Shrimp Farming

Keeping shrimp in (nano) aquariums are becoming increasingly popular. The animals are usually very frugal, live peacefully in larger groups, and are very pretty to look at because of the many colors. Find out what is important when it comes to keeping and caring for shrimp.

The Right Prawns

Of course, shrimp farming begins with the decision for one or more types of shrimp. In the meantime, through targeted breeding, there are over 100 types of shrimp, some of which also differ in their color variants: A large selection for you as an aquarist. However, it should not be forgotten that each type of shrimp has individual requirements in terms of keeping, feeding, and housing. It is therefore important not only to be guided by visual criteria but also to weigh up how much experience you have yourself. In fact, there are some types of shrimp that are also great for beginners. They are relatively insensitive and also forgive one or the other “bad posture”. Examples of such beginner shrimp are mainly bee shrimp, red fire, sakura, and tiger shrimp.

The Socialization

Another important issue in keeping is the number of animals in the aquarium. Basically, shrimp are extremely social animals that you shouldn’t keep alone or in small groups: such animals hide permanently or even wither. You should therefore keep them in groups of at least ten – even better 15 – animals. Only then do the shrimp feel visibly at ease and multiply quickly: in nature, for example, thousands of specimens of this type of crustacean live in small pools. But the fear of overpopulation in the aquarium is unfounded: shrimps decimate their populations completely independently. They simply stop multiplying, and even with sick or weak animals, they do not stop at cannibalism.

In general, it is possible to keep shrimp together with other fish or crabs, albeit with restrictions: the shrimp often end up as fish food in such community aquariums. If you are looking for a suitable “aquarium partner”, you should therefore make sure that the fish or crabs are not predatory or too big. Aquarium snails or smaller fish, which prefer to live in the upper water layers, are ideal. A shrimp breeding program in such tanks is not advisable at all: The newly hatched young animals are only a few millimeters in size and thus found food – as peaceful as the roommates may usually be.

Shrimp Husbandry: Observe the Husbandry Conditions

Next, we will deal with the question “How should an aquarium suitable for shrimp be equipped?” Basically, however, it can be said that many shrimp are quite relaxed when it comes to pH, GH, and Co. However, they are sensitive to copper: even tiny amounts of this substance are enough to kill the crustaceans. The problem arises above all in old buildings, which often contain copper pipes. If in doubt, check the tap water for traces of copper and, to be on the safe side, also check fertilizers, care additives, or any medication with regard to the copper content before use.

When it comes to the right substrate, you should definitely choose a substrate with fine grain size. If the gravel is too coarse, leftover food can fall between the stones, inaccessible to the shrimp. There they decompose and pollute the water level. You should therefore choose fine gravel or aquarium sand for keeping shrimp.

The color of the substrate is of course entirely up to the owner’s taste. Nevertheless, here is a tip: With intensely colored shrimp you should choose a dark substrate. This is how the colors come into their own.

Another important point when keeping shrimp is the number of plants in the aquarium because no shrimp would feel comfortable in a bare tank. On the one hand, they serve as hiding places for the crustaceans. This makes them an important design element, especially in a community aquarium or when the skin is shedding. On the other hand, different algae that are grazed by the animals thrive there. As a result, the plants are a natural source of food for the shrimp.

When designing the aquarium, you should therefore create an entire area for the shrimp that is very densely populated with plants. Slender aquarium plants such as java moss, pearl herb, red Ludwigia or the Indian water star are particularly suitable here. Last but not least, the ground planting can be supplemented with floating plants, which offer the shrimp additional space to move around; the mussel flower is popular.

Interesting: shrimps spend most of the day searching for food. Basically, they usually eat everything that comes in front of their maxilla (their mouthparts): algae growth from stones and roots, microorganisms on filter media, dead plant parts, and – as already stated – also dead or sick conspecifics. They not only satisfy their own appetite, but they also keep the aquarium clean. You should therefore only feed a little and, if at all, not every day. As a rule of thumb: only give as much as the animals take in in an hour; the rest should definitely be removed from the pool. Otherwise, the water will be unnecessarily enriched with nutrients, the consequences of which are fluctuating water values ​​and the unwanted spread of algae.


Last but not least, we want to deal with the technology in the shrimp aquarium. As for the type of filter, the crustaceans are not picky. Whether external, internal or mat filters – the decision is up to each aquarist for himself. However, it is important to secure the filter if you are expecting prawn offspring. Otherwise, the small animals will be sucked in and die in the filter circuit. The problem can be solved very easily by securing the intake opening of the internal and external filters with a piece of filter sponge or thin women’s tights.

The water temperature can also play an important role in keeping it, but whether you have to buy a heater for this depends primarily on the ambient temperature and the type of shrimp. For example, bee shrimp need a temperature of around 20 ° C: If the aquarium is in the living room, the lighting is usually sufficient to produce this water temperature. If it doesn’t manage that or if the ambient temperature is too low, you can help with a heating rod.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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