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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL



  • 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.

    the shrimp farm

  • 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

  • Shrimp caresheet: Orange sakura shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda var. Orange)

    If you're looking to add a pop of color to your tank without having to dive deep into complicated shrimp care, the orange sakura shrimp might be a good choice. This Neocaridina variety is easy to keep and its bright orange color makes it a real eyecatcher!

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about orange sakura shrimp and keeping this shrimp in your own aquarium.

    Scientific name: Neocaridina heteropoda var. Orange, Neocaridina davidi var. Orange

    Common names: Orange sakura shrimp, pumpkin shrimp, orange sunkist shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    How to care for the orange Sakura shrimp in your aquarium #pets #aquariums Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up an orange sakura shrimp aquarium

    Orange sakura shrimp requirements

    Neocaridina shrimp like the orange sakura don't have many requirements when it comes to their tank. This makes them a great choice for beginners just getting into shrimp keeping or anyone looking to set up a simple aquarium. A 5 gallon aquarium should be enough for a sizeable colony.

    Add plenty of decoration in the form of plants, shrimp flats and anything else that provides some cover. Leaf litter like Indian almond leaves or alder cones are also a good addition. They help imitate the natural habitat, offer extra hiding places and release tannins and humins which are beneficial to the health of your shrimp.

    If your tank is shrimp-only and heavily planted you might not even need a filter for your orange sakura shrimp. If this isn't the case or you don't feel experienced enough to experiment with this yet be sure to add at least some filtration. A small air-powered sponge filter should be enough to establish a stable cycle without sucking up and possibly damaging baby shrimp.

    Orange sakura shrimp water quality

    Orange sakura shrimp aren't too fussy about water quality. Make sure the aquarium is always cycled and free of any ammonia and nitrites. Keep the nitrates low by doing weekly water changes and perform regular tests with a liquid test kit to ensure the water values are where they're supposed to be.

    A very important factor in keeping any dwarf shrimp species is stability: sudden fluctuations can be fatal, so always be careful. Match new water to the old when doing water changes, both in water values and temperature. If the room your aquarium is in is prone to temperature fluctuations be sure to use a heater to keep things stable.

    pH: 6.2-7.8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    Orange sakura shrimp tankmates

    Because orange sakura shrimp are relatively sturdy and breed quickly there is some room for tankmates. Small peaceful and herbivorous fish should work well: think pygmy Corydoras, small tetras, kuhli loaches and anything else that isn't able to fit an adult shrimp into its mouth.

    Do keep in mind that almost all fish species will eat shrimp fry. If you want to keep things 100% shrimp friendly go for an invert-only or even shrimp-only setup. Thai micro crabs are a fun non-shrimp option that won't hurt even the smallest tankmate. Avoid larger fish like cichlids and goldfish.
    orange sakura shrimp

    Orange sakura shrimp diet

    Orange sakura shrimp are omnivorous shrimp that naturally feed on the biofilm that forms on underwater surfaces (as well as anything else they can find). In the aquarium there is usually not enough biofilm and algae available to sustain a colony, which means it's up to you to supplement their diet.

    You can feed your orange sakura shrimp every day or so. Try using a high quality shrimp food as a staple and be sure to add plenty of variety. These shrimp will truly eat almost anything, from frozen foods to unusual greens like zucchini blossom and whatever you have lying around!

    Breeding orange sakura shrimp

    Orange sakura shrimp are prolific breeders. As long as their requirements are met they usually produce fry constantly, females continually carrying small yellow-green eggs that hatch after 30 days. In fact, they breed so quickly you might find yourself with an "overrun" tank rather quickly! This is not much of a problem as their bioload is very low, but you can still consider selling or giving away some shrimp if things become a bit too crowded.

    The fry don't go through a larval stage but hatch as tiny copies of the adults, which means they don't need any special care and should be able to find food on their own.

    Buying orange sakura shrimp

    Unfortunately, orange sakura shrimp aren't as popular in the hobby as their red cherry cousins yet. This means you might have a little trouble finding them in your local aquarium store and if you do stumble upon a seller, color quality might be low.

    Luckily the Internet contains plenty of sellers, both hobbyist and professional. The Shrimp Farm is one of them: you can order your orange sakura shrimp here and have them shipped to your doorstep with live arrival guarantee.

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Blue velvet shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. Blue)

    Neocaridina davidi var. Blue, also known as the blue velvet shrimp, is a dwarf shrimp variation appreciated for its bright blue color. It was bred from the same wild form as the more popular red cherry shrimp and its care requirements are mostly the same. It's easy to keep, easy to breed, fun to watch and a perfect (breeding) project for beginners and more experienced shrimp keepers.

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. Blue, formerly Neocaridina heteropoda var. Blue

    Common names: Blue velvet shrimp, blue cherry shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    blue velvet shrimp

    Setting up a blue velvet shrimp aquarium

    Blue velvet shrimp requirements

    Like their red cherry shrimp cousins blue velvet shrimp aren't demanding at all when it comes to housing. An aquarium of at least 5 gallons (19L) is a good place to start, although more is better, especially if you're a beginner. More experienced shrimp keepers might keep their blue velvets in smaller containers, like plant bowls, but if this is the case water quality should be closely monitored.

    As with all shrimp and aquariums in general, a blue velvet tank should always be filtered and cycled. Shrimp are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites so these should always be kept at 0; nitrates should be low as well. If you're looking to breed your blue velvets be sure to use a sponge filter or at least a prefilter sponge, as the fry are very small and can easily be sucked into the filter.

    Use plenty of live plants and hides to help your shrimp feel safe. Fine-leaved plants like Java moss are especially appreciated and make a great place for fry to hide and forage. Tubes, caves and cholla wood can be used as hides for the shrimp to retreat to when it's time to molt.

    Blue velvet shrimp water quality

    Blue velvet shrimp are one of the less sensitive dwarf shrimp varieties, which is one of the reasons they work so well for beginners (or anyone looking for a more low-maintenance shrimp project). As discussed above the tank should always be fully cycled, but other than that this species isn't demanding at all. Keep things stable and test regularly with a liquid test kit to make sure all the water values are still where they should be.

    A heater usually isn't needed for blue velvet shrimp as they can survive a very wide range of temperatures. Room temperature works fine. Do consider adding a heater if the temperature is prone to fluctuating, as these shrimp are hardy but do need stable conditions.

    pH: 6.2-8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    Blue velvet shrimp tankmates

    If you're looking to seriously breed your blue velvet shrimp, it's a good idea to stick to a single-species setup or limit tankmates to a few other inverts. Caridina shrimp that need similar water values, Thai micro crabs or snails might work well. Keep in mind that mixing different Neocaridina varieties isn't a good idea, as interbreeding will result in brown, wild-type colored offspring.

    Blue velvet shrimp can work in a community aquarium but even the most peaceful fish will snag the occasional fry. The breeding rate should usually be high enough to keep up with this; plenty of cover will also help. Stick to peaceful fish, as carnivorous species are often able to wipe out an entire shrimp colony in a few days.

    Blue velvet shrimp diet

    Dwarf shrimp like blue velvets are omnivores that thrive on a varied diet. You will constantly see them foraging and picking biofilm off any surface they can find, but don't forget to regularly supplement their diet. There are many high quality shrimp foods out there that work well as a staple. To add some extra variation you can offer frozen foods, algae tabs, tropical fish foods, blanched veggies, nettle leaves, you name it. Practically everything you can find they will eat!

    Breeding blue velvet shrimp

    Blue velvet shrimp are fast breeders and make a great first breeding project. Make sure you have a few males (smaller, less intense coloration) and a few females (larger, brighter blue), introduce them into the tank and they will take it from there. Keep your water quality high and offer a varied diet to keep the shrimp healthy.

    Females should soon start carrying bunches of yellow/green-ish eggs between their back legs (swimmerettes). These hatch into tiny new shrimp after around 30 days. The fry can be left in the main tank and will quickly start foraging and growing.

    As with most shrimp, some blue velvets are 'higher quality' than others. This doesn't mean they're healthier or better, they just have intenser coloration. Specimens that are almost translucent are graded lowest but can be selectively bred to eventually produce higher quality offspring.

    Buying blue velvet shrimp

    If you're looking to start your own blue velvet shrimp colony keep in mind that there are multiple blue shrimp varieties out there. There's blue velvets but also blue pearls, blue jellies, blue dreams, blue tigers, blue rilis... you catch my drift. While they are all blue they are not all the same. Local fish stores that don't specialize in shrimp might accidentally end up mislabeling them. If you don't mind taking a gamble that's not much of a problem, but if you want to be absolutely sure try to buy from a specialized (web) store or at least an experienced hobbyist. The Shrimp Farm sells high quality blue velvet shrimp and ships them right to your doorstep - just click here to order.

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Yellow shrimp | Neocaridina davidi var. Yellow

    Neocaridina davidi var. Yellow, commonly known as yellow shrimp, is one of the most popular shrimp varieties in the hobby. As the name suggests this shrimp is selectively bred for its super bright, eyecatching yellow color. It is unfussy about water values and breeds easily, which makes it a great option for anyone just starting out.

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. Yellow, formerly Neocaridina heteropoda var. Yellow

    Common names: Yellow shrimp, neon yellow shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    Caring for yellow aquarium shrimp (beginner-proof!) #aquariums #pets Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a yellow shrimp aquarium

    Yellow shrimp requirements

    Yellow shrimp are one of the easier shrimp species to keep and don't have many specific requirements. No special soil types or fancy equipment needed! Like all dwarf shrimp they can be kept in aquariums of at least 5 gallons, although for beginners and anyone concerned about water quality it's always a good idea to go for a slightly larger setup.

    As with all shrimp the aquarium should be filtered and fully cycled before any livestock is introduced. Any filter should work well but keep in mind that baby shrimp are very small. Always use a prefilter sponge (or, alternatively, a sponge filter) to prevent them from disappearing into the intake. A heater isn't necessary as these shrimp can tolerate a very wide range of temperatures as long as things are stable.

    Shrimp are prey animals that don't feel safe in open spaces. so be sure to provide your yellow shrimp with plenty of hiding places. Don't worry about not ever seeing them: the safer the shrimp feel the more time they spend out in the open. Fine-leaved plants, shrimp tubes, rocks and driftwood all provide shelter and should work well. You can also add leaf litter to imitate their natural habitat and as an extra food source.

    Yellow shrimp water quality

    Like their cherry shrimp cousins, yellow shrimp are very adaptive and can survive in a wide range of water values and temperatures. As long as the water is conditioned, ammonia and nitrite are always at zero and nitrites aren't too high your tap water should usually be fine. Be sure to do regular water tests using a liquid test kit to make sure everything is still in order and perform regular water changes.

    pH: 6.2-8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    Yellow shrimp tankmates

    Because yellow shrimp breed so quickly there are a little more options than usual when it comes to tankmates. Even if a few young are occasionally eaten new ones should appear quickly enough to sustain the population. If breeding isn't your primary goal you can keep these shrimp in peaceful community aquariums. Other shrimp/invertebrates and small schooling fish like pygmy Corydoras should pose little threat. You can even consider slightly more "aggressive" fish, like livebearers, as long as there are plenty of hiding places for young shrimp.

    If your main goal is breeding it's a good idea to stick to just shrimp and maybe a few peaceful snails. Be sure not to mix multiple Neocaridina shrimp species unless you know what you're doing; the color combinations look great at first but interbreeding will result in offspring with brown wild-type coloration.yellow shrimp

    Yellow shrimp diet

    Yellow shrimp are omnivores that thrive on a varied diet. They will love picking algae and aufwuchs off any surface they can find, but unless your tank is very algae ridden they do need regular feedings. Use a high-quality shrimp food as a staple and supplement it with algae tablets, frozen foods (mosquito larvae, bloodworms), fresh blanched veggies and sinking fish foods.

    Be sure to remove any uneaten food after a few hours as it can quickly start rotting and affecting water quality. Consider using a feeding dish to prevent the food from ending up all over the aquarium.

    Breeding yellow shrimp

    Breeding is definitely the most fun part of keeping yellow shrimp, as these Neocaridinas are among the easiest shrimp to breed. They're basically set and forget, which makes them a great choice for beginners or anyone looking for a breeding project that's not too effortful.

    To breed your yellow shrimp, introduce both males (smaller, less bright colors) and females (larger, bright coloration) into the aquarium. Keep the water quality high and provide plenty of food. Healthy females should soon start carrying little eggs between their back legs (swimmerettes), from which tiny copies of the parents hatch after around 30 days.

    If you're breeding yellow shrimp to sell, keep in mind that some are higher "quality" than others. The more intense a shrimp's coloration, the higher the grade it falls into. Higher grade shrimp with opaque, bright colors will fetch more money than translucent ones. This is just a color thing, though; yellower shrimp are not healthier or inherently better.

    neocaridina davidi var. yellow

    Buying yellow shrimp

    With the growing popularity of the shrimp hobby including Neocaridina varieties like this one, it shouldn't be too hard to find yellow shrimp. Your local aquarium store might sell them or you can try finding another hobbyist willing to sell or trade a few. If you don't want to leave the comfort of your home, you can buy high quality yellow shrimp at The Shrimp Farm here and have them shipped right to your doorstep!
    the shrimp farm

  • Caresheet: Dwarf orange crayfish | CPO crayfish

    Cambarellus patzcuarensis 'orange', also known as the dwarf orange crayfish, are a dwarf crayfish species selectively bred to have a striking orange color. They are appreciated by shrimp keepers for their peaceful nature and are the perfect addition to a shrimp-/invertebrate setup or even a community tank.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about dwarf orange crayfish and keeping these crays in your own aquarium!

    Scientific name: Cambarellus patzcuarensis 'orange'

    Common names: Dwarf orange crayfish, CPO crayfish, Mexican dwarf crayfish

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Mexico

    dwarf orange crayfish

    Setting up a dwarf orange crayfish aquarium

    Dwarf orange crayfish requirements

    With a maximum size of around 2 inches (5 cm), dwarf orange crayfish stay quite small. Contrary to their larger cousins they do fine in small aquariums; something around 10 gallons (38L) would be a great place to start.

    As with all aquarium inhabitants, a filter is a must when keeping dwarf orange crayfish. Without it, the tank won't cycle and your crayfish will be at risk. If you're considering breeding your crays you might want to go for a gentle filter such as a sponge filter to prevent the fry from being sucked in. A heater is not a necessity if your tank is placed indoors and ambient temperatures are stable, but if this is not the case you might want to consider one just to be sure.

    Dwarf orange crayfish are prey animals that molt regularly. After molting the new exoskeleton doesn't harden right away, which means the crayfish is very vulnerable. As a result, these inverts love to have plenty of hiding places in the aquarium that they can retreat to during molting to avoid any possible predators or aggressive fellow crayfish. Multiple hides per crayfish are recommended; live plants or shrimp tubes should work well.

    Dwarf orange crayfish water quality

    Dwarf crayfish such as the dwarf orange crayfish aren't too fussy about water quality and you should usually be able to keep them without having to modify the water too much. This makes them a great option for beginners who don't have the experience to keep more fragile and expensive shrimp or crayfish yet.

    This being said, as discussed earlier dwarf orange crayfish do need a fully cycled tank as they don't deal well with ammonia or nitrite. Nitrate is less of a problem but you should still do regular water changes to remove some of it (25% per week is a good place to start, but the exact frequency depends on factors like tank size and the amount of crayfish). As always the water values should be kept as stable as possible, because sudden fluctuations can easily prove fatal.

    pH: 6.5-8.0

    Temperature: 65-80 °F/18.5-26.5 °C

    Hardness: 3-15 dkh

    Dwarf orange crayfish tankmates

    Crayfish in general are notorious in the aquarium hobby for their aggressive tendencies. Luckily, though, things are a little different with dwarf crays. Dwarf orange crayfish actually don't display aggression at all except during the occasional short territorial squabble with their own species. They can even be kept with shrimp! If you do spot your dwarf orange crayfish eating a shrimp or fish then you can safely assume it was already dead.

    When choosing tankmates for your dwarf orange crayfish keep in mind that they aren't very large and might easily fall prey to hungry tankmates. Go for peaceful fish only and avoid anything that might be able to fit a crayfish in its mouth. If you're planning on breeding your dwarf orange crayfish in the same tank then it's probably a good idea to avoid fish altogether and only add other invertebrates like shrimp or snails.

    Dwarf orange crayfish diet

    Dwarf orange crayfish are omnivorous scavengers that will consume anything edible they come across. This makes them a good addition to your aquarium 'cleaning crew': they will eat any leftover bits that your fish miss.

    A varied diet is the key to a healthy dwarf orange crayfish. A high quality invertebrate food makes a good staple and contains the nutrients your crayfish needs to grow and molt successfully. I imagine a color enhancing food such as this one might be a nice option to go for, as it might also help maintain that bright orange coloration. Supplement with anything you can think of! Frozen foods (mosquito larvae, bloodworms, brine shrimp), fresh blanched veggies, algae tablets, they'll happily devour it all.

    Breeding dwarf orange crayfish

    Breeding dwarf orange crayfish is not too difficult and a great option for the beginning breeder. If you have both males and females in your tank, breeding should occur soon enough. The male will pin the female down to mate, after which she 'saves' the sperm to later fertilize up to around 60 eggs. As with shrimp, these eggs will be carried between the back legs ('swimmerettes') until they are ready to hatch.

    If there are enough hiding places in the tank you don't have to provide any extra care. The young crayfish might spend the first few days after being released in hiding to prevent being eaten. This is nothing to worry about and they should come out to forage alongside the adults soon enough!

    Buying dwarf orange crayfish

    Dwarf orange crayfish have become quite popular in the aquarium trade due to their peaceful nature and fun behavior. You should be able to find them at most aquarium stores. If you don't want to leave the comfort of your home, The Shrimp Farm also sells and ships them right to your doorstep: you can find dwarf orange crayfish at The Shrimp Farm here.

  • Caresheet: Marmorkrebs | Self cloning crayfish

    If you're not familiar with these crayfish, you might be thinking two things right now. First, what the heck is a "marmorkrebs"? And second, did you just say "self cloning?" 

    Marmorkrebs is German for "marbled crayfish", which is exactly what these crays are. And yes, they do not need a mate to reproduce! Keep reading for everything you need to know about marmorkrebs and keeping these fascinating crayfish in your own aquarium.

    Scientific name: Procambarus fallax f. virginalis

    Common names: Marmorkrebs, marbled crayfish, self cloning crayfish

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Origin: Germany


    Setting up a marmorkrebs aquarium

    Marmorkrebs requirements

    Marmorkrebs are closely related to Procambarus fallax. They are not a small crayfish species and although they aren't too fussy about water quality I would recommend an aquarium of at least around 20 gallons (76 L) for a group.

    Without a filter the aquarium will quickly become dirty, so be sure to only introduce your marmorkrebs in a filtered and fully cycled aquarium. All crayfish love to hide, especially while moulting, and will appreciate plenty of cover in the aquarium. This doesn't have to be complicated: a few pieces of pvc tubing should be enough to keep your marmorkrebs happy. You can also add rocks, fish hides and shrimp tubes to the aquarium. Anything that provides a place to hide when the crayfish are vulnerable during the moulting stage should work just fine.

    Plants are not much of an option, as these crayfish are omnivores with a taste for fresh greens. They are very destructive and most plants will quickly be devoured!

    Note: Marmorkrebs are escape artists that can cover great distances outside the water. Keep the water level slightly below the surface and cover any holes in the tank lid as much as possible.

    Marmorkrebs water quality

    As mentioned above, marmorkrebs are not very fussy about water quality. In fact, they can survive and even reproduce in very dirty water, which is one of the reasons they're often feared as an invasive species. In the aquarium I'd still recommend keeping things as clean as possible, because a dirty aquarium is just not a pleasant sight and might quickly start smelling yucky.

    Specific water values or temperatures are not needed to keep your marmorkrebs happy. Slightly hard water is preferred but not necessary and room temperature should be just fine unless your home gets very hot or cold.

    pH: 6.0-8.0

    Temperature: 64-80 °F/17.5-26.5 °C

    Hardness: 3-15 dkh

    Marmorkrebs tankmates

    Tankmates can be a bit of an issue with marmorkrebs. Unlike their dwarf cousins from the Cambarellus genus they are not always entirely peaceful and I wouldn't recommend keeping them with your shrimp unless you don't mind losing a few here and there. That being said, as far as crayfish go marmorkrebs are definitely not the most aggressive species.

    Most aquarists prefer keeping their marmorkrebs in a single-species setup. This protects the crayfish babies from larger, hungry fish and also prevents the crays from attacking unlucky tankmates that happen to cross their path. If you do want to combine your marmorkrebs with other species, be sure to go for quick but peaceful fish and avoid anything slow, aggressive or bottom-dwelling.


    Marmorkrebs diet

    As discussed earlier marmorkrebs are omnivores. They will eat pretty much anything you toss in their tank and might also start nibbling on aquarium plants if not enough food is provided.

    Feed your marmorkrebs a varied diet to keep them happy and healthy. Algae pellets, tropical fish flakes, blanched veggies, (thawed) frozen foods - anything you can think of probably works!

    Breeding marmorkrebs

    Breeding marmorkrebs is not a difficult task at all. If you're a beginner and would like to get into breeding crays, this might be a good species to start with. Some aquarists might also like to breed marmorkrebs as live food. They make an especially great food for puffer fish, which naturally feed on crustaceans.

    Honestly, there is not much you need to do to get your marmorkrebs to multiply. You only need one adult crayfish, although more obviously makes for a faster process. Supply plenty of hiding places (the more, the better). Keep the water quality high and feed a varied diet to make sure the crays stay healthy. They should start becoming berried soon. Although most crayfish are known to eat their young, most marmorkrebs breeders report no such thing happening with this species. If you want to be absolutely sure you can separate mother and fry after the eggs hatch.

    The young don't need separate care and should happily feed on anything they find.

    Buying marmorkrebs

    Since their discovery in the 1990's, marmorkrebs have become increasingly popular in the aquarium hobby. Although not all pet- and aquarium stores carry them, it shouldn't be too difficult to find one. The Shrimp Farm also sells marmorkrebs (with live arrival guarantee!), which you can find here.

  • Shrimp caresheet: Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.)

    Freshwater ghost shrimp from the Palaemonetes genus, also known as glass shrimp, are hardy shrimp often used as feeders due to their low price. However, they're also easy, fun additions to the aquarium and a great choice for anyone looking to gain some experience in shrimp keeping.

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

    Scientific name: The common name 'ghost shrimp' is used for the various shrimp species in the Palaemonetes genus. So not all ghost shrimp are the same!
    Common names: Ghost shrimp, glass shrimp, freshwater glass shrimp
    Difficulty level: Easy
    Origin: North America

    Setting up a ghost shrimp aquarium

    Ghost shrimp requirements

    As mentioned above, ghost shrimp are not difficult to keep. They don't require a specialized aquarium setup and a tank of at least 10 gallons (38L) should be large enough to sustain a colony. As always your aquarium should be filtered and fully cycled before any shrimp are added. Although ghost shrimp can handle a relatively wide temperature range it's a good idea to always use a heater to prevent sudden temperature fluctuations.

    Like all shrimp, ghost shrimp can become skittish if the aquarium lacks hiding places. If you want to see your shrimps' natural (foraging) behavior be sure to use plenty of plants and hides.

    Ghost shrimp water quality

    One of the reasons ghost shrimp are so popular as feeder shrimp is that they are quite hardy and can handle bad water quality fairly well. This makes it easy to ship and house them in massive amounts; after all, if a few die it's not like a lot of money is lost.

    Obviously things are a little different if you keep these shrimp in your aquarium. If you want them to live a long and happy life it's important to keep the water quality high. That means the tank should always be fully cycled (zero ammonia, zero nitrite and nitrates as low as possible). Overstocking is not much of a worry if you only keep ghost shrimp, as their bioload is very low, but it's something to keep in mind if you're going for a community tank. Room temperature is fine, but as discussed above it's a good idea to still use a heater as backup.

    pH: 7.0-7.8

    Temperature: 70-78 °F/21-25.5 °C

    Water hardness: 3-15 dkh

    Ghost shrimp tankmates

    Because they are a little larger than dwarf shrimp there is a little less risk of your ghost shrimp being eaten by their tankmates. That being said, you should still avoid keeping them with any fish that might have an appetite for shrimp! Peaceful tankmates are a must for any shrimp. If you're interested in actively breeding your ghost shrimp you might want to consider setting up a single-species tank, as the larvae are very vulnerable.

    Keep in mind that ghost shrimp are known to be slightly more aggressive than dwarf shrimp. Fish with long fins, such as Bettas, might be damaged by these opportunistic feeders.

    Ghost shrimp diet

    One of the reasons ghost shrimp aren't just appreciated as feeders is their diet. These shrimp are omnivorous scavengers that will eat pretty much anything they come across! This, combined with their low bioload, can make a group of ghost shrimp the perfect aquarium 'cleaning crew'. They will consume leftover foods, decaying plant matter, algae and anything you give them.

    If your aquarium is very clean your ghost shrimp likely can't find enough to eat by themselves. You can supplement their diet with anything from algae wafers to frozen foods such as mosquito larvae.

    Breeding ghost shrimp

    Breeding ghost shrimp is a little different from breeding ghost shrimp. These shrimp don't hatch as miniature versions of their parents but go through a larval stage during which they are very vulnerable and easily (accidentally) damaged or killed.

    To breed your ghost shrimp, set up a single-species aquarium with a sponge filter. Make sure your shrimp colony contains both males and females and plant the tank heavily to provide the larvae with a place to hide and feed on infusoria and biofilm. Make sure your water values are perfect and you should soon start seeing females carrying small green eggs between their swimmerettes. That's it! You probably won't see the larvae much after they hatch but they should come out of hiding once they're large enough to feel safe out in the open.

    Buying ghost shrimp

    Ghost shrimp are one of the most common shrimp species in the aquarium hobby and you shouldn't have too much trouble finding them. Because they are often used as feeders you might be able to find them at your local pet- or aquarium store for a low price, but keep in mind that these shrimp might not be too healthy. Because various species from the Palaemonetes genus are sold in aquarium stores as juveniles there's also a chance you'll end up with shrimp that require brackish water or grow very large and rather aggressive.

    You can also 100% healthy freshwater ghost shrimp that don't turn into huge monsters (Palaemonetes paludosus) at The Shrimp Farm with live arrival guarantee. Just click here to buy your shrimp!

  • Shrimp caresheet: Blue tiger shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis 'Blue Tiger')

    Blue tiger shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis sp. 'Blue Tiger') are a stunning selectively bred aquarium shrimp species. Also known as Orange Eyed Blue Tiger shrimp, their name says it all: these shrimp are bright blue with black stripes and striking orange eyes. Their looks alone are probably enough to make anyone want to start a colony!

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

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis (sp. 'Blue Tiger')

    Common names: Blue tiger shrimp, Orange Eyed Blue Tiger shrimp, OEBT

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Origin: South East Asia


    Keeping Blue Tiger Shrimp in your aquarium: Everything you need to know #aquatic #aquariums Hover over image to pin to Pinterest.

    Setting up a Blue Tiger shrimp aquarium

    Blue Tiger shrimp requirements

    Blue Tiger shrimp requirements are similar to those of other Tiger shrimp varieties and Caridina cf. cantonensis species. Any tank that is large enough to hold a stable cycle should make a good home for a Blue Tiger colony. Bigger is better when it comes to aquariums, though, as these shrimp can be a little fussy about water values and a larger tank is much easier to keep stable than a small one. A 10 gallon (38L) aquarium is a good starting point for a beginner; more experienced aquarists might also consider a 5 gallon (19L).

    All shrimp need a filtered, fully cycled aquarium. Filter-wise, go for something that isn't too strong and won't suck up baby shrimp. A sponge filter or any normal filter with an intake cover should work. If you're not entirely sure why a filter is needed and what cycling an aquarium means, be sure to have a look at this page before attempting to keep any shrimp. A heater to prevent sudden fluctuations in water temperature is also a good idea.

    As paradoxical as it might sound, shrimp that have very few places to hide will usually spend more of their time attempting to hide than shrimp that have access to plenty of cover. If you want your shrimp to display their normal behaviors, offer at least some hiding places. Live plants work well for this.DSCF0202ss

    Blue Tiger shrimp water quality

    Water quality is one of the most important care aspects for all shrimp. Blue Tiger shrimp aren't the easiest and can be a little fragile due to inbreeding, so be sure to stay on top of your water values and check them regularly. Soft, acidic water works best for this species.

    Never introduce any shrimp, including Tiger shrimp, into an uncycled aquarium. Ammonia and nitrite can wipe out your colony in a matter of hours! Also be sure to perform regular water changes, as these shrimp can be sensitive to nitrates as well. The amount of water that should be changed and the best water change frequency varies, so do weekly water tests to figure out a schedule that works for you. 20% every week is a good place to start.

    pH: 6-7.5

    Temperature: 65-75 °F (18.5-24 °C)

    gH: 4-10

    kH: 2-6

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): 150-250

    Blue Tiger shrimp tankmates

    Blue Tiger shrimp are very vulnerable and there are only a few fish species peaceful enough to leave even the tiniest baby shrimp alone. In fact, if you're looking to breed your shrimp it's recommended to skip the fish altogether and set up a single-species aquarium. Other shrimp species (that don't interbreed) and peaceful snails should work, though.

    Blue Tiger shrimp diet

    Blue Tiger shrimp are omnivores that naturally eat algae and biofilm that forms on all surfaces. In an aquarium environment there might not be enough of this material to sustain an entire colony, so don't forget to supplement their diet. Try feeding a high quality shrimp food and supplement with all things green. Blanched leafy veggies, algae tabs and even some things found in your own back yard, such as nettle leaves, work well as long as they're 100% pesticide free. You can also try offering frozen foods such as mosquito larvae occasionally.

    As discussed throughout this caresheet, Blue Tiger shrimp are fragile creatures. A major cause of death among shrimp is overfeeding, which can quickly lead to bad water quality. Remove anything your shrimp haven't eaten within a few hours! And remember, shrimp can usually find quite a bit of biofilm in your tank so less is often more when it comes to feeding. If they don't seem that interested, offer less.

    Breeding Blue Tiger shrimp

    As long as all the care requirements discussed here are met, you will usually find your Blue Tiger shrimp to be prolific breeders. Female shrimp can be told apart from males by their larger size, curved underbelly, dark 'saddle' spot behind the head and/or the eggs they carry between their back legs ('swimmerettes').

    Baby shrimp hatch after around 30 days and look like tiny copies of their parents. You might not see them much initially, but once they are large enough to feel safe they will start foraging alongside the adults.

    As with all shrimp species, offspring quality will vary and you might discover some 'blondes' in your colony over time. The Blue Tiger shrimp's orange eyes do breed true and even non-blue offspring will have this striking feature.

    Blue Tiger shrimp grading

    Because the Blue Tiger shrimp's blue coloration isn't always passed to all offspring, you will find different grades in every colony. Coloration varies from very dark blue to light blue. Dark blue Tigers are generally most expensive and preferred by most shrimp keepers, but in the end it's all a matter of taste. Color does not indicate quality or health!

    Buying Blue Tiger shrimp

    Blue Tiger shrimp are a relatively recent addition to the shrimp hobby but you shouldn't have too much trouble finding them. You can buy your Blue Tigers from fellow hobbyists or specialized (online) shrimp stores.

    The Shrimp Farm sells Blue Tiger shrimp! You can find them here.

  • Crab caresheet: Thai micro spider crab (Limnopilos naiyanetri)

    A relatively recent addition to the aquarium hobby, Thai micro crabs are quickly gaining popularity. They are appreciated among shrimp keepers for their very peaceful nature and similar requirements, which make them a great option if you're looking for tankmates for your (dwarf) shrimp.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about Thai micro crabs and keeping them in your own aquarium!

    Scientific name: Limnopilos naiyanetri
    Common name(s): Thai micro spider crab, false spider crab
    Difficulty level: Moderate
    Origin: Thailand

    thai micro crab

    Setting up a Thai micro spider crab aquarium

    Thai micro spider crab requirements

    As mentioned in the introduction, Thai micro spider crab care and requirements are relatively similar to those of dwarf shrimp. A large aquarium is not needed for these crabs; a small colony can be sustained in an aquarium of at least 5 gallons (19L) as long as it's fully cycled and heated. Because these crabs don't respond well to bad water quality keeping them in a slightly larger tank might be easier, as a larger volume of water will be more stable.

    Like dwarf shrimp, Thai micro spider crabs can be quite shy and need plenty of hiding places to feel safe. Adding decorations and plants (floating plants with long roots will be especially appreciated) is a good idea.

    Thai micro spider crab water quality

    Thai micro spider crabs can be rather fragile, which means the aquarium should have had time to properly mature before they are added and a close eye should be kept on the water values at all times. Do regular water tests using a liquid test kit and perform regular water changes.

    pH: 6.5-7
    Temperature: 71.5-82.5 °F (22-28 °C)

    Thai micro spider crab tankmates

    Thai micro spider crabs are extremely peaceful and should always be surrounded by similarly peaceful tankmates. (Dwarf) shrimp would be the ideal choice as these require very similar conditions in the aquarium, although you can also keep them with small peaceful fish species such as pygmy Corydoras and Microrasbora. Never keep your Thai micro spider crabs with larger fish that might have a taste for crab legs, as they are completely defenseless.

    Like most inverts, Thai micro spider crabs appreciate the company of their own kind and should be kept in small groups of at least three to help them feel safe.

    Thai micro spider crab diet

    Thai micro spider crabs have small hairs on their claws. These are used to catch any small food particles the crabs can find: these crabs are omnivores and definitely not picky when it comes to food.

    In the aquarium they will spend much of their time foraging for micro-organisms in plants and algae, but be sure to supplement their diet with a high-quality food to prevent them from going hungry. Shrimp foods contain all the nutrients your crabs need and should work well.

    Breeding Thai micro spider crab

    Thai micro spider crab breeding is definitely not an easy task; in fact, it seems no aquarist has managed to do (and document) it yet, although some have come quite close. Female crabs do become pregnant and even get as far as releasing their young, but in the end these always die before they can mature. An interesting project, so be sure to try!

    Buying Thai micro spider crab

    Thai micro spider crabs are still relatively new in the aquarium hobby. Although some aquarium stores seem to have caught on not everyone sells them yet.

    The Shrimp Farm sells Thai micro spider crabs with live arrival guarantee and ships them right to your doorstep for a low flat shipping rate. You can order your Thai micro spider crabs here!

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