Blue Velvet Shrimp: A Comprehensive Care Guide

Blue Velvet Shrimp are a stunning freshwater species that bring a pop of color to any aquarium. These vibrant invertebrates, scientifically known as Neocaridina davidi, are a color variant of the popular Red Cherry Shrimp. Originating from Taiwan, their bright blue hue makes them a favorite among aquatic pet enthusiasts.

Caring for these little creatures is quite similar to their red cherry counterparts, making them an excellent choice for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. In this article, we will provide you with the essential information about Blue Velvet Shrimp to help you create the perfect environment for them in your aquarium.

So get ready to learn more about these captivating blue critters! In the following sections, we will cover their ideal habitat, diet, and other crucial aspects of their care. With proper knowledge and attention, your Blue Velvet Shrimp will thrive and add a touch of magic to your underwater world.

Species Overview

The Blue Velvet Shrimp is a captivating freshwater species with bright blue coloring, making it a popular addition to aquariums. It is a color morph of the Cherry Shrimp and belongs to the Atyidae family of freshwater shrimp. Originating from Taiwan, it is a member of the species Neocaridina davidi.

These shrimp are easy to care for, have a relatively short lifespan, and can quickly reproduce. They are compatible with non-aggressive tank mates and are ideal for nano aquariums. Below is a table summarizing the main properties of Blue Velvet Shrimp:

Property Information
Scientific name Neocaridina davidi (var. blue)
Common names Blue Velvet Shrimp, Blue Dream
Distribution Taiwan
Size Up to 3 cm
Lifespan 1-2 years
Diet Omnivorous
Temperament Peaceful
Minimum tank size 5 gallons
Temperature 22-28°C
pH 6.8-7.5
Water hardness 4-14 dGH
Care level Easy
Filtration/Water Flow Low to moderate
Water type Freshwater
Breeding High reproduction rate
Breeding difficulty Easy
Compatibility Peaceful community

By following the provided guidelines and ensuring a suitable environment for the Blue Velvet Shrimp, you’ll be able to enjoy the visual appeal they bring to your freshwater aquarium.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Basics

Origins and Natural Habitat

Blue Velvet Shrimp, also known as Blue Dream, belong to the Neocaridina davidi species. They are a color variant of the Cherry Shrimp and are native to Taiwan. Although their vibrant blue coloration is not naturally found in the wild, they have been selectively bred for the aquarium trade.

Size and Shape

When it comes to size, these shrimp remain relatively small, with adults typically reaching up to 2 inches in length. Their body shape is similar to that of their Cherry Shrimp relatives, featuring slender bodies and long antennae.

Color and Markings

The standout feature of Blue Velvet Shrimp is their striking blue color, which ranges from light blue to a deep, vibrant cobalt. Some individuals may also display black or very dark blue dots on their bodies, adding to their unique appearance. The remarkable coloration, also known as the Blue Dream variant, is what makes these shrimp so desirable among aquarists.


In a well-maintained aquarium, you can expect your Blue Velvet Shrimp to live a healthy and happy life for about 1 to 2 years. To ensure their longevity, it’s essential to maintain stable water parameters, as well as provide them with proper nutrition and hiding spots among live aquatic plants.

Diet and Feeding

Feeding your Blue Velvet Shrimp is a straightforward process, as they are omnivores and enjoy various types of food sources. They primarily feed on algae and biofilm that naturally form in your aquarium. Make sure you have live plants in your tank, as they provide additional nutrients for your shrimp to graze upon.

You can enhance their diet with additional foods like zucchini, spinach, and other vegetables, after blanching them to soften their texture. It’s essential to offer varied food types to ensure they receive a balanced diet. Frozen foods, such as daphnia and brine shrimp, can be fed occasionally for added nutrition.

Remember to avoid overfeeding your shrimp, as uneaten food can lead to poor water quality. Aim to provide just enough food that can be consumed within a couple of hours. A healthy diet and feeding routine will ensure your Blue Velvet Shrimps thrive in their aquatic environment.

Behavior and Temperament

Blue Velvet Shrimp are known for their gentle and peaceful temperament, making them an excellent addition to your freshwater aquarium. These friendly creatures happily coexist with other non-aggressive tank inhabitants. They spend most of their time scavenging for food and exploring their environment.

You’ll notice that these shrimps are quite active during the day, often seen picking at algae, biofilm, and detritus on various surfaces. They also play a useful role in maintaining the cleanliness of your tank, as natural waste reducers.

One interesting aspect of their behavior is their natural ability to adapt to changes in color and pigment, depending on their surroundings. This feature adds a touch of surprise and intrigue to your aquarium experience.

Keep in mind that Blue Velvet Shrimp need hiding places, like live plants or driftwood, to feel secure and comfortable. Provide them with plenty of these, and they’ll thrive in your carefully maintained aquatic environment.

Care and Tank Requirements

Tank Size

When it comes to setting up a tank for your blue velvet shrimp, the minimum tank size is 5 gallons. However, a 10-gallon tank is recommended if you plan to keep a larger colony or have other tank mates. This will provide ample space for them to thrive.

Water Parameters

Blue velvet shrimp have specific water parameters to ensure their health and well-being. Maintain the following water parameters in your aquarium:

  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0 (with an ideal range of 6.8 to 7.5)
  • Temperature: 65 to 85°F (with an ideal range of 72 to 82°F)
  • GH: 4-14 (ideally from 6 to 8)
  • KH: 0-8 (ideally from 2 to 4)
  • Nitrate: less than 20 ppm
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm

Tank Setup and Decorations

Blue velvet shrimp prefer tanks with live aquatic plants, like java moss, which provide natural hiding places. In addition, include rocks and driftwood to create a stimulating environment that encourages exploration and offers more hiding spots.

When choosing a substrate, opt for something dark and soft, such as ADA Aquasoil, to help contrast against the bright blue shrimp and avoid any injuries to their sensitive underside.

Filtration and Aeration

To maintain water quality, a sponge filter is an ideal choice for blue velvet shrimp, as it provides gentle water flow and prevents the shrimp from getting sucked into the filter. Moreover, sponge filters are great for promoting beneficial bacteria growth, which ultimately keeps your water clean.

For aeration purposes, consider using an air pump connected to your sponge filter, which will help maintain oxygen levels and ensure your shrimp’s comfort.

By following these care requirements, you can create a happy and healthy environment for your blue velvet shrimp to thrive.

Suitable Tank Mates

When it comes to finding suitable tank mates for your Blue Velvet Shrimp, you’ll want to consider other peaceful freshwater shrimp and invertebrates. For example, Cherry shrimp and Red Cherry shrimp can make great companions for your Blue Velvet Shrimp, as they share a similar temperament and living requirements.

Other small, friendly species of freshwater shrimp or small fish can also be good options. Green-colored shrimp and dwarf shrimp are compatible with Blue Velvet Shrimp and can add a nice touch of variety to your tank. Snails can also make excellent tank mates, helping to keep algae levels in check.

When introducing tank mates, it’s essential to ensure a balance of males and females. This will promote a healthy and active community in your aquarium. For beginners, Blue Velvet Shrimp are already a great choice because of their hardiness and low-maintenance needs, making them easy to care for alongside other compatible species. By selecting suitable tank mates, you’ll create a diverse and harmonious aquatic environment for your shrimp and their new friends to thrive in.


Breeding Blue Velvet Shrimp is fairly straightforward and enjoyable. To begin, make sure you have a well-established aquarium with stable water parameters. It’s essential to provide plenty of live plants and hiding spots, which help your shrimp feel safe and secure.

Keep an eye on the sex ratio in your tank; a balanced mix of both males and females is ideal for promoting breeding. Female Blue Velvet Shrimps tend to be larger with a deeper color, while males are smaller and slightly lighter in hue. Blue Dream Shrimp can also breed with them as they belong to the same Neocaridina davidi species.

When the females are ready to breed, they will develop a saddle-shaped structure under their abdomen, indicating they carry eggs. Once fertilized, the eggs will become visible in the female’s underbelly, resembling small orange or yellow dots. During this time, ensure that you have a sponge filter or prefilter sponge in place, as the newborn fry are tiny and can easily be sucked into the filter.

Feeding your shrimp a balanced diet, including high-quality pellets and specific shrimp food, will promote optimal growth and increase the chances of successful breeding. Monitor your tank’s condition and water chemistry regularly to ensure your shrimp thrive and continue to grow.

Common Diseases and Treatments

Blue Velvet Shrimp are generally hardy, but like any living creature, they can be susceptible to diseases. The key to keeping your shrimp healthy is to maintain a clean environment and monitor their behavior.

Bacterial Infection: This can cause cloudy or milky appearances in your shrimp. To treat this, remove the infected shrimp, clean your tank, and add a shrimp-safe antibacterial medication.

Parasitic Infections: Parasites like Scutariella Japonica can latch onto your shrimp. Use a salt bath (1-2 teaspoons of non-iodized salt per gallon of water) to remove parasites.

Fungal Infections: Avoid overfeeding as excess food can lead to fungal growth. Adding Indian Almond Leaves to your tank can release tannins with antifungal properties, helping prevent infections.

Remember, copper is toxic to shrimp, so avoid using medications containing copper. Additionally, keep water parameters stable and provide a well-balanced diet to help your shrimp thrive. In case of any new issues, consult experienced aquarists or seek professional advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many blue velvet shrimp can be in a gallon?

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of water per shrimp. Based on this recommendation, for a 5-gallon tank, you can comfortably house 2 to 3 blue velvet shrimp. However, a larger tank will provide more stability and comfort for your shrimp.

What other shrimp types are similar to blue velvet?

Blue velvet shrimp belong to the Neocaridina davidi species, which includes other popular freshwater shrimp colors such as the Red Cherry Shrimp. The different colors are simply different varieties of the same species. In addition, the Neocaridina genus has a large variety of color morphs, including yellows, oranges, and greens.

How hardy are blue velvet shrimp?

Blue velvet shrimp are relatively hardy and adaptable to various water parameters. They are suitable for both beginners and experienced aquarists. Just be sure to keep your tank clean, well-filtered, and maintain stable water conditions for your shrimp to thrive.

Which fish species are compatible with blue velvet shrimp?

Peaceful, small fish species that won’t prey on your shrimp are ideal tank mates. Examples of these are Ember Tetras, Celestial Pearl Danios, and some small rasbora species. Be cautious with larger or more aggressive fish, as they may see your shrimp as a snack.

What is the average lifespan of a blue velvet shrimp?

The average lifespan of a blue velvet shrimp is around 1 to 2 years. To help ensure they live a healthy, happy life, provide them with a clean, stable environment, high-quality food, and suitable tank mates. Keep an eye on water parameters to avoid potential health issues.