Crystal Red Shrimp – The Most Beautiful Aquarium Shrimps

Among the aquarium inhabitants that do not belong to the class of fish, shrimps are rightfully the most popular. These small crustaceans are not only excellent observation objects, but also real workers who help keep the tank clean. In our article, we will tell you about one of the most beautiful aquarium shrimps – the crystal red shrimp.

crystal red shrimp care guide

General Information

A distinctive feature of this shrimp is the alternation of clear red and white stripes in color.

Shrimp owe their origin to the Japanese aquarist Hisayasu Suzuki. In the early 1990s, he was breeding bee shrimp (Caridina cantonensis with a black striped color) and once discovered a form with red stripes in his aquarium.

The color of the stripes was not very bright, but the hardworking Japanese, through the crossing and careful selection, managed to obtain shrimp with stable bright color.

He published an article about this, which was published in 1996. It is this year that is considered the official date of the creation of the breed, which was named “crystal red”.

Crystal red shrimp in aquarium

Shrimp became extremely popular in Asia and then spread to the United States and Europe. Now, they are available for purchase almost anywhere.

The content of the crystal shrimp has its own characteristics. Usually, they are very demanding, especially when it comes to “breed” representatives.

At the same time, the work on developing new forms does not stop. The breeders regularly receive shrimp in rare or unusual colors. Some of them are sold by auction for a considerable amount.

There is a specific classification for red crystal shrimp. Based on the brightness of the image and its characteristics, the lowest classes (categories A, B, C) and the highest (S, S+, SS, SSS) are distinguished.


The body shape of crystal reds is typical for most shrimp. It has two sections – the cephalothorax and the abdomen, covered with a strong shell chitin, which serves as the external skeleton. There are five pairs of walking legs. The thoracic limbs have transformed into leg jaws, which are implicated in food holding and delivery to the mouth.

The abdomen consists of movable segments, on the lower part of which there are pleopods – swimming legs. They are movement organs, and for females, they serve to contain developing eggs. Like other shrimps, crystals have several pairs of sensitive antennae and movable eyes on the stems.

The usual size of crystal red shrimp is 2.5-3 cm. Typical color is an alternation of bright red and white stripes on the body. Although there are individuals with only one red stripe and spot or no stripes at all.

The life span of crystal red shrimp under suitable conditions can be 2-4 years.


Unfortunately, it will not work to meet bright red crystals in nature because this is an artificial species and is presented exclusively in aquarium hobby. The progenitor of these shrimps are representatives of the species Caridina cantonensis, which can be found in the water bodies of South China, Taiwan, and Japan.

The typical biotope of these caridines is a slow-flowing stream with acidic water due to the abundant leaf litter of tropical rainforests. They feed on detritus and find refuge among snags and thickets of plants.

Care And Maintenance

Unlike the well-known cherry shrimp, crystal reds are more sensitive to environmental conditions and are so recommended for experienced aquarists.

Freshwater Crystal red shrimp

The shrimp will need a small aquarium; 10 liters will be enough for a group of crustaceans. Some amateurs create special shrimp carriages where only crustaceans live. Accordingly, shrimp are also popular among nano aquarium lovers.

Special soil soils (so-called soil) are laid on the bottom. They consist of carefully selected natural ingredients that have a beneficial effect on water parameters, keeping them at the ideal level for shrimp. It is possible to use medium-sized, rounded gravel. Natural driftwood and small stones are most often used as decorations. Crystal red shrimps do not harm the plants, so it is good to plant more of them. In shrimp-loving aquariums you can find mosses, ferns, hemiantus, glossostigma, pistia, etc.

To maintain high water quality, it is imperative to install a filter (without a powerful flow), an aeration system and a thermostat.

Always check and control the stability of the water parameters. Crystal red shrimps are very sensitive to even slight changes in them as well as to high concentrations of nitrogenous compounds.  Keep nitrates at a level of not more than 20 mg / l. Once a week, it is necessary to change the water up to 20% of the volume of the aquarium. Tap water can be dangerous for sensitive crustaceans, so use Tetra AquaSafe before refilling your aquarium when changing. It will remove chlorine and heavy metals, making fresh water safe for your pets.

Optimum water parameters for the content: T = 21-24 ° C, pH = 6.5-7.0, GH = 6-9.


Keeping crystal red shrimp is best in a species aquarium. It is better to opt for one breed because crossing with others can lead to completely nondescript hybrids.

Crystal reds get along well with close relatives of shrimps: Amano , cherries , filter feeders .

Keeping with small species of fish is possible, but young individuals or those who have just weaned will be at a constant risk group.

Crystal Red Shrimp Feeding

The staple diet of crystal shrimp is algae. Small crustaceans are constantly looking for food, stone by stone. Do not overuse protein foods (most live and frozen foods). Shrimp is not a way to digest and assimilate it in large quantities.

Poor nutrition causes the red crystals to lose white streaks. They become greyish, yellow, or transparent. So it is better to opt for quality dry shrimp food.

The Tetra Crusta series is a complete and nutritious food for all types of shrimp and other crustaceans. There are 2 shapes, sinking sticks or granules. The feed quickly sinks to the bottom, where it becomes available to the shrimp. Due to their special structure, they do not make water cloudy. Contains selected proteins and plant components for comfortable digestion and maintaining immunity. Natural color boosters will make your pets even brighter.

Reproduction And Breeding

Breeding red crystals in an aquarium is quite possible. First, you need the brightest and most beautiful manufacturers. It is possible to determine the sex of crustaceans by a number of signs. For example, females are larger and have enlarged pleopods. The second pair of antennae in males is longer than in females.

crystal red shrimp breeding

To attract males, sexually mature females secrete special chemicals called pheromones. Further, the fertilization of eggs occurs, and all the hassle of caring for future offspring falls on the female. She carries eggs on her pleopods. With the help of them, she creates a constant stream of water and removes dead eggs. On average, one female crystal red shrimp can produce 20 eggs.

The development of embryos lasts 3-4 weeks. The hatched individuals in appearance resemble a smaller copy of their parents. Sexual maturity occurs at the age of about six months.

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