The Red Fire shrimp is a sturdy creature that can adapt to a wide range of water parameters. It is known to survive in both hard and soft water and the pH-value can be from 6.0 (acidic) to 8.0 (alkaline). The water temperature should be kept in the 22-28 °C range.
There are generally 3-4 grades of Fire Red, starting with Sakura, then Fire Red, Taiwan Fire Red, and finally Painted Fire Red. All are a selectively bred colour morphs of Neocaridina heteropoda. They live and act very similar to Red Cherry shrimp. The females are usually more intense than the fully coloured males. Red Fire Shrimps grow to about 2.0 cm and can be 2 years old.
The origin of these shrimp variations is under some debate and due to the popularity of the Red Cherry shrimp it is unlikely that we will ever really know. There are claims of origins in Germany, Taiwan, and Other places. In truth with the ease of breeding Cherry Shrimp it probably was developed many places simultaneously, both at big farms and by local hobbyist alike.
The body and legs are red without cracking to the carapace. There may be some slight spotting on the legs but they should be mostly red in colour. There may be some translucence to the carapace such that the saddle may still be visible but still difficult to see under poor lighting.
About as "plug and play" as shrimp breeding gets, they breed in most water conditions and do so frequently. Once Breeding age is reached a single sexed pair kept in stable water conditions without outside predation of the shrimp fry(babies) could realistically yield hundreds of shrimp within a years time given enough space and food. When purchasing these shrimp for breeding it is wise to purchase at least 8-10 at a time to guarantee at least a couple pairs, additionally 1 shrimp per gallon to start(but at least 8) is a good rule if frequent breeding is desired. The rate of breeding is only slightly lower than lower grade Cherry red shrimp, but the number of viable offspring (that don't need to be culled) also affects the reproduction rate. The females lay off about every 5 to 6 weeks up to 30 almost fully developed juveniles initially almost colourless
Sexing becomes increasingly difficult the higher the grade of the Fire Red, in lower grades the females show obvious saddles and the males are much lighter in colour, when you move up to painted fire reds it can be near impossible to tell apart the males and females unless the female is buried or both are fully grown and then the male is a bit smaller.
The Neocaridina Heteropoda will eat anything from blanched spinach, zucchini, algae wafers, shrimp pellets, fish flakes, bloodworms, and more. Feeding is best done once a day. Only feed an amount of food that the shrimp can finish within 2-3 hours maximum. It is not good to feed in excess and have food sitting for too long. Overfeeding is a known cause of death and can also cause water quality issues. Remember that shrimp are scavengers in the wild. They will eat whatever they find and are not used to a constant food source 24/7. Not feeding for one or two days is fine and will not harm this species at all. Sometimes I will not feed for a couple of days in order to let the shrimp cleanse their systems and keep the water clean at the same time.