The popular fresh water shrimps belong to the family of ten-legged crabs (decapods) which also includes crabs and shrimps in fresh water and sea water. Many shrimp varieties are excellent algae-eaters and are thus able to keep many an aquarium free of algae problems on a lasting basis. Shrimps actually first came to prominence by virtue of this capacity for devouring algae. The famous Japanese aquarium photographer Takashi Amano always used large numbers of Caridina multidentata (formerly japonica) to keep his renowned aquascapes clean.
Required habitat in the aquarium
These lively little invertebrates are highly robust animals which flourish when kept in the right conditions, much to the delight of the nano aquarium enthusiast. The adults measure 3 cm on average.
Most shrimp varieties have a relatively large tolerance range with regard to water values. A good supply of oxygen is particularly important. If the oxygen level drops too low, this will have an adverse effect on their health.
Many varieties thrive at a room temperature of 20-22 °C. Tropical varieties prefer slightly warmer temperatures, in some instances up to 28 °C. In this case an additional heater is necessary, such as the Nano adjustable heater. Shrimps will become inactive if the water is too cold.
Plenty of hiding places, such as densely planted, shaded areas, foliage, and above all cave-like retreats, are of great importance to their well-being.
Shrimps are gregarious animals. Many of the most popular shrimp varieties reproduce regularly in the aquarium – e.g. members of the attractive bee shrimp family, Caridina cf. cantonensis, and first and foremost the well-known “Crystal Red” variety. We thus recommend limiting the initial stock to 5 shrimps per 10 l of water.
The larvae of certain varieties grow up in the sea. These need salt water to develop. Breeding these varieties in an aquarium is considerably more difficult, and in some cases impossible. The best known example here is the “Amano shrimp”, Caridina multidentata.
Shrimps are generally omnivores, with a special preference for vegetable-based foods. In addition to algae, their natural diet also includes animal plankton, detritus (dead vegetable matter, rotting foliage, etc.) and even carrion.
These natural source of nutrition are usually lacking in an aquarium. A high-quality Aquarium sind diese natürlichen Nahrungsquellen meist nicht ausreichend vorhanden. Als Ernährungsbasis dient hier ein hochwertiges Garnelenfutter, wie zum Beispiel Dennerle CrustaGran.
Different types of frozen feed (midge larvae, artemia) Dennerle Algae Wafers, fresh vegetables (spinach, courgettes) Dennerle Catappa Leaves or herbs (stinging nettles) should be added to the diet on a regular basis as supplements and to provide a touch of variety.
Like all crustaceans, shrimps continue to grow throughout their lives. They thus moult at regular intervals, in order to discard their old shells which have become too small for them. As the body is very soft and extremely vulnerable during moulting, they withdraw to the safety of a hideout. After a few days the new shell has hardened and the shrimps return to their normal lives.
The most popular varieties
"Crystal Red" bee shrimp, Caridina cf. cantonensis
The “Crystal Red” is the acknowledged king of the dwarf shrimps, its brilliant red shell adding a striking and attractive dash of colour to any nano aquarium.
Tiger shrimp, Caridina cf. cantonensis
The “Blue Tigers” are among the most popular members of this highly colourful shrimp variety. The unusual blue colouring lends them a particularly bizarre appearance.
Bumble Bee Shrimp, Caridina breviata
The Bumble Bee Shrimp is easily confused with the Bee Shrimp, but it lacks the latter’s orange colouring. An extremely gregarious shrimp variety.
White Pearl Shrimp, Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis
The snow-white eggs of this transparent shrimp variety look like tiny pearls.
While one generation of eggs develops in the belly, the next generation is already evolving in the neck area (egg spot).
Red Fire, Red Cherry Shrimp, Neocaridina heteropod
The Red Fire Shrimp lacks the white component of the above-stated Crystal Red Bee Shrimp. The intensive red colouring of this highly fertile shrimp can be teased out to even greater effect with carotenoid-rich feed.
All the above-stated shrimp varieties require roughly the same habitat conditions:
Temperature: 18-26 °C, ideally 20-23 °C
KH: 3-12 °d
Aquarium size: At least 10 l
Fire Shrimp, Caridina spec.
The fire shrimp is considered one of the most attractive fresh water shrimps belonging to the Caridina genus. The fire shrimp has only recently been discovered. It lives in Lake Matano on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. As a rock dweller it spends most of its life between and under the rocks.
The lake has a high water quality, clear and with low nutrient content. The water values do not fluctuate to any substantial degree.
Required habitat conditions:
Temperature: 27-29 °C
KH: 7-9 °d
Aquarium size: At least 10 l
DENNERLE SPONSORS THE SPECIES NAME FOR THE CARDINAL SHRIMP, WHICH HAS ONLY JUST BEEN DESCRIBED SCIENTIFICALLY.
At the museum for natural history at Humboldt University, the systemic biologists - the "surveyors of nature" as it were - describe new species (taxonomy), their family relationships (systematics), their geographical distribution and their ecology, in taxonomic and systematic research projects.
Dennerle supports them in this work true to the motto "experience nature" and in return sponsors the species name for the cardinal shrimp, which has only just been described scientifically. In memory of the spiritual father of natural aquatics, Ludwig Dennerle, it has the scientific species name "Caridina dennerli".
Shrimps react very sensitively to extreme or sudden changes in water values, Dennerle thus recommends the following procedure in order to acclimatise shrimps gently to their new habitat:
Transfer the shrimps together with the water from the transport bag to a large, clean bucket. Caution: Some shrimp varieties are good jumpers – for safety’s sake, cover the bucket with a cloth.
Add 1/4 litre of aquarium water every 10-15 minutes over approx. 2 hours or use an air hose to drip-feed the water into the bucket.
The final ratio of transport water to aquarium water should be around 1:3.
After acclimatising the shrimps in this way, carefully transfer them to the aquarium with a net.