Max Size: 3cm

Crystal Black Shrimp (Caridina Cantonensis)

Crystal Black Shrimps are a beautiful and popular species of small peaceful freshwater Shrimp. These Shrimp are scavengers and will eat pieces of algae and decayed vegetation. It would be best to keep these Shrimp in groups of at least eight individuals, preferably more.

The species is very peaceful and can be kept with other aquarium inhabitants such as different Shrimp, snails and fish as long as they do not predate Shrimp. Crystal Red Shrimps will moult quite regularly while growing and breeding; this signifies that they are excellent and healthy.

These Shrimp thrive in soft water with an active substrate, plenty of plants, and many hiding places. However, these Shrimp need a bit more care and attention than other Shrimp such as Neocaridina. Crystal Blacks have specific requirements, so they are more suited to a more experienced hobbyist.

Crystal Black Shrimps have a deep black base colour contrasted with white stripes. The colouration makes Crystal Black stand out in most tanks. However, the numerous different grades and colour patterns might be confusing even for some experienced shrimp breeders. Over time, a grading system has been invented to separate Crystal Black Shrimps with different intensities of colour, size, and number of white patches.

The higher the grade, the more sought after the Shrimp are, and the higher the price is for breeders. The qualities in order from least to most desirable are C, B, A, S, S+, SS, and SSS. Generally speaking, the more white coverage they display and the better opacity they show, the higher the grade. Therefore, if you plan on keeping and breeding these Shrimp, you will need to familiarise yourself with the grading system. These differences can make it delightful for hobbyists who would like to experiment further to find new things.


Crystal Black Shrimp
Crystal Black Shrimp
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCaridina Cantonensis
Other NamesCrystal Bee, CBS
Classification Malacostraca
Order Decapoda
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan1 - 2 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 6
KH0 - 4
TDS100 - 200
62 - 76℉
16.7 - 24.4℃


Crystal Black shrimps will happily graze on Algae and biofilm, but be sure to supplement their diet with good quality dried food such as sinking pellets, algae wafers, and flake food. They will also happily eat small frozen foods such as mini-bloodworm and daphnia. You can also offer some vegetable matter in their diets, such as blanched broccoli, spinach, or courgette.

It is beneficial to add some dried Indian Almond leaves, Oak leaves or Mulberry leaves to your aquarium. The biofilm will grow on these as they slowly die, which will produce a brilliant food source for the shrimps as well as maintaining a low pH in your aquarium.

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexing Crystal Black Shrimps can be somewhat tricky until they reach maturity. Female Shrimp have slightly larger tails and display a "saddle" formation on the upper body, behind the head, where eggs accumulate before fertilisation. When the Shrimp are fully grown, the males will be smaller, and the females will have a rounder body.

Other Caridina of interest

Amano Shrimp(Caridina multidentata)
Black King Kong Shrimp(Caridina cf Cantonensis)
Blue Bolt Shrimp(Caridina cantonensis)
Blue Leg Poso Sulawesi Shrimp(Caridina caerulea)
Cardinal Sulawesi Shrimp(Caridina Dennerli)
Crystal Red Shrimp(Caridina Cantonensis)
View all Caridina
Date Added: 07/04/2021 12:01:29 - Updated: 02/02/2022 16:49:25