Neocaridina zhangiajiensis var. Snowball shrimp is a unique and fascinating little creature that can be a great addition to any aquarium. Their distinctive pure white coloration of Snowball shrimp in a shrimp tank with a dark substrate can create a stunning visual effect, as their pristine white hue creates a striking contrast against the dark background. This also enhances the tank’s overall appearance, especially when the shrimp showcase their striking beauty amidst the surrounding plants.

They are very easy to care for freshwater shrimps. Similar to other types of shrimp, Snowball shrimp have the capability to feed on algae in the tank, making them a valuable addition as they not only enhance the tank’s aesthetics but also serve as a natural cleaning crew for the tank.


Snowball Shrimp: Overview

Scientific name:Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis var. white
Common names:White Pearl Shrimp/ Snowball Shrimp
Size:1–1.2 inches
Life expectancy:1–2 years
Color:Translucent white
Minimum tank size:5-10 Gallon
Care level:Easy
Snowball Shrimp Care Table

Snowball Shrimp Origin

Snowball shrimps are thought to have originated in Taiwan’s mountainous region, though their exact origins are unknown. It was initially introduced to Japan in the 1990s, where it quickly became well-liked due to its distinctive coloring and peaceful nature. It is a commonly found species in the aquarium trade.

Snowball Shrimp Lifespan

Snowball shrimp in captivity have an average lifespan of 1-2 years, depending on their environment and care. There are certain things that plays role in the longevity of Snowball Shrimp’s lifespan.

Factors that Impact the Lifespan of Snowball Shrimp

Water quality is a crucial factor that affects the longevity of snowball shrimp. Their health can be negatively impacted by poor water quality, high levels of ammonia or nitrites, and changing water conditions, which can shorten their longevity.

Temperature plays an important role in a shrimp’s lifespan. The ideal temperature range for white pearl shrimp is between 65-85°F (18-29°C). Temperatures outside this range can cause stress and lead to a shorter lifespan for snowball shrimp.

Snowball Shrimp Looks Fabulous In Dark Substrate
Snowball Shrimp Looks Fabulous In Dark Substrate

Diet is another crucial component that Impacts the Lifespan of Snowball Shrimp. Algae, biofilm, and specialty shrimp food must be consumed in a well-balanced diet to supply the nutrients required for the best growth and development of white pearl shrimp.

Snowball Shrimp Appearance & Size

Snowball shrimp have translucent body that is typically white in color, giving them their name. They have two front claws that are utilized for both defense and eating, as well as vivid red or black eyes. Furthermore, their antennae and legs may have a blue or green tint. Snowball shrimp is a specie of shrimp that are sure to capture the hearts of those who are passionate about shrimp keeping.

Snowball shrimp typically grow to a size of 1 to 1.2 inches (2.5 to 3 centimeters) in length. They are small species of shrimp that are often kept as pets in aquariums. Female snowball shrimp tend to be slightly larger and more rounded in shape compared to males, who are typically thinner and more elongated.

Snowball Shrimp Behavior

snowball shrimp pictures

Creatures like snowball shrimp have peaceful behavior and they love living in communities because they are calm and sociable. They can be frequently observed swimming and hunting for food at the aquarium’s bottom since they are active. They are a popular selection for community aquariums since, in general, they are not aggressive against other shrimps or fish in the tank.

Snowball shrimp grow very fast so they have the ability to molt until they reach their adult size. Molting is a process where they shed their outer skin to grow a new one. They could hide or become less active during this stage, and their old skin might show up in the tank. To keep shrimp happy and healthy during the molting process, it’s crucial to maintain excellent water quality and offer enough food and hiding spots.

Tank requirements & Water conditions

snowball shrimp pictures

Ideal tank conditions for snowball shrimp are:

Water type:Slightly soft, acidic, well-oxygenated freshwater
Tank size:5-10 Gallons is the minimum size
Water temperature:72°F – 82°F
Substrate:Fine pebbles (dark)
Tank setup:Plants, driftwood
Acidity:6.5 to 8.0
Water hardness:4 – 14 dGH
Filter:Yes, Snowball shrimp requires a robust filtration system to ensure a clean and healthy environment for them. The use of sponge filters is recommended as they are the safest option for keeping shrimp.
Water conditions Chart

It is advised to use a pebbly substrate and to add driftwood to the tank in order to closely replicate the native habitat of snowball shrimp. The shrimp may graze on the algae that develop on the driftwood’s surface, providing them with a supply of food.

java moss is an excellent choice for a Neocaridina zhangiajiensis var. Snowball shrimp tank since it gathers biofilm, which serves as a healthy food supply for the shrimp. Some live aquarium plants, such as java fern, and Anubis, are also advantageous because they give shrimp cover when they are molting. With the help of this cover, the shrimp are protected from other tank dwellers so they may safely shed their old exoskeleton and build a new one.

What Tank Size for snowball shrimp?

A group of snowball shrimp should have a minimum suggested tank size of 5 gallons. But, a bigger tank is usually preferable since it gives the shrimp more room to explore. It is recommended to keep a stocking density of 2-5 snowball shrimp per gallon of water in your aquarium.

Snowball Shrimp Keeping Tip: The best look for keeping snowball shrimp in an aquarium can be achieved by using dark-colored substrate.

Snowball Shrimp Care

Black substrate for shrimp

Maintaining high-quality tank water is of utmost importance in caring for snowball shrimp. However, they require minimum care but the levels of ammonia and nitrite in particular can cause snowball shrimp to become sensitive to changes in water characteristics. To ensure their health, the water must be kept clear and well-oxygenated. Shrimp-keeping experts recommend doing a 30% weekly water change.

Poor or unstable water conditions can cause shrimp molting issues, such as the White Ring of Death. When this happens, the shrimp’s exoskeleton breaks in half, trapping it during molting and putting its life in danger. Maintaining clean, optimal water conditions is crucial to preventing these issues, and calcium supplements for the tank may also be taken into consideration.

Snowball shrimps are gregarious animals that need a lot of shelter for hiding and reproducing owing to their neurotic temperament, thus it is advised to maintain them in groups of at least 10. Shrimp do not require special lighting or supplements to be healthy; however, if desired, liquid calcium may be given to the tank in measured amounts in accordance with the product’s instructions.

Snowball Shrimp Diet & Feeding

snowball shrimp pictures

Snowball shrimps are Omnivores which means they would normally consume both plant and animal foods in the wild. They forage for food on a variety of surfaces inside their tank, including plants, substrate, pebbles, decorations, and even glass. Snowball shrimp feed on the algae present in their tanks, thus it is crucial to introduce items that can produce biofilms, such as plants, driftwood, or Indian almond leaves, into their environment.

What Can I feed Snowball Shrimp?

Snowball Shrimp will eat almost anything like other shrimp species. You can feed your snowball shrimp with:

  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Algae wafers

Snowball Shrimp Breeding

shrimp in tank

Breeding snowball shrimp is very easy their numbers multiply in almost no time. Creating an optimal environment is the most crucial factor for successful snowball shrimp breeding. The maturity of this shrimp species is attained between the ages of 2 to 3 months, during which they become capable of reproduction. The ideal breeding temperature for snowball shrimp is between 72°F and 82°F.

Choose mature, healthy snowball shrimp to use as a breeding pair. To guarantee effective breeding, it is advised to start with at least two shrimp of different sexes.

For their health and reproductive success, snowball shrimp require a diversified diet. Provide a combination of blanched spinach or zucchini, algal wafers, and premium prawn pellets.

Regularly check the water parameters to make sure they’re steady and within the range where snowball shrimp thrive. Shrimp stress and breeding success can both be impacted by sudden changes in water conditions.

It is very easy to distinguish the difference between female and male snowball shrimp. Female Snowball shrimp are often bigger than males and have a noticeable saddle and curled underside that can be noticed with the naked eye.

To guarantee a successful hatch, monitor the breeding process and keep an eye out for any changes in the female shrimp’s behavior or appearance. You can effectively breed snowball shrimp in your aquarium by following the above advice in this article, and reap the benefits of a flourishing colony.

Snowball Shrimp Tankmates

snowball shrimp pics

Snowball shrimp are small and peaceful invertebrates that can coexist harmoniously with other peaceful tank mates of similar size and slow movement. They are harmless and innocent creatures since they have no way to defend themselves against predators therefore it is essential to select their tankmates wisely.

Compatible Tankmates For Snowball Shrimp

  • Small tetras
  • Catfish
  • Small plecos
  • Mystery Snails
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails
  • Rabbit Snails
  • Nerite Snails
  • Assassin Snails
  • Japanese Trapdoor Snails
  • White Wizard Snails

Bad Tankmates For Snowball Shrimp

  • Apple Snails
  • Gold Inca Snails
  • Crayfish
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Barbs
  • Betta Fish

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Snowball Shrimp eat algae?

Snowball shrimp do eat algae that grow on aquarium surfaces, such as rocks or aquarium decorations. However, algae alone are not enough to cover the feeding needs of your shrimps. It is important to provide a diverse range of food options for your shrimp to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

How long do snowball shrimp live?

Snowball shrimp in captivity have an average lifespan of 1-2 years, depending on their environment and care.

How big do snowball shrimp get?

Snowball shrimp are often just 2-3 centimeters (0.8-1.2 inches) long, which is considered to be a modest size. As they become older, they could get rounder and their color might get more opaque.

What fish can you have with snowball shrimp?

Snowball shrimp are frequently regarded as suitable tank mates for little tetras, catfish, and small plecos. To avoid stress and violence, it’s crucial to regularly observe their interactions and make sure the aquarium has adequate hiding spots and other structures.


A fun and simple-to-care-for species, snowball shrimp can offer color and life to any aquarium. These shrimps can live up to two years with the right conditions, a varied diet, and attentive care, and they can even reproduce to increase your colony. Snowball shrimp is an interesting and satisfying addition to any aquarium if given the right care and attention.