Ornamental shrimp are becoming popular in the aquarium hobby. Hobbyists that have “done it all” when it comes to keeping aquariums are finding that keeping shrimp is a fun, new challenge. Like fish, shrimp have their own unique personalities that are very endearing. Since freshwater shrimp are extremely small, it is best to keep a shrimp-only aquarium. If you would like to have both freshwater shrimp and fish in your aquarium, it is recommended to keep fish like Guppies, Zebra Danios, or GloFish to prevent your ornamental shrimp from becoming a snack.
The ornamental freshwater shrimp featured today is the Orange Shrimp. The scientific name is Caridina cf. propinqua “Orange,” but you will commonly hear them referred to as Mandarin Orange, Sunkist Orange, or simply just Orange. These peaceful omnivores are easy to care for and will reach an approximate full size of 1 inch apiece.
If you are raising Orange Shrimp as pets, they are perfect for the aquarium setup and look beautiful against dark substrate and green plant leaves. If you decide you want to breed Orange Shrimp, then there are a few extra steps to take to ensure the babies’ survival. First of all, you need to have a shrimp-only aquarium. If you have your shrimp inhabiting the same space as fish, even “shrimp-safe” fish will eat shrimp babies. Second, unlike standard Caridina or Neocaridina that produce smaller versions of themselves at egg hatching time, Orange Shrimp babies have a larval stage to go through. As an extra challenge, the larval stage shrimp must be moved into brackish water to survive and take the shape of their parents. This is an interesting step in their birth process, as adult Orange Shrimp are completely intolerant of salt. If breeding is going to be attempted with Orange Shrimp, a very complex aquarium setup will be involved. If you are looking to breed ornamental shrimp and want a simple process, choosing the Cherry Red Shrimp or the Red Crystal Shrimp is recommended.
In regards to aquarium set up, Orange Shrimp love live plants, such as java moss or Marimo Balls, as well as other live plants and driftwood. Driftwood is an important part of the set up for an Orange Shrimp aquarium, as they spend their days picking at substrate, walls, plants, and decorations to graze on algae growth. In addition to the food they find on their own, Orange Shrimp should be fed supplemental food like Fluval Shrimp Granules, algae wafers, and flake fish food. A small amount of blanched vegetables may also be given on occasion.
To get a little more technical, the recommended water parameters for Orange Shrimp are:
- PH – 6.4 to 7.6
- KH – 0 to 10
- GH – 4 to 14
- TDS – 80 to 200
- Temperature – 65 to 75 degrees
Good luck with your Orange Shrimp adventure, and make sure to let us know of your successes, parenting stories, and fun personalities!