The Crystal Red Shrimps are not the typical ones that may be found in the wild but are in fact a result of hybrid breeding over the years. They are a modified version of the bee shrimps of Hong Kong and China. Shrimps of this category are known by various other names like Crystal Shrimp, Crystal Black Shrimp, Crystal Red Shrimp and Bee Shrimp.
Crystal Red Shrimps are a variety of shrimps bred from bee shrimps. They have been selectively bred by Japan’s Mr. Hisayasu Suzuki from rare red varieties of bee shrimps. In present times they are very popular with shrimp lovers. Right from their birth, they look identical to the adult shrimps. Being very sensitive they require ample attention and care while growing up.
Picture 1 – Crystal Red Shrimp
Color: It has red spots over a white base.
Length: They grow up to 1 or 1 and 1/2 inches in their entire lifetime.
Red Crystal Shrimps are not found in any specific location as they are the hybrid varieties of the black and white bee shrimps.
These Red Shrimps are omnivorous, surviving largely on plant and animal matter. As pets, they can be fed with additional food like spinach, algae wafer, seaweed, bloodworm etc. Diet of young shrimps is identical to the adult shrimps.
Some of these behavioral traits can be noted in them.
They are usually active creatures without any prevalent violent traits. They are always on the move looking for food and in this process they clean up the tank.
Inactive shrimps are surely a cause of worry as that may be a sign of impending danger that may be caused by the toxic water.
They have a distinct eating behavior which is evident while they are being fed, i.e, they form clusters while eating.
One of the other traits in them is to moult regularly while growing up. This is a natural process in which they shed off their outer shell for a new one.
Correct water condition and regular supply of food to the tank will foster the process.
Determination of sex of the shrimps can only be done once they are big enough.
Differentiating between the males and females would be a bit difficult but generally it has been observed that the females are longer and more colorful than the males.
As they are sensitive creatures, ensuring the correct pH balance of the water is important. Also, the hardness of water should be moderate and not at extreme levels.
They attain sexual maturity at the age between 3 and 6 months. In natural conditions, they are suitable to breed any time after reaching sexual maturity if the water fits them fine.
Females usually molt by hiding which is a sign that it has matured. During this process they release sexual hormones which signal the males about their readiness to breed.
When their eggs are fertilized, they are carried under their tails till they hatch. Gestation period of the shrimps is 30 days. Eggs (green in color) produced by the Red Crystal Shrimps take a long time to hatch as compared to other shrimps living in freshwater.
Picture 2 – Crystal Red Shrimp Picture
These are some points that should be kept in mind for providing ideal breeding conditions to them.
Fresh water devoid of any other fishes, with lots of moss and plants would give them the ideal condition to breed since no predators will be around.
Keeping them alone in the tank is necessary for their survival when the babies are born.
Breeding of these shrimps with regular bee shrimps may diminish the chances of acquiring more red shrimps down the line. Which is why it is always advised to breed them with crystal red ones.
Tank should be kept free of nitrates.
Growth of the young shrimps may be hastened by placing Christmas or Java moss as these mosses have slow growth rate.
The red colored shrimps live for about 1 to 2 years approximately.
Various factors are responsible for grading these red shrimps. Coloration (percentage of white and red colors) and features are some of the grade determining factors. SSS, SS, S, S+, A, B and C are some of the grades conferred on them according to their physical traits.
Grading is a subjective procedure in which the markings play a major role. Highly graded ones are obviously more expensive and popular.
A number of features are associated with grading. SSS graded shrimps are considered to be of extremely high quality and they exhibit a flowery as well as crown like red pattern on their heads.
The shrimps have a red circle which is known as Hinomaru or sun disc in Japanese. There are many names of the circles like Double Hinomaru, No-Entry Hinomaru, Hinomaru, Tiger Tooth and V-Band.
Among them, the C grade shrimps have practically the least visible white bands with a touch of pinkish hue on its lower parts.
As these invertebrates are highly receptive, one needs to make the right arrangements first.
Housing: Water temperature should be around 25 degrees and it should not contain any trace of ammonia. Planted tanks are the best for these little creatures which provides them the safest abode.
Feeding: They can be fed with algae wafers and sun-bleached spinach or cucumber.
Care: To maintain the health of the shrimps, care should be taken while changing the water. It should give them the feel of the water that they were previously living in. Pre-tested water free of nitrates or ammonia with moderate acidic nature is best suited for their growth. A level varying between 6.5 and 6.8 is considered to be the pH value of the water which the shrimps can tolerate.
Here are some interesting facts about them that you would like to know.
They are a specially bred, red variety of shrimps.
Red shrimps with higher grades are the ones that area preferred most.
The females are prettier than the males as they are more colorful.
Red Bee Shrimps are popular due to their striking appearance but it is difficult to identify the genuine ones. Hobbyists largely prefer to keep this invertebrate in their aquariums.
Take a look at the beautiful Crystal Red Shrimps displayed here.