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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL



Freshwater Shrimp

  • Breeding Amano Shrimp(Caridina Multidentata)

    Amano Shrimp Breeding

    Amano shrimp are one of the hardest shrimp to breed in the aquarium hobby. Many have longed to think it is impossible, but there are the who have been able to do so. There are 4 things to focus on while trying to breed Amano shrimp, inducing breeding, breeding/carrying of eggs, raising the young, and acclimation to freshwater. Two of these variables are easy to perform, while the other 2 will be a little difficult.

    Assimilating Amano shrimp to breed requires a sexed pair of shrimp, stable water parameters, and a food source. Female Amano shrimp will be larger, averaging around 1.5"-2", and have brown, dashed lines along its body. Males will be a little smaller, averaging around 1"-1.5", and have dots along its body. Females can have a bright or dull green "saddle" which is where the eggs are developing in her ovaries. It is difficult to sex Amano shrimp at a young age. At roughly 3 to 4 months, it becomes more prominent.

    Female Amano shrimp carrying eggs.
    Berried Adult Female. Close up of the eggs, the black dots are the eyes of the babies.

    Amano Shrimp For Sale


    • Pair of sexed Amano shrimp
    • Shrimp food
    • Sea Salt Mix(Instant Ocean Sea Salt Mix is recommended; NOT table salt, pickling salt, aquarium salt, etc.)
    • A light capable of growing saltwater algae
    • A container to hold the saltwater and larvae
    • 2 air pumps with accessories(airline tubing, check valve, control valve, air stone, etc.)
    • A 1-gallon container for dechlorinated freshwater
    • RODI or RO water
    • Hydrometer or Refractometer
    • Flashlight
    • Pipette or eye dropper
    • A syringe with a decently sized opening

    Before Breeding:

    Set up your saltwater jar, one of the air pumps with its accessories, and mix the saltwater mix. Try to aim for 30-35 PPT saltwater(1.022-1.026 Specific Gravity). Once you got the mix at that salinity, you can add the airstone and have it pump out a gentle stream of air. Position the light above the container and allow it to mature. Bugs may fly into it and die, creating Ammonia, which is a nutrient required by Algae to grow. The water will evaporate and the salinity will go up. Top-off the evaporation with RODI or RO water to maintain the salinity. After a while, the jar will be filled with diatoms and other sorts of algae.

    Breeding Parameters:

    Water parameters should be kept stable within the acceptable ranges. The pH should be between 6.5-8.0. The temperature should be consistent between 70°F-80°F. GH should be 5-15, while KH 1-10.

    When breeding, food should be readily available. Algae in the tank can be an adequate food source. If there is not enough food, you can supplement with blanched vegetables and prepared fish foods.

    How Amanos Breed:

    Once Amano shrimp are sexually mature(4-5 months), the above-mentioned requirements are met, they'll breed. Breeding follows after a female molts. She will attempt to hide and release pheromones into the water column. Males will sense the pheromones and will find her and mate. Afterward, the female will carry the fertilized eggs in her pleopods/swimmerets till the eggs hatch. This is considered the easy part of breeding Amanos. They will readily breed if the female is ready.

    Once they breed, the eggs will remain in her pleopods/swimmerets for 3-5 weeks developing. In the third week, you should prepare the 1-gallon container and fill it with your source of water. Set up the air pump and the accessories so there is a good amount of flow. If the female were to release all of the eggs before hatching, the flow from the air stone would keep the eggs well oxygenated and fungus-free. Allow the temperature to become room temp then transfer your berried female. Watch closely, as the eggs may hatch soon or take another 2 weeks.

    Raising the Larvae:

    This is going to be the difficult part, so be warned.

    After the eggs hatch, the larvae have roughly 1 week to survive in freshwater. Turn off all surrounding light and shine a flashlight at one spot on the container. Since they are attracted to light, they are drawn to swim towards it. This makes it much easier to round them all up. Put them into a temporary container, like a betta cup. You may have to repeat this step multiple times, as not all of the eggs will hatch at the same rate. Once you have rounded up as many as you feel like, transfer them into the saltwater jar. Acclimation is not required. Watch closely as the larvae will float around and eat algae. They will do this till they metamorphize, which will take 2 to 3 months.

    It is easy to tell once they have metamorphized. They will swim forward rapidly, mimicking what they would do in the wild, swimming from the ocean, upstream into brackish, then into freshwater for the rest of their lives.

    Feeding the Larvae:

    The larvae should feed on the algae grown on the container walls. Naturally grown diatoms and other algae are the best food sources for them.   Supplemental feedings are not necessary, as this can easily foul the water and kill all of the larvae. If you were to feed them, Spirulina powder is an acceptable food, just a small pinch.

    Capturing and Acclimating the Larvae:

    Warning: a little difficult

    Catching them can be a little tricky, as they are quite fast. Attach a small piece of airline tubing, approximately 2"-3", to the syringe and stick it into the container. When the larvae stop swimming, quickly go near it and start pulling on the plunger. This may take several attempts, as they will try to evade the airline. Once you have it, squirt the larvae out of the tube and/or syringe into a cup. Make sure there is enough saltwater to cover the shrimp. Acclimating will take approximately 24-36 hours. You will take a long piece of airline tubing and attach an air stone to one end and a control valve to the other. Airstone end goes into the tank, it prevents any baby shrimp or preexisting shrimp from being sucked up. The control valve end goes into the cup. Start the siphon by sucking on it very slightly. Once you got the water flowing, slow it down to roughly 1 drop per second. It is recommended to check the cup every few hours, to ensure it does not overflow. After acclimating for 24-36 hours, slowly pour the cup into the tank. The diluted saltwater should not affect the water parameters drastically.

  • Grading Yellow Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "Yellow")

    So, you're looking for a shrimp that can be kept in small tanks, can handle a wide range of water values, is easy to breed, won't mind a few beginner mistakes and brightens up your aquarium with its coloration.

    Sounds like an impossible task, right? Not for Neocaridina davidi var. "Yellow", also conveniently referred to as the yellow shrimp. This yellow "sibling" of the more common red cherry shrimp is the perfect choice for everyone looking for that combo of easy care and great color.

    Note: this article is about yellow shrimp grading and doesn't cover what you need to know about caring for these dwarf shrimp. If you need some more info, have a look at the full yellow shrimp caresheet instead!

    Grading yellow shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "Yellow")

    If you've looked into buying a colony of yellow shrimp you'll most likely have noticed that not all of them are the same. Some are almost translucent with a hint of yellow, while others are entirely opaque with perfect lemon coloration. Why?

    Dwarf Neocaridina shrimp like yellow shrimp are selectively bred from brown-greyish wild shrimp into the variety of colors that's available today. With constant selection, a completely opaque color can be achieved. This is considered very desirable. Thus, more translucent yellow shrimp will fetch less money than opaque specimens. Opaque yellows aren't necessarily better or healthier; shrimp keepers just consider them nicer to look at. You don't have to buy high grade shrimp. Even if you're low on funds, you could always be patient and invest time to selectively breed your colony for less transparency yourself.

    (Article continues below image)
    yellow neocaridina

    How to determine yellow shrimp grade

    So, we know that more opaque shrimp are more desirable than translucent ones. But how do you actually go about grading them? The guidelines and yellow shrimp grading chart should help you figure things out.

    • There are no definitions. Not really, anyway. Unlike the extremely popular red cherry shrimp, which has at least five different grades with respective names and guidelines (that you can find here), the grading system for yellow shrimp is still a little vague. The grades don't really have names yet, so we just divide shrimp in three different categories that we refer to as "high", "medium" and "low".
    • Opaqueness determines grade. A high grade yellow shrimp is entirely yellow without any transparent splotches. Even its legs won't show signs of white. A medium grade yellow shrimp is still nice and brightly colored, but there are a few translucent spots. Notably, the "underbelly" will be less intensely colored or splotchy and the legs might be more of a candy-cane pattern with yellow and white than 100% yellow. Lastly, low grade yellows are often more translucent than they are yellow. While there is still color, most of the shrimp is see-through, including the legs.
    • Hue can vary. If you've done some research you might have noticed that no two yellow shrimp colonies are exactly equal in color. This doesn't matter; grade is determined by opaqueness and not by hue. Some yellows are more neon, while others show hints of green or orange.
    • Back stripe. Neocaridina shrimp can be selectively bred to have a light-colored stripe run along the back (and some shrimp show it at random). Like hue, whether you find this desirable or not has more to do with personal preference than grade. These "golden backs" still adhere to normal grading rules.
    • Sex matters. As you likely know, female dwarf shrimp are larger and often more opaque in color than males (if you're not familiar with sex differences in shrimp this chart might be helpful). In high grades, both males and females are usually opaque in color, though this is not always the case. It's possible for a female to fall into a higher category than the less intensely colored male.
    yellow shrimp QUIZ TIME: Based on what you just learned, what is the grade of this yellow shrimp? You can find the answer at the bottom of this post.

    Buying yellow shrimp?

    Looking to start your own colony of yellow shrimp? With the help of this article you should be able to find your desired grade in the local aquarium store or online. The Shrimp Farm sells yellow shrimp and ships them right to your doorstep - you can get your starter colony of 10 shrimp here.

    Quiz answer: the shrimp in the photo is a medium grade yellow shrimp. Note the "candy-cane" legs that feature both yellow and translucent patches as well as the see-through spots on the body.

    the shrimp farm

  • Grading blue dream shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "Blue Dream")

    Of all the color varieties of Neocaridina davidi out there, blue is probably the most confusing to beginning shrimp keepers. There is a bunch of different blue varieties available, some with multiple common names (blue dream, blue fairy, blue jelly, blue rili, blue velvet... ahhh!). On top of that, each separate variety can be found in various hues and levels of color coverage,  which affects the shrimp's desirability and the price it can fetch.

    Is your head spinning yet? We're here to help. This article discusses the various grades of blue dream shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "Blue Dream"), which should hopefully help you identify your shrimp as a blue dream and determine where it falls on the scale.

    Note: this article only discusses blue dream shrimp grading. If you're looking for more information on how to keep your blue dream shrimp happy and healthy, have a look at the full caresheet for this variety here.

    Grading blue dream shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "Blue Dream")

    Like all Neocaridina davidi varieties, including the immensely popular red cherry, the blue dream shrimp was created through selective breeding of a brownish wild type shrimp. The resulting blue specimens are not created equal: they can vary from a deep, dark and opaque blue color to light and splotchy, as well as everything in between.

    Shrimp with entirely opaque coloration are more difficult to produce than ones with translucent patches. The process involves continuous selective breeding and removal of all but the best colored shrimp. Why would a breeder do this? Well, it's simply a matter of preference. The shrimp hobby as a whole views more opaque, evenly and deeply colored shrimp as more visually pleasing and therefore as more desirable. In short, they're considered a higher grade/higher quality. Since these shrimp are harder to come by than their less nicely colored counterparts, they fetch a higher price.

    So how do you know where your blue dream shrimp falls on this scale? The chart below can help you figure out the grade of an individual shrimp or your colony as a whole.

    Wondering what grade your blue dream shrimp are? This handy chart is here to help!

    (Article continues below chart.)

    How to determine blue dream shrimp grade

    • There are no clear definitions. First off, the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no real clear agreement on blue dream shrimp grading yet. We've attempted to put together a system based on community feedback, but individual preferences vary. We're not attempting to impose a standard here, just trying to clear things up a little!
    • Opaqueness & even coloration determine grade. A top grade blue dream shrimp should be a deep and even blue all over. Even the tips of its legs can't show any translucent patches. Black head coloration is generally considered less desirable than an even blue color with no hints of black.
    • Rusty trait. Some blue dream shrimp can look like they've "rusted" on top. This trait can occur in all grades and most shrimp keepers agree it doesn't affect grading.
    • Hues can vary. Some blue dream shrimp show hints of purple, others are nearly black. Yet others feature a much lighter color. Hue does not impact grade and a purplish shrimp can be top grade just like a blueberry colored one.
    • Female vs. male shrimp. In Neocaridina shrimp, gender can really affect a shrimp's grade. Males are generally smaller and lower in grade, which splotchier color. Only in the highest grades are the males generally relatively equal to the females in color.
    • Personal preference matters. If you're looking to breed blue dream shrimp to sell, you'll often want to aim to produce specimens that fall into the higher grades. After all, they are considered better quality and fetch a higher price. Are they technically better, though? They're not. "Low grade" shrimp are just as healthy, or even healthier (due to lower levels of inbreeding) than high grade ones. In the end, the most important factor is what you think looks best!
    Blue dream shrimp Quiz time! Based on what you just learned, what grade is this blue dream shrimp? The answer can be found at the bottom of this post.

    Buying blue dream shrimp

    Blue dream shrimp are a relatively popular Neocaridina davidi variety. Although not all aquarium stores will carry them, some will, or they might be able to order a few for you. An easier way to obtain your starter colony is to buy online. The Shrimp Farm sells high quality, homebred blue dream shrimp and ships them right to your doorstep with live arrival guarantee. You can get your colony here!

    Quiz answer: This is a medium grade blue dream shrimp. Note the striped and not fully opaque legs!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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