How Shrimps May Benefit Your Fish Tank

Source: denAsuncioner

When looking into a fish tank you may see these small creatures swimming around, eating and give life in a fish tank. I love to look at these creatures! A lot of people are having these in their tanks.

But, are they good for fish tanks? Shrimps are good for fish tanks by helping to keep the tank clean and to give more life and color in the tank.

There are benefits to having shrimps in a fish tank. There are also dangers for a shrimp in a fish tank.

How to take care of shrimps to making them beneficial

Shrimps need care as all your other inhabitants in your fish tank. A benefit to shrimps is that they are very easy to take care of.

A shrimp need food and a place to hide. That’s about it. The shrimps are very colorful and need to be able to hide from predators due to their colorfulness. Some shrimps are not that colorful but need to have a place where they feel safe anyway.

For hiding, it’s a good thing to have plants in the fish tank. The shrimps like to hide in between the leaves of the plants. they are also able to hide under, in or around furniture and stones.

For the food, the shrimp eats about anything. Food that sinks to the bottom when feeding, algae, waste from the fish, just about everything that goes into the mouth of the shrimp is going to be food.

It doesn’t mean your shrimp should only rely on the waste as a food source. You need to give them a variety of food, as you should do with your fish. It could be leaves (not all leaves are a good idea to put in your tanks since some are releasing substances that are dangerous for the species in your fish tank), pellets, vegetables as cucumber or zucchini.

With a variety of food, your shrimps will be happy and they will really be a delight to look at in your fish tank!

The pH in your tank needs to be above 6,5 for optimal conditions for the most shrimps. Since the shrimp shells are containing calcium the shrimps are sensitive to low pH. You should be aware of this before you put shrimps in your fish tanks.

Not a lot of fish are requiring low pH but if the fish does, for example, if you have a breeding tank of neon tetras that need pH of 5,5 you should not have shrimps in your tank since they will probably die of the low pH.

A lot of aquascape and planted tanks contain shrimps because of the life and color it gives the tank and also helping the tank to be clean from algae which are a problem in this kind of tanks. The benefit of shrimps over snails is that the snails will climb the glass of the tank while the shrimps will just swim around and sit on the furniture and the bottom of the tank.

That makes that the shrimp is not obstructing the view of the aquascape the aquascaper is working so hard on.

Types of beneficial shrimps

Ghost shrimp is a shrimp that is eating leftover food and helps to keep the algae levels down. They are not colorful but, you guessed it, transparent as a ghost.

The transparency is beneficial for the shrimp since it’s avoiding predators that way and that makes the shrimp be able to be active during the day.

They don’t live for long, just about a year or so, making them very affordable cleaners of the tank.

Crystal red shrimp is a very popular shrimp that is red and white striped. They have only been around since the early 1990s where they were bred accidentally. They are therefore not found in the wild.

It’s a very sensitive shrimp. That’s because they are very inbred as a species. When buying, be prepared that they might not live for long. But, if you get shrimps that are surviving the environment change you could expect them to live for about 1-2 years.

They feed on about everything, just like the ghost shrimp, and because of that these creatures help the fish tank to be clean of algae.

Amano shrimp is a shrimp mostly kept to keep the algae away. These shrimps are very good at eating algae and are because of that, one of the most popular shrimps to have in a fish tank.

The name comes from the legendary aquascaper Takashi Amano who used these shrimps to keep his aquascapes clean from algae. The shrimp is transparent with some grey making it not obstructing the look of the fish tank.

Even if they are good algae eaters their diet needs to be more varying than just feeding algae. They eat just about everything like most shrimps do. Give them zucchini or cucumber once in a while to variate their diet.

An Amano shrimp are living for about 2-3 years.

Cherry shrimp is the most popular shrimp in the hobby. It has a very vibrant red color and is a good color contrast to the green you find in most fish tank plants. But there are many different varieties of the species. They live just like many shrimps for about 1-2 years.

These creatures are active both during the day and night making them a nice inhabitant to look at any time in your fish tank.

The Cherry shrimp are eating about everything and are helping the tank being clean of algae while giving the tank some color and life.

Why you not seeing the shrimps in your tank

Shrimps are small creatures and there are risks for the shrimp in a fish tank.

The primary risk is that they might get sucked in the filter if the filter is too strong. The shrimps are good swimmers but they are not that good that they are able to combat the current of a tank filter. You might lower the power of your filter or you could cover the inlet of the filter with a sponge.

You might not even need a filter which I have written an article about. You still have the problem with suction that might kill them though.

In the wild the shrimp have predators and that might be the case in a fish tank too. Some fish eat shrimps. The fish that are eating shrimps are larger fish and even bottom-dwellers might eat a shrimp or two if the shrimp is in the way.

It’s no problem if the tank is heavily planted and the shrimps have a lot of hiding places. The shrimp is a good hider and a lot of them are nocturnal making them harder to see for both fishes and for you.

Every once in a while, and especially if you have shrimps that are active during the day, you will see this small, cute animal swim around and eating on something.

If you are not seeing them, the risk is that they are dead by being sucked into your filter, eaten or are just hiding.

Should you have shrimps in your fish tank?

I would say you definitely need shrimps in a heavy planted fish tank. If the tank is not heavily planted the shrimp runs a higher risk of not making it. They add life and are beautiful to look at.

It’s a good idea to have shrimp in a tank with a lot of slow-growing plants. That’s because the shrimps are able to keep the algae away which might grow if the plants are not using up the nutrition in the water, which is the risk with slow-growing plants.


I have been a fish keeper a big part of my life. During the years I have gathered and searched a lot of information about fish keeping and here, on the website, is where I share that information to help you with your fish keeping. I want to provide the information that I didn't get when I had a question about my fish tank.

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