If you’re looking for a colorful addition to your shrimp tank, blue bolt shrimps might be the right choice.
This is a new species that has quickly gained popularity due to its striking blue color and mild temperament. However, it still isn’t as widespread as some other shrimp types, which is why many people are wondering about blue bolt shrimp care and other facts about this unique invertebrate.
What are blue bolt shrimp like? Are they difficult to care for? We’ve gathered this and all other information you might need if you plan to keep blue bolt shrimp.
Let’s get started!
Quick Notes about Blue Bolt Shrimp
Caridina cf. cantonensis, known by its common name blue bolt shrimp or blue Taiwan bee, is an artificially bred type of Taiwan bee shrimp. It is a morph of several species, such as golden bee shrimp, crystal black shrimp, and crystal red shrimp.
As they are created by artificial insemination, this means that you cannot find blue bolt shrimp in nature.
Due to their small size, they make a great addition to most freshwater tanks – provided the environment and tank mates are suitable.
However, they aren’t the easiest shrimp when it comes to care, which makes them not the best choice for people with little experience in keeping shrimp.
Blue Bolt Shrimp Appearance
As its name suggests, this is a blue-colored shrimp. The exact shade might vary, and this is how you’ll know whether you have a high-grade or a low-grade shrimp.
A general rule is that a low-grade shrimp will have lots of splotches of various shades of blue. You might even notice a small presence of white color. Regular grade shrimp will mostly be even in color, but there will be some darker or lighter spots, especially on their upper body.
High grade shrimp, on the other hand, will be even in color. Bright, sky blue shade is the most prized one, and these shrimp can be very rare – and expensive.
Due to its color and size, it is often confused with other blue caridina types, such as blue tiger shrimp or steel blue shrimp. It also looks similar to blue pearl shrimp, but the biggest difference is in their size, as blue bolt shrimp is a bit larger.
In fact, while the average size of a blue bolt shrimp is around 1 inch, they can reach a max size of 1.5 inches, which is more than many other freshwater dwarf shrimp species. Female shrimp tends to be larger than male ones, and looking at their size is the easiest way to sex them.
Blue Bolt Shrimp Temperament
Even among caridina species, blue bolt shrimp has rather unique behavioral patterns.
First of all, this isn’t a nocturnal shrimp. While it is true that they are more active during night time, you’ll still be able to see them during day time, something that is quite rare among dwarf shrimp.
Secondly, they lack social structure. This means that there is no dominant shrimp inside the colony.
As such, it’s no surprise that this isn’t an aggressive species. Blue bolt shrimp aren’t territorial and they won’t fight their tank mates.
Also, they are very social and will enjoy the company of other shrimp and even some fish.
Blue bolt shrimp are crustaceans. This means they’ll regularly shed their exoskeleton as they grow larger in size. This is a process known as molting.
Once the molting process is done, the shrimp will leave its molt behind. This will make it seem as if you have a dead shrimp floating in the water.
Many people think they have a dead shrimp, when, in fact, all they’re observing is a shrimp molt.
The length of a molting process highly depends on the shrimp’s age. Juvenile shrimp will molt much more often as they are growing faster. You might even find a new molt every week!
Adult blue bolt shrimp, on the other hand, will usually molt once a month.
A shrimp that is molting might appear lethargic. You might even think it is sick. However, it is of extreme importance not to touch a molting shrimp.
Shrimp are extremely vulnerable at this time, and their immune system is low. If you disturb them, they might get hurt or even die.
Trust the process and don’t remove a shrimp just because you suspect it to be sick. In fact, you shouldn’t remove the old molt from the tank, either.
Molts are full of calcium and other beneficial minerals. Shrimp will love to munch on it, and they’ll experience many benefits from it.
How Do You Care for Blue Bolt Shrimp?
Blue bolt shrimp is a unique and gorgeous shrimp, but it does have some difficult care requirements. This means it isn’t the best choice for beginners.
In general, blue bolt shrimp doesn’t require any different care than other caridina types. However, this can still be a challenge for someone with little or no experience. This is likely the main reason why this species isn’t as widespread as some other shrimps.
This is what you’ll need if you plan on keeping blue bolt shrimp:
Feeding is likely the easiest part of blue bolt shrimp care.
Just like most other freshwater shrimp, blue bolt shrimps are scavengers and omnivores. Their diet mostly consists of biofilm and algae, but they’ll gladly munch on dead plants and even their own molt.
This also means that they are more than capable of finding food on their own.
Still, you should still feed them from time to time. There are many types of food in the market, such as shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and even bee pollen. Generally, any food suitable for freshwater shrimp will be suitable for them.
Make sure the food you feed them is rich in calcium and other beneficial minerals. Provide them with supplements, if necessary.
How Often Do You Feed Blue Bolt Shrimp?
When it comes to the feeding schedule, it all depends on the age of your shrimp colony.
If you have a tank full of adult shrimp, you should feed them no more than once every 2-3 days. However, if you own juvenile shrimp, feed them daily. Young shrimp require more food than adults.
One thing where many inexperienced aquarium enthusiasts go wrong is leaving leftovers inside the tank. Never allow uneaten shrimp food to stay inside the tank for more than a few hours.
Blue bolt shrimp are sensitive to overfeeding. While they won’t get overweight like many other animals, overfeeding is bad for many reasons.
First off, overfeeding will foul the tank. Sure, shrimp are scavengers, but even they have their limitations. A foul tank won’t have stable water parameters. As blue bolt shrimp are sensitive, this will certainly kill your shrimp. An entire colony might be at risk!
Not just that, but overfeeding can cause bacteria and parasites. The most prominent parasite is scutariella japonica, but many more can endanger your shrimp. This includes:
- Green fungus
In fact, the diseases these parasites cause are the main reason for death when it comes to dwarf shrimp species.
To prevent this from happening, give your shrimp an amount of food that won’t last more than 3-4 hours. If you notice any food leftovers after this, take them out of the tank.
Water Quality and Parameters
While blue bolt shrimp require fresh water, don’t attempt to keep them in tap water. They are rather sensitive and require strict water quality in order to survive.
As such, it’s essential to stick to the following parameters to avoid health problems and even death.
Unlike many other shrimp, blue bolt shrimp prefer cooler water instead of warmer one. While you can be flexible when it comes to temperature, they thrive in water no colder than 68F but no warmer than 72F.
When it comes to water acidity, stick to pH levels of 6.0 – 6.8.
As for hardiness, your KH should be between 0 and 2, and GH should be between 3 and 6.
Of course, cycling your tank before you introduce your shrimp to a new home is essential – but you are probably already aware of that.
Even if you realize your parameters are a bit off, don’t make sudden changes. Shrimp can easily die of shock. Instead, be gentle and make subtle changes until you’ve reached amazing water quality.
Speaking of water quality, always use RO/DI water. This is the only way you can ensure the water is free from harmful minerals.
Unfortunately, RO/DI water lacks all beneficial minerals, as well. You’ll need to re-introduce them to the tank. My advice is to use salty shrimp GH plus products. They are an affordable yet effective way to add healthy minerals and ensure proper water parameters.
What Size Tank Do Blue Shrimp Need?
Due to their small size, blue shrimp require little room. However, this doesn’t mean you should allow them to be crowded. Just like most other dwarf shrimp, it is a good idea to keep them in 10-gallon tanks.
Tanks of this size allow shrimp to roam freely. Also, they are large enough to help you keep your water parameters stable. Any mistake you might make won’t cause as much harm to a larger tank as it might to a smaller one.
As blue bolt shrimp are so sensitive, you need to be very careful about the type of substrate you use. In theory, they can survive with any substrate. However, the only product you should use is an active substrate and a fertilizer.
Active substrates help balance the pH levels of the water. They’ll lower the pH levels of more acidic water and ensure your shrimp always have the best living conditions.
It is recommended to always have filters, no matter what type of animal you’re keeping inside your aquarium.
Some experts might argue that heavily planted tanks don’t require any filters. Plants add oxygen to the water, which will help your shrimp survive.
However, as blue bolt shrimp require stable water parameters, I would say that having filters is a must. This will lower the chances of poor water quality.
While all filters will do a good job, using filters with a sponge is the safest option. They will keep your water clean without endangering tiny shrimp.
Even when you have a filter, it would be wise to change about 30% of water each week. This will ensure your shrimp is in a healthy environment.
Blue bolt shrimp will love decoration! They love to have some hiding places, especially vulnerable baby shrimp.
It doesn’t really matter what type of decoration you use. These shrimp will love it all! From small pipes to rocks and stones, everything that is a great place to hide will do a good job.
Also, don’t worry if the decoration hides most of the light. Shrimp feel the safest in the dark, so they won’t mind it.
You can also use live plants as decoration. In the wild, plants create most of the biofilm shrimp eat. They will be a fine addition to any tank.
Suitable Tank Mates
Blue bolt shrimp are rather peaceful inverts. They won’t bother any companions you might give them.
Also, as they are not as shy as many other shrimp species, they are less likely to be stressed out by having many tank mates.
However, due to their small size, larger fish might hurt or eat them. To avoid this from happening, you might prefer to keep them with other dwarf shrimp, such as blue pearl shrimp or crystal red shrimp.
Smaller fish with calm temperaments might also be a good choice. Guppies, rasboras, and ember tetras might do well with these little creatures.
They’ll also do well with snails, such as ramshorn snails, black devil snails, or nerite snails. In fact, snails can be very beneficial to shrimp as they can help keep the tank clean and balanced.
Just be careful, as both snails and shrimp can breed very fast. Your tank can quickly become too crowded!
Blue Bolt Shrimp Breeding
If their environment is suitable, blue bolt shrimp can breed rather fast. They become mature when they are about 3-4 months old, and their gestation period is around 30 days.
Female shrimp will molt right before mating, after which they’ll attract males by releasing specific chemicals into the water.
Each female will lay around 30 eggs that she’ll carry beneath her tail. Once the baby shrimp are ready, she’ll release them. These tiny shrimp will look just like their parents but with a more faint color. Don’t worry – they’ll become more opaque with age.
Will Blue Bolt Shrimp Breed with Crystal Red Shrimp?
Most caridina species can breed among themselves. This includes the blue bolt and crystal red shrimp.
Their offspring will likely be a shadow or a panda morph, depending on the parent’s genetics, and the later color will depend on further breeding. Descendants with more blue bolt shrimp blood will likely be bluer, while the offspring that keeps on mating with crystal red shrimp will be redder in shade.
Such breeding won’t harm the shrimp or the offspring. However, as the new shrimp generations will likely become more diluted in color, this isn’t a common practice.
Blue Bolt Shrimp Price
This isn’t an affordable shrimp. While the exact price might vary from seller to seller, they are on the pricier side of the range.
Their price is usually determined by their color. In general, better opacity means a higher price tag.
They are usually sold while very young, as younger shrimps will acclimate to your tank easier than larger ones. However, this also means you cannot breed them the moment you get them.
Despite their price range, they are very desired shrimp and many enthusiasts will gladly be on the waitlist to order them. This isn’t really a surprise. Once you see how beautiful they are, it’s easy to forget their price.
Are Blue Bolt Shrimp Hard To Keep?
To conclude: Yes, blue bolt shrimp can be tricky to keep. However, they aren’t the most sensitive shrimp out there, and most people can get by with some patience and trial and error.
As long as you can provide them with great water quality and stable parameters, you can ensure they’ll live long and happy lives.
Overfeeding is the main cause of death in blue bolt shrimp, so be careful about their feeding schedule!
If you can handle these few tasks, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful freshwater shrimp species out there.
Hi fellow aquarists, I’m Ava and I’ve been an enthusiastic aquarium hobbyist for over four years now.
I’ve been amazed by these beautiful creatures since I was a kid and I’m thrilled to be sharing everything I’ve learned over the years with anyone who’s as passionate about the topic as I am.