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The Shrimp Farm, Aquariums  Dealers, Bloomington, IL


Setting up a Freshwater Shrimp Aquarium

Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp are fairly undemanding when it comes basic care. For the most part they do not require large aquariums, complicated setups or constant attention. What they do require is stable water parameters, good filtration and a comfortable environment.


Dwarf Shrimp do not require large aquariums. For a simple set up a 10-gallon aquarium is sufficient. Shape is not important, but aquariums with a larger surface area on the bottom are better than a skinny tall aquarium. Dwarf Shrimp do not spend much time in the water column so tall aquariums are wasted space for Dwarf Shrimp.

The type of substrate (often referred to as gravel) can be important for some species (Crystal Red Shrimp for example), but for most regular gravel is adequate. Darker colored substrate can help bring out the best coloring in a shrimp.  [more info..]


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 are the most commonly used in breeding aquariums. They are gentle and pose no threat to baby shrimp.

Hang-on-Back filters are the most common filter available in stores and provide great filtration. It is important to put a pre-filter sponge to prevent shrimp from being sucked into the filter.

Canister Filters are the most efficient, and expensive, filtration available. They move a lot of water and do a great job cleaning it. Canister filters also require pre-filters to prevent shrimp from being sucked into the filter.  [more info...]

Water Parameters

The parameters that are most important to Dwarf Shrimp are pH, hardness, temperature, ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. Keeping these parameters stable and in the optimal range will insure healthy and long-lived shrimp.

Each species of shrimp has its own preferences for pH, hardness and temperature. In general pH and hardness can be controlled using water filtration, such as reverse osmosis, and certain substrates. Temperature is easily controlled using a heater.

All Dwarf Shrimp are very sensitive to Ammonia and Nitrites. These should be kept a 0ppm. Nitrate is less toxic to shrimp and can be kept at 20ppm or less.

Plants and Decorations

Dwarf Shrimp require things to climb and graze on. They are much healthier and less stressed if they have plants/decorations to climb and to use as hiding places. The best decorations to use are live plants.

Live plants help keep aquarium water parameters stable and provide a food source for dwarf shrimp. They do require special care, but the benefits far out weigh the care requirements.


When setting up a Dwarf Shrimp aquarium it is important to plan in advance. That plan should focus on keeping water parameters stable and providing a safe and healthy environment for the shrimp. While Dwarf Shrimp are fairly easy to care for, any extra time put into planning and set up will pay off with healthier and happier shrimp.