Crystal Red Shrimp

Quick Facts about Crystal Red Shrimp

Species NameCaridina cantonensis
Common NameCrystal Red Shrimp (CRS)
Care LevelIntermediate
Lifespan1-2 years
Adult Size1-1.2 inches
DietOmnivore (algae, biofilm, commercial shrimp food)
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
Temperature68-78°F (20-26°C)
Water ConditionsdGH 4-6, tds 100-200 ppm
Optimal PH6.2-6.8
Optimal KH0-4

About the Crystal Red Shrimp

The Crystal Red Shrimp, abbreviated often as CRS, is a captivating freshwater invertebrate that’s hailed for its striking appearance. As a selectively bred variation of the bee shrimp (Caridina cantonensis), this shrimp is notable for its pristine white and bold red banding. Originating from Japan, where breeders pursued this unique coloration, CRS has become a cherished specimen among aquarists, particularly shrimp enthusiasts, worldwide. Their radiant colors, combined with their active nature, make them a fantastic addition to any freshwater aquarium, especially those aiming for an aquascaped setup.

Crystal Red Shrimp Lifespan

On average, a well-cared-for Crystal Red Shrimp can enjoy a lifespan of between 1 to 2 years in a properly maintained tank environment. Their lifespan can be influenced by various factors, including diet, tank conditions, and genetic factors. Regular monitoring and proactive care can help ensure that these shrimp live out their full lifespan in vibrant health.


CRS are highly appreciated for their dramatic white and red striped appearance. They come in various grades based on their color distribution and pattern clarity, ranging from C grade (which has more white than red) to SSS grade, showcasing intricate patterns and a higher red-to-white ratio. A well-graded CRS can be a showstopper, turning heads and drawing admiration from anyone viewing the tank.

Average Size

When fully mature, a Crystal Red Shrimp typically measures between 1 to 1.2 inches, making them relatively small and perfect for community tanks and nano setups.

Crystal Red Shrimp Care

Though slightly more demanding than their Cherry Shrimp counterparts, with the right care and environment, CRS can thrive and breed successfully in a home aquarium.

Tank Size

A minimum of a 10-gallon tank is recommended for CRS, allowing them ample space to forage and breed. For those planning on keeping a colony, a larger tank size would be beneficial.

How To Set Up Their Tank

A tank that mimics their natural habitat is vital. This includes soft substrates like ADA Amazonia, which help maintain a lower pH, and live aquatic plants that provide both cover and a source of food in the form of biofilm. Decorative elements such as driftwood and Indian almond leaves not only enhance the tank’s aesthetics but also aid in promoting the growth of beneficial biofilm.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate to high lighting can be provided to encourage the growth of plants and algae. However, it’s crucial to balance light exposure with periods of darkness to prevent excessive algae growth.

Water Parameters (Water Type, Temperature, Hardness)

Soft, slightly acidic water is ideal for CRS. They thrive in temperatures between 68-78°F (20-26°C), with a general hardness (dGH) of 4-6 and a total dissolved solid (TDS) content ranging from 100-200 ppm.

Water PH

A slightly acidic pH level between 6.2 to 6.8 is optimal for CRS, helping in molting and overall health.


Maintaining a consistent temperature between 68-78°F (20-26°C) ensures the shrimp’s comfort and well-being.


While CRS themselves don’t have specific light preferences, a lighting regime that supports plant growth indirectly benefits the shrimp by fostering biofilm and algae development.

Best Substrate for Crystal Red Shrimp

Soft, active substrates that help in pH control, such as ADA Amazonia, are ideal. These substrates also provide a natural environment for the shrimp to forage.

Reproduction of Crystal Red Shrimp

CRS have a fascinating breeding cycle. They hatch from eggs as miniature versions of the adults and skip the larval stage seen in some other shrimp species. Providing them with a stable environment and optimal water conditions can stimulate breeding.

Disease Potential

Like other aquatic species, CRS are susceptible to a few diseases and parasites. Common issues include bacterial infections and parasitic infestations. Ensuring good water quality and a balanced diet can prevent most potential health problems.

Food & Diet

While biofilm and algae are their primary food sources, it’s essential to supplement their diet with commercial shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, and occasional protein-rich treats for a balanced diet.

Behavior and Temperament

CRS are peaceful and non-aggressive, making them excellent community tank members. Their days are typically spent foraging on plants, substrate, and decorations.

Are Crystal Red Shrimp Reef Safe?

Being freshwater inhabitants, CRS are not suited for marine environments and hence are not considered reef-safe.

Crystal Red Shrimp and Suitable Tank Mates

When choosing companions for CRS, opt for small, peaceful fish species like tetras, rasboras, and guppies. Avoid housing them with aggressive or larger fish species that might view them as a snack.


With proper care and attention to water parameters, CRS can breed prolifically. Providing plenty of hiding spots and maintaining stable water conditions can lead to a thriving, self-sustaining shrimp colony in your home aquarium.

Crystal Red Shrimp FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)