Introduction To Crystal Red Shrimp
The Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS), or sometimes referred to as Red Bee Shrimp, is a beautiful addition to any small planted tank. With its beautiful candy cane striped color, they are one of the most sought after shrimp in the freshwater aquarium hobby. The Crystal Red Shrimp is a mutation of a bee shrimp and has a grading system just like the red cherry shrimp. Selective breeding is what creates these different grades in the crystal red shrimp and what makes them more valuable in the hobby. They are omnivore, grazing algae off plants, substrate, and hardscapes. Crystal Red Shrimp have also had known cases of eating their exoskeleton (molted shell), live worms, and dead fish/inverts.
- English name: Crystal Red Shrimp, CRS
- Scientific name: Caridina cantonensis sp. “Crystal Red”
- Origin: Bee Shrimp Mutation
- Size: 1 to 1 1/2 in
- Water temperature: 64 – 78F
- Water Parameters: pH 6.5 – 7.5
- Breeding Rate: High
- Behavior: Non-agressive
- Difficulty: Medium-hard
Food & Diet For Crystal Red Shrimp
Like other shrimp, the Crystal Red Shrimp love to feast on algae. They ideally eat hair algae, detritus worms, and in some instances, BGA (blue green algae). In an established aquarium, the Crystal Red Shrimp doesn’t really need many additives to their feeding regiment seeing how shrimp are purely scavengers in the wild. Because Crystal Red Shrimp can be very sensitive to water parameters, there are pre-made food products in the market from popular brands like Shirakura, Mosura, and Biomax that don’t affect the water parameters so severely. Although it’s always best to use a feeding dish and only feed sparingly to make sure you don’t create too much ammonia from decaying food.
The males and females of Crystal Red Shrimp can only be distinguished when they reach their adult size. You can’t use the typical saddle indicator for female red bee shrimps because of the solid coloration both sexes have. However, there are key indicators to tell your shrimp’s sex apart. For example, the female CRS are 10-30% larger in size than the adult males and the females also have a substantially larger abdomen area.
The Crystal Red Shrimp’s Reproduction
The method for breeding for Crystal Red Shrimp is almost the same as Red Cherry Shrimp. It does take a bit of vigilance to keep them happy and breeding but it is not as difficult as some may think. They prefer a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Crystal Red Shrimp also seem to breed well when doing water changes with R/O water. Also, keeping the water temperature below 70F (21.1 Celsius) will promote optimal breeding conditions. An aquarium with a minimum of 10 gallons and more than a few CRS will get you started with breeding a colony.
The female Crystal Red Shrimp will start to develop eggs under her saddle. When the time comes to lay her eggs, she will release her pheromones, notifying males for fertilization. The males will become very active when it catches the scent of the pheromones, seeking out the female, thus starting the mating process. Once the mating of the Crystal Red Shrimp is over, the female will latch the eggs onto little fins under her tail to carry until they are hatched.
The offspring of Crystal Red Shrimp are a miniature version of their parents. Typically until they are fully grown, you won’t be able to tell their exact grading or sex.
How Crystal Red Shrimp came to be so sensitive to water parameters is from severe inbreeding, creating higher grades of CRS. This causes them to be more vulnerable to diseases and water conditions. For novice shrimp keepers, this is one of the most overlooked requirements. Learning and understanding how to keep stable water parameters is key to keeping red bee shrimp or any other sensitive shrimp. Ideally, starting with a less difficult shrimp like the Red Cherry Shrimp is a better choice because of their hardiness, then proceed to upgrading to Crystal Red Shrimp.
Crystal Red Shrimp won’t be found at your local large pet store. They are somewhat of a finer grade than Red Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, and Ghost (glass) Shrimp. They are usually sold by specialty stores, hobbyists, or small local fish stores. There are a few forums and places you can find Crystal Red Shrimp for sale. Prices may vary by the grade of the shrimp and the sellers, where shipping can be one of the biggest price factors.
Crystal Red Shrimp For Sale
Here is a list of a few online stores where Crystal Red Shrimp are for sale:
Aqua Design Innovations
Alpha Pro Breeders
The Shrimp Farm
The Shrimp Tank
The Shrimp Rack