Blue Dream Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. “Blue Dream”) are a color variant of neocaridina shrimps that are developed by humans. This coloration of neocaridina shrimps is not found in the wild. Blue dream shrimps have very dark and uniform blue colors that cover all their body, legs, and antennae. These shrimps have gained a lot of popularity among aquarists in recent years. They, however, come in different grading, and sometimes they can easily get confused with other variants of blue shrimps.
In this article, we will show you how to grade blue dream shrimps and how to care for your Blue Dream Shrimp to develop pure blue colorations.
Blue Dream Shrimp Overview
Blue Dream Shrimps are super beautiful freshwater shrimps that are also beginner friendly. They are very easy to keep and breed. These shrimps are a man-made variety of the neocaridina davidi shrimps. Among neocaridina shrimps, there are a few different types of blue that give different names depending on the shade of blue they have. Blue Dream is the darkest and most pure blue variant. Which is why it became so famous.
While they originate from the wild, the blue dram is a completely man-made variant. Shrimp breeders were able to line breed neocaridina to develop a pure blue variant and named it “blue dream”. Even though these shrimps are a result of generations of selective breeding they seem to be super hardy without any genetically related problems.
Blue dreams are one of the smallest and bluest invertebrates you can get for your tank. There are also a few blue shrimps in the Caridina family that develop the same deep blue coloration. But they are very fragile and sensitive shrimps that only expert shrimp keepers should keep them. This is why we always suggest blue dream shrimp if a beginner shrimp keeper asks us about a dark blue shrimp.
Appearance & Grades
Unlike other blue variants of Neocaridina, the blue dream shrimp develops deep blue coloration on its shell. A high-grade species must be pure blue with no gelly parts that light can pass through it.
Only blue dreams have blue legs and antennae. So when purchasing blue dreams the legs and antennae should be the first thing you check. The legs have to be all uniformed blue color without any patch or transparent parts. This is the main difference between blue dream shrimps and other blue variants of neocaridina.
Depending on the grade of the blue dreams they can have darker patches of blur on their tail and back. The shrimps that have these patches are considered lower grades. A high-grade blue dream shrimp is pure deep blue with no patches, discoloration, or transparent parts.
Finding a high-grade blue dream is very hard as not all shrimplets become pure blue. Even when breeding high-grade males and females together only a few of them become high-grade.
Males are usually thin and slightly washed out in comparison to females. Males also stay smaller in comparison to females. More on this later in this article.
Blue dream shrimps vary in price depending on their grade and availability in your area. They can be sold anywhere from $4 – $40 depending on the quality and grade of the shrimp. Most blue dreams in pet stores are low grades and sold at lower rates.
Blue Dream Shrimp live between 1 – 2 years. Their lifespan, like all shrimps, depends on the temperature of the water and the quality of food they receive. When you keep these shrimps in pristine water conditions and keep your tank’s temperature down they can live up to 2 years. For a shrimp, 2 years is a very long time.
Because of their short lifespan, they quickly become mature and start to breed. Usually, it takes about 3 – 4 months for a newly hatched shrimp to become fully mature. They grow by molting and at younger ages, they can molt a few times per month.
Blue Dream Shrimp grows to about 1 – 1.5 inches in length. They grow to this size very fast because they hatch fully developed tiny shrimps. Because they stay very small, they are really easy prey for bigger fish. More on this is in the Tank Mates section of this article.
Female Blue Dream Shrimps usually grow bigger and bolder. Their large size will help them to carry their eggs.
Behavior and Temperament
Blue Dream Shrimps are calm and peaceful species that will not cause any harm to their tank mates. They usually get bullied by other fish in the tank. These shrimps are food-motivated creatures and will nonstop graze on the biofilm and algae.
They will also eat any leftover food, dead fish or shrimp, or dead plant leaves. Their ability to eat almost any organic matter makes them one of the best and most beautiful cleaning creatures you can own.
Blue Dream Shrimp Care
Blue Dreams are one of the easiest shrimps to care for and breed. They are one of the most low-maintenance aquarium creatures you can get. They are hardy and adaptable shrimps that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. But they will thrive when you give them a natural and stable environment.
The perfect tank size for Blue Dream shrimps is a 10-gallon tank. This tank size is a good choice as the blue dreams will only need surface and water volume is not that important. However, larger tanks are always better as your shrimps can breed to a larger colony. Larger tanks will also need fewer water changes which is a plus point.
Shrimps are cleaning creatures and they will not produce too much waste. This means you can keep a lot of shrimp in a small space. When selecting a tank, it is best to think about the future and the number of shrimps that you are planning to keep.
Blue Dreams need a tank that has a lot of surface area. This means you will have to place a lot of decorations to create more surface in the tank. The more surface you can create the more shrimps you can keep.
Our ideal way of creating a surface area in a shrimp tank is by adding a lot of easy and dense growing plants in the tank. These plants will help us keep the water clean while adding a lot of surface area to the tank. The shrimps will also have natural food in their tank at all times.
Java Moss, Subwassertang, Christmas moss, and Moss balls are ideal aquatic plants for a shrimp tank. These plants are easy to grow and care for as they do not need a tone of light.
Adding driftwoods, botanicals, and Cholla wood is another way of creating surface area while providing food for your shrimps. Blue dream shrimps will eat the biofilm that grows in these woods.
Water consistency this the key to the survival of your shrimp colony. Blue dreams need a consistent and stable tank that experiences no fluctuations. Below is the ideal range of water parameters you keep your blue dreams:
- Temperature: 65 – 75 Degrees Fahrenheit
- PH: 6.5 – 8.0
- TDS: 60 – 200 PPM
Blue Dream Shrimps do not like fast-moving water. So make sure not to use a strong filter that creates a lot of current in the tank.
While most newbies might claim that intense lighting can kill shrimps, we find this baseless. These shrimps can live in any lighting conditions as long as you provide enough plants in your tank. Intense lighting can cause stress in shrinks when they are in a bare tank with no hiding spots. If you keep your shrimps in a busy area and you have no plans for the shrimps to hide in then they might die because of high-stress levels and not the lighting.
The ideal filter for blue dream shrimps is a sponge filter. Sponge filters will create just the right amount of current in the tank to keep the water fresh without stressing the shrimps. At the same time, it will aerate the tank and the shrimplets will not get lured into the filter. Which will help you to maintain a growing colony.
If you have a hang-on-back or other types of filters, you will have to make sure that the intake is covered with a sponge to prevent accidental shrimp loss.
Common Diseases and Prevention
Blue Dream Shrimps are hardy species but poor water conditions can cause them to develop diseases. Maintaining a clean tank will help you prevent almost all diseases.
Copper is the number one enemy of blue dream shrimps. Copper can get introduced to a tank by placing a decoration or adding fish medications that have copper. So it is important to make sure you never add copper to your tank.
Diet and Feeding Requirements
Blue Dream Shrimps will eat almost anything. In a well-planted large aquarium, they can get food naturally from the algae and biofilm on the objects. However, this might not be a good approach to feeding them if you are planning to breed. To grow your blue dream colony, you will need to feed them daily in small amounts.
All the plant-based fish foods make an ideal type of food for blue dreams. But you will have to make sure that they have spirulina algae in their ingredients. Spirulina algae have blue color pigments that your shrimps can use to develop darker and deeper blue colorations.
Calcium for Blue Dream Shrimps
Blue dreams molt almost every month or two and they need calcium to grow their new shell plates. A source of calcium must be present for them at all times so they can receive their calcium.
As a beginner, you can add eggshells to your tank so your shrimps can have the calcium they need. You can crush or powder the eggshells and add a very low amount ( a pinch) to your tank after every water change.
Determining their gender can become tricky if you have high-grade blue dream shrimps. In other neocaridina shrimps males and females have different shades of the same color but in blue dreams males also can be dark blue same as females.
So to determine the sex of your blue dream shrimp, you will first have to look at the body shape. Males are thin and skinny, especially in the abdomen area. Females develop a thick abdomen area as that’s where they carry their eggs until they hatch.
In lower grades of Blue Dream Shrimps, males are usually washed out and slightly transparent. This makes it easy to determine their sex. Females also have a darker patch on their back right behind their heads. This darker patch is their eggs being developed in their body.
To breed blue dream shrimps, all you need to do is to raise your tank’s temperature and feed them daily. They will also need stable water otherwise females will drop their eggs mid-pregnancy and you will lose all the eggs.
Most Blue Dreams attain sexual maturity around 3 – 4 months of age. At this age, they are fully ready to breed and mate. They will lay around 20 – 30 eggs and can breed every 30 – 40 days.
Water stability is the key to the survival of the shrimplets. So make sure not to change a lot of water at once as your shrimp colony might shrink.
Blue Dream Shrimp are very small creatures and not many fish can live with them. If you are not intended to breed your blue dreams, then you can keep them with small and peaceful species of fish. Smaller fish can’t eat the adult shrimps but they will go after the baby shrimps.
Never mix Blue Dream Shrimps with other Neocaridina shrimps. This is because they belong to the same genus of shrimps and will interbreed. When they breed with other variants of Neocaridina the offspring will likely become brownish like the wild type Neocaridina.
If you want to breed blue dreams then we recommend keeping them in a species-only tank. This way your shrimplets can survive and grow.
Here are our top pick of aquarium creatures you can keep your shrimps with:
- Mystery Snail
- Caridina Shrimps
- Bamboo Shrimp
- Bladder Snail
- Apple Snail
- Ramshorn Snail
- Nerite Snails
Blue Dream Shrimps are by far one of the most beautiful neocaridina shrimps you can own. They stay small as other shrimps in their family and are hardy. This makes them a great beginner-friendly species. With the information available in this article, you can own and breed a strong colony with no problems.
If you have any questions you can always reach out to us via email.