Updated: Jul 31
Aquarium freshwater shrimps are a popular choice for many hobbyists due to their beautiful colors, interesting behavior, and ease of care. There are several species of freshwater shrimp that are commonly kept in aquariums, including caridina, sulawesi, and neocaridina. In this article, we will discuss how to take care of each species, the aquarium setup, nutrition, breeding, and any special requirements needed to start a shrimp business.
Caridina shrimp are a group of freshwater shrimp that are commonly kept in aquariums. They are native to Asia and are known for their vibrant colors and interesting patterns. Caridina shrimp prefer soft, acidic water with:
pH between 6.0 and 7.5
gH between 4 and 6
kH at a maximum of 1
temperature between 70-76℉ or 21-25℃
In terms of aquarium setup, caridina shrimp need plenty of hiding spots, such as driftwood, rocks, and plants. They also require a substrate made from fine-grained sand or active aqua soil to help with buffering the water and keep the kH in check.
Breeding caridina shrimp is relatively easy, but it does require specific conditions. To breed caridina shrimp, the water temperature should be increased to around 78℉ or 27℃. The females will carry the eggs in their saddle until they hatch, which takes approximately 3-4 weeks. Once hatched, the baby shrimp are small and need a safe environment to grow. A breeding tank with a sponge filter is a good option to ensure the survival of the young shrimp.
Neocaridina shrimp, also known as cherry shrimp, are a group of freshwater shrimp that are native to Asia. They are known for their bright red coloration, but they also come in a variety of other colors, including yellow, blue, and green. Unlike Caridina shrimp, Neocaridina shrimp are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They prefer:
pH between 7.0 and 8.0
gH between 4 and 8
kH between 1 and 8
temperature between 65-78℉ or 18-25℃
Breeding neocaridina shrimp is slightly easier than with Caridina and can be done in a community tank. The females will carry the eggs in their saddle until they hatch, which takes approximately 3-4 weeks. Temperature is not an issue with Neocaridina shrimp, however molting can be tricky when a female with eggs try to molt at elevated temperature.
Neocaridina shrimp also require plenty of hiding spots, such as driftwood, rocks, and plants.
Sulawesi shrimp are a group of freshwater shrimp that are native to the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. They are known for their unique coloration and patterns, as well as their sensitivity to water conditions. Sulawesi shrimp require water with:
pH between 7.5 and 8.5
gH between 6 and 8
kH between 3 and 5
temperature between 78-86℉ or 25-30℃
They also need a substrate or gravel made of gH enhancing material like crushed corals substrate and a neutral substrate like crushed lava rocks. As any other shrimp, sulawesi shrimps also need plenty of hiding spots, such as caves, driftwood and rocks.
Sulawesi shrimp are mainly herbivores, but will eat a variety of foods, mostly algae, vegetables, and occasionally commercial shrimp pellets.
It is important to note that sulawesi shrimp are sensitive to copper and other metals, so it is essential to avoid using any copper-based medications or supplements in the aquarium.
Breeding sulawesi shrimp can be challenging due to their sensitivity to water conditions. It is important to maintain stable water parameters and ensure that the shrimp have plenty of hiding spots to lay their eggs. Once hatched, the baby shrimp are small and need a safe environment to grow. A breeding tank is a good option to ensure the survival of the young shrimp.
Most shrimp species are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including algae, vegetables, and commercial shrimp pellets. Freshwater shrimp have specific nutritional requirements and exhibit unique molting behavior that is important to understand for their overall health and wellbeing. Freshwater shrimp require a balanced diet that includes both protein and carbohydrates. Their diet should consist of a variety of high-quality foods, including algae, biofilm, and commercial shrimp food that come in pellets, powder or flakes. It is also important to offer occasional treats, such as blanched vegetables or high-quality frozen foods. Shrimp also require certain minerals and trace elements, such as calcium, magnesium, and iodine, which are essential for their molting process. Many commercial shrimp foods contain these minerals, but it is also important to supplement their diet with high grade supplements or crushed cuttlebone and other sources of calcium.
Freshwater shrimps molting behavior
Freshwater shrimp molt regularly throughout their lives, shedding their old exoskeleton and growing a new one. Molting behavior is an important part of a shrimp's growth and development, and it is important to understand the process to ensure the shrimp's health and wellbeing.
During the molting process, a shrimp will appear opaque and may hide or become more inactive than usual. This is because the shrimp is vulnerable to predators and may have difficulty moving due to its soft exoskeleton.
It is important to provide a shrimp with a varied and balanced diet, including sources of calcium and other minerals, to ensure a healthy molting process. It is also important to maintain stable water parameters, including temperature and pH, to avoid any stress on the shrimp during the molting process.
After molting, the old exoskeleton will remain in the aquarium and provide a source of calcium and other minerals for the shrimp. It is recommended to leave the exoskeleton in the aquarium for the shrimp to consume, as it will provide valuable nutrients for their next molt.
In summary, freshwater shrimp require a balanced diet that includes both protein and carbohydrates, as well as sources of calcium and other minerals. Understanding their molting behavior is also important to ensure their overall health and wellbeing. By providing a healthy diet and stable environment, freshwater shrimp can thrive and molt successfully.
Aquarium Shrimp Room
Starting an aquarium shrimp room or shrimp business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. Here are some steps to get started:
Do your research: Before starting any business, it is important to research the industry, the market demand, and the different species of freshwater shrimp available. Consider attending aquarium shows, visiting local fish stores, and connecting with other shrimp enthusiasts to learn as much as possible.
Determine your target market: Think about who your target customers will be. Will you be selling to other hobbyists, pet stores, or online retailers? Understanding your target market will help you determine which species of shrimp to focus on and how to market your business.
Establish your breeding setup: To successfully breed and sell freshwater shrimp, you will need to have an appropriate setup. This includes tanks, filters, heaters, and substrates. Consider investing in a separate breeding room to ensure optimal conditions for your shrimp.
Choose your species: Depending on your target market and setup, you may choose to focus on one or multiple species of freshwater shrimp. Consider the ease of care, market demand, and price point when making this decision.
Develop a feeding and care routine: Each species of shrimp has unique nutritional and care requirements. Develop a feeding and care routine that aligns with the needs of your chosen species.
Market your business: Once you have established your shrimp breeding setup and chosen your target market and species, it is time to start marketing your business. Consider attending aquarium shows, creating a website or social media pages, and reaching out to local pet stores or aquarium societies.
Monitor and adjust as necessary: As with any business, it is important to monitor your operations and adjust as necessary. Track your sales, expenses, and breeding success rates to ensure your business is profitable.
Starting an aquarium shrimp room or shrimp business can be a fulfilling and profitable endeavor with the right research, setup, and marketing strategy.
Things you will need
While this is not an exclusive list, rather a comprehensive option for starting your shrimp room without spending a lot of money and losing a lot of shrimps at first.
Multiple aquariums: While shrimp don't need a lot of water, they do need a lot of surface area in the tank, so aquariums of 10 gallons are ideal for them. A shallow 10-gallon aquarium has plenty of surface area for the development of biofilm, which shrimp will graze on. Shrimp breeding and maintenance colonies may suffer from the rapid chemistry imbalance that is known to occur in smaller aquariums.
Filtration: In this video, we discussed specific filter types that are effective and suitable for shrimp tanks. Since you'll be breeding shrimp, it's critical to understand that they dislike high water flow and that powered filters with strong suction will remove the majority of your young shrimp. Therefore, an external air pump that powers a sponge filter is ideal. Since you'll have multiple tanks, you can connect one air pump to numerous sponge filters.
Although there is a tonne of substrate on the market, not all of it is suitable for shrimp tanks. Use of neutral sand or fine gravel is the best option. However, in some situations, such as with caridina shrimp, you'll need some active aqua soil to help buffer the pH. You can accomplish this by putting the aquasoil in a small container inside the tank that can be changed when it loses its ability to act as a buffer.
Water: The majority of the shrimp species we covered need particular water conditions. Iron and copper are frequently present in tap water, which is harmful to the ekso-skeleton of shrimp. Purchasing a RO system that can provide you with pure water and later add the minerals based on the species of shrimp you are keeping may be a wise investment.
Minerals: To ensure that the water in your tank is balanced for the shrimps, we advise adding minerals to RO water. These minerals can be added using any mineralization agent on the market, but we prefer the SaltyShrimp brand because they have a variety of brews each geared towards a particular type of shrimp.
Even though hiding spots and caves are purely aesthetically pleasing, shrimp benefit from them, especially when they are hatching or molting. Shrimp like to hide when threatened by their colony mates, so having plenty of hiding places, such as rocks or tubes, can be very helpful.
Driftwood and plants: Driftwood and botanicals contain a fair amount of tannins; in this article, we discuss various tannins and their advantages for shrimp. To help with the release of tannins and to give your aquarium a little more aesthetic appeal, we advise purchasing a large quantity of aquarium-safe natural leaves, pods, and driftwood rather than using artificial caves and decorations.
Nutrition: Even though shrimp graze on biofilm and algae all day long, it's still important to give them supplements that improve their coloration, molting, growth, and mating behavior. These supplements, which are designed for specific purposes, can be found in commercial-grade shrimp food or purchased from our shop in powder form.
Plants: Floating plants and mosses are perfect for shrimp aquariums because they consume a lot of nitrates and give shrimp of all ages a natural place to hide and graze.
These are the first few things to get you going; we only included things we personally experienced and have been dealing with for the past three years. However, patience and a keen attention to detail are crucial traits for anyone keeping and breeding shrimp of any kind. Shrimp prefer stable conditions and established aquariums. Aquariums that have just been set up might benefit from fish and other live animals, but not shrimp. Shrimps require bio-film, which can only be produced in a tank that has fully developed and hasn't just been cycled.