Blue Velvet Shrimp Care Guide

In the world of freshwater pets, Blue Velvet Shrimp stand out as a popular choice. Easy to care for and easy to breed, they are one of the most popular aquarium shrimp available. This article is meant to introduce you to this blue shrimp and and share care, breeding and maintenance tips!

Blue Velvet Shrimp
Blue Velvet Shrimp

Belonging to the the Neocaridina family, Blue Velvet Shrimp are a an easy to care for shrimp. They breed very easily, allowing you to build your own colony in a short amount of time. Like other Neocaridina shrimp, they are fun to watch foraging around the tank.


Blue Velvet Shrimp, sometimes called Blue Neocaridina Shrimp or Sapphire Shrimp, reach a size of 1 to 1.5 inches. Their size can vary depending in genetics, diet and tank conditions. Under optimal conditions, Blue Shrimp can live up to 2 years.

Their blue color can vary from a bright intense blue to a lighter translucent shade, depending on the grade. Generally speaking, the more vibrant the color the more expensive they are.

Like other Neocaridina Davidi variants, they have segmented bodies, whisker like antennae and cure little eyes. They are pretty fun to watch!

The most important thing when caring for Blue Shrimp is to keep the water parameters stable. They are pretty forgiving but really need stability in the tank.

Key Parameters

Blue Shrimp do well in a temperature range of 72°F to 82°F and a pH range of 6.2 to 8. This wide range is in line with many other shrimp and fish, making them great tank mates.

Water hardness should be 4-14 GH. Adding minerals to the tank is important for molting. Consider using a Weco Wonder Shell or similar product.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Infographic

Neocaridinas should be kept in a minimum tank size of 5 gallons. 10 gallons is ideal for creating a thriving colony and keeping water parameters stable. More room also encourages them to show their natural behaviors.

They are not picking about light. They can thrive in any lighting condition. Although LED lighting fixtures help to bring out their blue coloring.

When choosing a substrate, they tend to prefer a rocky material or sand. However the dark color of an aqua soil provides contrast and really brings out their blue colors!

Caring for Blue Velvet Shrimp


Blue Velvet Shrimp are omnivores. They prefer a diet of algae, biofilm, and decaying plant matter. Even with plenty of food in the tank, its a good idea to supplement their diet with a quality shrimp food. Blanched vegetables (like zucchini, spinach, and carrot), and treats like frozen or live foods (daphnia, brine shrimp) are also a perfect way to mix things up.

Feed them once a day or every other day. Provide only what they can eat in about 1-2 hours. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality, which is harmful to the shrimp. Using a shrimp feeding dish is a great way to remove uneaten food.

Tank Setup

Blue Shrimp need plenty of hiding places to feel safe and secure. Use shrimp shelters or rocks and wood to create natural caves for them to explore and hide in.

Aquarium plants are great not just for looks, but also for the overall health of the tank. Pearl weed, Java Moss, Java Fern and other floating plants are great choices. They are easy to care for, provide plenty of hiding places and help to filter out harmful nitrates.

Water Changes and Filtration

Weekly water changes of at least 10-15% will help to keep your tank clean and water parameters stable. Be careful not to change too much water at once as the stress of sudden temperature changes can kill your shrimp.

A quality sponge filter is recommended and all you really need to keep your water clean. Shrimp love climbing all over the filter and its fun to watch!

Blue Shrimp Tank Mates

Blue Velvet Shrimps small size make then vulnerable to attack from more aggressive tank mates, so choosing small peaceful fish is important. Neon Tetras, Ember Tetras and Harlequin Rasboras occupy the middle to upper levels of the tank, leaving the bottom for the shrimp.

Other Neocaridina Shrimps and dwarf shrimps such as the Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp and Bamboo Shrimp are great choices as well.

The general rule of thumb is to choose peaceful, non territorial tank makes and you shouldn’t have any issues.

Common Issues

Health Concerns and Diseases

Bacterial infections are a concern not just for blue shrimp, but all freshwater shrimp. Cloudy or discolored shells, lethargy, and loss of appetite are common symptoms of infection. Poor water quality often causes bacterial outbreaks.

Parasites like Vorticella and Scutariella can attach to the shrimp’s body, appearing as tiny white spots or threads. These parasites are often introduced through new plants or tank mates.

Shrimp shed their exoskeletons to grow, a process known as molting. Improper water conditions can lead to failed molts, where the shrimp cannot exit its old shell, potentially leading to death.

Signs of Stress or Discomfort

While it’s normal for shrimp to hide, constant hiding can be a sign of stress as well as a noticeable decrease in scavenging or eating. Color fading and erratic swimming are also signs of stress and discomfort

If your shrimp are showing any of these symptoms, check your water parameters, perform a water change and do your best to keep parameters stable.

Prevention Tips and Common Treatments

Regularly test and maintain the water parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) within the ideal range. Perform consistent water changes to remove toxins and debris.

Always quarantine new plants, shrimp, or fish for at least two weeks to prevent the introduction of diseases or parasites to the main tank.

Ensure a varied diet to keep your shrimp healthy and maintain their color. Supplement their diet with specialized shrimp food and occasional vegetables.

Add calcium sources to the water, such as cuttlebone or specialized supplements, like the Weco Wonder Shell.

Create a shrimp-friendly environment with plenty of hiding spots and a peaceful community of tank mates to reduce stress. Avoid rapid changes in water conditions and handle shrimp as little as possible.

Breeding Neocaridina Shrimp

Breeding these shrimp is really simple provided they are given proper conditions. Like other Neocaridina shrimp, growing your own colony is both rewarding and fun!

For more information on breeding Neocaridina Shrimp, check out this comprehensive guide.


As with all freshwater shrimp, Blue Velvet Shrimp are an easy to care for and fun to watch addition to your tank. With proper care, and stable water parameters, growing your colony will be both easy and rewarding.

Resources and Further Reading

Where to Buy Blue Shrimp

Chad Latta
Chad Latta

I have over 20 years in the aquarium hobby! My love for writing and passion for helping people have led me to bring you the most effective and up to date information possible, in a way that is easy to understand. Enjoy!