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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL



Common Myths: Shrimp Keeping

Common Myths: Shrimp Keeping

Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp have become very popular in North America in recent years. With an ever expanding hobby will come growing pains. The thirst for more information on anything and everything shrimp related is upon us. With a new hobby comes common misconceptions that spread like wild fire. The information below are common things we hear or get asked about here at

If you have additional questions that have gone unanswered after reading this article, please check out our FAQ page, or other articles posted at Shrimp Farm University.

Keeping shrimp is a lot harder than keeping fish: MYTH

Keeping shrimp is not harder than keeping fish. With shrimp there are simply different things you need to pay attention too, than you would with fish. Having a basic understanding of water parameter terms is all you need. Shrimp are simple creatures with simple needs, once their needs are met they will thrive.

Shrimp are cannibals: FACT

Freshwater aquarium shrimp are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of anything they can in your aquarium. When you see your shrimp swarmed around a dead shrimp, yes they are eating it. They are feeding on its shell to ingest its rich mineral makeup. This helps the shrimp with its own exoskeleton. They will also feed on the shrimp itself in some cases. When you see this happening it is okay to let the shrimp feed, however leaving the dead shrimp in your tank for very long can lead to an ammonia spike. The Average life span of a shrimp is 2-3 years, seeing one dead shrimp is not uncommon, seeing multiple dead shrimp is alarming (so check your water parameters).

Shrimp will fix my algae problem: MYTH

You probably just thought "what, I thought they were great algae eaters". Yes shrimp are extremely good algae eaters! Check out this algae eating experiment we did. Shrimp will feed on most types of soft algae, and they will make a huge impact on your algae problem. With that being said they are not the holy grail answer to your algae infested tank. Proper balance of water parameters and lighting/Co2 will solve you problem faster than the shrimp can eat.

Betta's are safe to keep with shrimp: 50/50

This is probably the most common question we are asked. The best answer to this question is maybe. Each Betta has its own personality much like that of a human. When introducing your shrimp into a tank with a Betta or vice versa, your Betta might not even take a look at the shrimp for weeks or months. Then one day all of your shrimp are gone and Mr. Betta has a tank all to himself.

The best saying for keeping fish with shrimp is, "If it's small enough to fits in its mouth, it probably will end up there".

Aquarium assassin snails will kill shrimp: 50/50

Assassin Snails will not normally harm shrimp. If not provided with enough food resources they will revert to finding food in anyway they can, including hunting/eating our shrimp. With that being said, in your home aquarium that is healthy and thriving, putting your shrimp with Assassin Snails is totally fine and even recommended by us here at The Shrimp Farm.

Planaria will eat my shrimp: MYTH (sort of)

Planaria, are quite frankly... gross. They make my spine crawl just thinking about them. While they have been known to attack/eat small shrimp/shrimplets they pose no threat to larger adult/sub-adult shrimp. If your breeding, get rid of them asap. Often times they appear when you are overfeeding.

Shrimp need Java Moss to reproduce: MYTH

While having moss and other aquatic plants is benefit cal, it is not necessarily needed. We have successfully bred shrimp in non planted tanks many times. In the wild some types of shrimp are found in places with little to no plant live.

Shrimp lay their eggs: MYTH

Shrimp will not lay their eggs on the substrate or on the surface. The female will carry the eggs until they hatch. Once hatched the shrimplets/larvae will carry on a independent life. The female cares for the eggs and keeps them clean.

Shrimp eat their young: MYTH

Dwarf shrimp will not eat their young. The female carries the eggs until they hatch and both adult and shrimplets can be raised in the same tank.

I need to feed my shrimp everyday: MYTH

Dwarf shrimp do not need to be fed everyday. Supplemental feedings are helpful, but over feeding often plays a huge role in the decline of movement, breeding, and sometimes death. Feeding every other day to every 3rd day is recommend. Feeding everyday can be achieved if feed in correct portions depending on your colonies size.

Co2 is harmful to shrimp: MYTH

Co2 in an aquarium is not harmful to shrimp. Shrimp need oxygen just like any other living thing. Having Co2 injection into your planted aquarium will not harm the shrimp. Having to little oxygen and too much Co2 on the other hand, will harm your shrimp! Often times overseas breeders will take advantage of Co2's ability to lower the pH of the water to better breed shrimp. Check out each shrimps information page to see the accepted pH range for each. If oversea breeders are doing it to breed shrimp, then saying it is harmful is crazy talk. With that being said, large fluctuation  in pH is often to blame for shrimp death, when using Co2 in the shrimp aquarium.

Iodine dosing is required to keep shrimp alive: MYTH

Iodine dosing is absolutely not needed to keep your shrimp tank healthy. Dosing often does more harm than good, dosing to much can kill your entire shrimp colony. With that being said Iodine dosing is not a "bad thing" and can be beneficial when done correctly.

Know of other common Myths? Let us know in the comments and we can answer it and add it to the list!


3 thoughts on “Common Myths: Shrimp Keeping”

  • Alex

    I'm gettng a marimo mossball for a school project, and wanted to start keeping shrimp as a hobby and was wondering if I could keep the two of them together or will the shrimp eat/destroy the marimo? I'm probably going to start off with Red Cherry shrimp.
    if anyone has some experience wtih mossballs and shrimp, I'd love to hear about it!

    • Lurah

      I've just started keeping red cherries myself and have moss balls, they enjoy eating the algae and such but the moss ball won't get destroyed. I've had my shrimp for roughly 3 weeks now and still have the moss ball fully in tact.

  • Blu

    I just bought a full grown female ghost shrimp, I was wonderinh if she will eat my smaller male I already have

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