Harmonious Tankmates: Best Companions for Blue Bolt Shrimp

Brightly colored in a range of blue hues, blue bolt shrimp are a variant of the Taiwan bee shrimp (Caridina cantonensis). These lovely dwarf shrimp are a pleasure to keep in the home aquarium, being active scavengers that breed readily. Like other dwarf shrimp, blue bolt shrimp are peaceful by nature and can be kept with other freshwater shrimp or peaceful community fish. 

Though blue bolt shrimp are unlikely to bother any tankmates, it’s important to consider the needs of your shrimp before adding other tank inhabitants. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the best tankmates for blue bolt shrimp and how to adjust your tank to accommodate them.

Blue Bolt Shrimp - Shrimpy Business

  1. Neocaridina Shrimp 

Because they are similar in size and temperament, Neocaridina shrimp may make good tankmates for blue bolt shrimp. Popular species include cherry shrimp, snowball shrimp, red rili shrimp, and green jade shrimp. There is no risk of hybridization between Neocaridina and Caridina shrimp, so mixing the two could be a good strategy to control the shrimp population in your tank.

The challenge with keeping Neocaridina shrimp with blue bolt shrimp is finding the right balance with your water parameters. Blue bolt shrimp do best in slightly cooler temperatures than many Caridina species and they prefer softer, slightly more acidic water. As long as you take the time to slowly acclimate your shrimp, however, they shouldn’t have any trouble.

  1. Dwarf Corydoras Catfish 

These little bottom feeders are very gentle and will be unlikely to bother your blue bolt shrimp. Dwarf Corydoras (Corydoras hastatus) are also known as pygmy Corydoras and they grow no more than an inch long — this makes them very similar in size to blue bolt shrimp. 

The challenge with keeping dwarf Corydoras with blue bolt shrimp is that they will occupy the same level of the tank and may compete for food. If you keep these two together, make sure you have a large enough tank provide space for swimming. You’ll also likely need to feed your shrimp a little more than you might otherwise because the Corydoras will eat some of their food. 

  1. Otocinclus Catfish 

Another small species of catfish, the otocinclus is a peaceful species that grows up to 2 inches in length. These little catfish thrive in planted tanks, much like blue bolt shrimp, and are unlikely to bother your shrimp. As with Corydoras, however, they may compete for similar food sources. 

Otocinclus feed primarily on algae and biofilm in the wild, though they’ll be more likely than your blue bolt shrimp to explore the upper levels of your tank. Though they remain fairly small, otocinclus require a lot of algae to eat. They should only be kept in established planted tanks and you’ll need to offer supplemental food for both your otocinclus and blue bolt shrimp. 

  1. Neon Tetras 

These small schooling fish make great tankmates for blue bolt shrimp because they’re peaceful and won’t compete for food. Neon tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) only get up to 2 inches in length and they typically occupy the middle to upper level of the aquarium. They can be shy, so make sure to provide plenty of plants and tank decorations they can hide amongst.

The challenge of keeping neon tetras with blue bolt shrimp is that they’re a schooling species. Neon tetras should be kept in groups of at least six individuals, so make sure your tank is large enough to accommodate them and equipped to handle the bio load. 

  1. Japanese Trapdoor Snails 

Named for their operculum, a tough plate they can use to seal their shells, these snails are beautifully colored. Japanese trapdoor snails (Viviparus malleattus) thrive in conditions similar to blue bolt shrimp and they make peaceful tankmates. Keep in mind that they’re algae eaters and scavengers, however, so they may compete for the same food sources as your shrimp.

If you’re going to keep Japanese trapdoor snails with your blue bolt shrimp, make sure your tank is large enough to accommodate them. A heavily planted tank is best, especially if you also incorporate tall decorations. The snails will explore the higher regions of the tank to find food while the shrimp will remain near the bottom.

  1. Endler’s Livebearers

Similar in appearance to the fancy guppy, Endler’s livebearers (Poecilia wingei) are even more brightly colored. These active little fish are a peaceful species that remain under two inches in length — males tend not to get larger than one inch. Endler’s livebearers are very hardy and adaptable, so you can easily design your tank around your blue bolt shrimp and the fish will adjust well. 

Like neon tetras, Endler’s livebearers are schooling fish that should be kept in groups with others of their kind. These fish will occupy the middle to upper region of the tank, so they won’t bother your shrimp. The thing to keep in mind with these fish, however, is that they are prolific breeders. Be sure your tank is large enough to accommodate the fry.

  1. Chili Rasboras

Named for their bright red coloration, chili rasboras (Boraras brigittae) are nano fish that only grow to about ¾ inch long. They’re attractive and active fish but peaceful by nature, so they won’t bother your blue bolt shrimp. The contrast of red and blue colors in your tank will also be beautiful. 

Like the other fish on this list, chili rasboras need to be kept in groups — ideally with eight or more of their own species. This shouldn’t be an issue, considering the fish are so small. They’re also less likely to breed than Endler’s livebearers, so overpopulation shouldn’t be a problem.

The key to keeping other tank inhabitants with your blue bolt shrimp is to ensure your tank is stable and well maintained. It’s wise to add your shrimp first and give them time to settle in. For larger shrimp populations, add the shrimp in groups to avoid increasing the bio load of your tank too much at once. When you’re ready to add other tank inhabitants, do that slowly as well.

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