The Blue Velvet Shrimp; the scientific name is Neocaridina davidi var. blue. Due to the stunning color, Blue Velvet Shrimp are gaining more and more popularity among shrimp keepers. This detailed guide will tell you everything you need to know about Blue Velvet Shrimp.
Blue Velvet Shrimp require little care, quickly reproduce and are fun to watch. They can comfortably live in a freshwater aquarium due to their ability to adapt to a new environment. Basically, they are bred similarly as the Red Cherry shrimp (here is the link to my guide about Red Cherry shrimp).
They are incredibly active, prolific and quite hardy shrimp. All these qualities make them a perfect choice for beginners and more experienced shrimp keepers as well.
Quick Notes about Blue Velvet Shrimp
|Name||Blue velvet shrimp|
|Common Names||Blue shrimp, Velvet blue shrimp, Blue jelly shrimp|
|Scientific Name||Neocaridina davidi|
|Tank size (optimal)||5 – 10 gallons (~40 liters)|
|Breeding||Very Easy (a high order shrimp).|
|Size||2.5 – 3 cm (~1 – 1,2 inches)|
|Optimal Temperature||22 – 28°C (~72°F – 82°F)|
|Optimal PH||7.0 – 7.5 (6.0 – 8.0)|
|Optimal GH||6 – 8 (4 – 14)|
|Optimal KH||2 – 4 (1 – 8)|
|Optimal TDS||150 – 200 (80-400)|
|Nitrate||Less than 20 ppm|
|Life span||1-2 years|
|Color Form||Blue (color grading)|
Description of Blue Velvet Shrimp
Blue Velvet Shrimp are gorgeous to look. Their coloration can vary through a range of blue (from light blue to intense blue but not dark) depending upon genetics, substrate, and diet (read my article how to enhance shrimp color).
The female blue shrimp are larger than the male shrimp and can grow up to 1 inch while the males usually reach only ¾ of an inch. In addition, females are more colorful compared to males.
Difference between Blue Velvet Shrimp and Blue Dream Shrimp
A few years ago, there were attempts to implement blue color gradation “A”, “B”, and “C” (using the examples of Red cherry shrimp or Crystal red/black shrimp color and pattern gradation). “A” (deep blue color) should have been the highest and “C” the lowest quality of color.
To make the long story short, unfortunately, all these attempts failed. It is almost impossible to have a unified assessment system for new color variations nowadays. Why?
Because shrimp hobby is growing so fast that lots of people create their own color and pattern variations. As a result, they call shrimp whatever they want them to name. For example, today you can find on the market – Blue velvet shrimp, Dream Blue velvet shrimp, Sky Blue velvet shrimp, Blue topaz shrimp, Blue diamond shrimp, Blue Fairy Shrimp, and some other versions.
In general, everything became very confusing and very little is known about how this or that variant came to be bred. Also, depending on the seller, the same color can be called Velvet or Dream.
In my opinion, according to the initial conception, Blue dream shrimp must have a solid (deep) blue color. While Blue velvet shrimp must have a solid (light-translucent) blue color. If you see any stripes, it means that there is no consistency. Therefore, it is a sigh of a low-grade coloration.
The same is with legs, rostrum, antennas, etc. Ideally, there should not be any irregularity.
Note: However, everybody has different preferences and all these strict rules are barely applied anymore nowadays.
The Origin of Blue Velvet Shrimp and Blue Dream Shrimp
Some shrimp breeders claim that Blue dream Neocaridina originates from Carbon Rili Neocaridina shrimp. They are bred from there to obtain a blue color. A pure blue shrimp does not have any red color or variations. Blue Dream shrimp should produce offspring that are similar to the parents. The Blue Dream shrimp that have the red color is known as the Blue Jelly or the Blue Velvet.
Other shrimp keepers believe that Blue dream originates from Chocolate (Wild Schoko shrimp) and Blue Velvet shrimp is the result of Blue Carbon Rili and Blue dream crossbreeding.
Note: Due to the fact, that nobody knows for sure, it would be better to avoid any crossbreeding between Blue Velvet and Blue dream shrimp in any case. Although they are both Neocaridina species, they were bred from different genetic lines and backgrounds. As a result, it will cause an offspring with mixed (wild and unstable) colors.
The Diet of Blue Velvet Shrimp
Keep in mind that shrimp are scavengers. Therefore, you can feed them with almost anything. As all shrimp, Blue velvet shrimp require little feeding as long as there are algae, biofilm (and some other microorganisms to feed on) present in your tank.
If you have plants, you will always find them actively searching through them and grazing on them. Do not worry, they do not eat healthy plants. However, they will eat dying, rotting or decaying plant.
Make sure to add some leaves to their diet, Indian almond leaves would be a great choice because of their outstanding qualities and properties (read my article about almond leaves in a shrimp tank).
Blue velvet shrimp will also be fine with normal fish flakes or any other processed foods. For example, I would strongly advise to give them Bacter AE. (at least from time to time). Check my article about Bacter AE. It is by far the best shrimp food. Bacter AE promotes the growth of biofilm and it covers the whole tank, which makes it an excellent food not only for adult shrimp but also for baby shrimp as well.
Do not forget to give them blanched vegetables once in a while (check out my article “How to Blanch Сucumbers and Zucchini for Shrimp, Snails and Fish the Right Way”).
Basically, the more diverse their diet the more necessary nutrient and microelements they will get for healthy growth and molting. Avoid feeding them with the same type of food for a long time.
Do not overfeed them! Overfeeding is one of the biggest causes of death for dwarf shrimp. Have a well-prepared diet plan on existing algae, biofilm and other foods in the water.
Keeping Blue Velvet Shrimp
They do not need a large aquarium. Ideally, a 10-gallon tank will suit them perfectly. However, they can live and thrive in a 5-gallon tank. Though, in this case, you will have to be in constant control over your water parameters because all dwarf shrimp prefer consistency and in small tanks, everything can go wrong very fast.
Before you introduce Blue velvet shrimp to your tank, it should be fully cycled. Dwarf shrimp do not tolerate ammonia and nitrites. In addition, be very careful about nitrates. In my article “Nitrates in Shrimp Tank. How to Lower them” I describe the negative effect of nitrates on shrimp. Other than that this species is not demanding at all. They are extremely adaptable.
Regarding filtration, I would recommend using sponge or Matten filters (link to check the price). They are pretty cheap and extremely beneficial for the shrimp. In addition, you will not worry that some of your baby shrimp will get sucked into the filter.
You do not need to have a heater unless your room temperature fluctuates too much (too fast). However, it would be a great idea to put some plants in your shrimp tank.
Plants will provide hiding places, the additional surface area for food and will play an important part in the nitrogen cycle.
Check out my articles “Top 5 Pros and Cons of having Plants in Shrimp Aquarium” and “Top 5 Plants for Your Shrimp Tank” right here.
Important: Do not forget to acclimatize them carefully. You can read more “How I Drip Acclimate Shrimp and Why” right here.
Breeding Blue Velvet Shrimp
The Blue Velvet shrimp can breed very quickly. You only need to set the right conditions for this to happen. As I have already said, your water parameters must be stable and ensure that there is enough food in the tank, especially during the breeding period.
Females will usually carry between 20 to 50 eggs beneath their tails. The swimmerets (pleopods) will constantly fan the eggs. Newborn baby shrimp looks like a tiny copy of adults. They behave like adults and easily feed by themselves.
It takes them approximately 75 days to become adults. After that, they are ready to breed.
Actually, I have a big article about “Breeding and Life Cycle of Red Cherry shrimp”. Due to the fact that Blue velvet is also Neocaridina (the same as Cherry shrimp), everything applies to Blue velvet shrimp as well.
Blue Velvet Shrimp Tankmates
In the wild, shrimp are one of the most favorite fish foods. So keeping them with other types of fish is a bad idea. Almost every kind of fish will feed on shrimp. Nonetheless, if you still want to keep your shrimp with fish, I would recommend reading my article ”How to keep shrimp in a community tank”, it will increase their chances of survival.
If you do not want to lose the color of your shrimp, you should not keep them with other Neocaridina species because of the risk of hybridization.
Therefore, the best tankmates for Blue velvet shrimp are all kind of snails (check my guides about Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Ramshorn Snails, Rabbit Snails, Nerite snails, even Assassin Snails). They will be good companions for your shrimp.
Blue velvet shrimp are very social, peaceful and undemanding creatures. They are very hardy and easy to breed. This makes them perfectly suitable even for beginners looking to keep dwarf shrimp. All in all, they will be a great addition to any tank.