In recent years, the aquarium shrimp has become a permanent fixture, and people are seeing the benefits of these amazing crustaceans for themselves.
With so many choices in shrimp to choose from and a range of colors and personalities, it makes sense to add a few of these fun characters to your aquarium setup.
What is an aquarium shrimp though, and what purpose do they serve?
Aquarium shrimp is a broad term used to describe a few types of shrimp including neocaridina and caridina. These crustaceans can be kept on their own or added to some tanks and they bring a lot of character and color to the space.
If you’ve been thinking about adding some of these amazing creatures to your existing setup or even raising them alone, you’ll be pleased to know there’s even more to them than meets the eye.
We’ve uncovered some fun facts about aquarium shrimp that make them extra lovable so read on to see what we found out.
8 Fun Facts About Aquarium Shrimps
These are some lesser known facts about aquarium shrimps that can prove exactly why they’ve become such a popular staple in today’s tanks.
Read on to see what these special shrimps are capable of and a little more about how they live.
#1 They’re Good for Your Aquarium
Adding a few shrimp to your tank can add diversity as well, and there are lots of benefits they offer. Shrimps are fairy lively compared to other fish and they’re social as well, which is evident when you look at them.
They can be great entertainment for you and the occupants of the tank.
Shrimp also add a lot of color to an aquarium and help mix things up a bit. They eat almost anything, don’t need any extra care, and will basically look after themselves provided the conditions are healthy inside of the tank.
#2 They Eat Almost Anything
Although it’s good to feed shrimp something they like from time to time, you don’t have to put a lot of effort into doing so. Shrimp are known for eating basically anything when they’re in wild waters and you can put this to good use when you add a few to your home aquarium.
A shrimp will eat both plants and animals, but especially love plankton, and they don’t care if they’re dead or alive which means a lot of waste will be devoured by them in the tank.
Anything that falls to the bottom of the tank they’ll enjoy, and it means less effort for you trying to feed them and clean up after them as well.
#3 You Can Fit Plenty In
There’s no specific number of shrimp that someone can keep, but it depends on the tank and its capacity, with some other things to keep in mind.
Most aquarium owners follow the rule of 25 shrimp per gallon as this will give them adequate space and also make room for breeding, which they love to do.
If you plan on having a larger shrimp colony, upsize the tank, with around 20 gallons of space you’ll have ample room to do this. The more the merrier when it comes to shrimp, so don’t be afraid to go large, or even dedicate an entire tank just to raising these amazing crustaceans.
#4 Some Are Nocturnal
Just like some species of animals, there are certain species of shrimp that won’t come out in daylight either. These shrimp would rather hide away when the sun is out and only come out the play when the lights go down, but some people miss the value of them because of this fact.
One of the main benefits of these types of shrimp, including the popular peppermint shrimp, is that they love to eat the unwanted anemones that can cause harm in saltwater aquariums.
Other than that, they’ll be hiding out in caves and crevices during the night and then come out for dinner when you go to sleep.
#5 They Keep Your Tank Clean
As discussed earlier, a shrimp is a good eater, and they’re not fussy about what they eat either. This means they’ll work hard at cleaning the tank without even realizing it so there’s less time you have to spend doing the job.
Not only do shrimp feast on other dead livestock but they love to eat algae, and will even strip it straight from the wall of the aquarium.
As one of the pestiest parts of aquarium ownership, having a few shrimp in your corner who can help you with cleaning makes them worth their weight in gold.
#6 They’re Easy to Breed
If you don’t want to buy a bunch of shrimp to start which, the good news is they’re easy to breed without doing anything else.
This is mainly helped by the fact that shrimp can carry their eggs underneath their body and are taken care of before they’re ready to hatch.
One of the easiest breeding shrimp is the cherry shrimp, and if you have just two of these in your tank, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually see more. You can even spot the eggs that the female carries after a certain point which is always fun to watch as well.
#7 They Can Molt
If you’ve never owned shrimp before and decide to get some, you could be in for the shock of your life when you see what appears to be their dead body on the floor of the tank. Rest assured, your shrimp has not died, but rather molted as it goes through growth phases.
Shrimp are capable of shedding their skin and they do so regularly while they are young.
It’s normal for a shrimp to molt around once a week which means lots of empty shells in your tank to clean. To tell the difference between this shed skin and a genuine dead shrimp, a deceased one will be more pink in color than when it’s alive.
#8 Fish Love Them
Just because you have dreams of owning shrimp in your aquarium, doesn’t mean you have to give up on having fish as well. Shrimp get along with many types of fish and can coexist peacefully, having done so for millions of years in the real world.
Some of the more friendly fish that are better housemates for shrimp include Guppies, Ember Tetras, Sparkling Gourami, Pygmy Corydoras, and Celestial Pearl Danio.
Although these are better at getting along than others, things still do occur in nature, but you’re guaranteed a much more peaceful experience for the shrimp when you fill your tank with these.
Navigating the Nuances of Feeding Aquarium Shrimps: A Comprehensive Guide
As fascinating as it is to explore the world of floating plants and their contributions to a balanced aquarium, an equally compelling subject is the delicate matter of feeding aquarium shrimps.
Whether you are a seasoned aquarist or a newcomer in the hobby, knowing what to feed your shrimp in fish tanks is vital for their well-being and contributes to the overall health of the aquatic environment.
Dietary Delicacies: What Do Shrimp Eat?
The key to a thriving shrimp aquarium starts with understanding what do shrimp eat. Their diet can be surprisingly varied; they happily munch on algae, detritus, and some even relish the occasional bite of meaty foods like brine shrimp.
However, their dietary needs can vary based on the species you have. For this reason, many aquarists opt for specialized shrimp food pellets that are formulated to offer a balanced diet.
Natural Harmony: Are Shrimp Good for Fish Tanks?
One frequently asked question is: are shrimp good for fish tanks? The answer is a resounding yes!
Shrimp for aquarium use can serve as organic custodians, helping to maintain cleanliness by consuming algae and organic waste. Their presence can also offer aesthetic charm and additional layers of complexity to your underwater ecosystem.
Aquarium Synergy: Are Shrimp Good for Aquarium Health?
Not only do they add a splash of color and activity, but shrimp are also beneficial for the overall health of an aquarium.
Aquarium shrimp engage in a symbiotic relationship with other inhabitants, often complimenting the diets of certain fish species and promoting a balanced environment. This harmonious relationship underscores why shrimps are not just good but excellent additions to most aquatic settings.
Aquarium shrimp are just one fun way you can add some life into your tank, and they’ve been growing in popularity during recent years.
If you’re still a little hesitant about introducing a shrimp or two into your aquarium, you simply need to find out more, so read on to see the answers to some commonly asked questions about them.
What’s the best shrimp for aquarium compatibility?
The best shrimp for an aquarium varies based on the existing inhabitants and the conditions of the tank, such as water quality and plant life.
What factors affect what shrimp eat in a shrimp aquarium?
Factors like water quality, availability of natural food sources like algae, and cohabitating species can influence the dietary preferences of shrimp in a shrimp aquarium.
Are aquarium shrimp easy to care for?
Generally, aquarium shrimp require minimal maintenance. However, specific conditions like water quality and food availability need to be consistently monitored to ensure their well-being.
What’s the Difference Between a Prawn and a Shrimp?
Although both crustaceans, there are quite a few differences between prawn and shrimp. Prawns tend to have longer legs and also more of them, with three pairs compared to the one that shrimps have.
Prawns aren’t usually kept in an aquarium so if you’re looking for a crustacean to add, the shrimp is the better option.
Is the Black Line in Shrimp Its Poop?
The visible black line that you can see in most species of shrimp is in fact its intestinal tract which contains waste. This vein usually runs on the back of the shrimp but isn’t always visible and might not be obvious.
If preparing shrimp for consumption, it’s best to devein this so that it’s not eaten, however this isn’t necessary for the type kept in an aquarium.
What Conditions Do Shrimp Live In?
There are many species of shrimp and they thrive in varying conditions depending on their type. Some prefer colder water and others warm, and some live in fresh water while the others are in salt water.
For aquariums, most live in fresh water tanks as it’s not as common for domestic aquariums to feature salt water, so choose one that is native to this surrounding.
What Do Shrimp Need in a Tank?
Shrimp need much the same that other fish and livestock need in an aquarium, but you should research the specific type of shrimp you want before setting it up to make sure you have them covered.
Some items they require include lights, driftwood, shrimp friendly filter, plants, and heater and thermometer.
Ian Sterling, founder of Fishlab.com, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website, Fishlab.com, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.