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Sulawesi Series: Caridina Spongicola

Posted by Demin Wong on
Sulawesi Series: Caridina Spongicola

Hello guys, today we come to episode two of the Sulawesi series, where I will be introducing my favourite Caridina Spongicola a.k.a Celebes Beauty a.k.a Harlequin shrimp. Sulawesi shrimp have been in the market for many years, which could be the reason why they are termed differently in different countries.

Caridina Spongicola are one of the smallest Sulawesi shrimp species that you can find. The maximum size that they grow to is about 1.6cm and they carry about 9-12 eggs each time. They also tend to be more sensitive to changes in water parameters. I notice that whenever we transport the shrimps, several deaths do occur. Water changes have to be done very gradually to prevent huge change in parameters which can cause shock to them.


The appearance of the shrimp is what always amazes me, it’s purplish red defined stripes on the white carapace makes it so beautiful, they are often mistaken for saltwater shrimps. Like all Sulawesi shrimp, these species are also very shy, and they mostly go into hiding. The best food source for them would be algae or powder food.

No special care is required when the eggs are hatched. Shrimplets will roam around freely grabbing whatever they can to eat. Here are the parameters that we keep these shrimps at.

pH: 7.5-8.5

TDS: 90-110 (With RODI water)

gH: 3-5


Interestingly, these shrimps are often mistaken for another species Caridina Woltereckae. The two shrimps look extremely similar with slight difference. Caridina Spongicola exhibit more intense color and defined pattern while the other shows weaker coloration and grow bigger in size. Caridina Woltereckae can reach up to 1.8cm carrying more eggs. The two shrimps are both found in Lake Towuti, but Caridina Spongicola are mostly found around the shore of the lake. A very good write up of these two shrimps can be found here.

This shrimp is not recommended for beginners, they require a lot of care and observation, but once in a stable tank, the shrimps will start breeding like crazy!


If you like to take a look at the actual shrimp, you can head down to Aquatic Avenue or Wildboar Fishroom. Otherwise, we will be more than happy to have you at our crib. For export or local distribution, you can reach me at

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