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Blue Velvet Shrimp vs. Blue Jelly: Differences and Comparison

Blue Velvet Shrimp vs. Blue Jelly: Differences and Comparison

Blue shrimp are the latest craze among the aquarium enthusiasts. However, distinguishing among dozens of similarly looking shrimp can be a nightmare! This is why many people have trouble understanding blue velvet shrimp vs blue jelly shrimp comparison.

If you’re among them – don’t worry! Even experts find it challenging to tell two similarly colored shrimp apart, especially when they belong to the same family. 

To help you out, I’ve listed all the similarities and differences between these two tiny shrimp. Whether you’re wondering if you’ve bought the right morph or are considering getting a new tank addition, this article is for you!

Blue Velvet Shrimp vs. Blue Jelly Shrimp

There are shrimp that look nothing alike. Then, there are cases such as blue velvet shrimp and blue jelly shrimp. 

At a first glance, both of these shrimp look pretty much the same. So, why is it important to understand the differences when it comes to blue velvet shrimp vs blue jelly shrimp?

In a way, it truly doesn’t matter what morph you have, as long as you’re certain you’ve got the right species of shrimp. Both will make an amazing addition to your freshwater tank.

However, if you plan on allowing your shrimp to breed – and, let’s face it, you can hardly prevent this from happening – it is best to make sure you know what shrimp you have in your aquarium.

Otherwise, you might end up with odd-looking morphs or the coloration of your shrimp might change with generations. 

What Types of Blue Shrimp Are There?

blue shrimp closeup
Photo: @plantbruise

There is more than one type of blue shrimp. In fact, one might argue there are dozens of them! 

You won’t find blue shrimps in nature. However, through selective breeding, breeders have created many varieties of blue colors in shrimp. 

Most of the time, whenever a new shade of blue persists for a few generations, the breeder will give this morph a name and sell it as a new species. 

Despite this, most dwarf, freshwater blue shrimp on the market belong to one of these two species: 

  • Neocaridina
  • Caridina

In other words, no matter the name of the morph, chances are your blue shrimp will be one or the other and not an entirely new species.

For example, both blue velvet shrimp and the blue pearl shrimp are morphs of neocaridina shrimp, even though they might not look alike.

On the other hand, blue bolt shrimp is a morph of caridina cf. cantonensis.

Now that you know this, it’s time to understand the differences between blue velvet and blue jelly shrimp.

Similarities between Blue Velvet and Blue Jelly Shrimp

There wouldn’t be an issue differentiating blue jelly from blue velvet shrimp if the two morphs weren’t that similar. 

First off, both are morphs of the neocaridina davidi shrimp. They originate from the blue rili shrimp, and with selective breeding specific shades were achieved. 

As their names suggest, both have blue carapaces. Also, both are of the same size, with the average size for males standing at around 1.25 inches. Females are a bit larger, and their average size is around 1.5 inches.

It goes without saying that both have the same body parts, which includes exoskeleton, cephalothorax, five pairs of walking legs, and long tails. 

Not just that, but as both belong to the same species, they require the same type of care. This includes fairly warm water, a tank that can hold 10 gallons (or more!), and a diet consisting mostly of algae and biofilm.

Differences between Blue Velvet and Blue Jelly Shrimp

After reading about all the similarities, you’ve probably noticed that the only difference between blue velvet shrimp and blue jelly shrimp has to be in their color. 

Or does it?

As their names would suggest, both of these shrimp come in blue color. In fact, even their shades are fairly similar. They both come in a deep blue color that is as opaque as possible.

However, there is one key difference between the two: while blue jelly shrimp usually comes with red spots, blue velvet shrimp has to come in a pure, dark blue color.

Also, even low-grade blue velvet shrimp won’t have any white spots. They have to come in a single shade.

While high-grade blue jelly shrimp should also come in a pure, dark blue color, they might be a bit more transparent, almost jelly-like – hence their name.

Taxonomy Problems

As you can see, the difference between the two shrimp are so minor, many are arguing they are a single morph and that the breeders are trying to earn more money by selling you two allegedly different shrimp species.

In fact, in many areas of the world, including the US, blue jelly shrimp and blue velvet shrimp are considered one and the same.

However, one thing cannot be disputed: No blue velvet shrimp offspring will ever have red spots, while two single-colored blue jellies might give a baby shrimp with red markings

This indicates that minor genetic differences do exist.

What Are the Best Blue Shrimp?

Since you’re here, I guess you would like to hear my verdict. Blue velvet shrimp vs. blue jelly shrimp – which one is better?

However, the clear answer doesn’t exist.

Most neocaridina shrimp are very easy to keep, making them an amazing choice for beginners. As such, I will always say that blue neocaridina morphs are better than blue caridina shrimp if care requirements are the most important factor.

Still, when it comes to choosing between two shrimp that are so similar many would consider them the same morphs, it all comes down to your preferences.

If you love single-colored shrimp that will produce offspring of a stable color, then blue velvet shrimp is the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if you’d like a bit of diversity in your otherwise blue tank, blue jelly might be a better choice.No matter which one you choose, you won’t make a mistake. These are excellent shrimp that will do wonders with minimal care, and you can easily have a colony that will last for years, if not even decades!

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