Orange Bee Shrimp
Orange Bee Shrimp

Orange Bee Shrimp

English name: Orange Bee Shrimp
Scientific name: Caridina cantonensis var. "Orange Bee"
Origin: The wild ancestor hails from Asia (probably China)
Size: 1 in / 1.2 in (male / female) 2.5 cm / 3 cm
Water temperature: 70 - 80 °F / 21 - 27 °C
Recommended pH range: 6.2 – 6.9
Behaviour: non-aggressive
Difficulty: easy
Breeding rate: high

Introduction to Orange Bee Shrimp

The Orange Bee shrimp was one of the first shrimps to be kept by aquarists on any major scale. It was once very popular but is now becoming increasingly hard to obtain. 

Geographical origin and habitat

The Orange Bee shrimp is a colour morph of Caridina cantonensis. Its early history remains unknown and we do not know who first bred the morph and introduced it to the hobby. 

Physical appearance

As the name suggests, the Orange Bee shrimp is renowned for its intense orange coloration. The orange coloration comes from the inside of the body; not the shell. The female shrimp displays the most powerful colour; the male is a bit blander. You can see a few narrow white stripes and some black stripes on the body of the Orange Bee shrimp.    

Keeping Orange Bee Shrimp

This shrimp will do best in soft acidic water where the pH-value is 6.2 – 6.9. Keep the gH at 4-6 and the kH at 1-2. The recommended water temperature for Orange Bee shrimp is 70 - 80 °F / 21 - 27 °C. Avoid any sudden changes in chemistry and temperature, even if they are to the better. The water must be clean, i.e. the amount of organic waste must be low. The Orange Been shrimp is more resilient towards organic waste than its sensitive relative the Crystal Red shrimp, but this doesn’t mean that the aquarist can neglect the water quality. Keep the water clean if you want your Orange Bee shrimps to thrive. Carry out frequent water changes and do not overfeed. If you encounter a sudden rise in organic waste, it is okay to let the Orange Bee shrimps go without food for a few days while you investigate and fix the problem. 

Feeding Orange Bee Shrimp

Keeping your Orange Bee shrimp on a varied diet will decrease the risk of nutritional deficiencies. This is normally not hard, since this shrimp will accept a long row of different food types in the aquarium. You can for instance feed it prepared foods like shrimps pellets, flakes and algae wafers supplemented with fresh food like blanched lettuce, spinach, and zucchini. Occasional meaty treats, e.g. bloodworms, is beneficial and will be well received.  

Do not feed your Orange Bee shrimps more than what they will devour in 2-3 hours. If they seem too frightened to come out and scavenge, give them more hiding spots in the aquarium and feed them when the lights are out in the evening.  

Sexing and breeding Orange Bee Shrimp

Sexing Orange Bee shrimps is not hard, because the female grow larger than the male and her underbelly is curved instead of straight. Females will also display a much more pronounced orange colouration.

The eggs are amber coloured and this shrimp has no larval stage; when the eggs hatch miniature shrimps will emerge. The orange coloration is noticeable from day one, but will grow more intense over time.