What shrimp are good for your aquarium?

Shrimp can be a very beneficial and fun addition to your aquarium. We will discuss a few shrimp that are good for your aquarium and some of the tank mates they can live with.

Are shrimp good for your aquarium? Shrimp can be very good for your aquarium, they demand little care and maintenance, and they will serve as your aquarium’s cleaning crew. They are beautiful and fun to observe and can live peacefully together with many other types of tropical fish.

Shrimp are small marine crustaceans that are usually residing in temperate or tropical salt water and fresh water. They can grow as long as 6 inches, but most types we will discuss below will only get about one to two inches. They are very beneficial and are capable of eating algae, bacteria, and “dirt.” Shrimp are sometimes raised in ponds, and they are very suitable for your aquarium. We will focus here on the freshwater aquaria here. Freshwater or tropical shrimp are the types of shrimp that is ideal for fish tanks and aquarium.

It may sound strange and somewhat unique to some people to choose shrimp as your pet, but it is actually a good choice. Adding fresh water or tropical shrimp to your aquarium will add a new and exciting look to it. Furthermore, they will help keep your aquarium clean because shrimp are known as algae-eaters. Aside from making your aquarium algae-free, shrimp are also fun to observe. These are but a few reasons tropical shrimp are ideal for your fish tanks.

Types of Freshwater Shrimp

Tropical shrimp are natural scavengers. They feed on algae,
dirt and food wastes. Also, tropical shrimp are easy to take care of. That is why these species are best for your aquarium. There are large varieties of freshwater or tropical shrimp. We will discuss some of the types of freshwater shrimp below.

Red Cherry Shrimp, Neocaridina Davidi

cherry shrimp

Neocaridina davidi are available in a wide variety of colors, like red, yellow, orange, green, blue, violet, black and everything in between. Red cherry shrimp the most kept and sold color, they are known for their aesthetic look and bright colors. They are one of the most popular types of freshwater shrimp. This type of tropical shrimps is relatively easy to care for compared to other kinds of shrimp. The environment of your aquarium must have a temperature ranging from 57 –84 ° Fahrenheit or 14 – 29.5 degree Celsius. You don’t need to worry about feeding the Red Cherry Shrimps because they can find food for themselves since they are natural-scavengers and will happily eat anything you feed your fish. However, if you are planning on keeping an aquarium exclusive for shrimps only, you might want to consider supplemental feeding. Supplemental feeding will give them all the nutrients they need.

Ghost Shrimp

glass or ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are also known as Glass shrimp because of its slightly transparent appearance. Their see-through body makes them attractive to watch. It’s fun to watch them eat and see the food in their bodies. They were the first pet shrimp I ever had in my aquarium. Ghost shrimp will easily breed in your aquarium, and because of this, they are also bred as a food source for bigger aquatic animals. Ghost or Glass shrimp are usually the most inexpensive shrimp you can find in the pet store.

Blue Bolt Shrimp, Caridina Cantonensis

Blue Bolt Shrimp are tagged as one of the most beautiful types of tropical shrimp. They are the result of breeding Crystal Red or Black Shrimp with Taiwan Bee Shrimp and generally have a head that is mostly blue. The Blue Bolt Shrimp are more rare to find and usually more expansive than cherry shrimp and glass shrimp. Blue Bolt shrimp are not often seen in most pet-stores but can be found online. When it comes to their care requirements, Blue Bolt Shrimp are very sensitive to change and considered to be one of the hardest to keep and breed. Although they can be stunning, I would not advise them to a beginner shrimp enthusiast.

Crystal Red / Crystal Black Shrimp, Caridina Cantonensis

Crystal Red Shrimp CRS

This type of freshwater shrimp, are of the same species as the Blue Bolt but have different colors and patterns. They are also a lot more common. Crystal Red Shrimp have unique designs, and they are also one of the most beautiful types of shrimp. The price of each Crystal Red shrimp varies to the grading scale – SSS, SS, S+, S, A, B, C. A grade of SSS is thought-out to be the most desirable and the most expensive of the different grades. These different grades have to do with the patterns of white and color (black or red) on their bodies and how they are placed.

Panda Shrimp, Caridina Cantonensis

Panda Shrimp is also known as Black King Kong Pandas because of its black and white characteristics. The Pandas are the same species as Crystal Black Shrimp but can be distinguished from them by a pure black head, and the colors are deep solid black and crisp white. Like most Caridina species, they are harder to keep.

Snowball Shrimp, Neocaridina Zhangjiajiensis

Snowball shrimp, like most Neocaridinas, is an excellent choice for beginner aquarists. Care for this shrimp is closely related to that of the Neocaridina Davidii varieties. The Snowball shrimp has a very appealing appearance. They can tolerate changes in their environment more efficiently than the Caridina species. Thus, it makes them an excellent choice for beginners.

Bamboo Fan Shrimp, Atya Gabonensis

Bamboo Fan Shrimp

The Bamboo Fan Shrimp is a species of freshwater shrimp which live in West Africa and South America. They have fan-like claspers with which they filter small particles out of the water. They can grow up to 6 inches or 150 mm. They are known under various names like African filter shrimp, vampire shrimp, rhino shrimp to name but a few. Like the other shrimp, they are a non-aggressive species.

Types of Fish Compatible With Tropical Shrimp

In keeping shrimp along with your community fish tanks, you must consider the types of fish that goes well with shrimp. Shrimp are very peaceful and won’t bother your tropical community fish. Shrimp will just live along with the fishes and scavenge for their food. Although shrimp are generally friendly in nature, there are still things to be considered, although the shrimp won’t form a treat to your fish, your fish might be for your shrimp.

If you want to keep shrimp in your aquarium, prevent adding more prominent types of fish such as angelfish, barbs, and cichlids. Your shrimp will likely be mistaken as food by these larger fishes. Also, avoid teaming up your shrimp with tiny fishes. If your shrimp have a larger size, they too can be predators and eat up these smaller fishes. So, it’s essential to know what type of fish are compatible living with shrimp.

Neon Tetras, Paracheirodon Innesi

Shrimp and neon tetra in community aquarium

Neon Tetras are very adaptable in their environment. Also, they are peaceful and appealing to the sight. This type of fish is actually one of the most common choices for your shrimp aquarium since they don’t seem to harm anything.

Harlequin Rasboras, Trigonostigma Heteromorpha

These are a small and colorful type of tropical fish. Harlequin Rasboras prefer slightly acidic and soft water, so are some shrimp. Aside from their compatible water preference, both of them are peaceful in nature. Keeping both of them in your tropical fish tanks seems to be a good idea.

White Clouds, Tanichthys Albonubes

White clouds are named from the place where they were first discovered – the White Cloud Mountain in China. This type of fish is as gorgeous as the white clouds in the sky. White clouds are often called “poor man’s tetra” because of their coppery stripe appearance. White clouds are not actually tropical fish, but they are considered as tropical fish because of how they get along with other tropical marine species.

Glassfish, Parambassis Ranga

Glassfish, also known as the Indian Glassy Fish, is one of the very eye-appealing and unique types of tropical fish. They have their distinct characteristic of translucent appearance. Colloquially speaking, you can really see right through them, from their bone to their internal organs like the Glass Shrimp. They are non-aggressive in nature and are usually seen in their hide-outs. Therefore, Glassfish will be a good company with your tropical shrimp.

Glow-light Tetras, Hemigrammus Erythrozonus

Glow-light tetras are small and peaceful in nature, they will be an excellent choice to be paired up with your shrimp. Glow-light Tetras are also very shy, and when they are being put in a new environment, it will take time for them to adjust. That being said, expect that you will sometimes see them hiding with your shrimp.

Things to Consider When Taking Care of Shrimp

Although shrimp are easy to care for, still, there are things to be put into consideration. First, the water parameters must be stable. Shrimp are sensitive to the changes in water condition. They can be kept in a small tank but are better kept in a larger aquarium. Like the water conditions, the temperature must be stable. Also, it is advised to frequently change the water to prevent depositions of ammonia and nitrite because shrimp are sensitive to these. Ammonia and nitrites are produced when organic matter like plants and microorganisms that are present in your aquarium decomposes.

Shrimp are natural scavengers, and they can feed themselves with all kinds of things they find in your tank. The food for shrimp are the algae, uneaten fish foods, bacteria and some dirt in your aquarium. They are your aquarium’s own cleaning crew. Shrimp can do well in big busy tanks if they have enough room to hide from time to time. Their food source largely depends on your tank’s size and contents. In addition to this, shrimp food or food-pellets are also a good idea. This is to make sure that your shrimp are getting the nutrients they need.

A good environment is also needed for your shrimp. Your aquarium must have hiding places for the shrimp even if you’re not planning to keep them with fish. They mold from time to time and like to hide when they do. Plants are not strictly necessary but will serve as a hide-out and a food source. Not that they eat your plants, but plants will provide a surface for biofilm to grow, which they will eat. Therefore, avoid using rocks with calcium contents. Avoid using medications and plant fertilizers with traces of copper in your tank. These chemical elements are fatal to most invertebrates, especially to tropical shrimp.

Advantages of Adding Shrimp in Your Fish Tanks

The most important advantage of keeping shrimp in your fish tank is that they will serve as your aquarium’s cleaning crew. As is mentioned earlier, the food source of shrimp is the dirt, bacteria, algae and fish food leftovers. Therefore, you need not to frequently clean your aquarium because they will do it for you. Dirty aquarium? Say no more.

amano shrimp

A lot of Shrimp demand little care requirements. They are easy to take care because they can quickly adapt to their environment as long as the environment is livable for them and not constantly changing. With just the right water parameter and temperature, these little crustaceans will live along with other tropical fish. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. Therefore, they won’t add up to your aquarium expenses.

Shrimp are beautiful and appealing to the eye. There are different types of tropical shrimp you can choose from. These species vary in size, color, and appearance. These little marine species will add beauty to your fish tanks, and they are a lot of fun to observe.


My name is Jaap, and I am a passionate shrimp and fish enthusiast. I rediscovered my love for this hobby with my son and want to share our knowledge and tips with you on this aquarium blog. We cover topics such as setting up and maintaining an aquarium, feeding and breeding your shrimp and fish, and creating the perfect environment for them to thrive.

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