There are many different types of aquarium shrimp on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, if you’re in the market for some new shrimp to add to your aquarium, it can be hard to know which ones are the best choice.
After all, there are many different types of shrimp out there, and each one offers its own unique benefit!
Aquarium shrimp come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny ghost shrimp to the larger red cherry shrimp, but they all have one thing in common: They’re awesome.
Not only do these little critters make an interesting addition to your aquarium, but they also help maintain the health of your tank by keeping algae under control and providing food for fish and other shrimp alike.
If you’ve been getting into aquarium maintenance and fish care lately, then you might be wondering how to pick the right shrimp to keep in your tank.
While these crustaceans have their own unique qualities, certain types of aquarium shrimp are better than others depending on what kind of water your tank has and what fish you plan to keep alongside them.
Here’s a quick rundown of 20 popular types of aquarium shrimp and why they’re great to keep in your tank!
Types of aquarium shrimp
Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata)
Amano shrimp are one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp. The reason for their popularity is that they’re easy to take care of and they don’t require much room.
This means that they’re a great choice for beginners and people who don’t have a lot of space to work with.
Another benefit is that Amano shrimp are really hardy creatures, which means you don’t need to spend too much time worrying about them getting sick or dying. Even though they’re so hardy, it’s important to still perform water changes regularly.
In order to keep your Amano shrimp happy and healthy, you should feed them at least once every other day. You can feed your fish flakes and pellets as well as fresh vegetables such as zucchini slices or spinach leaves.
Bee Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)
Bee shrimp is one of the most popular types of shrimp in an aquarium. If you want a shrimp that is small and non-aggressive, this is your best option. Bee shrimp also do not need to be fed as much as other types of shrimp, so they are a great choice for beginners.
The pH level of their water should be neutral or slightly acidic with a temperature between 76°F – 82°F (24°C – 28°C). These shrimp are also called cherry red shrimp because of their color when they’re under direct light.
Blue Bolt Shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)
The blue bolt shrimp is a small, peaceful, and very active addition to any aquarium. The blue bolt shrimp is one of the few shrimp that can survive in acidic waters, which makes it perfect for planted tanks.
In addition, these shrimp have been known to clean up leftover food from their tank mates.
They are also an excellent option for beginners since they are able to live in less-than-desirable conditions. These shrimp may only grow to about 2 inches (5 cm) in length so they won’t get too large for your fish tank.
Tangerine Tiger Shrimp (Caridina serrata)
The Tangerine Tiger Shrimp is one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp because it’s adorable, easy to care for, and relatively inexpensive. Plus, they’re really colorful and fun to watch!
The tangerine tiger shrimp are orange with stripes that look like a tiger’s. They live in shallow water areas and can tolerate a variety of temperatures.
One downside to these little guys is their voracious appetite, which means they may have an adverse effect on other tank inhabitants. That being said, if you don’t mind having to do frequent water changes or having a more restricted diet plan for your fish, then this might be the perfect shrimp for you!
Tiger Shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)
The tiger shrimp is the largest species of shrimp in the aquarium trade and it’s easy to see why. With its striking colors and patterns, this species is not only beautiful to look at but also a popular choice among hobbyists.
Tiger shrimp are relatively hardy with the ability to withstand fluctuations in water quality. While they prefer brackish water, they can live happily in freshwater for as long. They’re also prolific breeders and will often lay eggs that hatch within days of being laid.
In addition, these little crustaceans are an important component of many community tanks because they feed on the waste matter (such as algae) and other pests (such as snails).
Red cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
Red cherry shrimp, also known as Neocaridina davidi, are one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp. These small crustaceans are often hard to find in pet stores because they can grow rapidly and produce lots of offspring.
This makes them a popular choice for many hobbyists who would like to breed their own shrimp. Red cherry shrimp are easy to care for and can be kept in smaller tanks that don’t need much filtration or aeration.
They are also inexpensive and reproduce quickly. For these reasons, red cherry shrimp has become a favorite with hobbyists around the world.
Chocolate Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
The chocolate shrimp is a variety of Neocaridina davidi that was first bred in Taiwan. These shrimp have an orange body with brown stripes and a light blue stripe down the center of their head.
Chocolate shrimp are considered to be one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp available because they are very hardy and can be kept in both fresh and saltwater tanks.
A few reasons why this type of shrimp is so popular include: it has a beautiful color, it grows quickly, it is inexpensive, and it eats almost anything.
Blue/Yellow Rili (Neocaridina davidi)
The Blue/Yellow Rili is a great choice for an aquarium shrimp because it can live in many different water types and can be housed with fish from a variety of families. It’s also relatively easy to breed, which is nice if you want to start your own colony.
These shrimp are not as colorful as some others, but their simplicity makes them a good option for beginners. The Caridina Dapontei has the same temperament and coloring as the Blue/Yellow Rili.
Another cool thing about these little guys is that they can eat some green algae that don’t get eaten by other aquarium species.
Vampire Shrimp (Atya gabonensis)
Although not the most popular type of aquarium shrimp, this one is considered to be among the most interesting. The vampire shrimp is named after its own feeding behavior in which it pierces the exoskeleton of other small crustaceans and sucks out their body fluids.
It does this by using a modified set of mouthparts that are used as a piercing tool. In addition to eating other marine life, it also scavenges for any food that is floating in the water or on the substrate around them.
These shrimp can grow up to about 4 cm long and are often found living near coral reefs where they hunt for prey amongst the anemones.
Vampire shrimp can also survive with low levels of oxygen, making them perfect for living near areas with low oxygen levels like seagrass beds.
Babaulti Shrimp (Caridina babaulti)
The Babaulti shrimp is a small, orange crustacean with black eyes and a white stripe that spans the length of its body. It’s one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp due to its coloration, low price tag, and hardiness.
The Babaulti shrimp prefers to live in groups and can be found living near waterfalls or streams in their natural habitat. They are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Unlike other shrimps, these little guys will usually let you pick them up without sinking their claws into your hand!
Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus)
Ghost shrimp are a popular type of aquarium shrimp that can be found around the world. The shrimp have a transparent body, which can make it hard to spot them in the water. Ghost shrimp are also sometimes called glass shrimp.
Ghost shrimp are omnivores and eat both meaty foods like algae and plant-based foods like vegetables. These little guys will eat anything you give them, but they do prefer live food like worms or brine shrimp to frozen food like krill or bloodworms.
Ghost shrimp typically live for about three years if their tank is kept at the proper temperature. While ghost shrimp may not be your first choice for your primary fish tank cleaners, these little guys are perfect for maintaining an ecosystem in your planted tank or as part of a cleanup crew for larger tanks with multiple species of fish.
Pinto Shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)
Pinto shrimp are an affordable and easy-to-find variety of aquarium shrimp. These colorful creatures have brown bodies with orange, yellow, and red stripes. Pintos are one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp because they can live in a wide range of water conditions and need little care.
Another benefit to pintos is that they don’t have any fins, so they’ll never poke holes in your tank like other varieties might.
As omnivores, these small crustaceans will eat algae and other decaying matter as well as small bits of fish food. Some keepers even claim these hardy critters are able to survive without food for weeks!
Snowball Shrimp (Neocaridina zhangiajiensis)
Snowball shrimps are one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp and for good reason. These adorable little guys will not only produce beautiful snowflake markings on their bodies as they grow, but they also reproduce rapidly, meaning you can create a whole new colony in your tank in no time at all.
Snowball shrimps are native to Taiwan, but have been introduced to many other parts of the world including Australia and the United States where they have become an invasive species.
The water temperature that these shrimp thrive in is between 64-80 degrees Fahrenheit. As mentioned earlier, these shrimp reproduce quickly which means that if you don’t want them to overpopulate your tank then be sure to keep up with their population by harvesting them or introducing more into the system.
Yellow/Black King Kong (Caridina cf. cantonensis)
The Yellow/Black King Kong (Caridina cf. cantonensis) is a species of freshwater shrimp that is found naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Although it’s mostly used as a food source for bigger fish, there have been some instances where people have kept them as pets in aquariums.
Unlike most other types of shrimp that are brown or black in coloration, the Yellow/Black King Kong has yellow-black stripes on its back and a bright yellow underbelly. It also has larger claws than other types of shrimp, which make it popular among some pet owners because it can be used to catch insects for the tank.
As an added bonus, these creatures do not typically reproduce often so you won’t need to worry about overpopulation like you would with a more prolific breed of shrimp.
Green Jade Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
Green Jade shrimp is one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp and are a great choice for beginners. Their color is typically a greenish-blue hue that they can change based on their mood and environment, making them visually appealing.
The Green Jade shrimp are also said to be hardier than other types of aquarium shrimp, such as the Red Cherry shrimp. As long as they have enough food and a healthy living environment, these little guys will live in your tank until you decide it’s time to release them into the wild.
It’s suggested by many hobbyists that if you do not plan to breed your Green Jade shrimp in your home aquarium, it may be better not to include any males in the group because they will continually fight each other.
Crystal Shrimp (Caridina logemanni)
Crystal shrimp are one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp and for good reason. Although they can be a little tricky to care for because of their sensitivity to poor water quality, if you do your research and make sure you have everything set up correctly, crystal shrimp will thrive in any aquarium with clean water.
It’s not uncommon for people to confuse crystal shrimp with baby ghost shrimp (Caridina sp.) – but there are some key differences between the two! First off, crystal shrimp grow much larger than baby ghost shrimp – an adult crystal shrimp usually grows to about 3 inches long, while an adult baby ghost shrimp only grows to about 1 inch.
Second, although it’s difficult to tell when looking at them from the front, juvenile caridina logemanni have orange lines running down each side of their body that run parallel with each other (similar to those found on a line fish), while juvenile caridina sp. don’t have these stripes.
Furthermore, the reds, oranges, and yellows on crystal shrimp don’t fade or disappear over time like those seen in baby ghost shrimp, so this is also a way to distinguish the two species.
Crystal Black/Black Bee Shrimp (Caridina cf. cantonensis)
The Crystal Black Bee Shrimp is a type of freshwater aquarium shrimp that’s native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. These shrimp are very social and typically live in schools of more than five shrimp at a time.
Crystal Black Bee Shpides are omnivores and they’ll eat just about anything including algae, plants, shrimp pellets, frozen or fresh food, fish eggs, and even dead fish. They can grow up to 3 inches long and live for around 10 years.
You should keep these shrimp in tanks with plenty of space as they have been known to breed rapidly when their tank isn’t overcrowded with other types of shrimp.
Blue Velvet Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
A shrimp that’s particularly great for beginners, the Blue Velvet Shrimp is a type of dwarf shrimp that grows to just 1/2 in size. It has a dark blue body with white stripes and is an omnivore that can thrive on both plant-based foods and meaty foods.
These types of shrimp are considered to be one of the more hardy varieties of shrimp, even in low-quality water conditions. The Blue Velvet Shrimp’s lifespan is also relatively long, living up to two years before succumbing to death.
Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis)
Bamboo shrimp are one of the most popular types of aquarium shrimp. The name is derived from their long, thin claws that resemble bamboo stalks. They are also known as Malaysian Red Bamboo Shrimp, with the scientific name Atyopsis moluccensis.
These shrimp are often found in freshwater tanks with a pH level between 7 and 8 and a temperature between 76°F and 84°F. They usually feed on plants or algae, but will also eat smaller fish if they can catch them.
Interestingly enough, while these shrimp have claws to grasp food, they don’t actually have teeth. Male bamboo shrimps are more brightly colored than females which has made them attractive pets for some people.
Whisker Shrimp (Macrobrachium lamarrei)
Whisker shrimp is one of the most commonly available types of shrimp in the aquarium trade. They are a hardy species that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, including low salinity and even brackish water.
Their best habitat is often an established planted tank where they will do well scavenging for food along the bottom.
The whiskers on these shrimp serve as both antennae and feelers to help them find their way around obstacles while they swim along the substrate in search of food. One thing to be aware of when keeping whisker shrimp is their propensity to jump out of tanks with poor air circulation!