Red Goldflake Shrimp
Red Goldflake Shrimp

Red Goldflake Shrimp

English name: Red Goldflake Shrimp
Scientific name: Caridina sp "Red Goldflake"
Origin: Sulawesi in Indonesia
Size: 0.75 to 1 in / 1 to 2.5 cm
Water temperature: 78 - 85 °F / 25.5 - 29 °C
pH range: 7.0 - 8.5 (neutral to alkaline)
Behaviour: non-aggressive
Difficulty: difficult
Breeding rate: low

Introduction to Red Goldflake Shrimp

The Red Goldflake Shrimp is a member of the genus Caridina and hails from the Sulawesi island of Indonesia. Compared most other known species of shrimp from this region, the Red Goldflake shrimp is fairly large and since it also very beautiful it has become highly sought after by shrimp aquarists. It is however not a suitable choice if you are intending to set up your first shrimp tank since it is quite difficult to cater for in captivity. You typically need to be an experienced shrimp keeper to have any success with this species.  

Geographical origin and habitat

The Red Goldflake Shrimp is native to the Indonesian island Sulawesi in South-Eastern Asia. The aquarium trade currently receives Red Goldflake Shrimp from several different lakes on the island, but the caring information is the same regardless of which lake your shrimps come from. 

Physical appearance

Just as the name suggests, the Red Goldflake Shrimp is red with golden parts. The base colour is of a dark maroon shade which is decorated with contrasting gold speckles (“flakes”) around the body. Males and females look the same when it comes to colouration, pattern and intensity. (Read more about this in the section about sexing Goldflake Shrimp).

Keeping Red Goldflake Shrimp

Red Goldflake Shrimp is normally kept in species aquariums of at least 15 gallons. As a rule of thumb, do not keep more than 1 shrimp per gallon of water. Ideally decorate the aquarium, e.g. by using rocks and sand, since this will make the shrimp feel more at home than in a barren tank. Also keep in mind that the right type of decoration can help you keep the pH-level high enough. 

The recommended pH-value for Red Goldflake Shrimp is 7.0 - 8.5 (neutral to alkaline) and the water temperature should be78 - 85 °F / 25.5 - 29 °C.  

If you fail to provide your shrimps with a suitable environment, e.g. if you keep them in a crowded or barren aquarium, with unsuitable company, or in incorrect water parameters, they can become exceedingly shy and spend most of their time hiding together passively in the darkest spot of the aquarium. A healthy and happy Red Goldflake Shrimp is fairly active and can be seen moving around in the aquarium looking for food. They tend to be especially active during the evening and night.

Feeding Red Goldflake Shrimp

In order to prevent malnutrition, it is best to keep your shrimp on a varied diet. Many producers claim that their product is the only food needed, but it is always safer to serve several different food types. You can for instance combine more than one type of prepared shrimp food with algae water and blanched greens (lettuce, spinach, etc).

Do not feed your shrimps more food than they can devour in 2-3 hours. This is a scavenging species that must be given some time to locate its food, but letting food lay around for more then 2-3 hours will only pollute the water. If you have problems with water quality, it is okay to refrain from feeding for a couple of days until you have managed to get the problem under control.  

If your shrimps seem reluctant to eat, provide them with more hiding spots by decorating the aquarium and feed them when the lights have been turned off in the evening.

Sexing and breeding Red Goldflake Shrimp

As far as I know, males and females look the same when it comes to size, shape, colours, patterns and intensity, and sexing is difficult. Size is not a reliable way of sexing this shrimp and neither is the curve of the underbelly. The female Red Goldflake Shrimp has a saddle showing eggs underneath her carapace, but since the outside shell is so dark on this species you can not see this with your naked eye in normal light – you need infrared light.

This shrimp has been successfully bred in aquaria. Reproduction takes place in freshwater and you should not attempt to make the water salt or brackish for breeding purposes. After mating, the female will keep the eggs, normally about 20-25 eggs per batch, attached to her body until they hatch after roughly 3 to 4 weeks.  

Newly hatched Red Goldflake Shrimp look like miniature copies of their parents and even show a similar colouration.