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

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

Blue Velvet Shrimp are a beautiful and captivating species of freshwater shrimp that look enthralling, and you won’t be able to take your eyes off them when you get them for your home aquarium. They have a vibrant coloration that almost seems artificial when you look at them for the first time.

This is a major reason why they are hugely sought after by aquarists all over the world. Although they don’t get their fair share of attention and popularity as other types of freshwater shrimp, they can’t be forgotten.

When you learn more about Blue Velvet Shrimp, you will find that there is a lot more to them than their brilliant coloration. Not only are they easy to care for, but they are also beneficial for your aquarium.

If you are intrigued to learn more about caring for the Blue Velvet Shrimp, this guide will help you with everything. You can also learn about their habitat, water parameters, breeding, diet, tank mates, and several other aspects.

Plus, you can also help us bring them to the spotlight, so let’s dive in.

Species Summary

Blue Velvet Shrimp have the scientific name Neocaridinadavidi, and they belong to the Atyidae family. They are also called the Blue Shrimp, so don’t be confused if you see this name anywhere.

Their vibrant blue coloration helps them stand out in any tank, regardless of how many other creatures there are.

Scientifically, Blue Velvet Shrimp are a species with a different color variation of the Red Cherry Shrimp, which are also incredibly popular as well. They also have several similar care guidelines and requirements that make it easier to look after them.

Red Cherry Shrimp are native to the eastern Pacific region, especially the area between Mexico and Peru. If Blue Velvet Shrimp really is a variation of them, you can expect them to be found in the same region.

Life Span1-2 years
Color FormBlue with black spots
Care levelEasy
CompatibilityNano fish and small shrimp
Size1.5-2 inches
Tank SetupFreshwater with plants and rocks
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons

There isn’t enough information about the origins of their color variation, which is quite uncommon. This is because there is a lot of breeding and reproduction among colorful species is done intentionally, so how Blue Velvet Shrimp exist naturally is a mystery.

Some aquarists also believe that these shrimp descend from the Carbon RiliNeocaridina Shrimp, while others also think that they are closely related to the Wild Schoko species.

No matter which species they come from or belong to, we are just happy to notice them moving around in the tank. Plus, we want them to get more attention and popularity.

Just like other species that have similar care guidelines with them, Blue Velvet Shrimp are also efficient algae eaters. You would find them scavenging for organic matter in the wild most of the time, and they do the same in captivity.

They thrive on algae and biofilm that are naturally present in the aquarium.


On average, Blue Velvet Shrimp live up to 2 years, and the life expectancy depends on their breeding method, as well as the quality of care that they receive.

Generally, they are considered to be hardy and resilient species; their lifespan will be significantly shorter if you subject them to poor and subpar conditions.


Generally, Blue Velvet Shrimp have a similar appearance to other types of freshwater shrimp, but their bright and vibrant coloration takes the cake. They have a typical body with three pairs of walking legs and two maxillipeds, which they use for holding onto things.

They also have a thicker abdomen that tapers off as they reach the uropod or tail. They also have firm antennas that are always moving. They have an entirely blue coloration, which is what gives them their name.

The hue and shade of the blue color may differ from specimen to specimen since there are quite a few variations of Blue Velvet Shrimp. Nevertheless, all of the variants have a brilliant and vibrant coloration.

One thing you can be sure of is that these shrimp will have a solid color throughout their bodies. Their head, tail, legs, and even their abdomen have a similar color. On some specimens, you can also find small dark dots that cover their bodies. 

The small dots are mostly concentrated in the front half of their body, which is where their legs start. Interestingly, the color of their eyes also has the same darker color.


Blue Velvet Shrimp grow up to a full size of 1.5-2 inches in length when they mature. Their size largely depends on several factors, including genetic components and the quality of care that they are subjected to during their development.

If you want to ensure that these shrimp grow up to their full potential, you should always buy them from reputed sellers and also provide them with a quality and consistent habitat while they are in a growing phase.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Care

Caring for Blue Velvet Shrimp is as easy as it gets. They are very hardy and low-maintenance species. Plus, they don’t demand a lot of attention from their owners.

However, this doesn’t mean you can keep them in any kind of freshwater tank as soon as you buy them. You have to take care of certain tank conditions and care guidelines that you need to know about in order for them to thrive.

Let’s have a look at the various aspects of caring for Blue Velvet Shrimp that would help you take care of them more efficiently.

Tank Size

If you are looking to keep Blue Velvet Shrimp in your tank, make sure that it has a minimum capacity of 5-10 gallons. Most aquarists would tell you that they thrive in a 5-gallon tank, but we think otherwise. We suggest you keep them in a 10-gallon aquarium.

By keeping them in a larger aquarium, not only will you be able to provide them with healthy habitat, but you will also be able to maintain consistency in a better way. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t get an even larger tank for this purpose. You would be able to keep them with other species of invertebrates as well, creating a diverse multi-species aquarium.

Water Parameters

Water parameters are one of the most key areas for any invertebrates, and Blue Velvet Shrimp is no exception. Most aquarium owners think that since they are hardy species, they can be kept in any kind of water.

However, that is far from reality. Although they thrive in a wide range of water parameters, this doesn’t make them invincible. If you want them to grow to their full size and also reach their maximum lifespan, you should take the water conditions seriously and also memorize them.

Let’s start with the water temperature. Blue Velvet Shrimp thrive best when the water temperature ranges between 65°F and 85°F, with the sweet spot being between 72°F to 82°F. Since they live comfortably in neutral waters, you should maintain pH levels between 6.2 and 8.0. Lastly, the water hardness should be kept between 0 to 8 KH.

Another thing to remember is that you should maintain consistency in the water conditions, which is why you should test the water regularly. For this purpose, you can buy a reliable water testing kit and perform regular tests every week or two.

Apart from this, you should also perform partial water changes every now and then so that the ammonia and nitrate levels are also neutralized. Blue Velvet Shrimp are incredibly sensitive to these substances, which is why you should ensure that they aren’t present in the aquarium.

What to Put in Their Tank?

Ideally, Blue Velvet Shrimp should have an environment that is densely planted because it also constitutes their natural habitat. Plus, the vegetation will also help maintain water quality.

Plants serve a dual purpose in the tank. They are a great source of nutrition for these shrimp. They eat up dead plant matter, biofilm, and any type of aquarium algae that grows in the tank. For this purpose, you can keep Java Moss and other similar plants in the aquarium.

Another purpose served by live plants is that they serve as a hiding place for Blue Velvet Shrimp. However, they don’t find too much success in this regard since their bright blue coloration makes them impossible to stay hidden.

Since they like to feed on algae, you can also supply the tank with lots of rocks and driftwood. They provide the perfectly smooth surfaces on which algae and biofilm can grow naturally. 

Moreover, you can choose between a variety of substrates. They are used to a rocky bed in their natural habitat, but they will also familiarize themselves with a soft sandy substrate. You can leave the substrate decision based on the requirements of other creatures in the tank.

Last but not least, Blue Velvet Shrimp don’t need any special lighting, so you can choose the lighting option based on their tank mates, as well as the plants that you keep in the aquarium.

While a filtration system is essential, make sure its intake isn’t too strong. Otherwise, these shrimp might get sucked in and injured.

Common Diseases

Blue Velvet Shrimp are typically durable, which means that they aren’t susceptible to several diseases and illnesses. As long as you take care of them based on the care requirements that we have highlighted, they might never get sick.

One thing you need to consider is that copper is the Blue Velvet Shrimp’s worst enemy, and the smallest traces of it can make the tank uninhabitable for them.

Therefore, you should always test the water conditions before you introduce them to a new aquarium. This is something new owners forget about in their excitement of bringing the shrimp home, and it can often lead to them getting sick or even dying.

If you still have to add any copper-based medicine for other creatures in the aquarium, you should relocate the Blue Velvet Shrimp to another tank. Most of the medication contains copper, so you might unknowingly kill your shrimp while treating your fish.

Ideally, you should introduce these shrimp to well-balanced and established aquariums, which have been regularly tested and well-maintained.

What Do Blue Velvet Shrimp Eat?

Blue Velvet Shrimp are omnivores and have a simple diet. Moreover, a major portion of their diet comes from consuming algae, biofilm, and plant detritus, as well as organic matter that they can find.

Therefore, if you set up your tank just the way we have outlined in the previous section. By having enough plants and rocks in the tank, you would harbor the growth of a sufficient amount of algae and plant matter for them to eat.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can just leave them be. You would still need to supplement their diet and fulfill their nutritional requirements with plant-based fish flakes. Apart from this, you can also add blanched vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, and zucchini.

Try not to put too much food in the tank since overfeeding can be harmful to their health. Plus, the leftover food can increase the ammonia levels, thus making the tank unbearable for the shrimp.

Behavior & Temperament

Blue Velvet Shrimp are quite peaceful, and they spend most of their time scavenging the tank for food to eat. This also makes them great algae eaters and tank cleaners.

They don’t care about what goes on in the tank or other cohabitants, and they are mostly found underneath a rock, a plant, or even in the middle of the substrate. As mentioned above, they can’t really hide, thanks to their bright blue coloration.

Thanks to their peaceful temperament, you can easily find tank mates for them, which we will discuss in the next section.

Blue Velvet Shrimp Tank Mates

Since Blue Velvet Shrimp get along well without engaging with any other species, you just need to find tank mates that won’t consider them to be food. This means that you would have to avoid keeping them with several types of shrimp and snails.

Moreover, when you consider different types of fish to keep with them, consider peaceful fish that don’t have any predatory instincts or will view our shrimp as food. Some of the suitable tank mates for the Blue Velvet Shrimp include:

There are several other species of fish that you can consider, as long as you know about their care requirements. It would be wise to refrain from keeping fish altogether, but if you want to do so, go right ahead.

Several aquarists consider keeping Blue Velvet Shrimp with Betta fish, but that doesn’t really end up in success. However, you have a better chance if you keep them with female Bettas.


Breeding Blue Velvet Shrimp is actually quite easy, and they don’t require a lot of attention or intervention. You can start the process by keeping the breeding pair in a mating tank without any fish since they might be tempted to eat the eggs.

You should also maintain the water parameters in the breeding tank, and then you can get them to breed. Once the pair has mated, the female will carry their eggs underneath the tail, and you can actually see them as they swim around.

In no time at all, the eggs will hatch, and the newborns will start searching for organic matter in the water. You can also supplement their diet with algae wafers or tablets. The newborns turn into grownups in just 90 days, following in the adults’ footsteps.

Final Thoughts

Now you have learned everything there is to know about Blue Velvet Shrimp and their care guidelines, you would be motivated to get a couple for your aquarium as well. Not only are they low-maintenance and easier to care for, but they also have the best appearance of them all.

Make sure to get Blue Velvet Shrimp from a reputed seller when you go out to buy them. It would allow them to stay healthy and happy and also allow them to reach their full potential.