All you need to know about NEOCARIDINA

Have you heard that Neocaridina Davidi is the easiest shrimp to keep? But yet, you either have no success in breeding them or even have a hard time keeping them alive? Let us share with you today, all you need to know about Neocaridina. For those who have success in these shrimps, some information here might surprise you.

Neocaridina Davidi or commonly known as neo shrimps, is one that your local fish shop(LFS) would sell. They come in various colours which adds a lot of contrast to you tank. These beautiful shrimps are priced reasonably and gives you every reason to put them in your tank. So let’s find out more about them today with it’s history first.

History
Neocaridina in it’s wild form, has a pale brownish colour. They are usually caught in slow moving shallow streams. One Japanese hobbyist, through many years of selective breeding, had manage to breed one of it into a pale red colour, and named it cherry shrimps. Slowly, these cherry shrimps went into mass production and other hobbyist even refine the red to be more intense, calling them sakura shrimps, and eventually fire red.

These red shrimps sells for as high as $10SGD each and now, they are easily and readily available at only $2SGD. Red neos have contributed a huge portion into the shrimp economy. Early days, due to how fast these shrimps are able to breed, home breeders make good money out of them.

As the prices for these red shrimps have dropped drastically due to high supply, breeders have to start thinking of other ways to make these shrimps more lucrative. Breeders started to breed them selectively again and created new colours out of them.

The next colour that came out was golden back yellow shrimps. There is little information about where this shrimp came about, but breeders from Thailand created several good lineage of these shrimps. Soon, they were mass produced both in Thailand and Taiwan for commercial trade.

Yellow neos comes in two version, one with a golden line all the way from the head to tail, while the other is just one tone of yellow. They came out with two names to classify and grade them accordingly. The one with golden line is called Golden Back Yellow Shrimp while the other is just Yellow Shrimp. Golden backs fetch a higher price than the other and through my observations, they tend to be the most sensitive out of all the neo shrimps.

Eventually, more and more colours begin to surface in the market. The latest in trend now would be the Green Jade Neocaridina and they are extremely beautiful. Green Jades are a morph from blue neo shrimps which are usually mistaken for Indian Green shrimps(Caridina Babaulti).

Parameters
Neocaridina shrimps can live in a wide range of parameters. They are quick to adapt to different environment. A suitable range to keep them would be as follows:
pH: 6.2 – 7.5
gH: 3-6
kH: 0-4
TDS: 70-500
Temperature: 24-30 deg

Although they can live in different range of water, it would be good to acclimatise them properly before adding them into your tank. Neocaridina that are imported from Taiwan tend to live better in higher pH, probably due to the water conditions in where they are bred.

Neocaridina are bred in cement ponds over in Taiwan. The farms are usually situated at the southern side of Taiwan as they have better water and better weather there. I learnt from the farmers that the water comes from the natural spring around the area, the usual TDS that comes from it is about 300-400ppm. When it rains, it goes up to 500-600ppm.

Breeding
A good breeding ratio for these shrimps would be 1male to 3female. Having too many males in the tank will stress out the female during moulting and cause her to die. If you tank is small, it is always good to have some hiding space for shrimplets to hide. Neocaridina are a tad more aggressive than Caridina shrimps, which is why having some plants like ferns, or even driftwood would be good for them.

When the female is ready to breed, you can notice a yellowish colour right behind the head and it is term as a saddle. When the male successfully fertilise the saddle, the female will push it down to it’s belly and become eggs. The eggs will hatch approximately about 25-29 days depending on parameters.

Snowball shrimps are the only ones with white saddle and eggs

Once the shrimplets have hatched, don’t worry about them, they feed on microorganism that is in your tank. During this period, I would usually introduce powder food so my shrimplets get a fair share of the food as well. Shrimplets have difficulties fighting for food with adults, so powder food really helps in their growth rate.

Sexing
Sexing of these shrimps are the same as their Caridina cousins. Males usually have a thinner body as compared to females. Females usually have thicker body as they carry their eggs under their belly. Strangely, in Taiwan farms, the ratio of females is a lot more as compared to males. This makes it hard for hobbyist to purchase a male shrimp. Some hobbyist even sell the male shrimps at a premium price.

Overall, these are pretty easy to handle shrimps. Just keep them at the right parameters and let the tank do it’s job. Two important factor is to have a good bacteria colony and good aquarium substrate to buffer the water consistently. If you have any questions about these shrimps, feel free to email me at hello@madshrimp.com

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