It is becoming increasingly popular for aquarium hobbyists to include freshwater shrimp in their tanks, and others have found shrimp breeding to be a lucrative practice. Caridina and Neocaridina are some of the most popular types of shrimp kept for either purpose.
Those who are new to the concept of keeping shrimp may have questions about the aquatic crawlers. It is a good idea to know the basics about how shrimp will interact with other shrimp and aquatic animals, and how to care for them in an aquarium.
Can Neocaridina Shrimp Breed with Caridina Shrimp?
Neocaridina shrimp, (For example Red Cherry shrimp), cannot breed with Caridina shrimp (For example, Bee shrimp). Despite how similar looking these shrimp are, they each belong to a different genus and are reproductively incompatible.
This incompatibility is good news if you want to keep them together without increasing numbers but might not be great news if you are a breeder.
You might wonder can different species of shrimp breed? The answer is often yes if they belong to the same genus. People sometimes want two species to crossbreed to create a new color variation. However, the offspring is often an unexpected (and unwanted) color.
What Is the Difference Between Caridina and Neocaridina Shrimp?
You might be surprised to learn that Caridina and Neocaridina shrimp are not of the same genus. They look very much the same to the naked eye. However, they have different-sized endopods, as well as the presence of a maxilliped on most Caridina shrimp.
If you are unfamiliar with shrimp anatomy, an endopod is an appendage used for reproduction. On a Caridina shrimp, the endopod is long and thin. The endopod of a Neocaridina is round and flat. A maxilliped is an appendage on the Caridina that helps with feeding.
Can Caridina and Neocaridina Live Together?
Caridina and Neocaridina can live in the same tank together, as they have similar requirements regarding temperature and water quality. They cannot breed since they are from different genera, and they are both considered non-aggressive and can cohabitate peacefully.
Other shrimp that can be included with Neocaridina and Caridina are the bamboo shrimp of the genus atyopsis and the ghost shrimp of the genus palaemonetes. Freshwater shrimp are preyed upon by other shrimp and many fish, so be careful if adding other aquatic animals.
If you want to include shrimp in a tank with fish, your best bet is small fish like guppies, neo tetra, endler’s livebearer, and pygmy corydoras. These fish will possibly snack on shrimp fry, but adult shrimp are too large for their mouths. Additionally, none of these are aggressive fish.
Bettas are a good choice in terms of water parameters. It is unlikely they will feed on the shrimp. Other possible tank mates are African Dwarf frogs, whose poor sight and slow movement make them unlikely to prey on the shrimp. Aquarium snails are also a safe bet for a peaceful tank.
Regardless of the animals, you choose to share in your aquarium, their behaviors are not completely predictable. It will depend in part on what kind of environment they are coming from. You should make sure to have plenty of hiding places for your shrimp.
How Do You Care for Caridina and Neocaridina Shrimp?
To keep Caridina and Neocaridina shrimp, you need to make sure the tank conditions are exactly right. Tank size, water temperature and filtration, tank equipment, food, and light all must be taken into consideration. But shrimp are easy to care for once you have everything in place.
Small shrimp do not require a big tank but don’t get the smallest one you see. In smaller tanks, it can be harder to control water quality, and they aren’t roomy enough for breeding. If you plan to have other aquatic creatures, you might have to further increase the tank size.
Both Caridina and Neocaridina are omnivorous shrimp, and in a natural habitat will feed on plants and animals. Some people add them to their tanks because they will feed on and help to control algae growth. You can buy shrimp food that meets their nutritional needs.
Water quality is important to the health of dwarf shrimp, so the tank water must be changed regularly. Even a small amount of copper and water can kill the shrimp, so it is important that your tank equipment, and any ornaments or newly introduced plants are copper-free.
Water filters are essential for any healthy aquarium but getting the wrong kind can be deadly for baby shrimp. So, if you are breeding, make sure you get a filter that will not easily suck up small fry.
Caridina and Neocaridina do best in water temperatures ranging from about 60 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. In warmer temperatures, they tend to have shorter lifespans, quicker breeding cycles and eat more. In cooler temperatures, their lifespans and breeding cycles are longer, and they eat less.
Dwarf shrimp will tolerate a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Water should be well-filtered and aerated, as freshwater shrimp will easily die out if oxygen levels are inadequate. Freshwater shrimp generally enjoy low levels of light and an aquarium with many hiding places.
How Do You Breed Shrimp?
If you want to breed shrimp, it is recommended that you stick to partners of the same species. Breeding shrimp is easy if you have the right water parameters, and they have healthy diets.
Under the right conditions, shrimp will begin breeding after 3-5 months. In addition to making sure they have healthy water and are well-fed, the shrimp will need good places to hide for breeding. The baby shrimp will also need places to hide.
Fish that don’t generally feed on shrimp might go after newborns. So, if your goal in keeping shrimp is to breed them, you will not want to try and keep them with any other aquatic animals, even other types of shrimp.