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red rili shrimp

  • 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!

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