- 6.5 - 8.0
- 4 - 10
- 1 - 8
- 100 - 180
15 - 30 °C
59 - 86 °F
- 1 - 2 years
- 30 mm / 1.2 inches
The Chocolate shrimp belongs to the Neocaridina family of shrimp from Taiwan, and has a rich, brown, chocolatey coloured shell. This interesting colour is achieved by darkening Red Cherry shrimp, which could eventually get to Black Rose shrimp with selecting breeding.
A mature shrimp will get to around 3 cm (1.2 inches) in length once fully grown.
Chocolate shrimp of a higher grade will typically have a deep, dark chocolate colour. The consistency of the colouring is less important for this type of shrimp, a few highlights and dark patches can really enhance their look. The contrast can make them look very similar to cocoa beans, hence the name. Solid, dark legs are another indicator of belonging to a higher grade.
Low grades will probably look pretty similar to wild type shrimp, having weak brown colouring and likely some translucent patches. Generally, if the colouring is still quite close to that of a Red Cherry, it's likely to be seen as a low grade too.
Females will on the whole have the strongest colouring, so be careful if you're trying to increase the grading through breeding. Check that you keep both male and female shrimp in the tank, even though the males will likely have a less desirable colour.
The Neocaridina Chocolate shrimp is super simple to care for, they're a pretty hardy bunch. You can usually expect them to live for about 1-2 years in a healthy, maintained tank.
They thrive in a pretty wide range of water parameters due to their hardiness. However, to reduce the chances of failed molts, try to keep the KH within 1 and 8 dKH, and the GH somewhere between 4 and 10.
Chocolate shrimp won't require a heater, unless you live somewhere that gets very cold. They will be absolutely fine if their room stays within the 15-30 °C (59-86 °F) range for most of the year.
A rule of thumb for freshwater dwarf shrimp is to use a minimum tank size of 5 gallons (19 litres), but 10 gallons (38 litres) and larger is suggested. The larger volume of water makes it easier to adjust parameters without causing big swings.
Essentially all freshwater dwarf shrimp eat the same things. Almost all of their time will be spent swimming around the aquarium looking for the biofilm and algae that's grown on all the surfaces. They'll likely have plenty of natural food to enjoy if your tank has matured and has a lot of plants.
There are plenty of different shrimp foods like algae wafers, bee pollen, shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, etc.
If you give your shrimp a well-balanced diet of various types of food, they will get all the nutrients they need to develop properly and safely molt.
Sharing their tank with Amano shrimp will be a great choice. The Amano can grow a little larger than the other Neocaridina, and the different colouring and pattern adds some nice contrast. There's zero risk of interbreeding, as the Amano needs brackish water for its babies.
Any aquatic snail will be a good tank mate too, as they will appreciate hard water. Having lots of minerals in the water provides them with all the nutrients required for growing healthy shells.
You could introduce different colour morphs of Neocaridina, but that will most likely cause “wild type” offspring, which are usually mostly translucent with brown spots/stripes. If you want to keep your shrimp colours consistent and high grade, plan to keep only one colour together in the same tank.
Find the ideal water parameters and compatible tank mates for Chocolate shrimp.
Some small fish, like Neon Tetras, can be kept with shrimp. Beware, though, there is still a small chance that the fish may mistake your shrimp for a snack. So, if you want to give this a try, make sure your shrimp have plenty of shelter and places to hide. The young shrimp are most likely to be eaten, so it's obviously a good idea to avoid any fish if you're trying to breed a colony.
Unfortunately, when it comes to breeding Neocaridina shrimp together, mixing colours doesn't lead to what you'd expect with Caridina shrimp, for example. Typically, the babies will be a low grade version of one of the parents instead. Some babies can even immediately become wild types.
With consistent culling (i.e. moving to a different tank) the weak brown coloured shrimp, you can work to improve the colony's grading. You will need to be very patient with increasing their grades, though. There are no certainties with breeding, and you could end up having quite a mix of different grades for a good while.
There are a few tips for breeding shrimp you can try to improve your chances and make this process a little faster.