(Caridina cf. cantonensis)
Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Moderate • Temperament: Peaceful • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 12 gallons • Water Conditions: 65-74° F, KH 1-5, pH 5.8-6.8
• Color Forms: Black, White • Diet: Omnivore • Origin: Southeast Asia
• Family: Atyidae • Species: Shrimp • Aquarium Type: Shrimp
Bee Shrimp native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
The Bee Shrimp is a dwarf shrimp species from Southeast Asia that has become very popular within the aquarium hobby both for it's natural appearance and for the selectively bred variants like the Crystal Red Shrimp. Bee Shrimp have been selectively bred in Japan for some time, during which they were bred for deeper darker black bands and a more intense white coloration. Over the years there have been variants of the species that include almost all white or all black specimens along with the very popular red variant the Crystal Red Shrimp.
Overall the wild Bee Shrimp is more hardy than the selective bred specimens and boasts a nice contrasting white and black coloration of its own. Their peaceful nature, interesting aquarium behavior and attractive coloration have made them a very popular species of freshwater aquarium shrimp that are right at home in a variety of freshwater tropical aquariums.
How to successfully keep Bee Shrimp in the home aquarium.
While Bee Shrimp are less demanding then their selectively bred offspring, they are still a bit more demanding than the average dwarf shrimp species in regards to their water chemistry. Bee Shrimp require a mature aquarium that has stable water conditions including soft, slightly acidic water. While they can be kept in tropical freshwater community aquariums, the Bee Shrimp does best in water conditions that are a little cooler than the average tropical aquarium. The aquarium should contain a sand or fine gravel substrate along with a good amount of plants, rocks and driftwood in order to provide a proper habitat.
Bee Shrimp will appreciate having caves and crevices to retreat to when they feel threatened of to retreat from the often bright aquarium lights. Tank mates should include other peaceful varieties of freshwater invertebrates and smaller peaceful tropical community fish species. Hobbyists who intend to breed the Bee Shrimp, should keep a small colony of them in a species only aquarium that maintains stable water conditions with no potential fish or invertebrate predators.
Lastly, Bee Shrimp (like all dwarf freshwater shrimp species) should not be exposed to copper or copper based medicines as copper is toxic to them and any elevated levels of copper within the aquarium can kill them.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to properly feed Bee Shrimp and provide a healthy diet.
While Bee Shrimp are true omnivores, their diet in the wild is primarily comprised of algae and decaying plant matter that they scavenge from the substrate. They should ideally be housed in an aquarium with naturally occurring algae and live plants on which to graze. They will also readily consume a wide variety of commercial foods that are designed for scavenging or bottom feeding species.
Suitable commercial foods include algae wafers, sinking pellets and flaked foods that sink to the aquarium substrate. They will also consume blanched vegetables and various left over foods fed to fish species that make their way to the aquarium substrate.
How to successfully breed Bee Shrimp in the aquarium environment.
Hobbyists who wish to breed Bee Shrimp should keep a small mixed group of males and females separate from other invertebrate or fish species within an established aquarium. It is very important to keep the water parameters to as close as possible to ideal conditions for the species. The ideal water conditions for breeding Bee Shrimp are a temperature of 65°, Ph of 6.4 and a water hardness dkh of 4. The aquarium should also contain some rocks, plants or driftwood in order to provide the shrimp with a sense of security and to simulate natural conditions.
Once the breeding aquarium meets the necessary water parameters a group of male and female shrimp will typically have no problems successfully breeding. It can be slightly difficult to determine the sex of the Bee Shrimp; however, the males are generally smaller in size as adults and have tail sections that are shorter and thinner than the females of the species.
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