Whether you’re new to the shrimping hobby or you’ve considered yourself a hobbyist for quite some time, you likely understand the popularity of Crystal Red shrimp.
As one of the most popular freshwater dwarf shrimp, Crystal Red’s are known and loved for their bright red and white coloration and low maintenance feeding habits. Their selective breeding requirements and water parameters may make caring more complex, but it adds a challenge to your shrimping journey!
If you’re interested in adding these beautiful shrimp to your tank, follow this care guide for Crystal Red shrimp:
Origin and Habitat
Crystal Red shrimp is a freshwater dwarf red bee shrimp that originated in Asia in the 90s. Noted as the “Father of the Crystal Red shrimp,” Hisayasu Suzuki used selective breeding to morph Crystal Black’s into the high grade red shrimp we all know and love today. These shrimp are known to call Japan and Taiwan home, but you can find them worldwide for hobby.
Since Crystal Red shrimp exist through selective breeding, what’s assumed to be their natural habitat can be comparable to that of a bee shrimp. Freshwater rivers and streams are the most common places to find this shrimp.
Water Parameters and Tank Setup
Crystal Red shrimp require clean water and specific water parameters to thrive and life healthy lives. This type of shrimp requires soft and acidic water conditions. Frequent water changes are not necessary if the tank is not overfed frequently. We recommend bi-weekly 10% to 15% water changes.
Remember: Shrimp are sensitive to drastic water parameter changes. Therefore, we recommend dripping water back into the tank during water changes.
If you need help in setting up a new Crystal Red Tank, check out our article here.
Our specific recommended water temperature and tank parameters for Crystal Red shrimp go as follows:
- PH: 5.8-6.4
- GH: 3
- KH: 0
- TDS: 80-100
- Crystal Red Shrimp Temperature for tank: 68F-74F
- Active Substrate: SL-Aqua Soil, Brightwell
When it comes to diet, Crystal Red Shrimp rely on themselves to be professional vacuum cleaners in their tank. As long as the tank produces and contains enough algae, biofilm, and decaying plant matter, your shrimp will be happy to eat whatever they can find.
Since your aquarium will be more clean than a large freshwater natural habitat, you may still consider high-quality shrimp food to ensure a nourishing diet. Not only does this contribute to their internal wellness, but it can also impact grading and make the red even more vibrant.
One of the main reasons everyone loves Crystal Red shrimp is their color! A bright red body with white stripes makes this shrimp a hobbyist’s favorite candy cane.
The grading for Crystal Red shrimp ranges from translucent red to pure white, with SSS as the highest grade and C as the lowest:
- C-grade: Closest to the original red coloration
- SSS-grade: Furthest from the original red with the most white coloration
As a hobbyist, the best Crystal Red shrimp is the whitest one. Opacity also plays a major role in how well the shrimp grades; the more translucent, the lower the grade.
Breeding Crystal Red shrimp is simplified when you follow water parameters and setup recommendations. These types of shrimp breed in five to six week cycles, making them a strong option for a breeding hobbyist (with an incredibly visually rewarding result!)
One important factor to note is that while baby shrimp don’t require different dietary needs than adult Crystal Red shrimp, they do need more overall protection. Make sure your Crystal Red shrimp fry have plants and other accessories to hide from predators.