Fancy Tiger Shrimp

Caridina cantonensis Fancy Tiger shrimp

Water parameters

6.0 - 7.0
4 - 6
0 - 1
100 - 180
20 - 25 °C
68 - 77 °F
5.5 8.5
4 15
0 15
80 300
15 30


Difficulty level

1 - 2 years


Adult size
30 mm / 1.2 inches

Fancy Tiger shrimp are a hybrid between a tiger shrimp and a crystal shrimp. They normally inherit the colouring of the crystal parent with a beautiful splash of stripes and shapes covering their bodies. This morph is only found in captivity and has been selectively bred.

A Red Fancy Tiger will have come from a Crystal Red parent, and a Black Fancy Tiger likewise with a Crystal Black parent.

An adult can grow to be around 3 cm (1.2 inches) in size.


The higher grade shrimp will have vibrant colours with consistent strength, clear separation between the colours, and patterns covering their full body and head.

Lower grades will generally have weaker colouring, perhaps with more of a gradient blend between the different colours. They’ll also likely not have full body coverage of the tiger pattern and shapes, maybe only on sections of their tail for example.


Fancy Tiger shrimp are on the slightly more difficult end of shrimp to keep, but will usually live for up to 1-2 years in a healthy tank.

They thrive in a fairly low pH around 6.0, sometimes even as low as 5.5. This can make it a bit harder to find compatible tank mates, especially with such a limited KH range of 0 to 1.

In order to keep their pH and KH low enough to be comfortable they should be kept in aquariums with active or buffering substrate. This allows the water to remain acidic and prevents wild swings in pH which would normally be found in water with a low KH.

You don’t necessarily need a heater in your Fancy Tiger shrimp tank, provided your room is typically over 20 °C (68 °F) all year. If however, your tank is near a window and you live in a fairly cold part of the world, then an aquarium heater could be required.

A general rule for freshwater dwarf shrimp is to have a minimum tank size of 5 gallons (19 liters), but 10 gallons (38 liters) and larger is recommended.


Most freshwater dwarf shrimp will eat the same types of foods. They’ll spend the vast majority of their time moving around the aquarium in search of tiny bits of food like biofilm and algae, which can grow on almost any surface. If your tank is mature and heavily planted, they’ll probably have plenty of natural food to eat already.

If you’re not sure they’re getting enough to eat, there are lots of different foods for your shrimp like algae wafers, bee pollen, shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, etc.

Giving your shrimp a variety of different foods will make it more likely they’re getting all the nutrients they need to thrive.

Tank mates

Fancy Tiger would work best with other shrimp in the Caridina family as they generally prefer pH and KH lower than most Neocaridina will enjoy.

As with all shrimp, most common snails will make great tank mates too.

Try the Shrimp Suggester

Find the ideal water parameters and compatible tank mates for Fancy Tiger shrimp.

It’s sometimes possible to keep smaller fish like Neon Tetras in a shrimp tank. There is a risk that the fish will see your shrimp as food however, so you should make sure they’ve got plenty of hiding places if you wanted to try this. The risk of being eaten is much higher for baby shrimp, so if you’re planning to breed your shrimp it’s highly recommended not to have any fish in the same tank.


Variants of the Caridina Tiger shrimp are a popular choice for breeding with other non-tiger types.

A cross-bred shrimp of Crystal Red and Tangerine Tiger parents

The image above shows some offspring on the right which were bred from Crystal Red and Tangerine Tiger parents. They’re not Fancy Tigers yet but you can clearly see the tiger stripe genes have been amplified, and some white stripes have appeared too. With some luck and consistent culling they could eventually end up being Fancy.

Fancy Tiger offspring can be expected to have similarly strong colours and interesting patterns. However, it’s possible that Red Fancy Tigers slowly transition into Black Fancy Tigers with each generation due to their genetics.

If you’re trying to build up a healthy population, you can read our page on how to breed shrimp for extra help.