The Ultimate Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp Care [Checklist]

red fancy tiger shrimp

For any exotic shrimp lover, Red Fancy tiger shrimp must be an excellent addition to the aquarium. The outstanding patterns of red and white coloration of these shrimp make them more unique. Since these shrimp are hybrids of crystal shrimp and tiger shrimp, the ultimate red fancy tiger shrimp care checklist must not be easy to achieve.

Hence, I’ve researched for a while to find out the details of the requirements and care guide for red fancy tiger shrimp. Before bringing such unique shrimp as pets, you must not miss this article. 

In this article, I’ve shed light on the habitat setup, diet, tank mates, water parameters, breeding care, and other recommendations for red fancy tiger shrimp. So, let’s go through this article to get a detailed care checklist for this unique shrimp.

Overview Of Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp

Red fancy tiger shrimp are a bit difficult to keep in captivity. You should meet all of their requirements to thrive in captivity. Let’s take a quick look at the overview of red fancy tiger shrimp in the following chart.

Scientific nameCaridina cantonensis 
Common nameRed Fancy Tiger shrimp (RFT shrimp)
Size 2-3 inches
Optimal tank size20 liters or more
Optimal pH6.6 – 6.9
Optimal Temperature68-74 degrees Fahrenheit 
Temperament Non-aggressive and peaceful 
Diet Omnivores 
Care levelIntermediate 
Lifespan 1-2 years

Habitation Set Up For Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp (Step By Step)

Step 1: Choosing A 10-20 Gallon Tank

This exclusive shrimp with red and white patterns require a good environment to thrive in captivity. Red fancy tiger shrimp can not tolerate a little change in water parameters. So, it’ll not be wise to choose a small tank for your Red Fancy tiger shrimp. 

The bigger the tank is, the larger the water volume. In bigger tanks, there will not happen a sudden spike in the water parameters. Hence, the experts suggest buying a tank with a minimum of 10-gallon capacity. 

If you have the budget to make more expenses, I’ll suggest buying a 20-gallon tank. After all, you should provide sufficient space for these Red Fancy tiger shrimp to roam around the tank. The tank space may get booked with plants, filtration systems, décor items, aeration, and so on.

Step 2: Filling The Tank Bottom With Substrate

Your next move should be filling the tank bottom with the appropriate substrate. Although many shrimp owners keep the bare bottom in the shrimp tank, this is not a naturalistic shrimp tank. 

To help your Red Fancy tiger shrimp thrive in captivity, you must add a good substrate at the bottom of the tank. If you want to enhance the coloration of your Red Fancy tiger shrimp, you must choose a darker substrate.  

Moreover, the substrate provides a good surface for growing biofilm and algae. If you want to keep live plants, you must add substrate at the tank bottom. Besides, the shade of the substrate plays a crucial role in enhancing the potential color of the shrimp.

There are mainly two types of substrate. Such as active substrate and inter substrate. As you can see from the overview chart, Red Fancy tiger shrimp require a bit of acidic water. So, you must add an active substrate that helps lower the pH level of water. 

Also, the active substrate helps rooted plants gain their required nutrients from the substrate. When the live plants can grow well in the substrate, there will be more oxygenation in the water of the red fancy tiger shrimp tank. 

Step 3: Adjusting A Tank Heater

You might know that red fancy tiger shrimp survive in freshwater in the wild. The water of freshwater lakes tends to remain warmer. So, the ideal temperature for these shrimp should be within 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit. In short, you must fix a heater for your Red Fancy tiger shrimp in captivity.

Otherwise, your Red Fancy tiger shrimp can not thrive in the cold water found in households. Make sure to keep the water temperature from the upper 60s to the lower 70s. But, you must remember that these Red Fancy tiger shrimp can not survive above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Keeping the optimal temperature is a must to do a thing for the betterment of your tiger shrimp. Warmer water helps these shrimp have good growth, metabolism rate, and faster molting. In addition, a constant warmer temperature is a must requirement for the breeding of red fancy tiger shrimp.

Sometimes, the shrimp owners do not consider the demand for a heater for their shrimp when the room temperature remains warm. But, your Red Fancy tiger shrimp may fall sick when the temperature range fluctuates several times a day.

Besides, your Red Fancy tiger shrimp may become stressed when the temperature level gets above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, you should keep a thermostat regulating heater for the tank of Red Fancy tiger shrimp.

Step 4: Fixing Artificial Lighting

Although the requirement of lighting might seem neglectful for the shrimp owners, artificial lighting plays a significant role in the growth rate of shrimp. You must keep light and dark corners in your red fancy tiger shrimp tank. When it comes to the lighting requirement for Red Fancy tiger shrimp, you should remain extra careful.

These unique shrimp are pretty sensitive to aquarium lighting. The bright exposure of lighting can make your Red Fancy tiger shrimp stressed. To prevent making these shrimp stressed, you should choose an aquarium lighting of low intensity.

If you plan to add live plants to your shrimp tank, you must add an appropriate lighting source for these plants. Also, lighting is a must for the growth of algae and biofilms in the shrimp tank. 

Since red fancy tiger shrimp can not thrive in the lighting of high levels, you need to keep light sources mainly for the plants. If you want an abundance of plant-based food sources for your Red Fancy tiger shrimp, you can place the shrimp tank near a window to get sunlight.

Not to mention, Red Fancy tiger shrimp are popular for their bright white base and ruby red pattern. The price and demand of these shrimp vary according to their color grading. To enhance the intensity of their coloration, you can keep a colorful background. For this, you can choose colorful low-powered LED lighting.

The duration of lighting is a vital factor for the survival of red fancy tiger shrimp. Since these tiger shrimp do not require a long duration of lighting exposure, you should set 6-8 hours per day of lighting exposure in your shrimp tank. 

Besides, you must create a dark corner in your Red Fancy tiger shrimp tank. When shrimp feel stressed, they seek dark places to hide. 

Step 5: Adding Live Plants

If you want a long-term accompany of your pet shrimp, you must recreate the wild habitation in the closed enclosure. When it is a matter of red fancy tiger shrimp, you should add plenty of live plants in the tank. Your shrimp can nibble and eat the plants. 

Besides, these plants are safe places for Red Fancy tiger shrimp to explore and crawl on. Your Red Fancy tiger shrimp will find space to hide behind the plants whenever they feel stressed.

In addition, plants help oxygenate the tank water. These will help your Red Fancy tiger shrimp flaunt their brightest coloration. 

While choosing plants, you must keep in mind what are the safe plants for your Red Fancy tiger shrimp. You can keep java moss, Anubis, pearl weeds, dwarf lilies, Cryptocorene, java fern, water wisteria, etc. 

Step 6: Adding A Filtration System 

It’s nearly impossible to ensure a high level of oxygen in a closed enclosure for your Red Fancy tiger shrimp. In the wild, these Red Fancy tiger shrimp survive in freshwater streams or lakes with a good level of dissolved oxygen. On the other hand, these shrimp will continuously produce biological wastes that add ammonia to the water.

This ammonia will turn into nitrite and nitrate, which are fatal for red fancy tiger shrimp. So, you must take strong steps to remove these toxic products and enhance the dissolved oxygen level.

While choosing a filtration system, you should consider the flow rate of the filter. If the installed filter has a strong current, these 2-3 inches-sized tiny shrimp will be pulled into the filter intake. 

Although there are several types of filter options, the experts suggest a sponge filter for red fancy tiger shrimp. 

Check out this article to get the best shrimp filter buyer’s guide.

Step 7: Adding An Air Pump

Because of being sensitive, Red Fancy tiger shrimp require a good level of maintenance. In the part of their maintenance, you must ensure proper oxygenation in the water of your Red Fancy tiger shrimp tank. You might be well aware of the fact that oxygen deprivation can cause the death of your pet shrimp.

For this reason, the experienced owners suggest adding an air pump or aerator to your Red Fancy tiger shrimp tank. Also, you can add an air stone to add more oxygen to the water. This aeration system helps water circulate by making enough surface agitation.

So, you should add an air pump to create a well-oxygenated shrimp tank. But, it should not be too strong to make your Red Fancy tiger shrimp stressed.

Step 8: Including Décor Items In The Tank

To ensure the best care of red fancy tiger shrimp, you should add some suitable and safe décor items in their tank. Your shrimp can hide in these décors if they feel stressed.

While choosing décor items, you should check that the décor items must not have sharp edges. You can keep rocks, shells, branches, driftwood, etc.

Water Parameters For Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp

If you’re a Red Fancy tiger shrimp owner, you may want to bring out their fullest pigmentation. Water parameters play a crucial role in triggering the pigments of astaxanthin in your Red Fancy tiger shrimp. So, you should know about the ideal parameters for Red Fancy tiger shrimp if you want bright red and white patterns for these shrimp.

Optimal pH6.5-7.5
Optimal Temperature 20-25 degrees Celsius (72-78 degrees Fahrenheit) 
Optimal GH5-8
Optimal KH3-5
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate Less than 20 ppm

According to the experts, the red fancy tiger shrimp are less sensitive to slight water changes. But, it doesn’t provide you the chance of not taking care of the water quality.

If the water quality doesn’t remain optimal, your Red Fancy tiger shrimp may get stressed. It’ll keep negative effects on the health and coloration of these unique shrimp.

Cycling The Tank Before Adding Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp

Before introducing red fancy tiger shrimp, you should let the shrimp tank mature for 4-6 weeks. During this period, there’ll be the growth of beneficial bacteria in the tank. These bacteria will turn ammonia, nitrite, and other harmful components into less harmful elements.

The experts forbid strictly not to add red fancy tiger shrimp in a non-cycled tank. Otherwise, your shrimp will not survive for a long time.

Diet: What To Feed Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp?

You might know that an oxidant named astaxanthin helps improve the coloration of red fancy tiger shrimp. If you want to have the brightest grading of your Red Fancy tiger shrimp, you must focus on their diet and supplements.

In the wild, Red Fancy tiger shrimp are omnivores. These shrimp tend to survive upon algae, detritus, plant matter, small aquatic creatures, etc. Since Red Fancy shrimp are freshwater shrimp, you can feed them live, frozen, or dried foods of any freshwater shrimp.

Various microorganism sources can boost the astaxanthin of red fancy tiger shrimp. So, you should encourage the growth of algae and biofilm in your shrimp tank. In addition, you can feed krill, spirulina powder, and plankton to your Red Fancy shrimp.

In the diet list, you must keep the natural foods filled with astaxanthin to enhance the coloration of these shrimp. Your Red Fancy tiger shrimp can consume blanched vegetables. 

So, you can feed them cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, papaya, spinach, apples, dried grapes, and other fruits. Cut these fresh vegetables and fruits into small pieces before boiling them.

Besides, you can also feed dried and frozen foods to your Red Fancy tiger shrimp. In the case of monthly treats, you can feed them worms, brine shrimp, etc. You can keep crushed coral to prevent calcium deficiency in your Red Fancy tiger shrimp.

How Often You Should Feed Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp?

The adult red fancy tiger shrimp do not require regular feeding. These amazing shrimp can go for several days without any food.

The experts suggest feeding 2-3 times per week. But, this thumb rule may not work for all Red Fancy tiger shrimp due to different activity levels, ages, and sizes.

You should notice the sign of hunger or over-feed in your Red Fancy shrimp. When you see many leftovers at the bottom of the tank, you should reduce the amount of food. 

On the contrary, your shrimp may start nibbling the substrate when they remain hungry. Then, you can increase the amount of food and feeding schedule.

Tank Mates For Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp

When you have Red Fancy tiger shrimp as pets, you should choose the best suitable tank mates for these beautiful shrimp. You might know that stress can trigger the health of your shrimp. Besides, Red Fancy tiger shrimp can not bring out their full coloration under stressed conditions.

So, you should pick up tank mates for Red Fancy tiger shrimp carefully. The tank mates should have the same temperament as Red Fancy tiger shrimp. That means these tank mates need to be peaceful and docile. Besides, they should maintain similar tank requirements as red fancy tiger shrimp.

Some good tank mates for red fancy tiger shrimp are-

  • Ghost shrimp
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Vampire shrimp
  • Amano shrimp
  • Bamboo shrimp
  • Neon tetra
  • Amber tetra
  • Aquarium snails 
  • Thai Mico crabs

In addition, you should consider the size of the tank mates in comparison with your Red Fancy tiger shrimp. Do not choose larger tank mates than your Red Fancy tiger shrimp. Such tank mates may gobble up your shrimp.

I’ve listed down bad tank mates for Red Fancy tiger shrimp. These are-

  • African dwarf frogs
  • Cichlids 
  • Betta fish
  • Fancy goldfish
  • Rainbowfish 

Breeding Care: How Do You Breed Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp?

Red fancy tiger shrimp are selectively bred from Crystal Red shrimp and Black Fancy Tiger shrimp. In captivity, you can also breed red fancy tiger shrimp by keeping both male and female shrimp. The breeding of Red Fancy tiger shrimp will not be too difficult if your shrimp get a breeding-friendly environment.

There are some things that you need to maintain for the successful breeding of red fancy tiger shrimp. Such as-

  • You must keep the water parameters ideal. There should remain no chemicals or impurities in the water.
  • The pH of the water should remain 6.5-7.5.
  • You should remain concerned that the temperature of the water should not fluctuate. The warm temperature of the water helps red fancy tiger shrimp breed readily. 
  • Make sure not to keep your Red Fancy tiger shrimp hungry. You should ensure a nutritious diet before starting the breeding of your shrimp. Otherwise, hunger can cause stress to your Red Fancy tiger shrimp which hamper the breeding procedure.
  • You can start breeding red fancy tiger shrimp by making a group of at least 10 shrimp.
  • After carrying eggs for two weeks, the female red fancy shrimp start hatching the eggs.
  • You must provide enough food in the tank. After all, the newborn red fancy shrimp babies are independent to eat their own.

Molting Care of Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp

The molting process is a process of shedding the old shells to get a new exoskeleton. For this, you must ensure that your Red Fancy tiger shrimp do not get stuck in their shedding shells. Due to the molting difficulty, your Red Fancy tiger shrimp may often face death.

To help the molting period, you should ensure that your red fancy tiger shrimp do not face calcium deficiency. For this, you should add more sources of Calcium Carbonate to the water. Besides, you must keep the optimal GH level in the water. 

In addition, you should focus on the calcium and protein-based diet of your red fancy tiger shrimp. Also, the tank water should have a good range of dissolved oxygen and minerals. 

There’s a deadly issue of shrimp that may happen during the molting period. Click here to know more about this life-taking situation of Shrimp’s White Ring Of Death.

Before You Go

I hope you have got a crystal clear idea of the ultimate care checklist for Red Fancy Tiger Shrimp. Another outstanding shrimp with black and white patterns is King Kong shrimp. If you want to bring King Kong shrimp as pets, you can go through the following article.

King King Shrimp Simple Care: A Step-By-Step Guide!

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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