Introduction To Crystal Red Shrimp
The Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS), which is also sometimes known as Red bee shrimp, is always a beautiful complement to any small planted tank. It has beautiful candy cane striped color making it one of the most sought shrimp in the freshwater aquarium hobby. The crystal Red shrimp resulted from the mutation of a bee shrimp and its grading system is similar to that of the red sherry shrimp. The different grades in the crystal red shrimp are as a result of selective breeding which makes them more valuable in the hobby. There have also been cases of the crystal red shrimp eating their exoskeleton(molten shell), dead fish inverts and live worms.
Food & Diet For Crystal Red Shrimp
Crystal red shrimp love to feed on algae just like other shrimp. They ideally eat detritus worms, hair algae, and sometimes BGA(blue green algae). In a well-established aquarium crystal red shrimp needs not many additives to their feeding regiment since they are purely scavengers in the wild. Crystal red shrimp can be very sensitive to water conditions. In this consideration there are specific pre-made foods different from other popular brands like Mosura, Shirakula, Tantora, and Biomax that neither changes nor affects the water parameters severely. It is also an option to use a feeding dish to moderate the feeding and this way excess ammonia buildup from decaying food can be avoided.
Sexing Crystal Red Shrimp
One can only distinguish the males and females of crystal red shrimp upon reaching adult size. the solid coloration that both sexes have makes it impossible to use the typical saddle feature of female red bee shrimps. However there exist key indicators that you can use to distinguish your shrimp’s sex. For instance the female CRS are larger in size by 10-30% than the adult males. The females also have a larger abdomen area compared to the males.
Crystal Red Shrimp Breeding
The breeding method of the Crystal Red shrimp is more or less the same as that of Red Sherry shrimp. It takes more care and attention to keep them happy for optimal breeding but no necessarily as difficult as some tend to think. Crystal Red shrimp tends to breed better in neutral to slightly acidic water PH. They also breed better when doing water changes with R/O water. Maintaining the water temperature below 21.1 Celsius (70 F) also promotes optimal breeding conditions. An aquarium holding 10 gallons and a few Crystal red shrimp will get you started in breeding a colony.
When the breeding conditions are met the female CRS begins to develop eggs under her saddle. At the time of laying eggs, she releases her pheromones alerting the males for fertilization. When the male catches the scent of the pheromones it becomes very active seeking out the female and thus the mating process begins. Upon completion of the mating process of the Crystal Red shrimp the female latches the fertilized eggs onto little fins under her tail and there she carries them until they are hatched.
The offspring of CRS appear as a minute version of their parents. Normally, until they are fully grown, one can neither tell their sex nor exact grading.
Sensitivity for Crystal Red shrimp
The high sensitivity of Crystal Red shrimp to water parameters resulted from severe inbreeding which creates higher grades of CRS. This increases their vulnerability to water parameters and diseases. For beginners in shrimp keeping, this is one of the most ignored requirements. Learning and comprehending how to maintain stable water parameters is vital to keeping any sensitive shrimp like red bee shrimp. Starting with a lesser delicate shrimp like Red Sherry shrimp is a better choice due to their hardiness and later proceed to upgrading to Crystal Red shrimp.
Crystal Red Shrimp for Sale and where to buy
You won’t find Crystal Red shrimp at your local pet store. They are ideally a finer grade than the Red Sherry shrimp , Ghost (glass) Shrimp and Amano Shrimp. They are mainly sold by specialty hobbyists, stores or small local fish stores. It’s also rare to find forums or places having Crystal red shrimp for sale. Prizes vary by the sellers, grades of the shrimp as well as shipping.