Crystal Red Shrimp Care Guide: Diet, Size, Breeding And Lifespan

Choosing a freshwater shrimp species to add to your aquarium could be difficult as there are many species available.

Crystal Red Shrimp is a powerful contender. These species are eye-catching and add a wonderful sight to your aquarium.

Even though they are tiny, their patterns and splash of colors make them extraordinary.  There is no doubt that this species is one of the aquarists and breeders’ favorite.

Most often, aquarists love to breed this species to produce the best quality. But there’s no need for you to become a real breeder to make plenty of them.

It is already fun to see them around the tank and race for food all the time.  However, keeping and caring for these shrimps can be challenging.

To thrive, you need to prepare and do research as they need conditions that specifically work for them and which can be a little extraordinary. 

This article will serve as a guide on the basics of Crystal Red Shrimp care. It will elaborate topics on tank or habitat conditions, breeding, their diet, and many more.

Also, it will answer the most common questions and things to consider in keeping Crystal Red Shrimp successfully.

Red crystal bee shrimp


Crystal Red Shrimp belongs to the dwarf shrimp species and is popular in freshwater tanks. They may be tiny, but they are covered with beauty.

Their color is a variation of the Caridina Cantonensis or Bee Shrimp, which belongs to the Atyidae family, and is commonly known as Crystal Red. 

In some places in Asia, they are popularly called Red Bee Shrimp. Their fantastic color variation was first bred in Japan, which is now being bred worldwide.

Crystal Red Shrimp are cultured species which means humans create them; however, Bee Shrimp are naturally grown in Taiwan, and this information can be helpful when you plan to set up an aquarium. 

Moreover, building an aquarium starts with purchasing these shrimp species, but you need to be specific about shrimp grading.

The purpose of this grading is to identify the quality of the species you are buying.

To give you an idea, you should remember the grading rule when purchasing one. The grading would depend on the opacity and whiteness of the shrimp.

The difference is that low rated are often transparent red while high rated have white stripes that are thick and opaque red. Of course, the cost of this shrimp species would depend on its grading.

This idea can be helpful for most aquarists, especially if you are on a budget and grading is not that significant since Crystal Red Shrimps are all beautiful.

When it comes to their lifespan inside home aquariums, Crystal Red Shrimp has a short lifespan.

They usually live for 18 to 24 months, but they can reach as long as two years if they are well-maintained and cared for.

Their Usual Behavior

Crystal Red Shrimp won’t cause any trouble to aquariums as they are harmless. However, their vulnerability can be a problem as they are tiny.

Aquarists need to choose the correct tank mates for Crystal Red Shrimps to solve this issue.

This species likes to spend their day at the aquarium’s base, racing back and forth as they always search for food. Another interesting fact is that shrimps undergo a molting process.

This process is where this species shed their mature shell to allow a more robust shell to grow. It should be done so that their cover will grow evenly.

Crystal Red Shrimps will find a place to hide after molting as this is when they are most vulnerable.

Developing their exoskeleton requires time; thus, they need to be careful until their body will harden. You need to watch them during this delicate stage and do not attempt to reposition them.

In addition, do not worry if you see shells somewhere on the tank’s ground, as you may think that your shrimps are dead. But try to inspect first by looking closer so you would know that it is just an empty shell from the molting process. 

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The discarded shells are still helpful for these shrimps as they can eat their shells, and it is a good source of nutrients.

But sometimes, they don’t touch it, so make sure to take it off the tank as it can pollute your tank when it decays. 

Crystal Red Shrimp ph


Aquarists love to breed Crystal Red Shrimps for a specific reason, which is being a very eye-catching species that you must have in your tank. 

As mentioned, their physical appearance is white and red stripes and would depend on their rate when you buy them. Their grade consists of 6 categories: A, B, and C, SSS, SS, S. 

Grade C is given for ‘low quality’ species with mostly red and thin and little white stripes. While ‘high quality’ species have more white than red stripes.

Also, the grade tells you how intense the colors are. It means that the translucent red is less attractive compared to a robust, opaque red.

Furthermore, Mosura is the name of the best quality Crystal Red Shrimps. These shrimp species are described as mostly white with patches of red on their tails and head.

As for their size, no wonder these shrimp species are categorized as dwarf shrimp because they only grow for up to 1.2 inches.

Because of this feature, these species can be vulnerable since there is always a threat that their tank mates can eat them. That is why it is essential to choose suitable tank mate creatures according to their compatibility.

Their appearance still has similarities with what a classic shrimp looks like; one difference is that they are much smaller.

Other noticeable differences are that some shrimps have longer antennae, walking legs (pereiopods) underneath the carapace, swimming legs (pleopods) found beneath their abdomen, and a telson.

Identifying the Crystal Red Shrimps sex is easy. Females are more prominent by 10 to 30%, and their abdomen has bigger scales compared to males.

Also, female’s ovaries can be seen easily in their back and egg, especially when they are about to breed.

Caridina cantonensis

Conditions Of Their Tank And Habitat 

Deciding to have a water-living pet requires you to have a specific aquarium condition. It means that you must design their living situation similar to what they have used to in their natural habitat. 

Since Crystal Red Shrimps were bred from Bee Shrimp which humans created, they do not have a home in the wild.

However, you can always recreate the natural habitat of Bee Shrimp as they are similar in most ways. 

Aquarists follow the living condition of Bee Shrimp in streams and freshwater rivers of Taiwan.

Because the condition is suitable, the majority of shrimp farmers create a habitat near these rivers. The waters are described as slightly acidic and warm.

Its slow water flow makes it free from pollutants and other waste, which is ideal for these shrimp species to have proper oxygenation.

Also, for the shrimps to have shelter, the riverbed will be planted and protected with debris.

Having a similar living condition when creating an aquarium for Crystal Red Shrimps as described will ensure the survival of your aquatic pet. 

The Condition Of The Tank

Crystal Red Shrimps can be more sensitive to substandard water conditions and delicate because they are smaller in size and during the breeding process. Thus, providing good water conditions should be a priority.

To ensure this is being met, you can use a testing kit every week to test if the water reaches the required parameters. 

What Temperature Do Crystal Red Shrimp Need?

For Crystal Red Shrimp to survive, maintaining the proper water parameters and good water condition is crucial. They like acidic and soft water conditions.

When it comes to the correct temperature, it has to be between 71 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Recreating their habitat should include the beautification of their surroundings.

You can start by adding smooth and sandy substrate layers at the base of the aquarium to avoid scratches.

Scatter around debris and rocks to build a hiding spot or cave that will serve as their shelter, especially during the molting and breeding process.

Adding various plants and grasses are also necessary; just ensure that you have a solid ground for planting. 

Lastly, you may need a water filter to ensure the water’s cleanliness.

You don’t have to set up an air or water pump to operate your filter; you just need to ensure that your filter outlet can produce enough current to filter the tank.

Also, regular tank lighting will be useful.

Do Crystal Red Shrimp Need A Heater?

Similar to other ordinary aquariums, their tanks need to have a filter and a heater.

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The purpose of having a thermostat heater can avoid any abrupt rise and fall of temperature, and it can also aid in maintaining the stability of their surroundings as possible.

Aquarium Size

One of their unique attributes is that they love to roam around and have a lot of space in their aquariums, even though this species is small. Hence, the minimum size of their aquarium should be 10 gallons.

The golden rule is, the more room for them to wander, the better. Having a bigger tank is uncomplicated to maintain.

And it is ideal for Crystal Red Shrimps to have such required size as they are very delicate to their environment. 

How Many Gallons Are Needed Per Shrimp?

You only need two gallons per shrimp since they only reach 1.2 inches of growth. Hence, a well-sized tank is necessary.

Aquarium Mates

When you decide to keep a Crystal Red Shrimp, choosing a tank exclusively for this species is better.

You can place many of these species if you want to make a very appealing and exciting aquarium. This kind of setup is ideal for a higher rate of breeds. 

For aquarists who are interested in other aqua pets, you can make a community tank to maximize the space in your tank. Also, it is vital to choose suitable tank mates for your Crystal Red Shrimps.

Since Crystal Red Shrimps are so small, they can be easily targeted by bigger sea creatures like fishes as food.

That is why the criteria for picking tank mates for this species should be those which are peaceful and small too and will not be a danger for the dwarf shrimps.

There are a lot of species to choose from, and these are as follows: Neon, Zebra Danios, Tetras, Cherry Barbs, or Otocinclus.

You can also try to mix them with the other invertebrate species. Another good option is snails; they are suitable in your aquarium as they are harmless.

Neon siamese glass-fishes

Neon Siamese Glass Fish

zebra danios

Zebra Danios

neon tetra in aquarium


Puntius titteya

Cherry Barbs

Otocinclus Catfish eating algae

Otocinclus Catfish

For the record, most kinds of shrimps are known to be good aquarium mates, but when choosing a shrimp species, you also need to check that they are unlikely to attack other shrimps.

Is It Okay To Add Several Crystal Red Shrimps?

As mentioned, Crystal Red Shrimps are suitable as species tanks since they are harmless and do not have a reputation for being aggressive to their kind and can survive peacefully together.

Furthermore, mixing both genders is fine. So, keeping this species in a group is a perfect idea, especially if you have plans to breed them.

Breeding Crystal Red Shrimp


Their diet includes both animals and plants, or called omnivores. Even if they do not feel hungry, they spend most of their time scavenging for food.

One essential nutrient that they must have is calcium. Foods rich in calcium will help in their growth and development, especially to have strong exoskeletons.

Typically, they feed on small insects, plant waste, and algae. Following this kind of diet will most likely make your dwarf shrimp happy and at home. 

In addition, it will be beneficial if you give them high-quality foods to avoid problems in their digestive tracts.

Giving them frozen foods is the best option as these are rich in nutrients; bloodworms are an option. Dried foods are another convenient option; algae wafers and sinking pellets are examples of these foods.

However, dried foods are not a healthy option for them since most of their nutrients are lost during its process of manufacturing.

So if you plan to give dried foods as an alternative, it would be better if you add supplements to their diet. Moreover, green vegetables are also a healthy source.

This option is practical since you can give them your leftover foods from your kitchen, like zucchini, cucumber, and broccoli.

You can also make a special recipe with your leftover vegetables to add to their diet.

Feeding Time

When it comes to feeding, giving them food one per day is enough.

Since they are tiny, they do not require a lot of food in a day, plus they also spend most of their time searching for food.

Hence, always make sure to control the food that you are giving as overfeeding them can cause you trouble.

For sensitive creatures like this species, do not give them a significant amount of food as this can affect their health, and leftover foods can become pollutants when they decay.

Here’s a helpful tip: provide enough food that they can feed for a few hours. Always remove leftover foods on the top layer before it decays. 

How To Take Care Of Crystal Red Shrimps

Crystal Red Shrimps require a well-maintained tank to keep them healthy because they are sensitive creatures and do not adequately adapt to abrupt environmental changes.

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They acquire their sensitivity from the process of thorough breeding that happens in farms of shrimps. 

Are Crystal Red Shrimp Hard To Care For?

They are not an ideal aquatic pet for beginners as they are costly and require continued demand. But of course, having ample knowledge on how to keep them is always the key. One crucial requirement is meeting the water parameters. 

Here are some measures that you can do in caring to ensure that these species are well taken care of:

  1. Keeping their tank clean is a priority. Having a filter can help but only for a short period. Thus, cleaning it regularly by changing the water and removing excess algae should be performed.
  2. Keep the substrate clean. Remove any discarded shells and leftover foods.
  3. Obtain a testing kit tool for the water. Use this tool every week so that you can check on possible problems easily before they can affect your shrimps adversely.
  4. You should be careful in adding chemicals like medications to the water. You need to inspect if the chemical contains copper or not, which is usually labeled on the chemical’s bottle. It is crucial to know this since copper is a toxic chemical that can cause harm.

Keeping your tank clean makes you less worried about the occurrence of any diseases.

Of course, they can still get sick, just like the other sea creatures.

Watch Out For Diseases

The common pathogens are fungal, parasites, or bacterial infections. These diseases are usually acquired from the new member of your aquarium, so it is ideal to isolate your newcomer first.

Sometimes your shrimps will not display any symptoms of diseases, but they can carry diseases that can affect other species in your community.

These pathogens commonly occur in poor conditions of the water. You need to maintain a clean aquarium.

In case that your tank gets infected, it is best to quarantine the infected shrimps and treat them with available medications without copper.

As mentioned earlier, you should always check the temperature.

The required temperature should be 71 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH level should stick in 5.8 to 7.4.

Parameters Crystal Red Shrimp


Aquarists commonly add Crystal Red Shrimp to their bucket list as an aquatic pet they want to breed. They usually choose to produce the shrimps with the highest grade.

If breeding becomes successful, they usually turn this idea into a business selling high-grade shrimps. 

Will Red Crystal Shrimp Breed?

Crystal Red Shrimp can breed, and it is also possible for them to be crossbred with other Caridina species.

Although keeping dwarf shrimps can be a challenge for most, the breeding process is simple.

Below is the process when you are planning to breed this species:

  1. You can proceed with mating as long as the tank is in good condition. During this time, you need to monitor your tank’s cleanliness, and water parameters as poor water conditions can affect the breeding process of the dwarf shrimps.
  2. Have a mixture of both genders. You can quickly identify genders because of their abdomen; females have bigger scales on their abdomen. Since males are unlikely to attack other genders, you can place plenty of both sexes in a tank if you have enough space.
  3. The female will let go of pheromones to attract the males once they are set to mate.

How Long Does Crystal Red Shrimp Carry Eggs?

Once mating is done, female shrimp will carry their eggs, and to spread water above the eggs, they use their pleopods. Females usually carry the eggs for 30 days until they hatch.

But it will also depend on the water temperature inside the tank; that is why it is essential to maintain the required temperature, especially during the breeding process.

Do Crystal Red Shrimp Eat Their Babies?

This species is always in search of food, so they will likely feed on smaller shrimps, even their babies, if they have a chance to do so.

Different barriers are needed when raising adults and baby shrimps together or in the same aquarium.

However, it is better to separate the young ones from adults to make sure that the young ones will survive.

Wrapping It Up

Based on the information provided, Crystal Red Shrimps are one of the most attractive dwarf shrimp species. They are known for being sensitive yet easy to breed.

However, even if they are easy to care for, this species is not recommended for beginners.

They need the right environment to thrive. However, it can become easy once you are equipped with the knowledge and figure out how to take care of them.


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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