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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL



  • Shrimp caresheet: Blue bolt shrimp (Caridina cf cantonensis)

    If you're looking for an unusual dwarf shrimp with stunning colors that's still pretty easy to keep and breed, you're on the right page. Blue bolt shrimp are a type of Taiwan bee with a white and blue body. Their beautiful color and effectiveness as a cleaning crew are sure to make these Caridinas the centerpiece of any tank.

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

    Scientific name: Caridina cf cantonensis var. 'Blue bolt'

    Common names: Blue bolt shrimp, Taiwan bee, extreme blue bolt

    Difficulty level: Semi-difficult

    Origin: Southern China

    How to care for the beautiful Blue Bolt Shrimp in your aquarium #aquariums #pets Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a blue bolt shrimp aquarium

    Blue bolt shrimp requirements

    Blue bolt shrimp are a bee shrimp variety, just like the more well-known Crystal red shrimp. This means their care requirements are quite similar. General dwarf shrimp care guidelines also apply. Go for an aquarium of at least 5 gallons (19L) but keep in mind that a larger setup is easier to keep stable. If you're a beginner you might want to consider something like a 10 gallon (38L), as blue bolt shrimp aren't as sturdy as their Neocaridina cousins and can be sensitive to bad water values. Tanks this size can sustain large colonies without a problem.

    While you might be able to get away with an unfiltered but heavily planted tank for the less sensitive shrimp varieties, you really do need a filter if you want to keep blue bolts. A regular sponge filter works fine; if you go for something else be sure to use a prefilter sponge to prevent baby shrimp from disappearing in there. Another thing you should always have on hand is a liquid test kit to determine whether your cycle is complete and stable. Never introduce blue bolts (or any shrimp/fish for that matter) into an uncycled aquarium!

    Like all shrimp, blue bolts need plenty of hiding places in the aquarium to feel safe. They also like to have all kinds of surfaces to forage on. Plants like Java moss will be much appreciated and aren't difficult to grow at all.

    Blue bolt shrimp water quality

    As discussed, blue bolts and other Caridina cf cantonensis varieties aren't the easiest shrimp to keep alive. They have specific demands when it comes to water values and are especially sensitive to bad water quality. Even the slightest bit of ammonia or nitrite can quickly kill them and nitrates should always be kept low as well. Test the water very regularly to make sure everything is still okay! Also do weekly water changes, but make sure the new water matches the old to prevent deadly fluctuations.

    Water value-wise, blue bolt shrimp like soft and slightly acidic water, though there is a bit of wiggle room. Temperatures can be anywhere between 65-85 °F. Be sure to always use a heater unless room temps are very consistent; again, fluctuations can quickly kill these sensitive shrimp.

    pH: 6.2-7.8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 3-7

    KH: 1-8

    Total Dissolved Solids: 75-150

    Blue bolt shrimp tankmates

    When it comes to dwarf shrimp, always be careful with tankmates, especially if you're looking to breed. Almost all fish species have an appetite for (baby) shrimp so it's a good idea to stick to just peaceful inverts. If you really want to keep the bioload low (and water quality high), just avoid all risks and go for a shrimp-only setup. This especially applies to the more expensive and rare types like blue bolts: you just don't want to lose any!

    Keep in mind that many bee shrimp (Caridina cf cantonensis) varieties do interbreed. Don't combine them unless you know what you're doing.

    Blue bolt shrimp diet

    Like most shrimp, blue bolts naturally eat anything they can find. They spend much of their time picking algae and aufwuchs off every surface in the tank. Because most tanks don't contain enough nutrients for the shrimp to survive this way you should offer extra food once a day or so.

    Most shrimp aren't picky when it comes to food. A high quality shrimp food and regular variation in the form of blanched veggies, frozen foods and pretty much anything that's green and safe should work well. Be sure to remove any uneaten foods within a few hours, as anything decaying in the aquarium can quickly cause issues with the water values.

    Breeding blue bolt shrimp

    Breeding your blue bolt shrimp isn't the easiest thing: these fragile shrimp can be a little difficult to get to reproduce. If the water parameters are in order and your shrimp are well-fed and healthy females should start carrying eggs soon. These hatch into tiny versions of the adults after around 30 days. Make sure there is plenty of biofilm available for the fry to feed on until they're large enough to forage alongside the adults. Not all fry will come out looking like the parents: you will have to select the best ones yourself. You can keep breeding them or sell them for a nice profit.

    If you're up for the challenge, you can also try breeding your own blue bolt shrimp from different bee shrimp varieties. You can read a little more about that here.

    Buying blue bolt shrimp

    Blue bolt shrimp are not a very common shrimp variety to be found in aquarium stores. Because they are so uncommon they are also not the cheapest shrimp out there, but more than worth it if you're looking for a real eyecatcher.

    If you're interested in starting your own colony you might be able to get your shrimp from a fellow hobbyist or you can buy online. The Shrimp Farm sells blue bolt shrimp with live arrival guarantee and ships them right to your doorstep. You can buy your shrimp here!

    If the challenge of keeping and breeding blue bolt shrimp is a little too much for you, there are various other blue shrimp varieties to choose from. Blue velvet shrimp, for example, are a lot more beginner-proof and still have a lovely blue color.

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Snowball shrimp (Neocaridina cf zhangjiajiensis var. White)

    If you like cherry shrimp but want something a little more exciting, snowball shrimp might be for you. Though just as easy to care for as their cherry cousins, they are white instead of red. A great eye catcher in any shrimp tank!

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina cf zhangjiajiensis var. White

    Common names: Snowball shrimp, white pearl shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    Setting up a snowball shrimp aquarium

    Snowball shrimp requirements

    Setting up a snowball shrimp aquarium is not much of a challenge, which makes these Neocaridinas perfect for beginners. Ideally, get at least a 5 gallon (19L) aquarium; any smaller and water values might fluctuate too much. Other than that the only absolute must-have is a filter. It cycles the tank to make it shrimp-safe and removes any debris that might cloud water. If you're interested in breeding your snowball shrimp be sure to go for a sponge filter or something with an intake cover to prevent baby shrimp from being sucked in.

    A happy, stress-free shrimp shows nicer color and breeds more quickly, so be sure to add plenty of hiding places to your tank. Live plants and shrimp flats will be much much appreciated.

    Snowball shrimp can survive in a very wide range of temperatures, which means room temp should be just fine in most cases. If the temperature in the room the tank will be in is prone to fluctuating (due to open windows, for example) consider getting a heater to keep things stable.

    Snowball shrimp water quality

    One of the reasons many Neocaridina varieties (including snowball shrimp) are such a good choice for beginners is that they're not really picky about water values. They can survive in a wide range as long as the tank is fully cycled and ammonia and nitrites are always at zero. Worst case scenario, they can even handle a beginner mistake here and there. pH can be low to high, water can be hard to soft and any indoor temperature should work just fine.

    To keep your water quality in check, be sure to test regularly using a liquid test kit; test strips are less accurate and should be avoided where possible. Do weekly water changes to keep the nitrates in check but be sure to always match the temperature and pH and add the new water slowly.

    pH: 6.2-7.8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 3-7

    KH: 1-8

    Total Dissolved Solids: 75-150

    Snowball shrimp tankmates

    Because snowball shrimp are quite hardy and breed relatively quickly there are some options when it comes to tankmates if you don't mind losing a few fry here and there. A peaceful community tank should make a fine home for your snowball shrimp. If you want to be absolutely safe go for harmless fish like pygmy Corydoras or Kuhli loaches.

    As with all shrimp, if you're really serious about breeding your snowballs you're probably best off going for a single-species or at least an invert-only setup. That way your fry can't fall prey to hungry fish and the shrimp will feel safe enough to breed.

    snowball shrimp

    Snowball shrimp diet

    Snowball shrimp are omnivorous and will eat anything edible they come across. In aquariums with plenty of algae and other biofilm-covered surfaces you barely need to supplement their diet. Unfortunately most of our tanks are very 'clean', which means there is not enough food for the shrimp to survive off. In these situations you should feed a high quality shrimp food every day or so; you can also add some variety with fresh blanched veggies, frozen foods and even hand-picked foods like organic nettle leaves.

    Remove any uneaten foods within a few hours to prevent the water quality from deteriorating.

    Breeding snowball shrimp

    If you're looking for a shrimp that's easy to breed, this is definitely a good contender. As long as everything else is in order and water quality is high, female shrimp should pretty much always be carrying eggs. These hatch after 30-45 days into tiny copies of the adults. You don't have to separate these and special care is not needed: they will feed on biofilm until they're large enough to forage alongside the adults. Once they've colored up you can select the best ones with bright coloration to continue your line with. The more translucent offspring of 'lesser' quality can go in a separate tank or you can sell them at a reduced price.

    Keep in mind that there are many Neocaridina varieties that all interbreed. While keeping different colors together (snowballs and cherry shrimp, for example) makes for a real eyecatcher it will eventually result in brownish offspring.

    Buying snowball shrimp

    Snowball shrimp are not as popular as other Neocaridina varieties like red cherries or yellow shrimp yet, which means they can be a little difficult to find in your local aquarium store. Luckily there are plenty of hobbyists selling them online and you can also order them from reputable stores. The Shrimp Farm sells snowball shrimp here and ships them right to your doorstep with live arrival guarantee!

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Red Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda)

    Red Cherry shrimp are probably the most popular dwarf shrimp in the aquarium hobby. They are decorative, undemanding and breed easily: everything a (new) shrimp keeper could wish for.

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi 'Red'. Also sometimes still Neocaridina heteropoda var. 'Red' or Neocaridina denticulata sinensis

    Common names: Red Cherry shrimp, Cherry shrimp, Sakura shrimp, Fire shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    How to care for Red Cherry Shrimp: Perfect beginner aquarium shrimp #aquariums #aquatic Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a Red Cherry shrimp aquarium

    Red Cherry shrimp requirements

    As with all dwarf shrimp, a large aquarium is not needed to keep Red Cherries and a setup of at least 5 gallons (19L) should be more than enough to sustain a colony. Some aquarists choose to keep them in even smaller tanks, but these will be a lot more difficult to keep stable and are less suitable for beginners.

    All aquariums, including Red Cherry shrimp tanks, should be filtered and cycled. A sponge filter or a regular filter with a pre-filter sponge is recommended for when keeping dwarf shrimp, as their fry are very small and can easily get sucked up by powerful filters. A heater is usually not a necessity if the setup is located in a heated room, although you can choose to go for one if you want to make sure the temperature remains stable.

    All shrimp will feel safest (and thus display bright coloration and behave naturally) when plenty of hiding places are present in their aquarium. This can be anything from live plants to special shrimp tubes.

    Fire Red cherry shrimp

    Red Cherry shrimp water quality

    As mentioned earlier Red Cherry shrimp, especially the lower and less heavily selectively bred grades, are not too demanding when it comes to water quality and will do well in a wide range of water parameters. Just be sure to never introduce them into an uncycled tank, as they are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, and keep water values as stable as possible.

    Water quality can be tested using a liquid test kit; test regularly to make sure everything is still in order. Be sure to do regular water changes to keep nitrates in check.

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F (18-29.5 °C)

    gH: 4-8

    kH: 3-15

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): 150-250

    Red Cherry shrimp tankmates

    Red Cherry shrimp, like other dwarf shrimp, are very peaceful and vulnerable. They will never harm any tankmates but will easily fall prey to hungry fish. If you keep higher and more expensive grades it might be a good idea to set up a single species aquarium, though peaceful inverts like other shrimp and small snails are always a possibility.

    Aquarists who keep lower grade Red Cherry shrimp and don't mind losing some of their stock can keep them with some peaceful tankmates. The shrimp should usually breed quickly enough to sustain the population despite regular casualties provided there are enough hiding places.

    Red Cherry shrimp diet

    In the wild, the Red Cherry shrimp's ancestor will eat anything it can find; its diet consists mostly of algae and aufwuchs. In the aquarium Red Cherries will also feed on algae and the tiny organisms living in plants and other organic material, but their diet will usually have to be supplemented. A high-quality shrimp food can be used as a staple. They will also accept blanched vegetables, frozen foods and all kinds of sinking fish foods.

    More information about Red Cherry shrimp diet and what to feed your Red Cherries can be found here.

    Breeding Red Cherry shrimp

    Breeding Red Cherry shrimp is not considered difficult at all, which makes them a great option for beginners looking to try their hand at shrimp breeding. As long as water parameters are in order the shrimp will reproduce readily, with females carrying eggs pretty much all the time.

    More information about breeding Red Cherry shrimp can be found here.

    Red Cherry shrimp grading

    Red Cherry shrimp were selectively bred from shrimp with a brownish color. Breeders are always working to produce shrimp with even an even more intense reds, which has lead to a number of different grades being established in order to be able to assess a shrimp's "quality". The more opaque and intense the red coloration, the higher the grade the shrimp will fall into.

    A full article about the different Red Cherry shrimp grades with a handy grading chart can be found here.

    Buying Red Cherry shrimp

    You should be able find Red Cherry shrimp in most aquarium stores, although quality can vary.

    The Shrimp Farm sells both low grade and high grade Red Cherry shrimp - delivered right to your doorstep with guaranteed live arrival.

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

    Undoubtedly one of the most popular species in the dwarf shrimp hobby today is Caridina cf. cantonensis var. 'Crystal Red', also simply known as the Crystal Red shrimp. Selectively bred from the humble Bee shrimp, Crystal Reds are appreciated for their bright red and white coloration and make a great choice for any shrimp keeper - beginner or expert.

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

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis var. 'Crystal Red'

    Common names: Crystal Red shrimp, (Red) Bee shrimp, CRS, Crystal shrimp

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Origin: South East Asia

    Caring for Crystal Red Shrimp #aquatic #pets Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a Crystal Red shrimp aquarium

    Crystal Red shrimp requirements

    A large aquarium is not needed to keep Crystal Red shrimp: a setup as small as 5 gallons (19L) can be enough to sustain a reasonably sized colony. Keep in mind, though, that these shrimp are quite sensitive and larger tanks are easier to keep stable than smaller ones. Beginners especially might want to go for something around 10 gallons (38L) to make things a little easier.

    Like all aquariums, a Crystal Red shrimp tank needs to be filtered. For smaller tanks, a sponge filter might be a good option, as it gently filters the water and can't accidentally suck up any baby shrimp. To keep an eye on your water values and cycle you're also going to need a liquid water test kit. A heater is recommended; although these shrimp do well at room temperature, a thermostat heater can prevent any sudden fluctuations in temperature and help keep things as stable as possible.

    Shrimp are naturally prey animals and naturally spend most of their time foraging. They will appreciate some plants and other decorations to hide in and eat algae and aufwuchs off.OM NOM NOM

    Crystal Red shrimp water quality

    Crystal Red shrimp have more demands when it comes to water values than many other dwarf shrimp. They are a little more fragile, not in the least due to extensive selective breeding, so skipping water changes is out of the question if you want to keep them alive and healthy.

    Like all shrimp and fish, Crystal Red shrimp should never be introduced into an uncycled aquarium, as they are extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrite. They don't cope well with high nitrate values either, so keep up with your water changes and perform water tests frequently to make sure the water values are still where they're supposed to be. Apart from being in the right range, water values and temperature should be stable at all times, as sudden fluctuations can quickly prove fatal.

    Like their Bee shrimp ancestors, Crystal Red shrimp do best in relatively soft and slightly acidic water. They don't appreciate very warm water: keep temperatures between 62-76 °F (16.5-24.5 °C).

    pH: 5.8-7.4

    Temperature: 62-76 °F (16.5-24.5 °C)

    gH: 4-6

    kH: 0-4

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): 100-200

    Crystal Red shrimp tankmates

    Like all dwarf shrimp, Crystal Reds are quite vulnerable and shouldn't be combined with any but the most peaceful tankmates. Most shrimp keepers actually choose to set up a Crystal Red-only tank, especially for the higher and more expensive grades, but you could add other compatible shrimp species or harmless tankmates like snails.


    Crystal Red shrimp diet

    Crystal Red shrimp diet is similar to that of most dwarf shrimp. They are omnivores that naturally spend most of their time foraging and eating anything they can find. In the aquarium, they'll feed on algae and aufwuchs; because an aquarium environment is too clean to contain enough food to sustain them you'll have to supply additional options regularly.

    You can feed your Crystal Reds once a day, though some variation in feeding frequency is a good idea. Because they are omnivores they will accept a wide range of food: try offering a high quality shrimp food as a staple and adding some variation with blanched vegetables and frozen foods like bloodworms.

    Important! As discussed earlier, Crystal Red shrimp are very sensitive. Never offer more than they can consume in a few hours and remove any uneaten foods timely to prevent problems with water values.

    Breeding Crystal Red shrimp

    Breeding is what it's all about for most Crystal Red shrimp keepers: producing high grade shrimp can be very rewarding and some even make a little money off selling their home bred Crystal Reds.

    As long as water parameters are where they're supposed to be at and all other care requirements are being met, Crystal Red shrimp are not difficult to breed at all. Females will quickly start carrying eggs, which hatch after around 30 days to reveal tiny versions of their parents. These tiny shrimplets don't need extra care, though some shrimp keepers choose to feed powdered baby shrimp foods. Once the shrimplets have grown a little you can determine their grade and pattern and decide what you want to do with them.

    If you're unsure whether a Crystal Red shrimp is male or female, compare its size to the other shrimp. Females will be larger than males. Their belly section will also be larger and more curved in order to protect their eggs while they are developing.

    Crystal Red shrimp grading

    Crystal Red shrimp have been selectively bred into many different color patterns. Depending on color distribution and intensity a shrimp can fall into different grades, which influences price and 'quality'. Generally speaking, a Crystal Red shrimp with more white and more opaque coloration falls into a higher grade.

    Everything you need to know about grading Crystal Red shrimp can be found in the Crystal Red shrimp grading article.

    Buying Crystal Red shrimp

    Crystal Red shrimp are relatively popular and you should be able to find them in most aquarium stores, although quality often varies and shrimp might be graded and named incorrectly.

    You can also buy Crystal Red shrimp online from The Shrimp Farm with guaranteed live arrival.

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