The Blue shrimp swimming in your aquarium is a vibrant turquoise crustacean that catches an unavoidable view.

The emerald eyes with the stunning transparent blue manifestation of the blue velvet shrimp make the aquarists crazy to have them in their aquarium.

These are amazing decorative creatures with unique characteristics and some of the most harmless aquatic pets you can go for. This tiny creature can easily adjust in usual tanks with other pets sharing the place and glows distinctively.

Primarily belonging to the same species Neocaridina Davidi it has proactively formed variations of colors such as Red, blue, Yellow, Green, Violet, etc. The red cherry shrimp is a popular choice.

Our expert team of fish fanciers has gathered helpful information about the blue velvet shrimp, briefing out the complete care guide for the tank setup, nutrition, breeding abilities, and some other interesting facts.

Read Further About Blue Shrimp

Species Details.
Scientific Name Neocaridina Davidi
Other Common Names Velvet Blue Shrimp, Blue Jelly Shrimp, Dream Blue Velvet Shrimp
Family Atyidae
Source Eastern China
Max Age Two years
Length 1.6 inches
Type Freshwater
Color Translucent Blue

Source Connection, Distribution

Also known as the blue cherry shrimp, these are found to be originated in the fresh waters of east China. They usually dwell in the rivers, streams, and ponds around the rigid substrate and natural greens.

From China, the shrimp reached the neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Taiwan and Japan, and later in the global society, it is made available in almost every part of the World.

The first evidence of the blue shrimp was found in the last decade of the 20th century, around 1991. But it was popularized for petting around 2003.

Multiple researched content floating provides proof about the origin of this shrimp from the interbreeding of red rili shrimp with the blue dream or carbon rili.

Note: Although these theories contradict each other in some way, the theorists conclusively advise not to put two different color shrimps for a crossbreed as it may result in wild colorless produce.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Care Guide
Blue Velvet Shrimp Care Guide

Maximum Size of the Shrimp

The average length of the shrimp depends on the care given to its parents before breeding and to the offspring after hatching.

With minute observational changes in average size, this blue water shrimp is seen to reach a length of 3 to 4 centimeters.

There might be a slight difference among the length of shrimps breeding in different zones around the World.

Coloration & Appearance

The first and foremost thing to notice in the blue shrimp is the glassy body in blue shade, which looks attractive in its way.

Like any other shrimp, they also hold a pair of maxillipeds with six legs. The long-moving antennas on the head with antennules help to sense the prey.

The eyes are protruding outwards on the top, while the whole body is thinner towards the end with a fanning tail and thicker at the stomach portion with flattened sideways.

They usually prefer to stay at the bottom near the substrate where its tail keeps the shrimp balanced in the water, while a uropod at its end allows forward and backward movements with the help of the abdomen.

Note: Species like blue dream shrimp appear from frequent hybridization and crossbreed, which leads to bright coloration. The color gets resemblance due to the mixture of chromatophore cells such as erythrophores for red, iridophores for blue, etc.

Blue Velvet Shrimp - Care Manual
Image Credit: pixabay.com

Lifespan

These shrimps have an average lifespan of 1 – 2 years, observed in a closed environment. This is the average age of the blue shrimp, which may die early if proper care is not provided.

These shrimps living in the wild may extend their life to a few more months, but there are rare chances as they are fast food for predators.

Gendering

It is easy to distinguish the males from females of the blue velvet. Scientists and experienced breeders have deduced a few notable features that are prominently noticed.

  • Males are smaller in size than females.
  • Males appear with low color intensity.
  • Females have a bulging curved abdomen area while males have a flat line.
  • The tail of the male shrimp is thinner than the female.
  • The translucent female shrimp’s body displays the unfertilized eggs (yellow or green) behind the head.
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Quick Tip: When they reach their maturity level, the female shrimps form the ovarian eggs on their back. This helps breeders identify the breeding season of the shrimp. It is known as saddle and is visible in yellowish color.

Selling Price and Availability

Originating from China, these blue velvet shrimps traveled in the hands of the breeders to reach other neighboring countries and got famous because of their thrilling colorful display.

They are readily available in other parts of the World, including America, Australia, and Europe.

They can best be purchased from online vendors to get quality-approved specimens with different colors in the same variant.

These are readily available, and depending upon the local prices, which may vary, the average cost of the blue shrimp is around 5$ to 6$.

Exclusive Care Guide

Quick Care Sheet
Care Level Elementary
Social Friendly
Temperament Peaceful
Diet Omnivore
Breeding Straightforward
Size 2 inches
Color Variations Similar variants have yellow, violet, red, green, chocolate, black, white.
Shrimp Colors Care Guide
Shrimp Colors Care Guide

Diet

Feeding the blue velvet shrimps is manageable as they welcome everything from the table. Yes, these are omnivores creatures but prefer a green diet.

These are natural scavengers and usually, stay around the bottom of the water to find their food.

So while searching for algae and biofilms, they do not leave out the leftover dead meat vegetable pieces if placed in a tank.

If you are petting the blue velvet in a tank, make sure not to overfeed them. Providing food items once in two days is more than sufficient for them, and remember to put the uneaten food from the tank to prevent water contamination.

Like other crustaceans, the blue velvet shrimp go through the molting process, where the exoskeleton gets replaced. The dwarf blue shrimp quickly consume the removed skin as it is rich in proteins.

Here are some most suitable food items that you can use to feed your shrimp.

  • Algae
  • Biofilm
  • Flakes (Shrimps, Algae)
  • Detritus
  • Pellets (Algae-based)
  • Spirulina
  • Green Vegetables like lettuce, zucchini, broccoli (preferably boiled)

Pro Tip: Strictly avoid copper sulfate content from the feed as it is dangerous for shrimp’s health, and an excess amount of it can kill them too.

Behavior

These are simple creatures floating swiftly in the nicked space and are pretty peaceful. The blue velvet shrimp is considered one of the most suitable aquatic pets to adjust with their tank mates.

They are usually seen in groups (until it is a single shrimp in the tank) and interact in a friendly manner to move together to the same bush or hole where they can hide.

As a favorite pastime, they are mostly seen scavenging at the substrate level to find their food and otherwise hiding somewhere.

After the molting process, when the skin sheds as an exoskeleton and the shrimp becomes vulnerable, it goes into its hidden space till the skin recovers.

Breeding

Breeding blue shrimp is one of the most accessible jobs for breeders as they do not pose any troubles or particular conditions that are to be followed necessarily.

Mating

To begin with, the mating process, as a recommendation, the mating process keeps a fresh tank for the pair and fills it with normal water parameters. Induce the couple into the tank and wait for them to settle down comfortably.

Since the females are already mature to reproduce, which can be confirmed by the visibility of ovarian eggs at the back, they will release pheromones to indicate the males.

The males show some drift movements around the females and the couple mate.

Fertilization

The eggs are formed after mating and stay attached to the females’ belly till they are unfertilized. As the sperms from the males reach the females, the eggs get deposited under the belly.

The eggs get spread with the help of pleopods. And these legs or pleopods constantly move to keep the eggs clean and oxygenated. These eggs are now fertilized and will stay attached under the stomach till it gets hatched.

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Author Note: This is a crucial moment as the breeders need to monitor the environmental conditions. Shrimps that are spawning for the first time may unusually judge the situation to be stressful may release the unfertilized eggs from the body.

Hatching

The eggs get fertilized as they pass out from the ovaries and may take about 15 to 20 days for hatching. As the time comes closer, the color of the eggs starts darkening to display eyespots of the baby shrimp.

The young ones are 1mm long, similar to the parents, and begin their life on the branches or rocks feeding over biofilms. There are five development stages of a larva.

Fact: These females that carry eggs are called berried and can hold up to 1500 to 14000 eggs

Health Conditions

Blue shrimps are robust crustaceans that do not easily get affected by food or water conditions to carry health troubles. They stay fit and fine even in extreme situations, and that is why these are comfortable pet solutions.

The only thing to mark for the shrimp’s safety is to protect them from the copper content in the water. The copper or copper sulfate is highly detrimental to the shrimp’s health.

You can install quality water purifiers capable of removing such minerals from the water. Any medicine for other fishes or food particles may also have copper content on it, so make sure to remove it from the tank.

Tank Care Guide

Tank Specification
Capacity 35 to 40 Litres
Water Temperature 57 to 84 F
Hardness 0 to 8 KH
Light Normal lighting
pH Level 6.5 to 8
TDS 150 to 200
Tank Water Quality Normal water
Nitrate level Below 20ppm
Substrate Pebbles, small rock pieces
Blue Velvet Shrimp Tank Parameters
Blue Velvet Shrimp Tank Parameters

Ideal Tank Size

The blue shrimps are ready to move in a minimum size tank as they are too small and adjustable.

However, the ideal tank size recommended by experts is about 10 gallons, which would suit them to thrive and breed.

More giant tanks can be hectic for keepers to clean or change the water and even tiresome to create artificial conditions for breeding in an ample space.

But it is always safe to provide an average of 10 Gallon space per blue velvet shrimps with a nicely decorated environment to keep them stress-free.

Tank Setup

It is always beneficial to put some extra effort into designing and decorating the space in the tank. It gives the animal a natural and calm environment and lets accessible adjustments.

Plants

Natural plants are one of the favorite places of blue velvet shrimps as most of their time is spent taking a cover from the leaves or nibbling them for algae and biofilms.

So do install some useful plants that grow well in size and extract nitrates from the water, which can be harmful. Some of the plants that you can choose are listed below.

  • Java Moss
  • Java Fern
  • Green Cabomba
  • Weeds
  • Anacharis

Lighting

These shrimps naturally avoid being in contact with direct lighting, and most of the day, they are seen grazing on the surface or under the trees.

But some amount of light is necessary to carry on a healthy living, while it also enables better growth of the biofilm and algae. So you can definitely put a small source of light into the tank.

Substrate

A good amount of substrate is necessary to enable multiple activities in the tank. In addition, with sand, you can include some pebbles with hard rocks into the shrimp tank.

Algae can quickly grow over the rock surface and also provide cave-like structures for the shrimps to get in and hide.

Oxygen & Water Filters

A water filter system could be helpful to maintain a healthy living space for the shrimps. You can use such methods to automatically remove the impurities from the water at a regular interval. At the same time, some of the models are capable enough to remove copper sulfate, which acts fatal to the shrimp.

The oxygenation system helps improve the oxygen level in the tank while keeping the shrimp calm and comfortable.

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Decoration & Design

Putting some extra items into the aquarium creates a soothing effect for the species and the home décor. Harmless objects without sharp edges can be installed to fill the space but do not completely cover the substrate as it is the source of algae and biofilm.

You may use some plastic pipes that also work as a cave. Driftwood or coconuts, along with other materials, can create something fancy.

Water Specifications

The most suitable part of having a blue shrimp is its adaptability to a wide range of water conditions.

It is seen that this shrimp comfortably thrives in higher temperatures and lower temperatures. However, at temperatures above 26 to 28 degrees Celsius, the metabolic activities stimulate at a higher pace, lowering the average age.

Keeping the blue velvet shrimp at 22 degrees Celsius is optimum for healthy life and metabolism.

The other parameters, such as pH level and water hardness, should also be maintained at a consistent point. Water hardness can be controlled anywhere between 0 to 8KH, and it can sustain in the pH range of 6.2 to 8 but prefer keeping it around 7.2.

Tankmate Compatibility

Blue shrimps are always harmonious, and they can peacefully survive with any other aquatic companion in a small or large space.

However, there is a contradiction to the statement. No matter how compatible these creatures are but live a vulnerable life at any point if there are potential predators in the same space.

Being short-sized shrimps, they quickly become food to a bit large fish. On many occasions, it is also noted that few smaller-sized fishes also attack them to which they cannot retaliate, resulting in losing a limb or two, and finally death.

The blue velvet shrimps should be kept far from cichlids and the Australian rainbow apart from the large fishes. These are small in size but can still kill the shrimps.

Avoid mates like Goldfish, Glo tetras, Bettas, Crayfish, Angelfish, Discus, Barbs, etc.

Suitable tank mates for this blue freshwater shrimp are listed below.

  • Harlequin Rasbora
  • Dwarf Corydoras
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Tetra (Ember, Neon, Cardinal)
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Guppies
  • Hillstream Loaches
  • Shrimps (Amano, Bamboo, Vampire, Ghost, Red Nose, Malawa)
  • Snails (Malaysian Trumpet, White Wizard, Mystery, Rabbit, Ramshorn)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are blue dream shrimps?

The blue dream shrimp or blue cherry shrimp are very similar to the blue velvet shrimp but majorly differ from it based on colors where the velvet shrimps have low coloration compared to the latter one.

Blue dream shrimps are produced from a crossbreed of blue velvet with red cherry shrimp and display a stunning bright blue coloration.

How much time does it take for a blue shrimp to get mature?

Blue shrimps are fast growers, and since they enjoy a short lifespan of approx. 1 to 2 years, begin their lifecycle at an early age.

This Blue Neocaridina shrimp is ready to reproduce after 12 weeks from birth, and studies have analyzed that 10 of these in a tank can turn up to 1000 within eight months.

Should you put a water heater in blue shrimp’s tank

The blue freshwater shrimp is hardy and comfortably sustains hot, cold, or warm temperatures. So, in that case, a water heater is usually not required as it can quickly adapt to the local conditions.

But in case the environment is too cold with a big difference between day and night, you can use a heater to maintain temperature consistency.

When should I consider cleaning my fish tank?

The blue shrimps do give a signal when they feel uncomfortable in the tank water. They start behaving proactively with continuous movements across the aquarium. Now is the time to replace the tank water.

It is generally advised to change one-third of the water twice a week, which keeps the freshness of water with higher oxygen levels.

How to feed a juvenile blue velvet shrimp?

It is equally essential to provide adequate food to the baby shrimps from the time they are born. Since these babies are too small, they cannot eat adult food at once because the food particles are bigger in size.

Instead, you can choose specially prepared baby food, available in the market, minutely crushed, and comfortable feeding.

Conclusive Statement

The blue shrimps are relatively seamless, making them an excellent choice for aquarists new to the hobby. It is one of those aquarium pets that don’t require considerable attention. With the ease of adjustment with a range of tank mates, these creatures also have high adaptability to the environment. Hence the keeper does not have to worry about maintaining supportive conditions.

These blue velvet shrimps are widely available in the global market with all the food accessories at the best prices. Whether for breeding or putting them as a floating emerald in your home aquarium, these shrimps are a must to get a chance.

About the Author

Victoria Lamb

Victoria is a freshwater aquatics specialist, fish keeper, and amphibian enthusiast. She has had more than 6 years of experience caring for aquariums and keeping several fish species, and her home boasts of 3 aquariums and a garden pond. Her goal is to educate fish owners on raising healthy and happy aquatic pets.

Career Highlights:

  • Has worked with several aquarium manufacturers as a consultant
  • Organized and hosted workshops on freshwater fish keeping at retail stores, educational facilities, and libraries
  • Released content for the amphibian community through her writings

Educational Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior and Welfare

  • University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK (2014-2018)

Writing Experience

Victoria has done ghostwriting for many aquarium and pet websites in the past. She has also worked for Canada's largest natural health magazine- ALIVE, with 300,000 monthly circulations as a freelancer. She had six published articles on animal behavior and welfare during her graduation for her thesis.

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