Welcome, all shrimp enthusiasts! Are you ready to take on the challenge of caring for this majestic shrimp species?
These little blue beauties may be small, but they surely are fierce and fabulous! Well, they’re more on the peaceful side, but their sapphire appearance makes them look so powerful!
When it comes to appearance, personality, and care requirements, this spectacular shrimp truly stands out among the other species. With their amazing traits, they have a strong impact on shrimp keepers (beginners and experts)!
Not only do they deliver a powerful addition to the aquarium, but their presence has a calming effect on everyone who observes them.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything from Blue Tiger shrimp diet and lifespan to breeding and beyond. So put on your flippers and let’s dive in!
Blue Tiger Shrimp Description
Let’s start with common names for this blue shrimp. Even though many researchers and biologists stumbled upon plenty of taxonomy problems, they managed to agree on two names – Caridina maculata and Caridina mariae ‘Blue tiger ‘ shrimp which perfectly describes this species.
The Blue Tiger shrimp is a freshwater shrimp that originates from Southeast Asia where it is commonly found in lakes, streams, and rice paddies. It is interesting that nobody knows how these shrimp got into the aquarium hobby. The introduction of the Blue Tiger species to aquarium hobby remains a mystery, unlike the Amano shrimp, which was named after its creator.
This shrimp is known for its astonishing appearance and calm demeanor, but also for high price tags! Stick around, because we’re moving on to the unique appearance of this fabulous aquarium critter!
The Blue Tiger shrimp is mostly known for its body coloration, which is how it got the name. The “Blue” in its name stands for different shades of the shrimp’s body that range from light blue to darker blue coloration (color grading). Some individuals may have a greenish-blue hue that is similar to the color of a Blue Pearl shrimp.
As you may have guessed it, the word “Tiger” describes the spectacular black stripes that run across their body. These stripes are one of the defining characteristics of this species, and they are typically black or dark brown and contrast sharply with the shrimp’s blue coloration.
This shrimp has a translucent body, and its body shape is similar to that of other species of shrimp. However, its body does not appear as translucent as that of the Blue Jelly shrimp. Must be due to the dark blue coloration!
Similar to other shrimp species, this blue wonder has a pair of long antennae and a pair of shorter antennae, as well as two pairs of legs, and a long, thin tail that is usually a different color from the rest of the body.
Although they may look big in photos, the Blue Tiger shrimp is actually a small shrimp that typically grows to around 1.5 – 2 inches in length when fully grown. They are not as small as the Bumble Bee shrimp, so they’re not the smallest species around!
There can be many shrimp of different sizes in the tank because not all of them grow at the same pace. Normally, their size can vary depending on the specific individual and the conditions in which it is kept.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that there is a noticeable size difference between male and female Tiger shrimp.
Blue Tiger Male And Female Difference
Unlike other species of shrimp, such as the Blue Velvet and Blue Jelly shrimp, you may not have a hard time distinguishing between a male and female Blue Tiger shrimp. This is due to the fact that they have distinct physical differences.
Starting from the size, female Black Tigers are larger than males by half an inch! So, adult females grow to 2 inches, while males reach 1.5 inches in length.
Besides their larger size, females are wider and more rounded in shape while males are narrower and more elongated.
You may not notice these differences on the first look, especially if you’re a beginner aquarist. However, after you’ve observed your shrimp for a while, you will start to notice which one is female, and which one male.
How Long Do Blue Tiger Shrimp Live?
If kept under proper tank conditions, these shrimp can have a lifespan of around 2 to 3 years. It is important to note that their lifespan can be shortened by low water quality that creates a perfect environment for certain shrimp diseases.
A bad environment will weaken the shrimp’s immune system which will make it susceptible to many health problems.
Besides poor water and tank conditions, bad choice of tank occupants and poor diet are main reasons for their shortened longevity.
Common Health Problems
Blue Tiger shrimp can experience health problems if proper tank setup and maintenance is not carried out. Additionally, introducing new fish to the tank can also bring in health issues.
That being said, overcrowding and stress are among the most common culprits of these diseases:
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
- Parasitic infestations
- Viral infections
You can never be sure if new tank mates are carrying a certain type of virus or bacteria. So, it is best to put them into quarantine prior to meeting their new shrimp friends.
Blue Tiger Shrimp Care Guide
Are Blue Shrimp hard to care for?
While they may not be as difficult to care for as the Cardinal Sulawesi shrimp, there are plenty of things to keep in mind. As a general rule, maintaining proper water quality and feeding your shrimp a varied diet is key to their longevity.
Whether you’re a shrimp newbie or a seasoned pro, this guide is sure to have something for you.
What Do Blue Tiger Shrimp Eat?
Blue Tiger shrimp are omnivorous which means that they eat everything! They are especially fond of eating algae and aquarium dirt which is why they make a good choice for beginner owners and those who need a helping hand with cleaning their tank.
I like to call these shrimp “little helpers” because they really keep the tank clean and dirt-free.
If you are wondering how often to feed blue shrimp, twice a week would be enough. However, if you have baby Blue Tigers in your tank, then you may want to feed them three times a week.
You just have to make sure not to overdo it, as they won’t eat all the food. Instead, you will be left with floating food particles that will make your tank dirty.
Here are a few fun foods that your shrimp will love!
1. Algae And Detritus
Algae are a primary source of nutrition for this shrimp species. They will munch on them throughout the evening and rest during daytime.
Algae have a lot of benefits for these shrimp because they are full of essential vitamins and minerals. They grow easily and provide the shrimp with plenty of hiding places.
Detritus (dead plants and fish waste) can pile up as a result of overcrowding or because you simply forgot to clean the tank!
Detritus is natural and this shrimp loves to eat it! It even has health benefits. But, it does not mean that your tank should have a lot of detritus floating around. An excessive amount can be harmful to the overall health of the aquarium.
This organic material can form on the substrate, in the filters, on tank decoration or floating in the water. Hey, at least you won’t have to clean aquarium rocks with vinegar anymore, these shrimp will do the job for you!
2. Algae Wafers And Pellets
Algae wafers and pellets are a common type of commercial food choice for any shrimp species, and it includes our Blue Tigers as well. This food provides them with enough calories and vitamins, as it contains lots of vegetable matter.
This is an easy, fast, and cost-effective option to feed your shrimp – you just head on over to the pet store and sprinkle some wafers and pellets in your shrimp aquarium!
Don’t worry, this type of food won’t float as it is designed to sink to the bottom of the tank, where the shrimp can easily access it.
3. Protein Foods
Just because these shrimp like to eat algae and detritus, it does not mean that they do not enjoy some protein in their diet. Remember, they are omnivorous!
They also eat meaty food such as blood worms, Mysis and brine shrimp, freshwater plankton such as Daphnia, as well as frozen and commercial foods.
Again, make sure not to give them too much protein food because it can cause a protein film buildup on the surface of your aquarium.
This film can appear as a thin, oily layer and it can reduce the amount of oxygen available to the fish and other inhabitants of the tank. Not only will you have to clean your aquarium glass, but you will also have to completely change the tank water.
Feeding Blue Tigers is similar to feeding Caridina species – they all love leafy green veggies! You can’t go wrong with this one.
Get some zucchini, cucumber, kale, or lettuce and cut it into small, bit size pieces. You can also blanch the veggies so that they become softer and easier for your shrimp to munch on.
Here’s a fun fact, if you feed your shrimp too many green veggies, their bodies can change color from light blue to green-blue. This color change is similar to the Blue Velvet shrimp turning black.
Maintaining proper water parameters is equally important as providing your shrimp with a proper diet and a good choice of tank mates. As a matter of fact, it may be even more important because water chemistry has a high impact on the shrimp’s overall health.
I don’t know about you, but I am bad at memorizing numbers! So, it may be a good idea to take quick notes!
|Water Temperature||68 – 73°F|
|Water pH||6.2 – 6.6|
|Water Hardness||6 – 8|
|Water Quality||Clean, well-oxygenated water|
You may have noticed that these shrimp like relatively hard water, which is not usual for the other shrimp species. We may say that they are among the hardiest tank critters!
Many new aquarium hobbyists have a hard time keeping all the water parameters in check, which is why it is highly suggested to invest in good water testing kits. That way you can know when to lower pH in your aquarium or when to go for a water change.
Tank Requirements And Tank Mates
These shrimp species are among those that are sensitive to the quality of water which is why they need to be placed in a matured tank. That being said, preparation of the shrimp aquarium might take a long time. But, trust me, it is worth it!
Don’t worry, tank requirements are not as different as with other dwarf shrimp!
As a rule of thumb, the perfect tank for a small shrimp colony is a 5 gallon one. However, you may want to give your Blue Tigers some more space and invest in a 10 gallon tank.
Wondering how many shrimp you can put in a 10 gallon tank? Well, usually up to 100 individuals, depending on if there are other species in the tank.
If you want to set up a breeding aquarium, then you may want to go up to a 20 or 40 gallon colony tank.
Putting live plants in your aquarium has more benefits than you can imagine! Not only do they make your tank look cool and natural, but they also provide the shrimp with natural hiding places.
Even though these shrimp do not hide as much as the Amano species, they still require proper hiding places to feel safe and secure.
You can place many tank-friendly plants such as Java moss, Water wisteria, or Pearl weed. Trust me, your shrimp will enjoy them!
Opt for a fine to medium grain substrate, such as sand or gravel that will make your Blue Tiger feel comfy, but also secure. You see, this species likes to burrow and hide underneath the sand, which is why grainy substrate makes the best fit.
While many tank substrates are brown to beige, you can choose a dark brown or black substrate to make your blue shrimp really stand out.
What’s that vivid blue color at the bottom of the tank? It’s the Blue Tiger shrimp!
When choosing the best tank mates, you need to keep in mind that the Blue Tiger species is very peaceful and laid-back. However, they will try to fight back if they feel threatened. But, most of the time, they will burrow and hide away from the predators.
That being said, you do not want predatory species in the same shrimp tank.
Make sure to introduce your shrimp to peaceful species such as:
- Other peaceful Caridina species (Cherry shrimp, Crystal Red shrimp, Ghost shrimp)
- Smaller fish (Neon tetras and Guppies)
- Snails (Mystery and Ramshorn snails)
It is also important to note that you should not mix a lot of species within the same aquarium, even if all of them are peaceful. You need to pay attention to specific needs of each tank occupant and make sure to prevent overcrowding.
Blue Tiger Shrimp Breeding
If you plan to breed the Blue Tiger male and female shrimp, then you will definitely need to get a larger tank. In order to produce a healthy population, you will need a matured tank, as well as proper water parameters that we’ve gone through earlier in this article.
This species is not commonly bred and it may take a long time to get a hang of the whole breeding process.
After mating, the female shrimp will carry her eggs on her pleopods for a time period between 28 to 36 days before hatching. The eggs will hatch into small baby shrimp called larvae, and they will require a diet of small plankton or other suitable food to develop properly.
As baby Blue Tigers mature, they will require a more varied diet, more hiding places, and a more spacious tank.
And just like in the Blue Bolt shrimp species, their later color will depend on further breeding.
Blue Tiger Shrimp For Sale
Surprisingly, there are plenty of traders in the U.S. who sell this amazing shrimp species. There are also many pet shops outside the U.S. that offer international shipping too.
The majority of trades offer Dark Blue Tigers that are the most expensive variant. They are usually valued for around $50 for a 5 pack.
Other variants that you can find for sale include the Royal Blue Tiger shrimp and the Orange Eye Blue Tiger shrimp that may also be costly.
The price of this species will vary depending on your location and the breeder’s or pet shop’s reputation. When searching where to purchase your new shrimp, it is important to pay attention to the breeder’s live arrival guarantee.
The Blue Tiger shrimp is truly one of the most beautiful tank species that leaves everyone in awe. Not only does this majestic little creature keep the tank clean and dandy, but it also makes it look interesting.
It is important to note that beauty comes with a price, meaning that you will have to invest in a proper tank, substrate, decoration, plants, food, and all the other necessities to keep this fella’ healthy and happy.
Invite your friends over to observe this blue wonder, I am sure that everyone will be fascinated!
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.