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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL




  • 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!

    the shrimp farm

  • Sexing Neocaridina dwarf shrimp

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

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

    sexing neocaridina

    Typical female Neocaridina characteristics

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

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

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

    Typical male Neocaridina characteristics

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

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

    the shrimp farm

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

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

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "rili"

    Common names: Rili shrimp, red rili shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    Setting up a red rili shrimp aquarium

    Red rili shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Red rili shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-200

    Red rili shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Red rili shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding red rili shrimp

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

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

    Buying red rili shrimp

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

    the shrimp farm

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

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

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "Green"

    Common names: Green shrimp, green jade shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    green shrimp

    Setting up a green shrimp aquarium

    Green shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    Green shrimp water quality

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

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

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

    pH: 6.8-7.5

    Temperature: 75-83 °F

    Hardness range: 8-20 dkh

    Total Dissolved Solids: 100-300

    Green shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Green shrimp diet

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

    Feed small amounts to prevent leftovers from fouling the water!

    Breeding green shrimp

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

    Buying green shrimp

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

    the shrimp farm

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

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

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "rili"

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

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    carbon rili shrimp

    Setting up a carbon rili shrimp aquarium

    Carbon rili shrimp requirements

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

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

    Carbon rili shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-200

    Carbon rili shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Carbon rili shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding carbon rili shrimp

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

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

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

    Buying carbon rili shrimp

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

    the shrimp farm

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

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

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

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "Rili"

    Common names: Orange rili shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

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

    Orange rili shrimp requirements

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

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

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

    orange rili shrimp Photo by Soo Jin Park

    Orange rili shrimp water quality

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

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

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-200

    orange rili shrimp Photo by Kristin Rousseau

    Orange rili shrimp tankmates

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

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

    Orange rili shrimp diet

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

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

    Breeding orange rili shrimp

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

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

    Buying orange rili shrimp

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

    the shrimp farm

  • Shrimp caresheet: Black rose shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "Black rose")

    Looking for a shrimp that's as easy to keep as a cherry shrimp and as jet black as the more fragile black king kong Caridina variety?

    Let us introduce you to: black rose shrimp. Easily one of the most spectacular Neocaridina davidi varieties, it makes a great choice for beginners who aren't ready for more difficult shrimp but still want something unusual.

    Keep reading for everything you need to know about keeping black rose shrimp in your own aquarium!

    Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi var. "Black rose"

    Common names: Black rose shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan

    Black rose shrimp requirements

    Black rose shrimp requirements are similar to those of other Neocaridina davidi varieties. To get started, you'll need an aquarium of at least 5 gallons, although more is better in most cases and lessens the chances of water quality issues. Cycle your tank so it's shrimp-safe; a sponge filter or any other type of filter with a filter guard works well for this. A heater is not a must but still recommended in most cases, because it keeps the water temperature stable even if room temperatures swing.

    Decor-wise, you can keep it simple or go all out as long as you provide at least some hiding places. Live plants work very well and will really be appreciated by your (baby) shrimp as hides and foraging spots. There are also plenty of shrimp tubes and caves on the market that provide shelter. Even something as simple as a moss ball can help your shrimp feel safe!

    Black rose shrimp water quality

    Even though black rose shrimp can be classed as one of the hardier dwarf shrimp varieties, they still require high water quality. Never introduce black rose shrimp into your tank if you're not sure whether it's completely cycled. Avoid any sudden swings in water values in temperature and keep nitrates low (<10 should be fine). Remember that stability is more important than getting the water values exactly right.

    You can keep your water quality high by performing regular aquarium maintenance. Do weekly water changes, test the water even when nothing seems wrong and remove anything that might cause issues immediately (leftover food, dead tankmates, etc.).

    pH: 6.2-8.0

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-200

    Black rose shrimp tankmates

    Black rose shrimp are a good choice if you're interested in keeping your shrimp with some tankmates, as they breed relatively quickly. Do keep in mind that no fish is entirely shrimp safe, which means some fry can always end up disappearing. If that's not an issue to you, you can consider small and peaceful microfish species.

    Dedicated breeders usually prefer to keep their tanks free of fish and go invert only, dwarf shrimp only or even single species with their tanks. This helps prevent any stress, overcrowding or competition for food and thus helps guarantee the highest survival rates possible.

    Black rose shrimp diet

    Like most shrimp, black rose shrimp are bottom feeders that will happily consume almost anything. They have a particular love for biofilm, but because our aquariums are usually too 'clean' to contain enough of it you'll have to feed them a little extra.

    Use a high quality shrimp food and add some variation by letting algae grow on decorations/one of the aquarium panes, feeding blanched veggies, tossing in some leaf litter or offering one of the many other 'homemade shrimp foods' you can choose from.

    Breeding black rose shrimp

    Breeding black rose shrimp is similar to breeding the popular red cherry shrimp: very easy. Neocaridina davidi varieties are quite prolific and if you have breeding age shrimp of both sexes the females should be pregnant almost constantly.

    Since you can't really see their saddle, you won't know for sure whether a female is carrying eggs until they are fertilized and she moves them to her swimmerettes (back legs). She keeps them there for around 30 days, continuously supplying them with fresh water until they hatch into tiny baby shrimp. You can feed the babies using a powdered food but unless your aquarium is squeaky clean they should be able to find enough food on their own.

    If your black rose shrimp aren't breeding, be sure to check if you have both males (usually smaller) and females. Keep a close eye on your water values and make sure you're feeding a proper diet that contains plenty of calcium to prevent failed molts.

    Buying black rose shrimp

    This selectively bred variety of Neocaridina davidi is pretty new in the shrimp hobby and you won't be able to find them in many places yet. You can ask your local aquarium store whether they can order them for you, but if you want to know exactly where your shrimp come from it's a better idea to just buy online from a seller who breeds their own shrimp. The Shrimp Farm sells homebred black rose shrimp with live arrival guarantee; just click here to start your own colony.

    the shrimp farm

  • 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

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