16 The Best Freshwater Shrimp for Your Aquarium


Freshwater shrimps are not just delectable food for your fish. Their colors and sizes make them a perfect and alluring addition for your tank. Do you still have no idea what to choose? Keep on reading to find the best one for your aquarium.

1. Amano Shrimp

Caridina multidentata

If you are a complete novice that wants to keep some freshwater shrimp without breaking a sweat, consider purchasing this Amano shrimp.

Its name is derived from a legendary Aquarist, Takashi Amano, that introduced it into the trade for the very first time during the 1980s as one of the best freshwater shrimp that can control algae well. It has even become more popular now.

Amano shrimp are one of the largest “dwarf shrimps”. They can reach up to 2 inches, and live for about two or three years. If you want to keep them in your aquarium, make sure it is a 10-gallon tank size that is heavily planted as they like to hide, especially when molting.

You can easily sex this freshwater shrimp. The females are usually bigger than the males, and they have dots on their exoskeleton that form long dashes. The females also have a saddle under their stomach to store eggs.

2. Bamboo Freshwater Shrimp

Bamboo Freshwater ShrimpIt is also known as wood shrimp, and native to Southeast Asia. As the name suggests, it has a reddish-brown color that looks like bamboo.

Taking care of bamboo shrimps is not as hard as you might think. As long as you can provide everything they need to thrive well, they can live for one or two years, or even more.

Bamboo shrimps, like many other filter-feeding ones, pull food coming from the water column. They also feed the best from the water that moves constantly and quickly. Thus, a 20-gallon long tank is more preferable than the high one.

The aquarium where this freshwater shrimp dwells has to be 7.0 to 7.5 pH with normal tropical lighting of a community tank.

This freshwater shrimp prefers to live in a tank with an abundance of live aquarium plants which provide lots of places for it to explore, climb on, and hide. Besides, they will also provide small bits of edible matter that usually floats in the water column.

What do freshwater shrimp eat? Well, Bamboo shrimp are not fussy. They can eat fine particles of fish food and many other floating things. But you can also give them a very finely pulverized algae wafer which is softened into a light paste by concocting it with water.

3. Bee Shrimp

Bee Shrimp come in a wide array of variations. They can have red and black or white and dark-brown stripe patterns in a zebra-like manner.

They can also come in all blue, black, or white color that covers their entire body. The one that you can see here is the black Bee Shrimp, which is sometimes referred to as Crystal Bee.

If you are thinking about keeping them in your freshwater shrimp aquarium, make sure you provide the requirements as follows:

  • Each tank should be filled with soft acidic water.
  • All water in the tank should be clean, which entails frequent water changes.
  • The temperature should be below 26° Celsius.
  • pH ranges from 6.2 to 6.8
  • And pH should be around 4 or 6

Similar to other freshwater shrimp, Bee Shrimp is not fussy when it comes to feeding. You can also give them sinking shrimp pellets, crushed flake foods, daphnia, mini blood-worm, spinach, or kale.

4. Blue Bolt Shrimp

High Grade Caridina cf cantonensis

This freshwater shrimp is the cousin of Crystal Red. Therefore, they share similar care requirements.

To help blue bolt shrimp thrive well, a 10-gallon tank would be your safe bet because it can accommodate up to 40 individuals. Just make sure you do not mix them with other varieties as they might do interbreed, which can affect the coloration.

Besides, the appropriate tank size, you will also need to maintain the water temperature between 65-85°F with a pH of 6.2-7.8. Do not forget to add plenty of plants. If these requirements are stable, breeding them will be much easier.

5. Blue Tiger Shrimp

The Blue Tiger has many interesting facts. One of which is their other name, Orange Eyed Blue Tiger. As the name suggests, they come in dark blue with some black stripes and orange eyes.

They can live well in a 10-gallon aquarium with a pH of the water between 6.0-7.5 while the temperature is around 65-75°F.

Both Guppies and Ember Tetra are the best tank mates for this freshwater shrimp. You will still need to provide sufficient hiding places, though.

6. Blue Pearl Shrimp

Blue Pearl Appearance

Blue Pearl Shrimp are the same species as the Snowball ones. Therefore, their requirements are the same.

They also eat the same food as the Snowball.

However, you should give them sinking pellets and blanched vegetables to supplement and balance their diet.

This colorful shrimp was bred in Germany from wild Neocaridina cf. zhangjiajiensis of Southeast Asia.

7. Blue Velvet Shrimp

These freshwater shrimp are the breeds of Cherry and Yellow Shrimp. However, you will not find red or yellow over their body. All you can see is just a striking blue color, instead.

When it comes to feeding, blue velvet shrimp is a total omnivore. They eat anything including algae. But if you are going to breed them, high protein shrimp pellets should be given. Make sure the water temperature is between 72° and 82°F with a pH of 6.4-8.0.

8. Crystal Shrimp

Crystal Red Shrimp is not suitable for a novice because they require special treatment and water parameters since this species is quite sensitive. They need to dwell in a 10-gallon tank (40 liters) or more.

Maintaining good water quality is essential. Therefore, you need to change it regularly. The parameters also have to be stable with a pH of 5.8 to 7.5, and the temperature has to stay between 62 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

You might also need to consider adding Malaysian driftwood because it provides a good hiding place that allows algae and biofilm to grow on it. This is important, especially for a breeding tank.

9. Ghost Shrimp

This freshwater shrimp, which is also known as Glass Shrimp, is inexpensive. For this reason, many people buy it as food for larger and more aggressive fish like Cichlids. They have no idea that it is more than just a scrumptious snack.

If you want to keep this freshwater shrimp, make sure you put it in a 10-gallon tank and do not overstock it. Although they are small, they still contribute to the bioload which can affect the water quality, and end up creating such an unhealthy environment.

Ghost Shrimp, as the name suggests, might look like a “ghost” with their transparent body. They are translucent, instead. They also have a hint of hazy gray or some green dots.

The translucence of this freshwater shrimp is its main charm and the reason why you should keep it in your tank. You will be able to see the internal workings of its body when feeding it. Isn’t it wonderful?

You can keep Ghost Shrimp with other fish in the same tank. The best tank mates for them are Cory Catfish and Otocinclus Catfish as they are calm.

10. Indian Whisker Shrimp

Indian Whisker ShrimpIndian Whisker Shrimp is a highly aggressive species. They can kill other shrimp and fish immediately if you put them together in a community tank.

For this reason, you had better keep them in a separate 5-gallon aquarium.

You do not need to worry about the special demands of keeping them in a tank as they are quite hardy and can be put up with various water parameters.

11. Neocaridina Shrimp

Neocaridina, also known as Yellow Shrimp, are the cousins of Red Cherry.

They have the vivid color of a lemon. However, some of them can be translucent because their ancestors, which have a brownish-grey body, have been selectively bred for years.

The different hues of this freshwater shrimp make the price varied. While the Opaque Yellows are usually more expensive than the translucent ones.

You can notice that they are not large shrimp, so a 5-gallon tank will be just fine. However, you might need to consider keeping them in a bigger aquarium as it will make the water quality easier to maintain.

Talking about the tank requirement, Neocaridina is not fussy, either. Although you may need to maintain the water temperature between 650 and 850 Fahrenheit, they can put up with a wide range of temperatures as long as everything is stable.

Neocaridina can live in a community tank as long as the water and fish compatibility is excellent. Pygmy Corydoras and Livebearers can be their tank mates. However, be sure you add plenty of hiding places in the aquarium because these shrimp might seem edible to them.

If you are going to start Neocaridina farming, place them in a bigger tank and just stick to other shrimp and a few peaceful snails. Do not mix various Neocaridina in the same place as interbreeding will give you brown wild-type coloration.

12. Pinto Shrimp

Taking care of Pinto shrimp, also known as Fishbone, is quite challenging. It does not mean you cannot do that, though. To help them thrive well, you need to set up the tank with a pH of 5.8-7.4. Keep the temperature stable anywhere between 62° and 76°F.

Video credit The Shrimp Tank.

13. Red Cherry Shrimp

This freshwater shrimp will be suitable for an aquarist that is seeking pops of colors to be added in his tank.

To keep this Red Cherry Shrimp, the minimum tank size has to be 5 gallons or about 19 Liters. The pH should be around 6.5 to 7.0, and the temperature has to be 60° to 80° Fahrenheit.

If you are going to keep them in a community tank, make sure you add lots of plants in it. A heavily-planted aquarium is essential for Red Cherry Shrimp because it can provide an adequate hideaway for hatchlings and molting adults.

In addition to providing a haven for this freshwater shrimp, the plants, such as Java Moss, Cabomba, Hornwort, and Water Sprite can also make a comfortable place for them to perch.

To make the vivid color of Red Cherry Shrimp more standout, consider using the dark substrate as it can bring out the natural red of them better than the light-colored one.

A good diet and water conditions also play a crucial role in helping them optimize their coloration.

Please click here for more information about Cherry Shrimp.

14. Red Rili Shrimp

This freshwater shrimp species have been bred from Red Cherries. You can easily notice it by looking at their deep redhead and tail with a transparent midriff. They belong to the types of dwarf variety that can grow up to approximately 1 inch.

Fortunately, taking care of these freshwater shrimp is not that hard. Red Rili is sensitive to ammonia and nitrites. Therefore, you need to maintain the stability of the nitrogen cycle in the tank and change the water regularly.

Red Rili can live in a tank whose water temperature is between 65 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This is important, especially if you are wondering about how to breed them.

Breeding Red Rili is quite easy. You can buy 10 individuals, and then put them in a tank with suitable temperature and a pH of 6.2 to 8.0. If you can maintain the demanded water condition, they will breed by themselves.

Video credit Lim Yc.

15. Snowball Shrimp

Snowball Shrimp

As the name suggests, these freshwater shrimp are translucent white like snowflakes. Some individuals have a slight blue tint, though. It is also said that the name is derived from their pure white eggs looking like tiny snowballs.

If you want to keep Snowball Shrimp, a 5-gallon tank would be enough though you can opt for a bigger one. Make sure that the water temperature is stable between 72° and 82°F with a pH of 7.0-7.5.

You will also need to keep 10 of them in the same tank as they are very social. By living together with the number of Snowball Shrimp, they can be more confident and less stressed.

16. Vampire Shrimp

Vampire Shrimp is one of the rare species. They are quite large as they can grow up to 6 inches. Being translucent, they have a similar look like the freshwater Crayfish.

These freshwater shrimp have small fans to catch fine food particles floating through the water column. They cannot eat regular sinking pellets due to being too large. Therefore, you need to consider giving them baby shrimp food.

Freshwater shrimp can be a perfect addition for your community tank as they will not only jazz it up but also clean it up. Just make sure they have sufficient space to hide.

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