Blue pearl shrimp is the newest popular choice among aquarium hobbyists. These small shrimps have quickly captured the hearts of aquarists worldwide.
These tiny animals can survive in a variety of conditions, making them a great choice for beginners and experts alike. It’s easy to see why. They add a color pop to every aquarium!
Still, this doesn’t mean you should buy them unprepared.
If you’re interested in learning about the proper care of blue pearl shrimps, you’re in the right spot. Here’s everything you need to know about this shrimp species, so you can provide your newest addition with the best care possible.
Blue pearl shrimp (Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis) is a subspecies of pearl shrimp (neocaridina zhangjiajiensis). It is easily by its blue color that comes in a variety of shades. You can usually find it in pale blue and light blue – although there are more vibrant specimens out there.
This freshwater breed is not found in nature. Instead, it was developed in Germany with the intent of being sold to aquarium enthusiasts.
Another common subtype of pearl shrimp is the snowball shrimp (neocaridina zhangjiajiensis var.) which comes in white color, but can sometimes be nearly transparent.
Many novices confuse the blue pearl shrimp with rarer blue cherry shrimp. However, they are entirely different species.
Blue cherry shrimp (also known as blue velvet shrimp) is a variation of a well-known red cherry shrimp (neocaridina heteropoda).
Just by looking at their scientific names, you can notice that the two don’t belong to the same species, although they are distantly related.
Just like most other shrimp species, blue pearl shrimp can only live up to two years. Still, as they breed rather quickly, your colony can live for much longer.
The first thing you can notice when you look at blue cherry shrimp is its tiny size.
They belong to the dwarf shrimp family. Adults rarely grow to be larger than 1.2 inches, with their average size being around 0.8 inches. Males tend to be smaller and slimmer than females.
As their name suggests, they are known for their bright blue color. Female shrimps are usually more colorful than males – a feature not uncommon in most shrimp species.
There are many different colors of blue pearl shrimp, and their shades range from almost white to bright blue. Many have intense red spots contrasting the blues.
Dark blue specimens are considered some of the most valued shrimp out there due to their rare and peaceful color.
This is a peaceful shrimp type that isn’t prone to aggression. They rarely fight among themselves, even during the mating season, and they won’t show aggressive behavior towards their tank mates.
In fact, they are among the calmest aquatic invertebrates you can find!
How to Care for Blue Pearl Shrimp
Caring for blue pearl shrimp is no different than caring for most other small shrimp species. These are easy-to-keep animals that don’t require extensive care. They can survive in many different conditions.
Still, you should strive to provide your shrimp with conditions that are as close to their natural environment as possible.
Also, you need to make sure their living conditions are stable. Even if you cannot provide them with just the right surroundings, they’ll be able to live happily – as long as you don’t change conditions too often.
Here are some things you can do to help your shrimp have the best life possible:
Blue pearl shrimp are omnivores. Their favorite food is algae and biofilm, but they aren’t picky eaters. Most won’t refuse boiled veggies, such as zucchini, peas, spinach, and baby carrots. However, they should only be fed as supplements, and not as the main food.
Calcium supplements aren’t mandatory, but if your shrimp food doesn’t have enough minerals you might consider adding them.
In general, most commercial foods will provide your shrimp with all the necessary nutrients.
Water Quality and Parameters
This is a freshwater shrimp that doesn’t require any extensive care. It can adapt to most water conditions, and many people keep it in tap water – even though I would never recommend that, as tap water has high chloride content.
It prefers warm water, and the ideal water temperature is anywhere between 68 and 80 degrees.
As for pH levels, blue pearl shrimp prefers near-neutral conditions, and the best pH values are around 7.2. However, it can survive in water with pH levels between 6.5 and 8.
Required water hardness is also pretty standard. Keep your shrimp in water that is around 7dKH and up to 20 dGH.
Make sure to regularly check the water for nitrate and ammonia levels. To make sure the water is fresh and clean, change about 30% of it weekly.
Also, don’t forget to cycle the tank before bringing your blue pearl shrimp into their new home.
As blue pearl shrimp are fairly small in size, they don’t require a large tank.
However, they do best in a 10-gallon tank, especially if you like to keep them in a heavily planted aquarium. This allows them to roam freely, especially as the colony multiplies – something that is sure to happen if you provide them with the best living conditions possible.
Substrate is an important part of every tank not just for its functionality but also for its look.
In fact, the biggest challenge with blue pearl shrimp lies in finding the right type of substrate, but not for reasons that might be so obvious.
This is a species that will spend most of its time on the bottom of the tank. Due to their blue color forms, you won’t be able to notice them on some substrate colors.
As such, you should always buy dark-colored substrate if you plan on keeping blue pearl shrimp.
When it comes to safety, there aren’t many concerns, Blue pearl shrimp can live on most common substrates. However, you might want to keep them on fine sand, just to be certain they won’t get stuck between rocks due to their small stature.
While shrimp require filters, it doesn’t really matter what type of filters you use, as long as they are working.
However, you might want to use filters with a sponge. This is a small shrimp that might be sucked into strong filters, so you should give them all the protection necessary.
Blue pearl shrimp don’t require any special decoration. However, they’ll love to have some hiding spots.
Rocks, stones, small pipes, and similar items make an amazing addition to their tank.
Also, blue pearl shrimp will love to have natural plants in their habitat. They’ll love to hide among the leaves, and they’ll munch on dead plants.
Not just that, but there are many benefits to keeping your tank green. For example, plants can boost oxygenation of the tank. They’ll serve as a natural filter, keeping the water clean and fresh.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that plants can substitute filters. Still, consider adding them to ensure your shrimp’s happiness.
Suitable Tank Mates
While blue pearl shrimp aren’t the ones to start a fight, you need to be careful who you keep them with.
As blue pearl shrimps are so small, they can easily fall prey to any aggressive freshwater fish, even to those that aren’t much larger than them. Your best bet is to keep them with other nano invertebrates, such as cherry shrimp, chameleon shrimp, and malaysian snails.
If, despite the risk, you want to keep them with fish, you want to choose species such as guppies, otocinclus catfish, ember tetras, and rasboras.
Breeding Blue Pearl Shrimp
Blue pearl shrimp are very easy to breed in captivity.
It’s almost effortless to differentiate males from females. The color and the size difference should be rather obvious.
To get the best results possible, the most important thing is to provide them with the right conditions. If you succeed, your colony will multiply very quickly, as the gestation period is 18 – 22 days.
Females that are ready to mate will have visible ovaries on the upper part of their bodies. This is known as the saddle. Once the saddle is visible, the female will look for a mate.
When the eggs are close to hatching, you’ll see the appearance of a set of eyes inside them.
If you’d like to add some color to your tank, blue pearl shrimp might be the best choice for you. They are colorful, calm, and easy to take care of. Not to mention how gorgeous they are!
Also, this is a somewhat common species that aren’t as challenging to find as shrimp which cannot be bred in captivity. In fact, you can easily breed your own family of shrimps!
The biggest issue is providing this shrimp with suitable tankmates, as most fish can hurt or eat them. However, the shrimp won’t cause any issues on their own.
As long as you provide them with clean water, the right diet, and a little bit of plants, your shrimp colony can live for years, if not decades.
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.
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