Sulawesi Shrimp

Quick Facts about Sulawesi Shrimp

Species NameCaridina dennerli
Common NameSulawesi Shrimp, Cardinal Shrimp
Care LevelModerate to Advanced
Lifespan1-2 years
Adult Size1 inch
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
Temperature77-88°F (25-31°C)
Water ConditionsFreshwater, High Mineral Content
Optimal PH7.5-8.5
Optimal KH2-5

About the Sulawesi Shrimp

The Sulawesi Shrimp, specifically known as Caridina dennerli, is an exotic freshwater shrimp native to the unique lakes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their stunningly vibrant coloration and the fact that they hail from one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth make them a captivating addition to any aquarium. Yet, their beauty comes with a challenge. They have specialized care needs, making them a choice for more experienced shrimp hobbyists.

Sulawesi Shrimp Lifespan

Sulawesi Shrimp typically have a lifespan of 1 to 2 years under proper care. The key to their longevity is in replicating their natural habitat conditions closely, maintaining the water parameters, and providing a diet that meets their nutritional needs.


The Sulawesi Shrimp boasts a striking bright red or deep orange hue with white spots, reminiscent of the bright patterns on a cardinal fish, which gives them their common name, the Cardinal Shrimp. The brilliance of their coloration can vary, but it’s this vivid appearance that sets them apart in the shrimp world.

Average Size

These shrimps are generally small, with adults reaching an average size of about 1 inch. Their compact size combined with their vibrant appearance makes them stand out, especially when they are kept in groups.

Sulawesi Shrimp Care

Tank Size

A 10-gallon tank is the recommended minimum size for these shrimp. Given their specific needs and sensitivity to water parameter fluctuations, larger tanks can offer more stability.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Recreating the natural habitat of Sulawesi Shrimp is key. This means providing a substrate of fine sand, coupled with limestone rocks and pieces of driftwood. Plants, though not common in their natural habitat, can be added for aesthetic purposes and to offer additional hiding spaces.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate lighting is suitable for Sulawesi Shrimp. If you’ve incorporated plants in the tank, ensure the lighting also meets the plants’ needs.

Water Parameters (Water Type, Temperature, Hardness)

Sulawesi Shrimp thrive in freshwater with a high mineral content. The temperature should be kept between 77-88°F (25-31°C). They prefer harder water, which can be achieved using mineral supplements or by using a special shrimp substrate.

Water PH

A pH range of 7.5-8.5 is ideal for the Sulawesi Shrimp, leaning towards the alkaline side.


Ensure that the water temperature remains consistent between 77-88°F (25-31°C).


Moderate lighting, suitable for any live plants present in the tank, is ideal. The shrimp themselves have no specific lighting requirements.

Best Substrate for Sulawesi Shrimp

Fine sand is the best choice of substrate. This mirrors their natural habitat and facilitates their feeding patterns.

Reproduction of Sulawesi Shrimp

Breeding Sulawesi Shrimp can be challenging. While they do breed in captivity, ensuring that the young survive requires pristine water conditions and an abundance of the right food.

Disease Potential

Sulawesi Shrimp are sensitive and can be susceptible to diseases if their specific water parameters are not met. Regular monitoring and prompt attention to any changes can prevent most issues.

Food & Diet

Sulawesi Shrimp are omnivorous, feeding on biofilm, detritus, and specialized shrimp foods. Offering them a varied diet of high-quality shrimp pellets, vegetable matter, and occasional protein-rich foods is ideal.

Behavior and Temperament

Peaceful and active, Sulawesi Shrimp are a delight to watch. They are community-friendly and are often seen foraging or interacting with one another.

Are Sulawesi Shrimp Reef Safe?

As freshwater inhabitants, the question of being reef-safe does not apply. They are safe with plants and won’t harm them.

Sulawesi Shrimp and Suitable Tank Mates

These shrimps are best kept with other peaceful shrimp species and small, non-aggressive fish. Suitable tank mates might include other soft-water loving shrimp, small rasboras, and snails.


With stable conditions, Sulawesi Shrimp will breed in captivity. However, raising the young can be a challenge due to their specific needs. A separate breeding tank, tailored to their requirements and free from potential predators, can increase the chances of the juveniles’ survival.

Sulawesi Shrimp FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)