The Fish Guru

Vibrant Blue Velvet Shrimp: Care Guide and Color Grading

Blue Velvet Shrimp Overview

Aquarium enthusiasts looking for a unique and vibrant freshwater shrimp species should consider the Blue Velvet Shrimp. These small creatures are known for their bright blue color, making them stand out in any aquarium.

In this article, well be exploring key characteristics of Blue Velvet Shrimp, including their lifespan, care, and color grades.

Description and Characteristics

Blue Velvet Shrimp are a freshwater species that grow to a maximum length of one-and-a-half inches. Their distinctive bright blue color comes from tiny particles known as chromatophores, which are responsible for producing blue pigmentation.

Aside from their color, Blue Velvet Shrimp also have a slender body with four pairs of legs.

Color Grades

One aspect of Blue Velvet Shrimp that adds to their appeal is that they come in different color grades. The grading system is based on the intensity and vibrancy of their blue color.

The lowest grade is a pale blue color, while the highest grade is a deep, rich shade of blue. Blue Velvet Shrimp with medium-high grade coloring are attractive and good value for money.

Lifespan and Care

Blue Velvet Shrimp are a hardy species, and with proper care, they can live up to two years. These shrimp are sensitive to fluctuations in water conditions, so its essential to ensure that they are properly acclimatized to their new environment before introducing them to their new home.

Copper and zinc poisoning are the primary risks that arise from poor water quality, so monitoring water parameters regularly is crucial to their well-being. When it comes to water parameters, Blue Velvet Shrimp prefer a temperature range from 72-82F and a pH level of 6.4-7.4. As mentioned earlier, high levels of copper and zinc can be fatal to Blue Velvet Shrimp, so its important to use a test kit to monitor levels and only use equipment and substrate that are shrimp-safe.

Tank size is also important. Blue Velvet Shrimp can thrive in tanks that are as small as five gallons, but its best to keep them in tanks that are slightly bigger.

Providing a variety of hiding spots and shelters for these creatures is necessary. They also need access to plants and other natural substrates, such as rocks, driftwood, and artificial logs, that can help balance the water chemistry.

Aquarium Set-Up

Keeping Blue Velvet Shrimp requires some preparation when it comes to setting up their aquarium. Here are some of the fundamental aspects to consider:

Ideal Tank Conditions

Maintaining the optimal tank conditions is crucial for the health and well-being of Blue Velvet Shrimp. As mentioned earlier, maintaining the right pH level and temperature range is essential.

Using a heater and other temperature-regulating tools can help keep the water stable and prevent sudden fluctuations that can harm the shrimp.

Aquatic Plants and Substrate

Aquatic plants can be beneficial for Blue Velvet Shrimp, as they provide shelter, food, and a place to lay eggs. The substrate should be carefully chosen, as Blue Velvet Shrimp prefer smaller-sized substrates and like to dig and burrow.

Sand and small-sized gravel are excellent options.

Tank Mates

Blue Velvet Shrimp have a peaceful demeanor and prefer to be kept with other invertebrates or small nano fish. However, its essential to avoid introducing invertebrate-eating fish as these are likely to prey on Blue Velvet Shrimp and other shrimp varieties.


Blue Velvet Shrimp are fascinating, colorful, and easy to care for creatures. While they require specific tank conditions, providing them can be a rewarding experience.

With a lifespan of approximately two years, taking care of Blue Velvet Shrimp requires dedication and patience. Its essential to ensure that they are housed in an aquarium that is adequately-sized, has shrimp-safe equipment, and provides natural substrates and hiding spots for your shrimpy friends.

By following these guidelines and putting in some effort, caring for Blue Velvet Shrimp can be a gratifying experience for both hobbyists and beginners alike.

Feeding and Behavior

Blue Velvet Shrimp are foragers and bottom feeders. They feed on detritus, bacteria, and algae in the aquarium.

For a balanced diet, shrimp-specific food can be provided in small portions. Its essential to avoid overfeeding, as excess food can rot, polluting the water and causing negative side effects for the shrimp.

When feeding Blue Velvet Shrimp, its best to use a slow-sinking food, so that the shrimp can comfortably access the food without it floating or dispersing too widely.

In addition to feeding habits, its essential to understand Blue Velvet Shrimps behavior and activity to ensure their optimal health and safety.

Blue Velvet Shrimp are peaceful creatures that can coexist with other invertebrates or fish as long as their requirements are met. They are scavengers that will search for food even at night, but they will also hide in their shelters from any bright light or sudden movements.

Blue Velvet Shrimp undergo a molting process where they shed their exoskeleton and replace it with a new one for growth. Molting takes place regularly and can be stressful, but its a natural process for the shrimp.

Its essential to ensure that there are plenty of hiding places, including plants and natural substrates, in the tank for Blue Velvet Shrimp to molt safely. An additional benefit of providing hiding places is that they will serve as shelter for shrimp that have recently molted and therefore have a soft exoskeleton and are more vulnerable to predators.

Breeding and Reproduction

Breeding Blue Velvet Shrimp can be an exciting process for aquarium enthusiasts. A breeding tank can be used to simulate natural breeding conditions, ensuring a successful and healthy breeding process.

One common practice is to separate males and females in a breeding tank, with a female-to-male ratio of 3:1 or 4:1, respectively. Its important to provide the right breeding conditions, including an allocated space in the tank for copulation to take place, optimal water parameters, and a temperature range from 75-82F.

After mating, the eggs are attached to the female’s body by a sticky coating which helps them to safely travel to the females swimmerets, where they remain until hatching. After the eggs hatch, the shrimp are often moved to a separate nursery tank, as it can be easier to provide specific and optimal water conditions, as well as managing feeding and other crucial factors.

Juvenile Shrimp

After hatching, juvenile Blue Velvet Shrimp can scavenge for food among the bottom substrate and available vegetation in the breeding or nursery tank. It’s important to choose appropriate food thats well-suited for small shrimp, and supplement their diet with microorganisms, such as infusoria, so that they can have a balanced variety of nutrition.

Additionally, like adult shrimp, juvenile shrimp will also undergo the molting process. They need to be monitored closely and provided with ample hiding spaces, as well as stress-free conditions, to ensure healthy molting and growth.

Preventing Cross-breeding

Cross-breeding between different color shrimp species can occur, which can change the appearance of future shrimp generations. If you want to maintain the color and genetic traits of your Blue Velvet Shrimp, it’s crucial to separate them from other shrimp species and to only keep Blue Velvet Shrimp of the same color variation to prevent cross-breeding.

Additionally, different color variations of the same shrimp species may look striking when placed together, but there is a possibility that cross-breeding may take effect hence, observe caution in mixing different colored variations of the same shrimp species.

It is also important to note that introducing new shrimp to an existing set of aquarium organisms can cause fighting due to a shift in the established pecking order, which can sometimes lead to the death of weaker shrimp.

It’s better to ensure that all your shrimp are of the same species and color and that there is enough space in the tank for all shrimp to find shelter and feed comfortably.


Understanding the feeding and behavior of Blue Velvet Shrimp is crucial in ensuring their optimal health and well-being, as well as promoting normal breeding and reproduction. It is equally important to pay special attention when breeding and avoiding crossbreeding to ensure that the next generation of shrimp maintains its distinct color and genetic traits.

Under proper care and maintenance, Blue Velvet Shrimp can thrive in your aquarium, providing an exquisite and colorful addition to your aquatic collection.

Common Diseases

Unfortunately, just like any other living being, Blue Velvet Shrimp are susceptible to diseases, parasites, and illnesses. However, being vigilant and knowing what to watch out for can help you take preemptive measures.

Parasites and Illnesses

A common parasite that can infect Blue Velvet Shrimp is Vorticella. This parasite usually appears as small white spots on the shrimp’s outer and inner shell, eventually leading to their death.

Flagellates, which are commonly found in unclean or infested water, can also be a threat to Blue Velvet Shrimp. Another common issue that can arise is copper and zinc poisoning, which is caused by the use of non-shrimp safe equipment in the aquarium.

Symptoms of copper and zinc poisoning may include lethargy, discoloration, or abnormal swimming behaviors. Treatment requires swift action, often involving a change of water to remove the poisonous substances and introducing fish medication.

Preventing these parasites and illnesses is possible. Regular water tests will help to monitor copper and zinc levels, and the installation of shrimp-safe equipment will prevent exposure to harmful substances.

Treatment and Prevention

Common treatments for shrimp infections include adding a small amount of aquarium salt to the water to control and kill harmful bacteria. It is recommended only to add a small amount and fully understand the potential harmful effects of excessive salt use.

The services of an aquatic veterinarian can also be enlisted to identify these diseases, parasites, or illnesses and prescribe the right medication or treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Heater and Filter Necessity

One common question among aquarium enthusiasts is if they need a heater and filter for their Blue Velvet Shrimp. The answer is yes; both are necessary to keep your shrimp healthy and safe.

A heater is crucial to maintain optimal temperature ranges, while a filter will help to regulate water flow, remove harmful substances and maintain an optimum level of nitrates and ammonia.

Growth Rate of Shrimp

Many aquarists are curious about the growth rate of Blue Velvet Shrimp. Blue Velvet Shrimp can take up to several months to reach their full size of around one-and-a-half inches, which may vary depending on the quality of their diet and environmental factors.

It is important to keep them in a stable and safe environment with adequate food and hiding spots, so that they can grow into healthy and vibrant adult shrimp.


As an aquarium enthusiast, understanding the common diseases, parasites, and illnesses that Blue Velvet Shrimp may encounter, as well as their treatment and prevention, is vital. The use of shrimp-safe equipment can prevent the exposure of Blue Velvet Shrimp to harmful substances such as copper and zinc.

A heater and filter are necessary to ensure ideal water parameters, and regular water tests can help identify any water quality issues that may harm Blue Velvet Shrimp. Under proper care and regular monitoring, Blue Velvet Shrimp can thrive and be a fascinating and vibrant addition to your aquarium.

In conclusion, the Blue Velvet Shrimp is a fascinating and vibrant addition to any aquarium. Understanding their characteristics, feeding, breeding, and care requirements is crucial to maintaining their optimal health and longevity.

Its vital to be aware of common diseases, parasites, and illnesses that can affect them, so proactive measures can be taken. Providing the right conditions, such as water parameters, substrate, and hiding spots, can play an essential role in promoting their well-being.

Shrimp-safe equipment, heater, and filter are necessary to regulate temperature and water flow. By incorporating these aspects into your aquarist hobby, Blue Velvet Shrimp can thrive, be an exciting addition, and leave a memorable impression on you and any viewer who lays their eyes on your aquarium.

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