How to Care for Freshwater Shrimp

Keeping freshwater shrimps as pets is very popular today and these beautiful small creatures can be great addition to anyone`s home. However, proper managing is essential if you want your shrimps to be healthy and to live long.

Selecting the Perfect Aquarium!

As we all know, shrimps are tiny creatures, so you can keep them in any kind of aquarium you can find in specialized stores. However, never choose the smallest aquarium you can find. Keeping your shrimps in larger tank will benefit them and will make them more stable in the environment. They will feel free to move around and will feel like they are in their natural environment. Aquariums that can take over ten gallons of water are ideal for freshwater shrimps, and if you have a big shrimp colony then you should get an aquarium that can take over twenty gallons of water.

Shrimps occasionally swim, but mainly they are sitting at the bottom of the tank. Therefore, a good idea is to choose an aquarium that has wider bottom and do not worry much about the height of it.

Managing the Water Chemistry

The water you keep your shrimps in is very important for their health. You should always keep in mind that freshwater shrimps are very sensitive to some substances, which makes them different to fish. For example, the levels of nitrite, nitrate and ammonia must be kept low in their tank because these pollutants can harm your shrimps. Make sure your aquarium is properly cycled (Click here for the guide) before you put your freshwater shrimps in. Besides that, you should change the water at regular intervals in order to keep the pollutants low. A great way to lower the nitrates in the tank is to put some plants, because plants can purify some of the dangerous substances.

Substrate to Use for Your Shrimp Aquarium

Freshwater shrimps do not demand any special substrates, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Depending on how big your aquarium is and what type of shrimps you have – you should pick substrates that are helpful in maintaining good water chemistry. There are substrates that can increase or lower the pH value of the water, and there are also substrates that can make the aquarium water softer or harder.

If you choose bigger substrate, like rocks, you will create larger and emptier spaces where the shrimps will crawl into. This is good if you want to help smaller shrimps to grow, but the visual appeal of the tank will not be as great in comparison if you are able to see the freshwater shrimps at all times.

As mentioned, you need to put some plants inside the aquarium in order to purify the water, and there are many substrates which you can use to help your plants to grow. Substrates like gravel or sand are generally safe and will not harm your freshwater shrimps.

Picking Adequate Water Filtration

Picking good quality filter is essential if you want your aquarium water to be perfectly clean at all times. However, water filters can pose threat to some freshwater shrimps. Baby shrimps can easily get sucked in, so that is why you should pay attention to the width of the filter. It is recommendable for you to use sponge filters or pre-filters on your filters in order to prevent unwanted situations and possible death to your freshwater shrimps.

shrimp-safe-filter
Credit: Petshrimp.com

Picking Tank Mates for Your Freshwater Shrimps

Choosing right tank mates for your shrimps is not an easy thing to do. This is because shrimps are always at the bottom of the aqua food chain, so all fish species are looking shrimps as their food. It is best to keep the shrimps alone in the aquarium, but there are still fair share of fish that are not dangerous to freshwater shrimps.

The first and most important thing to look into when picking fish to partner your shrimps in the aquarium is their size. Common sense is that bigger fish eat shrimps, so choose smaller fish that cannot eat the shrimps. There are number of fish species that do not grow much to harm the shrimps. Nothing is hundred percent safe, but if you are considering fish species for your aquarium to join your freshwater shrimps then consider the following tankmates. Small Tetras and Otocinclus are ideal tankmates because they are peaceful and small types of fish that not only will not eat your shrimps, but they can also control the plants in your tank. Hatchetfish, Pencilfish and Microrasboras are a few other small fish species that are often added together with shrimps. All of them are safe types of species that rarely do any harm to freshwater shrimps. Consider the mentioned advice for taking care of your freshwater shrimps and you will enjoy them for many years to come.