Breeding Blue Pearl Shrimp – Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis var. blue
In this article, you can find one account of sourcing shrimp, the setup utilized, and the care taken to encourage breeding of this dwarf shrimp species.
Blue pearl shrimp, are a variation of the same species as Snowball Shrimp, and will readily breed with other Neocaridina species. 1 These shrimp are readily available at local aquarium club auctions and for sale on the web. I searched for these shrimp in many places, including aquatic plant forums (e.g. Aquatic Plant Central, The Barr Report), but ended up purchasing a dozen from a breeder through Aquabid. While I was searching for these shrimp, I payed careful attention to the coloration of the adults, due to the light blue coloration of these shrimp. The seller’s photo of his colony appeared healthy in the photograph, and the blue coloration was as intense as the other available shrimps.
While awaiting the new arrivals, I setup my Shrimp only breeding tank. I started with an empty 10 Gallaon aquarium with a glass top. The substrate has a base layer of about 8oz of crushed coral. It was my hope that this bit of coral would add to the calcium availability to help with the young developing new exoskeletons. On top of the crushed coral, I placed a total of two inches of Seachem Onyx Sand and Seachem Flourite Black Sand. There is a 10w heater in the tank, and I positioned it on a lower rack in my fish room. I used Seachem Prime to treat my tap water for contaminants, and filled the aquarium. Filtration was added from a populated sponge filter from a running cycled tank. In addition to a seeded filter, I added some easy low light plants and driftwood from my existing setups. Shrimp love to spend the day scavenging on plants and substrate eating the bio-film.
About three days after setup, the shrimp arrived via priority mail in a breather bag with a bit of Najas sp. After floating the bag in the breeding aquarium for about 30 minutes, I placed the bag contents in a specimen container, and slowly added a bit of the aquarium water every five to ten minutes. For this acclimation process, I like to use a turkey baster, the process is slow, but it appears to be less stressful than the dump and hope method. After about 30 minutes and a lot of patience, the shrimp were netted out of the specimen container and added to the breeding tank.
From this point on, breeding the shrimp are easy. All you need to do is keep the water clean, and keep a consistent environment. I suggest aiming for a temperature of about 78 degrees F. The higher the temperature, the lower the available oxygen content in the water. I also suggest feeding a dwarf shrimp specific food. I use New Life Spectrum’s Crustacean formula, fed once a day with a 33% water change every 7 days. If you keep up on this schedule, and assuming you have both female and male shrimp, breeding should occur every couple months. Once you see a female carrying eggs with her swimmerettes, you should have shrimp-lets in about 3 weeks. I leave the young in with the parents, and don’t feed anything special to the babies. After a couple months of growth, the shrimp can be netted out and traded with other aquarists or maybe tradedtraded with your local fish store for credits or supplies. with your local fish store for credits or supplies.