Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina Cantonensis)
Crystal Red Shrimp is a beautiful and widespread species of small peaceful freshwater Shrimp. These Shrimp are scavengers and will eat small pieces of decayed vegetation and algae. Therefore, 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 peaceful fish as long as they do not predate Shrimp. In addition, 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 hiding places. However, these Shrimp need a bit more care and attention than other Shrimp such as Neocaridina as they have specific requirements, so they are more suited to a slightly more experienced hobbyist.
The Crystal Red Shrimp have a bright red base colour contrasted with white stripes. The colouration makes Crystal Red Shrimp stand out in most aquariums. However, the numerous different grades and colour patterns might be confusing even for some experienced shrimp breeders. Therefore, over time, a grading system has been invented to separate Crystal Red Shrimps with different intensities of colour, size, and the 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, and SSS. Generally speaking, the more white coverage they have and the better opacity they display, the higher the grade. Therefore, if you plan on keeping and breeding these Shrimp, you will need to familiarise yourself with the grading system. However, these differences can make it enjoyable for hobbyists who want to experiment to find new exciting things.
|Scientific Name||Caridina Cantonensis|
|Other Names||Bee shrimp and CRS|
|Aquarium Level||All Levels|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||1 - 2 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||4 - 6|
|KH||0 - 4|
|TDS||100 - 200|
|62 - 76℉|
16.7 - 24.4℃
Photos of the Crystal Red Shrimp
Crystal Red Shrimp is a freshwater Shrimp that originated in south-east Asia in the early 90s, but they were known as Bee Shrimps back then. A man from Japan discovered them and selectively bred them, resulting in the red colour variation and are now known as Crystal Red Shrimp.
Because these Shrimp were selectively bred, they don't have a natural habitat; however, you can base their living conditions on the Bee Shrimp as they are so closely related. The Bee Shrimp is endemic to Taiwan in Southeast Asia, where they inhabit subtropical rivers and streams covered with leaf litter and shaded by overhanging trees.
What to feed the Crystal Red Shrimp
Crystal Red Shrimp will happily graze on Algae and biofilm, but make sure you supplement their diet with high quality dried food such as algae wafers, sinking pellets, and flake food. They will also happily eat small frozen foods such as daphnia and mini-bloodworm. You can also offer some vegetable matter in their diets, such as blanched spinach, broccoli or courgette.
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, which will provide a brilliant food source for the shrimps while maintaining a low pH in the aquarium.
How to breed 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. As a result, the offspring will be coloured white and red on hatching, just like the adults.
It would be best to cover the intakes of power filters with fine sponges or gauze to prevent the tiny youngsters from being sucked in and causing unnecessary deaths.