Caring for Crystal Red Shrimp
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Environment

A planted tank is the best choice to keep Crystal Red Shrimps as there is always some food for them. They will not destroy your healthy plants, preferring to eat decaying plant matter or algae whichever is softer and easier to pull apart with their tiny claws. When using CO2 injection care must be taken so that pH does not drop too low for them.Lightning should not be on for 24hrs continuously - 14 hours per day should be enough. Crystal Red Shrimp are more active in the night and there are recommendations to feed 40% trough the day and 60% in the evening. Bare tank floor without gravel is ok if water current is not strong, darker gravel is however recommended as it emphasizes their beautiful color.Chemicals should not be used at any time in the shrimp tank. You can however use Indian Almond leafs (just as for Betta Splendens) to treat the water.These requirements should not discourage you on keeping these shrimps, a little patience and care would be highly rewarded by their beautiful colors.

Water Conditions

Crystal Red Shrimp is the most sensitive freshwater shrimps, due to the small shared common gene pool of the original 3 bee shrimps. Therefore, maintaining a proper environment condition is very important for keeping and breeding Crystal Red Shrimp. Although they may seem difficult to keep, it''s all about the water conditions.First of all you have to have a cycled tank. Crystal Red Shrimp are very sensitive to amonia and nitrite.The following table shows the optimal water parameters for Crystal Red Shrimp. These are the water parameters that can be easily measured with available test kits from your local aquarium shop.

Water Temperature22 ~ 24ºC
pH - Acidity6.4 ~ 7.2
GH - General Hardness3 ~ 10dH
KH - Carbonate Hardness1 ~ 10dH
NH3 - Ammonia0ppm
NO2 - Nitrite0ppm
NO3 - Nitrate<15ppm
TDS - Total Dissolved Substance90-120

The most common problem overlooked by most hobbyists is the dissolved substance in the water. You can have all the water parameters correct, but the Crystal Red Shrimp keeps dying. This is because of the different pollution factors or chemicals added by the source of the water. You can buy a TDS meter to measure the amount of dissolved substance in your tank. If the TDS exceeds 150 and your pH is on the higher range, nitrogenous waste in the tank can turn toxic.Another important factor is the biological filter media in your filter system and a good maintenance routine. Biological filter media helps to remove organic waste from the tank and provide a balance in the ecosystem within the tank. Most of us at home cannot measure the amount of nitrifying or beneficial bacteria in the tank. Hence, investing on a good biological filter media is important. When choosing the biological filter media, it is important to compare the media surface area. The higher the surface area, the more bacteria will thrive and grow inside.

Behavior

Crystal Red Shrimps are constantly ''busy'' and active. If a large proportion of your shrimps starts keeping still and not behaving or eating as normal, water parameters should be checked immediately. If you see them swim up and then open up and ''freeze'' motionless and let themselves get carried by the current then your water is in a state of emergency.Shrimps moult on a regular basis. This is a process where they shed their outer shell so they can grow bigger. A new shell will be formed which in time will be also be shed and replaced in time. This is like if you can grow clothes, you need to keep throwing them away as you get bigger. So, if you see an empty shrimp shell, you don''t have to be alarmed. In fact, just leave it alone and it will be eaten back as a source of calcium.

Food

The Crystal Red Shrimp is not too different from other algae eating shrimps. It is a scavenger and an algae eater. Feeding is best done once or twice a day. Only feed an amount of food that the shrimp can finish within 2-3 hours maximum. It is not good to feed in excess and have food sitting for too long. Overfeeding is a known cause of death and can also cause water quality issues. Remember that shrimp are scavengers in the wild. They will eat whatever they find and are not used to a constant food source 24/7. Not feeding for one or two days is fine and will not harm this species at all.The foods commonly used are pre-made Crystal Red Shrimp food, bloodworm, seaweed, and algae wafer. There are several different brands of Crystal Red Shrimp food as well as different sizes of the food and even powder food for young. Shirakura, Mosura, and Biomax are some of the more popular brands. There are also breeders that mix their own food using many different ingredients.It is also good to have some sort of moss or riccia in the tank so that they have a ready snack when they are hungry so they never starve. They also eat algae but there should not be algae in your tank because if so your nitrates is too high. Algae tablets/pellets for bottom feeders and food meant for plecos (sucker/janitor fish), corydoras or crabsare available at most aquariums shops.Frozen spinach is a highly available delicacy that they will gladly take. We usually cut a small piece from it, let it defrost and then put it in the tank.

Safe Tankmates

There are several commonly asked questions when one considers keeping Shrimps in the aquarium. One of them is "what fish are safe with my shrimp," or "will these fish eat my shrimp," also "should I put my shrimp in my tank with these fish?"It is of course a very important question. Putting your shrimp in with fish can result in a great dessert for the fish.You should remember that shrimps are a natural food source in the wild for many fish and other aquatic creatures, shrimp are viewed upon as a quick snack, or in some cases the main contributor to the overall diet. Most aquarium fish eat processed foods and may relish the moment to eat a live creature it eats naturally in the wild.Another aspect often overlooked in this particular subject is the ability for shrimp to hide. In the wild the shrimp spend most of their time hiding from predators. Natural coloration which mimics the surrounding aquatic habitat helps the shrimp to further evade predators. In the aquarium we have completely removed this natural defense, the shrimp are selectively bred to achieve appealing colors (solid red and white) which are not naturally found in the wild. By removing this natural defense we remove the shrimps chance of survival in the aquarium. They are a neon light for predatory fish.There is a reason why there are aquariums that are shrimp-only and predation is one of them. When you have expensive shrimp you do not want to worry about whether or not they will be eaten. There are very few fish that you can keep with shrimp without worrying however. Almost all algae eating fish are safe with shrimp due to their diet of algae. Any fish that has a carnivorous diet in the wild can be a potential danger to shrimp.If unsure use this motto: if it can fit it in its mouth then it could be dangerous. Any fish can also nip at a shrimp until it dies, then eat it.