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Freshwater Shrimp Tank Setup – Shrimply the Best

Owning pets is common characteristic that almost all households share. In fact, a 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey stated that over 72.9 million families in the United States have one or more pets. This is more than half of all U.S. households.

Though the most popular pets are dogs or cats, they can be high maintenance to look after. Not everyone has enough time, money, or space to take care of pets. If that’s the case, you can always opt for a low maintenance pet such as freshwater shrimp.

Freshwater shrimp are arguably the most interesting and beautiful creatures you can have in your tank. They can bring color to your aquarium with their various colors. With their natural scavenger diet, you don’t have to worry much about what to feed them.

People tend to have a hard time taking care of aquatic pets because of how often they need their water changed. However, freshwater shrimp easily find small food particles in the tank, which helps maintain the water’s quality.

This article will guide you on everything you need to know when it comes to your freshwater shrimp tank setup.

Pet Planning: Which Freshwater Shrimp is for You?

In order to setup a freshwater shrimp tank, you should consider the compatibility between their needs and what you can provide. There are various types of freshwater shrimp that live in different environments.

Cherry Shrimp

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The Cherry Shrimp (neocaridina heteropoda) is recognized as one of the most popular breeds of pet shrimp because it’s the easiest to take care of. They are easily recognized by their deep red pigment, but can also come in other grades (color intensity) and colors.

They thrive in aquariums with many hiding places and peaceful communities. These shrimp have an average lifespan of 1 – 2 years. If you plan on growing your shrimps’ population, it’s best to raise them in higher temperatures to encourage breeding.

Level of Care Needed: Easy

Water Temperature: 65 – 85 °F or 18 – 29.5 °C

pH Level: 6.3 – 8.0

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 5

Average Size: 1.6 in or 4 cm

Ghost Shrimp

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It’s pretty easy to see why ghost shrimps (palaemonetes paludosus) are the coolest breed. They are mostly clear to camouflage from predators. With their transparency, you will be able to witness how they digest their food.

Just like Cherry Shrimp, they aren’t difficult to take care of. They busy themselves throughout the day by cleaning up bacteria, algae, and uneaten food. This easily protects the aquarium’s sanitation.

Ghost shrimp can live up to a year. Though they already are a vulnerable breed, they are their most vulnerable after they have shed their shells. It is suggested that they are raised in a shrimp-only tank. However, they are easily replaceable because they are easy to breed and cheap.

Level of Care Needed: Easy

Water Temperature: 70 – 80 °F or 21 – 26.5 °C

pH Level: 7.0 – 7.8

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 5 – 10

Average Size: 1.5 in or 3.81 cm

Babaulti Shrimp

The Babaulti Shrimp (caridina babaulti) is an uncommon type of shrimp and that alone can make them a wonderful addition to your freshwater shrimp tank setup. They possess the same characteristic of a chameleon - they can change color when agitated or frightened.

This type of shrimp is an exclusive breed because it has just been recently discovered. There are a limited number of studies on the species, so there isn’t much available information about their lifespan.

Level of Care Needed: Easy

Water Temperature: 65 – 85 °F or 18 – 29.5 °C

pH Level: 6.5 – 7.8

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 5

Average Size: 1.4 in or 3.56 cm

Amano Shrimp

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Behind the Cherry Shrimp, the Amano Shrimp (caridina multidentata) is the second most popular shrimp breed. These shrimp are generally peaceful, but the total opposite when it comes to food. Given that they are on the larger scale of the shrimp community, they are able to push smaller shrimp out of the way.

Amano Shrimp can be easily identified by its grayish, transparent body and the long line of red/brown or blue/gray dots along its body. Because of their clear body, the pigment of their spots usually depends on their diet.

The life expectancy of an Amano Shrimp is 2 – 3 years, which is a long time considering the life span of other species of shrimp. However, they have a tendency of dying early when transferred to a tank.

Level of Care Needed: Easy

Water Temperature: 65 – 85 °F or 18 – 29.5 °C

pH Level: 6.5 – 8.0

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 10

Average Size: 2 in or 5.08 cm

Blue Tiger Shrimp

The Blue Tiger Shrimp, or caridina cantonensis var. blue tiger is easily identified by its dark blue body and orange eyes. As they grow older, their shade will continue to darken. In addition to their blue coloration, these shrimp have tiger-like stripes that run around along their bodies.

Blue Tiger Shrimp are more sensitive than other types of shrimp, so it is important to not overfeed them and change the water once a week. In slightly acidic pH water levels, these type of shrimps are expected to last for 2 years.

Level of Care Needed: Moderate

Water Temperature: 65 – 75 °F or 18 – 24 °C

pH Level: 6.0 – 7.5

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 10

Average Size: 1.5 in or 3.81 cm

Blue Bolt Shrimp

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The Blue Bolt Shrimp (caridina cantonensis) fall under the same category of Blue Tiger Shrimp as “bee shrimp.” You can easily identify a Blue Bolt Shrimp with its blue body and light blue/white pigment on its body and tail. These types of shrimp need frequent water changes because they are sensitive to nitrites and ammonia.

With these types of freshwater shrimp in your tank setup, you won’t have to worry too much about decoration. Their blue hues look great against the green pigment of a planted tank. Also, they are known to live for up to a year.

Level of Care Needed: Moderate

Water Temperature: 57 – 84 °F or 14 – 29 °C

pH Level: 6.5 – 8.0

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 5

Average Size: 1 – 1.5 in or 2.5 – 3.8 cm

Crystal Red Shrimp

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Though there is a significant demand for Crystal Red Shrimp(caridina cantonensis var. crystal red), all Crystal Red Shrimp are imported from Taiwan. They are difficult to raise and breed because they need specific living requirements, like slightly acidic water. Regardless of the difficulty to look after them, these shrimp are a sight to see in the aquarium with its vibrant red and white stripes.

Because they are captive bred, they are more fragile than the average shrimp species. Crystal Red Shrimp are known to have shorter life spans that reach a maximum of 18 months.

Level of Care Needed: Moderate

Water Temperature: 65 – 75 °F or 18 – 24 °C

pH Level: 6.0 – 7.5

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 3-10

Average Size: 0.5 in or 1.27 cm

Panda Shrimp/Black King Kong Panda Shrimp

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The Panda Shrimp, otherwise known as (caridina cantonensis var. panda) is a variation of bee shrimp that is appreciated for its colors. Just like pandas, they bear a black and white coloration. They are often mixed up with Black Crystal shrimp because of their similar appearance. It is best not to risk adding other fish to the freshwater tank with Panda Shrimps because of their fragility and slow breeding.

Because Panda Shrimps generally live in neutral pH and higher water temperatures, they are susceptible to pathogens. To avoid any infections, it is recommended that you keep them at a cooler temperature. Panda Shrimps have an expected lifespan of only 16 months.

Level of Care Needed: Semi-difficult

Water Temperature: 62 – 75 °F or 16.5 – 24.5 °C

pH Level: 6 – 7.5

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 5

Average Size: 0.5 in or 1.27 cm

Cardinal Shrimp

The Cardinal Shrimp (caridina dennerli) attracts the eyes with its dark rose pigmentation and scattered white dots. It can only be handled by expert hobbyists because of their specific needs for their ecosystems.

This type of shrimp is not aggressive but is more timid than others. With their small size, it takes time for them to get used to new surroundings. It is recommended that you purchase at least 15 – 25 shrimp to start off since they will feel safer in larger crowds.

Level of Care Needed: hard

Water Temperature: 77 – 86 °F or 25 – 30 °C

pH Level: 7.5 – 8.5

Minimum Tank Size (gallons): 5

Average Size: 0.5 – 1 in or1.3 – 2.5 cm

Preparing: What Equipment and Supplies Do You Need for your Freshwater Shrimp Tank Setup?

Considering that you have an idea of what types of shrimp you want to include in your home aquarium, you can proceed to purchase the needed equipment for your freshwater shrimp tank setup.

1. Tank

When it comes to choosing a suitable aquarium for your shrimp friends, it is best to go for bigger tanks. Although most species of freshwater shrimp can technically survive in smaller living spaces, 5 to 10 gallon tanks are the general standard to raise your pets. You can even choose to go larger than that. This is to help with the quality of the water, which is a big deal for such fragile creatures.

Here are some of the top tanks to store your freshwater shrimp in:

Koller Products Panaview Aquarium Kit (5 Gallons)

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Product Dimensions: 14. 2″ x 10″ x 11. 5”

If you’re looking for a freshwater shrimp tank with easy assembly, you should consider the Koller Products Panaview Aquarium Kit. Although smaller tanks can become a nuisance to keep clean, the included filter is capable of cleaning dirty tank water thoroughly. The tank is made of durable plastic to provide superior strength.

Give your freshwater shrimp a dance party with the colorful LED lights that come in red, white, blue, amber, aqua, purple, and green.

The only downside to purchasing this tank is that the filter operates loudly. Nonetheless, its three-stage filtration systems keep pesky particles, organisms, and chemicals from polluting the water.

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Video: “Koller Products Panaview 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit”

Marina LED Aquarium Kit (10 Gallons)

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The Marina LED Aquarium Kit may not have the most unique design, but its simplicity allows it to go to the interior design of any room. It may be basic, but the LED light that comes with it adds more vibrancy to the colors of your freshwater shrimp.

When purchasing the Marina LED Aquarium Kit, you can ensure that your fish are kept in a sturdy tank. Because the aquarium is composed of tempered glass, it is scratch-resistant and is durable enough to handle a sufficient amount of pressure.

Although freshwater shrimp are capable of cleaning their environments, the clip-on filter can help manage the residue and chlorides. The filter works quietly so it won’t disturb the shrimp and is compact enough that it won’t take up too much space.

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Video: “Marina 10 gallon led aquarium/fish tank unboxing”

SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium (20 Gallons)

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Product Dimensions: 24″ x 13″ x 16″ (Rectangle), 15 x 15 x 24 inches (Hexagon)

The SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium is available in different sizes and shapes. An advantage of having an aquarium made of acrylic is that it is more durable than glass and weighs half as much. Additionally, the acrylic gives a clearer view of your water pets compared to glass.

Aside from being composed of sturdy materials, the aquarium has rounded corners and edges. This makes it safe for households with children and pets.

However, the main openings of the tank aren’t that wide which might make it difficult for you to feed the shrimp. Additionally, cleaning the tank is a bigger burden with such restricted openings.

Regardless, SeaClear holds a reputable status in the tank industry and is therefore worth investing in.

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Video: “SeaClear 20 Gallon acrylic aquarium tank”

2. Heater

As we mentioned earlier, freshwater shrimp are accustomed to room temperature water. However, heaters ensure that the water’s temperature remains despite temperature fluctuations throughout the day. After all, shrimp don’t respond well to sudden, drastic changes in their environment.

Aqueon Pro Adjustable Aquarium Heater

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With that being said, the Aqueon Pro Adjustable Aquarium Heater would make a great addition to your freshwater shrimp tank setup because of its accuracy and vast temperature range. For even heat distribution, it should be placed near the filter of the tank.

Just as with the recommended tanks, this heater is engineered to last with its shatterproof build and ability to be submerged in water.

The Aqueon Pro Adjustable Aquarium Heater has numerous features that benefit you and your pets’ safety. The heater only turns on when it detects the water’s temperature is colder than the preferred setting. Once it reaches the desired temperature, it will turn off. A red light will indicate when the heater is being used, whereas a green light means the heater is on standby.

You won’t have to worry about the heater overheating because of its auto-off feature, which will proceed to operate once the device has cooled. The heater comes with a limited lifetime warranty, giving customers the trust that they deserve.

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For additional safety precautions, shrimp owners can add a thermometer as an accessory to their freshwater shrimp tank setup. This allows them to check the accuracy of their heater and that the freshwater shrimp are living in the desired temperature.

Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer

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The Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer is a great thermometer to add to your freshwater shrimp tank for its accurate temperature readings in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. Offered at a budget-friendly price, this user-friendly thermometer is arguably a great deal.

With a water-friendly probe, you can leave the wire in the water to frequently check the thermic conditions. It also comes with a suction cup to conveniently stick onto the side of your aquarium. Because of its small size, it won’t mess up the design of your tank.

This thermometer is operated by batteries, so make sure to keep an extra pair on hand just in case.

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3. Filtration System

Although freshwater shrimp do their job of cleaning the tank, it doesn’t mean that your tank shouldn’t need a filter. Filters do not only clean up tank debris but also stores beneficial bacteria for a healthy ecosystem.

There are many types of filters to choose from, but you should look for the ones that are shrimp-friendly. This is because many shrimp are small enough to be sucked into the filtration system if they come too close.

There are four types of filters you can choose from: sponge, canister, internal, and hang on back (HOB).

Sponge Filters

Sponge filters work through mechanicaland biological filtration. These  filters are often used in a freshwater shrimp tank setup because the sponge effectively prevents small creatures like shrimps from getting sucked in and also develops bacterial colonies that they could benefit from.

XINYOU XY-380 Aquarium Sponge Filter

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For a high-quality filter at an affordable price, you can consider purchasing the XINYOU XY-380 Aquarium Sponge Filter. The foam used is dense to provide longer aquarium usage. The pores of the sponge are porous to allow water to pass through while trapping debris on its surface.

In order for it to function properly, you will need an air pump. Through the use of the air pump and sponge filter, you will be able to diffuse more oxygen into your tank.

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Video: “Sponge Filter Modification // Silencing the XY-380 Sponge Filter”

Canister Filters

Canister filters are generally large and should therefore only be used in bigger tanks. Although they are great when it comes to purify the tank’s water, they are not commonly recommended for a freshwater shrimp tank setup.

Penn Plax Cascade 500 Canister Filter

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The Penn Plax Cascade 500 Canister Filter doesn’t clog easily. Tank debris not likely to block the filter’s passageways with its strainer and double mesh screens.

By using this filter, you can guarantee great water quality for your fragile shrimps. The filter uses a three-step filtration process that reduces ammonia, nitrates, particles, and debris.

When compared to the traditional canister filter, the Penn Plax Cascade 500 Canister Filter filter is smaller in size which makes it ideal for aquariums 30 gallons and under.

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Video: “PetSolutions: Cascade Canister Filters”

Internal Filters

Internal filters are simply filters that can be submerged in water. Even though this type of filter is commonly used in fish tanks, there is a possibility that small shrimp could get trapped inside. However, internal filters allow more space around the aquarium which is great for compact living areas.

Fluval Underwater Filter

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Fluval U is a submersed filter that won’t be a threat to smaller fish, shrimp, and other water invertebrates.

This filter uniquely uses all three filtration processes: mechanical, biological, and chemical. All of these processes are ideal for smaller tanks, which can become easily polluted.

The filter comes with suction cups and hooks to adjust to the design of your aquarium. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and works quietly so it won’t ruin your aquarium’s atmosphere.

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Video: “Fluval U-Series Internal Aquarium Filters”

Hang on Back (HOB) Filters

HOB filters are great for people who prefer to keep their filters hidden. These filters live up to their name because they are literally hung on the back of a tank. The unfiltered water is sucked into a pipe, lead into a filtration process, and goes back down to the tank like a waterfall. Since HOB filters have a fairly strong vacuum, be sure to use a filter guard/pantyhose when in use to prevent any shrimp accidents.

Aqua Clear 20 Power Filter

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Just like canister filters, the Aqua Clear 20 Power Filter possesses a similar design. It is made to use three filtration types and can handle any elements floating around your tank.

Customers appreciate how it can operate almost silently, even with an on-going waterfall. This makes this filter ideal for bedrooms and offices. Plus, the waterfall flows smoothly instead of splashing around everywhere. Though some customers have experienced problems with water flow, the problem can be solved by contacting their customer service.

Maintenance for the filter is made easy since you can simply remove the filter segments without the hassle of removing the filter unit from the aquarium.

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Video: “PetSolutions: Aqua Clear Power Filters”

Aquarium Substrate

While it may be a common belief that the gravel in a fish tank is for decor purposes, it actually plays a significant role in your tank’s ecosystem. Substrates provide nutrients for plants, whereas it keeps the shrimp safe by maintaining required pH levels.

Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum

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Water with high pH levels makes it harder for aquatic plants to absorb nutrients. However,

Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum soil balances the hardness of the water and allows the plants to grow. You don’t have to constantly change the tank’s water since the soil’s ingredients contain less nitrogen and ammonia.

Additionally, the soil is naturally a dark color which perfectly contrasts with colorful objects and allows your shrimp to show off their vibrant colors.

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Test Kit

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Shrimp are sensitive to bad water quality, which is why it is important to use a test kit every now and then. Despite the fact that test strips are cheap, they aren’t always accurate.

Rather than test strips, you should use a liquid test kit like the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. With such fragile shrimp in your tank, you should use your test kit on a weekly basis. It will be able to give you general health information about your tank in terms of pH, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.

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Video: “How To Test Your Aquarium Water”

Assembling: Freshwater Shrimp Tank Preparation and Decoration Styles

Video: “Shrimp Tank Setup (Time lapse)”

Identically like you would with fish tanks, you need to prepare your aquarium before placing anything inside. If you have experience with handling fish, you can choose to skip over this part.

Arranging your tank

Start by planning where you will place your tank with considerations to its dimensions. Rinse your substrate of choice and evenly distribute it on the bottom of your tank. You should also take this time to place any decor, plants, and equipment.

Add water

Slowly fill up the tank with water and be careful not to disturb the aquarium’s substrate. If you feel that your tap water has chlorine in it, you may want to use a water conditioner. You can then proceed to switch on your tank equipment like the filter and heater.

Initiate the nitrogen cycle

Even though the tank looks ready, you should wait for six to eight weeks before placing your shrimp inside. This is to make sure that the water’s harmful toxins are converted to safer substances like beneficial bacteria.

You can use your test kit during the process to get a bigger picture of the tank’s progress.

Decoration Styles

Most shrimp owners like to keep their tanks as empty as possible to make their pets the main attraction. Shrimps don’t mind a little decoration, especially when it’s that time of the month for them to shed their hard exteriors. Aquatic plants allow the shrimp to hide until their new exoskeleton is strong enough.

Shrimp enjoy hiding spots and the greenery from the plants will still make the shrimp easy to spot. Live plants help clean the water by taking in toxins.

Feeding: Freshwater Shrimp Diet

Other than a good tank environment, shrimps need a sufficient food supply. Apart from the naturally grown algae, they should be fed a proper diet for a prolonged life.

What Do Freshwater Shrimp Eat?

Freshwater shrimp have omnivorous diets, meaning they will feed off anything small enough. You can feed your shrimp tinier bits of fish flakes or pellets. If you have other creatures to feed in your tank, you don’t have to worry about the shrimp. They will use their scavenger skills to pick up any disregarded food.

Hikari Crab and Lobster Bites

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Though the name doesn’t indicate it, Hikari Crab and Lobster Bites are suitable for smaller invertebrates like freshwater shrimp. It claims to contain minerals that assist in shell development after molting. They also claim that the pellets don’t decompose, so you don’t have to worry about it polluting the water.

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Shirakura Shrimp Food

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Shikakura Shrimp Food is a herbal food rich in natural vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These nutrients will benefit your shrimps’ health, development, and reproduction.

Similarly with Hikari Bites, Shirakura Shrimp Food promises that any uneaten food won’t pollute the substrate. However, you should still be responsible with the amount of food you give.

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Frozen vegetables

Do you know freshwater shrimp are capable of eating frozen vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens? Shrimp are able to consume fruits like pears and cucumbers. Just make sure to chop them into little enough pieces to make them edible for your shrimp friends.

Like a human’s diet, it is essential your shrimp have food filled with nutrients. This is to ensure a stronger immune system and healthy development.

How Many Times Do Shrimp Need to be Fed?

There is no specific amount that shrimp need to be fed. Shrimp owners usually go by the rule of thumb by feeding their pets once a day. Observe if your shrimp rapidly finish their food or leave excess. Adjust the food portion accordingly.

The goal is to maintain the balance of giving sufficient food and stay clear of wasted food which may lead to poorer water quality.

Cleaning: Freshwater Shrimp Tank Maintenance

Video: “How to maintain a planted shrimp tank”

Even though shrimp is commonly known to act as janitors of the tank, they still need help cleaning the tank so don’t leave the tank cleaning to them completely. Shrimp is usually low-maintenance, but aquarists agree that the hardest part is maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Quality of the Water

As time goes by, many shrimp owners may forget to tend to their tank and fall victim to “old tank syndrome.” This is dangerous to sensitive shrimp who need sufficient water quality to survive.

With that being said, shrimp tanks should be cleaned at least once a week/every two weeks. Although cleaner aquarium displays and trimmed plants benefit the hygiene of the tank, the primary purpose of cleaning is healthy water quality. The water’s quality is affected by uneaten food and bioload (animal waste), which can serve as sources for ammonia and nitrite to prosper - both are deadly to shrimp.

Before cleaning your tank, you should perform a water test to find out the present status of your aquarium. Healthy nitrate levels are equivalent to anything below 5. Water tests help determine how much water you need to replace (usually 10-15%).

The Cleaning Process

Before changing the water, move your shrimp to a separate container filled with the existing tank water. Though it may not be the freshest water, it will make the shrimp feel more comfortable than tap water. Count them multiple times to make sure that they are all in one place.

From then, you can proceed to vacuum the substrate of any disregarded pieces such as residual food, dead plants, and debris. Be sure to scrub down the surfaces of the tank. Groom the aquatic plants, if necessary.

SeaChem Prime

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When filling the tank up with water again, make sure to use dechlorinated water by using water conditioners. A popular water conditioner is SeaChem Prime, which can remove both chlorine and chloramine. It also detoxifies the tap water from ammonia, nitrite, and other deadly elements for freshwater shrimp.

You can then proceed to add the new water slowly. Keep in mind that the water’s temperature and other parameters stay the same because shrimp don’t react well to change.

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Video: “Prime water conditioner review”

Filter Maintenance: How Often Do Filters Need to Be Cleaned?

On top of your weekly tank clean-ups, you need to perform monthly filter maintenance. In fact, it would be best that you schedule tank and filter cleaning at the same time.

Sponge Filter

Sponge filters are easiest to clean, but it is crucial that you don’t clean them with tap water. The sponge is home to essential bacteria that your tank needs. Because tap water contains amounts of chlorine, you could potentially kill all of the bacteria.

To effectively clean your sponge filter, submerge a plastic fish bag and scoop up your filter along with some aquarium water. Disconnect the filter from the aquarium. With this efficient technique, you will prevent grabbing the filter and spreading its collected gunk.

With the filter still inside the bag, squeeze the sponge thoroughly. The accumulated substances should turn the water brown. Pour the used water into a sink and replace it with clean aquarium water. Using aquarium water to clean the filter ensures that the bacteria living inside the sponge returns back alive to fight off ammonia and nitrites.

Continue to repeat this process until the sponge filter is clean. You can determine the cleanliness of the sponge when the water becomes somewhat clear.

This usually takes 3 or 4 times to totally clean the filters. Don’t stress too much about your sponge looking as tidy as it did when you first purchased it.

Return the filter to the aquarium. It is normal for debris to disperse in the water while doing so. You don’t need to worry since the sponge filter will eventually absorb them.

Canister Filter

Contrasting to the sponge filter, canister filters are a little more difficult to clean. To clean your aquarium, you need a toothbrush, scrub pad, high-pressure sink/hose, cotton buds, and a towel.

Start the cleaning process by unplugging your filter. Wait until the outflow of the water stops, then shut off the valves to avoid water from spilling out of the tubes.

Carefully unscrew the tubes by turning the pipes loose. Drain the small amount of water inside, and then set the pipes aside.

Bring the filter to a high-pressure sink or hose. Lay out a towel to prevent excess water leakage. Then, remove the locks located on four sides to separate the housing. A volume of water may flow out, but the towel should be able to absorb all of it.

Wait until all water has drained and then proceed to remove everything from the filter besides the trays filled with bacteria. With the high-pressure sink or hose, rinse the remaining parts of the filter. Carefully scrub them with the toothbrush and scrub pad to eliminate any gunk that clogs your filter.

After you have finished the following steps, you can reassemble the filter and plug it back in.

Internal Filter

Internal filters are smaller than external filters, which means they need more maintenance than usual. To remove the filter from the aquarium, you should use the same method as a sponge filter to prevent bacteria dying from air exposure. Place the filter in a bucket of aquarium water.

Disassemble the filter until you reach the media and impeller. Quickly rinse the media with old tank water. Use an old sponge or toothbrush to scrub the impeller, its housing, and filter housing. Afterward, you can reassemble the filter and place it back into your tank.

Hang On Back (HOB) Filter

To clean a Hang On Back Filter, you will need a bucket, a small pitcher, and fresh filtration media. Fill up the small pitcher with about 2 quarts of tank water, then temporarily set it aside.

Remove the filter from the tank by turning it off and unplugging it from the outlet. Delicately place the filter in a clean bucket. Separate the sponge insert and rinse it in the pitcher of tank water until clean.

Wipe away any algae and other grime in the filter housing, then reconstruct the filter. You can then proceed to use your fresh filter on your tank.

Typical Problems in the Freshwater Shrimp Tank Setup and Their Solutions

Even if you follow all the guidelines to take care of your freshwater shrimp, you may come across inevitable problems. Shrimp are sensitive aquatic animals and an untrained eye may not detect any issues on time. Hopefully you never encounter any of the following issues, but in case you do, you will know what to do.

Molting Issues

Like every aquatic invertebrate, freshwater shrimp shed their exoskeleton every month. The process can be dangerous to the shrimp if they aren’t taken care of properly.

In order for them to grow a new layer, they will need an abundance of nutrients. However, if they are experiencing trouble with molting, you should observe if their diet is giving them sufficient vitamins and minerals. Mineral deficiency is one of the root causes that delays or even freezes the exoskeleton from growing.

You can resolve the issue by vamping your shrimp’s diet by feeding them iodine-rich foods, montmorillonite clay, or mineral balls. Tend to their omnivorous diet by balancing staple foods, along with veggies and protein snacks every now and then.

Another cause of molting problems is sudden changes to the water’s parameters. It may force shrimp to molt, even when they aren’t ready.

Parasite Problems

All living organisms are susceptible to parasites. Contrast to popular belief, parasites develop naturally and are not a product of contamination.

Parasites are often the cause of death among shrimp. This is because the pests are almost microscopic and therefore hard to detect.

Though there are too many possible parasites that could infect your shrimp, the most common ones are Ellobiopsidae and Scutariella. Ellobiopsidae parasites are identified as green fungus that penetrates the shrimp’s body. On the other hand, Scutariella appears as miniature worms formed on the crown of a shrimp’s head. If you have a feeling that your shrimps are infected with parasites, you can always observe them under a magnifying glass.

Saline treatments are a common solution to parasites, but it really depends on what parasite your shrimps possess. However, as the common saying goes, “Prevention is always better than cure”. A precaution you can take is to isolate new shrimps before mixing them with the others. That way, you’ll be able to observe if they have any diseases.

Unexpected Deaths

Freshwater shrimp are expected to have a lifespan that lasts 1 – 2 years, which is less than the average pet. However, if a myriad of them passes away, there may be problems with the water quality.

Observe your water’s parameters through test kits. Additionally, check your equipment (thermometer, heaters, filters) to make sure they are functioning properly.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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