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Crystal Red Shrimp

Crystal Red Shrimp

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Caridina cantonensis var.

Note: Due
to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image
provided



































Synonyms



N/A



Distribution



The
original wild form is known from China, Hong Kong, and possibly northern
Vietnam.



Sexual Dimorphism



Females tend to grow slightly larger than the
males. Mature females have a rounded belly and can often be seen carrying
eggs.



Maximum
Size



3cm
(1.2?)



Water Parameters



Soft, slightly acidic water is recommended. pH:
6.0-7.0, dH: up to 8 degrees.



Temperature



18-25
deg C (64-77 deg F)



Compatibility



Community of small peaceful fish only.



Lighting



No
special requirements


 

Care

The beautiful and popular Crystal Red Shrimp is an aquarium
cultivated red form of the bee shrimp Caridina cantonensis. These shrimp are
highly social creatures that are best maintained in large colonies. They are
suitable for mature aquariums containing communities of small, peaceful fish
only, as larger tankmates will regard them as a snack. Crystal Red Shrimp are
excellent algae eaters and will browse on many different algae types. Highly
recommended for planted aquaria, they will not damage the plants, instead they
will feed on any dead leaves - and large groups will also be beneficial in
keeping the leaves of slower-growing species free from nuisance algae. Tall
plants seem to be particularly favoured, and these shrimp can often be seen
climbing and 'hanging around' in plant cover near to the water's surface. Like
most species of shrimp, an elevated nitrate level will not be tolerated -
ensure high standards of water quality are maintained at all times, ideally
with small partial water changes performed a few times per week. Filtration
should be efficient but gentle; always try to aim the output of the filter
towards the surface of the water to ensure that there is a sufficient level of
oxygenation (something that can be all too easily overlooked in gently filtered
shrimp aquaria). Crystal Red Shrimps will moult regularly whilst growing, and
the sudden appearance of perfectly formed shrimp casings on the floor of the
aquarium can cause alarm to fishkeepers who have not seen this before. The
shrimps can sometimes be seen feeding on the casings - this is actually very
nutritious for them, so do not rush to siphon them from the substrate. Once the
shrimp has moulted, it will remain hidden for a time until the new shell
hardens and it has a bit more protection. Be aware that these shrimp do not
tend to fare well in water that is over 26 deg C (79 deg F), and for greatest
long term health, hard, alkaline conditions are best avoided. A grading system
has evolved over time to separate Crystal Red Shrimps with different
intensities of colour and size/number of white patches - the higher grades
commanding quite astonishing price tags from some breeders. Acclimatise these
shrimps very carefully and slowly, either by drip acclimatisation or using a
Maidenhead Aquatics Fintro. Crystal Red Shrimps are considered somewhat
delicate and so they are not recommended for beginners. Be extremely careful if
using CO2 injection on planted aquaria containing these shrimps, as they will
not cope with swings in pH. Many aquarists are tempted to mix Crystal Red
Shrimps with Cherry Shrimps in the same aquarium, but this is not advised as
their temperature requirements are rather different. Although you will always
hear of cases where Crystal Red Shrimps have been kept in water with a higher
pH or temperature, lifespan, overall health and breeding will be severely
diminished under such conditions. May also be seen on sale as Red Crystal Bee
Shrimp.

 

Feeding

Will browse on algae and biofilm. Supplement the diet with
algae wafers, sinking pellets, crushed flake foods, small frozen foods such as
daphnia, baby brineshrimp, mini-bloodworm etc., and also offer some vegetable
matter such as blanched spinach or courgette. It can be beneficial to add some
dried Indian almond leaves (Terminalia catappa) to the aquarium as biofilm will
form on these as they slowly rot, and this provides a great source of food for
the shrimps, whilst helping to maintain a low pH in the aquarium.

 

Breeding

Crystal Red Shrimps often breed freely in the home aquarium
given optimal conditions. Best results occur when the water is slightly soft
and acidic, and when temperature is maintained between 21-23 deg C (70-73 deg
F). Females may still carry eggs at the higher end of the preferred temperature
range, but smaller numbers of young are produced compared to shrimps living in
cooler waters. Colours also tend to be more vibrant at lower temperatures. The
eggs are held underneath the female until hatching takes place (approx. 1
month), and will be visible within the abdomen. Unlike some species, the young
do not go through a larval stage and, are instead, born as miniature replicas
of the adult shrimp. On hatching, the offspring will be coloured red and white
just like their parents, however, actual grading cannot be performed until they
develop further with age, when the quality of features will be easier to
determine. Many aquarists like to cover the intakes of power filters with fine
sponges to prevent the tiny youngsters from being drawn in.