Shrimp Keeping 101 – Freshwater Shrimp in The Aquarium

Setting up an aquarium for freshwater shrimps and inverts can be a lot of fun and it can be a creative and rewarding hobby. Below you will find all the tips to set up your aquarium for shrimp or other crustaceans and how to create an environment that respects the vital needs of your guests.

Shrimp Species

Many species of freshwater shrimp have recently become popular choices as aquarium pets. Caridina and neocaridina shrimp are the easiest to keep, but atyiopsis and palaemonetes are also appearing more and more often in aquarists’s tanks.

Tank Setup

Where to place your shrimp tank

In order for your tiny sea friends to feel comfortable in your home, there are a few key factors to consider when setting up your aquarium.
You should place your aquarium in a place that is stable, away from any kind of vibrations and located near a power outlet to which you can connect your technical equipment. Do not place the aquarium in a position directly hit by the sun because the sunlight could stimulate unwanted algae development and increase the water temperature uncontrollably. A good location could be the corner of a room where there is no continuous passage that could frighten the shrimp. In addition to this, a dimly lit area will make your aquarium stand out more.

How big should a shrimp tank be

Shrimp can be kept in containers as small as 5 gallons (15 liters), but a 10-gallon (30 liter) aquarium is recommended. A 10 gallon tank with a gravel or sand bottom and an air filter is sufficient to host a large population of shrimp. Make sure to write down the size of your tank, as you will need this information when choosing a suitable filter and heater.

How to furnish your shrimp tank

Once you have found the right location for your aquarium, you can start furnishing it. For the bottom you will need gravel for aquariums with a grain size of 1-3 mm. This gravel allows the roots of aquatic plants to settle, but does not contain nutrients. Before introducing the material into the tank, rinse it thoroughly with just water. There are specific substrates on the market that favor the rooting of your plants and ensure the continuous presence of sources nourishment for your guests. For the decoration of an aquarium for small shrimps, in addition to gravel as a base material and some plants, we recommend one or more roots or a few sprigs of dry wood, as well as dry leaves of beech or oak. Not only do these objects give the aquarium a decorative appearance but they also offer many opportunities for refuge and hiding places for shrimps. This material is quickly colonized by countless microorganisms, such as Ciliates and Vorticellae, microscopic worms and bacteria. These microorganisms constitute the natural food of small shrimp. By collecting this feed with the help of fimbriate claws, the shrimp also ingest small fragments of the woody material that slowly decomposes: a healthy and fiber-rich nourishment.

Ideal water temperature shrimp tank

The different species of shrimp, as well as fish, have adapted over millions of years to the characteristics of their natural biotopes and therefore, in order for them to be healthy, they must be bred in similar conditions. There are a few species which require higher temperatures: “Red Fire”, “Crystal Red”, and “Bamboo” shrimps, for instance, originate from temperate or subtropical climatic regions, where the water temperature is between 15°C and 25°C. If you decide to keep any warm water shrimp, you may need to invest in an aquarium heater: powerful and safe, they ensure a minimum water temperature for your aquarium, for the well-being of your guests. That said, it is important to choose a water heater that is rated appropriately to heat a tank the size of yours – a pet store may be able to help you out if you have any questions.


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