English name: Green Shrimp, Green Neon Shrimp
Scientific name: Caridina cf. babaulti spp. 'green'
Size: up to 3.5 cm or 1.4 inch
Water temperature: 20 to 28°C or 68 to 82°F
Water parameters: pH 6.8 to 7.5
High or low breeding form: high
The green neon shrimp is a small algae eating shrimp from India which is very peaceful. The scientific name is still unknown but there are morhology similarities to Caridina babaulti. At the moment the schientific name for the green neon shrimp is Caridina cf. babaulti spp. 'green' which means that it is a shrimp which is similar to C. baubalti (that's why the cf.) and that it is a subspecies (ssp.) because there were other non-green shrimps found which match in certain points M.E.-L. Bouvier's description of Caridina babaulti. They could also belong to the three green species from India (C. shenoyi, C. guerney and C. kempi) which Jalihal in the year 1984 in south India caught and examined. He also described C. shenoyi and C. guerney as new species. So more researches are necessary before we know which green shrimp species we keep in our tanks.
Green neon shrimps are relatively hardy and easy to keep. They do well in hard water with a GH and KH of more than 10. To keep adults in soft water is no problem but there are often problems with the raising of the shrimplets and it is hard to get them to breed. In comparison to this, they are very easy to breed in hard water. The temperature should be 20 til 28°C but 24-26°C will be the optimum. A ph of slightly over 7 is best. But the ph can be from 6,8 to 8 to get good results. Some places to hide for the adults are aslo good because then they are less shy at day. But do not use to much fine stem plants because these shrimps are green and you won't find them anymore in the tank. Please do not keep them with agressive fishes or they will hide in the plants and you will barely see them anymore. The food of these shrimps consist mainly of algae and the microorganisms which they find between the algae. But they are not that effective in algae eating, so it's not really a good idea to use them as a algae cleaning crew. They also accept normal flake food, frozen foods like frozen artemia, somtimes life food and vegetabels e.g. cucumber slices. Mulm is helpful for keeping them too because also the juvenile and adult shrimps look for food in it.
With the right water conditions the breeding of the green neon shrimp is no problem. The sexes are easy to differentiate. The females are much bigger, about 3,5cm long, and have a much more intensive coloration than the more clear-green colored and slimmer males. Males are singnificantly smaller, about 2,5cm long, and do not show in most cases the white til beige colored stripe on their backs like females do. This picture shows a male:
Female shrimps of the green shrimp can carry eggs every second month. They will breed the first time in the age of about 4 months with a size of approximately 1,8-2cm. The mating takes place in the evening and/or night. The males will swim very fast through the tank while looking for females. The mating itself is only about 2-3 seconds long. Often you can find several pregnant females in the next morning after such a "mating dance" in the night before. The females carry the eggs about 4 weeks before they release 2mm small colorless fully developed shrimps, no larvae. Important is an aged tank with some moss and mulm because the shrimplets are relatively small and need microscopic food at the beginning. This food they can find best in the moss and mulm.
Although these shrimps are called green neon shrimp, they are not always green. Normally their coloration can vary from green to greensih brown. Brown individuals are also not rare. All color forms are able to vary their coloration to a certain degree. These pictures show some of the normal color forms and varieties: