• Shrimp Breeding Basiscs

    Please note, this article refers to shrimps of the genuses Caridina and Neocaridina. I donít know if this technique works for all high order shrimps of these genuses but it will work at least for bee (diamond), Crystal Red, green, bumblebee, tiger and cherry shrimps.

    To breed shrimps you need at first several things:

    • a fish-less tank with a volume of 10-30 litres
    • an aged sponge filter (other filters are not safe for the shrimplets)
    • lots of plants like mosses, riccia, frogbite, java fern, Anubias barteri var. nana etc.
    • a heater or fan (depends on your region) to get temperatures of 21-25įC
    • and of course shrimps of both sexes in the right age

    The hardest thing are the shrimps themselves. Normally it takes 3.5 (e.g. cherry shrimps) till 5 (e.g. green shrimps) months before they reach the sexual maturity. To differentiate the sexes can be quite hard, for example bee (aka diamond) or Crystal Red shrimps have the same body shape before the females got pregnant for the first time and the brown premature eggs are hard to see. I breed CR shrimps several years now but I still have problems with the sexing, for me they are the most difficult shrimps to determine the sexes. There is an useful article how to determ the genders but itís better to use at least 2-3 ďpairsĒ to be sure that you have really chosen both sexes. Or you use a group of 8 or more shrimps and hope the best. Other shrimps species e.g. green or cherry shrimps are easy to determine because the males are less colourful, slimmer and smaller at the same age.

    When you have chosen your breeders, put them carfefully in the well cycled tank. There should be lots of places to hide and some snails are also useful to avoid uneaten food to rod. Some plants to cover the water surface e.g. frogbite or riccia are good too because they are a kind of natural filtration, a source of oxygen (especially riccia produces lots of oxygen) and they let the shrimps feel more secure in they new home. The moss(es) are useful as a source of food for the adults and later on also for the young shrimps. The shrimps do not eat the moss itself but the micro-organisms and algae between the fronds. Mulm has the same function. Itís a source of food for the shrimps. After sometime all the shrimp droppings etc. becomes a brown, granular substance. So do not clean the whole bottom of the tank during your regular water change, besides there is rotting food, dead snails or shrimps or plant parts.

    In the next days and weeks try to avoid to stress your shrimps and feed them well, e.g. with small amounts of frozen artemia, high quality pellet food or cyclop-eeze. The food should be rich in proteins and fats because your female shrimps will need such nutrients to produce eggs. Do not feed too much, the food should not be eaten mainly by the snails but by the shrimps themselves and it should not rot, too. Then you have to wait. It should take only some days or a few weeks before you see the first pregnant female shrimp. She will carry the eggs with her swimmerets for three to four weeks before the eggs release the small shrimplets (low order shrimps release larvae which often need several free swimming Zoea stages in brackish water before they become little shrimplets and before they can survive in freshwater, high order shrimp species release little copies of themselves which can survive in a freshwater tank). The shrimplets will find their food in the moss and other plants and also in the mulm. Now it takes several months before the 1-3mm big shrimplets will grow to the size of their parents. The growth depends mainly on the amount of food they get and on the amount of water changes. They often molt after a water change and every change means new growth. So do careful water changes at least every other week to stimulate the growth. Do not keep too many young and juvenile shrimps in the same tank, e.g. not more than approximately 50 in a 12litre tank to avoid overcrowding. Overcrowding leads to a stop in growth and less shrimplets will survive in the tank. More water changes and/or more food does not help much. Simply reduce the total number of shrimps in the tank.

    Keywords: breeding, shrimp, tank, breed, sexing, larvae, shrimplet, shrimplets, CR, cherry, green, bumblebee, tiger, bee, crystal red shrimp, crystal red, mulm, moss, frogbite, riccia, nana, filter, sponge, temperature