The Crystal Red Shrimp, scientifically known as Caridina cantonensis, is a freshwater invertebrate that originates from South East Asia, mostly in Taiwan. This species is also referred to as Red Bee Shrimp due to its colored variant of a Bee Shrimp. The fish is mainly found in tropical water bodies. This species is viewed as algae and detritus-eating invertebrates. They are very sensitive to water parameters, and therefore they need the optimum water quality to thrive.

Unlike their relatives, this species does not need saltwater, but they are instead found naturally living in freshwater bodies that have a tropical climate. In the wild, they like living in slow-moving rivers and streams with their translucent bodies increasing the visibility as they are submerged in their natural homes. This species is loved by most aquarist due to its coloration, more so when it is kept in the same tank with the brightly colored fish species such as Guppies.

The Crystal Red Shrimp is a peaceful species that can be compatible with many fish species, and this makes it people’s favorite. It is not so easy to keep, and it is most recommended as the second species after gaining some experience from the first. This, therefore, means it is not the ideal choice for beginners.

This shrimp is not hardy due to its high sensitivity to the environment in which it is living. This means that you need to have enough information about the care of this species before deciding to keep it. This is what this guide seeks to address, giving you a thorough guide on every action and step you need to take as you raise your Crystal Red Shrimp.


Scientific NameCaridina cantonensis
ColorRed and White
Size1 to 1.5 inches
Care LevelIntermediate
Lifespan1.5 to 2 years
Tank sizeAt least 10 gallons
Temperature62 to78 degrees F
Freshwater or SaltwaterFreshwater
CompatibilityPeaceful community


As you start to keep this species, you have the privilege to choose between keeping a species tank or a peaceful community. The Crystal Red Shrimp are more suited to a species tank due to the tiny size that gives an opportunity to fit many of them in the tank, and they are very attractive hence making the tank interesting.

This, however, does not indicate that the process of getting the ideal tank mates for this species is quite easy. It is challenging and one of the major difficulties in finding the tank mates that will not eat the Shrimp. They are mainly targeted by large fish thanks to their small size and vibrant coloration. As you choose the tank mates, ensure that you avoid any fish that could eat them especially large ones. You should try to keep this species with other small species.

You can also decide to keep a community tank since you will have different activities in all areas of the tank, but you must be very careful when picking tank mates. The tank mates should also be peaceful, just like the Crystal Re Shrimp. Some of the ideal choices you should consider trying include:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Cherry barbs
  • Zebra Danios
  • Otocinclus

This species can also be mixed with other invertebrates too. Most of the shrimp species will make ideal tank mates. However, they should not have a history of attacking and harming other shrimps. Snails are also harmless, and therefore they can make great tank companions.


As stated earlier, this species thrives in a species tank, and they will not show any aggression towards each other. They are peaceful amongst the same species. Surprisingly even the males do not show any aggression towards other males, and therefore you do not need to be worried about the ratio of males to females. This is very advantageous to anyone looking to keep this species in particular and those who want to breed since they can live together peacefully in a large group.


This species is a good-looking invertebrate that adds its vibrant coloration in the tank. In terms of body shape, this species resembles any other freshwater shrimp. They have a powerful tail that has swimmerets and also many legs and antennae.

 This species is differentiated from the rest of the shrimps by its color. They have different color variations and patterns, but most of the Crystal Red Shrimps have a bold red and dazzling white coloration. These colors stripes can sometimes create an organic design.

As a result of their varying patterns, this species has a grading system. Their grading system corresponds with the quantity of white meat in this species. This means that the more the white is in the species, the more the impact on the price.

The lowest grade of this fish is Grade C. This grade is predominately crimson, with a few white slashes thrown in for good measure. It is in grades A and S that an even striping can be observed. The grade SS shrimp have white coloring, majorly with some splashes of red at the top of the scale. Both the male and female Crystal Red Shrimp are similar in appearance.

The only means of distinguishing between them is by looking at the size of their bellies. The females have a deeper abdomen and a broader tail, and generally, they have a larger belly.


On average, a fully grown Crystal Red Shrimp grows to an average size of 1 to 1.5 inches in length. This is a tiny size, and this explains why it is referred to as Dwarf Shrimp. Due to their small size, it is a bit challenging to tell the difference between a large and small specimen, and this explains why it’s crucial to observe their breeding practices as you buy them.


The average lifespan of this species is between 18 months to 24 months. This can be achieved when they are under optimal care. Remember that this species is highly sensitive to the water parameters, and this means that you need to observe them strictly for this species to attain this age. In the wild, this species is faced with many threats such as predators and lack of medication whenever they fall sick, and this reduces their lifespan to 18 months maximally.


The Crystal Rec Shrimp are natives of South East Asia, and this is specifically in Taiwan. They are found throughout the region so in clear water rivers and streams. They reside on the plant leaves near the bottom. In their natural habitat, they are subjected to seasonal temperature fluctuations, and this, therefore, indicates that they can easily adjust if kept under proper care.

This species is a product of the long-term breeding of Bee Shrimps and, to be more specific, the Black Bumblebee Shrimp. The first Shrimp with the red coloration occurred accidentally and out of an experiment carried out under the supervision of Hisayasu Suzuki. It took approximately three generations to repeat the exclusive red and white coloration of the first specimen.

This invertebrate has gained entry into the aquarium world since late 1990s when they were exported as feeder fish, and thereafter their population in the market has increases rapidly to a successful breeding program in captivity. This species is described as the most common Shrimp in the aquariums.


The Crystal Red Shrimp is a peaceful invertebrate that gets along well with other shrimps. However, you should not keep them with large species or aggressive ones since they will harm them or eat them due to their small size. This species is usually nocturnal, which means they are active during the night as other species sleep, and this gives them enough time to feed without being picked by fast-moving fish.

They cannot be kept with every shrimp species since some have different water requirements. This species is a bottom dweller as they spend most of their time at the bottom, walking across the surface in search of food. This species also goes through molting, whereby they lose their old shell in order to grow a stronger one. They must go through this process since the shell does not grow the rest of them.

After molting, this species is left vulnerable because it takes some time before the new shell develops fully and hardens. During this period, they will spend most of their time hiding. You should also keep monitoring them and do not move them in this period.

You will see this shell at the bottom of the aquarium, and sometimes it is confused for a dead Shrimp which is not the case. Sometimes these species feed on this shell for nutrients, but if they do not, you should remove it to avoid polluting the tank as it decays.


The Crystal Red Shrimps are small in size, and they do not need a bigger space for themselves. They are also very sensitive, and this means that there are specific conditions that need to be provided and maintained for this species to thrive. These conditions can be a bit difficult to maintain, especially due to their small size. Some of these conditions include;


This species is naturally smaller, and therefore they do not need a big tank to thrive. You can keep them comfortable as a group in a small tank. However, the recommended size of the tank should be at least 10 gallons. A bigger tank becomes so easy to maintain compared to a small one.

This species is community fish, and therefore it is recommended that you keep them in a group of six or more. However, you can also keep them alone, and they will thrive for the longest without showing any signs of loneliness.


The is no specific need for a tank, but the aquarium needs a lid so as to prevent it from getting dirty and contaminating the water. Remember that we have stated that this species is very sensitive to the water conditions.,


You need to provide an active substrate. There is plenty of this type of substrate in the market; you should get the best you are able to afford as you start. Some of the best substrates include;

  • Shrimp king soil
  • Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum
  • ADA Amazonia aqua soil
  • Akadama-Bonsai Soil
  • Bright well among others

The active substrate is also known as a buffering substrate which refers to the type of substrate that keeps the PH at a steady level. This means that if your water has a higher Ph. this substrate will reduce it.


These species prefer soft and acidic water. The tank water should also be clean always. In the wild, they love living in slow-moving waters, and therefore in the tank, they do not need a lot of flow. You can just use a normal sponge filter, and they will thrive in them. Many shrimp breeders advise on using the sponge filters in this species because they create a gentle flow of water, and they cannot suck small Shrimps.

These species also produce a lot of waste, and therefore you need a soft filtration to filter the waste.


There is not a thing that is as important as far as the decoration is concerned besides the plants. This species is not an avid swimmer, and before, you do not need not be so much worried about the congestion in the tank. They love hiding, especially during molting, and therefore, they need some hiding spots. The ideal decorations include the driftwoods since they can control a few things such as tannins in water which is quite a healthy option.

Also, this kind of decoration allows micro-living forms to grow in it, and that can be a good source of food for this species.


This species is comfortable under moderate lighting that is neither extremely bright nor dim. You should go for the standard aquarium lights without care.


The Crystal Red Shrimps sometimes prefer feeding on the live plants, but some of the aquarists still use the live plants in their tanks. This is because they also provide hiding spots as they also increase the oxygen in your tank. You can also use silk and plastic plants. It has also been discovered that aquascaping your species with some silk plants encourages them to breed.

As you set up the tank for these species, ensure that you reciprocate their natural habitat, and that is why you need to consider planting live plants in the aquarium. Some of the best aquarium plants include;

  • Java moss
  • Dwarf hair grass
  • Dwarf Sagittaria
  • Water lettuce
  • Duckweed

The water lettuce and duckweed are very crucial since they help in the nitrate level of the water down, and this leaves the water and the species in a prime condition.


The substrate needs to be cleaned by the use of a gravel vacuum. There is no such waste that is directly caused by the Shrimp. The tank should also be cleaned by the use of lukewarm water and a piece of cloth. You should not use any soap-based or chemical products you clean. This is because they will harm this species. A clean environment protects the Crystal Red Shrimp from diseases and other unwanted outcomes.


The Crystal Red Shrimps are very sensitive to water conditions compared to the rest of the shrimps. It is therefore important to maintain the recommended water conditions in order to keep your shrimp happy and healthy. The tank should also be fresh from ammonia and nitrate.

This species has a low bioload, but the water can be dirtied by the other tank mates. This means that you need to keep monitoring the following condition throughout so as to ensure they are within the recommended range. They include;


These species prefer living in warm water, just like in their natural habitat. The average temperature in the aquarium should always range from 62 to 78 degrees F. If you can be able to maintain it above 70, it will be better.


The PH level should be maintained between 5.8 to 7.4.


The water hardness should be within 4 to 6 Dgh, with the concentration of calcium carbonate being between 0 to 4.


The total dissolved solution range can be as minimum as 80 and as high as 200. Also, the nitrite and ammonia should be 0 ppm. The nitrates should also be 0 ppm, but if it has to extend, they should not go beyond 20 ppm.


It is very risky to add tap water into the aquarium since this water mainly contains chlorine that is added to purify water. Excessive chlorine can be fatal to the Crystal Red Shrimp, and therefore you should DE chlorinate it to remove chlorine.


This species is very sensitive to water changes, and therefore they will be affected by the slightest change. The shock will be big and will affect them both mentally and physically. It is therefore advisable to change 30 percent of water in the aquarium on a weekly basis, and this will maintain the flow and decrease nitrates without harming the species. Do not change the water entirely since this will destroy the beneficial bacteria.


These species are omnivores in nature which indicates that they feed on plants, matter, and some fresh. They spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank as they scavenge for food even when they are already fed. To help them grow well and develop, they need calcium components. This will also help in hardening their shell when they shed off.

In the wild, the diet of Crystal Red Shrimp includes some small insects, plants detritus, larvae, and algae. This is an easy diet to provide to your homes in a tank. You should be able to provide the highest quality foods possible to ease the strain in their digestive system. The best option is frozen foods since they have a high content of nutrients. Another popular choice is bloodworms.

You can also feed them on dried food. You can use the sinking pellets since they are bottom dwellers and algae wafers. The only disadvantage of dried food is that they might lose their nutrients in the manufacturing process, and therefore it is important to supplement them. One of the most efficient methods of providing nutrients in their diet is feeding them vegetables; you can use your kitchen leftovers such as Zucchini, Broccoli, and Cucumber. You can also use the vegetables to make some homemade foods.

This species needs to be fed only once a day. This is because they are small in size and do not need a lot of food. Also, on their own, they will spend time scavenging for food. This species is very sensitive, and overfeeding them can be very disastrous. You should also ensure the leftovers are collected since they can decay and pollute the water. You should provide food that is only enough to eat for a few hours. You can clean the leftovers using vacuum gravel cleaners.

This species can stay for some time without food; if there are no algae in the tank, they can go for a week, but in an aquarium that is crowded with algae, they can live for up to a month.


Before breeding this species, you need to have the right ratio of males to females. It can be a bit challenging to tell the differences between a male and female at the juvenile stage. However, you can easily tell the females when they reach adulthood. They are large and have a curved underbelly.

This species takes 4 to 4.5 months to reach maturity, and this may be due to the fact that they prefer cooler temperatures. These species are easy to breed and reproduce at the size of about 2 cm. Just like the Cherry Shrimps, these species are high order breeders, which implies that the females carry the eggs that hatch into a miniature version of the adults.

When they are ready to mate, the females release pheromones in the water, and it attracts the males. Thereafter the females will be carrying the eggs around until they hatch after around 30 days. The baby shrimps emerge fully formed.

It is theoretically argued that under warm temperatures, the females can release up to 30 fully developed babies after every 5 to 6 weeks. Unfortunately, the high temperature will shorten their life and increase their metabolism rate. The continued high temperature will lead to more deaths of juveniles and fewer eggs survivability.

You can decrease the risk of bacterial infections and allow your species to live for long by maintaining the temperature at below 74 degrees F.  You need to wait until these juveniles get a bit bigger before grading them after the colors and patterns have come through.


As mentioned earlier, the Crystal Red Shrimps are very sensitive to poor water conditions, and this means that they can easily get sick and even die if there is not enough filtration in the tank. Some of the diseases include;

  • ICH

This is one of the common diseases that mainly affect this species, and it shows some signs, such as white spots all over their bodies. If you suspect that this species has contacted Ich, the best remedy is to quarantine them immediately to a separate tank before they can infect the other tank mates. The water parameters should be maintained in this separate tank as you increase the levels of the vital nutrients such as calcium and vitamins in their diet.


This disease resembles a fuzzy white fungus development on outer body shell, more so on the tip of the nose and on the head. This disease can be cured by putting a teaspoon of aquarium salt into a cup of clean water. You should not use tap water. You should then bathe your Shrimp for 30 seconds to one minute and repeat this process a few more times.


There are other parasites that can attack your Shrimp on the shell, and these parasites mainly come with the species when you purchase them. These parasites are usually not harmful to human beings unless they come inside the mouth or throat.


Another common issue that most aquarist encounters is over-feeding the Crystal Red Shrimp. These creatures are very tiny and need a very small amount of food and when you overfeed them leads to water quality issues such as ammonia and nitrite poisoning, which can eventually cause death.

The best way to prevent this species from contracting diseases is ensuring the water in the tank is clean and well filtered, adding stress-reducing chemicals, and avoiding overcrowding the tank. They also should be fed a high-quality diet. The water should be changed regularly so as to maintain the quality of water.


Are the crystal Red Shrimps freshwater species?

Yes, they are freshwater species that originate from South East Asia, specifically Taiwan. They are found throughout the region in clear water rivers and streams. They reside on the plant leaves near the bottom. 

Where can I buy the Crystal Red Shrimps?

This species is readily available, and you can buy them from a local fish store or specialized online shops. You should be careful to avoid being sold a wild-caught species. The cost of this species is determined by the size, with the larger one being more expensive. The average price is between 5 to 15 dollars per specimen. This is very affordable compared to the rest of freshwater species sold as pets.

Do Crystal Red Shrimps need a heater in the tank?

This depends. However, as long as you are able to keep water within the range of 70 degrees and above and within the range, you do not need one. Some of the aquarists have reported that their species actually spend most of the time in the colder parts of the aquarium. This means that this is not necessary as long as the parameter is within your control.

Can I use water from the tap with my Crystal Red Shrimps?

No. It is not advisable to use tap water. The Buffering substrate will lose its ability to buffer so fast. Also, tap water may contain the chorine component that is used in purifying it, and this can harm the species.

Why is my Crystal Red Shrimp dropping egg?

The female Crystal Red shrimps may drop their eggs as a result of stress and fluctuating water conditions. You can save these eggs using an egg tumbler.


Generally, this species is peaceful, docile, and beautiful, but they are very sensitive and prone to getting affected by the slightest change in the environment. The care of this species may appear challenging at first, but once you have understood the basics, it becomes much more straightforward. As long as you remain informed and consistent, everything will be alright.

We recommend that you consider trying this species in your tank. The beauty is unmatched, and the aesthetic effect they add to the aquarium is something that you will always wish for. It is our hope that this guide has given you all the necessary information you need about the care of the Crystal Red Shrimp.

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