Black Bee Shrimp ( Caridina cf. cantonensis “Black”) are bee shrimp of the most beautiful variety. As the name suggests, they resemble the body pattern of bees. The pattern is black and white, with the base colour black and the horizontal stripes white. However, the outfit varies from animal to animal.
The name Black Bee is mainly used to describe shrimp that have several and almost even horizontal stripes. However, there are also species with less black, such as the Mosura Black Bee. This breeding form is predominantly white, and the black is limited to the head and tail.
Black Bee shrimp reach a body size of up to 3 cm. The different gender forms can only really be distinguished when they are fully grown. Then the females have a larger and stronger body stature than the much smaller and slimmer males.
The keeping of the highly bred Black Beers is a small challenge for the aquarium keeper. These are sensitive shrimps that need certain conditions for a species-appropriate life. Important is a stable aquarium with tolerable temperatures, slightly acidic water values and a low germ water quality:
- Temperature: 18 - 27 °C
- pH value: 5,5 to 7
- Carbonate hardness: 0 to 6 dkH
- Total hardness: from 4 to 12dgH
]The conductance is 200-450 µS.
To achieve the correct water values, treatment and regular changing of the aquarium water can help. In addition, a fine-grained substrate prevents food residues from sticking and bacteria from spreading. We recommend a substrate made of burnt clay granulate, which is draped over a soil filter.
The ideal basin size measures a length of at least 60 cm and a capacity of 20 litres or more. This offers the animals sufficient freedom of movement and space to reproduce and develop.
Like most dwarf shrimp, Black Bees require a varied and natural tank design. The optimal set-up is densely planted and provides sufficient grazing areas as well as hiding places and retreats. Structuring can be done with fine-grained green plants, root wood, clay fragments and porous stones. Best suited are plants such as java moss, pearl or flame moss or moss balls. Microorganisms and algae nest on them and thus serve as a welcome food source for the shrimp.
In order to protect the delicate invertebrates from the dangerous suction of the filter system in the aquarium, appropriate precautions such as a special cover should be taken.
A species tank is recommended for the breeding of numerous healthy young animals. At optimal water values and other conditions the gestation period of Black Bee females lasts 4 weeks. The male carries out a busy brood care and removes the unusable parts.
The hatching is approximately 20 to 30 young shrimps with a size of about 2 mm. These are special reproduction types, which are fully developed from birth and immediately participate in the ground life independently. Parents and juveniles can remain in the same tank.
Black Bees are closely related to other Caridina species. If they are socialized, they can be crossed with Red Bee shrimp, Snow White Bee shrimp, Tiger shrimp, Bumblebee shrimp and for example Red Ruby, Red Wine, Blue Bolt, King Kong and Panda shrimp.
Black bee shrimps prefer a varied diet with animal and vegetable components. A mixture contains all essential amino acids, vital substances, building blocks, proteins and various enzymes.
Suitable is a common, high-quality shrimp food in the form of sticks, tablets, flakes and granules. Freeze-dried food and freeze-dried food made from water fleas, mosquito larvae, cyclops and Artemia are popular.
They also like natural food like scalded vegetables of the following varieties: nettle, spinach, red pepper, peeled or ready-made Hokkaido pumpkin chips. They also feed on plant parts that have died off in the aquarium, algae growth, biofilm and microorganisms.
Not to forget dry and brown autumn leaves. It is water neutral and belongs to the basic food. Walnut tree leaves, sea almond tree leaves and alder cones are popular. The walnut leaves can be collected in a clean, pesticide- and emission-free place. Coloured leaves must not be fed, as they contain harmful sugar.
In order for the offspring to grow up successfully, a sufficient and varied supply of food should be provided, especially in the first few weeks. Above all, economical powdered food supports the healthy development of the little ones.
Black Bee shrimp are sociable and peaceful group animals. A social tank with at least 10 peaceful fellow inhabitants is ideal. The socialisation works with small peaceful fish such as neon fish and dwarf bearfish. Also suitable are snails, crabs and of course other peaceful dwarf shrimps.
If kept in a species-appropriate way, bee shrimp can reach a life span of up to 2 years.