The Fascinating World of Aquarium Shrimp: A Beginner's Guide to Species and Care

Feb 29, 2024

The Fascinating World of Aquarium Shrimp: A Beginner's Guide to Species and Care

Table of contents:

  1. Introduction to Aquarium Shrimp
  2. Popular Aquarium Shrimp Species
  3. Care and Maintenance
  4. Conclusion

Keeping aquarium shrimp can be a fascinating and rewarding hobby, offering a unique glimpse into the underwater world right in your own home. Aquarium shrimp come in various species, each with its own specific needs and characteristics. This blog post will guide new owners through the different species of aquarium shrimp and provide essential tips on how to care for them.

Introduction to Aquarium Shrimp

Aquarium shrimp are small, colourful invertebrates that can add beauty and life to freshwater aquariums. They are known for their interesting behaviours, efficiency in cleaning up algae and food remnants, and their ability to live in harmony with most fish species. Before delving into the specifics of shrimp care, it’s important to understand the different species that are suitable for aquarium life.

1. Red Cherry Shrimp

One of the most popular species due to their bright red color and ease of care. They are hardy and breed easily in well-maintained tanks.

2. Crystal Red Shrimp

Known for their striking red and white coloration, these shrimp are a bit more sensitive to water conditions and require a bit more care than Red Cherry Shrimp.

3. Amano Shrimp

Larger than many other shrimp species, Amano Shrimp are voracious algae eaters and can be a great addition to tanks battling with algae issues. They are relatively easy to care for but do not breed as easily in freshwater conditions.

4. Ghost Shrimp

These transparent shrimp are great for beginners. They are very affordable and can serve as a good introduction to shrimp keeping. However, they have a shorter lifespan than other species.

5. Bamboo Shrimp

Known for their unique feeding method of fan filtering water to catch food particles, these shrimp require tanks with good water flow. They are peaceful and can grow larger than most other shrimp species.

Care and Maintenance

Water Quality - Maintaining high water quality is essential for the health of your shrimp. Regular water changes (25% weekly) and monitoring of water parameters like pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are crucial. Most shrimp prefer slightly acidic to neutral water (pH 6.5-7.5) with stable temperatures between 22-28°C (72-82°F).

For more information on aquarium maintenance see our handy guide here.

Tank Setup — Provide a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding spots and surfaces for algae growth. Driftwood, rocks, and dense plantings are ideal. Avoid using copper in any form as it is toxic to shrimp.

Feeding — While shrimp are efficient cleaners, they also need a varied diet to thrive. Feed them a mix of algae wafers, blanched vegetables (like zucchini and spinach), and specialized shrimp food. Be careful not to overfeed as this can deteriorate water quality.

Compatibility — Most dwarf shrimp species are peaceful and can be kept with small, non-aggressive fish. However, larger fish may see shrimp as food, so choose tank mates carefully.

Breeding — Many shrimp species breed easily in captivity, provided they are in a stress-free environment with optimal water conditions. Breeding requires a separate breeding tank to protect the larvae from being eaten by other tank inhabitants.


Aquarium shrimp can be a joy to keep and offer an engaging way to learn more about aquatic ecosystems. By choosing the right species for your experience level and providing them with the care they need, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of shrimp keeping. Whether you’re drawn to the vivid hues of the Red Cherry Shrimp or the intriguing feeding habits of the Bamboo Shrimp, there’s a species out there that’s perfect for your aquarium. With proper care and attention, your shrimp can thrive, contributing to a healthy and vibrant aquatic environment.

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