Crystal red shrimp constitute the major portion of dwarf shrimp hobby trends of the contemporary world. These fascinating creatures sweep the aquatic enthusiasts and hobbyists off their feet with their bright red and white coloration. Undoubtedly, these vibrant creations of Mother Nature are bound to have humans in their spell.
These red crystal shrimp is selectively bred from the humble Bee shrimp. However, these shrimps would find themselves better in the hands of professional hobbyists as they have extreme water sensitivity and thus, might not be a suitable call for beginners.
Managing an aquarium that hosts a crystal red species is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. This is similar to an art that has to be mastered over the years, by handing different other and less complex species of shrimps. The user must always keep the ammonia and nitrate level of the water under his radar and ensure that it is always close to the zero boundary level.
All those years of hard work and skills earned with small size tanks and normal varieties of species would bear their most delicious fruit when the user gets his first glimpse of this marvelous creation of the universe – the crystal red shrimp. The way they slowly move through the gravels like a slow aquatic cleanup crew is a sight to sore eyes that must never be missed.
About Crystal Red Shrimp
The bee shrimp and the crystal red are of the same species. The latter one with some color modifications gives us the popularly demanded red crystal shrimp. This phenomenon has been developed over several years of time, hats off to the amount of dedication and patience of all the hobbyists who worked on bringing this divine creature into existence.
This process is similar to the way guppies, bettas and several other acclaimed varieties of fishes come into existence.
COMMON NAMES: CRYSTAL RED SHRIMP
DISTRIBUTION: IT IS A BRED VARIANT OF BEE SHRIMPS.
Today’s world needs the best of everything – the best car, the best house, the best of whatever exists. And this greed keeps expanding on and on and here we are, discussing the best variety of shrimp. But still, there is a level of filtration that separates and tags the best of the best shrimps.
The CRS Shrimp is graded on a scale of quality denoted as C, B, A, S, SS and SSS where the tripe-S stands to represent the finest shrimp. This grading system is based on the coloration of the shrimp. Some might not have deep and dark repigmentation on their scales and they might not be as attractive as those with a bright vibrant glow.
The grading system also considers the distribution of markings and other respective qualities, which itself can be a very subjective topic. Generally, a crystal red shrimp with more white and more opaque coloration falls into a higher grade.
They are also selectively bred into many different color patterns, to give different shades of red, each with a different intensity and unique beauty. Online sites that breed and sell shrimps, especially such exotic varieties would definitely have the scale of grade uploaded on their websites along with the parameters used to judge them.
Caring of the Crystal Red
As already discussed above, this species of shrimp is not a beginner’s piece. Considering its exotic nature, one can very well understand that this is not something to experiment and play around with. Of course, that’s what hobbyists do, but that happens on a professional level.
Hardiness: Medium to difficult
Lifespan: 1-2 years in captivity
Maximum length: Up to 1.2″ (3 cm)
Minimum tank size: 5-gallon fish tank
Water temperature: 68-78 °F
pH: 5.8 – 6.8
DH: 3 – 6
This crystal red shrimp is an extremely water-sensitive creature. Yellow shrimps, on the other hand, are partially immune to environmental changes but this immunity to saves the shrimp only for a very short duration of time.
If such things happen out in the sea, then that would not be under the control of anyone. The strongest one loves and the others perish – The survival of the fittest! That has how evolution has been working for almost several million years and it is a well-realized that life is not always fair to everyone.
Nevertheless, since CRS Shrimp bred for the sole sake of humanity, they don’t have to face the adverse extremes of the natural environment. So, what has been done for us becomes our responsibility and this responsibility must be taken very seriously with them as they cannot withstand changes at all.
If in case there is a little drop in temperature or the pH of the water becomes slightly more or less than the optimum feel, then you may as well bid adieu to your shrimp.
Thus hobbyists have to be spot on with their attention towards the maintenance of the aquarium conditions and make sure there are no ammonia or nitrite residues left in the tank; else the consequences would definitely be fatal. So, conduct proper water tests before you bring in your colony of shrimps into the tank.
Suitable Conditions for the Survival of Crystal Red Shrimp
Alkaline to neutral media would be the best conditions for your shrimp to prevail without any discomforts or life threats. This is because the shells of the shrimps are made up of basic compounds which start corroding in acidic medium.
More specifically, pH ranges between 6.4 and 6.8 are the best for red crystal shrimp. If you notice the shrimps trying to brush things off their bodies, it is a clear indicator that the pH has changed and the medium has become a little too acidic for the shrimps to thrive.
Few other important parameters that should be monitored are:
GH: General Hardness 3 ~ 6dH
KH: Carbonate Hardness 0 ~ 2dH
NH3: Ammonia 0ppm
NO2: Nitrite 0ppm
NO3: Nitrate < 15ppm
TDS: (Total Dissolved Solids) 90-120
The levels of total dissolved solids in the waters of the aquarium are often overlooked by the hobbyists. The perfect all the other parameters but fail to monitor this one. This happens very often, and the hobbyists would be left with no clue when the shrimps start dying.
Nitrogenous wastes turn toxic when the level of total dissolved solids in the water exceed 150 PPM and the pH lies in a higher range. To avoid this confusion, it is better to possess a TDS meter so that a close watch can be kept on the number of dissolved substances in the tank
Maintenance of the Aquarium Hosting the CRS Shrimp
Crystal red shrimp are real bummers. The amount of maintenance job that has to be done to sustain them for a longer period of time is immense. Even the smallest changes in the environment cause a significant drag in their metabolism, directly affecting its health. So, it is advised to change at least about 30% of the water in the tank every week.
Yes, that’s right – every week. This process becomes even more complicated because you cannot just simply pull out some pails from the tank and replace them with new fresh pails of water. You need to ensure that the water which will be filled in is chlorine-free, properly aerated, of the right pH and also check its compatibility with the other important parameters.
The complications aren’t yet over. Even though all the parameters are right but you fill the water in a hurry, then this will lead to temperature shocks and other potential problems which again lead to fatal side effects. So, maintaining a red crystal shrimp is nothing close to having a usual pet.
Diet and Other Supplements Required for the Existence of Crystal Red
What is the best way to know that your shrimp is healthy? In its fullest form, crystal red shrimp will always be on the move, looking for food on the bottom of your shrimp tank. They also clean up the leftover particles that the other residents leave behind in the tank.
If your shrimp sits still at a particular corner or moves hardly or in a lethargic manner, then it is a definite sign that your waters need a check.
Yes, they are good cleaners as they scavenge a lot. But apart from that, just like all living beings, they also demand a properly varied diet. These species of shrimps are omnivorous in nature, but the vegetable-rich diet would make them stay in their pink of health.
One of their favorites of all time – The moss is sure to keep them healthy and happy. As we say, a happy mind makes a happy body. Hobbyists act a little smart and creative and insert clumps of moss in the tank so that there will be no food issue round the clock. Of course they keep scavenging the bottoms, but still, it can never be as good as a full-tummy meal.
The red crystal shrimp diet is almost similar to that of a dwarf shrimp. These omnivorous creatures spend most of their time foraging and eating anything they can find in the aquarium. They also feed on aufwuchs or periphytons from time to time.
This is a necessary part of their diet as the aquarium environment in which they exist is too clean to contain enough food to sustain them and thus such additional food supplies are also required.
So the CRS shrimp live in a very critical environment where if they are not very clean and hygienic, they perish and as they are very clean and hygienic, they need such extra supplies to keep them from perishing.
Timely Feeding of the Red Crystal Shrimp
It is more than enough if your shrimps are fed once a day. They are incapable of completing their meals fully, and hence the leftover particulates settle at the bottom of the tank. By feeding on these leftover matters and other particulates is how the shrimps spend most of the time.
However, it is advised to change the feeding frequency often. As these shrimp are omnivorous species, they seem to accept a wide variety of food. Shrimp food could also be given sometime which is the actual staple food that must be given, although, considering the economic factors and other food favorites of the crystal red shrimp, we settle with other alternatives.
But shrimp food must be given at least once every week as they contain the necessary supplements. Blanched vegetables and bloodworms could also be a treat to these wonders of nature. But again, remember to feed them only when it is time and feed them the right quantity.
Never try to offer them more than what is prescribed and if something like that happens accidentally, then make sure your clear the uneaten stuff because they might potentially mess up the standard of the water. Algae are yet another favorite meal for the colony of these shrimps. But too much of algal containment in the aquarium is not good for the colony of the most exotic variety of shrimps.
Other Things to Note About the Crystal Red Shrimp
Three is a company, four is a crowd. This idiom literally applies to the case of crystal red shrimp in the aquarium. Any more than three in the tank would lead to maintenance issues and competition for light, space, and food.
Like all dwarf shrimp, crystal red is quite vulnerable and shouldn’t be combined with any but the most peaceful tank mates. Most shrimp keepers actually choose to set up a crystal red only tank, especially for higher and more expensive grades.
But you could add on other compatible shrimp species or harmless tank mates like snails. But always remember; don’t overcrowd the tank as this particular species of shrimp is highly sensitive to changes in its surroundings.