Thanks to modern breeding practices, today you can find shrimp of many colors. As a color that can rarely be found in nature, blue shrimp have always mesmerized aquarium enthusiasts. This led to a discussion: blue velvet shrimp vs blue dream shrimp, which one is more beautiful?
When you have two shrimp species of similar size and color, it’s easy to get confused. Many keepers aren’t even certain what type of shrimp they truly have!
If this is your situation, or you simply want to satisfy your curiosity, this is the article for you! We’ll discuss blue velvet shrimp vs blue dream comparison – both similarities and differences.
Here’s everything you need to know!
Blue Velvet Shrimp vs Blue Dream Shrimp
Even experts might have a difficult time differentiating between blue velvet shrimp and blue dream shrimp. Just by looking at their pictures, it’s easy to see why.
However, before we can start talking about blue velvet shrimp vs blue dream, there is something you need to know if you plan on buying blue neocaridina shrimp.
There are many taxonomy irregularities when it comes to shrimp of similar colors that belong to the same family. In other words, the same type of shrimp might be called by different names depending on the part of the world you’re in.
For example, outside of the US, blue velvet shrimp is often known as the blue jelly shrimp.
To avoid the confusion, I’ll be talking about the US name variants. If you live somewhere else, make sure to check whether the names match.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin!
You likely wouldn’t be wondering about blue velvet shrimp vs blue dream if these two morphs didn’t have many similarities.
First and foremost, both blue velvet shrimp and blue dream shrimp are morphs of a neocaridina davidi shrimp. They are dwarf, freshwater shrimp that are fairly easy to care for.
Both have the same build, typical of dwarf shrimp. This includes a five-part abdomen with their head and thorax fused into a cephalothorax, a long tail, and five pairs of walking legs.
Not just that, but they are of the same size! Adult males have an average size of 1.25 inches, while females are a bit bigger, reaching 1.5 inches on average. Some females of both blue velvet and blue dream shrimp might reach the size of up to 2 inches, but this is rare.
As they are closely related, both require the same type of care. This includes fairly warm water, the minimum tank size of 10 gallons, and neutral water acidity.
They are omnivores and can survive on the same diet. They mostly eat algae and biofilm, making them amazing tank cleaners.
Also, both are artificially bred morphs. In other words, you cannot find them in nature. All blue velvet and blue dream shrimp you can find in stores have been captive-bred.
This makes them an excellent choice if you’re looking for ethically-bred shrimp that will make your tank as gorgeous as possible.
Despite these many similarities, blue velvet shrimp and blue dream shrimp are not the same. However, the exact differences are up to debate, and many experts would even argue that they are almost the same genetically.
This is because the only difference between the two lies in the precise shade of their exoskeleton.
We’ll go over a few ways you can distinguish the two.
While, as their names would suggest, both come in blue color, there is a diversity in their shades and markings. Only by carefully looking at them can you successfully determine which blue neocaridina shrimp you have.
When it comes to the blue velvet shrimp, this is what we know:
- High-grade blue velvet shrimp come in a solid, dark, velvety-blue color.
- Lower-grade shrimp are often less opaque, almost transparent.
- They might have spots and markings in lighter or darker shades, but such specimens are often considered low-grade or imperfect.
On the other hand, blue dream shrimp look like this:
- They come in a darker, deep blue shade.
- Clear markings and spots are not allowed and are considered faults. Blue dream shrimp should always be in solid color.
- They shouldn’t be transparent. Their blue color should be as opaque as possible.
Another difference might be noticed in the offspring. Blue velvet shrimp might give birth to lighter offspring, even if the parents are very dark in shade.
On the other hand, many breeders and even casual keepers have noticed that blue dream shrimp tend to get darker with each generation. A few people have even reported their offspring becoming black in color!
It isn’t entirely certain why this is occurring.
One of the theories is because blue velvet shrimp is a morph of a blue rili shrimp, while the blue velvet shrimp originates from the wild schoko species.
However, this is only a theory. No one knows exactly how the specific blue colors were achieved in either of the two morphs.
Types of Blue Neocaridina Shrimp
Now that you know the differences between the blue velvet and blue dream shrimp, you might be wondering about other blue neocaridina davidi shrimp – if there are any.
Well, there is one more, and that is the blue jelly shrimp. This is a deep blue neocaridina shrimp that looks almost the same as blue velvet, but with one difference – it might be transparent, and it might have red spots.
There is also a blue neocaridina zhangjiajiensis shrimp, known as the blue pearl shrimp. However, it won’t easily get confused with the shrimp we’ve mentioned.
Most other blue neocaridina shrimp you run into are faulty morphs of one of these species.
What Are the Best Blue Shrimp?
So, when it comes to blue velvet shrimp vs blue dream, which one is better?
The truth is – it all comes down to your preferences.
When it comes to high-grade specimens, both shrimp species are of the similar price. They require the same care and they behave in the same way.
As such, feel free to pick the one that looks more appealing to you. You won’t make a mistake either way!
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.