Chocolate Shrimp is a result of selective breeding of Red Cherry Shrimp for dark coloration. This results in beautiful coloring shades from really deep red to dark brown tones. They are closely related to Black Rose and Bloody Mary and their brown colour varies from a light brown to a nearly black. Some of these shrimp have dark brown spotting and striping over translucent yellow.
They are active throughout the day, and can be seen grazing on biofilm, aquarium décor or the sides of the tank, hunting detritus among the gravel, and sometimes even mating. Periodically, a shrimp will shed its exoskeleton, leaving an empty white ghost of itself caught in the plants or drifting around the tank. This should be left in the tank, as the shrimp will eat it to recover the valuable minerals it contains. Pregnant females can also often be observed waving fresh water over their eggs to supply them with oxygen from time to time, but will most likely be hiding under plants or near the back of the tank.
Though their lives are short, shrimp will molt regularly as they eat and grow, becoming too large for their previous shell. This can become fairly frequent, it all depends on how much they eat and how fast they grow. Once they have shed their old shell, they will be particularly vulnerable until their new shell hardens. While this should not be cause to worry, do not be surprised if your shrimp get damaged from boisterous fish.
Ensure that your tank has crevices or plants for molting shrimp to hide in. When you see a molted shell sitting on the sediment it is natural to panic and assume it is a dead shrimp, but with closer inspection its hollow interior should clearly identify it as a discarded shell. When a shell is shed you do not need to remove it from the aquarium immediately because they usually become food for other shrimp in the tank.
Chocolate shrimp do not have any special requirements regarding the aquarium decoration, however like all invertebrates, they are sensitive to copper. Copper-based medications should never be used in aquariums housing ornamental invertebrates. The shrimp are happy with a little moss and driftwood. If there are some hiding-places like tubes or brown autumn leaves (oak or beech) in the tank, your shrimp will have everything they need.
All shrimp will feel safest (and thus display bright coloration and behave naturally) when plenty of hiding places are present in their aquarium. This can be anything from live plants to special shrimp tubes. One can use driftwood, live plants and moss. Indian Almond Leaf is frequently used to help in the process of shrimp breeding by providing a beneficial spot for bacteria to grow that young shrimp can feed on. When the leaves are left in the tank a multitude of microorganisms will begin to colonize the leave and break it down.
A sponge filter or a regular filter with a pre-filter sponge is recommended when keeping dwarf shrimp, as their fry are very small and can easily get sucked up by powerful filters. A heater is usually not a necessity if the setup is located in a heated room, however you can choose to go for one if you want to make sure the temperature remains stable.
Chocolate shrimp, like other dwarf shrimp, are very peaceful and vulnerable. They will never harm any tank mates but will easily fall prey to hungry fish. If you keep higher and more expensive grades it might be a good idea to set up a single species aquarium, though peaceful inverts like other shrimp and small snails are always a possibility.
They can be kept just like Bee Shrimp/Red Bees, as they have the same requirements: water temperatures of 20 – 26 °C, a slightly acidic pH and a low carbonate hardness.
Do not house Chocolate Shrimp in aquariums with loaches, puffers, and other larger carnivores that will feed on invertebrates.
In the wild, freshwater shrimp will eat anything they can find; their diet consists mostly of algae. In the aquarium shrimp will also feed on algae and the tiny organisms living in plants and other organic material, but their diet will usually have to be supplemented. A high-quality shrimp food can be used as a staple. Nature Boys Macadamia Husk or DBS Husk are a great natural food medium. The shrimp either graze on the bio-film that will accumulate on the husk or eat the husk itself as it breaks down over a period of time.
Click for a full line of foods specific for shrimps at Rebel Pets.
They will also accept blanched vegetables, frozen foods and all kinds of sinking fish foods. Any sinking pellet type food works well as a food source. Also, any common flake fish food that falls to the bottom will be eaten and for this reason, many aquarist use dwarf shrimp as a clean up crew. Be sure to read the ingredients label carefully, any food containing copper should not be used. (Copper Sulfate is a common ingredient in fish foods). All of the Rebel Pets shrimp foods are copper free.
Unfortunately they will not eat string/hair algae so they are not a good control measure for those types of algae.
Chocolate Shrimp are easy to care for as they can adapt to a wide range of water parameters. They can be kept in either soft or hard water.
The Aquarium should be fully cycled before introducing any shrimp. There should be no trace of Ammonia and Nitrite, Nitrate under 25ppm. Weekly water change of 10-20% is suggested to keep the nitrate low.
With any Shrimp and most other invertebrates, you should avoid anything with Copper (medications and ornaments) in the tank as it is toxic to most invertebrates. Be sure to check the labels as many fish foods and medication contain Copper (Copper Sulfate).
|Adult Size:||2.5 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Beginner|
|Minimum Tank Size:||20 litres|
|Tank Level:||Bottom and in plants|
|Lifespan:||1 – 2 years|
|Temperature:||19°C – 23°C|
|pH:6.8||6.0 – 7.0|
|Hardness:||up to 10 dGH|