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Freshwater Shrimp

  • Sexing Neocaridina dwarf shrimp

    If you're interested in breeding dwarf shrimp, there are a few requirements that have to be met. Your water quality should be high, the shrimp need to be well-fed and old enough to reproduce. The most important thing, though... you need to have males and females! 

    Easier said than done. How do you tell them apart when they're so small? If you're struggling to sex your Neocaridina shrimp, keep reading. There are plenty of easy indicators and you'll be able to tell them apart at a glance before you know it!

    sexing neocaridina

    Typical female Neocaridina characteristics

    Female Neocaridina shrimp have a few unique characteristics that you can use to identify them. Some are very conclusive (like the presence of eggs), while others provide a good indication but aren't 100% proof of female-ness on their own.

    • Size. As with many of the species we keep in our aquariums, female dwarf shrimp are considerably larger than males. You can easily tell them apart by size if there are no juveniles in the tank.
    • Color. This won't be of much use when trying to sex very high grade Neocaridinas, as both the males and females will often feature opaque coloration. In lower grades though (like regular cherries) you'll often see a large difference in color between females and males. The females are notably brighter and their colors are more solid, while males are more see-through and their coloration can be sparse.
    • Belly. Female dwarf shrimp carry their eggs safely tucked between their back legs (swimmerettes), where they are protected by their extended belly plates. This means they have a much rounder 'belly' than males, in which the body plates form a straight line to the tail rather than a curve. Their swimmerettes are also more well-developed and you are usually able to see them better than in males Additionally, females the first body plate is notably rounder: it almost forms a perfect circle. If you're not sure how to spot this in a shrimp, feel free to zoom in on the chart above!
    • Saddle. If a female's exoskeleton doesn't feature extremely opaque coloration, you might sometimes be able to spot a saddle. This yellowish spot behind the head contains the eggs before they are moved to the swimmerettes, which makes for a clear indication that a shrimp is female.
    • Eggs. Can you see greenish to yellowish eggs tucked between a shrimp's back legs? Congrats, it's definitely a female! Just don't confuse eggs with the dreaded 'green shrimp fungus', which is a parasite that also attaches to the swimmerettes and can be confusing for beginners. Eggs are relatively large and round, while fungus is thinner and more elongated.

    QUIZ TIME: In the photo below, based on the info you just read, which shrimp are female? Find the answer at the bottom of this post!

    Typical male Neocaridina characteristics

    We can be pretty short about typical male characteristics, as most identifying features were already discussed above. If you're looking for a male shrimp, look for the following: notably smaller than females, often (but not always) less opaque coloration, non-rounded belly which makes the back of the body appear thinner and no sign of a saddle or eggs. Some hobbyists also swear by antennae length, as males might have longer antennae than female, but this can be pretty difficult to spot.

    Quiz answer: The females in this photo are easy to spot. They are the four bright red, larger specimens! The female on the left is also saddled.

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Babaulti shrimp (Caridina babaulti)

    If you love colors you'll adore Caridina babaulti. This relatively uncommon dwarf shrimp comes in red, brown, green, yellow and even zebra stripes! Their hardiness makes these a great beginner option, although they can be a little more shy than many other species.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about Caridina babaulti and keeping this dwarf shrimp in your own aquarium!


    Scientific name: Caridina cf. babaulti

    Common names: Babaulti shrimp, green Babaulti shrimp, zebra Babaulti shrimp, etc.

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Mainly India, possibly other regions in Asia


    caridina babaulti Caridina babaulti "Zebra stripes" bred & photographed by Nico Piszczek

    Caridina babaulti appearance

    As mentioned in the intro, Caridina babaulti is one colorful dwarf shrimp species. The most common variety is green, which makes this a great alternative to green Neocaridina shrimp.

    You can tell Caridina babaulti apart from other dwarf shrimp by its slightly longer rostrum and the strongly visible backstripe on most specimens.

    Setting up a Caridina babaulti shrimp aquarium

    Caridina babaulti requirements

    Caridina babaulti shrimp aren't demanding when it comes to their aquarium. A tank of 5 gallons or up should work fine for your colony, although you might want to go a little larger if you're a beginner.

    Once you've got your tank, all you need is a filter and a heater. The filter allows your aquarium to cycle. Do make sure you get a shrimp-safe type: anything without a sponge intake might suck up and shred small shrimp. A sponge filter should work well. The heater help keeps the water at the right temperature and, more importantly, stable.

    Caridina babaulti can be a little more reclusive than many of its 'cousins' and will appreciate plenty of hiding places in the aquarium. They're not picky about hides and anything that provides cover will work well. Try live plants with plenty of texture like Java moss, shrimp tubes, rocks and driftwood.

    caridina babaulti Caridina babaulti "Zebra stripes" bred & photographed by Nico Piszczek

    Caridina babaulti shrimp water quality

    When it comes to water quality, Caridina babaulti is pretty versatile, although as always your aquarium should be fully cycled before you can introduce any shrimp. Ammonia and nitrite are deadly to all aquatic creatures and should be at 0. Nitrates are less damaging but should preferably still be under 10. Do regular aquarium maintenance and water changes to keep your water quality high and your Caridina babaulti shrimp happy.

    Keep in mind that Caridina babaulti is not the most common shrimp. Hobbyists don't always seem to agree on the preferred water values yet, so the numbers listed below are not set in stone. It's recommended to stay in this general range, but other than that you can feel free to experiment a little to find the optimal breeding conditions.

    pH: 6.5-7.8

    Temperature: 64.5-82.5 °F

    Hardness: Sources disagree and list values between 2-20 dGH

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-200

    How to care for Babaulti shrimp in your aquarium #pets #aquatic Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Caridina babaulti shrimp tankmates

    Because these are dwarf shrimp, it's not a good idea to keep them with large or aggressive fish species. If you don't mind losing the occasional fry you can try keeping your Caridina babaulti shrimp with peaceful, small fish. Keep in mind that these shrimp breed slowly, though. If you want to be 100% safe, stick to an invert only setup. This species can be combined with anything from Neocaridinas like cherry shrimp to all sorts of snails and even peaceful dwarf crayfish.

    Caridina babaulti shrimp diet

    Like most dwarf shrimp, Caridina babaulti are omnivores with a preference for detritus. Their natural diet consists of things like decaying plant matter, biofilm and algae. In fact, some aquarists report these shrimp are more interested in dead plant bits than actual shrimp foods!

    That being said, you should still supplement their diet with a high quality food. You can also add variety by offering all sorts of "snacks" like leaf litter, fresh blanched veggies or frozen foods.

    caridina babaulti Caridina babaulti "Zebra Stripes" bred & photographed by Andrej Resetniak

    Breeding Caridina babaulti shrimp

    Although Caridina babaulti breeding is the same as breeding most other popular dwarf shrimp, they are reported to be a little slower to multiply sometimes. Females don't always seem to get pregnant as often as expected. This means no overcrowding, but also less fry!

    Buying Caridina babaulti shrimp

    This shrimp is not new to the hobby; they're just a little less common than some other species. Still, you might be able to find them in some aquarium stores. If yours doesn't carry Caridina babaulti you can always try asking them if they can order a few in for you or turn to the internet. There are plenty of hobbyists selling shrimp out there, as well as various reputable online stores.

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Blue leg Poso (Caridina caerulea)

    Want to dive into the world of Sulawesi shrimp? The Indonesian Sulawesi lakes contain a wealth of fascinating and amazingly colored freshwater shrimp species, but unfortunately most of these are not easy to keep and breed at all. There is one exception, though. If you want to avoid the fussiness of cardinal shrimp and other fragile Sulawesi species, the blue leg poso (Caridina caerulea) might be the shrimp for you!

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about Caridina caerulea and keeping the blue leg poso in your own aquarium.


    Scientific name: Caridina caerulea

    Common names: Blue leg Poso

    Difficulty level: Intermediate

    Origin: Lake Poso, Sulawesi, Indonesia


    Caridina caerulea appearance

    While not as colorful as some other Sulawesi shrimp, Caridina caerulea is still a real stunner. It can easily be recognized by its long, blue rostrum, clear to blueish body and bright orange antennae.

    Keep in mind that the common name blue leg poso is used for two very similar shrimp species: Caridina caerulea (which has two blue spots on the tail) and Caridina ensifera (orange tail spots and a more orange body). Care for these is pretty much the same.

    Caridina caerulea requirements

    Although we wouldn't describe the blue leg poso as an 'easy' or 'beginner' shrimp, they are a little more forgiving than most other Sulawesi species. If you haven't kept shrimp before, it's a good idea to get some practice with a less demanding variety. The ever-popular cherry shrimp is a good option for first-time shrimp keepers.

    Try to go for at least a 10 gallon aquarium, as larger setups will be easier to keep stable. A filter is necessary to cycle the tank; sponge filters or anything with a filter guard to protect baby shrimp should work well. A heater is also a must, as Caridina caerulea naturally occurs in warm waters and won't respond well to lower temperatures.

    Decor-wise, it's important to keep in mind that all Sulawesi shrimp are relatively shy. Although you should see the blue leg poso out in the open a lot more than many of its cousins, it still prefers a relatively dark setup with a few hiding spots. Live plants and other surfaces where algae and biofilm can grow are always a plus.

    Caridina caerulea water quality

    Probably the most important and challenging aspect of Sulawesi shrimp care is water quality. These shrimp do not respond well to fluctuating water values and any traces of ammonia, nitrite or copper. Never introduce any livestock in an aquarium that hasn't been fully cycled. In fact, it's probably a good idea to let your tank mature a little longer than usual for Caridina caerulea.

    The Sulawesi lakes are known for their relatively alkaline water, which means a pH above neutral is the way to go. Hardness should be medium.

    pH: 7.5-8.5

    Temperature: 77-84 °F

    Caridina caerulea tankmates

    An invert-only setup is probably the way to go here, as fish might prey on shrimp fry and cause unneccessary stress. Caridina caerulea can be kept with other Sulawesi shrimp and snails like the popular rabbit snail, which also naturally occurs in Sulawesi. If you're not too concerned about matching the exact geographic location, you can also try black devil snails or even hardy Neocaridina varieties. Just be sure to keep temperatures on the lower end of the spectrum if you go this route.

    Caridina caerulea diet

    Sulawesi shrimp like Caridina caerulea seem more dependent on micro-organisms and biofilm as their food source than many of the other dwarf shrimp we keep. They don't always seem attracted to "regular" shrimp foods. To keep them healthy and well-fed, consider feeding very fine foods and leave algae to grow on surfaces like rocks. You can also dose a product that enhances the growth of biofilm in your tank. It might look a little gross, but your shrimp love it!

    Breeding Caridina caerulea

    Breeding Caridina caerulea is easier than you'd expect from Sulawesi shrimp. As long as their requirements are met, these shrimp should breed relatively easily. The fry doesn't go through a larval stage, which means extra care isn't needed as long as there's plenty of nutritious biofilm and algae present. So if you want to breed your Caridina caerulea, all you have to do is keep them happy and healthy and things will work out on their own!

    Buying Caridina caerulea

    Despite the fact that breeding Caridina caerulea is relatively easy, they aren't very common in the aquarium hobby yet. You probably won't find them in your average aquarium store, although you could try asking the staff to order a few for you. Other than that, you'll probably be most likely to find this species sold online.

    the shrimp farm

  • 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: Red rili shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. 'Rili')

    If you love the look of the immensely popular red cherry shrimp but want to start a colony that's a little more unusual, red rili shrimp might be the right choice for you. Selectively bred from red cherry shrimp, they don't just feature bright red coloration but also translucent patches. This makes for a fun look and a real eyecatcher in the (planted) aquarium!

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


    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "rili"

    Common names: Rili shrimp, red rili shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan


    Setting up a red rili shrimp aquarium

    Red rili shrimp requirements

    Like their cherry shrimp ancestors, red rili shrimp are one of the easier dwarf shrimp varieties out there. They don't require special water values or fancy equipment, which makes them a great choice for beginners and anyone looking to set up a low-maintenance shrimp tank.

    To get started, all you need is an aquarium of at least 5 gallons, a (sponge) filter and some decorations. Dwarf shrimp like red rilis can become shy if they don't have enough places to retreat to when scared or vulnerable, so don't go easy on the decor. Live plants, hides, shrimp tubes and rocks/driftwood all help your shrimp feel safe.

    After setting up the aquarium, wait until it's completely cycled before introducing your shrimp.

    Red rili shrimp water quality

    The most important factor in keeping your red rili shrimp healthy is a stable nitrogen cycle. All shrimp are extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrites, which means any amounts of these can quickly kill an entire colony. Nitrate, the end product of the cycle, can also damage your shrimp in high doses but is less harmful and can easily be removed by doing a water change. Other than this, red rili shrimp don't have many specific demands when it comes to water values. Unless your city's water quality is very low you can usually keep them in normal tap water.

    Stay on top of your water quality, especially in the early stages when they can still fluctuate. Use a liquid test kit to check whether the water values are still in order and keep an eye on the thermometer to ensure the temperature isn't too high or low.

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-200

    Red rili shrimp tankmates

    Red rili shrimp breed quickly and aren't too expensive, which means there are some options when it comes to tankmates. After all, losing a few fry here and there isn't as disastrous as it would be with slow breeding or extremely expensive shrimp. Still, try to avoid all but the most peaceful fish! Calm bottom dwellers that are too small to eat an adult shrimp, like Kuhli loaches, should work well.

    If you want to be even safer, stick to an invert-only or even shrimp-only setup. Thai micro crabs, fan shrimp, snails and any dwarf shrimp that won't interbreed with Neocaridinas (such as the popular Caridina cf. cantonensis) are good options that will leave your red rilis alone.

    Red rili shrimp diet

    Red rili shrimp will happily eat anything edible they come across. Because aquariums don't contain enough algae, biofilm and detritus to sustain a colony you'll have to supply additional foods daily. For happy and healthy red rili shrimp, feed anything from specialized shrimp foods to blanched veggies, frozen food, algae pellets and leaf litter.

    A shrimp feeding dish is a good way to help prevent food bits from becoming scattered all over the tank and causing water quality issues. Remove any uneaten foods from the dish after a few hours.

    Breeding red rili shrimp

    As with red cherries, breeding red rili shrimp is not much of a challenge. All you need is a starter colony; around 10 individuals is a good number to start with and ensures you'll get both males and females. Keep your water quality high by doing regular water changes and feed high quality foods.

    Healthy female shrimp should be pregnant almost constantly. They carry their eggs between their back legs, regularly waving fresh water over them and picking off any 'bad' ones to prevent fungus. The eggs should hatch after around 30 days to reveal tiny copies of the adults. You don't have to move these to a separate tank. Just make sure there's plenty of food for them and they should grow and color up quickly.

    Buying red rili shrimp

    Red rili shrimp are a little more common in the hobby than their carbon rili cousins, but unfortunately not as easy to find as regular cherry shrimp. Still, they should pop up at some aquarium stores now and then. If you can't find them in-store, there are also plenty of online sellers out there. A fellow hobbyist might be able to sell you a starter colony and you can also buy red rili shrimp from The Shrimp Farm. You can easily order your rilis online here!

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Green shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. 'Green')

    Green shrimp taxonomy can be a little confusing: there are actually three types of green dwarf shrimp out there. This can lead to some mislabeling. Here, we will be discussing the easiest green dwarf shrimp to keep in the aquarium. This Neocaridina davidi variety features intense green coloration but is just as easy to care for as cherry shrimp, which are usually considered the ideal starter shrimp. Win-win!

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


    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "Green"

    Common names: Green shrimp, green jade shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan


    green shrimp

    Setting up a green shrimp aquarium

    Green shrimp requirements

    Care for green shrimp is pretty much the same as other Neocaridina davidi varieties. These shrimp are undemanding, easy to keep and perfect if you're just getting into the shrimp hobby.

    To start your green shrimp colony you'll need an aquarium of at least around 5 gallons. If you're an experienced aquarist you can also go a little smaller, but keep in mind that the smaller the tank, the more problematic any water quality issues will be. You'll need a filter to cycle the tank and keep it shrimp-safe. A heater is recommended if the ambient temperature tends to fluctuate. That's it!

    All shrimp need plenty of hides and decorations to feel safe. This doesn't have to be anything fancy: some tubes can be enough to provide your green shrimp with a sense of security. It's also a good idea to add plenty of live plants for them to hide in and forage on. If that sounds challenging, don't worry. There are plenty of easy plants out there.

    Green shrimp water quality

    Green shrimp aren't fussy about water quality and your tap water should usually be fine (as long as it's properly conditioned). Slightly acidic and soft water is preferred but the shrimp should be forgiving about somewhat harder water.

    All this doesn't mean you don't have to keep a close eye on your water quality, though. Despite their hardiness green shrimp are still very sensitive to ammonia, nitrites and, to a lesser degree, nitrates. This means your tank should always be fully cycled before you even consider adding any shrimp and you should do regular maintenance in the form of water changes.

    You can monitor your water quality using a liquid test kit. If anything is off, do a water change immediately and keep testing daily until you're sure everything is fine.

    pH: 6.8-7.5

    Temperature: 75-83 °F

    Hardness range: 8-20 dkh

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-300

    Green shrimp tankmates

    When it comes to shrimp tankmates it all depends on your own preferences. If you don't mind losing a fry or two occasionally you can keep your green shrimp with carefully chosen fish tankmates. Peaceful fish that can't fit an adult shrimp into their mouth, like small schooling species, should work.

    If you're serious about breeding and possibly selling your green shrimp you won't want to risk losing any fry, which means all fish are out of the question. Stick to a single-species setup or maybe a  few inverts like small snails, Thai micro crabs and other dwarf shrimp species like Caridina cf. cantonensis.

    Green shrimp diet

    Green shrimp diet isn't complicated. These shrimp eat anything! You'll see them foraging all day, looking for biofilm, algae and scraps on any surface they can find. In addition to these natural food sources you should feed your green shrimp daily. There are many special shrimp foods out there that should work fine and you can even make your own food by blanching fresh veggies or drying some nettle leaves.

    Feed small amounts to prevent leftovers from fouling the water!

    Breeding green shrimp

    Green shrimp are a great option if you're just starting out with breeding shrimp. Unlike some other dwarf shrimp they breed very quickly; in fact, healthy females can almost always be seen carrying eggs. All you need to do to make sure these hatch successfully and the fry make it to adulthood is keep the water quality high and feed a variety of nutritious foods.

    Buying green shrimp

    Unfortunately, green shrimp aren't the most common Neocaridina davidi variety out there. You can try your local aquarium store but it's likely you'll only find more popular colors like red, yellow and (if you're lucky) blue. Luckily, though, it's not impossible to find these shrimp. You might be able to locate a fellow hobbyist selling them and you can also easily order them online from various sources. The Shrimp Farm sells green shrimp and ships them right to your home with live arrival guarantee! You can order your green shrimp online here.

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Carbon rili shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "rili")

    Looking for a shrimp that's as easy to keep as the humble red cherry but as stunningly colored as more expensive and difficult species? Look no further! Carbon rili shrimp are a selectively bred Neocaridina davidi variety with amazing coloration. Their body contains both colored and (almost) translucent patches, which makes them a real eyecatcher. Even beginners can keep them and they don't need a special or complicated aquarium setup.

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


    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "rili"

    Common names: Carbon rili shrimp, rili shrimp, black rili shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan


    carbon rili shrimp

    Setting up a carbon rili shrimp aquarium

    Carbon rili shrimp requirements

    Like their cherry shrimp cousins, carbon rili shrimp aren't demanding at all. All you need for a thriving colony is a cycled aquarium of at least 5 gallons. You can use a sponge filter or gentle hang on back/internal filter to cycle the tank and keep the water clean. A heater isn't necessary as long as the ambient temperature is stable.

    Be sure to provide plenty of hiding places to help your carbon rili shrimp feel safe, especially if you're keeping them in an aquarium with fish or other invertebrates. Shrimp are prey animals that are vulnerable during molting time and like to be able to retreat to a safe, calm place so any hides you can offer will be appreciated. Live plants, leaf litter, shrimp tubes, anything works!

    Carbon rili shrimp water quality

    Although carbon rili shrimp are less particular about water quality than some other popular dwarf shrimp, they still need clean water. As discussed earlier the tank should always be fully cycled before any shrimp are introduced. You can test whether the aquarium is cycled using a liquid test kit; ammonia and nitrite should always be zero, as they are extremely poisonous to all aquatic creatures including shrimp. Nitrate can be a little higher but should still be kept as low as possible.

    Maintenance-wise, keep an eye on your water values using your test kit and do regular (weekly) water changes to keep nitrates under control. When testing your water values don't forget to have a look at the thermometer as well! Fluctuating, very high or very low temperatures can be problematic.

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-200

    Carbon rili shrimp tankmates

    Although dedicated shrimp breeders usually prefer to keep their shrimp (including carbon rilis) in single-species setups, there are some options when it comes to tankmates. Almost all fish, even the smallest, will eat shrimp babies if they get the chance. Because carbon rili shrimp are such quick breeders, though, the occasional casualty might not be a huge issue. Still, it's probably a good idea to avoid all but the most peaceful fish.

    If you don't want to keep your carbon rilis with fish, peaceful invertebrates are also a good option. Dwarf crayfish, snails and other shrimp species like the popular Caridina cf. cantonensis or even something a little more 'exotic' like bamboo shrimp should work well.

    Carbon rili shrimp diet

    Like most shrimp, carbon rilis aren't picky eaters at all. They are naturally omnivores that feed on biofilm, algae, detritus and practically anything else they can find. In the aquarium you can feed a high quality shrimp food as a staple and add variety with all sorts of additional foods. Fresh blanched veggies, leaf litter, frozen foods, algae pellets and other homemade or store-bought fish and shrimp foods: they love to eat it all.

    As always, be sure to remove any uneaten foods after a few hours. Rotting leftovers can quickly foul the aquarium, which can quickly become dangerous to your shrimp.

    Breeding carbon rili shrimp

    As with all Neocaridina davidi varieties, breeding carbon rili shrimp is a breeze. You don't have to do anything but keep the water quality high and the shrimp well-fed and happy. You can tell the females apart from the males by their larger size, brighter colors and the yellow-green eggs they almost constantly carry either in their 'saddle' (behind the head) or 'swimmerettes' (back legs).

    Once the eggs have been transferred from the saddle to the swimmerettes the female carries them for around 30 days. You'll know they're almost ready to hatch when you start seeing little eyes inside of the eggs! Tiny shrimp babies will soon emerge. They don't need any special care and usually stay in hiding feeding on biofilm until they're large enough to venture out into the open.

    If you're breeding carbon rili shrimp to sell or just want to keep the color quality high, be sure to remove any young shrimp that don't have the desired pattern or color. You can sell these at a discount or just move them to a separate tank.

    Buying carbon rili shrimp

    Despite their interesting appearance and easy care, carbon rili shrimp aren't very common in the aquarium hobby yet. Their red rili cousins may be found at some aquarium stores but carbons are a little harder to come by. Luckily there are plenty of hobbyists out there who might be able to sell you a few shrimp, and you can also easily order them online. The Shrimp Farm sells carbon rili shrimp here and ships them to you with live arrival guarantee!

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Tangerine tiger shrimp (Caridina serrata var. "Tangerine tiger")

    Interested in keeping tiger shrimp but not quite ready for the challenge of red tigers or orange eyed blue tigers? Tangerine tiger shrimp have all the beautiful color but lack a lot of their cousins' fussiness. Perfect for anyone looking for an easy breeding project or an extra pop of color in their tank.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about tangerine tiger shrimp care and keeping this bright orange dwarf shrimp in your own aquarium!


    Scientific name: Caridina serrata var. "Tangerine tiger"

    Common names: Tangerine tiger shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: China


    How to keep the beautiful tangerine tiger shrimp in your freshwater aquarium #pets #aquatic Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a tangerine tiger shrimp aquarium

    Tangerine tiger shrimp requirements

    Because tangerine tiger shrimp are a relatively sturdy variety, you don't need a large aquarium to keep them. Experienced aquarists can go for a tank of at least 5 gallons, while a 10 gallon would be a good option for beginners.

    As with all shrimp and fish, the tank should always be fully cycled before you introduce any livestock. You can use a sponge filter or other shrimp-safe filter type: as long as it has an intake guard it should work well. A heater can be used if the room your aquarium is in isn't heated consistently.

    Be sure to include plenty of decorations in your setup, as shrimp need hiding places in order to feel safe. They will also gladly use any decorations as foraging grounds.

    Tangerine tiger shrimp water quality

    As mentioned in the introduction, tangerine tiger shrimp are not nearly as fussy as some other tiger shrimp types. They can take a wider range of water values and temperatures, which makes them a little more suitable for beginners. That being said, any traces of ammonia or nitrite are still fatal, so keep a close eye on your water values by testing regularly using a liquid test kit.

    Regular aquarium maintenance is needed to keep nitrates down. Live plants can help stabilize water values and will be appreciated by your shrimp, so be sure to add a few! Even if you have a black thumb and are worried about keeping plants alive, there are plenty of easy species out there that should work.

    pH: 6.5-7.5

    Temperature: 65-75 °F

    kH: 1-2

    gH: 3-6

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    tangerine tiger shrimp Photo by TJ Kelly

    Tangerine tiger shrimp tankmates

    Because tangerine tigers breed very quickly, there are some options when it comes to tankmates if you don't mind losing the occasional fry. As long as you stick to peaceful fish that can't fit an adult shrimp into their mouth the colony should multiply quickly enough to compensate for any losses.

    Peaceful fish species that can be kept with shrimp include Otocinclus catfish, dwarf Corydoras catfish and very small schooling fish like microrasbora.

    If you're serious about breeding your tangerine tiger shrimp, it's a good idea to skip the fish altogether. Even the most peaceful species might eat a few shrimp here and there! Go for harmless invertebrates like snails or any shrimp species that doesn't interbreed with these Caridinas.

    tangerine tiger shrimp Photo by TJ Kelly

    Tangerine tiger shrimp diet

    Like all shrimp, tangerine tigers naturally feed on biofilm and any other edible things they can find. This means they need a varied diet to thrive. Feed a high quality shrimp food as a staple and supplement with fresh blanched veggies, frozen mosquito larvae and leaf litter. You can even grow some algae in the tank to provide a constant source of snacking! This is ideal when you go away for a few days and won't be able to feed your shrimp.

    Some sources report tangerine tigers can be a little more assertive during feeding time than other Caridinas. If you're having issues with your tangerines hogging all the food be sure to break it up into tiny pieces so everyone gets their share.

    Breeding tangerine tiger shrimp

    Breeding tangerine tigers is a breeze, especially compared to other types of tiger shrimp. Tangerine tigers breed much quicker, which means it's easier to build a large colony. Healthy females will almost constantly be carrying eggs, which produce tiny versions of the adults that don't go through a larval stage. No extra care is needed; the fry can immediately fend for themselves.

    If you keep your tangerine tiger shrimp with other dwarf shrimp, keep in mind that they can interbreed with other Caridinas. This means you shouldn't combine them with popular species like Crystal Reds unless you know what you're doing. Interbreeding can result in beautiful colors but might also yield less than perfect results! If you want to keep your tangerine tiger line pure, don't combine them with other shrimp from the Caridina genus. Neocaridinas like cherry shrimp are a safe option.

    Buying tangerine tiger shrimp

    Tangerine tiger shrimp are a relatively recent addition to the shrimp hobby, which means they can still be a little hard to find. They can also be on the expensive side, especially if you buy from fish stores that aren't specialize in shrimp.

    The Internet is a great place to buy your tangerine tigers (and other shrimp). There are many fellow hobbyists out there who might be able to sell you a few shrimp and you can also buy from established online stores. The Shrimp Farm sells tangerine tiger shrimp and ships them straight to your doorstep with live arrival guarantee! You can buy your tangerine tigers here.

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Orange rili shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "Rili")

    By now most aquarists will probably have heard of red rili shrimp, which are loved for their fascinating mix of translucent patches and bright red coloration. But did you know there is also an orange rili shrimp? The perfect variety for anyone looking to add an intense pop of color to their tank!

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


    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "Rili"

    Common names: Orange rili shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan


    Keeping Orange Rili Shrimp in your aquarium: everything you need to know #aquariums #pets Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Orange rili shrimp requirements

    Orange rili shrimp are a Neocaridina variety like the beginner's classic red cherry shrimp. Their care is similar to that of their red cherry cousins, which means they are equally easy to keep and a wonderful choice if you're just getting started.

    To keep orange rili shrimp succesfully, all you really need is an aquarium of at least 5 gallons, a filter, a heater (optional) and some decor and hides. Filter-wise, anything that isn't too powerful will work, but if you're not going for a sponge filter be sure to go for a filter guard. You don't want shrimp to get sucked in there! A heater can be used if the room temperature isn't stable; even though orange rili shrimp are quite sturdy, they don't respond well to sudden temperature swings.

    When it comes to decorations, some basic easy aquarium plants will work but you can go as crazy as you want to. Shrimp logs, driftwood, rocks, artificial plants - all will be appreciated and used to hide in and forage on.

    orange rili shrimp Photo by Soo Jin Park

    Orange rili shrimp water quality

    Orange rili shrimp are quite hardy, which means they can handle a relatively wide range of water values. That being said, though, they still should never be introduced in an uncycled aquarium. Ammonia and nitrite are toxic to all aquatic life including rili shrimp, so make sure your aquarium is fully cycled before you introduce any shrimp.

    Do regular (weekly) aquarium maintenance to keep your orange rili shrimp happy and healthy. Perform a water change to bring nitrate levels down and be sure to match the new water to the old before adding it back into the tank. Use a liquid test kit instead of test strips, which might not always be accurate. And always remember that stability is the key to succesful shrimp keeping!

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-200

    orange rili shrimp Photo by Kristin Rousseau

    Orange rili shrimp tankmates

    Like most other Neocaridina varieties, orange rili shrimp are prolific breeders. This means it's usually not too much of a disaster if the population takes a hit here and there and allows you to consider some tankmates for them. Do keep in mind that most fish unfortunately just have too much of an appetite for shrimp - only go for the tiniest and most peaceful ones, like microrasbora.

    If you want to minimize the risk of any shrimp or fry being snatched by hungry tankmates, avoid fish altogether. Peaceful invertebrates like nerite snails and Caridina shrimp such as the popular crystal red shrimp make better choices as they are 100% rili shrimp safe.

    Orange rili shrimp diet

    Like all dwarf shrimp, orange rilis are naturally omnivores that feed on biofilm, algae and any other organic matter they can find. In the aquarium biofilm grows on all surfaces but there usually isn't enough "gunk" in there to keep an entire colony of shrimp well-fed. You'll need to offer some extra food in the form of a high-quality staple as well as all kinds of snacks to add variety.

    Ebita breed is one of the many brands that works well as a staple. For variety, think out of the box: algae tabs and frozen foods are fine, but you can also consider more unusual homemade options like dried nettle leaves, blanched veggies or even unflavored/unsalted nori (dried seaweed).

    Breeding orange rili shrimp

    As with all Neocaridina shrimp, breeding orange rilis is not much of a challenge. This makes them a great option if you've never bred shrimp before: even beginners can pull this off easily enough. Just make sure your orange rili shrimp colony contains both males and females (females will be larger and more intensely colored). Keep the shrimp healthy, stress-free and well-fed and you should start seeing the females become saddled in no time.

    Once the eggs are moved to the swimmerettes (back legs) it will be about 30 days before they hatch into tiny baby shrimp. These can stay in the main tank with their parents and are able to fend for themselves from day one. That's it!

    Buying orange rili shrimp

    Although rili shrimp have been around in the shrimp hobby long enough to become relatively popular, many aquarium stores only carry the red variety. Orange rili shrimp (as well as carbon rili shrimp) might be a little harder to find. Luckily, many hobbyists keep and breed these shrimp and some online stores also sell (homebred) orange rilis. The Shrimp Farm sells orange rili shrimp and ships them right to your doorstep with live arrival guarantee - you can order your shrimp here!

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Fishbone shrimp

    So your Neocaridina shrimp are thriving, your Crystal Reds and Blacks are breeding like crazy and keeping your Taiwan Bee shrimp alive is a piece of cake. You're ready for the next step in the shrimp world. Fishbone pinto shrimp are a relatively new addition to the hobby, and definitely a spectacular one! Though not the easiest to keep and breed they make up for it with their spectacular coloration and pattern.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about fishbone pinto shrimp and keeping these beauties in your aquarium!


    Scientific name: None - hybrid of Caridina cf. cantonensis

    Common names: Fishbone shrimp, fishbone pinto shrimp, pinto shrimp

    Difficulty level: Intermediate

    Origin: South East Asia


    fishbone shrimp

    Fishbone shrimp requirements

    Fishbone shrimp aren't the best beginner choice. If you're looking to get into shrimp keeping for the first time, why not look into getting an easier species like red cherry shrimp? They are less expensive and a lot hardier.

    If you have some shrimp experience and are ready for the next step, be sure to go for at least a 10 gallon aquarium. After all, the larger the tank, the smaller the chance of any issues caused by bad water quality.

    Make sure the filter you use is 100% shrimp safe to prevent any fry from being sucked in. A sponge filter should work well. You can use a heater to keep the aquarium temperature stable, although some shrimp keepers prefer heating their entire room to a suitable temp.

    Like all shrimp, fishbone pintos like having some decorations and hides in their tank that they can retreat to while molting and eat biofilm off. Try adding some kind of moss and a few shrimp tubes to keep your fishbone shrimp happy.

    Fishbone shrimp water quality

    The key element to keeping your fishbone shrimp colony healthy is water quality as well as stability. These shrimp are heavily selectively bred and can be quite vulnerable to bad water values, so stay on top of your water tests at all times (use a liquid test kit instead of strips).

    Most importantly, your tank should always be fully cycled without any traces of ammonia and nitrite. Nitrates should be kept low as well by doing regular water changes. Add the new water very slowly, using the drip method for example, to avoid sudden swings in water values.

    Because fishbone pinto shrimp can be pretty particular about water values, many aquarists prefer to use RO (reverse osmosis water) and a pH-lowering substrate. This basically allows them to create their own water values and be 100% sure there are no unwanted substances in there.

    pH: 5.8-7.4

    Temperature: 62-76 °F

    GH: 4-6

    KH: 0-4

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-200

    Fishbone shrimp tankmates

    Most fishbone pinto shrimp keepers and breeders can probably agree that a single-species setup is the way to go for these shrimp. At their price point and fragility you can't afford to lose any fry and certainly no adults. A few snails should be fine if you're sure they're disease-free and shrimp safe.

    Fishbone shrimp diet

    As with all dwarf shrimp, a fishbone pinto's favorite food is biofilm. This organic substance grows on any surface in the aquarium, which means your fishbones will appreciate it if you don't clean your tank too intensely. A few patches of algae are like a shrimp feast!

    Supplement their diet using a high quality shrimp food and additions like leaf litter. Be sure to remove any uneaten foods within a few hours; you don't want anything rotting and spoiling the water.

    Breeding fishbone shrimp

    If you're interested in keeping fishbone pinto shrimp, you can choose to produce them yourself through selective breeding. This option does take quite a bit of time, so if you want to enjoy your fishbones now you're probably better off buying a starter colony.

    So how are fishbone pintos produced? Crystal red/black shrimp or Taiwan Bee shrimp are crossed with tiger shrimp like the orange eyed blue tiger (all are Caridina cf cantonensis). This produces Tibees. To produce your fishbone shrimp you cross these Tibees back to a Taiwan Bee shrimp to produce TaiTibees and then breed selectively to get to the desired color pattern that makes the shrimp a Pinto.

    When breeding fishbone pinto shrimp, keep in mind that their breeding rate can be slower than that of 'regular' non-hybridized shrimp. Taiwan Bee shrimp can be fragile and breeding two of them together might result in loss of all fry, which means you should always be careful about which shrimp you decide to breed.

    Buying fishbone shrimp

    Fishbone pinto shrimp are relatively new in the shrimp hobby and they are still on the rare and expensive side. You probably won't find these in your local fish store, but luckily there are some online sellers you can buy from. The Shrimp Farm sells black fishbone shrimp with live arrival guarantee; you can easily order your fishbones here.

    the shrimp farm

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