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yellow shrimp

  • 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.

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    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

  • Shrimp caresheet: Yellow shrimp | Neocaridina davidi var. Yellow

    Neocaridina davidi var. Yellow, commonly known as yellow shrimp, is one of the most popular shrimp varieties in the hobby. As the name suggests this shrimp is selectively bred for its super bright, eyecatching yellow color. It is unfussy about water values and breeds easily, which makes it a great option for anyone just starting out.

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


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

    Common names: Yellow shrimp, neon yellow shrimp

    Difficulty level: Easy

    Origin: Taiwan


    Caring for yellow aquarium shrimp (beginner-proof!) #aquariums #pets Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

    Setting up a yellow shrimp aquarium

    Yellow shrimp requirements

    Yellow shrimp are one of the easier shrimp species to keep and don't have many specific requirements. No special soil types or fancy equipment needed! Like all dwarf shrimp they can be kept in aquariums of at least 5 gallons, although for beginners and anyone concerned about water quality it's always a good idea to go for a slightly larger setup.

    As with all shrimp the aquarium should be filtered and fully cycled before any livestock is introduced. Any filter should work well but keep in mind that baby shrimp are very small. Always use a prefilter sponge (or, alternatively, a sponge filter) to prevent them from disappearing into the intake. A heater isn't necessary as these shrimp can tolerate a very wide range of temperatures as long as things are stable.

    Shrimp are prey animals that don't feel safe in open spaces. so be sure to provide your yellow shrimp with plenty of hiding places. Don't worry about not ever seeing them: the safer the shrimp feel the more time they spend out in the open. Fine-leaved plants, shrimp tubes, rocks and driftwood all provide shelter and should work well. You can also add leaf litter to imitate their natural habitat and as an extra food source.

    Yellow shrimp water quality

    Like their cherry shrimp cousins, yellow shrimp are very adaptive and can survive in a wide range of water values and temperatures. As long as the water is conditioned, ammonia and nitrite are always at zero and nitrites aren't too high your tap water should usually be fine. Be sure to do regular water tests using a liquid test kit to make sure everything is still in order and perform regular water changes.

    pH: 6.2-8

    Temperature: 65-85 °F

    GH: 4-8

    KH: 3-15

    Total Dissolved Solids: 150-250

    Yellow shrimp tankmates

    Because yellow shrimp breed so quickly there are a little more options than usual when it comes to tankmates. Even if a few young are occasionally eaten new ones should appear quickly enough to sustain the population. If breeding isn't your primary goal you can keep these shrimp in peaceful community aquariums. Other shrimp/invertebrates and small schooling fish like pygmy Corydoras should pose little threat. You can even consider slightly more "aggressive" fish, like livebearers, as long as there are plenty of hiding places for young shrimp.

    If your main goal is breeding it's a good idea to stick to just shrimp and maybe a few peaceful snails. Be sure not to mix multiple Neocaridina shrimp species unless you know what you're doing; the color combinations look great at first but interbreeding will result in offspring with brown wild-type coloration.yellow shrimp

    Yellow shrimp diet

    Yellow shrimp are omnivores that thrive on a varied diet. They will love picking algae and aufwuchs off any surface they can find, but unless your tank is very algae ridden they do need regular feedings. Use a high-quality shrimp food as a staple and supplement it with algae tablets, frozen foods (mosquito larvae, bloodworms), fresh blanched veggies and sinking fish foods.

    Be sure to remove any uneaten food after a few hours as it can quickly start rotting and affecting water quality. Consider using a feeding dish to prevent the food from ending up all over the aquarium.

    Breeding yellow shrimp

    Breeding is definitely the most fun part of keeping yellow shrimp, as these Neocaridinas are among the easiest shrimp to breed. They're basically set and forget, which makes them a great choice for beginners or anyone looking for a breeding project that's not too effortful.

    To breed your yellow shrimp, introduce both males (smaller, less bright colors) and females (larger, bright coloration) into the aquarium. Keep the water quality high and provide plenty of food. Healthy females should soon start carrying little eggs between their back legs (swimmerettes), from which tiny copies of the parents hatch after around 30 days.

    If you're breeding yellow shrimp to sell, keep in mind that some are higher "quality" than others. The more intense a shrimp's coloration, the higher the grade it falls into. Higher grade shrimp with opaque, bright colors will fetch more money than translucent ones. This is just a color thing, though; yellower shrimp are not healthier or inherently better.

    neocaridina davidi var. yellow

    Buying yellow shrimp

    With the growing popularity of the shrimp hobby including Neocaridina varieties like this one, it shouldn't be too hard to find yellow shrimp. Your local aquarium store might sell them or you can try finding another hobbyist willing to sell or trade a few. If you don't want to leave the comfort of your home, you can buy high quality yellow shrimp at The Shrimp Farm here and have them shipped right to your doorstep!
    the shrimp farm

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