|Scientific Name||Neocaridina davidi|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 Gallons|
|Water Parameters||62-82° F, KH 0-10, pH 6.6-7.2|
The Green Jade Shrimp is one of my favorite members of the Neocaridina family. They are always a strong, deep green that truly resembles a jade. They do not come in washed out colors or have grades like some of their family members, making every one of them a fantastic addition to our freshwater aquariums.
The Green Jade Shrimp is a great clean up crew member that is easy to care fod and will breed in just about any aquarium. As long as the few major threats are not present then these shrimp can be expected to thrive and multiply, allowing them to live on for generations in the aquarium. It should be noted that they only live for one year, meaning they must breed in order to stay in the aquarium for any significant amount of time
Things To Look Out For
Trace Amounts Of Copper
The Green Jade Shrimp cannot survive when kept in aquariums with copper infused water. Copper is put into the water by either copper water pipes or water treatment such as fish medication.
Use any copper testing kit before adding the Green Jade Shrimp to your aquarium. IT doesn’t cost much more than a single shrimp but will save any inverts you may add to the aquarium in the future. The one I linked to is very easy to use and has 90 tests. Great for long time owners but so cheap that new aquarists don’t need to worry about the price.
You can prevent copper from coming into the aquarium by using as cold as possible water. This reduces the amount of copper that the pipes will leech into the water. A lot of homes have copper water pipes as they are great at keeping out bacteria.
Do not treat any sick fish in the same aquarium you keep inverts in. Many medications have high amounts of copper in them and will easily kill the Green Jade Shrimp. Remove sick fish and treat them in a hospital tank. Again the set up cost of a 10 gallon hospital is below what you would spend on getting a handful of shrimp. Do not put the shrimp at unnecessary risk with fish medication.
These are typically removed by beneficial bacteria in the home aquarium. If you have an aquarium that has been running for awhile, over two months, then you shouldn’t have to worry. New aquariums will not have this bacteria and should have frequent water changes to help remove nitrites and ammonia while the beneficial bacteria grows.
Strong sources of suction
Canister filters, powerheads and overflow boxes can easily suck in unsuspecting shrimp. Even if their intakes are covered or have small teeth to keep the shrimp out, they can get stuck on the side of the intake and die.
If you must use these in the shrimps aquarium try to reduce their flow rate so that the shrimp can escape their suction. Canister filters can use larger intakes to easily reduce their strength. Overflow boxes can have the returning water slowed down, which will reduce the rate at which the overflow box needs to run.
Powerhead strength reduction is more tricky, as we want them to keep water moving and aerating the water. You can position them near the surface aimed upwards to keep the waters surface moving or use them to move water around near the bottom of the tank to help debris reach the filters. Doing both with a single reduced power powerhead is not realistic.
Green Jade Shrimp Habitat
The Green Jade Shrimp is mostly farm raised or captive bred. They are well suited to life inside the aquarium and should not have issues in empty tanks with nothing but a heater and aeration. That being said their relatives in the Neocaridina family are from eastern waters, living in slow moving water with a lot of plants. This is what the Green Jade Shrimp has ingrained into their DNA as a home.
For the best results we want to replicate what they expect as their home. This will make the Green Jade Shrimp more comfortable in the aquarium. Comfortable shrimp will:
- Be more active
- Have stronger coloration
- Breed more frequently
With the Green Jade Shrimps looks anything we can do to increase their coloration should be done.
The hardest thing to do is get a lot of planted areas growing in the aquarium. To do this you will either need to buy several plants and bury them under the substrate, with the leaves extending past the substrate or buy a single plant and cut the leaves away from each other and replant them around the aquarium. By cutting and replanting the plant into a lot of areas we can create a large body of the same plant in our aquarium. Remember these plants will take awhile to regrow into multi stalk plants like they came as. Be sure to keep the plants under the substrate, as they will not grow while floating around the aquarium.
There are two main ideas when we are making the aquarium for our shrimp.
- Create a lot of surface area for the shrimp and algae
- Make hiding places that do not obstruct our view of the shrimp
Surface area simply means more places for them to walk. This also promotes algae growth and can create a lot of territories or hiding spots for fish and shrimp alike.
The main way to create this surface area is with rocks. Ideally we will use flat rocks to create structures for our shrimp to walk around on. Round rocks will work similarly but will take up more space and be harder to work with. You can think or the thin rocks as a cut up box and a round rock as a cube. There’s a lot you can do with the multiple sides but a single bulky rock isn’t as useful.
The other way we create more space for our shrimp to walk around is with tall plants. These create stalks that the Green Jade Shrimp can climb. Plants will grow algae on them, catch fish waste and general debris, give the shrimp a view point over the aquarium and protect them from any predators. They are great areas for the shrimp to spend time.
Tips on hiding spaces
Use the glass as a wall. This helps support the rocks while also allowing us to see into the shrimps hide away. They will not be worried about what’s going on outside the aquarium and will be happy they are hidden from the rest of the aquarium.
Use arches rather than full on caves. This will allow your shrimp to escape through either the front or back in case any fish swim near them. Even non predator fish can startle the Green Jade Shrimp into running.
Make the hiding spot big enough for at least 5 shrimp. These guys do not mind crawling on top of one another and will often use the same hiding spot at the same time. Make sure their hiding spots can fit more than a couple shrimp.
Have a lot of very different location hiding spots. Female Green Jade Shrimp will often go to less used hiding spots when they are carrying young.
When using wood there are a few things to remember.
- Wood lowers water pH
- Wood releases tannins and tints the water brown
- Wood is usually larger and harder to fit than rocks
The main reasons people use wood is for aesthetics. They do not lower the pH enough to turn hard water into soft water. They can make the shrimp uncomfortable if the water was already fairly low pH to begin with.
Tannins will turn the water brown, which does not bother the Green Jade Shrimp. Given their darker color I don’t particularly like tannins with this shrimp but that is just an opinion.
Be sure you have somewhere to put the wood. It can be more difficult, especially if it is lightweight and can be pushed around easily. Burying it under a bit of gravel can help hold it in place.
Sponge and under gravel filters work best with the Green Jade Shrimp. They do not pose any threat and make an easy to access collection of debris. This lets the filter clean the water and feed the shrimp at the same time.
Remember to not hide these filters as the Green Jade Shrimp will frequently be picking debris off of it. Hiding the filters is the same as hiding your shrimp.
The waters surface is unlikely to be moving due to the reduced flow rate shrimp tanks have. Unless you have a powerhead striking the surface or a power filter/waterfall filter you will likely need an air stone and air pump to keep the water oxygenated.
Gravel is the best choice, with sand being ok and bare bottom or no substrate being the least beneficial.
Gravel is easy for the shrimp to pick food from and creates a lot of surface area for the algae to grow on
Sand holds nitrates in and provides some area for algae to grow on. It is generally more expensive than gravel and much harder to keep clean.
Bare bottom aquariums provide no benefit to the shrimp. The advantage of no substrate is no cost and being very easy to keep clean. Remember no substrate means you cannot bury plants or plant rocks securely.
Green Jade Shrimp Feeding
There are two ways to classify an aquarium when it comes to feeding shrimp; With or without regularly fed fish/tankmates.
For a shrimp only tank:
Feed the Green Jade Shrimp twice a week, up to four times a week. They will hunt algae when food is not available. This means you can keep an eye on algae growth to see if you need to feed them more or less. If the algae is growing rapidly reduce feeding. If the algae is receding then you need to feed more. If the algae is hardly changing you are feeding them about the right amount of food.
Ideally we want the algae to be growing very slowly, meaning the shrimp are fed well enough that they just barely do not eat the algae as fast as it is growing. When we clean the glass in the aquarium we will remove a lot of algae, making the shrimp focus on the floor based algae.
For tanks with fish:
Feed them at most once a week. They will usually be able to get enough food from whatever the fish miss along with the waste produced by the fish. The exception to this is aquariums with tons of shrimp and just a few little fish.
What to feed them:
Green Jade Shrimp will eat just about anything that is fed to the tank. You can use:
- Meaty foods | Frozen fish
- Prepared Foods | Flakes, pellets
- Algae wafers
- Blanched Produce
Avoid over feeding. When too much food is put into the tank it breaks down into waste, which becomes ammonia. This will be broken down by bacteria into nitrites and again into nitrates. If the tank is fed too heavily the bacteria will not be able to keep up. This will have both nitrites and ammonia loose in the tank which can easily start killing creatures in the aquarium.
Try Blanched Produce
While it is more work the large, relative to the shrimp, produce can easily feed large amounts of shrimp for far less than prepared foods. If you have only a few shrimp then prepared foods are a better choice, as they last a long time and are easy to feed. Large shrimp colonies will go through prepared foods and would cost less to feed with blanched produce.
Do not be worried if the shrimp clamber on top of each other during feeding time. This is normal and they do not hurt one another by doing so.
Green Jade Shrimp Tankmates
The Green Jade Shrimp is peaceful and will not hurt anything in the aquarium. They can eat larval stage fish and inverts, but this is true about most aquarium critters.
The only things we need to see in tankmates are similar water parameters and no aggression towards inverts. Even very small fish can harass and slowly kill the Green Jade Shrimp if they are aggressive enough.
Some of the most commonly kept shrimp eaters are loaches, oscars, cichlids and barbs. Large fish like koi and goldfish can also eat the Green Jade Shrimp even if they are not particularly aggressive. Eating shrimp is not seen as an aggressive act when rating aggression.
Good tankmates for the Green Jade Shrimp include:
- Cory Catfish
- Otocinclus Catfish
- Hatchet Fish
- Thin Tetra fish
Green Jade Shrimp Breeding
The only difficult requirement for breeding the Green Jade Shrimp is to have both genders. They breed incredibly easy and will quickly produce more shrimp than most people expect to have.
With transparent or slightly translucent shrimp we can easily see a yellow dot behind the female shrimps head when they are ready to breed. Once they have been fertilized we can then see the eggs move to their under belly and turn from orange to a dark gray. With the Green Jade Shrimps dark colors this can be more difficult but can still be done.
If the shrimp are not ready to breed there is no way to tell their genders apart. In this case you would need to buy multiple shrimp and hope to get both genders. As they are so easily bred in captivity females are not more rare than males.
Do not buy as many females as possible and count on getting a random male. It is fairly common for some females to not want to breed at the same time as others. Picking out 4 guaranteed females and hoping on 2 being male is a lot riskier than buying 1 female and 5 randoms. Worst case you get one female that produces a lot of shrimp, almost as many as multiple would before they stop breeding due to over population.
To encourage breeding among the Green Jade Shrimp:
- Keep the water parameters stable
- Make sure food is always available
- Provide plenty of hiding places
- Do not allow any predators into the tank
Keeping food available does not mean over feeding. If you choose to over feed you must also clean the aquarium more frequently and perform water changes. As the shrimp breeds so easily I do not recommend over feeding just to get them to breed.
The Green Jade Shrimp will fan their young in their under bellies until they are released. They will look like mini shrimp once released and will eat normally. There is nothing special you need to do to care for these baby shrimp. They are more likely to be hunted by fish while they are small. You can either remove the pregnant female shrimp, baby shrimp or fish and place them in a secondary aquarium to help promote the survival rate of the new shrimp.
This video shows a female shrimp with baby shrimp just about ready to be born. While these are pumpkin shrimp they breed similarly. It may be more difficult to spot these changes in the Green Jade Shrimp.