English name: Snowball shrimp
Scientific name: Neocaridina zhangjiajiensis var. white
Origin: This variant of Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis was first bred by German shrimp breeder Ulf Gottschalk.
Size: 1 in / 1.2 in (male/female) 2.5 cm / 3 cm
Water temperature: 72-82 °F / 22-28 °C
Recommended pH range: pH 6.5 - 7.5
Breeding rate: high
Introduction to Snowball Shrimp
The Snowball shrimp is famous for its pure white coloration. Even the eggs are white, which has given it is common name Snowball shrimp. It is a selectively bred colour variant of Neocaridina zhangjiajiensis.
Geographical origin and habitat
Ulf Gottschalk, a German shrimp breeder, is the man behind both the Snowball shrimp and the Blue Pearl shrimp. Gottschalk produced both variants through careful selective breeding of the Neocaridina zhangjiajiensis wild-type.
The Snowball shrimp is pure white; even the eggs are white and look like tiny snowballs.
Keeping Snowball Shrimp
The Snowball shrimp is quite an adaptable creature, but it will not do well in waters where the amount of nitrogenous waste isn’t kept low. It will tolerate both soft and hard water and a pH-range from 6.0 to 8.0. The recommended water temperature is 72-82 °F / 22-28 °C. Avoid the lower parts of the temperature range if you wish to breed Snowball shrimp.
If the water quality drops, it is okay to let Snowball shrimps go without food for a few days while you remedy the problem. It is safer for them to be without food than to be in water with a lot of waste products.
It is generally not a good idea to house your Snowball shrimps with other members of the same genus since they may mate and produce offspring that aren’t white. Snowball shrimps are normally kept together with other Snowball shrimps only.
Feeding Snowball Shrimp
The Snowball shrimp is not a fussy eater in aquaria and you can serve it all kinds of food. You can for instance combined blanched greens (lettuce, zucchini, spinach etc) with prepared foods like flakes and algae wafers. Occasional meaty treats like bloodworms will also be greatly appreciated. Keep your shrimps on a varied diet to boost their immune system and keep the healthy and happy.
Do not feed your Snowball shrimps more than what they will devour within 2-3 hours. If your shrimps seem reluctant to come out and search for food, feed them when the aquarium is dark. If this doesn’t help, provide them with more hiding spots and investigate if any of their tank mates might be intimidating them.
Sexing and breeding Snowball Shrimp
The female shrimp is larger than her male counterpart and has a saddle and a curved underbelly. You can also see that the male has very little white coloration.
If you make sure that water chemistry and temperature is correct, and keep the levels of waste down, your Snowball shrimps will most likely reproduce without any additional coaxing. The female usually goes 30-45 days from pregnancy to hatching; and after the eggs have hatched she will be ready to reproduce again soon. You can sometimes see a new saddle emerge before the fertilized eggs have hatched.
When hatching is only a few days away, you will be able to see eyes through the egg shells.
If you keep Snowball shrimps with other close relatives, they may mate and produce offspring that aren’t white.
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