Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis): The Care Guide


Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis) is a type of Caridina Shrimp, and they can make a gorgeous addition to any freshwater tank. That is if you can get your hands on some. If you want to add one of these special shrimp to your tank, then you’re going to need to research and make sure you are prepared for them. Crystal Red Shrimp do not occur naturally in the wild; they were selectively bred in order to achieve their beautiful and unique colors. If you want more information before you add Crystal Red Shrimp to your tank, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading for plenty of information and tips for owning a Crystal Red Shrimp.

Crystal Red Shrimp are actually just variants of Bee Shrimp, which are native to Taiwan. Despite Taiwan being their native environment, Crystal Red Shrimp were actually first bred in Japan. But nowadays, Crystal Red Shrimp are bred worldwide. One of the most important things to know is that Crystal Red Shrimp are graded before being sold. The grade is used to indicate the quality of the shrimp. The lowest grade a Crystal Red Shrimp can get is a C, while the highest is SSS; the higher the grade, the more expensive they are.

Crystal Red Shrimp Care

Most shrimps are hardy and can survive in most conditions. Crystal Red Shrimps are not one of those species. They’ve been selectively bred for years, which has led to several sensitivities for the Crystal Red Shrimp. Selective breeding means that Crystal Red Shrimp are more challenging to care for than regular Bee Shrimp. But with enough research and exceptional care, Crystal Red Shrimp can be managed.

Are Crystal Red Shrimp good for beginners?

With enough research, anyone can raise and care for Crystal Red Shrimp. If a beginner aquarist is willing to put the time in, Red Crystal Shrimp could be an excellent choice for them. They don’t require too large of a tank, and they’re omnivores which means you can feed them a wide variety of things. However, a varied diet is healthier and more fulfilling for them. Red Crystal Shrimp are highly susceptible to changes in the water quality, so you’ll have to check the tank regularly to ensure there are no issues.

Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)
Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)

Crystal Red Shrimp Temperature

Crystal Red Shrimps are a variant of Bee shrimp; they were selectively bred for their bright colors. That means that Crystal Red Shrimp do not appear naturally in the wild, so when setting up a tank for them, you need to emulate Bee Shrimp, their closest family member. A tank that is set up for Red Crystal Shrimp should have its temperature within the range of 62 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, although most experts recommend it be above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Crystal Red Shrimp Water pH

Crystal Red Shrimp are very susceptible to changes in their water, thanks to years of selective breeding. Water pH level is an extremely important parameter to take into account when setting up a tank that includes Crystal Red Shrimp. The pH level of any tank that includes Crystal Red Shrimp should be between 5.8 – 7.4. You must ensure the water stays within that range for the health of your shrimp and any other species you plan to include.

Crystal Red Shrimp GH

Crystal Red Shrimp require the water in their tank to be between 4-6 gH. GH or the general hardness of water is essential in any tank, but even more so in a tank that includes Crystal Red Shrimp. This is because Crystal Red Shrimp are more susceptible to any changes in their water quality. Ensure that your tank parameters do not fluctuate too much, or the health of your shrimp will be impacted.

Crystal Red Shrimp Size

Crystal Red Shrimps are a species of dwarf shrimp, that dwarf modifier meaning that they are small. When fully grown, Crystal Red Shrimp only reach a max size of around 1.2 inches. That small size means that if you want to add them to your tank, you won’t need too large a tank to house them. If you add them to your tank, you’ll have plenty of room for vegetation and other species.

Crystal Red Shrimp Tank Size

Crystal Red Shrimp can thrive in a tank as small as 10 gallons. That small tank size means you can likely put a tank of Crystal Red Shrimp anywhere you, please. Thanks to their small size, a large tank isn’t required to house Crystal Red Shrimp. When setting up a tank for Crystal Red Shrimp, ensure you have enough room also to include vegetation.

Crystal Red Shrimp Food and Diet

Crystal Red Shrimps are omnivores, which means they’ll eat both animal and plant matter. Many Crystal Red Shrimp will constantly scavenge for food even after being fed. Crystal Red Shrimp need to be fed a varied diet to develop a strong exoskeleton and grow strong. Good options to feed your Red Crystal Shrimp are frozen blood worms, as well as pellets or flakes. Many aquarists also feed their shrimp green vegetables, which is an excellent option for your Crystal Red Shrimp.

Crystal Red Shrimp Lifespan

The lifespan of any pet or any fish is entierly dependent on the care they are given. If you neglect or mistreat your pets, then their lifespan will suffer. The average expected lifespan of Crystal Red Shrimp is around one and a half to two years. That number will quickly drop if you don’t feed them a balanced diet or don’t give them the care they need.

Crystal Red Shrimp Tank Setup

When setting up a tank for any species, you want to try your best to emulate their natural habitat. That isn’t possible with Crystal Red Shrimp because they don’t have a natural habitat. They were bred in captivity by humans. So when setting up a tank for Crystal Red Shrimp, you want to emulate their closest relative – the Bee Shrimp. It would help if you had plenty of vegetation in your tank, Red Crystal Shrimp like densely packed areas. It is also imperative to have a filtration system. This is because Red Crystal Shrimp are incredibly susceptible to their water conditions.

Crystal Red Shrimp Breeding

Many aquarists like to add Crystal Red Shrimp to breeding tanks. They’re common choices because red Crystal Shrimp are generally considered easy to breed. They’re also common choices because you can sell them for a surprising amount if you breed high-grade shrimp. With plenty of work and careful research, you can easily breed Crystal Red Shrimp in your own home.

How to breed Crystal Red Shrimp

One of the most important aspects of breeding Crystal Red Shrimp and keeping them as a whole is water quality. They likely won’t breed in bad water conditions. When you set up a tank for breeding, you need to ensure that you have a mix of both males and females. Females tend to be bigger than males. Once the Crystal Red Shrimps are ready to mate, the females will release pheromones that attract the males. Before you know it, the females will begin carrying eggs that will hatch in just about 30 days. Baby Crystal Red Shrimp are very similar to their parents, albeit slightly smaller. They can survive independently from that point on, but you can feed them food designed for baby shrimp if you’d like. Once they are bigger and older, you can grade them if you plan on selling them.

Will Crystal Red Shrimp breed with Cherry Shrimp?

Despite their similarities, Crystal Red Shrimp and Cherry shrimp can not breed. They are two very different species, and they cannot interbreed. But despite that, they can live together in the same tank and do so happily.

Crystal Red Shrimp Disease

Crystal Red Shrimp are very susceptible to changes in water parameters. This means that Crystal Red Shrimp are very vulnerable to several diseases and infections. They can get bacterial infections that cause painful symptoms such as internal bleeding. Crystal Red Shrimp are also susceptible to fungi, which a white film on the shrimp can diagnose. You mustn’t use any medications that contain copper; it is harmful to Crystal Red Shrimp.

Crystal Red Shrimp Tank Mates

Crystal Red Shrimps are an excellent choice for a community tank because they are small and easy to fit in with larger species. Crystal Red Shrimp are also very timid, making them a great option. However, many aquarists will keep high-grade Crystal Red Shrimp in a tank alone to avoid any issues.

Are Crystal Red Shrimp Aggressive?

Red Crystal Shrimp are not aggressive in any way. They are very timid and peaceful and will ideally get along with any other peaceful tankmates. Just be sure to thoroughly check any species you decide to add to a tank including Crystal Red Shrimp. Red Crystal Shrimp can even live in the same tank with some fish species.

Where can I find Crystal Red Shrimp for Sale?

Crystal Red Shrimp are extremely popular; this means you can likely purchase them at some pet stores and most aquarium specialty stores. The price of Crystal Red Shrimp is entirely based on their grade. The higher the grade, the more expensive they are. Prices for Crystal Red Shrimp range from $5 to $25.

Crystal Red Shrimp Grades

The grades for Crystal Red Shrimp from highest to lowest are SSS, SS, S, A, B, and C. The highest grade SSS means that the shrimp will likely be all white, with barely any red on it. On the other hand, a C-graded shrimp will likely be all red.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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