The Blue Pearl Shrimp (Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis var. blue) is a stunning freshwater invertebrate that has gained popularity among aquarists worldwide due to its vibrant, pearl-like coloration and easy-to-care nature. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about Blue Pearl Shrimp, including their species summary, appearance, lifespan, size, care requirements, tank setup, diet, behavior, breeding, and suitable tank mates.
Blue Pearl Shrimp are a unique variation of the Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis species, originating from Germany. Their captivating blue hue has quickly made them a sought-after addition to freshwater aquariums. These peaceful invertebrates make excellent tank cleaners, working alongside other algae-eaters to keep aquariums looking pristine.
Origin and Distribution
Blue Pearl Shrimp are a product of selective breeding from the Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis species native to China. The blue coloration was first developed in Germany and has since spread to aquarium hobbyists around the globe.
Scientific Name: Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis var. blue
Common Name: Blue Pearl Shrimp
Species: Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis
Blue Pearl Shrimp share similar physical features with other dwarf shrimp species. They have a small, conical body with a segmented tail, long antennae to navigate their surroundings, and tiny swimmerets for movement.
The primary characteristic that sets Blue Pearl Shrimp apart from other dwarf shrimp is their unique light blue coloration. However, there can be a significant amount of variation in their shades, ranging from pearl white to turquoise or darker blue. Females tend to have more vibrant coloration than males, making them more valuable to aquarium enthusiasts.
Size and Growth
As a dwarf shrimp species, Blue Pearl Shrimp are relatively small. Juveniles measure less than half an inch in length, while adults can grow a little over an inch long at maturity.
Blue Pearl Shrimp have a relatively short lifespan of one to two years. However, with proper care, a stable environment, and a healthy diet, it is possible to maximize their life expectancy.
Blue Pearl Shrimp Care
Caring for Blue Pearl Shrimp is relatively straightforward, making them an excellent choice for beginner aquarists. To ensure their health and wellbeing, it is essential to provide the right tank conditions, water parameters, and diet.
Due to their small size, Blue Pearl Shrimp do not require a large aquarium. They can thrive in a single-species nano tank or a community tank with other peaceful tank mates. A 10-gallon tank is the recommended minimum size, as it provides ample space for the shrimp to roam and allows for a more natural environment.
Blue Pearl Shrimp are adaptable creatures that can thrive in standard tropical water conditions. By maintaining the following water parameters, your shrimp will remain healthy and active:
- Water Temperature: 68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (ideal temperature is around 75 degrees)
- pH Level: 6.5 to 8.0 (near-neutral conditions of 7.2 are best)
- Water Hardness: 7 dKH or up to 20 dGH
It is crucial to monitor water parameters regularly and make any necessary adjustments to maintain optimal conditions for your shrimp. Sudden fluctuations in water parameters can stress the shrimp and lead to health issues.
Creating a comfortable and visually appealing environment for your Blue Pearl Shrimp involves selecting the appropriate substrate, plants, and decorations.
Choosing a dark-colored substrate, such as fine sand or plant-specific substrate, will help showcase your shrimp’s vibrant blue coloration. The fine consistency of the substrate also ensures the shrimp’s safety as they navigate the bottom of the tank.
While not a requirement, live plants can significantly improve the overall health and appearance of your aquarium. They help remove harmful contaminants, increase oxygen levels, and provide hiding spots for your shrimp. Additionally, live plants can develop algae, which Blue Pearl Shrimp enjoy eating. When selecting plants, opt for a mix of dense and open spaces to accommodate the shrimp’s natural habits.
Adding rocks, driftwood, or other decorations can enhance your tank’s visual appeal while providing additional hiding spaces and surfaces for algae growth. Be sure to choose aquarium-safe materials and arrange them in a way that creates a natural and comfortable environment for your shrimp.
Related: Blood Parrot Cichlid
Blue Pearl Shrimp are sensitive to strong water currents, so it’s essential to use a gentle filter with a sponge pre-filter to prevent the shrimp from being sucked into the filter. Sponge filters are an excellent option, as they provide both mechanical and biological filtration while creating a gentle water flow.
Diet and Feeding
Blue Pearl Shrimp have healthy appetites and will spend most of their time searching for food. They primarily consume algae that grow on plants and decorations in the tank. However, it is essential to supplement their diet with additional food sources to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
Sinking pellets designed for omnivorous shrimp make an excellent staple food for Blue Pearl Shrimp. Additionally, you can provide blanched vegetables, algae wafers, and other high-quality shrimp foods to supplement their diet. Feed your shrimp a varied diet in moderate amounts to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality.
Behavior and Temperament
Blue Pearl Shrimp are peaceful, non-aggressive invertebrates that pose no threat to other tank inhabitants. They are well-suited to community tanks with similarly peaceful tank mates and rarely display aggression towards one another.
Selecting appropriate tank mates for your Blue Pearl Shrimp is crucial, as their small size makes them vulnerable to predation by larger or aggressive fish. The best tank mates for Blue Pearl Shrimp include other dwarf shrimp species, peaceful snails, and docile algae eaters.
Some suitable tank mates for Blue Pearl Shrimp include:
- Other Neocaridina and Caridina shrimp species
- Peaceful nano fish such as Celestial Pearl Danios, Chili Rasboras, and Pygmy Corydoras
- Peaceful snails like Nerite Snails and Mystery Snails
- Algae eaters such as Otocinclus Catfish and Amano Shrimp
Avoid housing your Blue Pearl Shrimp with aggressive or predatory fish, as they can quickly become a target for these larger tank mates.
Breeding Blue Pearl Shrimp is relatively easy, requiring only a healthy environment and both male and female shrimp in the tank. They are prolific breeders in captivity, with females spawning every two to three months and producing around 30 eggs per batch.
The offspring, or shrimplets, emerge as miniature versions of the adults and require no special care apart from ample hiding spots and food sources. Adding plenty of plants to the tank before the shrimp give birth can help increase the survival rate of the shrimplets, as they provide hiding spaces and algae for the young shrimp to eat.
Blue Pearl Shrimp are an excellent choice for aquarists of all experience levels due to their striking coloration, peaceful nature, and low-maintenance care requirements. By providing a suitable environment, monitoring water parameters, and offering a balanced diet, you can ensure your Blue Pearl Shrimp thrive in your aquarium. If you have any questions or concerns about Blue Pearl Shrimp care that were not addressed in this guide, feel free to reach out for further assistance.