Species: Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis "White"
Size: 1.5 inches (full grown female)
Temp: 65-85 F
Lifespan: 1-2 Years
Housing the Snowball Shrimp is exactly the same as housing any other dwarf aquarium shrimp including the Cherry shrimp. Please refer to the Cherry shrimp page for additional information on housing dwarf aquarium shrimp.
The Snowball Shrimp is a non-aggressive shrimp. They are active during the day, and can be seen grazing on algae on aquarium decor 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.
Snowball Shrimp are scavengers and will typically eat herbivorously. However, they will eat any dead creatures they encounter. They do not "hunt down" any living creatures but will certainly scavenge.
It is very easy to mate the Snowball Shrimp once they reach adulthood. The Females will be much larger and have either eggs, or a "saddle" which is tiny unfertilized eggs in the bottom portion of the carapace. Please refer to both photographs below which distinctly show the "saddle" and "eggs" of the snowball shrimp.
The Snowball Shrimp is a very easy species to breed as long as the water is clean and the tank does not have undesirable conditions. If the Snowball Shrimp is happy and healthy than it will breed like clockwork. It produces upwards of 25 offspring per hatching and takes about 1 month to officially hatch from first appearance of eggs. The Snowball Shrimp will reproduce around the clock if the conditions are right and it is happy.
The Snowball Shrimp is small, harmless, and more importantly all shrimp are a natural food source in the wild. Even fish too small to eat an entire shrimp can attempt to eat them, or stress them to death. Newly hatched shrimp are so tiny that nearly any fish can, if so inclined, eat them. Therefore, if you intend to breed them, they should have a tank to themselves. It is suggested that in order to keep a healthy and growing population of Aquarium Shrimp you should not have any other carnivorous tank mates of any kind.
The Snowball Shrimp is available in the United States and Europe mainly purchased over the Internet. It can be a difficult species to find for sale on forums, communities, and especially pet stores. However, sometimes you can get lucky by asking in forums or online/local aquarium communities.