Blue-tailed prawns / Caridina fernandoi

Appearance

The blue-tailed shrimp grows to a size of two to three centimetres, whereby the females are usually somewhat larger than the males. The rostrum (beak-like projection) is relatively long in relation to the size of the shrimp body and has fine bristles. The sexes can be easily distinguished. Males have a straight belly line, while females appear more plump and have a clearly drawn down shrimp carapace. The basic colour of the shrimp body is quite variable. Mature females are usually dark brown and have a light yellow backline. This is also the eponym for this shrimp species.

There are also shrimp with a dark blue to black body colour, a few light spots and a slightly indicated backstroke. Within a breeding stock, there can be both light-coloured and deep black shrimp. In contrast, males and juveniles are rather inconspicuously transparent. The blue-tailed shrimp can even adapt its colour to its surroundings. The body colouring is usually pale on a light substrate, while stronger body colours develop mainly on a darker substrate.

Attitude

The keeping of the blue-tailed shrimp is somewhat demanding and is recommended for aquarists with some experience. This shrimp species should only be kept in a group of at least 20 specimens and the shrimp tank should be at least 50 litres in size. Water temperatures of 18 to 25° C, a ph-value of 6.5 to 7.5 as well as a carbonate hardness of up to 10°dKH and a total hardness of 5 to 15 dGH provide optimal living conditions for the blue-tailed shrimp. Fine gravel or sand with dried autumn leaves is suitable as substrate.

Stone structures or roots as well as water plants offer the shrimp additional hiding places, but also retreat possibilities. Fine-grained aquatic plants (e.g. nymphomania, hornwort, java moss) also ensure the biological purification of the aquarium water and thus improve the oxygen concentration. A light or medium-strong water current is ideal and corresponds to the natural living environment. To prevent the water filter from sucking in and damaging the larvae of the blue-tailed shrimp, we recommend using a fine-pored and large-area internal filter (e.g. Hamburger mat filter).

Chuck

In its natural environment, the blue-tailed shrimp feeds omnivor and eats both animal and vegetable food. In the shrimp tank, it feeds on algae, green food in the form of food tablets or flake food, detritus (decomposed organic components in the soil) or microorganisms found when grazing the bottom of the ground. In addition to the soil mulch and fallen leaves, they should be fed regularly with finely grated vegetables that have been scalded and special shrimp food. The blue-tailed shrimp will also gladly accept very fine frozen food.

Breeding

Breeding the blue-tailed shrimp is a challenge that certainly has its appeal. This is because the medium-sized eggs do not give birth to finished juveniles, but to larvae that have yet to develop further. Unlike other dwarf shrimp species of the so-called primitive reproduction type, the larvae of the blue-tailed shrimp can survive in fresh water and do not require brackish water for their development. With a little experimentation, the optimal conditions for successful reproduction in the shrimp tank can be found. The females of the blue-tailed shrimp release around 100 to 200 medium-sized eggs after a gestation period of a few weeks. After a few days the larvae hatch, which then float upside down in the aquarium water and feed on the finest plankton.

Therefore, the water in the shrimp tank should contain sufficient microorganisms such as bacteria and protozoa, but also suspended solids, which form the food basis for the larvae. After its larval period, the young blue-tailed shrimp sinks to the bottom to continue its life there. Like its larger conspecifics, it finds its food on the ground and in the water plants, which it grazes all day. It is only from a body height of about 1.5 centimetres upwards that a body colouring can gradually be seen in young shrimp.

Socialization

The blue-tailed shrimp is calm, peaceful and extremely sociable towards conspecifics. It lives in the shrimp tank in the lower area between the bottom mull and the fallen leaves. This shrimp species can be easily socialised with other dwarf shrimp species, provided they are in other feeding areas. For example, the Amano shrimp is known as an algae killer and seeks its food on growing areas or algae lawns. It is also possible to socialize with snails or small, peaceful fish that move in the upper and middle layers of water. However, if you want to breed this shrimp species, keeping them together with fish is not recommended.