Crystal Red Shrimp Care & Info step by step

Crystal Red Shrimp (S-SS Grade)

 Common Name:  Crystal Red Shrimp, CRS, Bee Shrimp
 Scientific Name:  Caridina Cantonensis
 Genus:  Caridina
 Wild Origin:  Asia
 Adult Size:  1.25in 

Crystal Red Shrimp

The Crystal Red Shrimp is highly prized by hobbyists thanks to its striking, distinctive coloration and the challenge it presents in terms of care. Maintaining these shrimp requires very specific water conditions and extremely clean water. Ideally, they should be housed in a tank dedicated solely to Crystal Red Shrimp due to their meticulous care needs. Despite their demanding requirements, they are peaceful and active creatures. They are not suitable for beginners, largely due to their high cost and complex care, leaving little margin for error. However, for those with some experience, these beautiful shrimp are well worth the additional effort.

Crystal Red Shrimp require precise water conditions and exceptionally clean water. They thrive in soft, acidic water. The optimal temperature range for these shrimp is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. °  -78  ° Their water should be slightly acidic, with a pH ranging from 6.2 to 7.2. It's essential to maintain ammonia and nitrite levels at 0ppm and keep nitrate levels as close to 0ppm as possible, ideally not exceeding 20ppm. Numerous products are available to help buffer your water and keep healthy conditions for your Crystal Red Shrimp. Change at least 30% of the water weekly, ensuring you dechlorinate it before adding it to the aquarium. Since these shrimp are highly sensitive to changes in water conditions, frequent small water changes are better than occasional large ones. This sensitivity is particularly pronounced in higher-grade shrimp, requiring careful and attentive care.

 Key Features & Important Notes 

  • Tank-raised specimen
  • Bright, bold color and pattern
  • Shrimp are fantastic cleaners, eagerly consuming biofilm, decomposing plant debris, and algae.

Recommended Water Parameters

Crystal Red Shrimp

The provided information should only be viewed as general advice. We recommend you conduct comprehensive research before deciding to care for any livestock.

  •  Temperature Range:  64-76  °F
  •  pH:  6.0-7.5 
  •  TDS:  100-200  ppm
  •  GH:  4-6 dGH 
  •  KH:  0-2 dKH 


 Scientific name  Caridina cf. cantonensis, commonly known as 'Crystal Red',
 Common names  Crystal Red shrimp, also known as Red Bee shrimp, CRS, or simply Crystal shrimp.
 Difficulty level  Moderate
 Origin  South-East Asia


Crystal Red shrimp natural habitat

The wild ancestor of the CRS shrimp doesn't have the distinctive red and white candy cane pattern, as it wouldn’t serve well for camouflage. Instead, it has a less vibrant, translucent sandy color adorned with reddish-brown dots and lines. This wild Caridina cantonensis is naturally found in southern China (Guangdong), Hong Kong, Taiwan, and possibly northern Vietnam.

In its native environment, this shrimp can be located in small mountain streams.

Setting up a Crystal Red shrimp aquarium


You don't need a huge aquarium to house CRS shrimp; even a 5-gallon (19L) tank can suffice for a decent-sized colony. However, it's important to remember that these shrimp are quite delicate, and larger tanks are generally more stable than smaller ones. For beginners, opting for a tank around 10 gallons (38L) might make the maintenance a bit simpler.

Like any aquarium, a red bee shrimp tank requires filtration. For smaller tanks, a sponge filter It could be a good choice since it carefully filters the water and won't accidentally vacuum up any baby shrimp. To monitor your water parameters and cycling process, you'll need a liquid water test kit. A heater is also advised; although these shrimp thrive at room temperature, a thermostat heater can help avoid sudden temperature changes and maintain stability.

Shrimp are naturally prey animals and spend a lot of their time searching for food. They will benefit from having some plants and other decorations in their environment to hide in and feed on algae and other growths.

Water quality

Crystal Red Shrimp

Crystal Red shrimp have more specific requirements for water conditions compared to Neocaridina species, such as the widely favored ones. cherry shrimp They are somewhat more delicate, largely due to extensive selective breeding, so regular water changes are essential to ensure their survival and well-being.

Similar to other shrimp and fish, this species should not be placed in an uncycled aquarium due to its extreme sensitivity to ammonia and nitrite. High nitrate levels are also problematic for them, so regular water changes and frequent water testing are crucial to ensure the water parameters remain appropriate. In addition to being within the correct range, the water parameters and temperature must remain stable, as sudden changes can be deadly.

Similar to their Bee shrimp forebears, Red Bee shrimp thrive in relatively soft, slightly acidic water. They don't fare well in very warm conditions; the ideal temperature range is 62-76°F (16.5-24.5°C).

 pH  : 5.8-7.4

 Temperature  : 62-76 °F (16.5-24.5 °C)

 gH  : 4-6

 kH  : 0-4

 TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)  : 100-200


If you're curious about what can coexist with Crystal Red shrimp, remember that, like all dwarf shrimp, they are quite delicate. To prevent them from becoming a meal for other fish, it’s wise to only house them with the most peaceful tank companions.

Many shrimp enthusiasts prefer to set up tanks exclusively for CRS shrimp, particularly when dealing with the higher and more costly grades, but it is possible to include other species as well. compatible shrimp species  or harmless tankmates like snails.


Crystal Red shrimp diet

What do Crystal red shrimp eat?

The diet of Red Bee Shrimp is much like that of other dwarf shrimp. These omnivorous creatures naturally spend a lot of time scavenging and consuming whatever they discover. In an aquarium setting, they will eat algae and aufwuchs. However, since an aquarium is generally too clean to provide sufficient food for them, it is necessary to regularly provide extra food sources.

How often should I feed Crystal Red shrimp?

Crystal Red Shrimp

You can feed your Crystal Red shrimp once daily, though it is beneficial to vary the feeding intervals occasionally. As omnivores, they are open to a diverse array of foods, so consider providing a high-quality diet for them. shrimp food as a fundamental part of the diet and incorporating some diversity with blanched vegetables and frozen foods such as bloodworms.

Important As mentioned previously, CRS shrimp are highly sensitive. Always feed them only what they can eat within a few hours. Make sure to promptly remove any leftover food to avoid issues with water quality.

Breeding Crystal Red shrimp

For most Crystal Red shrimp enthusiasts, breeding these shrimp is the main focus. Successfully creating high-grade shrimp can be very satisfying, and some hobbyists even earn a bit of extra money by selling their homebred Crystal Reds.

As long as the water conditions are ideal and all care needs are fulfilled, breeding CRS shrimp is quite straightforward. The females will soon begin carrying eggs, which will hatch in approximately 30 days, producing miniature replicas of the adults. These tiny shrimplets can thrive without additional care, although some shrimp enthusiasts opt to provide them with powdered baby shrimp food. As the young shrimp grow, you can assess their quality and patterns and decide on their future.

If you're uncertain about the gender of a Crystal Red shrimp, you can compare its size to other shrimp. Females are typically bigger than males. Additionally, females have a larger and more curved belly area to accommodate and protect the developing eggs.


Crystal Red shrimp grading

Crystal Red shrimp have been selectively bred to display various color patterns. The classification of a shrimp into different grades depends on the distribution and intensity of its colors, which in turn affects its price and perceived quality. Typically, a higher grade Crystal Red shrimp possesses more white and exhibits a more opaque coloration.

Does it seem complex? Don't worry! You can find all the information needed about grading Crystal Reds in theArticle on Grading Crystal Red Shrimp .

Frequently asked questions

How big do Crystal Red shrimp get? 

Red bee shrimp are a dwarf species of shrimp, meaning they are quite tiny. Their adult size varies by gender: males remain much smaller than females. Males can grow up to approximately 1 inch, whereas females can reach a maximum size of 1.5 inches.

How often do Crystal Red shrimp molt? 

Crystal Red Shrimp

The rate at which shrimp and other crustaceans molt largely depends on their age. Young Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS) will molt nearly every day initially to support their rapid growth. After reaching maturity, their molting frequency decreases significantly, occurring every 3 to 4 weeks.

It's quite common for your shrimp to go into hiding for a while during molting. It can be concerning when they seem to vanish, but there's no need to worry! They tend to feel exposed until their new shell hardens, so they instinctively find a quiet place to stay safe from predators.

Are Crystal Red shrimp hard to care for? 

This can be quite subjective, but over the years, we've generally found it easy to keep our CRS healthy. Many novice shrimp hobbyists have also managed to care for them successfully without any problems.

Are they somewhat more sensitive than cherry shrimp? Yes, caring for Caridina shrimp is generally a bit more challenging, particularly for the higher grades. Nevertheless, if you adhere to the given guidelines, your colony should thrive without any issues.

How long until Crystal Red shrimp breed? 

It has been observed that it takes approximately 70 days for CRS to mature and begin reproducing. This rapid development cycle accounts for the quick expansion of the colony!

How long do Crystal Red shrimp live? 

Crystal Red Shrimp

A healthy Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS) can survive for approximately 1.5 years in an aquarium, though this can differ depending on individual circumstances. Factors such as water quality and temperature (with warmer conditions accelerating their life cycle) significantly impact their lifespan.

Crystal Red shrimp for sale

Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS) are fairly well-liked, so you should generally be able to locate them in many aquarium shops. However, the quality can differ significantly, and sometimes the shrimp might be misgraded or incorrectly labeled.

Crystal red shrimp aquarium 

A major advantage of most aquarium shrimp is their small size. They don't require a big tank and can comfortably live in aquariums as tiny as 5 gallons. However, if you're just starting out, you might consider opting for a slightly bigger tank, such as a 10-gallon one. Larger aquariums are easier to maintain and keep stable, which is especially crucial for delicate creatures like dwarf shrimp!

A tank for crystal red shrimp needs to be fully cycled and it's best to use gentle filtration, like a sponge filter or a filter with a guard to protect baby shrimp from being sucked in. The pH level should be kept low. While room temperature is generally fine, it's important to have a backup heater in case temperatures fluctuate because of open windows or drafts. Maintaining stable conditions is essential for the health of the shrimp.

Shrimp are social creatures, so it's best to begin your crystal red shrimp colony with a minimum of 5, though 10 is preferable to ensure genetic variety. Once you have them, they'll thrive and reproduce quickly if the environment is suitable.

Make sure to include ample hiding spots using live plants and shrimp tubes. Fry and molting shrimp prefer to hide away until they're strong enough to rejoin the colony. Additionally, the vibrant red and white colors of the shrimp look stunning against the rich green of aquatic plants.

Crystal Red Shrimp Tankmates 

Crystal Red Shrimp

You can house your crystal red shrimp with a select few fish species, depending on how cautious you want to be. If you provide ample hiding spots and don't mind occasionally losing a few young shrimp, you could opt for small schooling fish. Corydoras catfish and other small, peaceful species are also suitable, but keep in mind there is always a risk that they might nibble on baby shrimp.

For guaranteed shrimp safety and optimal breeding results, avoid keeping fish in the tank. It is best to exclusively keep crystal red shrimp. Alternatively, you can also consider other invertebrates like different shrimp species and snails, but make sure they do not crossbreed with the crystal red shrimp. Nerite snails, Amano shrimp, Neocaridina shrimp, and Thai micro crabs are all completely safe to keep with shrimp.

Caring for Crystal Red Shrimp 

The sensitivity of your crystal red shrimp largely depends on their 'grade.' Higher grade shrimp, which have more opaque coloration, have undergone more selective breeding. This breeding makes them more visually appealing but also weaker. As a result, high-grade crystal reds are more likely to die quickly if the water conditions become unfavorable.

No matter the type, all shrimp tanks require weekly upkeep, including replacing about 20% of the water and performing a gentle cleaning. When adding new water, do so gradually to avoid shocking the shrimp, and ensure that the new water matches the current temperature and pH levels.

Crystal red shrimp are omnivorous and will consume just about anything they find, although they primarily feed on plant material and biofilm that accumulates on all surfaces in a well-maintained tank. They spend their time foraging and grazing. It's important to supplement their diet with high-quality shrimp foods, as well as offering them blanched vegetables and thawed frozen foods. Be sure to remove any uneaten food within a few hours to maintain tank cleanliness.

A beautifully decorated crystal red shrimp tank can offer hours of entertainment and add a stunning natural element to your home. However, these shrimp, particularly the higher grades, are quite challenging to maintain in an aquarium.

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