Maximum size : 5 cm

Gold Nebula Shrimp - Caridina villadolidi : Complete Shrimp Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Gold Nebula Shrimp (Caridina villadolidi) are generally very peaceful; however, this all changes when the food comes out. They will frantically race after the food, and generally speaking, the largest Shrimp has priority; you will definitely see a 'pecking order' here. Foraging for leftover shrimp food and debris is the main activity they engage in outside of this.

Gold Nebula Shrimp exhibits interesting social behaviour. They are known to form close-knit groups and prefer to stay in the company of their own kind. However, they are also highly territorial and may engage in minor skirmishes with other shrimp species if they feel threatened. In addition, they are known to be quite hardy and adaptable, tolerating a range of water parameters as long as they are kept in a stable environment.

To ensure the safety of Gold Nebula Shrimp, it's essential to choose tankmates whose mouths are smaller than the individual Shrimp's size. Although snails are not a threat, it's best to avoid housing them with crayfish or other larger invertebrates that may see them as a delectable snack. While smaller species like Dwarf Cichlids, Bettas, and Killifish can be compatible with the Gold Nebula Shrimp, it's crucial to note that anything more significant can prove risky. Nonetheless, these delightful creatures can be housed with other algae-eating Shrimp, such as Ghost Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, or Bee Shrimp, as long as an adequate food supply is provided.

The Gold Nebula Shrimp can make a great addition to an aquarium that already has an established shrimp-friendly substrate. While you don't need to use a shrimp-specific substrate, opting for smaller rocks, gravel, sand, or a live plant substrate that's easier for the Shrimp to navigate is best. Avoid large rocks or bulky décor items that may be challenging for these nimble creatures to manoeuvre. Live plants are a great addition to a shrimp aquarium and provide an excellent food source. However, you'll often catch these Shrimp nibbling on dead areas of the plant. Contrary to popular belief, Shrimp don't destroy live plants but only eat dead materials.

Don't let these Shrimp's cleaning prowess fool you - maintaining a healthy environment is still necessary. Continue to keep a close eye on your water chemistry and stick to your usual maintenance practices. Poor water quality is detrimental to both fish and Shrimp, so ensure that your aquarium remains pristine and free of harmful toxins.

By providing a suitable environment and proper care, these Shrimp can become a fascinating and valuable addition to any aquatic community. The Gold Nebula shrimp has a transparent body with a slight grey hue, displaying a delicate salt-and-pepper pattern of darker and lighter spots. Overall, Gold Nebula Shrimp are a fascinating species to observe in an aquarium setting. Their unique behaviours and adaptability make them a rewarding and enjoyable addition to any aquarist's collection.

Gold Nebula Shrimp Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It can be somewhat challenging to differentiate between a male and female Gold Nebula Shrimp. However, in general, the males tend to be smaller and slimmer than the females, while the females are typically larger and broader. Additionally, females may exhibit a more rounded appearance and have a deeper, wider abdomen than males.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of male Gold Nebula Shrimp is the presence of a pair of modified swimmerets on the second abdominal segment, which are used to transfer sperm to the female during mating. While these differences may not be immediately apparent to the casual observer, they can be crucial in distinguishing between male and female Gold Nebula Shrimp in a breeding or aquaculture setting.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCaridina villadolidi
Year Described1939
Other NamesGhost Camouflage Shrimp
OriginsTaiwan , Philippines , Sri Lanka
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
Best kept asGroups 6+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 2 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater/Brackish
pH 6.5 - 7.5
GH 1 - 8
KH 1 - 5
TDS 100 - 200
Ideal Temperature
71 - 82
22 - 26

Natural Habitat

Gold Nebula Shrimp can be found in Southeast Asia, specifically in Taiwan, the Philippines, Sulawesi, Halmahera, and Sri Lanka. Its ability to drift with ocean currents during its marine larval stages enables it to have such a vast distribution. In its natural habitat, the Ghost Camouflage Shrimp inhabits streams and rivers with strong water flow, favouring rocky substrates. During the daytime, these shrimp prefer to take refuge under stones or pebbles.


Reproduction of the Gold Nebula Shrimp is limited to marine environments. Female Shrimp carry numerous tiny eggs that hatch into larvae, which are then carried out to sea by ocean currents.

After developing into juvenile Shrimp, they make their way back to coastal streams and rivers. To date, there have been no documented breeding reports for this species, presenting an exciting challenge for shrimp breeders who specialise in species with marine larval stages.

Diet & feeding

Regarding their diet, Gold Nebula Shrimp are known to be omnivorous, which means they consume both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they feed on algae, biofilm, and other organic matter found on their environment's substrate and other surfaces.

In an aquarium, you can feed Gold Nebula Shrimp a variety of commercially available shrimp pellets, flakes, and algae wafers, as well as fresh or blanched vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, or carrots. They are also known to scavenge for food, which can help to keep the tank clean by consuming leftover food and debris. It is essential to provide a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs and to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to water quality problems.

Other Caridina of interest