Freshwater shrimps are popular aquatic invertebrates with beautiful colors, and fascinating shapes. Freshwater aquarium shrimps are a worthy addition to any tank, and tank owners can have them in any color except purple. Yes, you heard that right, the color varieties of the freshwater shrimp are virtually endless.
Freshwater shrimps are hardy little critters too, a freshwater shrimp can live in any freshwater aquarium configuration. They thrive in both planted and brackish aquariums, they can also be kept in community aquariums provided there are no aggressive fish present.
Most freshwater aquarium shrimp species thrive best in aquariums with live plants like Stem plants, Java moss, and Anubis. They feed on algae and biofilm amassing on plants and aquarium objects. Lots of freshwater shrimp species are efficient scavengers, they feed on uneaten food particles on the aquarium floor, and help keep ammonia and nitrate levels low.
Freshwater aquarium shrimps are grouped into two categories.
This is a family of shrimp with over 450 identified species, and they exist in both tropical and temperate water systems. Adult shrimps of the Atyidae species are largely restricted to freshwater environments.
These are also known as long armed shrimps. They are a large superfamily of shrimp species encompassing almost 1,000 recognized species. They can be found in both freshwater and saltwater habitats across the globe.
What are hybrid shrimps?
Hybrid shrimps are created by interbreeding two different freshwater shrimp species, or different color varieties of the same species. Their offspring- known as hybrids won’t retain the characteristics of their parents, e.g color patterns.
The majority of the hybrids created through interbreeding different shrimp species look unpleasant, they are usually inferior versions with smaller sizes and pale unattractive colors. Since interbreeding aims to create organisms with better characteristics, mixing freshwater shrimps is not encouraged, and shrimp keepers can only do so after properly identifying their shrimp species.
How do I identify which Shrimp species that will interbreed?
Freshwater shrimp scientific names contain the shrimp’s genus and species. Shrimps having identical genus and species are certain to interbreed and produce hybrids, while shrimps having different genus will certainly not interbreed. Only shrimps with different genus can be kept together in a community aquarium.
List of Freshwater Shrimps that can be kept together in an Aquarium
Freshwater shrimps are extremely unique creatures, and they need to be properly identified before they can be kept together. Determining which type of freshwater shrimp that can be kept together depends on their inability to interbreed and their level of aggressiveness.
Some shrimp serve as mere food to their bigger cousins, and care must be taken not to mingle aggressive and predatory shrimp with the smaller peaceful types.
Freshwater shrimps can be kept together but only in ideal conditions. One thing that shrimp keepers are certain of is that freshwater shrimps are tough and they can adapt to different water conditions provided that standard water parameters are strictly adhered to.
Freshwater shrimps need oxygenated clean water with minimal germs to thrive. Low amounts of oxygen in the water can lead to fatalities.
Therefore, the significance of a well-aerated and well-filtered aquarium cannot be underestimated.
Common freshwater aquarium shrimps originate from climates with mild temperature levels of around 15-25°C, and the aquarium water must be constantly maintained at this level for the freshwater shrimp to be active.
Freshwater shrimps can tolerate water pH levels ranging from 6.0 to 7.8.
Red cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
Neocaridina davidi, also known as dwarf shrimp, is a popular freshwater aquarium shrimp. They are available in a large variety of colors except for purple.
In addition to the unlimited array of colors, the dwarf shrimp is also available in three patterns. The common color of this freshwater shrimp species is red, and it is the reason why the dwarf shrimp is known as the red cherry shrimp.
The dwarf shrimp comes in three patterns. Solid coloration, these are dwarf shrimps with a single distinctive solid color pattern. Wild coloration is a brown pigment with detailed white and cream and clear brown stripes. Rili coloration is a unique looking dwarf shrimp variety with clear middle, but a single color head and tail.
The dwarf shrimp has been selectively line-bred into two distinct color classifications. The two classifications are distinguished by the richness of their color pigmentation. The dwarf shrimp is a voracious eater and will eat leftover food, and algae on the aquarium plants. They thrive on biofilm covering the aquarium plants and objects. Dwarf shrimps are generally peaceful and can live with other non-aggressive shrimps. Shrimps that prey on the dwarf shrimp are not advised to be kept in the same tank with them.
Black king kong/Wine red/Blue bolt shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)
These freshwater aquarium shrimps have magnificent hues and an overall stunning appearance. They are highly sought by shrimp lovers and can fetch very high prices at the pet store.
The Black King Kong and the Wine Red shrimp are versions of each other and they share the same physical similarities and attributes. Both shrimps can be found with a solid color, and can have a white triangle on their “humps.” Some shrimps can also have striped white patterns on their body.
The Blue Bolt shrimp does not have the regular patterns of the Black King Kong and the Wine Red shrimp. The Blue Bolt shrimp is rated by the richness of its blue color. Blue bolt shrimps with blotchy blue heads and white bodies are considered inferior, and shrimps with a deep and even body-color spread are highly desirable.
Blue bolt shrimps are extremely hard to care for, and owners are often reluctant to put them together, or with other freshwater species in a community aquarium. However, they can be placed together in a community tank without issues. If bred together, they will breed true species and not hybrids.
Crystal red shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)
The Caridina shrimp is undoubtedly one of the most stunning looking freshwater aquarium shrimps. Most suited for planted aquariums, the Caridina shrimp, unlike the dwarf shrimp, generally have solid colors.
Although expensive, the Caridina shrimp is popular among aquarists because it is a beautiful fish and adds great value to any aquarium. The Caridina shrimp thrives best in planted nano aquariums of 5 gallons. Since the Caridina shrimp feed mostly on biofilm, there is a need to have a settled biofilm presence in the aquarium before introducing the Caridina shrimp.
The Caridina shrimp is peaceful and can live with other peaceful shrimp in community tanks. However, water parameters of the community tank must be constantly checked to prevent changes in water conditions which can be harmful to the Caridina shrimp.
Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata)
The Amano shrimp is an aquarist delight, they are very easy to care for, they come in beautiful colors, and are delightful to watch. Amano shrimps are peaceful and non-aggressive, they can live in a community tank with other groups of non-aggressive shrimps.
Aquarium keepers regard the Amano shrimp as a tank cleaner. They feed heartily on algae, and they can thoroughly clean an algae infested tank in a few days. The majority of Amano shrimp in freshwater aquariums are wild-caught, but they make Hardy and adapt to aquariums easily.
The Amano shrimp ticks all the points when it comes to making an excellent choice in freshwater shrimp selection, they are beautiful, peaceful and can coexist with other shrimps. They require minimal care and can clean out your tank nasty algae growth. What else does an aquarist want?
Bamboo shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis)
These are small little shrimps that use their filters to feed. To feed itself, the Bamboo shrimp looks for a spot where the water flow in the aquarium is quite strong, and stretch out its fans to catch tiny food grains in the water
The Bamboo shrimp is peaceful and harmless, it is frequently preyed on by other shrimps and fish. So a planted aquarium with lots of hiding spots is necessary if you do not want your Bamboo shrimp to be eaten.
The Bambo shrimp can be kept with other peaceful and non-aggressive freshwater shrimps in community aquariums, but it will need a strong water flow and lots of places to hide and protect itself.
|Lifespan||Up to 6 years|
Tiger shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)
The Tiger shrimp’s unusual name is from the long straight streaks running over its bright body. The Tiger shrimp is available in lots of colors, and the most popular choice for shrimp keepers is the Orange Eyed Blue Tiger. This unusual variation has a dark blue body with orange-eyed stripes.
Other color varieties are Tangerine Tigers, Royal Blue, Black Tigers, Galaxy Tigers, Super Tigers, Orange Eyed Black Tigers, and, Blue Tigers.
In terms of care, the Tiger shrimp aquarium water parameters should be constantly monitored, especially if they are in a community tank to avoid fatalities resulting from deteriorating water conditions.
Like other shrimps, the Tiger shrimp feeds largely on biofilm growing in the aquarium, and sunken leftover food. The Tiger shrimp can also be fed a diet of fish shrimp pellets and soft boiled vegetables.
Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus)
Also known as glass shrimp, they are cheap, common, and readily available. Ghost shrimp are daily cared for and they also serve as feeders to bigger freshwater aquarium fish.
The Ghost shrimps are efficient scavengers, and they feed on the sunken leftover food and other edible particles on the tank bottom. They are peaceful and non-aggressive and can be kept with other non-aggressive shrimp.
|Lifespan||Up to 1 year|
Caridina Babaulti (Caridina babaulti)
The Caridina Babaulti is famous for the brilliant zebra stripes on its body, and they are available in an array of colors; red, brown, green, and green-yellow.
The Caridina Babaulti shrimp can be fed a diet of soft boiled vegetables, they will also eat decayed plants and aquarium foilage. They are easy to care for and can be kept in community aquariums with other peaceful and non-aggressive shrimps, mainly neocaridina shrimp species.