Top 5 Dwarf Shrimp for Your Next Freshwater Aquarium
Dwarf shrimp are a popular addition to aquariums. They are known for their stunning colors, unique behaviors and ability to be a cleanup crew. In a tank full of fish, adding a cool invertebrate with long antennae and multiple legs can bring a new and interesting facet to the hobby. Learn about five of the most common shrimp that you can find at your local fish store and see which one is right for you.
1. Ghost Shrimp
Many beginners get started with shrimp keeping by buying ghost shrimp because they are readily available in large pet store chains and are often sold cheaply as live feeders for predator fish. Many species of grass shrimp, whisker shrimp, long arm shrimp, and even prawns are all called “ghost shrimp” because of their clear-colored bodies, so it is hard to determine exact care requirements for them. Ghost shrimp can be found in freshwater or in brackish waters. Some ghost shrimp species live for 1.5 inches (4cm) while others reach 5 inches (13cm) in length and may attempt to eat their tank mates.
There is no guarantee that they will survive in your aquarium due to the diversity of species. Most of them can be kept in tropical temperature ranges between 70-80degF and 22-27degC. To build strong exoskeletons, they prefer pH levels above 7.0 and higher GH. Soft water should be treated with extra minerals like Wonder Shell or Seachem Equilibrium. They also need calcium-rich food. Many ghost shrimp are carnivorous and will eat any kind of fish food that gets dropped in the tank.
2. Neocaridina Shrimp
Neocaridina davidi will be the next beginner shrimp. It is also known as the “cherry-shrimp” because it is its most common color. This 1.5-inch (4 cm) shrimp comes in many hues besides red, such as yellow, orange, green jade, blue dream, and black rose. They are not only beautiful, but also great cleanup crew members. Feed them a varied diet of small, sinking fish foods, shrimp foods that contain calcium, and catappa leaves that grow biofilm for babies to graze on. Clean water and nutritious food are the best things you can give them to produce tiny babies. Our detailed breeding article provides more information on how to breed and keep cherry shrimp.
3. Amano Shrimp
Caridina Multidentata, another translucent shrimp, is a similar one to ours. It can grow up 2 inches (5 cm) in length and has dots or dashes running down its lateral. They are a simple shrimp, but Takashi Amano, who is the father of modern aquascaping, made them popular for their incredible ability to eat algae. They are known to eat brown diatoms, hair and black beard algae, depending on their hunger. They are far more durable than other shrimp. They can be kept at temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 27 degrees Celsius), pH 6.5 to 8.0, and GH higher than 4deg (70ppm). You should keep them in the aquarium tightly as they can escape when given the chance. Amano shrimp have voracious appetites and will even steal food from bigger fish and cherry shrimp, so offer fish foods that are too big for them to carry away or are small enough to be scattered all over the tank.
4. Bamboo Shrimp
You are looking for an unusualball, peaceful invertebrate that will spice up your aquarium’s decor? Atyopsis moluccensis (also known as the bamboo shrimp, wood shrimp, or Singapore flower shrimp) grows to 2-3.5 inches (5-9 cm) and has feathery fans on its front legs to catch and eat tiny particles floating the water. Due to their feeding habits, a sponge filter is recommended. It won’t remove all the crumbs from the water. Give them finely pulverized foods like Repashy gel (in its raw powder form), Hikari First Bite and baby brine shrimp. If your fan shrimp starts to forage on the ground while it is feeding, you can increase its daily food intake and target feeding using a pipette. Also, consider adding tall decorations that will allow it to perch on as it captures food. The bamboo shrimp larvae need salt water to survive.
5. Caridina Shrimp
Caridina shrimp are similar in size to Neocaridina shrimp, but they are usually more expensive and difficult to care for. If you are up for the challenge, there are countless varieties of Taiwan bee, tiger, pinto, and crystal shrimp to choose from. They should be kept in a 10 gallon or larger aquarium. This is because the tank has been in operation for many months and has developed a healthy ecosystem of algae biofilm, live plant, and microfauna. They thrive in cool water temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees F (20 to 27degC), low pH, low KH, 4-7deg (70 to 130 ppm) or GH. However, it is a good idea for them to be asked by the seller the conditions they were kept in. To keep the water parameters stable, many hobbyists prefer using active buffering substrate to lower the pH, as well as RODI (reverse osmosis deionized) water with mineral additives specific to bee shrimp.
Chris Lukhaup (The Shrimp King), shares more information about freshwater aquarium shrimp. Don’t forget about our preferred vendors list, where you can browse their impressive selection of shrimp.