Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina Cantonensis) Shrimp Species Profile

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Crystal Red Shrimp is a beautiful and popular species of small freshwater shrimp.

These shrimp are scavengers and will eat small pieces of decayed vegetation and algae.

Crystal Red Shrimps will molt quite regularly while growing.

A grading system has been invented over time to separate Crystal Red Shrimps with different intensities of color, 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 grades in order from least to most desirable are C, B, A, S, S+, SS, SSS, which make it fun for the hobbyist who wants to enjoy and experiment to find new exciting things.

These shrimp thrive in soft water with an active substrate, plenty of plants, and hiding places.

Scientific NameCaridina Cantonensis
Other NamesBee shrimp and CRS
OriginsAsia, Oceania and Africa
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan1 - 2 years
Maximum Size2.5 - 3 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature64 - 76 ℉ (17.8 - 24.4 ℃)
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 6
KH0 - 2
TDS100 - 200

Crystal Red Shrimp

Origins of the Crystal Red Shrimp

Crystal Red Shrimp is a freshwater bee shrimp that originated in south-east Asia in the early 90s, but back then they were known as bee shrimps. A man from Japan discovered them.

They were then selectively bred and ended up with the red colour variation and are now known as crystal red shrimp. This species is now hugely popular all over due to its nice colouring and its algae-eating habits.

Their preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical waters covered in leaves from trees that overhang them.


Crystal red shrimp will happily graze on Algae and biofilm, but make sure you supplement their diet with algae wafers, sinking pellets, and flake food.

They will also eat small frozen foods such as daphnia and mini-bloodworm. You can also offer some vegetable matter such as blanched spinach, broccoli or courgette to their diet.

It is beneficial to add some dried Indian Almond leaves, Oak leaves or Mulberry leaves to your aquarium. The biofilm will form on these as they slowly die, and this will provide a brilliant source of food for the shrimps while helping to maintain a low pH in the aquarium.

Sexing the Crystal Red Shrimp

Sexing Crystal Red Shrimp can be somewhat tricky until the shrimp begin to mature. 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.

Breeding the Crystal Red Shrimp

Crystal Red Shrimps regularly breed in the home aquarium if the water conditions are good.

When female shrimp are "berried", or have eggs ready for fertilisation, the saddle shape will appear more prominent, and eggs will appear underneath her abdomen. You will often see the female shrimp tumbling her eggs underneath.

Unlike some species the babies will not go through the larvae stage; instead, they are born as mini replicas of the adult shrimp.

On hatching, the offspring will be coloured white and red just like the adults.

It is best to cover the intakes of power filters with fine sponges or gauze to prevent the tiny youngsters from being drawn in.

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Date Added: 5/21/2020 - Updated: 5/22/2020 3:42:26 PM