Snowball Shrimp

Quick Facts about Snowball Shrimp

AspectDetail
Species NameNeocaridina zhangjiajiensis
Common NameSnowball Shrimp
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan1-2 years
Adult Size1-1.5 inches
DietOmnivore
Minimum Tank Size5 gallons
Temperature65-80°F (18-27°C)
Water ConditionsFreshwater, Stable
Optimal PH6.5-7.5
Optimal KH3-10

About the Snowball Shrimp

The Snowball Shrimp, scientifically known as Neocaridina zhangjiajiensis, is a freshwater species native to the streams and ponds of Asia. These are not as commonly seen in the aquarium trade as some of their Neocaridina cousins like the Cherry Shrimp but are gaining popularity due to their unique appearance and easy care requirements. They sport a translucent body with small white spots, which gives them the appearance of having snowballs inside their bodies, thus the name.

Snowball Shrimp Lifespan

Typically, Snowball Shrimp have a lifespan of 1 to 2 years in captivity. Factors such as water quality, diet, and tank conditions play a significant role in their longevity. It’s also worth noting that they can breed prolifically under ideal conditions.

Appearance

Snowball Shrimp have a fascinating translucent body punctuated by numerous small, round, white specks resembling snowballs. This pattern gives them a unique and captivating appearance. Their soft, delicate appearance with these “snowballs” spread across their bodies makes them a real visual treat in any aquarium setup.

Average Size

An adult Snowball Shrimp generally reaches a size of 1 to 1.5 inches. Their compact size makes them suitable for nano tanks and larger community setups alike.

Snowball Shrimp Care

Tank Size

A minimum of 5 gallons is recommended for keeping Snowball Shrimp, although larger tanks can provide more stability in terms of water parameters.

How To Set Up Their Tank

To create a suitable environment for Snowball Shrimp, it’s essential to provide hiding spots using plants, driftwood, or shrimp shelters. They appreciate a planted aquarium, where they can forage on biofilm and algae. A sponge filter is a great option as it provides both aeration and filtration without the risk of shrimps getting sucked in.

Lighting Requirements

Snowball Shrimp don’t have specific lighting needs. Standard aquarium lighting, mainly for live plants, works perfectly for them.

Water Parameters (Water Type, Temperature, Hardness)

Being freshwater creatures, Snowball Shrimp thrive in stable water conditions. The ideal temperature range is between 65-80°F (18-27°C). They are adaptable in terms of water hardness but generally prefer slightly hard water.

Water PH

Maintain a pH level between 6.5 to 7.5 to ensure a healthy environment for your Snowball Shrimp.

Temperature

Consistency is vital; hence, the tank’s temperature should remain within the 65-80°F (18-27°C) range.

Lighting

Moderate lighting will suffice, primarily if you’ve included live plants in the aquarium. It helps promote the growth of biofilm, a natural food source for shrimps.

Best Substrate for Snowball Shrimp

A darker substrate like black or brown aquarium soil can enhance the Snowball Shrimp’s appearance. Besides aesthetics, fine-grained substrate can support the growth of beneficial bacteria and biofilm.

Reproduction of Snowball Shrimp

Snowball Shrimp breed readily in captivity. The female carries the eggs, which are visible through her translucent body. Once hatched, the baby shrimps are miniature replicas of the adults and require no special care.

Disease Potential

Snowball Shrimp are fairly hardy but can succumb to diseases if kept in poor conditions. Avoid sudden changes in water parameters and be wary of introducing new tankmates without proper quarantine.

Food & Diet

Snowball Shrimp are omnivores, feeding on biofilm, algae, and detritus in their natural habitat. In captivity, they can be offered high-quality shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, and occasionally, protein-rich treats like brine shrimp.

Behavior and Temperament

Snowball Shrimp are peaceful and non-aggressive creatures. They spend most of their time foraging on surfaces and sifting through the substrate. It’s delightful to watch a group of them interact, making them excellent choices for peaceful community tanks.

Are Snowball Shrimp Reef Safe?

Being freshwater inhabitants, the question of being reef-safe is irrelevant for Snowball Shrimp. They are, however, plant-safe and won’t harm aquarium plants.

Snowball Shrimp and Suitable Tank Mates

Snowball Shrimp coexist peacefully with other small, non-aggressive fish and invertebrates. Suitable tankmates include small tetras, rasboras, and other shrimp species. Avoid housing them with predatory fish or those known to feed on shrimp.

Breeding

Breeding Snowball Shrimp is relatively straightforward. In a well-maintained tank with stable water parameters, they will reproduce without any special intervention. Once the female is carrying eggs, ensure that there are plenty of hiding spots for the young shrimp post-hatching. These juveniles grow rapidly and can fend for themselves without any specific care.

Snowball Shrimp FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)