Aquarium Shrimp Care

Shrimps are becoming more and more popular amongst aquarists, especially for small aquariums. They are both great algae eaters, scavengers and fun addition for an aquarium. Because of their growing popularity, the variety of these shrimp keeps growing, so everyone can find a shrimp to their liking. But shrimps in general are more demanding than most of regular fish, so there are some things to know, before introducing a shrimp specie into your aquarium. This shrimp care guide is here to inform you about the basics you should be aware of, if you wish to add these little, wonderful creatures into your aquarium.

Do your research!

Magnified shrimp

This is definitely the first step to take, if you are considering taking care of shrimps. Because shrimps are so delicate, you need to find the one type of shrimp that you want and find everything there is to know about how to take care of that shrimp. This is important, because you need to know what kind of environment your chosen shrimp needs. And because they are so delicate, environment must be adjusted to the shrimps’ liking, no the other way around. Most importantly, you need to know the diet of the shrimp and the water parameters, like temperature and pH, for it. So know what the shrimp likes first and only after that start designing your aquarium around their needs.

Keep steady water parameters

Balanced scale

Whilst many fish can adjust to a quite wide variety of water changes, shrimp are not that hardy. They are very delicate and you should make sure that water parameters ar always constant. Changes will distress your shrimp and eventually they will die because of it. So you should never buy a fish tank and introduce shrimp right from the start. It is important to cycle the tank and wait until the environment is stable for you shrimp type. Shrimps usually enjoy low pH levels. Generally, shrimps enjoy a pH levels of 6-7. If you are planning to introduce shrimps to an aquarium that already holds fish, make sure your fish can live in that environment as well.

Keep only one shrimp type in your aquarium.

Striped shrimps

Because shrimps are so delicate, you should avoid the urge to keep more than one shrimp type in your aquarium. Most shrimps have different requirements and, because they do not adjust well, most often, those requirements differ and two different types of shrimp cannot coexist together. You may also want to keep only one type of shrimp species to keep your shrimp colony pure. That is, if you have bought, for example, ghost shrimp, you might want to preserve the stylish looks it has. But if you introduce another shrimp specie, then they will reproduce anyways and mix together. So you will never know how your shrimp will look like in the future. Most of the times, shrimp will lose their color and look more similar to shrimp that can be found in the wild. Those may not be the most exciting colors to have in your aquarium. But not all shrimp species will interbreed, another topic to research for yourself.

Perform a drip acclimatization

How to do drip acclimatization

Even if you have prepared the environment for yor shrimp days before it arrives, it still may not be ready for your aquarium. What you need to do is acclimate your shrimp. Acclimatization means to let your shrimp get used to the environment you are going to be putting himself into. Because they are so delicate, they cannot adjust to sudden environment changes. Shrimp will get stressed by it and die. So you need to introduce them slowly. If you wish to find a detailed step-by-step how-to explanation, then click the link I provided above. The main idea is to slowly get the water temperature in the thing you received your shrimp in, as close as possible to the temperature in your aquarium. After that, slowly, little by little, pour some aquarium water into shrimps current environment. Drip acclimatization is a time consuming process, so make sure you are able to set a side time for that the moment shrimps arrive into your home.

I also found a visual instructions on how to do drip acclimatization that I found to be useful.

Introduce a lot of hiding places for your shrimp.

Fish tank shrimp

As shrimps are so easily stressed out, make sure your aquarium provides plenty of hiding spaces for your shrimp. This will help your shrimp relax and find refuge, when needed. This will help shrimp feel secure. Hiding places are also very useful for shrimp newborns to hide. Especially if you keep fish in the same aquarium as well.

So it is highly recommended to care for freshwater shrimp in an aquarium that is rich with natural vegetation. It will provide a natural hiding place for your shrimp and they love climbing all over the place. Also, shrimps eat micro bacteria from some of the live plants that you can put in your aquarium. One good example would be Java Moss. Java Moss is easy to take care of and beginner friendly as well. This a perfect plant for any freshwater shrimp aquarium.

What do shrimps eat?

As already mentioned, most of the shrimps are algae eaters and will clean your tank and feed themselves at the same time. Most of the shrimps are omnivores and eat regular fish food as well. Many of them will eat fish food that has fallen to the bottom of the fish tank. Shrimps like the ghost shrimp, for example, will eat almost anything, even dead shrimp and fish. But this is something you need to research for a specific shrimp type, because their diets do vary.

If you read through this article, you should know the basics of how to take care of shrimps and steps to take, before introducing them to your new home. Now it is up to you to find the perfect shrimp for your aquarium, follow the mentioned steps and precautions and let your little friends thrive in their new home. Share this article with your friends, maybe they are interested in shrimps, but don’t know where to start?