The Blue Velvet Shrimp (Neocaridin heteropoda) is technically just a color variation of the Red Cherry Shrimp, which is extremely popular in the aquarium hobby. The great truth is that these animals share many of the same care requirements, which makes them an easy buy if you have any of them in your aquarium.
The origin of this color variation is not very well understood, although many believe it came from the Carbon Rili Shrimp. Anyway, like the red cherry Blue Velvet is an easy-to-care shrimp and a excellent algae eater.
The appearance of the Blue Velvet Shrimp is something unique, as it has a completely blue body. The shade of blue can vary a little (there are a few other variations), but it is usually very vibrant. Often you will even be able to see some small darker spots covering these shrimp. These are most condensed in the front half of the body (the area where the legs begin). The eyes of this species are usually a darker color.
Because it is a very easy to care shrimp, Blue Velvet does not need much care and does not require special attention. However, there are certain parameters and water conditions that must be followed in order for it to thrive.
Keep reading the article to check out the main characteristics and basic needs of the species.
Name: Blue Velvet Shrimp, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Blue Jelly shrimp, Blue shrimp;
Scientific name: Neocaridin heteropoda;
Origin of Species: Taiwan;
Length: Up to 3 cm;
Life expectancy: Between 1 and 2 years;
Difficulty level: Easy
pH: Keep between 6.8 – 7.5;
water hardness: Between 4 – 14;
Temperature: Keep between 22 – 28°C;
Omnivorous. The Blue Velvet Shrimp is an omnivorous scavenger, that is, it will spend most of its time in search of algae or organic matter (such as biofilm) to eat. This means that a good part of his diet should be made up of materials he finds inside the aquarium. So having plants and surfaces with algae will give you plenty to chew on.
As much as the Blue Velvet can find much of its food inside the aquarium, the aquarist still needs to supplement its diet. Spirulina-enriched bottom foods are a great option and will ensure they have a good amount of nutrients available for consumption.
If you want to vary your diet even more, you can even add some cooked vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchinis. In addition, you can also add some lettuce for them to eat. Just be careful not to add too much food to the aquarium as they can start to rot and increase the levels of ammonia and nitrate which are fatal to life in a closed environment.
Below, check out some of the main feeds available for Blue Velvet Shrimp. If you want to buy them, just click on their links:
Temperament / Behavior
When it comes to the Blue Velvet Shrimp’s behavior, there’s not much to talk about. These shrimp are very simple and spend most of their time grazing. No matter what’s going on in your aquarium or what other species they live with (assuming they’re compatible), these little creatures will always be looking for some kind of food.
Watching these shrimp is really fun! You can see them under rocks, plants, in the middle of the substrate, pretty much anywhere. And they’ll be easily spotted because of their vibrant blue coloring!
Their temperament is very peaceful, which makes them quite easy to mix with other fish and invertebrates. Like most shrimp, Blue Velvets tend to just go about their business and leave any other species in the aquarium alone.
Due to their peaceful nature, finding compatible aquarium mates for the Blue Velvet Shrimp is a fairly easy task. Just choose creatures that don’t see them as food!
This means that most other invertebrates are good choices. I usually keep them with Red Cherry Shrimps and snails (with the exception of Assassin).
When it comes to fish, you need to be a little more picky. Peaceful species that are not too large are a good option. Here are some of the best:
Overall, females are larger and much more vibrantly colored than males. A female, for example, can reach 5 centimeters in length, while a male should not exceed 3 centimeters.
Mating / Reproduction
If you’re interested in breeding Blue Velvet Shrimp in an aquarium, you won’t have much work to do. While many other shrimp species require more attention, this one is pretty much the opposite.
All you need to do is place a couple in an aquarium without any fish (fish can eat the young) and respect the recommended water parameters. You won’t need to make any adjustments to encourage reproduction.
From there, just wait for the reproduction to happen without having to interfere with anything! After they mate, the female will carry the eggs with her under her tail (you will see small yellow dots on her belly).
Your only job here from that point on will be to make sure there’s algae in the aquarium so the chicks can feed as soon as they are born. This will be your main source of nutrition, although you can supplement it with some background rations if needed.
In approximately 90 days the newborns will be grown and ready for a new reproduction!
The aquarium needs to be at least 20 liters for some individuals.
Ideally, this aquarium should be heavily planted. Planted aquariums help ensure a good water quality for these shrimp. In addition, plants also serve as a great source of nutrition for them. For example, shrimp will spend much of their time feeding on the biofilm and algae that grow in the vegetation. I always recommend people to put java moss in their aquariums, as shrimp love to graze on the leaves of this easy-to-care and super-resistant plant!
It is interesting to create an environment where there are many hiding places, including rocks, logs and roots. Blue Velvet Shrimp does not require sophisticated lighting conditions, so you can add simpler plants that they will still be extremely happy.
Regarding filtration, there is no need for a strong flow, although these animals appreciate a well-oxygenated environment. Just be careful with the water inlets of the filter, as the shrimp are very small and can be sucked. I recommend you put foams in these entries to avoid this problem!