Are you looking for a new pet to add to your family? If so, Freshwater Shrimp may be the perfect choice! Freshwater Shrimp are small, colorful crustaceans that can make great additions to any aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and can provide hours of entertainment as they explore their environment.
Freshwater shrimp come in a variety of colors and sizes, making them an attractive addition to any tank. They are also relatively hardy and can survive in a wide range of water conditions. This makes them an ideal choice for beginner aquarists who may not have the experience to care for more delicate species.
Shrimp are small crustaceans that are native to tropical waters. Freshwater Shrimp are the rockstars of the aquarium pet world. The small crustacean brings color, adventure, and a sense of wonder to any tank, whether it’s a plexiglass cube in your bedroom, or an epic series of custom aquariums in your living room.
Freshwater Shrimp are loved for their ability to eat leftover food and algae, which makes them a great addition to tanks with messy eaters. Shrimp can be kept in pairs, trios, or groups. They are generally peaceful, and don’t tend to fight each other.
Shrimp are also great at keeping the tank clean, such as the Ghost Shrimp, who naturally consume decaying plant matter. If you are looking for a natural way to keep your tank clean, a few Freshwater Shrimp may be what you need!
Shrimp are very hardy and resilient, and can survive in a wide variety of conditions. They are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat. They can be kept in tanks with other aquatic life. They are also very easy to feed, and will accept virtually anything that is fed to them. They are scavengers, so they will help keep the tank clean by eating any leftover food or waste.
Shrimp are very easy to care for, requiring no special equipment or preparation. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at local fish shops.
When it comes to housing freshwater shrimp, there are a few things to consider. First, they need plenty of hiding places and decorations in their aquarium. This will give them a safe place to hide when they feel threatened or stressed. Second, they need a filter to keep the water clean and oxygenated. Finally, they need a heater to maintain a consistent temperature in their tank.
Freshwater Shrimp can be kept with other fish, but it is important to choose species that are compatible with each other. Some fish may view the Shrimp as food and try to eat them, so it is best to avoid aggressive or large species. It is also important to ensure that the tank is large enough to accommodate all of the inhabitants.
Overall, Freshwater Shrimp can make great additions to any aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and provide hours of entertainment as they explore their environment. With the right setup and compatible tank mates, they can be a wonderful addition to any family.
The most popular shrimp for a family freshwater aquarium are:
Freshwater Shrimp Information
- Average Length: 1.3 – 3 inches
- Scale Colors: Red, Blue, Black, Yellow and Translucent.
- Attention Needs: High
- Tolerance to Heat and Cold: No
- Good Pet: Yes!
- Good with Other Shrimp: Yes
- Good with Other fish species: Only with fish that are non-aggressive
- Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: No
- Health Concerns: Bacterial Infections, Rust Disease, Vorticella and Scutariella Japonica
- Allergies: None
- Average Life Span: 2 – 5 years
Join Our Free Newsletter
For All Pet News, Tips & Tricks and lots of other goodies, straight to your inbox!
Physical Appearance of Shrimp
Shrimp are tiny decapods (creatures with 10 legs on their body). They can get up to 3 inches long with females in most species longer than the males. All Shrimp are invertebrates which means that they do not have a backbone. From a distance, Shrimp look similar to grasshoppers.
They have long narrow bodies. Many types of Shrimp have at least some part of their body transparent but some like Ghost Shrimp are completely translucent. Their carapaces or upper sections have a somewhat cylindrical shape. The texture and color and pattern of their upper body varies greatly between different species.
Shrimp have a strong abdomen that is flexible. Their tails are wide, with a fan-like shape. The muscles in their abdomen and tail help them move quickly in the water.
Shrimp molt by shedding their exoskeletons several times a year. Young Shrimp can shed as frequently as once a week. They shed their exoskeleton so that they can grow a new one that will allow them to grow larger.
There are more than 2000 species of Shrimp. The majority of these are found in marine waters but some are also found in freshwater bodies. Red Cherry Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp and Blue Tiger Shrimp are some of the more common and popular Freshwater Shrimp species.
Red Cherry Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp are part of a bigger class of Shrimp called Dwarf Shrimp. Dwarf Shrimp make up the majority of Shrimp found in freshwater aquariums.
Temperament of Shrimp
Shrimp are very peaceful and will not attack or harm other fish in the tank. They are bottom-dwelling and will almost never swim near the surface. Several different types of Shrimp will be helpful to fish in your aquarium. They’ll clean other fish of bacteria or other things that are on the fish.
Young Shrimp tend to be more active than adults. They will spend most of their time eating algae and looking for other sources of food.
Because they are small and non-aggressive, Shrimp are susceptible to predators like large fish. If you plan to keep them in a community fish tank, it’s best to only keep them with non-aggressive fish. This way you know that they will not attack or eat the Shrimp.
Some Shrimp like Blue Tiger Shrimp are aggressive eaters and will compete for food with tank mates.
Best Habitat for Shrimp
Different Shrimp species can have varying needs when it comes to temperature, pH and water softness. Always check the specific requirements of the Shrimp species you get before setting up a tank for them.
If you are planning to set up a community fish tank then research about the water conditions that each fish species needs. With so many varieties of Shrimp available, you will find a type that can fit with the fish you plan to keep in the tank.
Shrimp are small and do not need a very large tank. They can be kept in a tank as small as 5 gallons. If you plan to set up a community fish tank or breed Shrimp then you will need a larger tank of 10 gallons or more. The general rule is that 2 to 3 Shrimp can be kept per gallon of water.
Depending upon the species, the temperature needs of Shrimp can range between 65°F and 85°F. Make sure that a stable temperature is maintained because any changes in temperature can affect their growth and feeding patterns.
Water Hardness and pH
The pH and water hardness will depend on the individual Shrimp species. While some like Blue Tiger Shrimp need a neutral pH of around 7.5 others may need more acidic water.
Water hardness for Shrimp ranges from 3 to 15 DKH.
It’s best to ask the person selling you the Shrimp what the best water conditions are before buying anything.
For Shrimp substrates like gravel and sand can be used. If you want plants in your tank then gravel is a better choice because it’s better for the growth of freshwater plants. Sand is not good at absorbing nutrients that plants need. An added benefit of gravel is that they come in a variety of colors. A good idea is to use a substrate that contrasts with your Shrimp because it will make them much more visible in your tank. For example, tanks with Cherry Shrimp with a black gravel substrate. The black gravel will make your Cherry Shrimp look vibrant inside their tank.
Some Shrimp like Blue Tiger Shrimp don’t need a deep substrate because they don’t burrow. While they may not need one, other fish in their tank might need a substrate.
Shrimp do not have specific lighting needs but keeping a regular day and night cycle is usually best. The day and night cycle will help other organisms in their tank. Live Freshwater plants and fish will need 8 to 10 hours of light a day. The light cycle can easily be controlled by adding a timer to the lighting to control the day/night cycle.
By adding living plants or decorative plants to your tank your Shrimp will have many places to hide. Plants are a natural breeding ground for algae that your Shrimp will feed on. The only problem with adding plants is that you may have difficulty in spotting your Shrimp because they will hide among the plants. The good news is that if you can’t see them, then you know it’s harder for any aggressive fish you have to find and eat them.
Plants like Java Fern and Anubias are a good option for beginner fish tank owners because they grow slowly and are easy to care for.
Rocks and driftwood both can make great additions to your aquarium. Both will create many places for your Shrimp to hide. One concern is that driftwood can soften the water in your aquarium. Not all Shrimp species may tolerate the change. If you want to use driftwood, make sure your Shrimp can handle the new water conditions before adding it.
Use a filter that is not too powerful because the suction can suck smaller Shrimp or baby Shrimp. To keep them from getting sucked up, you can either get a less powerful filter or add a sponge cover to your filter. Sponge filters help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria which is good for Shrimp.
Avoid adding Shrimp to a new fish tank. They should only be added to a new tank after the tank has been cycled. Cycling the tank helps to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that breaks down toxic organic compounds like ammonia and nitrates into less harmful nitrates. Shrimp cannot tolerate high ammonia and nitrite levels. Ammonia and nitrites should be kept as close to zero as possible and nitrates less than 20ppm.
The water conditions should be monitored regularly to ensure it does not go out of balance. Your testing kit must have tools that let you measure levels of dissolved organic compounds, water hardness and pH level.
Depending upon the water conditions, a 20 percent water change should be done once a week. Regular water changes will help keep the nitrate levels under control. While performing a water change with a gravel vacuum, always remember to add a net line or a sponge to your airline tubing to prevent your Shrimp from getting sucked up into it.
Best Tank Mates for Freshwater Shrimp
While Shrimp will not be aggressive with other tank inhabitants, there are many fish that will prey on your Shrimp. Baby Shrimp are more susceptible to being eaten because they are tiny. Still there are a few fish species that you can keep along with the Shrimp. Only fish species that are non-aggressive and have a mouth half the size of your Shrimp should be kept with them.
Always check the compatibility of the individual Shrimp species you plan to get before adding tank mates.
Here are a few good tank mates for Shrimp:
- Small Plecos
- Cory Catfish
- Smaller Barbs
- Trumpet Snails
- Red Ramshorn (Snail)
If you do not plan to breed your Shrimp then most of the tank mates mentioned above will be fine with them. However, if you want to breed Shrimp, then Tetras and Guppies should not be kept in the same tank with Shrimp. Tetras and Guppies have been known to eat baby Shrimp.
Shrimp have a densely calcified body or exoskeletons that protects them from pathogen infections. They still can develop certain health issues.
Rust disease is a serious disease that results in the degradation of their shell. The disease is contagious and can destroy a colony of Shrimp within a few weeks. Rust disease will cause red or black spots to appear on their shell. Rust Disease is often a result of poor water quality. The disease can cause:
- Abnormal texture of shells
- Affect their ability to grow
- Inability to molt
- High mortality rates
Adding Hydrogen Peroxide or oregano oil to your tank can help treat the disease. You can consult a fish vet to know how to treat infected Shrimp.
The main reason for bacterial infections is poor water quality inside your tank. The severity of the disease varies and it can sometimes also lead to death. Infected or dead Shrimp will have red or orange heads. Some may develop a whitish color on their interior organs. Antibacterial medications like tetracycline, Kanaplex and Oxytetracycline are used to treat the disease.
These are small parasites that look like white mold on your Shrimp’s body. They are difficult to spot and because of their appearance, are sometimes confused for a fungus. The parasite mostly grows on the tip of their nose, antenna and mantle.
Changes in their swimming behavior can also indicate the presence of this disease. The good thing is that these parasites are harmless to the Shrimp and can be treated without much difficulty. Salt bath and ParaGuard, a medication are two available methods that are suggested to treat the affected Shrimp. If your tank is infected with parasites, make sure to remove their molts from the tank because parasites can stay attached to them.
Freshwater Shrimp are scavengers who will mostly eat algae, plant matter and dead organisms. Most Shrimp can survive feeding only on the biofilm that forms on the substrate or plants that contain microorganisms like algae.
At the same time, they also need to be fed Shrimp food because they constantly eat. It becomes all the more important if you have a large Shrimp population in your tank. They can be fed commercial food like algae flakes, but they aren’t picky and will eat almost anything. If you feed your other fish fruits or vegetables then your Shrimp will eat them. It’s amazing to see what they will do to a slice of watermelon after only a few hours!
In the beginning, feed them only a few times a week. Check and see if they are eating the food or leaving it uneaten. If the food isn’t getting eaten, it’s a sign that they’re getting enough algae or other food from the substrate.
One important thing to remember is that Shrimp need to be underfed because overfeeding can result in excessive tank waste. Overfeeding them will lead to poor water quality.
Avoid adding them to a new tank because new tanks don’t have enough algae to provide food for your Shrimp. They can be added to a new tank after it has cycled a few times.
How do Shrimp Move?
Shrimp mostly walk on their legs to move around in the water but they also know how to swim. Shrimp are great swimmers and can move around fast. They swim in a way that is quite different from how fish swim because Shrimp don’t have fins like fish. Shrimp will flex their muscles in the abdomen and tail to move through the water. They move their abdomen towards their body which pushes them backward. The unique way in which they swim makes the Shrimp swim faster backwards than forward!
Do the Shrimp Molts Need to be Removed From their Tank?
There is no need to remove the molts they shed. Shrimp molts (their exoskeleton) are a rich source of calcium and they tend to eat it themselves. The molts should only be removed if your tank has been infected with parasites. The parasites can stay attached to the molts and lead to further infection if your Shrimp eats them.