Freshwater Shrimp

  • Shrimp caresheet: Golden bee shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)

    The golden bee shrimp is a bit of a mystery of the shrimp world: no one seems to be sure where it came from or who bred it. Like the much more common crystal red shrimp it's a selectively bred variety of the bee shrimp.

    Although its carapace is snow white, its flesh is slightly orange-colored, which makes for a combination that looks almost golden. Golden bee shrimp aren't the easiest dwarf shrimp to keep and breed but their unique coloration certainly makes them worth the challenge.

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

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis var. "Golden bee"

    Common names: Golden bee shrimp, golden crystal red shrimp

    Difficulty level: Intermediate

    Origin: Unknown

    Gold star! How to care for Golden Bee Shrimp (Caridina genus) in your aquarium #fishtanks #aquatic Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a golden bee shrimp aquarium

    Golden bee shrimp requirements

    If you're looking to start your own golden bee shrimp breeding project you don't need a large aquarium. Around 10 gallons is preferable; experienced aquarists might be able to keep the water quality high enough in a smaller tank but that can be a little risky with these sensitive shrimp.

    Equipment-wise, a filter is the most important. It allows the aquarium to cycle, which is crucial in keeping your shrimp alive and healthy. If you're not sure what cycling is, read this article first. A sponge filter should work well, as it produces a gentle flow and can't suck up any baby shrimp. If you're using another type of filter be sure to use a filter guard to protect your shrimp. A heater can help keep the aquarium temperature stable.

    Like all shrimp, golden bee shrimp prefer an aquarium with plenty of hiding places. This can be as simple as tossing some Java moss into the tank or adding some ceramic or pvc pipes.

    Golden bee shrimp water quality

    Water quality is a crucial part of golden bee shrimp care. Unlike the sturdier Neocaridina davidi dwarf shrimp varieties golden bees are quite sensitive and won't respond well at all to bad water quality or sudden fluctuations.

    To keep your golden bees happy and healthy the aquarium water should be soft and relatively acidic. The setup should always be fully cycled, as any traces of ammonia or nitrite can quickly prove fatal for these fragile shrimp. Nitrates should also be kept in check because they are harmful in larger doses. Do regular water changes to lower your nitrates and keep a close eye on your water values using a liquid test kit.

    pH: 5.8-7.4

    Temperature: 62-76 °F

    GH: 4-6

    KH: 0-4

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-200

    Golden bee shrimp tankmates

    When it comes to tankmates, most serious shrimp breeders choose to skip them altogether. No tankmates means no risk of any fish or invert bothering the shrimp, which in turn means less stress and higher rates of fry survival.

    If you do want to keep your golden bee shrimp with other fish or invertebrates be sure to choose very, very wisely. Almost all fish will eat tiny shrimp fry, so stick to very peaceful options like pygmy Corydoras catfish. These are too small to fit even a baby shrimp into their mouth. There are also a few shrimp safe invertebrates. Most snail species, like nerite snails, should work well. You can also combine your golden bees with other dwarf shrimp as long as there's no risk of interbreeding (that means no mixing multiple bee shrimp varieties). Neocaridina davidi should work well.

    Golden bee shrimp diet

    Wild bee shrimp survive by eating algae and biofilm off any surface they can find. Because our aquariums are usually too clean to contain enough natural foods it's up to you to make sure your shrimp have enough to eat. There are many high-quality shrimp foods available that make great staples. A varied diet is key, though, so be sure to also include some of the various other foods that shrimp love. Fresh blanched veggies, frozen foods like mosquito larvae and leaf litter will all be appreciated.

    Feed around once a day and be sure to remove any uneaten foods within a few hours to prevent pollution.

    Breeding golden bee shrimp

    Breeding golden bee shrimp is similar to breeding crystal reds. Females can easily be recognized, as they are larger and more intensely colored than males. The underside of their carapace is more rounded and if they're healthy they should almost constantly carry small brownish eggs. These hatch after around 30 days to reveal tiny copies of the parents, which can immediately fend for themselves and don't need special care.

    The more opaque a golden bee shrimp's coloration, the higher the "quality". If you're breeding golden bees to sell be sure to regularly remove shrimp that lack the intense coloration to prevent the overall quality of your colony from decreasing. Many aquarists set up a special tank for the inferior quality "culls" so they can happily live out their lives.

    Buying golden bee shrimp

    Golden bee shrimp are still a relatively uncommon bee shrimp variety. This means they might not be the easiest shrimp to find and your local aquarium store probably doesn't carry them. You can ask them to order some golden bee shrimp for you but you can also try the Internet. Fellow shrimp hobbyists might have some golden bees for sale. The Shrimp Farm also sells golden bee shrimp: you can buy your golden bees here and have them shipped right to your doorstep.

    the shrimp farm

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

    Most shrimp keepers know crystal red shrimp, but are you also familiar with their less common cousin? Crystal black shrimp, also known as black bee shrimp, are named after the black bands that cross their white bodies. Like crystal reds they were selectively bred from bee shrimp. Their bright black and white colors are sure to liven up any aquarium and they make a great breeding project that can even yield a little profit!

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

    Scientific name: Caridina cf. cantonensis

    Common names: Crystal black shrimp, bee shrimp, CBS

    Difficulty level: Intermediate

    Origin: South East Asia

    Crystal black shrimp care & info: keeping Caridina dwarf shrimp in your aquarium #aquatic #pets Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a crystal black shrimp aquarium

    Crystal black shrimp requirements

    As with most other freshwater shrimp you don't need a large aquarium to keep crystal blacks. Keep in mind that they are quite sensitive and don't react well to bad water values, which means a larger aquarium is better especially if you're a beginner. An aquarium of at least 10 gallons is easier to keep stable than smaller setups.

    Like all aquariums a crystal black shrimp tank should be fully cycled and established before any inhabitants are introduced. You need a filter to cycle the tank; most shrimp breeders prefer sponge filters, as these create a gentle water flow and can't suck up tiny shrimp fry. Although crystal black shrimp can handle room temperatures just fine it's still recommended to use a heater to prevent any temperature fluctuations.

    Crystal black shrimp love plenty of hiding places in the aquarium, especially when they're vulnerable during molting time. Shrimp flats and live plants make great hides while also providing a place for nutritious biofilm to grow, so be sure to incorporate a few in your crystal black tank.

    Crystal black shrimp water quality

    As discussed earlier, crystal black shrimp are a little more sensitive than most common dwarf shrimp. Their ancestor, the bee shrimp, naturally occurs in fast-flowing, clean waters. Selective breeding has made crystal blacks even more sensitive; this especially applies to the higher grades.

    All this means you have to keep a close eye on your water values if you want to keep these shrimp alive and happy. The water should be relatively soft and acidic and always free of ammonia and nitrites. Regular aquarium maintenance is a must, as crystal blacks are also quite sensitive to nitrates. Do regular, small water changes to keep the water values where they should be. A liquid test kit allows you to check the water values while a thermometer should be used to make sure the temperature is still correct.

    pH: 5.8-7.4

    Temperature: 62-76 °F

    GH: 4-6

    KH: 0-4

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-200

    Crystal black shrimp tankmates

    Although there are some options out there when it comes to tankmates for your crystal red shrimp, most breeders prefer keeping them in single species setups. This ensures no fry fall prey to hungry fish and the shrimp feel safe at all times.

    If you do want to keep your crystal blacks with some tankmates and don't mind the fact that you likely won't get as much offspring, be sure to still choose carefully. Only go for small and very peaceful tankmates like Otocinclus or Pygmy Corydoras or even stick to just inverts. Snails should work well and you can also try other dwarf shrimp species as long as they don't interbreed with your crystal blacks. Shrimp from the Neocaridina genus can co-exist with crystal blacks just fine.

    Crystal black shrimp diet

    Crystal black shrimp are omnivores that thrive on a varied diet. They naturally feed on biofilm that forms on rocks and plants but in the aquarium their diet should be supplemented. There are many high quality shrimp foods out there that can be used as a staple and the possibilities for added variation are endless. Your crystal blacks will love frozen foods like mosquito larvae, fresh blanched veggies, algae pellets and even strange things like dried nettle leaves. Botanicals like Indian almond leaves and cholla wood are also a welcome source of food.

    Because crystal blacks are so sensitive all uneaten foods should be removed after a few hours. Any leftovers can quickly start rotting, which is disastrous for your water quality and can damage the shrimp population.

    Breeding crystal black shrimp

    Crystal black shrimp make a great breeding project and you shouldn't have too much trouble getting your crystal blacks to reproduce. As long as their requirements are met these shrimp should pretty much constantly produce fry! The females, which are larger and more brightly colored, carry the eggs between their back legs (swimmerettes) for around 30 days before releasing tiny babies that don't need any special care.

    Like crystal reds, crystal black shrimp come in various color patterns that vary in rarity and determine their "grade" or "quality". A crystal black shrimp with more white and more opaque coloration falls into a higher grade, which affects the price.

    Buying crystal black shrimp

    Crystal black shrimp are unfortunately a little less common than their crystal red cousins, which is a shame because they feature the same fascinating patterns and are just as interesting to keep and breed. Because they are less popular they are also a little more difficult to find, which means your local aquarium store might not carry them. Luckily there is always the internet - you can buy crystal black shrimp from fellow hobbyists or at online stores. The Shrimp Farm sells crystal black shrimp and ships them right to your doorstep! Order your crystal blacks here.

    the shrimp farm

  • Which shrimp species are best for beginners? | 4 best starter shrimp

    If you're just getting into shrimp keeping it can be a little difficult to figure out which type to start with. There are so many species! So many colors, sizes and different requirements to choose from. Some are difficult to care for and some are super easy. Luckily, The Shrimp Farm can help.

    Keep reading to find out the 4 best starter shrimp!

    Red Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. Red)

    Red Cherry shrimp are probably the most popular dwarf shrimp among both beginners and more experienced shrimp keepers. And for good reason! This red Neocaridina variety is not too fussy about water values, very easy to breed and quite decorative. Colors can vary from a light pink to deep blood red and with smart selective breeding you can easily improve the intensity.

    Keep your Red Cherry shrimp in a fully cycled aquarium of at least around five gallons (19L). If you're interested in breeding your Cherries a single species setup with only shrimp is recommended. However, these shrimp also do well in peaceful community setups, as they breed very quickly and the occasional casualty won't damage the population at all. Provide your Red Cherries with plenty of hiding places, especially in community tanks, and feed a high quality shrimp food.

    You can find a full Red Cherry shrimp caresheet at The Shrimp Farm here.

    Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata)

    Amano shrimp are named after the late famous aquascaper Takashi Amano, who first introduce them into the aquarium hobby on a large scale. Though colorless and not too exciting to look at, these shrimp are among the most popular because they are pretty hardy, have a huge appetite for algae and make a great cleaning crew. They are a little larger than dwarf shrimp but still entirely peaceful and a great addition to any peaceful community tank. The only downside is that they are almost impossible to breed in the home aquarium: they hatch as larvae which go through a brackish stage where they need a very specific amount of salt. After that, they need to be returned to fresh water at exactly the right time.

    Keep your Amano shrimp in a heated and cycled aquarium of at least around ten gallons (38L). As with all shrimp, provide plenty of hiding places in the form of plants, rocks and driftwood. If there is plenty of algae for the shrimp to eat you don't have to supplement their diet all that much but be sure to always have some shrimp food on hand in case the algae run out.

    You can find a full Amano shrimp caresheet at The Shrimp Farm here.

    Blue Dream shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. Blue)

    Blue Dream shrimp are a blue Neocaridina davidi variety: basically a blue version of Red Cherries. Their care requirements are the same, they don't need very specific water values and their striking color makes them a great eyecatcher in any shrimp tank. Like all shrimp they also make a good cleaning crew that keeps the aquarium tidy by eating leftover foods and algae. They can be combined with small, peaceful fish species (provided there are enough hiding places) but show themselves more and breed more readily in an invert-only setup with snails and other shrimp.

    There are plenty more Neocaridina davidi varieties out there, all of them easy to care for and a great breeding project for beginners. Go for Blue Velvets if you're looking for a lighter blue color or maybe a bright Yellow! Just don't combine these shrimp in one aquarium; they do interbreed and any offspring will feature a brownish wild color.

    blue dream shrimp

    Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.)

    Ghost shrimp are often sold as cheap food for larger fish species but can also make an interesting permanent addition to the aquarium. They are on this list because they are incredibly hardy and can tolerate bad water values a lot better than most other shrimp. A great option if you're just getting started!

    'Ghost shrimp' is a collective name for various shrimp species in the Palaemonetes genus, so be sure to buy from a reputable seller to avoid ending up with a huge aggressive river prawn or brackish variety. The Shrimp Farm sells Palaemonetes paludosus, which doesn't grow too large and should work fine in most cases. Keep your ghost shrimp in a cycled aquarium of at least around 10 gallons. A peaceful community should work just fine (though keep in mind ghost shrimp can be slightly more aggressive than dwarf shrimp). Ghost shrimp larvae are tiny and very vulnerable, so if you're interested in breeding and don't want the young to end up being eaten a single-species setup might be the best idea.

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

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

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

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

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

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

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

    Setting up an orange sakura shrimp aquarium

    Orange sakura shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Orange sakura shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-7.8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    Orange sakura shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Orange sakura shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding orange sakura shrimp

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

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

    Buying orange sakura shrimp

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

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

    the shrimp farm

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

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

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

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

    Common names: Blue velvet shrimp, blue cherry shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    blue velvet shrimp

    Setting up a blue velvet shrimp aquarium

    Blue velvet shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Blue velvet shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    Blue velvet shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Blue velvet shrimp diet

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

    Breeding blue velvet shrimp

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

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

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

    Buying blue velvet shrimp

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

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes sp.)

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

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

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

    Setting up a ghost shrimp aquarium

    Ghost shrimp requirements

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

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

    Ghost shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 7.0-7.8

    Temperature: 70-78 °F/21-25.5 °C

    Water hardness: 3-15 dkh

    Ghost shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Ghost shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding ghost shrimp

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

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

    Buying ghost shrimp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Origin: South East Asia


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

    Setting up a Blue Tiger shrimp aquarium

    Blue Tiger shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Blue Tiger shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6-7.5

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

    gH: 4-10

    kH: 2-6

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): 150-250

    Blue Tiger shrimp tankmates

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

    Blue Tiger shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding Blue Tiger shrimp

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

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

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

    Blue Tiger shrimp grading

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

    Buying Blue Tiger shrimp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Difficulty level: Semi-difficult

    Origin: Southern China

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

    Setting up a blue bolt shrimp aquarium

    Blue bolt shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Blue bolt shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-7.8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 3-7

    KH: 1-8

    Total Dissolved Solids: 75-150

    Blue bolt shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Blue bolt shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding blue bolt shrimp

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

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

    Buying blue bolt shrimp

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

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

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

    the shrimp farm

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

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

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina cf zhangjiajiensis var. White

    Common names: Snowball shrimp, white pearl shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    Setting up a snowball shrimp aquarium

    Snowball shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Snowball shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-7.8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 3-7

    KH: 1-8

    Total Dissolved Solids: 75-150

    Snowball shrimp tankmates

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

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

    snowball shrimp

    Snowball shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding snowball shrimp

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

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

    Buying snowball shrimp

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

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Red Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda)

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

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

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

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

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

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

    Setting up a Red Cherry shrimp aquarium

    Red Cherry shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Fire Red cherry shrimp

    Red Cherry shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-8.0

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

    gH: 4-8

    kH: 3-15

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): 150-250

    Red Cherry shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Red Cherry shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding Red Cherry shrimp

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

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

    Red Cherry shrimp grading

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

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

    Buying Red Cherry shrimp

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

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

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