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caridina cantonensis

  • Shrimp caresheet: Red tiger shrimp (Caridina cantonensis sp. "Red tiger")

    This stunning variety of Caridina cantonsis sure lives up to its name. Red tiger shrimp have a translucent body with intensely colored red stripes, which makes them a real eyecatcher that can brighten up any shrimp tank. They're not the easiest shrimp out there, but definitely worth the hassle if you're a more experienced shrimp keeper!

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


    Scientific name: Caridina cantonensis sp. "Red tiger"

    Common names: Red tiger shrimp

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Origin: China


    red tiger shrimp Photo by Scott Bahr

    Setting up a red tiger shrimp aquarium

    Red tiger shrimp requirements

    As mentioned in the introduction, red tiger shrimp aren't the easiest dwarf shrimp to keep. They are relatively vulnerable to disease and bad water quality, which means they aren't the best option for a small aquarium. The larger the tank, after all, the smaller the chance of fluctuations in water values. So go for an aquarium of at least 10 gallons if you're interested in keeping red tiger shrimp.

    Apart from the aquarium, all you need is a filter (sponge filters work well and are shrimp safe), a heater to keep the temperature stable and plenty of hiding places. Live plants work well as hides but you can also use driftwood, rocks or shrimp tubes.

    Red tiger shrimp water quality

    Water quality is a crucial aspect of red tiger shrimp care. These shrimp can be rather fragile which means you should always be on top of your cycle. If you don't know what cycling an aquarium is, do some research first (you can find a guide here) and consider going for an easier shrimp species like cherry shrimp! Never introduce any shrimp (or other aquatic creatures) into an uncycled aquarium, as toxic ammonia and nitrite can quickly prove fatal.

    Red tiger shrimp prefer soft and slightly acidic water. If your tap water is hard these shrimp won't do well and you'll need reverse osmosis water to keep them happy. Keep the water clean at all times by doing regular small water changes and be sure to check at least weekly whether your water parameters are still in order.

    Because red tiger shrimp can be vulnerable to disease, some shrimp lovers prefer to keep them at the lower end of their possible temperature range. Bacteria and other nasty things breed less quickly with lower temperatures, which means less chance of trouble for your shrimp. This trick also works with more acidic water.

    pH: 6.0-8

    Temperature: 62-78 °F

    kH: 2-6

    gH: 4-10

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    red tiger shrimp Photo by Scott Bahr

    Red tiger shrimp tankmates

    There are only a few fish small and peaceful enough to qualify as dwarf shrimp tankmates. Some aquarists keep their shrimp with tiny tankmates like pygmy Corydoras, which are too small to eat any but the youngest shrimp.

    With a relatively fragile and costly shrimp like the red tiger I'd skip the fish altogether. Consider setting up a single-species tank for more breeding succes or go for peaceful invertebrates like Thai micro crabs to minimize the chances of losing fry.

    Red tiger shrimp diet

    Red tiger shrimp and other shrimp naturally feed on any organic matter they can find. They love biofilm, algae and leaf litter, but because our tanks are usually too 'clean' to sustain a colony you'll have to supplement their diet. Use a high-quality dwarf shrimp food like Ebita, but be sure not to overfeed. Any leftover bits can quickly cause water quality issues.

    You can add some variety with various foods: dwarf shrimp like red tigers love blanched veggies, frozen foods like mosquito larvae, leaf litter, algae pellets and lots more.

    red tiger shrimp Photo by Vadim Du

    Breeding red tiger shrimp

    Keeping red tiger shrimp happy and healthy might not be the easiest thing, but luckily breeding them is. If all their care requirements are met, your red tiger shrimp colony will produce offspring. It's as simple as that!

    The females, which are larger than the males and more brightly colored, will carry small eggs between their back legs (swimmerettes) for around 30 days. 20 or more baby shrimp hatch from these. They don't need any extra care and should go their own way without much issue, hiding at first and venturing out more often once they have had some time to grow.

    Red tiger shrimp should breed true, which means there is no chance of funky offspring and no need for culling.

    red tiger shrimp Photo by Darren White

    Buying red tiger shrimp

    Red tiger shrimp aren't as common in the shrimp hobby as regular tiger shrimp or blue tigers yet, which means they might not be the easiest to find. Try finding fellow hobbyists who are able to sell you a few shrimp or, even easier, just order online from a reputable store. The Shrimp Farm sells red tiger shrimp online here and ships them right to your doorstep with live arrival guarantee!


    A big thank you to the members of the Aquarium Shrimp Keeping Facebook group for contributing their photos!

    the shrimp farm

  • 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.

    the shrimp farm

  • 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.
    DSCF0206ss

    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.

  • 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.

    Caridina-cf-cantonensis-red-bee

    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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