The Black Tiger Shrimp is selectively bred from the normal Tiger Shrimp. The original Tiger Shrimp were bred for broader black stripes and after many generations the black stripes began to fill the entire body. This method however has its consequences such as poor genetics and vulnerability to diseases and bad water conditions. There are two different types of Black Tiger Shrimp, one with normal black eyes and ones with orange eyes. The ones with orange eyes fetch a higher price than their black eyed cousins. In Japan this species is commonly called the Black Diamond Shrimp even though it is in fact the same as the Black Tiger Shrimp.
The Black Tiger Shrimp prefers colder more alkaline water. Breeders typically keep the Black Tiger Shrimp at a pH above 7.2 and temperature in the 70F – 74F range. It is reported that this species does not do well in the same water parameters as required by the Crystal Red Shrimp. Clean water of course is a must as with all hobby shrimp.
The Orange Eye Black Tiger Shrimp is not too different from other algae eating shrimps. It is a scavenger and an algae eater. 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.
Sexing the Orange Eye Black Tiger Shrimp can be difficult at juvenile stage. Once females reach adulthood you can then tell the difference between sexes, or at least which are females. Females are easy to identify as they are larger and also have a curved underbelly. The saddle of a female Black Tiger Shrimp is virtually impossible to see due to the solid black coloration of the shrimp itself.
Black Tiger Shrimp are reported to be very difficult to breed and even keep alive. Experienced breeders have managed to breed enough of this species to sell. Their rarity fetches a very high price depending on their grade as well as eye color. Due to inbreeding it is very important that it is given its particular water requirements. Poor genetics make this species very fragile. This shrimp meant for experienced hobbyists.
There are several grades of Orange Eye Black Tiger Shrimp. Grades differ based on the solidity of the black coloration as well as the eye color. The less solid black coloration the lower the grade; the more solid black coloration the higher the grade. Orange eyes are preferred over black eyes and deem a higher price. Exactly how the orange eyes were introduced to the Black Tiger Shrimp is unknown however it may have occurred by breeding an orange eyed Tiger Shrimp (non-blue) with a Black Tiger Shrimp.
If you looking to buy Black Tiger Shrimp, there are a few places online that you can check out as well as Marketplace. You won’t find Black Tiger Shrimp in any Large Pet Store (LPS) but maybe a few specialty shops that are dedicated to Aquascaping. Check out below for recommend places to buy your Black Tiger Shrimp today!