The blue velvet shrimp is the same species as sakura red cherry shrimp and is a freshwater creature that came from Taiwan. How this bright color was obtained is still unknown, but they are known with many names like blue freshwater shrimp, blue dream shrimp, blue phantom shrimp, and electric blue shrimp.

Taking care of them is pretty easy. These blue shrimps sometimes get overlooked but can be excellent additions to your tank. Therefore, keep on reading to learn more about the electric blue shrimp and how to care for them.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Stats

Although not much is known about the blue variety of this shrimp, here are some stats that will satisfy your curiosity about these aquatic animals. You will learn quick information about this fish before you buy it.

Care level Beginner
Maximum Size Up to 2 inches
Minimum Tank Size 10 gallons
Average lifespan 2 years
Diet Omnivore
Breeding Type Egg-carriers
pH 6.2 to 8
Hardness 0 to 8 KH
Temperature 65 F to 85 F
Temperament Peaceful
Order Decapoda
Family Atyidae
Genus Neocaridina
Species N. davidi

Blue Velvet Shrimp Appearance: Body And Coloration

The blue dream shrimp are best known for their appearance. They are easy to care for and an excellent addition to the tank due to their electric blue color.

The overall body of the shrimp is the same as most other shrimps, with the exception of its color. They have five pairs of legs, out of which one pair used to grab things, mostly food, and is known as maxillipeds. Moreover, they have a thick stomach that gets thin towards the tail. The tail helps them swim and stay balanced in the water. The shrimp also has an antenna on its head, which is used to detect movement and other vibrations.

Now comes the most interesting part, their color. They are bright blue in color with slight variation in the shade and hue of the blue. After all, there is a reason they are called electric blue shrimp. The blue color is seen all over their body, and there is no other color visible except blue. However, there are some dark spots covering these shrimps as well.

There are many different colors of the blue shrimp, like red, orange, yellow, green, violet, black, and many more. They all are very similar in many senses, which means they have to be taken care of in the same way. The most common species of colored shrimps is the cherry red shrimp.

– Blue Velvet Shrimp Sex Difference

It is not that difficult to see the difference in sex of the blue freshwater shrimp if you know how to look for it. It is quite difficult to sex them when they are juvenile, but it can be easy to observe the difference when they grow up.

The difference between the male and female of this shrimp is the same as most other aquatic creatures. As the fishes grow older, the female blue velvet shrimp develops a saddle under their stomach which is used to carry eggs.

The male fishes are a little smaller in size compared to the female ones. In addition to that, females are much more colorful compared to male ones as well. When observed, the female will overall look much rounder in shape.

However, these differences are easy to notice only when you have both male and female shrimps together. When alone, it might be much harder to determine the sex of the blue phantom shrimp. In that case, asking an expert might be useful.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Care

Caring for the blue dream shrimp is pretty easy, which is why it is considered great for beginners. They are low-maintenance, and you don’t have to pay them any special attention, as some other fishes and aquatic animals require.

However, you cannot throw them in a tank and expect them to grow properly, as poor conditions can lead to illnesses like copper and zinc poisoning. The blue velvet shrimp is very sensitive to these metals, which can be absolutely deadly for them. These metals are found in many fish medications, so removing the shrimp before introducing the medicine in the tank is important.

Moreover, avoid fertilizers that can contain these metals as well. The best way to take care of this is by checking the ingredients of each medicine, fertilizer, and food you put in the tank.

Other than this, the fishes are pretty hardy and can withstand a variety of conditions without getting sick. Here are some more things to keep in mind.

– Blue Velvet Shrimp Diet

Since they are omnivores, they can eat almost anything you can provide them. As bottom scavengers, they like hunting for food. The most common food for them is algae and microbes, which they like searching for by themselves.

This means that they can look for food even when you don’t feed them, but you should still provide some food to make sure they do eat at least once a day. To provide a balanced and varied diet, you should give them the various foods listed below.

  • Shrimp flakes
  • Algae flakes
  • Algae pellets
  • Blanched vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, lettuce, cucumber and spinach
  • Detritus
  • Spirulina

The thing is, they will eat dead plants, fishes, and even their own exoskeleton after molting, so you don’t have to feed them more than two to three times a week when alone and once a week when they live with other fishes. They don’t attack live animals or plants but only dead ones. Of course, to supply the other nutrients, additional food is also important. Do not overfeed them as either; this would be bad for them and introduce ammonia in the tank, which is deadly for them.

Make sure to remove all the leftover food after two hours so that it doesn’t accumulate and produce waste in the tank. Especially with vegetables, it is important to remove the food after an hour of feeding, as it can turn the water dirty and cloudy very quickly. If there are algae growing on your plants, substrate, and decoration, you might be overfeeding the blue freshwater shrimp. Therefore, skip feeding them for a week or so to keep the balance in the tank.

– Blue Velvet Shrimp Lifespan

Sadly, the blue velvet shrimp has a pretty short lifespan. Of course, it can change a little with the quality of care.

The electric blue shrimp can live only up to one or two years. If you provide them with appropriate water conditions and food, they might live a little longer, but there has not been any record of it. Interestingly, the lifespan of this shrimp can also be affected by how it was bred. So, buying it from a reputable breeder or pet shop can help with the lifespan. Still, do not expect this shrimp to live for too long!

Make sure to replicate its natural habitat to increase the lifespan as much as possible and make sure they stay healthy. Luckily, this is very easy to do as the blue dream shrimps are pretty hardy anyways. Not to mention the pop of color that they can provide to an otherwise bland home aquarium. This is why we believe they are totally worth it even if they can’t stay with us for long.

– Blue Velvet Shrimp Average Size

The size of the blue velvet shrimp varies a little depending on the sex and the tank provided. They are overall pretty small in size, just like most other shrimps.

The size of the shrimp is due to their genetics or how they were bred, as well as how they were cared for during their juvenile stage. The male blue phantom shrimp grows up to 1.25 inches when fully grown. Whereas the female shrimp grows up to 1.5 inches when fully grown.

To ensure they reach their maximum size of 2 inches, always buy them from a reputable seller and make sure to provide them with appropriate food and conditions when they are young. This is the only way to make them be as large as they can. The size and lifespan of these animals are not outstanding, but they are still great pets to have that are active and very cool to observe in the tank.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Tank

As mentioned above, caring for them is pretty easy. They are small, so they don’t need a huge tank either. You have to be careful not to let ammonia or nitrate enter the tank, though, as these are pretty harmful chemicals for this shrimp.

For aquarium shrimp care, you first have to be careful about the water parameters. Although these electric blue shrimps don’t exist in the wild, the cherry red ones do and they have the same habitat, so take inspiration from there. Many people assume that since these are very hardy creatures, you can throw them in whatever condition of the tank. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The ideal temperature should be between 72 F to 82 F, although they can also survive a wider range. The pH of the water should be 6.2 to 8, and water hardness should be 0 to 8 KH for optimal growth. They can survive slight fluctuations, but the conditions should still be stable, monitored through a water testing kit.

Their natural habitat has lots of plants like moss and wide-leafed plants, which should be replicated as much as possible in their tanks as well. In addition to that, they also need to have plenty of space to swim and hide in. Remember to provide some corners with extra shade for this purpose. Lastly, the flow of water must be pretty slow and calm. Now, let’s get into more specifics on how to recreate this environment.

– Blue Velvet Shrimp Tank Size

Since they are so small, they don’t need a big tank at all. In fact, you can keep two to three of them in one 5-gallon tank. As long as the tank follows the other conditions, it will be fine.

However, it is better to have a 10-gallon tank that can recreate their natural habitat while providing plenty of space to swim in. If you want a lot of blue phantom shrimps, then a general rule of thumb to follow is providing 1 gallon of water for each shrimp. Moreover, a larger tank will be much easier to control and more stable overall, so we recommend a 10 gallon or bigger tank for them.

Generally, you will need a couple of these shrimps in one tank to breed them and ensure they get comfortable. Therefore, choose a bigger tank if you can afford it and maintain proper conditions within it. Another thing to keep in mind is that shrimps usually don’t swim as much. They climb and walk on things, so you will need plenty of space for them to be able to do this as well.

– Blue Velvet Shrimp Tank Decorations

Now, you know that their natural habitat has lots of plants, so that is a must. There are more conditions of the tank that need to be followed. Here are some tips to give your blue dream shrimp the best fulfilling life that you can.

The Substrate

Starting with the substrate, they are not very picky when it comes to this. However, they do prefer rocky bottoms, so you can lay smooth pebbles over fine grains. They can survive on plain sand as well if you can’t find a better substrate.


As for the plants, you should have lots of different species of varying sizes, including floating plants. These provide shade and act as a food source; you know algae and biofilm grow on them, which act as a food source for them. One of the best plants for them is the java moss plant, together with:

  • Anacharis
  • Floating water weeds
  • Java ferns
  • Green Cabomba
  • Indian water ferns.

These plants also help take up all the extra nitrates in the water, which can be deadly otherwise. You will also need rocks, driftwood, caves, tunnels, and PVC pipes to increase the hiding places and provide even more algae and biofilm.

– Provide Good Filtration

Lastly and most importantly, they need a good filter that should not be too strong. The shrimp will get sucked into it or tossed around in the tank if it is too strong! Therefore, sponge and under gravel filters are ideal for them.

In addition to that, you will most probably need a water heater to maintain their high temperature, so make sure to invest in that as well. However, they don’t need any fancy lighting system, as plants can provide enough shade for these shrimps when they need it.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Tank Mates

As you know, these blue freshwater shrimps are pretty peaceful, so they will not threaten other fishes. However, they can become prey to other fishes. Therefore, the tank mates for the shrimp have to be selected properly.

Despite this, the Blue velvet shrimp can be great for community tanks with peaceful fishes. This includes small fishes and other shrimps and snails. They can survive with some other fishes, as long as they have plenty of hiding places and are not introduced into a tank last. You might wonder if blue velvet shrimp with red cherry shrimp is a good idea, and yes, it is. Almost all different colors and species of shrimp can stay together peacefully. Here are some fishes for a tank with blue dream shrimp.

  • Bristlenose pleco
  • Otocinclus
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Swordtail
  • Cory catfish
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Pearl gourami
  • Ram cichlid
  • Hillstream loaches
  • Neon and ember tetras
  • Harlequin and chili rasboras

There are many more fishes that can be kept with them. Just make sure they are peaceful and have similar water parameters. You should always avoid betta fishes, barbs, goldfish, large catfish, and many similar fishes that are aggressive. You can definitely keep a tank without fish, in fact, that will be the safest option for them.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Breeding

If you have a group of these shrimps, then it is difficult not to make them breed. They will breed readily as they don’t require any special attention for breeding.

To ensure that the shrimps breed, you just need to provide plenty of hiding spaces, appropriate food and maintain the good condition of the tank. If your tank has fish, it is best to have a separate mating tank, but that’s it!

When reading for breeding, the female electric blue shrimp will look much brighter in color and also rounder ,in preparation for carrying the eggs. Then, the male shrimp will climb inside the female shrimp and partake in copulation, after which the female shrimp will carry around 60 eggs inside her. The eggs will be visible since they have transparent bodies.

After two to three weeks or after 20 days, the eggs will hatch, and the baby shrimps will come out. The babies will be fully formed and capable of searching for food themselves. You should still provide plenty of food for the young ones, though. After 90 days, the shrimps can be considered adults and moved into the primary tank.


Here are some points to remember from the article. These shrimps are not only beautiful but great aquatic creatures to care for, especially if you are a beginner.

  • The blue velvet shrimp come from red cherry shrimp, which are native to Taiwan.
  • They are known as blue freshwater shrimp, blue dream shrimp, blue phantom shrimp, and electric blue shrimp.
  • The shrimps are around 2 inches and have a lifespan of around 2 years as well, so they need small tanks.
  • The shrimps are omnivores and scavengers that feed on algae, biofilm, and their own exoskeletons.
  •  It is possible to keep blue velvet shrimp with red cherry shrimp and other peaceful, small fish with similar water parameters.
  • It is very easy to breed them in captivity as they don’t need any special attention.

Will you add a touch of color to your home aquarium with some blue velvet shrimps?

5/5 - (17 votes)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here