caridina dwarf shrimp in your aquarium #aquatic #pets Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a crystal black shrimp aquarium

    Crystal black shrimp requirements

    As with most other freshwater shrimp you don't need a large aquarium to keep crystal blacks. Keep in mind that they are quite sensitive and don't react well to bad water values, which means a larger aquarium is better especially if you're a beginner. An aquarium of at least 10 gallons is easier to keep stable than smaller setups.

    Like all aquariums a crystal black shrimp tank should be fully cycled and established before any inhabitants are introduced. You need a filter to cycle the tank; most shrimp breeders prefer sponge filters, as these create a gentle water flow and can't suck up tiny shrimp fry. Although crystal black shrimp can handle room temperatures just fine it's still recommended to use a heater to prevent any temperature fluctuations.

    Crystal black shrimp love plenty of hiding places in the aquarium, especially when they're vulnerable during molting time. Shrimp flats and live plants make great hides while also providing a place for nutritious biofilm to grow, so be sure to incorporate a few in your crystal black tank.

    Crystal black shrimp water quality

    As discussed earlier, crystal black shrimp are a little more sensitive than most common dwarf shrimp. Their ancestor, the bee shrimp, naturally occurs in fast-flowing, clean waters. Selective breeding has made crystal blacks even more sensitive; this especially applies to the higher grades.

    All this means you have to keep a close eye on your water values if you want to keep these shrimp alive and happy. The water should be relatively soft and acidic and always free of ammonia and nitrites. Regular aquarium maintenance is a must, as crystal blacks are also quite sensitive to nitrates. Do regular, small water changes to keep the water values where they should be. A liquid test kit allows you to check the water values while a thermometer should be used to make sure the temperature is still correct.

    pH: 5.8-7.4

    Temperature: 62-76 °F

    GH: 4-6

    KH: 0-4

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-200

    Crystal black shrimp tankmates

    Although there are some options out there when it comes to tankmates for your crystal red shrimp, most breeders prefer keeping them in single species setups. This ensures no fry fall prey to hungry fish and the shrimp feel safe at all times.

    If you do want to keep your crystal blacks with some tankmates and don't mind the fact that you likely won't get as much offspring, be sure to still choose carefully. Only go for small and very peaceful tankmates like Otocinclus or Pygmy Corydoras or even stick to just inverts. Snails should work well and you can also try other dwarf shrimp species as long as they don't interbreed with your crystal blacks. Shrimp from the Neocaridina genus can co-exist with crystal blacks just fine.

    Crystal black shrimp diet

    Crystal black shrimp are omnivores that thrive on a varied diet. They naturally feed on biofilm that forms on rocks and plants but in the aquarium their diet should be supplemented. There are many high quality shrimp foods out there that can be used as a staple and the possibilities for added variation are endless. Your crystal blacks will love frozen foods like mosquito larvae, fresh blanched veggies, algae pellets and even strange things like dried nettle leaves. Botanicals like Indian almond leaves and cholla wood are also a welcome source of food.

    Because crystal blacks are so sensitive all uneaten foods should be removed after a few hours. Any leftovers can quickly start rotting, which is disastrous for your water quality and can damage the shrimp population.

    Breeding crystal black shrimp

    Crystal black shrimp make a great breeding project and you shouldn't have too much trouble getting your crystal blacks to reproduce. As long as their requirements are met these shrimp should pretty much constantly produce fry! The females, which are larger and more brightly colored, carry the eggs between their back legs (swimmerettes) for around 30 days before releasing tiny babies that don't need any special care.

    Like crystal reds, crystal black shrimp come in various color patterns that vary in rarity and determine their "grade" or "quality". A crystal black shrimp with more white and more opaque coloration falls into a higher grade, which affects the price.

    Buying crystal black shrimp

    Crystal black shrimp are unfortunately a little less common than their crystal red cousins, which is a shame because they feature the same fascinating patterns and are just as interesting to keep and breed. Because they are less popular they are also a little more difficult to find, which means your local aquarium store might not carry them. Luckily there is always the internet - you can buy crystal black shrimp from fellow hobbyists or at online stores. The Shrimp Farm sells crystal black shrimp and ships them right to your doorstep! Order your crystal blacks here.

    the shrimp farm

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