differ considerably when it comes to their
keeping requirements. For this reason, it is
practically impossible to describe a “typical”
shrimp tank; you’ll have to decide which
species or at least group of species you want
to keep. Dwarf ornamental shrimp can be
kept in tanks as small as 2½ gallons ( 10
liters) and up.
Many shrimp species are excellent algae
eaters, able to keep a tank free from that
unsightly scourge, and moreover, their
behavior is highly interesting to watch.
However, contrary to what is often believed,
they do not eat long filamentous or staghorn
algae that have already become a problem in
an aquarium. However, a shrimp population
in a tank may prevent algae from taking
over, as they eat the young growth on plants
and other surfaces.
Shrimp are omnivores. Besides algae and
vegetable matter, their diet should contain
flake food and any kind of frozen fish food
like blackworms or brine shrimp. All shrimp
species eat algae, zooplankton, detritus, and
soaked fish food. Tablet and flake food,
as well as special plankton food made by
various manufacturers, are very well suited
for this latter purpose.
Many other products have been brought to
the market as well that have been specifically
tailored to the needs of ornamental shrimp.
One of the most important inventions when
it comes to shrimp-keeping in my view is
the shrimp salts, which have been specially
developed to improve the growth of bacteria
in the shrimp aquarium that in turn gets
eaten by the shrimp.
Some species that grow to a larger size,
such as Macrobrachium rosenbergii or other
long-arm shrimp, have been reported to
prey on smaller or bottom-dwelling fish.
And some shrimp species live in brackish
water in nature, so their larvae need marine
water to grow up, which makes breeding
these species difficult to almost impossible.
Otherwise, these robust inverts are
impressive and highly enjoyable companions
for an ornamental tank and will develop
nicely when kept in the right conditions.
Most species are quite tolerant with
regard to water parameters. They endure
temperatures from 45° to 82°F ( 7° to 28°C),
and they tolerate a considerable range of
pH values from 5. 5 to 7. 6. However, there
are some species that require very specific
conditions. Highly important for the entirety
of shrimp species is the oxygen content of
the water. Insufficient oxygen can result in
diseased or even dead shrimp, which makes
Tropical Fish Hobbyist www.tfhmagazine.com 49 Australatya obscura, a shrimp species described from Taiwan and the Philippines in 2015.
Caridina sp. “galaxy fishbone.”
Sakura red cherry shrimp Neocaridina davidi “Sakura.”