Shopping Cart
0 item added.
The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL


Setting up a Dwarf Shrimp Aquarium – Filtration

One of the most important factors to consider when setting up a Dwarf Shrimp aquarium is filtration. Stable water parameters are essential to health and longevity of shrimp and a good filter helps keep parameters stable. There are many filtration options but the 3 best for Dwarf Shrimp aquariums are sponge filters, hang on back filters and canister filters.

Sponge Filters

Sponge filters are the most popular filters for Dwarf Shrimp breeders. They are filters that are built around a sponge and driven by an air pump. These filters pose no danger to any shrimp, adult or hatchling.

When choosing a sponge filter it is recommended to always choose one that is the recommended size for the aquarium of larger. Sponge filters work by allowing a large colony of beneficial bacteria to colonize the sponge and circulate water through the sponge. If the filter is not large enough there will not be a large enough bacteria colony and the water quality could suffer.

The biggest criticism of sponge filters is that they do not create much water movement in the aquarium at all. While this is true, it has never been shown to be detrimental to any Dwarf Shrimp other than Filter Feeders.

If filter feeding shrimp and planned to be kept a sponge filter is not recommended.

Hang-on-Back Filters

Hang-on-Back (HOB) filters are the most commonly available filters on the market. They can range greatly in size and cost. These filters can be very efficient at keeping aquarium water clean and stable.

HOB filters will require a separate pre-filter to cover the intake. The pre-filter is to prevent shrimp from being sucked into the filter and killed. The pre-filter should be made of a sponge like material and cover the entire intake.

When selecting a hang-on-back filter it is important to select a filter that is large enough and powerful enough to handle the size aquarium that it will be filtering. Because of the need for a pre-filter the water flow will be reduced a bit and undersized/underpowered filters will not be able to move enough water to efficiently filter the water.

When using a HOB it is important to keep the pre-filter clean. A dirty/clogged pre-filter will drastically reduce the efficacy and flow of the HOB filter.

Canister Filters

Canister Filters are the most efficient, and most expensive filters on the market. They can range from around $100.00 to a few thousand dollars. But for the serious aquarist, they are well worth the money.

As with HOB filters they require a pre-filter to prevent shrimp from being sucked into the filter. The pre-filter also requires frequent maintenance to prevent clogging and loss of flow/efficiency.

The large amount of filtration area provided by canister filters leads to very stable water parameters and very clean water. These filter can also put out a fair amount of water flow and are ideal for filter feeders!


When choosing a filter for a Dwarf Shrimp aquarium it is important to select a filter of the appropriate size/power. It is also important to choose a filter that will work with your goals. For an aquarium set up exclusively for breeding shrimp a sponge filter is the best, but for a show aquarium that requires sparkling clean water a canister filter is best.

What ever filter is selected maintenance if require for all filters to maintain efficiency.