Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp: A detailed guide 2021

0
356

 

 

Freshwater shrimp aquariums are as much fascinating as freshwater fish tanks. Freshwater shrimp tanks require setup and maintenance similar to a fish aquarium. Shrimp are more delicate than fish that require extra care.

You can put together a shrimp aquarium regardless of the skill level. This guide will provide essential care tips about freshwater aquarium shrimp for beginners.

 

You will know about the ideal water temperature, aquarium setup, and other helpful information about different freshwater shrimp species.

  

 

Freshwater Shrimp Facts

 

Shrimp are the natural cleaning crew of the aquarium world. They are great at keeping the algae population under control inside the aquarium. Adding a shrimp to the aquarium help ease the aquarium cleaning process.

 

You will have to change the water less frequently since the Shrimp will diligently remove algae, food scraps, and even fish carcass from the bottom of the aquarium.

 

Aquarium (Tank) Conditions

 

Shrimps can thrive in a variety of tank conditions. But ideally, the temperature should be kept between 700F to 800F (210C – 270C) for most shrimp species.

 

Make sure that the pH level is between 6 and 8. The water hardness level should be between 2 to 5 Ph. Shrimps have difficulty shedding exoskeletons if the water is too hard.

 

Shrimps are sensitive to ammonia. The aquarium must have 0 ammonia and nitrites when you check it using a test kit.

 

A properly cycled tank will not have an ammonia or nitrite problem. Additionally, the nitrates should be less than 20 parts per million inside the tank.  

 

Freshwater Shrimp Facts

 

Shrimp are the natural cleaning crew of the aquarium world. They are great at keeping the algae population under control inside the aquarium. Adding a shrimp to the aquarium help ease the aquarium cleaning process.

 

You will have to change the water less frequently since the Shrimp will diligently remove algae, food scraps, and even fish carcass from the bottom of the aquarium.

 

Aquarium (Tank) Conditions

 

Shrimps can thrive in a variety of tank conditions. But ideally, the temperature should be kept between 700F to 800F (210C – 270C) for most shrimp species.

 

Make sure that the pH level is between 6 and 8. The water hardness level should be between 2 to 5 kHz. Shrimps have difficulty in shedding exoskeletons if the water is too hard.

 

Shrimps are sensitive to ammonia. The aquarium must have 0 ammonia and nitrites when you check it using a test kit.

 

A properly cycled tank will not have an ammonia or nitrite problem. Additionally, the nitrates should be less than 20 parts per million inside the tank.

 

Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp Tank Setup

 

 

You should select a substrate that contrasts with the color of the Shrimp. For instance, blue freshwater Shrimp will look great in light coloured substrates, while red cherry shrimp will look striking on black gravel.

 

If you want to create a planted shrimp tank, the gravel should be appropriate for the plants. Plants are recommended for a shrimp tank since they are a source of nutrients and serve as a hiding place for the shy little creatures.

 

It would help if you also placed driftwoods and rocks inside the shrimp tank. Shrimps feel safe and secure when there is décor that serves as a hiding place for the shrimps. But remember that driftwood release tannin that will soften the water over time.

 

Different types of equipment are required to maintain a freshwater aquarium. You will need an aquarium test kit, thermometer, heater, filter, and test kit for the aquarium.

 

Test Kits

 

The test kit can ensure that the water parameters apt for different freshwater shrimp species.

 

With a test kit, you can measure and adjust the critical water parameters to ensure that the Shrimp thrives in the aquarium. You can use the equipment to measure ammonia, pH level, and nitrate and nitrite levels in the water.

 

Moreover, the kit allows you to know about the carbonate hardness and the water’s general hardness. By measuring the water conditions, you can create a healthy environment for your Shrimp.

 

Thermometers

 

Thermometers are also an important device that you should buy for maintaining a suitable condition inside the aquarium for the Shrimp. You can use the thermometer to find out the water temperature.

 

The ideal water temperature differs for different freshwater shrimp species. They are handy when adding fresh fish to the tank. Shrimp are extremely sensitive to changes in the water temperature.

 

You can use the thermometer to ensure that the aquarium’s water temperature is the same as the water you are adding to the aquarium.

 

Shrimp species can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. But it would help if you kept the temperature within the recommended range for the species to thrive inside the aquarium.

 

Heater

 

Using a heater is required to prevent the water from getting too cold. Consider buying an automatic thermostat that will set the temperature automatically.

 

You don’t have to change the temperature of the tank. The thermostat will adjust the temperature automatically. Ensure that you buy a high-quality thermostat since shrimps are sensitive to even a slight temperature variation.

 

Filter

 

Aquarium Filters for all types of Shrimp. It serves as a dual role of removing debris from the tank and also assists in the colonization of helpful bacteria in the tank.

 

When buying a filter, you should make sure not to suck the Shrimp into the filter pipe accidentally.

 

You should buy filter guards to prevent the shrimps from getting sucked into the filter—the guards on the filter intake pipe. You can also buy filters that are designed especially for shrimp aquariums.

 

You should buy a sponge filter that is gentle and won’t suck the shrimps for shrimp aquariums. An air pump powers the sponge filter. The filters are great for small aquariums up to 15 gallons.

 

Hang-on-bank filters are another type of filter that is also good for larger tanks. The filters clip on the back of the aquarium due to their name.

 

A great thing about this type of filter is that you can install it easily without getting your hands dirty. There is an inlet pipe that sucks the water and runs through a filter.

 

A canister filter is beneficial for sizeable freshwater shrimp aquariums. They may be costly but are the right choice for keeping a large aquarium clean. They are ideal for aquariums that are larger than 50 gallons.

 

Freshwater Shrimp Species

 

 

You can populate the shrimp tank with different types of live freshwater shrimps. Here we will briefly review the famous shrimps that you can keep inside the aquarium.

 

Dwarf Shrimp

 

Dwarf shrimps are the most popular aquarium shrimps. These shrimps come in a variety of sizes, types, and colours. Most of the dwarf shrimps are smaller than two inches.

 

It makes them great for different tank sizes. The most common types of dwarf shrimps include the Amano shrimps, red cherry shrimps, crystal shrimp, and the bumblebee shrimp.

 

Amano Shrimp

 

Amano shrimps (Caridina multidentata) are native to the waters in Southeast Asia. The shrimps are famous since they can remove a large number of algae inside the tank.

 

They look similar to the ghost shrimp, with a slight difference in markings on the body. Moreover, a fully grown Amano shrimp is more significant as compared to the freshwater Shrimp. It can grow up to 2 inches and live for two to three years under optimal conditions.

 

Cherry Red Shrimp

 

Cherry red shrimps (Neocaridina heteropoda) are also dwarf freshwater species that have a striking appearance. Also known as red cherry shrimp (RCS), they are native to freshwaters in Taiwan.

 

The shrimp species are found in different colours in the wild, including orange, green, violet, blue, and black. But the blue freshwater shrimps and shrimps with alternating red and white bands are frequently sold in pet stores.

 

The Shrimp can grow up to 1.6 inches and live for one to two years in ideal conditions. They are Resilient breeders given the right food source and aquarium conditions.

 

Crystal Red Shrimp

 

Crystal red shrimps (Caridina cantonensis) are native to streams and swamps of China and Japan. The dwarf shrimp species can grow up to 1.2 inches and live for about two years.

 

The Shrimp has different colour patterns, but the most common variety of crystal red Shrimp has a red-coloured body with white stripes. They are also easy to breed, given the right conditions.

 

Bumblebee Shrimp

 

Bumblebee shrimps (Gnathophyllum americanum) are stripped much like the insect. The Shrimp are native to tropical lagoons, reefs, and bays in Southeast Asia. They can grow up to an inch in size and live up to 18 months.

 

Filter-Feeding Shrimps

 

Filter feeding shrimps are named since they feed by straining suspended food particles and dead matter. The Shrimp pass water over a filtering structure to suck nutrients.

 

They are like a small vacuum cleaner that will remove waste products, algae, and harmful microorganisms inside the tank. The shrimps have impressive claws that sift nutrients out of the water.

 

You have to keep filter-feeding shrimps in an aquarium with a strong current that will keep the nutrients heading their way. The most common types of filter-feeding freshwater shrimps include the Vampire shrimp, Viper shrimp, and Singapore flower shrimp.

 

Vampire Shrimp

 

Vampire shrimp (Atya gabonensis) is a freshwater filter-feeding shrimp native to waters in South America and West America. Also known as the viper shrimp, Gabon shrimp, and African fan shrimp, the filter-feeding Shrimp have a lifespan of up to 5 years and can grow up to 6 inches as an adult.

 

They usually light brown or light bluish-grey in colour. 

Some have pink, cream or green shades. The vampire shrimps have a menacing appearance but are docile.

 

Singapore flower Shrimp

 

Singapore flower (Atyopsis moluccensis) shrimp will vigorously fan the water when feeding to remove the food’s nutrients. Also known as the bamboo shrimp, they are native to rivers and streams in Southeast Asia.

 

The Shrimp varies in color from brown with tan stripe to yellow, red, or green color with white or tan lines. The Shrimp can grow to 3 1/2 inches and live for up to 2 years under ideal aquarium conditions.

 

Paleaomonetes

 

Paleamontes are a hardy variety of shrimps that can survive different water conditions. The shrimp species eat algae and microorganisms inside the tank. Their appearance is almost translucent and looks striking in an aquarium.

 

Ghost Shrimp

 

Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) are translucent fish that are native to North America. Also known as glass or blue pearl shrimp, Sold as feeder shrimp for fish.

 

But you can also grow them inside the aquarium. The Shrimp are peaceful crustaceans that eat algae and other debris inside the aquarium.

 

Keep baby Shrimp in saltwater in the larval stage. But Shrimp mate and spend adult life in freshwater aquariums. It can grow up to 1.5 inches and live up to a year.

 

Freshwater Shrimp Aquarium (Tank) Mates

 

Should not be kept Shrimps with aggressive fish. It would help if you kept the shrimps with peaceful fishes. Examples of fish that you can keep inside the shrimp aquarium include:

 

  • Pygmy Cory fish
  • Small tetra fish
  • Otocinclus
  • White Clouds
  • Glow-light Tetras
  • Borneo Sucker

 

You can keep any small peaceful fish. They will leave your shrimps alone in most cases. However, they will eat baby shrimps. So, it is essential to keep baby shrimps in a separate aquarium.

 

You should also provide a hiding place for the shrimps to become the food of larger fish.

 

Feeding Freshwater Shrimp: What Do Freshwater Shrimp Eat?

 

Freshwater Shrimp are omnivores that will eat anything that will fit inside their smallmouth. Shrimps are scavengers that will eat algae and decaying plants and animals.

 

You can also feed them fish pellets or flakes. Shrimps also like collard greens and frozen kale. But you may need to chop or mince them into small pieces before feeding your Shrimp.

 

Breeding Freshwater Shrimp

 

 

Breeding freshwater shrimp is not that difficult. Consider putting the shrimps in a tank of 40 feet. It will provide room for breeding a large number of baby shrimps.

 

You have to keep the temperature between 700F and 750F (210C and 240C) for the shrimps to breed. Consistency of temperature is essential for producing the shrimps.

 

Consider keeping a thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature inside the aquarium.

 

A filter with 25 to 30 PPI is suitable for breeding freshwater shrimps. The filter inside the aquarium should not suck up the baby shrimps. You should install a filter guard to prevent baby shrimps from being sucked by the filter.

 

It should also keep water conditions ideal for breeding shrimps. Water hardness level should be maintained between 4 and 8 gH, while the carbonate hardness should be between 0 to 2 kHz. The optimal pH level for breeding shrimps is 6 and 7.5.

 

You won’t have to feed anything to the baby shrimp as long as plants and live rocks inside the aquarium. The baby shrimp will eat algal growth and biofilm inside the tank. You can also buy specially formulated baby shrimp formula from a pet store.

 

Related Questions about Freshwater Shrimp

 

 

Do Freshwater Fish Eat Shrimp?

 

You need to be aware of the golden rule. ‘If a shrimp looks like it can fit in a fish’s mouth, then the fish will probably eat.’

 

However, the Otocinclus Catfish is the only fish we know of that is not likely to eat Shrimp. But if your Shrimp can fit in your tetra fish mouth, there is a general possibility it can feed on them.

 

What Do Freshwater Shrimp Eat in the Wild?  

 

Algae are the leading food for the Shrimp in the wild. It grows on hard surfaces in freshwater streams and lagoons.

 

The shrimps are an omnivore and eat any food they come across, which fits their mouth. Some of the food items that the Shrimp will eat in the wild include small insets, dead organic matter, and larvae and eggs.

 

Where Can I Find Freshwater Shrimps for Sale?

 

You can find freshwater shrimps for sale on most online pet stores. Online stores carry a more variety of shrimps as compared to local stores. You will most probably find a good deal online for freshwater shrimps.

 

Can You Hatch Brine Shrimp in Freshwater?

 

You can hatch brine shrimp eggs in a freshwater aquarium. There is no need to add salt to the water to make it salty. Just add baking soda and increase the water’s pH levels slightly to allow the enzyme they release to make a hole in the egg.

 

The ideal condition for the brine shrimp is between 80°F and 82°F (270C to 280C). The brine shrimp can also hatch at a lower temperature, but it will take longer. Light is required during the first few hours to trigger the hatching of the eggs.

 

Wrapping it All Up: Are Freshwater Shrimp Ideal for Your Aquarium?

 

Freshwater Shrimp is an excellent addition to any freshwater tank. The Shrimp is a natural cleaning crew that keeps the algae population in check inside the aquarium. 

You will not have much difficulty in caring for the shrimps.

 

Many aquarists set up dedicated shrimp aquariums with no fish. But you can keep them with non-predatory and peaceful fish. They are exciting and entertaining sea creatures that deserve a place in your aquarium.