How do I keep Rednose shrimp?


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Rednose shrimp are often sold for freshwater aquaria. Werner Klotz explains why this isn't such a good idea.

Caridina gracilirostris is a small atyid shrimp widespread in the Indo-Pacific region from southern Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and northern Australia to West Africa.

Although frequently sold as freshwater shrimp these can seldom be found in pure freshwater in natural habitats. Instead, C. gracilirostris lives in brackish environments near estuaries of slow-flowing rivers where it can be seen in aquatic macrophytes or pelagic swarms in open water.

With its slender translucent body and red rostrum — long nose — this shrimp is a highly attractive aquarium pet. However, remember this species’ pelagic way of life.

Reared in a small freshwater aquarium the Rednose will survive no more than a few weeks. It should be in aquaria of no less than 100 l/22 gal of brackish water with salt concentration about 10g/l.

In brackish water C. gracilirostris can also be reared successfully without many problems. Freshly hatched larvae could be fed with a commercially available mixture of microscopic algae, as described by Heerbrandt and Lin.

In freshwater the larvae are unable to moult and develop into juveniles.

Due to its brackish requirements, it cannot be kept with true freshwater shrimp like the Amano (C. multidentata) or the popular Bee species from Chinese mountain creeks.

Read Heerbrandt, T.C. & Lin, J. (2006). Larviculture of Red Front Shrimp, Caridina gracilirostris (Atyidae, Decapoda). Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 37(2): 186-190, for more information.

This article was first published in the Christmas 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.