If you have been looking for a bright critter to lighten up your aquarium, I’m happy to let you know that you are at the right place!
Meet the Blue Jelly shrimp, also known as Neocaridina davidi. You may even find it under the name “Blue Cherry shrimp”.
What many fellow aquarists find surprising is that this shrimp is relatively hardy and easy-to-care-for, which makes it perfect for beginner aquarists.
Surely this blue dwarf shrimp has piqued your interest. Why don’t we say a few important tips about its origin, appearance, care, and basic tank requirements?
Blue Jelly Shrimp Origin
The blue variant of Neocaridina davidi comes from Taiwan, where it is found in streams and other bodies of freshwater. Surprisingly, it is not found in the wild in any other parts of the world.
It is believed that the Blue Jelly shrimp was bred from the original red-colored wild type (red Cherry shrimp) and is created through thoughtful selective breeding. However, other sources state that this dwarf shrimp is a result of breeding with Blue Rili shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. “Blue Rili”).
Here’s the confusing part, “Bee shrimp” are also native to Taiwan and you can also find them under the name “Blue Jelly shrimp”, but the appearance between the two is very different.
Small size and attractive blue color is how I would describe this beauty of a shrimp! Let’s take a moment to appreciate its mesmerizing appearance!
The Blue Jelly shrimp is a one-of-a-kind species that never fails to amaze. It has a transparent body that is colored in enchanting blue shades.
Their elongated bodies grow up to an inch and the difference between males and females is obvious! Once you learn that males are smaller than females, you will know straight ahead which shrimp is which, just by looking at them!
Looking closer at the female shrimp, you may also notice that their bodies have more white coloration on their backs. They also tend to be larger and more robust than males, and they often have wider and more rounded abdomens.
My Blue Jelly Shrimp Is Changing From Blue To Red
Changing body color is nothing unusual in the colorful shrimp world. However, it may be very confusing seeing your Blue Jelly shrimp changing from blue to red. What gives?
Well, there are a few explanations why this color changing phenomenon occurs.
Firstly, this shrimp is a color variant of one species – Neocaridina davidi, which means that some of the shrimp may carry recessive color genes from their forefathers i.e. Red Cherry shrimp.
It is also possible that the color change you are observing is due to environmental factors, such as changes in water quality or temperature, or it could be due to the natural process of shrimp maturation or aging.
Another explanation lies in what you’re feeding your shrimp with. For example, if you are feeding them red-colored food, their transparent bodies will develop a reddish coloration. Green-colored foods will make them appear more green than blue, and so on. This is similar to why Blue Velvet shrimp species turn black!
In other cases, these color changes in shrimp can be a sign of stress or disease that are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in behavior or appetite.
Similar to other shrimp species such as the Blue Pearl shrimp, the lifespan of the Blue Jelly shrimp can vary depending on several important factors such as:
- Tank Size
- Water Parameters
- Water quality
- Tank mates
- Lack of hiding places
In general, this shrimp is known as a relatively hardy and long-lived species, and individuals can live for up to 2-3 years under optimal conditions.
There are a few measures aquarists can take to help ensure the longevity of these shrimp, and most of them include maintaining perfect water quality in the aquarium and a nutritious diet.
Even though this shrimp is pretty resilient, there is always a possibility of developing various diseases. For the most part, these aquatic diseases include bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections. These diseases may occur if new shrimp of unknown health status are introduced into the tank.
Therefore, it is best to quarantine new shrimp in a separate tank before introducing them to the tank with other individuals.
If Blue Jelly shrimp are kept in an improper environment, the risk of developing swim bladder disorder is very high. You see, swim bladder disorder in shrimp species can be caused by poor water quality, overfeeding, overcrowded environment, and genetics.
Unfortunate shrimp that develop this disease can be seen floating around or even sinking. Ill shrimp are unable to maintain a normal body posture which affects their ability to swim properly.
Remember to practice good hygiene when handling and maintaining your aquarium – prevention is the best way to fight these pesky shrimp diseases!
Blue Jelly Shrimp Care
Fortunately, this shrimp species does not require extreme care like the delicate Cardinal Sulawesi shrimp or the intricate Crystal Red shrimp.
However, there are still several important things that you should do to ensure the health and well-being of your colony. Let’s start with the basics!
Tank Requirements & Tank Mates
When choosing the right tank size it is important to know if you’re keeping only shrimp in it, or if you’re adding other aquatic species.
Blue Jelly shrimp are pretty small and do not require a large tank. A tank of at least 5 to 10 gallons is recommended for a small colony of shrimp. If you are planning to breed them, then you might want to choose a bigger tank for new eggs and hatchlings.
Keep in mind that bigger shrimp tanks are easier to maintain. Smaller tanks tend to become dirty and overcrowded, thus making them more difficult to maintain.
One of the tank essentials is a regular filter that aids in proper aquarium cycle.
When it comes to tank mates, these shrimp get along well with almost all species, except for the feisty ones.
Blue Jelly shrimp are very peaceful and laid-back, which is why they make good tank mates with:
- Small fish species, such as Cherry Barbs and Neon Tetras
- Other shrimp species, such as Peppermint shrimp or Amano shrimp
- Nerite snails, Ramshorn Snail, or Mystery snails
What To Put In Their Tank
Let’s get to the fun part! What to put in a Blue Jelly shrimp tank?
Besides fun and relaxed tank mates, this shrimp tank needs live plants and plenty of spaces to hide.
Live plants not only provide benefits for the shrimp (hiding and feeding), but they also play a huge role in the overall ecosystem of the shrimp tank.
Here are some good options for shrimp-friendly plants:
- Java fern
- Pearl Weed
- Marimo moss balls
- Water Wisteria
- Java moss
With all these fun plants, we have covered some hiding spaces for our lovely shrimp! Artificial decorations, such as caves, rocks, and PVC pipes, can provide additional hiding places for shrimp.
But, do not choose artificial decorations made out of abrasive materials as they can hurt the fragile shrimp!
Choosing the right substrate for your shrimp tank is equally important as choosing the right plants. Opt for a soft, sandy substrate with plenty of nooks and crannies, which can also provide hiding places for shrimp to burrow in.
The substrate can be of any color, but I highly recommend choosing a darker one. It will enhance the color of your blue shrimp!
Even though Blue Jelly shrimp are a hardy species, they are very fragile when it comes to improper water composition. The aquarium in which you plan to keep these shrimp should be mature and free from ammonia and nitrites.
Clean and well-oxygenated water is the bare minimum that each and every aquarist must ensure in their tank.
For this shrimp species, water parameters are a bit different than those of other tank critters. Here is what I’m talking about
|Water Temperature||65-85 °F (18-29.5 °C)|
|Water Hardness||4-12 gH|
|Carbonate Hardness||3-15 kH|
|Water Quality||Clean, well-oxygenated water|
By maintaining these water parameters within the appropriate range, you can help ensure the health and well-being of your colony!
Diet & Feeding Habits
There are many different ways to feed your Blue Jelly shrimp, but the most important tip that I can give you is to offer them a well-balanced diet.
In general, shrimp are opportunistic omnivores and will eat a wide range of different foods. Naturally, a diet full of vegetables, fruits, and algae can help ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.
As for commercial shrimp food, make sure to use the highest-quality food available. Choose quality shrimp flakes or pellets. These shrimp foods are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of shrimp and each package has feeding instructions.
Healthy shrimp feeding habits leave no room for overfeeding. Do not overfeed them, as excess food will float around the tank and mess with the water quality. Consecutively, poor water quality might end up killing the whole colony.
Make sure to remove any uneaten chunks of food after to prevent excess build-up and protein film.
Breeding Blue Jelly Shrimp
If keeping Blue Jelly shrimp is easy peasy for you, then you might have thought of breeding them. Truth be told, breeding these shrimp can be a very rewarding hobby, and it can even turn into business!
On the flip side, it does require some specialized knowledge and high-quality equipment. Unlike breeding Cardinal Sulawesi shrimp that have a low breeding rate, breeding Blue Jelly shrimp will be easy!
As we mentioned previously in this article, to successfully breed this shrimp species, you will require a larger tank that is equipped with good filtration and proper egg-friendly substrate.
You can expect a female shrimp to carry her eggs for approximately a month. During gestation, she will need all the nutrients that they can get, so a varied diet is a must!
Once the eggs have been laid, it is important to monitor the shrimp tank closely and to remove any eggs that do not hatch within a few days. This way you will keep your tank clean and avoid organic build-up.
Normally, their will hatch in the timeframe of 10 to 15 days.
Are Blue Jelly Shrimp Rare?
In contrast to their red counterparts, Blue Jelly shrimp are considered a rare species.
It took quite a lot of careful selective breeding to develop this vivid color variation and it is one of the colors that do not yet breed true.
These incredible shrimp became a very popular choice for aquarium hobbyists because of their bright blue color and relative ease of care.
Due to high demand, professional breeders have stepped up their game and made sure that this shrimp species is widely available in the aquarium trade. It just takes a bit of research to find them!
Blue Jelly Shrimp For Sale
Depending on your location, it may be a bit tricky to find Blue Jelly shrimp species. Luckily, there are plenty of online retailers that provide healthy shrimp and other aquatic species.
These blue beauties can also be purchased from specialized pet stores and aquatics stores.
If you stumble upon a breeder or a store that sells Red Cherry shrimp, you may want to ask whether they breed or know someone who breeds Blue Jelly shrimp.
Blue Pearl Vs. Blue Jelly Shrimp
While both of these shrimp are known for their vibrant blue color, Blue Pearl shrimp are a bit larger. They grow up to two inches in length with females being larger than males.
Both of these blue shrimp are relatively easy to care for.
Blue Velvet Shrimp Vs. Blue Jelly Shrimp
Blue Velvet shrimp and Blue Jelly shrimp may look similar, but don’t let their looks fool you! Their bodies are not as transparent and they inherit a more luminous blue coloration.
Blue Cherry Shrimp Vs. Blue Jelly Shrimp
The Blue Cherry shrimp is a morph of the famous Red Cherry shrimp which belongs to the Neocaridina genus.
Similar to the Blue Jelly shrimp, the Blue Cherry shrimp has a transparent body colored in beautiful shades of blue.
Whether you’re a hobby or experienced aquarist, I am certain that you have fallen under the spell of the mesmerizing Blue Jelly shrimp.
Due to the fact that they are so easy to care for, these shrimp make interesting and engaging micro pets for aquarists of all experience levels!
Just make sure to provide the essentials: suitable habitat, stable water temperature, yummy food, and excellent water quality!
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.