Neocaridina heteropoda
Neocaridina heteropoda

Neocaridina heteropoda shrimp

English name: Neocaridina heteropoda, Neocaridina Heteropoda wild type
Scientific name: Neocaridina heteropoda, Neocaridina heteropoda"wild"
Origin: China
Size: 1 in / 1.2 in (male/female) 2.5 cm / 3.0 cm
Water temperature: 72 - 84 °F / 23 – 29 °C
Recommended pH range: 6.5 - 7.5
Behaviour: non-aggressive
Difficulty: easy
Breeding rate: high

Introduction to Neocaridina heteropoda

The wild Neocaridina heteropoda is the ancestor of the popular Red Cherry Shrimp and Yellow Shrimp. Red Cherry Shrimp and Yellow Shrimp are both selectively bred colour morphs of this species.

Geographical origin and habitat

Neocaridina heteropoda lives in China and possibly also in other parts of Asia but its exact geographical range remains unknown.

Physical appearance

Unlike the colour morphs developed in captivity, the wild Neocaridina heteropoda has a camouflaging colouration. The coloration is scattered to make it possible for the shrimps to blend in with the background, e.g. a rock.

Females develop a saddle and both saddle and eggs are green.  

Keeping Neocaridina heteropoda

Neocaridina heteropoda is a flexible species that will adapt to both acidic and alkaline waters, from pH 6.0 to 8.0. It can live in both soft and hard water and accepts a water temperature from 72 to 84 °F (23 to 29 °C). Keep the water clean, i.e. don’t allow the levels of organic waste to rise, and avoid exposing your shrimps to sudden changes in temperature and water chemistry. Changes should be slow and gradual. 

If you encounter a problem with water quality, it is safe to let the shrimps be without food for a few days while you rectify the problem. 

Feeding Neocaridina heteropoda

Neocaridina heteropoda is a happy eater and will accept virtually all kinds of food in aquaria. Keeping it on a varied diet instead of relaying on just one food type will decrease the risk of nutritional deficiencies. You can for instance combine prepared foods like algae wafers, flakes and pellets with blanched lettuce, spinach, zucchini etc. Occasional servings of meaty treats, e.g. bloodworms, will be much appreciated. 

Do not feed your Neocaridina heteropoda shrimp more food than what is devoured within 2-3 hours, since left over food can pollute the water. If your shrimps seem frighten and refuse to come out and search for food, try feeding them when the aquarium lights are off. More hiding spots in the set up can also help.  

Sexing and breeding Neocaridina heteropoda

Sexing Neocaridina heteropoda is rather easy. Males are smaller than females and their underbelly is straight instead of round. Also, females display a much darker coloration and have a saddle for the eggs.

Neocaridina heteropoda is a highly prolific species that readily breeds in captivity. Adhere to the recommendations above about keeping Neocaridina heteropoda and you can expect them to start breeding soon without any further coaxing. 

The female produces green coloured eggs on a green coloured saddle and carries the egg until they hatch. It is typically 30-45 days from pregnancy to hatching. You know that hatching is only a few days away when you can see a new saddle appear for a new batch of eggs.