Caridina refers to the genus of freshwater atyid shrimp which includes many species, among others, Caridina Cantonensis, our main discussion in this article, or so-called Bee Shrimp.
(Image of Pure Black Line Caridina Shrimp)
Background of the Caridina Freshwater Shrimp
From what has developed recently, it could be said that Bee Shrimp has been playing a key role in the cross-breeding process, thanks to which, many Caridina Shrimp variants have been created with differences lying mainly in colors and their resilience to various ranges of conditions.
If you visit a fish store and ask for Caridina Shrimp, you will be introduced to an astonished world of diversified and attractive Caridina species. How one can forget the eye-catching Blue Bolt Caridina Shrimp, which is believed the result of selective cross-breeding among golden bee shrimp, crystal black/red shrimp and snow whites; or the black and white pattern clearly displayed on the body of Panda Caridina Shrimp, an outcome of the cross-breeding between the crystal white shrimp and crystal red shrimp (or so-called red bee shrimp). It has not yet mentioned many other popular species such as Pure Black Line Caridina, Pure Red Line Caridina, Red Bolt Caridina, King Kong, etc.
In this article, our care guide for Caridina will primarily focus on Bee shrimp and its variants (like crystal bee shrimp, golden bee, and other red/blue bolt, king kong shrimp).
(Image of Black King Kong Caridina Shrimp)
Caridina Cantonensis (Caridina or Bee shrimp for short) is known for inhabiting largely in Asia (more specifically China and Taiwan). They normally reside in highlands where streams and rivers are fairly soft, acidic and cool. Due to many cross-breeding, it is really hard to trace back the actual appearance of a wild Caridina. However, it is not a big deal because the species is loved for its unique color allocation, not the dull genuine looking. Simply take the Crystal Red Shrimp for instance, you may easily find tons of color variations from the red-only to the partially red body to the red stripe patterns siding with solid white. The outcome of cross-breeding not only lies on its coloration but its resilience as well. Although the article introduces a care guide for your Caridina, it could only discuss in general, as the detailed and exact instructions should be subject to a specific Caridina shrimp. Therefore, we recommend you to further read the other care guide relating to your specific Caridina shrimp to learn more about its other demands.
(Image of Golden bee shrimp)
Caridina Shrimp Tank Setup
Like other freshwater shrimp, Caridina cannot withstand poor water quality. This means, despite its small size, a minimum tank of at least 10 gallons is nearly a must for keeping the species. Such tanks allow the water parameters to be less fluctuated as well as provide enough space for you to freely resemble their wild habitat (by adding live plants and decorations). Nonetheless, the larger the better especially in case you intend to raise other species together with Caridina.
A good-quality filter is the next to consider if you wish to maintain the water in clean condition. Any drastic changes in water parameters could be considered harmful to your Caridina, which makes the installation of a filter very critical. A good rule of thumb when choosing the proper filter for shrimp tanks is that you should opt for sponge or matten filters instead of the regular ones. They work in all aspects and more importantly, they won’t suck your tiny little shrimp into them.
Once you get the base, you now come to the decisive factor, the water parameters for keeping Caridina healthy. Many experienced aquarists agree that most Caridina shrimp enjoy the soft, slightly acidic water in cooler ranges of temperature. They are found mainly in mountainous rivers; thus, it is not strange to find that they are comfortable with such conditions. The recommended and ideal temperature should not exceed 74°F. Higher than that, your shrimp may not respond well and be prone to health problems. In addition, the cooler ranges generate more oxygen which is vital for your shrimp to stay happily.
Water Parameters for your Caridina Shrimp
Ammonia and Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: below 10 ppm
TDS: 80 - 150 ppm
GH: 3-6 dGH
KH: 0-1 dKH
pH: 6.0 – 6.8
Temperature: below 74°F (~ 23°C)
Water change: 10% to 25% a week.
Copper is deadly to freshwater shrimp and Caridina is no exception. Never let the substance find it way into your shrimp tank, or else the outcome is hard to imagine.
Considering their resilience, one should not put them in a newly cycled tank since the parameters therein have not yet stabilized and may adversely affect your shrimp.
(Image of a group of Caridina shrimp)
Does Caridina need live aquarium plants or any decorations?
The answer is yes. Live plants are highly welcomed since they best imitate the natural environments. They further assist the beneficial bacteria in the cycling process which keep the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate under control, while providing hiding places and more areas for the shrimp to hang out. Of all the suitable plants, the moss species is highly recommended due to its structure and low – maintenance. You can consider Java moss or Christmas moss, the two excellent plants whenever it comes to shrimp tanks.
It would be a big mistake if you skip other decorative materials such as rock caves or bonsai driftwood. Like live aquarium plants, they enhance the aquascape of your tank as well as create more shelters to secure Caridina, especially when they undergo a molting period.
Freshwater Shrimp Molting
This is when you randomly find exoskeletons floating in your tank. The shrimp’s body is covered with a thin crystal shell. When they grow old, the shell does not fit them anymore, which requires them to undergo the molting process. Generally, the adult Caridina will molt every 4-6 weeks. During this period, they are extremely vulnerable and spend most of the time hiding in plants or caves until their new shell grows back.
Caridina Shrimp Behavior
Caridina is peaceful, non-aggressive, and non-territorial. Such temperament makes them the first-rate choice in terms of tank mates. Despite that, their dwarf size to (only an inch) and shyness are the drawbacks since they are easily startled by big-sized fish or threatened by predators. Hence, you would be very careful of the species you pair them with. Generally, most fishkeepers will go with the same-species. You can let Caridina live with other kinds of dwarf shrimp which share similar temperament and endure the similar living conditions. With this option, you could take less effort to maintain and care for the lives of them.
However, if you want to diversify your aquarium, you could consider snails or peaceful fish which dwell mainly in the middle or top of the tank. For the snails, Ramshorn snails, Nerite snails, Malaysian trumpet snails are highly recommended. For fish, you could choose Pygmy corydoras catfish, Blue-eyed rainbowfish, Ember tetras, Emerald dwarf rasboras or the like.
Caridina is nocturnal. The characteristic reflects their life in wild habitat – avoiding predators who actively present themselves during daytime. You will often see them crawling around the aquarium when the night comes, searching for food or simply gathering with their fellow-species. They prefer living in large groups which normally contain 6 to 10 specimens. This way will make them less vulnerable and encourage them to be more active.
(Image of Crystal Red Caridina shrimp)
Feeding Caridina Shrimp
Caridina is not a picky eater. They are known as a filter feeder and will accept most of the food types you provide them. The things you should be careful of is that only feed them high-quality fish food and let them consume completely within 2-3 minutes. You can refer to our recommendation below when coming to a decision.
- Sinking shrimp pellets;
- Crushed flake foods;
- Small frozen foods such as daphnia, mini bloodworm, and baby brine shrimp, etc.
- Vegetables such as spinach or courgette or even kales
In addition to the above, you could consider feeding them Indian almond leaves since they help form biofilm for your shrimp. Further, as the leaves rot, they allow the pH levels to stay low.
Fairly speaking, keeping Caridina is not recommended to beginners. They are not actually high demanding, yet require you to have a basic knowledge of shrimp. Nonetheless, once you succeed, you will find it worth everything and your reward will be the shrimp’s lifespan of up to 2 years.
At Splashy Fish Store, we supply a wide range of Caridina which come from reliable sources. We further guarantee that all of our Caridina Shrimp will go through the quarantine process for a period of 14-day before sale. We care about the quality and strive to provide you the best we can. Visit our store to find what surprise is waiting for you.