Ninja Shrimp
Ninja Shrimp

Ninja Shrimp

English name: Ninja Shrimp
Scientific name: Caridina serratirostris
Origin: Asia
Size: 1 in / 1.4 in (male / female) 2.5 cm / 3.5 cm
Water temperature: 72 - 81 °F / 22 - 27 °C
Recommended pH range: 6.5 - 7.5
Behaviour: non-aggressive
Difficulty: easy to medium
Breeding rate: medium (requires saltwater)  

Introduction to Ninja Shrimp

The Ninja shrimp derives its common name from its ability to suddenly vanish, just like a ninja. Unlike a ninja, the Ninja shrimp executes its vanishing act by changing colours and blending into the background.

Caridina serratirostris is known under several other common names in addition to Ninja shrimp, such as Honey shrimp and Christmas shrimp.

This species requires saltwater to reproduce and virtually all specimens in the trade are wild caught.  

Geographical origin and habitat

The Ninja shrimp is found in Asia.

Physical appearance

As mentioned above, the Ninja shrimp can rapidly changes it colouration to match the background. It can for instance show shades of red, blue, yellow, brown, grey and black.  

Keeping Ninja Shrimp

Virtually all specimens found in the trade are wild caught, which means that they will have been subjected to the stress of being captured and transported. Severely stressed Ninja shrimps can be hard to nurse back to health in the aquarium. Finding a reputable exporter that captures and handles the shrimps with care is therefore important. How hard the shrimps will be to care for depends a lot on how they have been treated before you purchase them.

The Ninja shrimp needs fairly warm water, ideally in the 72 - 81 °F / 22 - 27 °C range. The pH-level should be kept around neutral, from 6.5 to 7.5. Keep the levels of organic waste down and do not expose the Ninja shrimp to sudden changes in water chemistry or temperature. Even changes for the better should be slow and gradual.  

If the water suddenly turns bad, it is okay to let the Ninja shrimps go without food for a few days while you deal with the problem.

Feeding Ninja Shrimp

Healthy Ninja shrimps kept in a suitable environment will devour virtually all kinds of food with gusto. Keep them on a varied diet to ensure optimal health. You can for instance combine prepared foods like algae wafers, shrimp pellets and flakes with blanched greens, e.g. lettuce, zucchini and spinach. Occasional servings of meaty foods, e.g. bloodworms, are beneficial.  

If there is still left-over food in the aquarium 2-3 hours after feeding you are giving your Ninja shrimps too much food or they are too scared to come out and search for it. Scared shrimps should ideally be given more hiding spots in the aquarium and be fed when the lights are out. Eventually, they will feel safer.

Sexing and breeding Ninja Shrimp

The Ninja shrimps needs saltwater to breed and is rarely bred in home aquaria. It is considered a very difficult species to breed and you must keep an eye on the salinity levels throughout the entire breeding period. Breeding Ninja shrimp is similar to breeding Amano shrimps.

Ninja shrimps goes through a larval stage and feeding the larvae can be tricky. The larvae must be slowly and gradually adjusted to life in freshwater.