Blue Bolt Shrimp: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding, & More)

Blue Bolt Shrimp swimming in tank.

Blue Bolt Shrimp are among the most popular and marvelous species in the freshwater aquarium trade. These invertebrates are highly sought after due to their striking appearance and vibrant coloration, as well as their cleaning ability.

However, as much as they are attractive, they can also be quite challenging to care for. Therefore, you have to brush up on their more detailed care aspects if you want to buy and bring them to your aquarium. Lucky for you, we can help you with that.

This care guide has been exclusively designed to help you with everything you need to know about Blue Bolt Shrimp, as well as their habitat, water parameters, diet, breeding, tank mates, and everything else there is to know.

Plus, our job is to make sure that you know about more and more fascinating creatures of the aquarium community so that you can make a more informed decision. So, let’s do this!

Species Summary

Blue Bolt Shrimp are also called ornaments of the aquarium, and they are one of the most fantastic species that you can find out there. Not only does their appearance captivate you, but their activity is bound to keep you enthralled whenever you pass by the tank or stop to take a look.

They light up the entire environment, especially inside community tanks, where they share space with other aquatic creatures. They love to have a lot of fun and keep themselves busy all the time. If you are looking for peaceful species that can cohabitate with other invertebrates, they are one of the best options.

CategoryRating
TemperamentCalm and peaceful
Life Span1-2 years
FamilyAtyidae
DietOmnivore
Color FormBlue
Care levelTricky
CompatibilityPeaceful community
SizeAround 1 inch
Tank SetupFreshwater with plants and rocks
Minimum Tank Size5 gallons

Blue Bolt Shrimp have the scientific name Caridinacantonensis, and they are also called by several names, including the Blue Bolt, BB, Bolt Shrimp, Blue Caridina, and the Taiwan Bee as well.

The last name stems from the fact that these shrimp are native to Taiwan, as well as the Southern Chinese regions of the Nan’ao Island, Guangzhou, Yangjiang, and also Hong Kong, and Northern Vietnam.

Generally, these species are spread out all over East Asia, and they are also bred mostly in captivity. Many aquarists believe that they are a mutation of the actual Taiwan Bee Shrimp, or a morph of the actual Caridinacantonensis, since a shrimp with such coloration isn’t found in the wild.

Blue Bolt Shrimp are used in shallow and slow to fast-moving waters, particularly in streams and rivulets. It is also believed that they are threatened due to pollution, habitat fragmentation, and their collection for the aquarium trade.

It is also believed that there are various species of Blue Bolt Shrimp, and the distinction can be made based on their appearance. They have a lighter and darker tone, which varies from species to species in the same family.

Lifespan

Blue Bolt Shrimp have a short lifespan that doesn’t exceed 1 or 1.5 years, regardless of the level of care you provide them. Usually, they fall prey to predatory fish in the tank or die from starvation or malnutrition.

This is why it is very important for you to adhere to the care guidelines and ensure that they live for as long as they can. In some rare cases, you might see them go up to 2 years, but not more than that.

Appearance

Blue Bolt Shrimp are incredibly attractive and fascinating species, and although they are costlier as compared to other shrimp, they are much more preferred by aquarists. Their name is coined due to the dominant blue color of their skin, and the color mixes in with different spots of white all over their body.

The blue color also varies in tone and texture among different specimens. In some shrimp, you might find it to be lighter, whereas, in others, it can be much darker. A select few also have a sky blue color on their body, and their translucent properties also vary from species to species.

Due to their different tonality and texture, Blue Bolt Shrimps are graded according to the color patterns they have. Due to this system, shrimps that have darker and richer colors are much more expensive as compared to other shrimps.

Among all the specimens you can find, Blue Bolt Shrimps with a solid color are incredibly rare to find and highly graded as well. This is why they are also the most expensive among all the species.

Some of them also have a single white spot at the end of their bodies, which makes them unique.

Size

Blue Bolt Shrimp also belong to Dwarf Shrimp community, which means that they are incredibly tiny species. Although they grow pretty fast, their average size isn’t larger than 1 inch, even if you give them a healthy and well-balanced diet or perfect water conditions.

There is no evidence that states Blue Bolt Shrimp can grow larger than 1 inch, and the female species are larger than the males, which makes sexing them easier.

Blue Bolt Shrimp Care

As mentioned in the introduction, Blue Bolt Shrimp are quite tricky and challenging to care for. This also means that they aren’t the ideal species for beginners, especially if they have just gotten an aquarium. 

Therefore, it is best to leave their care to the more experienced and expert aquarists. However, if you have another species of shrimp that you have taken care of for some time, you can try to care for them.

Just make sure to pay attention to the care guidelines that we have listed below, and you should have no trouble keeping them healthy and happy. Let’s have a look at the more specific care guidelines for these magnificent shrimp.

Tank Size

Blue Bolt Shrimp are small creatures, which is why they don’t need a lot of space to move around or thrive. Therefore, you can keep them in tanks as small as five gallons only.

Some aquarists have managed to keep them in even smaller aquariums, but you shouldn’t do this, especially if you are looking to keep more than one species of aquatic creatures together.

Ideally, you should get a 10-gallon tank at least so that you can easily set it up and keep several different types of creatures together comfortably.

However, you would also have to take note of the minimum tank size for the other fish, snail, crab, or shrimp that you house with the Blue Bolt Shrimp.

One thing you should know is that these creatures like to stick together, which is why you should buy a group of at least six shrimp together so that they have each other’s company to enjoy. 

Water Parameters

Just like any other aquatic creature, water parameters are highly essential for Blue Bolt Shrimp as well. Luckily, they can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, but consistency is key if you want to take good care of them and also ensure that they thrive and stay healthy.

For starters, you should maintain the temperature between 68°F and 72°F. As compared to other creatures, this temperature range is quite low and doesn’t give you any room for leniency or experimentation. 

Moreover, Blue Bolt Shrimps prefer waters with low pH levels, which is why you should keep them between 6.0 and 6.8. Last but not least, they are used to soft water, which is why the ideal hardness is between 0-2 KH and 3-6 GH.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the ammonia and nitrate levels of the water should be zero since they are highly sensitive to these chemicals. Therefore, you will have to conduct regular water testing to ensure that these compounds don’t build up in the water.

You can buy a reliable water testing kit for this purpose. Moreover, you should also perform regular water changes from time to time so that the water quality doesn’t fluctuate.

Otherwise, Blue Bolt Shrimp will start getting stressed and eventually fall sick, which can also lead to their death.

What to Put in Their Tank?

The tank setup for Blue Bolt Shrimp isn’t quite complex or extensive, but it would be nice to provide them with an active substrate that also has buffers. For this purpose, you can layer the bottom of the tank with aqua soil or a live substrate, which not only keeps them happy but also keeps the pH levels balanced.

Apart from this, you should also install a sponge filter inside the aquarium since they aren’t tolerant to fluctuating water conditions. Sponge filters are necessary because they also prevent the shrimp from getting sucked inside the inlet tube. Moreover, matt filters are perfect for their health.

Moreover, sponge filters are particularly cost-effective. Moving on, you should also add aquarium stem plants and live plants to the tank, as they facilitate the wellbeing and health of Blue Bolt Shrimp.

They provide a surface for them to hop on and move around, and they also like to feed on the dead plant matter that falls from these plants.

These shrimp would never eat or attack the plants, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them from time to time. Apart from this, you should also layer the substrate with driftwood, which facilitates the production of algae. Just like other shrimps and several types of snails, Blue Bolt Shrimp also like to graze on algae and prevent it from soiling the tank or contaminating the water.

In terms of decorations, you can also add more rocks and other decoration materials, particularly those that have smooth surfaces. Algae also grow on these things, which would make it easier for them to find food within the tank.

Last but not least, never use tap water for the aquarium since these shrimp are sensitive to it. Rather, you can use water that has been sourced through reverse osmosis.

Last but not least, you should also add standard aquarium lighting to the tank, as it would help them stay active even through the nighttime when it is dark inside the house.

Common Diseases

Blue Bolt Shrimp are generally very durable and hardy, which means that they stay protected from many of the freshwater diseases that affect most creatures. As long as you are taking care of their water parameters, tank conditions, and diet, you won’t have to worry about them getting sick.

However, if you start getting lenient and careless about their care, you can expect them to fall ill very quickly, which is why it is very important for you to take care of everything and adhere to the care guidelines that we have mentioned here.

Like all other shrimp, Blue Bolt Shrimp are highly sensitive to even the slightest traces of copper in the water. Usually, copper makes its way into the water through medication administered to fish and invertebrates for various diseases.

Copper is toxic for them, which is why you should avoid using such medication.

If you have to administer medication to any of the creatures in the tank, make sure that it doesn’t contain copper.

If you have no other option, then it is better to isolate the ill creatures into a different tank and treat them separately so that these shrimp don’t suffer from the effects of copper getting mixed in with water.

This also means that you should always test the water quality and conditions before you introduce newly bought Blue Bolt Shrimp to your aquarium.

Most novices make the mistake of putting them straight into the tank as soon as they come home, and it can prove to be fatal for the poor creatures.

Once you have checked the water parameters and ensured that the water doesn’t have any kind of copper, ammonia, or nitrate, then you can place your Blue Bolt Shrimp in. Even then, you will have to observe them closely for a while. When they start feeling comfortable, you will notice them moving around easily.

What Do Blue Bolt Shrimp Eat?

Blue Bolt Shrimp are natural omnivores, which is why they can eat anything you give to them. In captivity, they often find enough algae and plant matter to feed off, and you can supplement their diet with lots of vegetables and fruits.

They aren’t picky eaters, and they get most of their nutritional requirements fulfilled from the tank itself. Apart from this, you can give them different types of commercial and natural foods that are suitable for shrimp. It is also worth noting that feeding is essential for their breeding process as well.

Generally, you can feed Blue Bolt Shrimp with:

  • Algae
  • Bacteria
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Almond leaves
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

Make sure to feed them only once a day, and that too in moderation. Since they get most of their food from the tank, you should add a little food to gauge whether they are hungry or how much they need to eat.

Overfeeding can cause serious health issues, and the leftover food can quickly rot and tamper with the water quality.

Behavior & Temperament

Typically, Blue Bolt Shrimp are happy and fun-loving species, and they don’t feel shy at all inside the aquarium. They prefer the company of their own kind, which is why you should keep at least six of them inside the tank.

They usually come out and swim during the daylight, and they are rarely seen swimming at night. Since they are harmless to other species, they also like to be left alone. They can get easily intimidated if you place them with any predatory or aggressive fish or invertebrates.

Blue Bolt Shrimp Tank Mates

Ideally, Blue Bolt Shrimp prefer tank mates that are peaceful and non-aggressive, as they wouldn’t feel threatened or stressed with them. They also steer clear of any fish, shrimp, or snail inside the tank and usually swim in groups of ten or twenty, depending on how many of them you have bought and kept in the aquarium.

You should avoid crabs and Crayfish at all costs, but these creatures make for suitable tank mates:

Breeding

When it comes to Blue Bolt Shrimp breeding, the water parameters need to be absolutely perfect, and you also have to take care of their diet so that they are well-fed and get the nutrition they need in order to reproduce.

The females are larger than the males, so you will have no trouble pairing them together. The females hide their eggs inside their saddle, which also helps in protecting them before hatching.

To facilitate the breeding process, you should always add an equal number of males and females to the aquarium.

The females release a certain chemical in the water to attract the males, and this indicates that they are ready for spawning. Once the mating process is complete, the eggs inside the female shrimps’ abdomens are fertilized, and their amount depends on the size of the shrimp.

When the eggs start hatching, Blue Bolt Shrimp can lay up to 40 eggs at a time, and the small fry start their lives by searching for algae and plant matter to eat on.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about their growth or wellbeing.

Final Thoughts

We bet you are already considering getting a couple of Blue Bolt Shrimps for your aquarium, and rightly so. These are fascinating and interesting species of shrimp that every aquarium enthusiast should know about.

Their care regimen can be quite tricky and challenging, but if you are committed, not only will you be able to keep them happy and healthy but also help them live and grow to their full potential.

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