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Cardinal Sulawesi shrimp: The Full Guide To Care, Keep

Cardinal Sulawesi shrimp? What is that?

Have you ever hear about that term? Sometimes you may not, do not worry this article will help you to get clear and correct guide on how to look after in detail.

Sulawesi is one of the most colourful species that every fish keeper can have, no wonder many fish keepers are even not aware of Sulawesi. Before purchase read this carefully!

The most important thing that you need to know about this shrimp is the natural habitat and application it to the aquarium level. Keep reading; you will get all the facts indeed.

Common Names:  

Sulawesi shrimp

  • Cardinal shrimp
  • White glove shrimp
  • Sulawesi shrimp

With the best colouration, they are scientifically identified as Caridina dennerli. In 2007 Cardinal shrimp was first discovered and entered to the hobbyist’s book.

There is a high demand for this shrimp and can sale even for a high price, due to the presence of less number and inadequate active breeders who rear this.

Cardinal or Sulawesi is native to the Sulawesi area of Indonesia and well known for its biodiversity which consists of five Lakes Malili system and the Poso lake.

Note: As endangered species, they have been listed even in the IUCN red data list.

Sure, your collection will look great upon with this cardinal shrimp.

Sulawesi shrimp types founded:

There you can identify four types of shrimps mainly based on the lake system by E Schenkel in 1902.

  1. Caridina acutirostris
  2. C.ensifera
  3. C.longidigita
  4. C.sarasinorum

When it comes to the lifespan of Cardinal Sulawesi:

Generally, Cardinal Sulawesi has a lifespan of 1-2 years at optimum conditions, and it is slightly higher value compare to the other shrimps like ghost shrimp.

But it depends on how you look after them and water parameters so on. Be sure to care on a daily or weekly routine.

How Sulawesi shrimp looks like: the appearance.

Commonly they have a stunning red colour with ranges to light red. It also varies from one individual to the other based on health, sex etc.

Also, there are white dots spread all around their body, unlike other shrimps, hey also consists of two antennae, segmented body with small legs. Also, there are some blue outlines can be seen around some white dots too.

Note: In Sulawesi, you can identify their front legs and antenna in a very bright white colour, and it is a common thing for them.

When we are looking at Sulawesi size:

Sulawesi shrimp relatively 1/2- 1 inch long in size(1.5cm to 2.5cm). Once it fully matured it gains one-inch long size.

Sulawesi shrimp tank size:

If you are new to the fish keeping it does not matter, how small the tan. It can be rarer both in the small tanks and large aquaria tanks.

The best way that you can practice as follows; most fish keepers been successful around keeping 5 gallons of freshwater tanks. In the other hand, large aquaria may need a heater, filter to keep and maintain the correct oxygen to air ratio.

Can Provide tank with wood branches, sand rocks allow the growth of more algae, natural food source while providing more hiding places to them.

When it comes to the water parameters:

If you can keep them very close to their natural habitat conditions, it would be very successful because a slight change in water parameters can make them stress.

Some times death. Better to have minimum sound knowledge, actually reading this article you will gain it. Let’s see,

The natural habitat river and lake systems are slightly alkalies even though it can not get in as brackish water.

They need a somewhat high pH. Even Sulawesi prefer high warm water conditions, not like Neocaridina and Caridina shrimp.

Having a heater is a must to keep water warm. Unless low temperature of the water below 25-degree celsius can cause death due to the stress conditions.

water conditions should be as follows,

  • pH – 7.8-8-2
  • water temperature – 26 -30 celsius
  • general hardness (GH) – 6-8
  • carbonate hardness (KH) – 4-8
  • Nitrites – less than 10 ppm

I saw some articles which they are saying tap or pipe water been use for the Sulawesi. It might be work if all the parameters set to optimum. But I would like to ask you, why we put our expensive shrimp mate in a risk.

When we consider the Sulawesi shrimp tank mates:

We need to be very careful about when selecting the tank mates who are likely from the same natural habitat, that means these tank mates should able to tolerate the extreme water parameters such as high pH, high temperature.

Typical fish are not tolerate this high PH. So we can conclude that selecting tank mates will not be an easy task.

Fortunately, some tank mates who are from same native habitat like Sulawesi snails, Malawi shrimp would be appropriate. Another advantage over this selection is it prevents the inbreeding of the shrimps.

Let’s look at the Sulawesi shrimp Food, diet and care:

Sulawesi shrimp


Most of the Sulawesi in the wild depends on the naturally available decayed and dead plant materials, biofilms As decent scavengers.

But when it comes to home or aquaria, please be sure to have enough live aquarium plants, branched wood, stones which algae grew on it and gives naturally available food to them.

Note: Do not over-clean up the tank daily, or instantly it will reduce natural food available for them.

Most of the time, this Sulawesi prefer to feed at night ( low light conditions). They do not show much favour towards the light. You can observe this if you switch off the aquarium light, they will quickly come out and swim everywhere.

If you want to feed shrimps with supplement foods, it is necessary to avoid giving more feed during a short period of time. It can cause the death of the organism. Also, additional food available within the tank may lead to change the water conditions cause to stress the shrimp.

You may use supplementary foods such as Spirulina powder, bacterial AE microbial foods so on.

Also, if you are fish keeper who keeps more groups of this, you may use blanched, boiled vegetables as the balanced diet for overall shrimps.

Note: When you are using external food sources like vegetables be a sure bacteria to be absent as it can increase the bacterial and other infections within the tank, breaking the natural balance.

How do Sulawesi shrimp breed?

Breeding Sulawesi is an easy task if you provide all the optimum water parameters as earlier mentioned.

As they ultimately breed within the freshwater unlike Amano or ghost shrimp in brackish saltwater. Therefore it is much easier to breed when required conditions okay.

Male and female naturally breed within the tank, and they produce about 14-16 eggs which are light green colour, will retain in the female egg nest(pleopods) for about 3-4 weeks as approximately 20-28 days and get hatched.

The hatched small fry almost have the same colour as their parent shrimps. Within a few weeks, they grow faster if you maintained and cared it in a specific routine.

If you want to give supplementary food to these babies, you can give Spirulina powder so on.

When it comes to the behaviour:

These Sulawesi show shy behaviour and hiding at all the time.

The time they get adapted to the new tank environment shows normal shrimp behaviour. You may found Sulawesi swimming everywhere scavenging the food at all the time around rocks, branch wood.

It has excellent social behaviour to live peacefully with other tank mates.

Read more about male vs female cherry shrimp

Related FAQ:

What is the difference between Caridina and Neocaridina shrimp?

You may found this as it is harder to answer. I have done a lot of researches regarding this fact and try to figure out even a lot of articles.

But I was unable to find the correct answer. So, fortunately, one of my lecturer at university helped me to figure out what differences between these two.

I will explain you significant difference where most of the fish keepers get confused. It is not that much difficult to understand. The biggest difference of reproductive appendage, it is a kind of swimming leg which is present at the belly area where egg nest located.

It also called as endopod or endopodite.

So if you closely observe it, you can see endopod of Neocaridina as pear shape or flat table tennis bat. But in Caridina it is longer than usual and looks slender.

I hope you get the exact point what m telling!

What is red orchid Sulawesi shrimp?

It is also known as Brown camo shrimp and mini red line bee shrimp. They are not shy at all and prefer to live as separate individuals rather than as groups. They are native to the Towuti lake of Sulawesi region of Indonesia.

The critical water conditions are as follows, the hardness of water between 75-150 ppm, total salinity between 75-150 ppm and PH between 7.8-8.8 for survival.

What is white orchid Sulawesi shrimp?

They are scientifically identified as Caridina.sp and also called as starry night shrimp which is native to Indonesia.

Require these water parameters for optimal growth PH of 7.3 to 8.2, general hardness (GH) to be 3.6 and carbonate hardness (KH) to be 2.5 and temperature of the water should be around 21- 31 degree celsius or (78-84 F).

Unlike ghost shrimp, white orchid Sulawesi identifies as a very peaceful shrimp.

Read more on wikipedia

How do you store Sulawesi shrimp?

can be shown as

  • Choose a large tank
  • Make correct water conditions at the optimal level
  • Add wood branches and aquarium plants to hide
  • prepare a filtration system to circulate water flow

For more details, you can follow this article from the beginning.

What is the most expensive shrimp?

Black kin Kong shrimp is the world most expensive and rarest shrimp. They also difficult to keep, and even their younger ones have a very low survival rate.

That may be the main reason to be expensive.

What is the biggest freshwater shrimp?

Giant freshwater prawn also called as giant freshwater shrimp which scientifically identified as Macrobrachium rosenbergii said to be the biggest fresh water shrimp.

Final thought:

Sulawesi is very colourful and easy rarer species compare to the other shrimps. Now you are empowered with the information that a shrimp/fish keeper must know.

Hope nothing will stop you from buying the Sulawesi and enjoy your hobby!

 Related posts:

  1. Amazing facts about Amano shrimp vs Ghost shrimp
  2. Spotted Congo puffer: A complete care guide

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