Pinto Shrimp

Pinto Shrimp

Pinto shrimps are one of the most popular species of Caridinacantonensis. They are one of the best shrimps for the aquariums that include red pinto shrimps and black pinto shrimps. All of them are unique and versatile by comprising multiple features. 

Pinto shrimp

Pinto shrimps are fantastic creatures when it comes to their care and maintenance. The word is a derivation of a Spanish word. In Spanish, the “pinto” means spotted any living creature with spots on its body. They are popular among pet owners, and their demand is increasing with every passing day.

The pinto shrimps are eye captivating, and they make the whole aquarium radiant. The versatile color and patterns on their body make them unique. The dominant red color with white color patches makes the complete body attractive.

Few of them are black and red in contrast to the above. There are multiple types of pinto shrimps, and two of them are prominent. They are charming due to their versatile movement during swimming. All of them are fast-moving, and they can reach a spot with the blink of an eye. 

There are different patterns of the patches all over their bodies. The name varies due to the fluctuation patterns and colors. Once you have kept them inside your aquarium, and you will understand their worth.

They are cooperative naturally, and these features make them compatible with other species. The species is beautiful and appealing to the audience. The color pattern changes, and the cost varies according to the grading. The darker shrimps are expensive than lighter ones. 

Black pinto shrimps

Categories Features
Scientific name Caridina cf. cantonensis
Common name Black pinto shrimp
Origin South East Asia and Taiwan
Behavior Non-aggressive
Lifespan 1.5-2 years
Breeding Easy
Diet Omnivores
Size 0.70-1-2 inches
Habitat Freshwater
Temperament Peaceful
Tank size Large tanks up to 20-25 gallons
Biotope Amazonian
Plant safe Safe
Suitable for aquarium Yes
Care level Normal to difficult

Red pinto shrimps

Categories Features
Scientific name Caridina cf. cantonensis
Common name Red pinto shrimp, red zebra pinto
Origin Taiwan and South East Asia
Behavior Calm
Lifespan 1.2- 2 years
Breeding Simple
Diet Omnivores
Size 1-1.2 inches
Habitat Freshwater
Temperament Pacific
Tank size 10-20 gallons
Biotope Amazonian
Plant safe Yes
Suitable for aquarium Yes
Care level Moderate

Scientific and common names

The scientific name of the species is Caridinacantonensis. It is the same for both types of pinto shrimps.

It is a mutual name, and the whole pinto shrimp community comprises this particular taxonomy. There are multiple common names of the pinto shrimps. All of them represent the color and other patterns on their bodies. 

The casual names are pinto tiger, pinto zebra, black pinto shrimp, pinto Mosura, pinto belly, and pinto cloud. All of the following titles are due to different lines and patterns of colors. The colors are black, red and white. The spotting varies, and the color changes into zebra lines and other shapes. 


They are ancestors of bee shrimps, and all of them belong to the same origin. The species vary in number, but they are from Taiwan. The whole community present in contrasting colors. They are rare species because they appear due to non-selective breeding. 

Types of pinto shrimps 

There are two prominent types of pinto shrimps. They are in terms of the color of their skin. The contrast of the color pattern decides for their names. The types are:

  • Black pinto shrimp
  • Red pinto shrimp

Comparison chart for Red Pinto Shrimps vs Black Pinto Shrimps

Features Black pinto shrimp Red pinto shrimp
Color They have a pattern or lines of black and red color. Red is dominant in them. They have red bodies and have spotting of white on them.
Survival All of them are excellent survivors in favorable conditions. The surrounding impacts their survival.
Freshwater survival The black pinto shrimps are an excellent habitants of freshwater.

Live happily in fish tanks with freshwater.

They live happily in freshwater lakes and rivers. Excellent for freshwater planted aquariums.
Community tanks They like community tanks. They enjoy their life span in the community tank with other mates.
Patterns Zebra or fancy patterns Linings and spotting all over the body
Cost Both of them are equally expensive. Equally expensive and rare as black pinto shrimps.

The appearance of black and red pinto shrimps

The appearance relies on the patterns and lines of color all over their body. Few of them have zebra linings, and it can occur in both pintos. The black pinto shrimps have a contrast of black and red color.

The black color is exceptionally dominant from head to their tail. In red pinto shrimps, the contrast of colors is with red and white.

The white appears in the form of spots or patches. It is the designation of the name pinto in these species. They are attractive to pet owners.

Everyone wants to keep them in their fish tank. They attract the audience, and the simple breeding process makes them convenient to breed.

All of them are tiny, but they keep on swimming all day. Mostly, they like to live in the bottom of the fish tank. The pintos keep the water alive all the time. Keep the water radiant and alive by adding both types of shrimps inside it. 


All of the pinto shrimps are tiny species. There is no proper evidence that any of them reaches a size of three to five inches.

They are small species with a length of half an inch. Few of them grow in elongated form, and they reach up to 2 inches. The female shrimps are larger in bodies as compared to the male shrimps. There are specific reasons for this difference in body size. 


They are the habitants of freshwaters like all other dwarf shrimps. They belong to slow-moving waters like lakes and rivers. They also like to live in the freshwater spawns.

The surrounding freshwater always remains cover with a lot of greenery. The trees and plants shed their leaves inside the freshwater source.

The water keeps on moving in a slow stride. The peaceful environment of the surrounding has an impact on the behavior of the pinto shrimps. 

The freshwater sources provide enough supply of food. These plants are like homes to the pinto shrimp. 

They live with happiness inside the lake’s water. The rivers are shelters for the shrimps, and they feel safe inside them. Few of the shrimps reply on the plants and other food items inside the water.

The freshwater is slightly acidic, and it occurs due to the pH of water. The provision of all the natural facilities inside an aquarium makes the shrimps comfortable. They feel protection inside the fish tank. And enough food makes them healthy within days. 

Typical behavior

The pinto shrimps are species of freshwater, and they are pacific naturally. The greenery has an immense impact on their temperament. They remain non-aggressive all the time, and they do not attack the other mates inside the tank.

They are one of the safest tiny creatures for keeping as a pet. The shrimps feel more relaxing when there are dried and fresh leaves in the bottom. 

All the pinto shrimps prefer the natural substrate to the artificial gravel. Also, the non-living substrate is the best choice for their better survival.

The shrimps live happily and keep on swimming. They provide a mesmerizing effect for the audience. The pet owner remains happy and satisfied with their shrimps.

They only find an escape from the fish tank when they caught themselves in danger. All of the black and red pintos are playful, and they are fast in swimming.

The end organs help them in fast movements. They reach from top to bottom within seconds and never harm their bodies by striking a wooden piece. All of them love gazing around the rocks, and they keep finding the food. 

Despite their over-friendly and happy nature, all of them are a bit moody. They take some time to adjust to the water of an aquarium. The proper water conditions and accurate environment make them comfortable within few days. 

The diet of pinto shrimps

They are omnivores naturally and depend on all types of plants and meats. There is not a single pinto shrimp that is choosy in terms of food.

They are tiny creatures, but they like to eat all the time. Overfeeding is not an excellent choice for their life and survival. Like, all dwarf shrimp, they depend on the biofilm inside the aquarium.

They eat all kinds of algae with urge and compassion. The organic substances grow on the surface of a fish tank. Never clean the tank intensely, or you are removing the food source of your tiny pet. 

High-quality food for the shrimps is one of the best choices. Also, the food is additional and commercial, but it is essential for their life cycles. Snails are an excellent choice for feeding your shrimps. The casual food items which they like to eat are, 

  • Bacteria
  • Brown Algae
  • Green algae
  • Snails
  • Biofilm
  • Vegetables
  • Dried frozen small insects
  • Litter leaves 
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Raw carrots

Mechanism of feeding

Never choose to overfeed for the pinto shrimps, and none of them die due to starvation. They always find food for themselves and keep on eating when they are full. Excessive food makes the water fill with pollution.

It is not excellent for the species inside the tank water. Choose the leaves of hazel and beech for the pinto shrimps. Never give the food directly to the tiny pets; they cannot eat them at once.

Cook the leaves in a large bowl with water; it helps in the reduction of disease. Macerate the leaves in huge containers and then grind them into short articles.

They cannot eat bigger chunks of food. Avoid the process of keeping the leaves directly in the tank’s water, and use the zip bag method.

Place the bag slowly in the bottom of the tank, and the shrimp approaches it. The conditions of the sudden change are shocking for the pintos.

They might die due to the unpredictable shock. You can feed them two to three times a day. In a mature tank, keep the serving once a day because they keep eating all day. Always change the diet and add interesting things to their menu. 

Tank requirements

It is one of the essential steps while keeping these shrimps. They never compromise on poor water conditions. The environment and surroundings also lead to their death. They are compatible inside the freshwater aquariums but are very sensitive as well. 

Tank size

The accurate size of the tank is essential for the proper growth and lifespan of shrimps. 

Always choose rectangular fish tanks for their best life. Make sure it is not much higher because the shrimps are tiny.

All of them are community shrimps, and they live in the form of groups. As a pet owner, the number of individuals in a group is your choice. They live in their best shape when they are with other mates.

The group of five to ten shrimps is an ideal choice. You can increase the number by adding more shrimps. Always add them in the form of pair, or the survival becomes difficult. They like to swim in proportions of water.

Always use 20-25 gallons of water for the ideal life of the shrimps. They are also excellent for the Nano to medium aquariums, but the larger tanks provide maximum qualities. They swim and keep the water alive by their multiple movements.

Pinto Shrimps Care

The care level for the black and red pinto shrimps is tricky than other shrimps. They are highly sensitive to water change conditions, and inadequate food leads to lethal problems like a disease. 

These shrimps require the best parameters of water and other necessities. They are selective in their breed process, so you cannot keep them anywhere. 

Water conditions

The black and red pinto shrimps are tiny, but they never settle for low qualities of water. They always choose excellent water conditions that include various parameters. 

Water parameters Range
Temperature 60-75 Fahrenheit
Conductivity Up to 300
pH 5-7
Total dissolving solids 90-200
Carbonates and bicarbonates Nil- 3.5
Ammonia Nil
Filter Sponge
Hardness Moderate
Minerals 120-130grams of salt
Substrate Soil
Decoration Good
Pump Tetra whisper

Water quality

Always choose the reverse osmosis water for the pinto shrimps inside the fish tank. They are sensitive to tap water and its conditions.

The water is a breathing and eating source for the creatures in an aquarium. Never bring down the quality of water, or the shrimps die with every next minute.

It is not a suitable condition for a pet owner. In case you do not have enough supply of the RO water, add three to five liters to the fish tank. You can also add salt to it, and it helps in increasing the capacity of the tank’s water. 

Cycling of water

The cycling of water is an essential step, and without it, the fish tank is incomplete. Never add the non-cycled water in a tank that already contains the pinto shrimps.

They cannot tolerate these sudden water change shocks. Few of them die at a spot that is not favorable for anyone. 


These shrimps prefer soil over gravel, and it is a unique feature in dwarf shrimps. The active sand makes an excellent floor and bedding for the shrimps.

The pintos always like to stay at the bottom of the tank. They keep on digging the substrate, and it is their one the favorite activities. The active soil helps in the removal of carbonates and bicarbonates. 

  • Gold soil
  • Red bee sand
  • Olive Knott
  • Akadama
  • Malaya aqua soil
  • Amazonia
  • Florabase soil


Choose an excellent filter for shrimps, and make sure the filter is not harmful. Few filters can suck the shrimps with other pollutants.

The tiny creature cannot struggle and survive against this process. The shrimps should stay at the strainer when the water passes by the thin layers of the pump. 


The decoration of the fish tank for pinto shrimps is a non-selective and free field. They like planted aquariums because of freshwater habits.

You can add lighting and artificial leaves to the water tank. Add some non-living rocks and roots to glorify your tank. The addition of artificial plants and other decorative items provide an excellent natural appearance. 


These shrimps require oxygen like all other shrimp species. They are fast swimmers and keep the tank oxygenated. You can also add an artificial oxygenation device to the water tank, but it is not excellent for them. 


They are non-aggressive and peaceful shrimps. All of them live happily with other tank mates. They never put their selves in the position of attack and fighting. They are the prey of fish like many other invertebrates.

The better tank mates for the pinto shrimps are other pintos, but you can also add snails. The snails are harmless towards shrimps, and they are slow and effective. They keep on eating the algae that originate in the water tank. The snail helps in the reduction of pollution and keeps the water clean.

The suitable tank mates for the pinto shrimps are:

  • Corydoras fish
  • Otocinclus fish snails 
  • Japanese snails
  • Black snails
  • Bee shrimp
  • Pinto shrimp

Pinto Shrimps Breeding

The breeding process is fast and spontaneous in the pinto shrimps. Two shrimps of opposite gender in a water tank with all conditions ns start breeding. The females’ shrimps are large, and they attract the male shrimps by various signs. 

Temperature fluctuations also play a vital role in the whole process. The female shrimp keep on moving in the fish tank, and then it sends a signal. The male shrimp finds the female through the waves of water and the signs. It reaches the female shrimp, and they start the breeding process.

 The females have larger abdomens and are the carriers of eggs. They protect the eggs during the period of internal growth. The female in shrimps have the best protection qualities, and they never show that they have eggs. The female shrimp keeps the eggs inside their bellies. 

When the eggs start hatching, then you can count their numbers. The newborn babies are the same as their parent shrimps. Also, they are tiny, but they start feeding themselves. All of them are independent, and the parents do not involve in this activity.

The growth is so rapid that they become full shrimp within few days. Once they grow to their full size, then the breeding process starts all over again. It is a complete cycle that helps in increasing the number of shrimps in the fish tank. 

These shrimps are choosy, and they never breed with other species. You can see color variation in them due to grading, but they never crossbreed.

It is a rare feature like all other dwarf bee shrimps. The whole community remains with an identity, and it’s a fun fact about them. 

Number of eggs

The number of eggs varies on the size of the shrimps. In few pinto shrimps, the eggs are 20-30, and in some, they are 25-35. 

Life span

They are also short-living tiny creatures like all other bee shrimps. The presence of enough food and best conditions has no impact on the age factor.

The pinto shrimps survive for 1.5-2 years approximately, and other factors help them in good health during this period. Few people say that they can live up to three years, but there is no proof of this myth. 


The pinto shrimps are a rare and expensive species. They like to live in community tanks, and no one can buy them individually.

The average cost of the black and red pinto shrimps is up to $10-$15. The average cost increases with dark colors and versatile patterns. They breed rapidly, so it is a good investment. Also, it is once in a lifetime investment, that’s why choosing them wisely. 

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