Introduction To Crystal Black Shrimp
The Crystal Black Shrimp is a dwarf shrimp species native to Southeast Asia. It has become extremely popular within the aquarium hobby for both its selectively bred variants and for its natural appearance. Hobbyists breeding Crystal Black Shrimp will keep a small mixed group of females and males separate from other fish or invertebrate species within a customary aquarium. While they can be easily kept in tropical freshwater community aquariums, Crystal Black Shrimp does best in water conditions that are a bit cooler than the standard tropical aquarium.
- English name: Black Bee Shrimp, Crystal Black Shrimp, Crystal Shrimp, Bee Shrimp
- Scientific name: Caridina cantonensis sp. “Bee”
- Origin: Southeast Asia
- Size: 0.8″ to 1.2″ (2 – 3 cm)
- Water temperature: 62 -73F
- Water Parameters: PH Range 6.0-6.8, TDS 80-180
- Breeding Rate: Easy
- Behavior: Non-aggressive
- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Crystal Black Shrimp Appearance
Crystal Black Shrimp have bands of black and white on them. Also known as Caridina Cantonensis sp, the Black Bee Shrimp adds a touch of vibrancy to aquariums. There is a “grading” scale for Bee Shrimp. Generally, higher grade Crystal Black Shrimp are more sensitive to water conditions and are not as productive as the lower grade Crystal Black Shrimp. This is most probably due to the intense inbreeding needed to attain the higher grades. The colors for Grade A range from moderately opaque and bright to a little patchy color. The premium Grade A Bees have a pattern of Tiger Tooth, 3-band, 4-band & V-Band.
Tank Setup for your Crystal Black Shrimp
The tank must have a lot of hiding places in the form of foliage, plants and ceramic tubes. Plant species which are specifically suitable are Moss balls, Java Moss & Java Fern. Cryptocorynes and Anubias are not ideal plant choices since their roots may produce toxic substances. The water in a shrimp tank should not contain any copper, seeing how this is deadly to any shrimp. Prior to buying any shrimp, you must make sure that your shrimp aquarium is set up properly and has been successfully cycled for at least 1 month. Adding hiding spots within your aquarium for your Crystal Black Shrimp is also vital for reducing stress from day/night cycles.
Feeding for Crystal Black Shrimp
After stocking the tank, early on, they just have to feed every few days. Further on, they should be fed almost daily and constantly with one scoop of Chi Ebi baby shrimp food along with Ebi Dama. The amount to feed essentially depends on the number of shrimp in the tank. Excellent food supplements are common vegetables, such as swiss chard, spinach and once a week a little brine shrimp. Leftover food must be removed from the tank, after one to two hours maximum. It’s always better to feed lesser amounts more frequently, rather than bigger amounts every few days.
Breeding Behaviors of Crystal Black Shrimp
When the breeding aquarium meets the essential water parameters, a group of female and male Crystal Black Shrimp will usually have no problems in successful breeding. When matured, the female shrimps will have developed a horse like saddle and unfertilized eggs between the body and the head. Shrimps will carry just about 20-30 eggs for approximately 30-35 days of the gestation period. After this period, completely developed shrimplets will be released. Raising these juvenile shrimps is certainly trickier than that for neocaradina sp., especially since the females for this species generally carry less eggs.
Crystal Black Shrimp for Sale
You won’t find any bee shrimps for sale at your local pet store or fish shop. They are more of a specialty where vendors and hobbyists raise them and have them for sale. Prices for Crystal Black Shrimp really just depends on the grade, variants, and the vendor themselves. Lowest price on a bee shrimp isn’t always the best but I wouldn’t think paying top-dollar would give you the “best of the best” in the shrimp world. Below is a list of vendors I personally would recommend to use.
Breed in USA
Alpha Pro Breeders (natural grade)
Alpha Pro Breeders (high grade)
Elite Inverts (natural grade)
Elite Inverts (lower grade)
Elite Inverts (high grade)
Shrimp Fever (lower grade)
Shrimp Fever (high grade)