22 Popular Types Of Shrimp For Your Aquarium

types of shrimp

There are more than 100 types of shrimp in the world, and that’s not even counting different variations within each species. Some of them are too small to keep in an aquarium, but there are plenty that will thrive inside it as long as you know which ones to choose.

If you’re planning on setting up an aquarium, there are many ways to do it. You can choose to do the work yourself or hire someone else to do it, you can install just one tank or several tanks, and so on.

But if you’re trying to decide what kind of pet animals to keep in your aquarium, choosing the right one can be difficult, since there are so many different types out there.

If you’re looking to add color and life to your aquarium, these are the best types of shrimp to choose from.

Popular types of shrimp

Red Cherry Shrimp

Red cherry shrimp

One of many types of shrimp, red cherry shrimp, are as their name suggests, small and colorful. They are freshwater species that can be kept easily in tanks with live plants because they do not feed on them. Red cherry shrimp are relatively inexpensive, making them an attractive choice for hobbyists.

However, because these types of shrimp have high mortality rates and grow quickly to maturity, around 1 year old, they should only be added to a tank that already has other occupants or be used as feeder fish for larger aquarium animals. The lifespan of red cherry shrimp is around 2 years.

Banded coral shrimp

Banded coral shrimp

This little guy can be found under rocks and coral fronds. They only get to be about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long, which makes them a perfect shrimp for smaller aquariums. Banded coral shrimp also feed on detritus, or decaying organic matter that sinks to your aquarium floor—so if you’re looking for a cleanup crew member, look no further than banded coral shrimp!

While they are mostly harmless, it is possible for them to nip at corals with thin edges. In an established tank with healthy corals, however, they should pose no threat. As far as food goes, they enjoy a varied diet that includes algae and other soft-bodied organisms like copepods.

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Blue Velvet Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

Blue Velvet Shrimp

They are easy to care for and have a very peaceful temperament. They won’t nip at corals or fish and they don’t swim around too quickly either, so they won’t put much strain on your reef tank.

And although many shrimp require saltwater tanks, these types of shrimp can survive comfortably in freshwater tanks too. Many hobbyists report that blue velvet shrimp are very disease resistant and only need a water change once every two weeks or so.

Vampire shrimp

Vampire shrimp

These shrimp get their name from their somewhat eerie nocturnal habits, which can be intimidating for other inhabitants in an aquarium. However, these voracious little eaters are typically harmless to tank mates and make excellent scavengers of leftover fish food.

They also aren’t as clumsy as some types of shrimp, which makes them easier to observe under a bright light. Vampire shrimp can survive long periods without food or water and will thrive at temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ghost shrimp or Glass Shrimp

Ghost shrimp

The ghost shrimp (also known as glass shrimp) is a good general-purpose shrimp that thrives in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It’s not particularly colorful, but it is small and easy to care for, which makes it perfect for beginners who want to test out a new aquarium.

In addition, ghost shrimp tend to reproduce quickly—another reason why they make great starter fish. One thing to keep in mind with ghost shrimp is that they can be aggressive toward other types of shrimp, so you should only keep them with other species of ghost shrimp or similar-sized fish.

Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata)

Amano Shrimp

This is a great shrimp for beginners who are looking to stock their tanks with new inhabitants. They are inexpensive, very hardy, and don’t produce too much waste. Amano shrimp thrive when kept at low population densities, so adding just one or two can be ideal for your tank.

They do well in both saltwater and freshwater, but it’s best to add them to a system that is cycled if you are using saltwater, since they prefer good water quality. While they aren’t an aggressive species, avoid keeping them with other small shrimp species or invertebrates because they may eat these smaller creatures.

If you have any snail populations in your tank, Amano shrimps will likely snack on these guys from time to time as well.

Crystal red shrimp

Crystal red shrimp

As one of the most popular shrimp species among aquarium enthusiasts, Crystal Red shrimp are distinguished by their brilliant red color and round shape. They’re a particularly excellent choice for beginners because they’re hardy and easy to keep.

In fact, these shrimps are so tolerant that some hobbyists have even kept them in outdoor ponds!  If you want to bring a little bit of nature into your home or office, consider purchasing some Crystal Reds.

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Pink shrimp (Pandalus borealis)

Pink shrimp

Another type of shrimp that is a good choice for beginners are the pinks. They are named so because they typically have pink bodies with white stripes running along their backs. Some people mistake them for ladybugs, but they do not have wings like those cute insects.

The male Pinks are less colorful than females and usually only grow to about an inch long, while female Pinks can reach up to two inches long. Another benefit of keeping Pink shrimp is that they breed easily and produce quite a lot of eggs!

Brown shrimp

Brown shrimp

If you’re just getting started with your aquarium, brown shrimps are a great choice. These are robust enough to withstand small fish attacks, but they’re not aggressive like red shrimps. Additionally, these shrimps breed easily and give off fewer odors than some other species.

Brown shrimp are omnivores so they’ll munch on algae and leftover food for more experienced fish as well as dig into new aquarium decorations if given time to adjust to their new environment.

This makes them an ideal addition to a tank that already has established residents. However, because they’re so active and voracious eaters, it’s best to keep only one or two brown shrimps per 10 gallons of water.

White shrimp

White shrimp

White shrimp are typically hardy, non-aggressive, and a little larger than red shrimps. These make for great additions to saltwater aquariums. They don’t have many special requirements, but you may need to supplement their diet with certain nutrients if you don’t want them to starve.

White shrimp will survive even on cheap foods, so you shouldn’t need to go out of your way to meet their dietary needs. However, there is one exception, if you plan to breed white shrimp, they will require more nutrition from their food sources than other types of shrimp.

This is because they must produce eggs that are high in nutritional value for their young. So be sure to feed them plenty of nutritious food!

White leg shrimp

White leg shrimp

These shrimps are social by nature, and usually swim and feed in groups. They love to be handled regularly, but watch out! They are better escape artists than other types of shrimp and will climb out of their aquarium or take a dive (or two) if you’re not careful. Plus, they tend to grow larger than other shrimp species—up to three inches long! Because they get so big, you’ll probably want to avoid housing them with fish, unless your tank is massive.

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Rock Shrimp

Rock Shrimp

These varieties are typically a couple of inches long and dark-colored. They’re called rock shrimps because they live on rocks or other surfaces in aquariums. However, they aren’t all that easy to spot. You may need to shine a light at night time to find them. Otherwise, you might have to wait until morning so that sunlight illuminates their hiding spots. Rock shrimp eat algae and decaying plant matter.

They’re hardy creatures that can adapt to various conditions. In fact, if you keep your water quality high, your rock shrimp will likely survive even if you forget about it for a few weeks! If your tank is large enough (at least 20 gallons), then, these types of shrimp make great additions.

Tiger Shrimp

Tiger Shrimp

The tiger shrimp is one of my favorites. These shrimp have a gorgeous orange-red stripe going from their nose to their tail and have long antennae. They look very similar to their saltwater cousins, yet are much easier to care for. Tiger shrimp will live for about a year if well taken care of and are known for being escape artists, so make sure your tank is super secure! They can grow up to 3 inches in length.

Spot Shrimp

Spot Shrimp

These shrimp are great for tanks with other fish. They are quite large and territorial, which makes them a better option for smaller fish than other types of shrimp. They will defend their territory and may attack other tank mates that enter it.

Spot shrimp have red markings on their heads and claws that make them easily identifiable in any aquarium. These types of shrimp are probably not a good choice for your first shrimp, but definitely worth considering if you’re already familiar with how to care for freshwater shrimp or keeping an aquarium in general.

Red orchid sulawesi shrimp

Red orchid sulawesi shrimp

Native to Sulawesi, Indonesia, red orchid sulawesi shrimp are great for a larger aquarium (at least 20 gallons) with plenty of places to hide. They’re usually orange but can be white-ish in color, depending on their environment. These shrimp love eating and will consume most foods that sink to the bottom for them.

Rili Shrimp

Rili Shrimp

The Rili shrimp is a popular addition to any aquarium, as it’s easy to care for and colorful. These shrimps are very small in size and require a tank that contains fish that are larger than them, such as African Cichlids. They also need plenty of rockwork because they like to hide. It’s important not to put them in tanks with too many other types of shrimp or fish that will eat them.

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Royal red shrimp

Royal red shrimp

One good type of shrimp you can add to your aquarium is known as the royal red shrimp. These shrimp are a popular choice for marine enthusiasts because they have an incredibly interesting coloration and behavior.

In addition, you’ll find that there are two types of royal red shrimp, the flame red and the crystal red, which share similar color patterns but come from different locations in Australia. Both colors work well in saltwater tanks.

Blue Shrimp (Litopenaeus stylirostris)

Blue Shrimp

These shrimps are known as Blue Shrimp because they have blue-colored bodies. They grow to be around 1 inch long, so they’re a great option for smaller aquariums. They get along very well with other tank mates and don’t require very much care or maintenance. You can even pair them with fish like fancy guppies or angelfish if you choose!

Rose shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris)

Rose Shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris)

If you’re looking for friendly, easy-to-take care of, species that will hang out around your aquarium and provide entertainment (and don’t mind doing a bit of cleaning), consider keeping rose shrimp. They get their name from their natural pinkish-red color.

These types of shrimp are scavengers that eat leftover food, algae, and detritus in your tank, which is great if you want to avoid extra work, but unfortunately also means they can make feeding time for other species trickier.

Cherry shrimp

Cherry shrimp

With their bright red color and small size, cherry shrimp are a perfect choice for your freshwater aquarium. Because they grow to about 1 inch in length, cherry shrimp only need to be kept in smaller tanks, under 10 gallons. They get along with most fish and can even be housed with snails. These types of shrimp do well in acidic water, which makes them ideal for tropical or marine-themed aquaria.

Colossal shrimp

Colossal shrimp

The Colossal shrimp is one of a handful of freshwater types of shrimp species commonly sold as pets. They have long, slender bodies with pink and white stripes and, when they’re young, large heads that resemble those worn by ancient Romans. Adults have striking red markings on their eyestalks. Although these are cool-water animals, in captivity Colossal shrimp can live for several years if conditions are right.

Fire red shrimp

Fire red shrimp

Also known as cherry shrimp, these little guys grow to just a few inches long and are bright red. Fire Reds are live-bearers, meaning, they give birth to live offspring instead of laying eggs. They can be kept with other types of shrimps and they make great additions to nano tanks! To feed them, you’ll need lettuce, spinach, or pellets. Just take care not to overfeed them because Fire Reds get fat pretty easily!