Keeping Shrimp In Cold Water Tank? – What Works And Not

While having a fish tank without a heater you are quite limited to what fish you can put in. But, you can put in other animals inside a fish tank too. Can you and are you limited in keeping shrimp in a cold water aquarium?

As a general rule, Sakura shrimp and Cherry shrimp are possible to keep in temperatures as low as 50 Fahrenheit. Rili shrimp is possible to keep in temperatures around 59 Fahrenheit. This makes these shrimps suitable in a cold water tank. Most other shrimps need a temperature of at least 68 Fahrenheit.

As you see you are quite limited in the shrimp space too. But what is a cold water aquarium and why are these shrimps suitable to keep in it? Also, what happens if you put the wrong shrimp in a cold water aquarium?

What a Cold Water Aquarium Is

I summary, a cold water aquarium is a fish tank without any heater. This makes the water temperature be the same as the ambient temperature in the room the aquarium is kept in.

Depending on the climate you live in, the temperature may vary during the year depending on the season. It could even vary during the day.

This put some limitations on what pets you can keep in these kinds of tanks.

The most commonly kept fish in a cold-water fish tank are Killifish, Loaches, and Barbs.

These fish can handle lower temperatures. Now, it’s not very common for a cold-water fish tank to go below 68 F (20 C) since it’s a little bit too cold for you to live in.

But sometimes the temperature could get very low during the winter in cold climates. You might have the heater in your house turned off to save energy while you are not at home. In that case, the temperature might crawl down towards 50 F (10 C) at times.

If the temperature gets that low, you are very limited in what to put inside the fish tank.

A cold water tank is more suitable to keep in climates where there are small fluctuations in temperature during the year. It can, however, fluctuate during the day where it could get very cold during the night and much hotter during the day.

Shrimps Surviving In Cold Water

Some shrimps will survive quite low water temperatures. If keeping shrimp in a cold water aquarium, you should monitor the temperature in the water to see what temperature the water is where you keep the tank.

If it constantly is kept above 68 F (20 C), you could basically keep almost every shrimp there is. But if you live in a climate with varying temperatures or if it’s hard to keep the temperature constant in your house, you are more limited.

I would recommend keeping shrimp that can handle at least 59 F (15 C) or even as low as 50 F (10 C) if you live in even colder climates.

Shrimps that can handle temperatures between 50 F and 59 F are quite limited. There are only three different types of shrimps that are suitable to keep in a fish tank.

The Rili shrimp can handle temperatures down to 59 F (15 C) while both Cherry shrimp and Sakura Shrimp can handle temperatures all the way down to 50 F (10 C).

Some would argue that the Ghost shrimp could live in temperatures as low as 45 F (7 C) which is true. But they are more suitable to be kept in higher temperatures described in this article at

What Happens If The Water Is Too Cold For The Shrimp

if the water is too cold for the shrimp the shrimp will be very slow. As I stated before in this article, most shrimp want a temperature of at least 68 F (20 C).

This is because that’s the normal temperature for the shrimp to live in the wild.

If it’s too cold the shrimp will slow down and it will then be more prone to dangers. This will make their metabolism slow down and they will sooner or later die.

What To Think About With Keeping A Cold Water Tank

The most important thing to keep in mind when keeping an aquarium is to mimic the natural conditions for the animal as closely as possible.

Most shrimps you keep in an aquarium (and fish for that matter) are tropical creatures, normally living in tropic conditions. A cold water aquarium is not a tropical climate if you don’t live in a tropical climate yourself.

Shrimps are living in arctic conditions but they are not suitable to live in an aquarium.

Be sure the temperature is right for the shrimp or fish, which could be hard or easy depending on where you live. be sure the tank size is sufficient for your inhabitants which should not be a problem with shrimps which could live in a quite small tank.

Also, put in some thoughts on what you keep with your shrimps. Some fish are not suitable to keep with shrimps and if keeping a cold water fish tank in a non-tropical climate, you are quite limited of what to put in the tank.


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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