Species name: Caridina cf. cantonensis “Blue Tiger”
Common names: Blue Tiger Shrimp
Maximum length: 1.2 inches
Minimum tank size: 5-10 gallons
Distribution: Selectively bred color mutation of normal Tiger Shrimp. The Tiger Shrimp comes from South East Asia
The blue tiger shrimp has got to be one of the most beautiful of all freshwater aquarium shrimp. The blue tiger is instantly recognizable, not just for its deep blue coloration but for its striking orange eyes as well. This contrast is sure to get the attention of anyone viewing the aquarium, and these shrimps are real conversation starters for any hobbyist.
The blue tiger shrimp is thought to have originated as a natural mutation of the popular tiger shrimp. Through selective breeding, hobbyists have retained this striking blue color and brought a truly beautiful dwarf shrimp to the home aquarium. The blue tiger shrimp is still somewhat of a rare breed, and as a consequence, they tend to be more costly than other species.
Tiger shrimps are best kept in a pH range of 6.5-7.5, and the species also prefer soft water. Hobbyists with hard water may want to use RO water for their tanks or invest in a quality water softener. The blue tiger can also be vulnerable to poor water conditions, much more so than the regular tiger shrimp, so keeping an eye on water quality is essential when keeping this species.
The blue tiger shrimp will eat pretty much anything, from commercial fish food to specialized invertebrate food to blanched spinach and zucchini. When feeding keep in mind that these shrimps are scavengers by nature, and they are likely to get a large percentage of the nutrients they need just cleaning up food that other tank residents have missed. Since water quality is so critical in the successful keeping of these shrimp, be sure not to overfeed them.
Anyone planning to create their own blue tigers colony by breeding their own should know that some of the offspring will not retain the blue coloring of their parents. The non-blue offspring are simply called Orange Eyed Tiger Shrimp or Blonde Tiger Shrimp. Of course, the non-blue tiger shrimp is still an attractive species, so all is not lost.
Breeding can be a bit of a challenge, but experienced hobbyists may want to give it a try. The good news is that it is quite easy to distinguish males from females in the blue tigers. The female is larger with a curved underbelly, and the female also tends to have a darker coloration than the male. However, it is the size differentiation that is the most important thing to look for – the female will be quite a bit larger than the male.
If you are looking for a stunning addition to your aquarium you may want to give the blue tiger shrimp a try. These beautiful creatures are sure to get the attention of hobbyists and non-hobbyists alike, and they are certainly lovely to look at. .They typically do quite well in the community tank environment, as long as they are not housed with aggressive species. When they are happy and healthy these shrimps will spend many hours roaming the bottom of the tank in search of morsels of food, so you should have plenty of chances to watch these fascinating animals.