Caridina Black Super Crystals Shrimp

Caridina black super crystals, often revered for their striking appearance, exhibit a deep, opaque black coloration that contrasts starkly with opaque white banding patterns.

Scientific Name and Classification:

Scientifically classified as Caridina cantonensis, Caridina black super crystals belong to the Atyidae family and are a variant of the popular Bee shrimp.

Photo Credit to bee-shrimp.pl

Origin and Natural Habitat: These shrimp are selectively bred variants originating from wild populations found in the freshwater streams and rivers of southern China.

Physical Appearance, Size, and Lifespan: Caridina black super crystals typically grow to about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length. They boast a sleek, jet-black coloration across their entire body, with occasional variations like light speckling or white markings on their exoskeleton. In optimal conditions, they can live up to 2-3 years, making them a long-term commitment for aquarists.

History of Caridina Black Super Crystals

Development Through Selective Breeding: The development of Caridina black super crystals involved meticulous selective breeding to accentuate the intense black coloration. Breeders aimed to produce a shrimp with a consistent, solid black appearance, distinct from other Crystal Red Shrimp variants.

Relation to Crystal Red Shrimp: Caridina black super crystals are closely related to Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis var. “Crystal Red”), both originating from the same species but differing significantly in coloration due to selective breeding.

Popularity in the Aquarium Hobby: Since their introduction, Caridina black super crystals have gained popularity among shrimp enthusiasts worldwide. Their striking appearance and relative rarity compared to other variants make them highly sought after in the aquarium hobby.

Caridina Black Super Crystals Care and Ideal Water Parameters

Ideal Water Parameters:

  • TDS (Total Dissolved Solids): 100-120 ppm
  • pH: 5.4-6.2
  • GH (General Hardness): 4-5 dGH
  • KH (Carbonate Hardness): 0-1 dKH
  • Temperature: 60-72°F (15.6-22.2°C)

Maintaining stable water parameters within these ranges is crucial for ensuring the health and vibrant coloration of Caridina black super crystals. These shrimp thrive in well-established, densely planted aquariums with ample hiding places and minimal water flow.

Looking to Buy Shrimp?

Please contact Rare Shrimp [email protected] to discuss sourcing and buying this shrimp. *Rare Shrimp partners with a network of esteemed breeders to assist you in acquiring the desired shrimp for your collection.

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Setting Up a Successful Caridina Black Super Crystals Tank

Tank Size Recommendations: For Caridina black super crystals, a tank size of at least 5 gallons (19 liters) is recommended for a small group. Larger tanks, such as 10 gallons (38 liters) or more, provide more stable water parameters and ample space for colonies to thrive.

Filtration Options (Focus on Sponge Filters): Sponge filters are highly recommended for Caridina black super crystals due to their gentle water flow and ability to harbor beneficial bacteria essential for biological filtration. These shrimp are sensitive to water parameters, and sponge filters help maintain stable conditions without causing stress.

Substrate Choices: Use substrates like fine gravel, sand, or specialized shrimp substrates that do not alter water chemistry. Maintaining stable pH and KH levels is crucial for the health and coloration of Caridina black super crystals.

Importance of Hiding Places and Plants: Provide plenty of hiding places such as driftwood, caves, and densely planted areas. Live plants like mosses (Java moss, Christmas moss), Anubias, and Cryptocoryne not only provide hiding spots but also help maintain water quality and offer grazing surfaces for the shrimp.

Acclimation Process: When introducing Caridina black super crystals to their new tank, use the drip acclimation method over a period of about 1-2 hours. This gradual process helps them adjust to differences in water parameters, reducing stress and increasing their chances of acclimating successfully.

Photo Credit to arcyaquariums.com

Diet and Feeding

Natural Feeding Habits: In their natural habitat, Caridina black super crystals are scavengers and algae grazers, feeding on biofilm, algae, and small organic matter.

Recommended Commercial Foods: Offer high-quality shrimp pellets or granules formulated specifically for Caridina species. Look for products rich in vegetable matter and algae to support their dietary needs.

Supplemental Foods (Vegetables, Leaves, etc.): Supplement their diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, and cucumber slices. Indian almond leaves or mulberry leaves provide additional nutrition and contribute tannins that can benefit water quality.

Feeding Frequency and Amount: Feed 2-3 times a week, an amount that the shrimp can consume within 1-2 hours. Avoid overfeeding to maintain water quality and prevent food from fouling the tank.

Understanding Caridina Black Super Crystals

Basic Principles of Caridina Black Super Crystals Grading: Grading Caridina black super crystals involves assessing their color intensity, pattern clarity, and overall uniformity. Higher grades feature a solid, deep black coloration with minimal variations or imperfections.

Importance of Grading in Breeding and Sales: Grading plays a significant role in breeding programs and sales within the aquarium hobby. Breeders selectively pair shrimp to achieve desirable traits, and graded shrimp command higher prices due to their rarity and visual appeal.

Looking to Buy Shrimp?

Please contact Rare Shrimp [email protected] to discuss sourcing and buying this shrimp. *Rare Shrimp partners with a network of esteemed breeders to assist you in acquiring the desired shrimp for your collection.

Contact Us

Color Grading

Description of Different Color Grades: Caridina black super crystals are graded based on the intensity and uniformity of their black coloration:

  • G3: These shrimp have lighter, less intense colors with more transparent areas on their bodies.
  • G2: Mid-grade shrimp show more solid and consistent colors but may still have some lighter or transparent patches.
  • G1: High-grade shrimp exhibit deep, vibrant colors with minimal transparency. The colors are solid and uniformly distributed.
  • G0: Competition grade shrimp display the most intense and saturated colors with a flawless, uniform appearance, making them highly prized among breeders and collectors.

Factors Affecting Color Intensity: Several factors influence the color intensity of Caridina black super crystals, including genetics, water parameters, diet, and environmental conditions. Stable and optimal water parameters play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing their coloration.

 

Breeding Caridina Black Super Crystals

Breeding Setup Requirements: To encourage breeding, maintain stable water parameters and provide ample hiding places and plant cover. Separate breeding tanks may be necessary to protect eggs and shrimplets from predation.

Mating Behavior: Caridina black super crystals exhibit complex mating behaviors, including courtship rituals where males pursue females and perform dances to attract mates.

Egg Development and Hatching: Females carry eggs in a specialized pouch until they hatch, typically within 3-4 weeks depending on water temperature and conditions. The eggs develop through various stages visible through the translucent egg pouch.

Care for Shrimplets: Once hatched, shrimplets are miniature versions of adults and require gentle filtration, fine food particles, and ample hiding places to thrive. Regular water changes and monitoring are essential to ensure their health and development.

Common Health Issues and Treatments

Signs of Stress or Illness: Watch for signs such as lethargy, loss of appetite, unusual behavior (like excessive hiding), cloudy or opaque appearance, and discoloration.

Common Diseases and Parasites: Caridina black super crystals are susceptible to diseases like bacterial infections (often indicated by red or black discoloration), fungal infections, and parasitic infestations such as planaria or scutariella.

Prevention and Treatment Options:

  • Maintain Stable Water Parameters: Fluctuations can stress shrimp; ensure consistent pH, GH, KH, and temperature.
  • Quarantine New Additions: Quarantine new shrimp and plants to prevent introducing diseases.
  • Use Medications Sparingly: Treatments like antibiotics or antiparasitics should be used cautiously and as directed, often in a separate quarantine tank.

Compatible Tank Mates

Suitable Shrimp Species: Caridina black super crystals can coexist peacefully with other peaceful Caridina and Neocaridina species, such as other colors of Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis variants) or Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi).

Compatible Fish Species: Choose small, non-aggressive fish species that won’t prey on shrimp, such as small rasboras (e.g., Chili Rasbora), small tetras (e.g., Neon Tetra), or peaceful dwarf species like Otocinclus catfish or small Corydoras catfish. No fish should be added if you intend on establishing a breeding colony.

Species to Avoid: Avoid aggressive or predatory fish species, large cichlids, or fish known to nip at shrimp, such as bettas (Siamese fighting fish), larger barbs, or some types of gouramis.

FAQs

Can Caridina Black Super Crystals be Kept with Crystal Red Shrimp? Yes, both Caridina black super crystals and Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis var. “Crystal Red”) belong to the same species and can be kept together as long as water parameters and compatibility are maintained.

Can Caridina Black Super Crystals be Kept with Fish? Yes, they can coexist with small, peaceful fish species that do not pose a threat to them. Choose fish that prefer similar water parameters and are not aggressive towards shrimp.

 *No fish are not recommended in a breeding colony.

How Long do Caridina Black Super Crystals Live? Under optimal conditions, Caridina black super crystals can live for about 2-3 years.

How Often do Caridina Black Super Crystals Molt? Shrimp molt regularly to grow and regenerate. Caridina black super crystals typically molt every 4-6 weeks, depending on growth rate and conditions.

What Causes Caridina Black Super Crystals to Lose Color? Color loss in Caridina black super crystals can be due to stress, poor water quality, inadequate diet, or genetic factors. Maintaining stable water parameters, providing a balanced diet, and minimizing stressors can help preserve their vibrant coloration.

Buying Guide

How to Spot Healthy Shrimp: When selecting Caridina black super crystals, look for:

  • Vibrant Coloration: Solid, intense black color without fading or transparency.
  • Active Behavior: Shrimp should be active and responsive, not lethargic.
  • Clear Eyes and Appendages: Avoid shrimp with cloudy eyes or damaged appendages.
  • Clean and Clear Exoskeleton: Look for shrimp with a clean exoskeleton, free from debris or algae.

Selecting the Best Specimens: Choose specimens that exhibit the desired color intensity and pattern clarity according to your preferences. Consider factors such as grading (G3, G2, G1, G0) and overall health.

Reputable Sources for Purchasing Caridina Black Super Crystals:

Purchase shrimp from reputable sources to ensure quality and health:

  • Specialized Breeders: Look for breeders who specialize in Caridina shrimp and have positive reviews. Opt for reputable lineages. For a breeding colony, start with purebred or near purebred lineages to ensure consistent offspring and predictable gene inheritance, free from other variant genes.
  • Aquarium Shops: Reputable aquarium shops often have healthy shrimp but check their quarantine practices.
  • Online Retailers: Choose online retailers with strong reputations and guarantees for live arrival and health.

Looking to Buy Shrimp?

Please contact Rare Shrimp [email protected] to discuss sourcing and buying this shrimp. *Rare Shrimp partners with a network of esteemed breeders to assist you in acquiring the desired shrimp for your collection.

Contact Us
 

Shipping Considerations: Ensure shrimp are shipped in insulated boxes with heat or cold packs as needed to maintain stable temperatures during transit. Opt for reputable sellers who offer live arrival guarantees and transparent shipping policies.

Advanced Caridina Black Super Crystals Keeping

Selective Breeding Techniques: To enhance specific traits like color intensity or pattern, selectively breed shrimp from higher-grade specimens over multiple generations. Maintain detailed records of lineage and breeding outcomes.

Creating Unique Color Morphs: Experiment with breeding programs to create new color morphs or variations within Caridina black super crystals. This involves careful selection and breeding of shrimp with desired traits to achieve unique appearances.

Participating in Shrimp Competitions: Engage in shrimp competitions to showcase your best specimens and compete based on grading, coloration, pattern clarity, and overall presentation. Participating in competitions can also provide valuable feedback and recognition within the shrimp community.

Common Health Issues and Treatments

Signs of Stress or Illness: Watch for signs such as lethargy, loss of appetite, unusual behavior (like excessive hiding), cloudy or opaque appearance, and discoloration.

Common Diseases and Parasites: Caridina black super crystals are susceptible to diseases like bacterial infections (often indicated by red or black discoloration), fungal infections, and parasitic infestations such as planaria or scutariella.

Prevention and Treatment Options:

  • Maintain Stable Water Parameters: Fluctuations can stress shrimp; ensure consistent pH, GH, KH, and temperature.
  • Quarantine New Additions: Quarantine new shrimp and plants to prevent introducing diseases.
  • Use Medications Sparingly: Treatments like antibiotics or antiparasitics should be used cautiously and as directed, often in a separate quarantine tank.

Recap of Caridina Black Super Crystals Appeal and Care Requirements: Caridina black super crystals are prized for their striking black coloration and unique patterns, making them a standout choice for shrimp enthusiasts. They require stable water parameters, a well-maintained environment, and a balanced diet to thrive.

Encouragement for Readers to Try Keeping Caridina Black Super Crystals: Consider adding Caridina black super crystals to your aquarium if you appreciate their beauty and are willing to provide the care they need. With proper setup and maintenance, these shrimp can add elegance and intrigue to your aquatic hobby.

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Stephanie Rico