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red tiger shrimp

  • Shrimp caresheet: Red tiger shrimp (Caridina cantonensis sp. "Red tiger")

    This stunning variety of Caridina cantonsis sure lives up to its name. Red tiger shrimp have a translucent body with intensely colored red stripes, which makes them a real eyecatcher that can brighten up any shrimp tank. They're not the easiest shrimp out there, but definitely worth the hassle if you're a more experienced shrimp keeper!

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


    Scientific name: Caridina cantonensis sp. "Red tiger"

    Common names: Red tiger shrimp

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Origin: China


    red tiger shrimp Photo by Scott Bahr

    Setting up a red tiger shrimp aquarium

    Red tiger shrimp requirements

    As mentioned in the introduction, red tiger shrimp aren't the easiest dwarf shrimp to keep. They are relatively vulnerable to disease and bad water quality, which means they aren't the best option for a small aquarium. The larger the tank, after all, the smaller the chance of fluctuations in water values. So go for an aquarium of at least 10 gallons if you're interested in keeping red tiger shrimp.

    Apart from the aquarium, all you need is a filter (sponge filters work well and are shrimp safe), a heater to keep the temperature stable and plenty of hiding places. Live plants work well as hides but you can also use driftwood, rocks or shrimp tubes.

    Red tiger shrimp water quality

    Water quality is a crucial aspect of red tiger shrimp care. These shrimp can be rather fragile which means you should always be on top of your cycle. If you don't know what cycling an aquarium is, do some research first (you can find a guide here) and consider going for an easier shrimp species like cherry shrimp! Never introduce any shrimp (or other aquatic creatures) into an uncycled aquarium, as toxic ammonia and nitrite can quickly prove fatal.

    Red tiger shrimp prefer soft and slightly acidic water. If your tap water is hard these shrimp won't do well and you'll need reverse osmosis water to keep them happy. Keep the water clean at all times by doing regular small water changes and be sure to check at least weekly whether your water parameters are still in order.

    Because red tiger shrimp can be vulnerable to disease, some shrimp lovers prefer to keep them at the lower end of their possible temperature range. Bacteria and other nasty things breed less quickly with lower temperatures, which means less chance of trouble for your shrimp. This trick also works with more acidic water.

    pH: 6.0-8

    Temperature: 62-78 °F

    kH: 2-6

    gH: 4-10

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    red tiger shrimp Photo by Scott Bahr

    Red tiger shrimp tankmates

    There are only a few fish small and peaceful enough to qualify as dwarf shrimp tankmates. Some aquarists keep their shrimp with tiny tankmates like pygmy Corydoras, which are too small to eat any but the youngest shrimp.

    With a relatively fragile and costly shrimp like the red tiger I'd skip the fish altogether. Consider setting up a single-species tank for more breeding succes or go for peaceful invertebrates like Thai micro crabs to minimize the chances of losing fry.

    Red tiger shrimp diet

    Red tiger shrimp and other shrimp naturally feed on any organic matter they can find. They love biofilm, algae and leaf litter, but because our tanks are usually too 'clean' to sustain a colony you'll have to supplement their diet. Use a high-quality dwarf shrimp food like Ebita, but be sure not to overfeed. Any leftover bits can quickly cause water quality issues.

    You can add some variety with various foods: dwarf shrimp like red tigers love blanched veggies, frozen foods like mosquito larvae, leaf litter, algae pellets and lots more.

    red tiger shrimp Photo by Vadim Du

    Breeding red tiger shrimp

    Keeping red tiger shrimp happy and healthy might not be the easiest thing, but luckily breeding them is. If all their care requirements are met, your red tiger shrimp colony will produce offspring. It's as simple as that!

    The females, which are larger than the males and more brightly colored, will carry small eggs between their back legs (swimmerettes) for around 30 days. 20 or more baby shrimp hatch from these. They don't need any extra care and should go their own way without much issue, hiding at first and venturing out more often once they have had some time to grow.

    Red tiger shrimp should breed true, which means there is no chance of funky offspring and no need for culling.

    red tiger shrimp Photo by Darren White

    Buying red tiger shrimp

    Red tiger shrimp aren't as common in the shrimp hobby as regular tiger shrimp or blue tigers yet, which means they might not be the easiest to find. Try finding fellow hobbyists who are able to sell you a few shrimp or, even easier, just order online from a reputable store. The Shrimp Farm sells red tiger shrimp online here and ships them right to your doorstep with live arrival guarantee!


    A big thank you to the members of the Aquarium Shrimp Keeping Facebook group for contributing their photos!

    the shrimp farm

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