Freshwater Shrimp

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

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

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

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

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

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Origin: South East Asia

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

    Setting up a Crystal Red shrimp aquarium

    Crystal Red shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Crystal Red shrimp water quality

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

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

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

    pH: 5.8-7.4

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

    gH: 4-6

    kH: 0-4

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): 100-200

    Crystal Red shrimp tankmates

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


    Crystal Red shrimp diet

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

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

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

    Breeding Crystal Red shrimp

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

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

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

    Crystal Red shrimp grading

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

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

    Buying Crystal Red shrimp

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

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

  • Grading Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda)

    Grading Red Cherry Shrimp

    Their easy care and decorative red coloration have made Red Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) one of the most popular dwarf shrimp species in the hobby today. Aquarists looking to get into Red Cherry shrimp keeping and breeding might be surprised to learn that there is not just one type of Red Cherry: various intensities of red are graded, priced and named differently. Continue reading

  • Grading Crystal Red Shrimp

    Crystal Red (and Black) shrimp popularity is ever-increasing: this bee shrimp variety is relatively easy to keep, a large tank is not necessary and breeding them can be a fun and even profitable project.

    If you're getting started with your own Crystal Red shrimp colony, the various different grades and color patterns might prove rather confusing. Why are some very expensive and others much cheaper? What defines a 'high quality' Crystal Red? Keep reading for everything you need to know about Crystal Red shrimp grading! Continue reading

  • Amano Shrimp Care Sheet

    Amano Shrimp Caresheet - Algae Eating Shrimp

    Amano Shrimp Amano Shrimp - Caridina multidentata


    The Amano Shrimp often considered the second most popular freshwater shrimp next to the Cherry Shrimp. The name Amano Shrimp originates from the world famous aquarist Takashi Amano who frequently uses the shrimp in his aquariums as algae eaters. This shrimp has become well known, because it is considered to be great algae eaters, in later years we have found that shrimp such as Cherry Shrimp are actually more proficient at algae eating. A not so well known fact is that Amano Shrimp are very difficult to breed, and almost all of them bought on the market today are wild caught.

    A full grown Amano Shrimp will be 2"+, however when purchasing it in pet stores or online Continue reading

  • Freshwater Dwarf Orange Mexican Crayfish CPO Safe With Shrimp?

    Dwarf Mexican Crayfish Dwarf Orange Crayfish Freshwater Shrimp Dwarf Mexican Crayfish (CPO)

    Dwarf Orange Mexican Crayfish CPO Safe With Shrimp?

    The infamous question has come up again and again with shrimp hobbyist that are looking to add a little more than just shrimp to their aquariums, "Can I keep Dwarf Crayfish with my shrimp?". In a shrimp tank size often matters, more than likely you have several plants and are picky about how the layout looks. You often strive for that "perfect aquascape".

    When trying to spice things up so to speak, the shrimp hobbyist often has turned to Dwarf Crayfish, which in turn leads to the most popular dwarf crayfish in the hobby to date the Dwarf Orange Mexican Crayfish (Cambarellus patzcuarensis). This Mexican Dwarf Crayfish is something many shrimp hobbyist want to add to their tanks, however the question arises is it safe for my freshwater dwarf shrimp?

    Dwarf Crayfish vs. Dwarf Shrimp:

    The Mexican Dwarf Orange Crayfish is found to be beautiful, relatively peaceful, and low demanding. They do not dig into substrate very often, nor do they harm plants. The Mexican Dwarf Orange Crayfish will not harm your shrimp in most cases. If you have ever kept male betta fish you will know that each male has its own temperament, this is the same for dwarf crayfish.

    In almost all cases I have found they get along 100% of the time with all dwarf shrimp, I often find he shrimp riding on the backs of the crayfish! Mexican Dwarf Orange Crayfish will only harm dead, weak, or sick shrimp. They are culling your Colony of shrimp for you. After reading this you might have this question, "Would you house the Mexican Dwarf Crayfish with your shrimp, prized shrimp?"

    My answer would be yes! I would not sweat it, I would not even spend a moment laying awake at night thinking about it.

    >>>Want More Info on The Mexican Dwarf Crayfish?<<<

    Stop worrying and start Shrimp'n!!

    Ryan Curtis

    The Shrimp Guy

  • Dwarf Shrimp Digestive Systems

    Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp Diet:

    What you need to know


    Compared with other aquarium inhabitants, the diet of Freshwater dwarf shrimps is quite different regarding nutrient intake and digestion.

    In the wild freshwater dwarf shrimp can be found naturally grazing for food all day, everyday. They are very busy workers when it comes to grazing for food, this is why they are considered one of the best tank cleaners out there! Shrimp have a complex digestive system, their food is transported through the intestine by wavelike movements of the bowel muscle. Shrimp are not able to store large amounts of food in their cardiac and pyloric stomachs, thus it is crucial for them to keep eating almost constantly.

    Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp need to constantly keep feeding and grazing, because their digestive system runs extremely fast. Nutrient intake and digestion, which are so vital for them, can be reduced to an insufficient level or even cease entirely if the shrimp stops feeding even for a short amount of time. It is easy to see when the intestine along their back line is empty, given that most shrimp are at least somewhat transparent in that area, however not all are, and this can sometimes be hard to spot without a trained eye.

    Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp - Red Cherry Shrimp


    Feeding daily, or just sparingly:

    After gathering the information found above, one would ask, should I feed only from time to time, or should I feed daily? The question is one that most shrimp hobbyist or keepers get wrong. The common thought is to feed shrimp sparingly once, twice, or maybe only three times a week. The idea that shrimp can go weeks without supplemental food is simply not true. Shrimp will always be on the move grazing inside your tank, as that is their natural instinct.

    Will your shrimp die if not fed daily? No, it will not die if you chose to only feed it once or twice a week, however this is a double edged sword! You are not allowing your shrimp to live to its fullest color, size, or potential.

    Fish keeping is not shrimp keeping by any means. When you chose to feed your freshwater dwarf shrimp sparingly this can lead to deficiencies, especially when the shrimp have already eaten all of the natural bio-films on the surfaces in the tank. They simply will not thrive in a tank that does not have supplemental food and minerals. That is, however only if not in a planted aquarium. Within a planted aquarium often times there are many microorganisms and bio-films available for the choosing. These microorganisms and bio-films provide your shrimp often times with enough food to  truly thrive.

    Soft food tabs or pellets are usually eaten very quickly, and thus the shrimps take up a huge amount of food in a very short time. However, the majority of this food is not broken down properly as their digestive system is not adapted to this kind of massive feeding.Shrimp food, algae wafers

    Their body cannot utilize such a large amount of nutrients, at least not at the pace the food passes through the shrimp's intestine during a mass feeding. In the worst case, the shrimps do not find enough to eat in their tank, which leaves them hungry until the next time they are fed. This can, in turn, leads to elevated stress levels, which makes them more susceptible to noxious germs and bacterial infections.

    What to remember:

    The appropriate nutrition for shrimps provides them with something to eat not only during feeding time, but practically always. It is important for them to find something to nibble on everywhere in the tank. If you want a happy and healthy shrimp tank then try to feed in smaller daily amounts.


    "Keep on Shrimpin"


    "America's Favorite Shrimp Guy"

    Ryan Curtis

  • Wild Type – What Does it Mean?

    With the ever-growing popularity of the Dwarf Shrimp hobby confusion continues to grow about a few phrases commonly used amongst hobbyists. One of the phrases that is used quite frequently and causes a bit of confusion is “Wild type” Continue reading

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